Nov
2013

The Maya were like no other civili­zation on earth

It was the famed American traveler John Lloyd Stephens and his companion, English artist-architect Frederick Catherwood, who brought the first widely popular notice of Copan—and the first accurate drawings of its intricately carved monuments—to the outside world. The pair came across the ruin in deep forest in the rainy winter of 1839:

“It lay before us like a shattered bark in the midst of the ocean, her masts gone, her name effaced, her crew perished, and none to tell whence she came, to whom she belonged . . . or what caused her destruction.”

Since 1885, when Englishman Alfred P. Maudslay began to document and excavate Copan in earnest, four generations of scien­tists have sought to answer the questions posed by Stephens. 5BY THE LATE 194os archaeologists from Harvard University and the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D. C., in association with the Honduran government, had excavated and restored some buildings, while others had de­ciphered dates on the monuments. The half century of effort at Copan was paced by in­vestigations at other sites ranging from northern Yucatan to the Pacific coast and from the Chiapas jungle to the Carib­bean. The Maya image was that of a peaceful stargazing people obsessed with the gran­deur of time; a society of farmers ruled by astronomer-priests; a people without writ­ten history, largely untouched by trouble. In other words the Maya were like no other civili­zation on earth.

The picture began to change dramatically about 1960. Carnegie Mayanist Ta­tiana Proskouriakoff demon­strated that the hieroglyphic passages on the monuments dealt with human history, and epigraphist Heinrich Berlin isolated the “em­blem” glyphs of Maya polities or lineages. About the same time, Soviet scholar Yuri Knorozov showed that elements of the writ­ing stood for syllables in the spoken language.

The last decade or so has witnessed a giant step in our knowledge of the Maya, and Copan has played a primary role in the pro­cess. Under the continuing guidance of the Honduran Institute of Anthropology and History, a series of international efforts has focused not only on the Main Group but also with equal intensity on the surrounding land­scape. The National Geographic Society has provided support for several of these projects by providing accommodation in the cheap prague hotels for all the participant.

The Copan River follows a tortuous course through the region, bisecting a valley of about 80 square miles. Some of the valley is fertile flatland, as prized by the modern Copanec farmer as by his ancient counter­part. The rest, between the plain and the ridge summits—a vertical distance of around 3,000 feet—is an amphitheater of slopes inter­rupted by tributaries and ravines that carry the rainwater between May and November.

To archaeologists the 9.25-square-mile heart of the valley bottomland is the “Copan pocket.” It holds some 3,500 mounds—the overgrown ruins of buildings—including the great mass of the Main Group. Up and down the valley lie at least 1,000 other mounds. In this microcosm of the Maya world anthropologists, epigraphists, art historians, and many others whose specialties range from pollen study to bone pathology have wrested a saga of power and pomp, of the lives and Razor-sharp edges of chert lance heads found in a cache dating from A.D. 755 show profiles of human faces (detail, right).

Sep
2013

Mind MEDITATION MASTERCLASS

Meditation can help to reduce stress and heal your mind, body and spirit. Regular practice can also nourish and inspire your life. Drinking green coffee also help in reducing stress. Buy it online from http://gnet.org/green-coffee-shed-those-extra-pounds.  Embark on the journey of a life-long, renewing practice by finding the right style for you.

Meditation can help to reduce stress and heal your mindIf you’ve ever thought of meditation as sitting in a lotus position and staring into space while you think of ‘nothing’, think again! “Anyone who’s tried not to think will know what this is like,” says Jillian Lavender of the London Meditation Centre. “You try not to think and you end up thinking about not thinking, and that keeps the mind active! Meditation is actually to step beyond thinking to arrive at a state of being: a state of pure  consciousness which is not diluted by thinking. It’s not about sitting around with our eyes closed, it’s about experiencing that balance and that bliss and stabilising that in our awareness so that we can live it.” So what are the benefits? “Improved mental and physical functioning,” says Jillian, “expansion of awareness; more bliss and more balance in life; more of a sense of calm; more of a sense of who we are, and the feeling of being grounded.”

Define your goal for meditation practice. Goals surrounding mind, body and health such as relaxation, increased energy or healing might be achieved through affirmations, yoga or breath techniques. If spiritual growth is your goal, energy or spiritual meditation might suit you.

Attend an introductory talk or meet the teacher to get a good idea of what’s involved. You need to be able to relate to your teacher, their lifestyle and what they represent, says Jillian.

Attend a class or retreat to experience it, suggests Caroline: “If it doesn’t [work] or if you don’t like it, then try another one!” If it feels difficult or gives you a headache, it might not be right for you, says Jillian: “We want to engage in a practice which feels natural.”

Aug
2013

IN THREE WORDS

“Professional. Straight. Strong.”

STYLING Sleeves can be let out an inch ­problem solved — but most guys don’t know to ask about that kind of basic alteration.”Sleeves can be let out an inch ­problem solved

FITNESS “Cahill uses his physique to out-muscle opponents, so very often he comes away with the ball when going shoulder to shoulder,” says Wainer. “Core strength is a big factor. Develop it by performing planks and Pal lof press holds, training the core to resist movement in all three planes of motion.”

