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Moissanite Earrings, The Modern Brazilian Beetle.

Moissanite Earrings, The Modern Brazilian Beetle.

Windswept dog
Source: Flickr

The history of earrings is a varied history indeed. And the latest in the long line of female body adornments known as earrings are Moissanite earrings. Moissanite is taking the jewelry world by storm and moissanite earrings are no exception.

Moissanite earrings, well earrings in general anyway, are a fashion with a long history. They are believed to have originated around 3000 BC. Fashioned often in gold, silver or bronze, numerous examples of earrings dating from around 2500 BC to the time of Christ have been unearthed.

Many fascinating examples have been uncovered from the royal graves in Iraq!

Earring styles have varied enormously over the last 3500 years. Earrings were often buried with the dead, as were many other forms of fashionable jewelry of the time. This is fortunate as it allows us to determine exactly what earrings were popular at various times in our history.

Around 1350 BC hoop earrings were popular which fitted inside a larger hole in the ear than would normally be the case. We can only imagine what it would have taken to produce the hole in the ear in the first place! Probably a small hoop earring at first, followed by larger ones as time progressed.

Earrings had styles and motifs which fitted the times. For example in Greek society around the second century BC earrings often displayed motifs of the gods of the time. And precious stones also adorned the ears of the wealthy women of the time to display their riches.

From around the third to the tenth century AD earrings were overtaken by head adornments which often covered the entire side of the face. And then for a few centuries after that long hair styles and high collars covered the ears and earrings lost their appeal.

Earrings took a back seat for quite some time, but re-emerged unscathed around the sixteenth century. At the time women’s hairstyles crept up exposing the ears again and by the seventeenth century earrings were back in fashion.

Earrings then were often long and heavy and extended use resulted in women suffering permanently stretched ear lobes. This can be clearly seen in pictures of Queen Victoria, a dedicated earring wearer. Perhaps she had a lot to do with the fashion of the time.

Earring fashions varied with hairstyles. When the hair was worn on the top of the head the ears were prominently displayed and so earrings were essential, however from time to time the hairstyles favoured covering the ears, and earrings went back out of fashion.

All sorts of exotic earring materials were used including in the late 1800s, of all things, Brazilian beetles for their attractive green color.

Back then it was Brazilian beetles, now it’s moissanite. The newest of the modern earring materials, moissanite earrings are taking the earring world by storm. Why? Simply because moissanite earrings look as good as diamond earrings but without the price tag.

Moissanite earrings feature moissanite stones, a modern alternative to diamonds which offer all the qualities of diamonds but at a fraction of the cost.

Whether it’s simple round cut moissanite stones set into white or yellow gold to produce stunning moissanite stud earrings, three stone moissanite earrings in gold or solitaire moissanite earrings with lever back settings, any would complement the ear of the modern woman.

Moissanite earrings, the modern Brazilian beetle!

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Plastic Surgery: More Than Meets The Eye