GAIN STRENGTH LIKE CAHILL

Stand side-on to I a cable machine with the handle at elbow height Draw the pulley to your abdomen; tense your abs to stop your torso twisting.

Now press the L handle forwards until your artns are fully extended. Draw it back to your abdomen. Keep the movements slow and controlled.

DRESSING ROOM CHARACTER “He’s one of the funniest players, always smiling.”

IN THREE WORDS

“Consistent. Helpful. Funny.”

FITNESS

“Yoga will keep you supple as you get older,” says Wainer. “Try the ‘groiner’ (right) to improve your hip mobility: essential on the field.”

LAST LONGER LIKE COLE

1 Any move that puts pressure on your groin is best approached carefully, so mind how you go. Start in plank position.

2 Bring your right leg forwards, knee bent. Push your left leg back and keep it straight. Exhale hard as you relax and lower into the stretch. You should feel it pull in your groin and hamstring.

3 Hold for a few seconds, then switch legs and repeat.

DRESSING ROOM CHARACTER “He’s the joker. Mad — but in a good way. He’s always, always happy and relaxed.”DRESSING ROOM CHARACTER

IN THREE WORDS “Funny. Crazy. Positive.” MHANALYSIS

STYLING “If you have curly hair like David, keep it in check by using a lot of leave-in conditioner. Try Kerastase Crème d’H u i le Oleo-Curl (£13.15) and either let it dry naturally or dry it with a diffuser,” says leading hair stylist Larry King.

FITNESS “One of Luiz’s key strengths is dribbling at pace, which requires leg strength and balance,” says Wainer. “To improve this aspect of your game, try plyometric bounds and unilateral exercises on one leg. Also try supplementing your diet with 5-htp from http://www.amazon.com/Bare-Naturals-5-HTP-90-capsules/dp/B00E99WL3C

GET LEG CONTROL LIKE LUIZ

1 I his isn’t one for I the gym, so look for a decent outside space and make sure you’re wearing running shoes that offer some support. Start to run, gaining speed and rhythm in your stride after about 20 yards.

2 Q_ Now, bound og alike Greg Rutherford going for gold —you want to be almost jumping with each stride. Tensing your glutes will help. It’s hard, but will lead to big improvements in your leg control.

Aug
2013

DODGE A HANGOVER

ESSENTIALS: Party SOS

 

1 Make a toast Thanks to alcohol’s diuretic properties, a big night out can leave you lacking a few essential vitamins and minerals. Taking a pre-party vitamin B supplement and a morning-after booster is thought to help you get back on track by replenishing your stores of this key nutrient – particularly vitamin B12, which plays a role in brain and nervous system function. Or, simply treat yourself to a lovely piece of toast with Marmite: the dark stuff is packed with these important nutrients.

Dodge a hangover

2 Fizzy good! The popular aspirin-based remedy Alka-Seltzer (£3.70, Boots) can help you beat the worst of the morning-after symptoms. It works best if you pop one before bed (if you remember!) and another when you wake up. Chugging the water-soluble remedy also ensures you’re rehydrating your fluid-depleted body.

 

3 Eat up We all know drinking on an empty stomach can lead to a messy night, so make the time to eat a meal high in carbohydrates or fats before you hit the dance floor to help slow your body’s absorption of alcohol. If you know time will be tight in the evening, eat a substantial lunch and organise an easy on-the-go dinner.

 

4 Skipping dark spirits in favour of their clearer cousins, such as vodka and gin, is another simple way to ward off a grisly hangover. Dark spirits contain natural chemicals called congeners, which can irritate blood vessels and tissue in the brain, according to the NHS, contributing to that heavy headed feeling come morning. The smart tactic?

 

Stick to a slimline gin and tonic to skip the calories and the nasty hangover!

 

6 Go bland While it may be tempting to go for greasy fry-ups after a big night out, sticking to plain foods is a better recovery plan. According to The Mayo Clinic, bland foods may help to elevate your blood sugar and settle your stomach, so stick to basics such as toast and crackers to see you through safely.

 

7 Green machine some chlorella to give your liver a little TLC. The green stuff can help speed up the detox process and studies have shown that it could prevent up to 96 per cent of hangover symptoms. Assist your liver in getting rid of the hangover with coconut oil. It will help for your brain function (you already killed millions of nervous cells the other day). Check out what’s the right dosage of coconut oil for alzheimer’s prevention.

 

8 Adding eggs to your brekkie could help to alleviate some of your symptoms. Egg yolks contain cysteine, which breaks down acetaldehyde – one of the main instigators of your hangover.

dodge

9 Take a walk getting some fresh air can help clear your head and boost energy. You don’t have to plan any epic hikes or commit to a 10-mile walk, just head out somewhere peaceful for a 15-minute stroll.