Plastic Surgery: More Than Meets The Eye

We all have the initial notion that plastic surgery is only for vanity due to the media hype created by celebrities undergoing such operations to change the size of their breasts, the shape of their nose, or other body parts in order to improve their looks.
However, people who have birth defects such as cleft palates or ear deformities as well as those who get involve in accidents and have broken nose, and jaws may also benefit from plastic surgery.
Plastic surgery is a medical procedure to change a person’s appearance and ability to function. Plastic surgeons strive to improve a patients’ appearance and self-image through both reconstructive and cosmetic procedures. It is derived from the Greek word plastikos, which means to form or mold.
Reconstructive surgery is a procedure that corrects defects on the face or body which includes physical birth defects like cleft lips and palates and ear deformities, traumatic injuries like those from dog bites or burns, the aftermath of an accident or the side effects from disease treatments like rebuilding a woman’s breast after surgery for breast cancer.
Cosmetic or aesthetic surgery is another procedure that alters a part of the body based on the patient’s desire and satisfaction. Some cosmetic surgery may not require surgical techniques such as cutting and stitching. Non-surgical methods like special lasers are being used nowadays for minor procedures like unwanted hair removal, acne treatments and other age-reduction procedures.
Common cosmetic procedures include making the breasts larger (augmentation mammoplasty) or smaller (reduction mammoplasty), reshaping the nose (rhinoplasty), and removing pockets of fat from specific spots on the body (liposuction).
Many plastic surgery procedures involve the use of anesthesia because the process involves a deliberate wounding of the body. This is why most doctors who perform these procedures want to know that their patients are capable of understanding and handling the stress of surgery. For those who are undergoing major reconstruction such as sex change, the patient’s emotional and psychological conditions are factors to be taken into consideration. The patient needs a lot of counseling regarding the pros and cons of the surgery.
People with physical deformities resort to plastic surgery to correct the defect or to alter parts of their bodies that makes them feel uncomfortable. Young men with a condition called gynecomastia or excess breast tissue that doesn’t go away with time or weight loss may consider reduction surgery. People with birthmarks may turn to laser treatment in order to lessen or conceal its appearance.
Other people decide they want a cosmetic change because they’re not happy about the way they look. It may sound vanity but everyone has the right to feel good about oneself. For those who have ears that stick out of their heads, they can go for otoplasty procedure to pin back their ears. Most teens usually avail of otoplasty as well as dermabrasion, a procedure that can help smooth or camouflage severe acne scars.
The most common procedures teens choose include nose reshaping, ear surgery, acne and acne scar treatment, and breast enlargement or reduction.
Cosmetic surgery is unlikely to change one’s life. Most plastic surgeons spend a lot of time interviewing young people who are considering plastic surgery to decide if they are good candidates for the surgery. Doctors want to know that patients are emotionally mature enough to go through surgery and that they are doing it for the right reasons.
There are surgeons who refuse to perform certain procedures like rhinoplasty on a teen until they are sure that person is old enough and has finished growing. For rhinoplasty, that means about 15 or 16 for girls and about a year older for guys.
Young women who are thinking of having breasts augmentation for cosmetic reasons usually must be at least 18 because saline implants are only approved for women 18 years old and above. However, there are some cases when there’s a tremendous size difference between the breasts or one breast has failed to grow at all, then a plastic surgeon may get involved earlier.
Generally, people are self-conscious about their bodies. Almost everyone wishes there were a thing or two that could be changed. But self-consciousness goes away with time. You might consider going to the gym to get in shape through appropriate weight control and exercise which can do great things for a person’s image without resorting to surgery. Liposuction may seem like quick and easy fixes compared with sticking to a diet. But there is risk involve in surgery than dieting, exercise or weight loss pills. People reserve surgery for extreme cases when all other options have failed.
Young people should think a lot of times and seek counseling before undergoing plastic surgery. A teen’s body continues to change through the years. Body parts that might appear too large or too small now can become more proportionate over time. Sometimes, for example, what seems like a big nose looks more the right size as the rest of the person’s face catches up during growth.
Emotions have a really big effect on how people think about their looks. People who are going through depression, extremely self-critical, or have a distorted view of what they really look like sometimes think that changing their looks will solve their problems. Unfortunately, it’s not going to work that way. They need to resolve whatever emotional issues they have with the help of a trained therapist first. In fact, many doctors won’t perform plastic surgery on people who are depressed or have other mental health disorders.

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Quitting Smoking for Good with Acupuncture


Acupuncture is already a renowned method used in treating smoking addiction.
An alternative medicine believed to have originated as far as 3000 BC in ancient China, this treatment is now being widely utilized for various medicinal and therapeutic purposes. It has been found furthermore to successfully treat drug dependence and chronic smoking addiction.

There are several smoking cessation medications and therapies available presently. However acupuncture is a recommended alternative procedure, especially where conventional therapies have already failed. The strategic insertion of needles in various parts of the body aims to treat the condition in a more profound and emotional level. A smoker needs to free himself from the physiological and psychological addiction of smoking, thus necessitating a more holistic treatment.

How It Stops the Addiction

The placement of needles is usually located behind the ear, or on the ear cartilage. This is where the calming effect takes place, curbing the patient’s cravings for more cigarettes. People who have a smoking habit are bound to take up the nicotine stick more often whenever they feel stressed, bored, or depressed. Needles are also often inserted on the hand and wrists to promote a steadier flow of bodily energy. The feeling of relaxation will help an individual think twice about lighting a cigarette again.

Furthermore, this treatment has been found to help an individual deal with the withdrawal symptoms better. This alternative medicine promotes better tolerance to pain and discomfort during smoking cessation. Withdrawal symptoms can range from mild to severe and may involve nausea, palpitations, and dizziness. Oftentimes, these same conditions will propel an individual back to his smoking tendencies sooner than later.

Nicotine is the addictive and toxic substance present in a cigarette. This is the same substance that makes quitting a big challenge for most smokers. The nicotine that you get from smoking will attach itself to the pleasure areas in the brain, making it hard for you to stop. Without a steady stream of this substance, a smoker will tend to feel depressed and uncomfortable.

People who have undergone acupuncture treatment reported that they no longer find cigarettes as tempting or as satisfying. Oftentimes, smoking would leave an awful taste in their mouths prompting them to stop their habit for once. Some patients would even resort to eating mints or lozenges to clear to get rid of the terrible aftertaste.

According to skilled practitioners, approximately 7 out of 10 smokers will successfully extricate themselves from their smoking habit after 2 or 3 weeks. While the others are unable to quit totally, these smokers will be able to cut down on their cigarette consumption quite significantly.

Treatment from Acupuncture Experts

It is very essential for a patient to consult with a skilled acupuncturist. A more personalized service will be provided by an expert, as well as added counseling for the patient. Moreover, an acupuncturist may prescribe herbal supplements to aid the patient in quitting efforts.

During treatment, filiform needles are inserted into specific points on the ear cartilage, as well as the hands and wrists. Normal procedures last for about 30 minutes. Body acupuncture can be used in combination with the ear and wrist needle placements. An acupuncturist may also utilize a mild electric current, to enhance the effect of the needles through the body.

The greatest advantage of this ancient Oriental procedure is the absence of side-effects during and after treatment. Unlike smoking cessation medications and nicotine replacement therapy products, acupuncture does not employ chemically manufactured substances. There is also no risk of weight gain during therapy. In conjunction with helping a patient quit smoking, it can also curb appetite, thus reducing food cravings.

If you have tried several methods in smoking cessation to no avail, perhaps it is high time you consider the alternative method that is acupuncture. With the right practitioner and the right frame of mind, there is no reason why you won’t be nicotine-free before long.

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The Mystique Of Acoustic Guitar Solos

The Mystique Of Acoustic Guitar Solos

The acoustic guitar still holds a fascination for music lovers even after all these decades of our ears being bombarded by electric guitar music. Electric guitarists love playing with the sounds they get from different tone settings, effects, the use of the different pickups and feedback. The acoustic guitar has only the tone given to it by the wood it is made from and the skill and inspiration of the guitar player. So let us take a look at some acoustic guitar solos and the guitars and guitarists who made them.

If you do not know the name Erik Mongrain, you will find some examples of his guitar playing on video sites on the internet. I came across a very nice solo called Air Tap. He was given an acoustic guitar when he was fourteen, and learnt to play it by ear. While he learnt and experimented with the guitar he discovered the technique of sitting the guitar in his lap and tapping, the strings and body to produce music. If you go looking for him on the web you will find pdf files of his music and tutorials on his techniques.

Paco de Lucia introduced the world to a new brand of flamenco in the 1970’s and paved the way for a new generation of flamenco guitarists who were inspired by his passion for oriental scales and jazz influences. Entre Dos Aguas was an improvisation begun during a recording session because the LP Paco and his accompanying musicians were working on was short on material. The resulting rumba was a worldwide hit and established Paco as a force to be reckoned with well outside the boundaries of Spanish folk music. Paco sponsors his own line of flamenco guitars.