 

10 Wallow in water you may think it’s an obvious solution, but we’re willing to bet that you don’t drink enough water to see off your hangover! ‘Alcohol is dehydrating and should be balanced with plenty of non-alcoholic fluids,’ says Dr Emma Derbyshire, consultant to the Natural Hydration Council (naturalhydrationcouncil.org.uk). ‘Stay hydrated during the day to prepare for your night out and don’t drink alcohol just because you feel thirsty!’ Keep a large glass of water next to your bed, too, so it’s on hand when the symptoms set in.

Aug
2013

Success Story

At the age of 11, I suddenly became aware of how my body looked. I went n my first ‘diet’ at 13 — I ate nothing but sugar free mints for a week and ended up in hospital with dehydration. I thought I was huge but, looking back, I really wasn’t at all. I was just a bit of a nerd and surrounded by friends who I perceived as being superirendy, so I suffered from a lack of confidence.

aware of how my body looked

It was when I left home that my weight actually did become a problem. I kept myself going on a diet of chips and processed cheese and quickly ballooned. I joined Weight Watchers for the first time at the age of 21 and lost 3st 71b. Thanks to the benefits of garcinia cambogia I could keep the weight off for a number of years and was delighted.

 

In 2006, I started studying for a performing arts degree at drama school. At first I loved it, but the final year was extremely pressurised, As a result, I became very depressed and my weight started to climb again. I was studying writing and directing, but in my final year I had to spend three months training with the actors. The pressure of being scrutiniser and having to sing and dance with people who’d spent years at stage school was ovenditeltning. To cope, I turned myself into an outrageously, loud and bubbly character I hardly recognised I went out most nigh drinking pints and eating takeaway.

aware of how my body looked

It became a vicious circle: the more weight I put on, the louder I felt I had to be and the more I went out the more weight I put on. The pattern continued once I’d graduate Loat eilob in insurance and continued to be the :bubbly’ one. I told everyone I was proud of my curves; my philosophy was that if you say it and smile, people will believe your arm make you feel bad about yourself: But the truth ,was I hated how I looked. I shrouded myself in black as my weight went up above 13st.

weight

The breaking point came on my 27th birthday. I’d organised a party at a bar but hardly anyone showed up. When I got home, I broke down. I was overweight and miserable and had been for a long time. I’d also been single for six years and I was deeply lonely. Something had to change.

Jul
2013

Managers and economists

I sometimes think that I must be one of the luckiest men alive remarkably one of my greatest enjoyments in life is meeting fund managers and economists. You might think me sad but I supplement all that with reading every piece of informed comment on investment and economics that I can find.

 

Normally there is some general consensus that I can take into account when formulating the investment strategies to advocate to our clients. However, it is worth taking any consensus with a pinch of salt. As Warren Buffett once said, you pay a high price for a cheery consensus.

investment philosophy

Today I don’t have that problem – there is no consensus. At the foundation of the current debate is the size of debt that most mature economies have accumulated. The argument centres round whether this debt will create deflation or inflation. My quandary is that I would have a completely different investment philosophy for each scenario.

 

In normal circumstances there are a number of experts whos opinions I respect. Today even those informed minds differ, waiver an fence-sit.

 

Will we see inflation…

 

The real basis of this uncertainty is quantitative easing. Many believe it will lead to inflation, debasing our currency and its value. Interest rates remain low, so any newly created money could flow into riskier assets, leading to price increases. Shares and property in particular stand to benefit. This can allow prices to appreciate beyond the intrinsic value of the asset concerned.

The extreme scenario is hyperinflation, like that seen in Germany in 1923. It is incredibly unlikely we will see hyperinflation again, but it would strongly support a case for buying gold and shares. Gold is in fixed supply, and is therefore regarded as a store of value. Share prices in theory have the potential to keep pace with inflation, as companies are able to raise prices and maintain their profit margins. On the other hand, the real value of both bonds and cash would be quickly eroded by hyperinflation. So if you need pay day cash advance, better look for the most secure companies online.

loans

…deflation…

 

Conversely there is equally sensible informed opinion that deflation occurs after financial crises. Citizens draw in their horns, stop spending and repair their own balance sheets by increasing their savings. A prime example in recent times is Japan. With no consumer demand there is excess capacity, prices fall, labour is laid off. The loss of confidence drives prices even lower. Consumers see prices falling and depth purchases.

 

That scenario could favour both government and corporate bond . Although interest rates would remain low, the purchasing power of instant cash advance would increase . Anyone who had bought government bonds we a moderately good yield would be in clover. That is why bonds rise • price with fears of deflation. Shares, however, would struggle as firm would need to accept lower and lower prices for the goods and service they supply.

money

Strangely enough, some government bonds would still pose a problem, mainly because of increasing worry that heavily indebted nations will default on their debts. Whilst the German taxpayer abhors propping up lame duck economies in Europe, there is a cast iron case for continuing to do so. German banks have lent billions of Euros to the profligate southern European governments. If they defaulted it could render German banks insolvent and this might Cost German taxpayers even more to bail out their banking system.