Back in the 1990’s MTV decided to coax guitar hero Eric Clapton into playing some songs without the adornments provided by an electric guitar and amp. The resulting album won Grammy awards, gave Clapton’s career a shot in the arm and reinvented the song Layla as an acoustic showpiece. The solo on Layla is far removed from the original theme conceived by Duane Allman which made the song a rock anthem.

In the late 1960’s Mason Williams surprised himself by writing and performing an acoustic guitar solo which became a hit and remained popular for the decades since. The tune was called Classical Gas, and is striking for its simplicity and popular appeal. Classical Gas was born in an era when instrumentals such as The Lonely Surfer, A Walk In The Black Forest and Love Is Blue were standout hits for musicians who were otherwise unknown. But only Classical Gas retains the ability to make people sit up and listen.

So if you play the acoustic guitar a little and would like to learn how to play solos, you can use the world wide web to
learn more about soloing techniques for acoustic guitar. One easy way to start is the clawhammer technique used in folk songs, or you could learn to improvise your own licks using the minor pentatonic or “blues” scale. If you are stuck for an idea on how to begin improvising or making up your own tunes, start with a nursery rhyme or some other popular melody, and begin adding notes to it and changing things around to produce something original.

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The long and winding road to Machu Picchu

Have you ever wanted to do something crazy?

Have you ever wanted to walk on the wild side?

Have you ever wanted to leave the office environment and never return?

Driving up to Manchester one autumn’s evening in 1995, I decided something had to change.

The three hour journey from Leicester had turned into a six hour marathon, again.

It was cold, damp and desolate stuck in the endless lines of slow moving cars.

In my briefcase sat an unsigned and rather overly negotiated contract extension for my job in Leicester. When I finally arrived in Manchester at 11pm, bored, hungry and miserable – I knew that I could not face another winter of living and working out of a suitcase. It was time for serious change.

The week before, I had been stuck on a train for hours heading down to London.

The woman sat opposite me had left her travel magazine on the seat when she alighted at Luton. I had read my newspaper back to front and on the second time of reading, I found nothing new.

I reached over and killed a little time by flicking through the glossy magazine, but each time I thumbed the pages, my eyes returned to page 34 which advertised a five month trip to South and Central America. Setting off from Ushuaia in Argentina (the most southerly City in the world) and finishing in Mexico City. The itinerary read like a Who’s Who of top travel destinations.

Buenos Aires, Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Punta Arenas, Pucon (Mount Villarica – 10,000 feet active volcano), Bariloche, Esquel, the Argentine lake district, Santiago, Valparaiso, La Serena, the Atacama desert, Arica, Nazca, Arequipa, Cusco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, La Paz, Manaus, Angel Falls and so on…

Do you get the picture?

Travelling on a converted truck and free camping, the lucky adventurers would experience the full range of South and Central America’s charms. Having never been camping before and with my thirty-fifth birthday celebrations still ringing in my ears, I suddenly realised that I was confronted by a serendipitous ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity. Would I break the mould of my boring office life or step out bravely into an adventurer’s world?

I was single, no obligations and I had the money. What is the point in having a big bank balance while life was passing me by?

The following Monday morning, I handed my notice in. Contract discussions had been delayed and I had only ten working days to endure. It seemed like forever before I was released from that working purgatory.

Once the deed was done, I was walking on air. Skipping down the corridor and whistling ‘El condor Pasa’ – I never whistle…

It was a euphoric experience – the weight of meetings, ironing work shirts and driving those endless miles up and down he M1 had dissipated into nothingness. Top priority on this project manager’s list was buying outdoor gear, expensive sleeping bags, boots and all weather jackets.

And there was one place, one destination that I was focussed on – Machu Picchu in Peru – I had read so much about it and I knew that it would be the highlight of my journey…

If you want to find out exactly how my crazy decision turned out… then click on the link and follow my path on the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu.