Sewing – Tools and History

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The practice of sewing, as in using thread and needle to attach various kinds of material, has been dated to at least 20,000 years ago. Sewing is practically a universal occurrence, and the actual beginnings of it stretch back to the beginnings of history. It predates the weaving of cloth by many centuries, and was used to stitch together hides, furs, and bark for clothing and other uses.

Early sewing needles were made from bone, wood, or natural needles taken from plants as Native Americans did with the agave plant. The earliest verified sewing needles made from iron date back to the third century B.C.E. and were found in what is now Germany. Chinese archaeologists report finding a complete set of iron sewing needles and thimbles in a tomb dating from the Han Dynasty (202 BC-AD 220) in China. This is the earliest known example of a thimble in history. The thimble was developed to assist early sewers to push needles through thick hides and furs, and was first made from bone, wood, leather, sometimes glass and porcelain. Later thimbles began to be made from metal, and before the 18th century dimples in a thimble had to be punched into it by hand. The thimble also became an object of beauty with thimbles made from precious and semi-precious stones, and precious metals.

The first thread was made from plant fibers and animal sinew, which was used to sew together hides and furs for clothing, blankets and shelter. Later it was found that fibers from plants and animals could be spun together to make thread. The ancient Egyptians made thread by spinning these fibers together, and devised methods of dying the thread using berries and plant matter. In China and Japan, silk fibers taken from the cocoon of the silk worm was spun to make very fine thread.

For most of the history of sewing, it was done by hand. From the simplest stitches to ornate decorative work was done with a needle, thread and a steady hand. It remained so until the first patent for a machine that “emulated hand sewing” in 1790 in England. It is not known whether there ever was a machine built from the 1790 patent.

The first functioning sewing machine was issued a patent to Barthelemy Thimonnier in France in 1830. It used a single thread and a hooked needle to make a chain stitch similar to the one used in hand embroidery. The inventor was nearly killed when enraged French tailors rioted and burned down his garment factory because they feared the machine would cause unemployment. In 1846 the American Elias Howe was issued a patent for his machine, but the mass production of the machines did not happen until the 1850’s when Isaac Singer built the first truly successful sewing machine. With needle, thread, thimble and machine, the art and craft of it has not only formed items for our use and comfort. Sewing has helped form civilization itself.

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Source by Alan Beggerow

The Late Colin David

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Colin David’s mortal body left this world on 25 Feb., 2008, but his soul breathes in his art and people. Colin was one of those good adroit painters who fashion human anatomy with their skill and imagination. Just like Ustad Allah Baksh, Sadqain, Shakir Ali, Saeed Akhtar, Colin portrayed women figure as a special element in his painting. He was a superb draftsman with a technical perfection that is all too rare. According to an art critic Marjorie Husain, Colin used to paint non traditional style in the restricted ambiance of Ziaul Haq era which consolidated his position as most popular artists in time.

Colin was born in Karachi in 1937; he began his art education at the University of Punjab when the fine arts departments opened its door to male students in 1956. According to Niilofer Farrukh he once ran away from home because his father, a journalist, did not allow him to take up Art as a profession. Colin David was among the first group of three young men who were taught by Khalid Iqbal, and by Anna Molka Ahmed who was hugely pleased by the talented trio. She included them in many of the Department projects and in later years, spoke of their success with pride. After doing masters Colin got opportunity to study in UCL where he was guided by sir William Cold Stream, an artist who painted in “Euston Road” group style. There Colin got opportunity to paint from life and found his artistic meter. It was a time when Naz Ikramullah was taking a course of Lithography at the Slade, and Colin mentioned meeting her in letters home.

Returning to Pakistan in 1962 Colin rejoined the faculty of Fine arts department of Punjab University, and remained there until 1964, but differences with Anna Molka Ahmed caused him to leave the department and join the National College of Arts, where Shakir Ali was the Principal. Colin remained there, an integral part of the college for 25 years.

In those times of experimentation Colin developed a unique, distinctive style which showed his own inclination. His first solo exhibition, a collection of figure studies in oils painted with great luminosity was held in Karachi in 1970 at “The Gallery” where Colin hailed great appreciation. His work in the genre of the nude inspired new art collectors. The element of design in a form of “figure” always creates balance and harmony in his compositions. Sense of space was an important subject in his paintings. Colin explored the female figure as a symbol of beauty and presented “women as a women”

Colin successfully portrayed the sensitive studies of children at play. In one of his painting he portrayed a child while eating toffee while un wrapping it, chubby fingers persevering, and an expression of total single mindedness on the child’s face. It increased the UNICEF interest in his art. Many of his art pieces went to foreign art collectors.

It was ironical that in his life many times he was obliged to hold exhibition in his home and unnamed spots for selected audience since he was unable to show his work publicly. Once he said “In the earlier stages of my career when figure painting was artistically acceptable, my exhibitions were always highly successful. The public understood and appreciated my work. They still do of course, but it means my exhibitions become elitist.”

In last days of Coulin, despite of bad health he continued to work and exhibited his art work in Karachi and remained popular.

Time goes, you say? Ah, no! Alas, time stays, we go.

– Henry Austin Dobson

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Source by Sehrish Ch

Editing – The Most Important Step in the Writing Process

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Whether you’re writing an essay, a book, a marketing brochure or website content, the most important step of the writing process isn’t in the planning of what you’re going to write, and it’s not in the choice of tone, style or language; the most important step is in fact the editing. As a writer therefore it’s important to appreciate the significance of the editing process and to some extent be able to edit your own work.

The editing process is a systematic way to get the best out of your writing; it involves recognising weaknesses in your use of language, plot, characterisation, dialogue etcetera, as well as identifying the strong areas and realising themes that can be expanded. The editing process should also include the basic proofreading elements of checking for spelling mistakes and grammar errors.

It is often difficult for a writer to edit their own work well as the more time they spend on their writing the closer they become to it. An editor requires a certain amount of distance from the work they are editing to ensure they can get the best from the text they are working on. It is often the case that a fresh pair of eyes will quickly pick up inconsistencies or errors that the writer has missed, because the writer knows what they are expecting to read and their mind generally fills in the blanks or skims over the mistakes. This is why using a professional copy editor is often preferable to trying to edit yourself. This doesn’t however mean that a writer cannot be involved in the editing process; in fact it is often better if the process is a joint effort between writer and editor, allowing for the editor to make suggestions or prompt the writer to think of alternative ways to convey their message. The writer can subsequently develop their own work, in their own style as a result of the editor’s comments.

Many writers find that although their first draft of a manuscript, poem or essay, holds all of the basic elements that they which to express in their work, it may be many edits down the line before they are finally happy with the finished result. This is not a reflection of the writer’s natural ability or technical skill, indeed a good writer is one who is willing to edit, edit and edit again; this commitment to a project will pay dividends in the end, causing a writer to produce work that far surpasses the efforts of a first draft.

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Source by Jo M Roberts

Words With Hyphens That Work Well in Copy and Why

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This is my fourth tips article for newbies on writing copy that sells, words that work for you. Everyone knows that what you say about your product or service can swing the difference between ho-hum and aha! and get you those sales. But not everyone knows that just jamming your copy with buzzwords and keywords may not have the effect you want – getting your readers to admire your product, accept your claims for it, and act to get it.

The secret I’m going to reveal to you is how words with hyphens work on the reader and therefore some words and phrases you need to use to make your copy sizzle. Words with hyphens make an effect not just because of what they say but because of how they look. Words that have hyphens draw the eye along and keep people reading. Everyone wants to get to the end of the word, the end of the sentence, the end of the story. That’s the principle behind hyphenated words. It’s important because the point of every part of a piece of copy is to keep people reading on until they’re ready to clip the coupon, lift the phone or click the link to buy.

Here’s a dozen hyphenated keywords for copywriting: award-winning, easy-to-use, fool-proof, make-or-break, must-have, no-questions-asked, no-risk, no-money-down, plug-and-play, quick-and-easy, ready-to-go, world-class. You can easily find many others by studying copy you read on the net or that drops through your mail.

These hyphenated words all have one thing in common. They describe something. They’re adjectival, to be grammatically precise. But they don’t just give information about the features of your product. They interest, intrigue, excite, reassure, guarantee and convince. They hit all the right buttons, answer all the questions in the reader’s mind before you’ve maybe even named your product or service, let alone asked for the sale. The hyphens increase the effect by joining the words together. Hyphens are verbal starbursts, golden starbursts that go off like explosions of emotion as the reader reads on.

If you haven’t been consciously using hyphenated words in your copy, you can easily and enjoyably get used to writing sentences using whole strings of them. Sit round the kitchen table and see who in your family can make the longest sensible sentence using words in the list and others. Enjoy!

Here’s an example from a real piece of copy I wrote. “Harness the fantastic POWER of high-powered marketing materials to Win Clients, Build Relationships and Achieve a market-leading reputation as the No. 1 source of top-class… staff for the… industry!”

So much of what we read in copy seems obvious until someone points out the skill and judgement required to select the words that are going to work best to propel the reader along to the point of sale. It’s like picking the right needle for a thread or the right spanner for a nut. So go pick out some hyphenated words for your next piece. They’re often the right tool for the job!

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Source by Michael H Collins

Technical Writing – Definition of Target Audience

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As a technical writer, you seldom write in a vacuum. For whatever type of document you’re writing, there is a designated Target Audience.

Depending on the assignment, the target audience can be very broad: everyone who buys a Harper’s Handy Home Widget, or it can be very specific: aerospace mold makers using a TRF-3 Tri-axel Reciprocating Fulminator. When you write, you must write to a defined target audience.

The easiest target audience to write for is the most clearly and narrowly defined one. As the target audience becomes less specific, the tech writer’s job becomes more difficult.

General Characteristics of a Target Audience

Every target audience shares common characteristics. Normally, your client knows what those characteristics are and gives them to you. In some rare cases, you may need to research the target audience to discover what makes it a target. Some common, shared characteristics are:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Occupation
  • Income
  • Education
  • Interests

You’ll notice that these are the same characteristics taken into consideration by marketing companies. For the tech writer, though, there are other characteristics that may be even more important than these.

Specific Characteristics of a Target Audience

When writing procedures it’s important that you understand what the target audience already knows about the subject. From that, you can decide at what level you need to begin and how much information you need to supply.

In the case of a common, household appliance, such as a toaster, you can tell from the manufacturer’s target market who the target audience is likely to be. If the product is going to be sold in the US in large department and appliance stores, you can pretty safely assume that the people who buy it already know what a toaster is, what it does, and how to use it. They know it’s an electrical device that has to be plugged into a 110v outlet. If it’s like most toasters, it has a slot for each slice of bread and a control of some sort that determines how well done the toast is. Obviously, you don’t spend much time on these elements.

If the toaster has a setting for toasting only one side of bagels and English muffins, you want to be sure that the user knows about this feature and how to use it. Not all toasters have settings for frozen waffles or tarts. This needs to be clearly explained.

What you’re doing is deciding what the user already knows and what he or she will need to be taught. Of course, there are the standard Warnings and Disclaimers that are usually written as though the user was either five-years-old or a complete idiot.

On the other end of the scale is writing for a very narrow or specialized audience. Again, the client should supply you with information. But whether that happens or not, it’s your job to find out the salient characteristics of the target audience. You need to ask:

  • Who will use the product?
  • Under what conditions?
  • What is the user’s expertise, training, level of experience?

Fortunately, that’s often easier the more specialized the target audience is.

If you’re writing about an improved model of a testing device, you can probably assume that the technician using it is already trained in the subject and has experience using the current device. Unless the operation is significantly different, the focus will be on how the new model is different from the old model.

Generally Speaking…

The same standards apply regardless of what type of material you’re writing. You’ll write a technical report or a brochure depending on who’s going to read it. It’s only after you have a clear understanding of who the target audience is that you can begin to plan the approach and develop the content for any writing assignment.

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Source by Bryan S. Adar

The Four Cardinal Points of Any Good Writing: Expression, Content, Organization & Technical Accuracy

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Every piece of writing that is judged to be good must have these four cardinal factors; otherwise the writing will fall flat regardless of its intended purpose. Remember the intent of your writing should be to inform, instruct, entertain, solve a problem or show how to achieve a goal or objective. Always write for your target audience and not the internet or the search engines. When you connect to your audience, the rewards come back to you. The four factors are: Expression, Content, Organization and Mechanical Accuracy.

Expression: This is how you project your writing for the world to see, read and evaluate. Good writing is a craft. That’s why writers are called wordsmiths. A picture may be more than a thousand words but it also takes words to create pictures in your reader’s mind. This is the first factor that attracts audience to your writing just as bees are attracted to nectar. You may have heard that you must write to express and not to impress. Don’t write for ego; write for your audience with clarity and simplicity–so that everybody can understand your perspective and subject matter. People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. Expression is an art form. You must use your words to connect and create vivid images in your reader’s mind. People only apply what they understand. It all boils down to your choice of words, style, personality and overall thinking process. You must use powerful words and emotional triggers. Eliminate boring adverbs and dangling modifiers as much as you can. Use active verbs instead of helping verbs or adjectives. Active verbs make your writing to be more alive and dynamic. Realize that movement generates pleasure. Use active voice rather than passive voice. Thus expression is not just what you say but how you say it. However, what you say is also important.

Content: This is the factor that separates the mediocre from the masters. “Either you write something worth reading or you do something worth writing,” said Benjamin Franklin. Content is the substance and the essence of your writing. In short, content is the heart-beat of any great writing. It is the value you brought to the marketplace. People are value and quality shoppers. They want the best for the least amount of money. You have heard it said that in the internet, content is king. The story is the same everywhere. Content is the quality of the material you put out. This has to do with the key benefits the readers will extract from your writing to solve their problems or achieve their goals. As a writer, you must always ask yourself: “how can my writing solve problems or change lives?” A good writing that sells itself is writing with great content. Search engines love content. Therefore, put out good content that people love and seek. Then the search engines will locate you naturally and people will seek your offers. Let your content be fresh and original instead of recycled materials that flood the internet. Content is what search (and research) is all about. Having said that, you must also know how to arrange and organize your content so that the information is readable and digestible.

Organization: One of the most difficult things about writing is how to organize and arrange your thoughts. “Most writings are a few good thoughts drifting about in a sea of words,” said Jamie Buckingham. Organization is a product of coherence and consistency. How does your thoughts flow logically as in a flower? One idea must lead and link to the next. To be consistent, you need style manual as a guide. Therefore, try to plan your writing. Outline the key points or bare bone essentials you may want to develop before you put the flesh as you go. Let each paragraph contain a theme or one main idea. The flesh can be the description, examples or anecdotes to buttress your points. Organization is a process. It comes with practice, experience and writing intuition. You get better as you keep on writing. Formatting is a very important part of your organization. Arrange information in chunks.

That’s how the human brain process information. That’s why it’s called bites and bytes. Formatting is about headings, paragraphing, bullets, lists, typography, lines and spacing to create visual appeal for your readers. You don’t need to be a graphic artist to develop a good sense of organization. Did you notice that majority of HTML tags are formatting tags? Any good content and expression can fall flat without good formatting–it is a key part of your organization. The best way to learn this art is to glean from other good writings. After trial and success, it comes together with practice. Either you keep writing or you become a write-off. My watch word is: “Persistent practice prevents poor performance.” The more you write the better you grow as a writer. Practice does not make perfect; practice makes improvements and improvements make perfect.

Mechanical (Technical) Accuracy: This is fancy way of saying that your writings should be free of errors. Mechanical Accuracy is the Achilles tendon of most writers. They worry too much about the difference between colon and semi colon–causing paralysis analysis. This is the key reason why many people dread writing. Mechanical accuracy has to do with your typographical errors, spelling, punctuation and syntax. This is why you must have your writing tools: spell checkers, dictionary, encyclopedia and other reference materials. Remember that no writing is readable until it is free of errors. It is also a smart idea to give your writing to someone else to proofread and edit because of human factors. Overall most good writers are made in rewriting. The key lies in the principle of the 3Rs: revise, review and rewrite.

Your writing process is like preparing a good meal. All four ingredients must be present in your recipe before you create a balanced food for thought.

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Source by Uzo Onukwugha

The Wise Men And The Truth About The Birth Of Christ

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The three wise men were outright failures in their calling. They were followers of Zoroaster who were aided to the place of birth to fulfill their various destinies. But instead of their main calling which was to protect the child with their wealth so he will not lack in the discharge of his duties, they gave earthly gifts – gold, frankincense and myrrh -and abandoned the child to the mercy of Herod’s ambition. If it were not that the almighty gave extra strength and powers to Mary and Joseph so that, due to disquietude, Mary had to convince Joseph of the necessity of leaving Nazareth to Egypt. They lived in Egypt for three years before Mary reluctantly agreed for them to come home.

The disquietude was basically due to Marys estrangement from her mother, Anna, over over the earthly “illegitimate”child she carried to the house of Joseph. If Joseph did not love Mary dearly it would have been difficult for him to accept Mary and the pregnancy, particularly since Mary did not hide from him the short lived affair with a Roman captain. He stood by her and even defended her when Christ wine-coloured hair, regal built and Roman eyes betrayed his physical origin. Mary was prepared over several incarnations to be the mother of the Son of God. She was led to associate with Rabbis who were preoccupied with the prophecies of the coming messiah. It reached a point where she wished to be the vessel through which the messiah will come. Until the fateful day when she went to fetch water from the well and was accosted by a Roman captain who asked her for water. She gave him from her pitcher and after also giving his horse to drink, he asked her name. She told him. And when he turned to his men to give them orders Mary fled. But the thunderbolt had struck, both of them had fallen in love at first sight. Creolus’ picture could not be erased from the memory of Mary. Creolus started coming to the well everyday hoping to see Mary.

Meanwhile Mary had told her mother why she was late from the well and the mother took the pitcher outside and shattered it because it touched the mouth of the hated Roman. Until that faithful day when Mary was going to the well again and saw Creolus coming and diverted to the bush path to escape him. Creolus followed quickly. Later Mary remembered all the promises the Roman gave to her. He had promised to come back after his summon from Rome to Mary and take her away. Mary believed her, and had to bear the knowledge of her pregnancy for three months after which she ran to her cousins Elizabeth. Immediately, Elizabeth, who herself was pregnant, became seeing. The magnificent followed. When Mary came back and Creolus was not forthcoming, she on her own went to Joseph, who has been wooing her and told him the truth of her pregnancy. Josephs love and the dream he had made him accept her and the pregnancy. But a deep gulf developed between Mary and her mother.

Meanwhile the reason Creolus did not come was because he went on posting to Angle tarre, as modern day England was then known. He resigned his commission later and when Mary was having her baby in Bethlehem, he was parading Nazareth looking for Mary. When Mary heard that on her return she became disquiet. Three wise men came and gave earthly gifts to the baby. One of them was the king of Ethiopia who longed to come back to see the progress of the child, but was never able. On his death bed he charged the daughter Candace to make sure she finds out about the king when she becomes queen. Candace later sent his old treasurer to Israel to find out about Christ. On reaching Israel, he met the scribes and pharisees who told him the the only king of Israel they know of was the one that was prophesied. They gave him prophecy of Isaiah about the the coming messiah. He was reading it without understanding when Phillip the disciple asked him: understandest thou what thou readest?

Creolus, not finding Mary, went home and got married. In memory of Mary he called his first son Marius. He too became a captain and was the one who facilitated the meeting of Nero with Peter and Paul for the first time.

Had the wise men fulfilled, the grand plan could have been realised completely. For the teachings were to come from the Jews and spread by the Romans while the three kings will use their influence to see that he was not murdered the way he was. Thanks to the lord that what he was not allowed to complete has been completed in the Grail message.

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Source by Uche Mbah

History of the Chinese Hand Held Fan

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The first Chinese fans were nothing more than bird feathers or large leaves. Tradition holds that King Wu of the Zhou Dynasty in the 11th century B.C. invented the Chinese hand-held fan, and the oldest known Chinese hand held fan was found in China in 1982 and is approximately 2,300 years old. The earliest half-moon fans were constructed of silk wrapped around bamboo spokes that were arranged in a semi-circle. Fans were used only by the members of the royal court for many centuries, only becoming available to the general public during the Han Dynasty, 206 B.C. – 220 A.D. By the time of the Jin Dynasty, 317-420 A.D., so many fans were being made that the emperor halted the use of silk in their manufacture because silk producers could not keep up.

While the Chinese are credited with the invention of the half-moon hand held fan, these first fans did not fold like modern ones do. The folding half-moon fan was brought to China in the 11th century A.D. from Japan. Today Chinese fans are still made from the traditional bamboo and silk materials, and also of paper, wood, bone, palm tree leaves and other materials.

During the 5th century A.D. the moon fan, or round fan became very popular. Young ladies, especially those inside the imperial palace were very fond of these. These round fans later took on other shapes also, such as oval. The ancient Chinese were a very artistic culture. Everyday items such as fans were valued not only for their functionality, but by their beauty. Fan painting and decoration are but one example of this. There has been a revival of the ancient art form of the Chinese Hand Held Fan. Thy are things of beauty that can add to the decor of any home.

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Source by Alan Beggerow

10 Reasons Teenage Girls Should Not Get Pregnant

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Teenage pregnancy is a hot topic. For some reason, especially in the U.S., we don’t like to talk about sex or what could happen when you have it. For this reason, teenagers are misinformed about sex and the repercussions of it such as an unwanted pregnancy. Perhaps if teens knew the facts, they would wait or at least be more mature about having sex. Teenage girls who don’t take the proper precautions could get pregnant. Teenage boys who don’t make sure they take precautions could get a girl pregnant. Using a condom is not a full proof way to prevent pregnancy; you need another contraceptive to use with it.

Your parents may disown you. Unfortunately, this does happen, especially if parents are ‘super’ religious. They’re probably more disappointed in themselves than you. They’ll question what they did wrong as parents. They’ll question ‘why’ you got pregnant and what they could have done to prevent it from happening. Hopefully, parents will realize that stuff happens and help you deal with your teen pregnancy.

The baby could have birth defects. It’s possible that your baby could have birth defects because of your age. Since your body isn’t fully developed, it could play a role in whether or not your child has birth defects.

You could have a complicated pregnancy because of your young age. Again, your body isn’t fully developed or matured. This could cause you to have a complicated pregnancy which isn’t good for your or the baby’s health.

Your body will go through changes that you may not be ready to handle. You may not ready for the bodily changes that come with pregnancy. In fact, it could freak you out. You may not be ready for stretch marks, intense hormones, or weight gain. It’s important to eat a healthy diet which will provide you and your baby the proper nutrients. Don’t think about ‘starving’ yourself because you don’t want to gain weight. This isn’t healthy for you or your child.

Your friends could leave you. Unfortunately, your friends may not hang around with you if you have a child. They won’t be able to relate to you. They’ll want to go out on Friday and the weekend and do what teenagers do. They may even feel guilty because they get to be ‘footloose and fancy free’ while you increased responsibility. They may not know what to say or how to act around you. If your friends do leave, it’s important that you have support. Join a group for teenage moms. This way you’ll be surrounded by people who can relate to you and your situation.

You may not finish high school as scheduled. You may not finish high school on time, depending on when you’re scheduled to deliver your baby. Whatever you do — graduate from high school. Maybe you can make up classes during summer school or take the GED. Whatever you do, get your high school diploma!

Your boyfriend may not stand by you. Believe it or not, your boyfriend may not stand by you. He may stay for a few months, but the situation could overwhelm him. If this happens, it’s important to tell your child it’s not their fault. Mourn the loss of your boyfriend and move forward with your life. This won’t be easy at first but you’ll get through it.

You’re not emotionally or financially ready for kids. How developed are your emotions? How big is your checking and savings account? Do you have a checking and savings account? Having a child is a major responsibility that you’re probably not prepared for. Heck, most people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s aren’t prepared emotionally or financially to have kids. Having a child is a HUGE deal. Think about what you’ll need: food, shelter, clothing, money, love, and support. If you can’t provide the basic essentials for yourself, how will you be able to provide for a baby?

Having a baby so you can feel love is not a reason to have a child. Please don’t have a baby because you want to feel loved — this isn’t a good enough reason. Know that you’re valuable and have something to offer to this world. Love yourself and love will find you!

It’s painful. Having a child doesn’t tickle. Most women plan to forgo medication because they want a natural childbirth. However, they usually change their mind once the pain kicks in. Think about this: it’s like pushing a watermelon through a tiny hole. Ouch!

Obviously, the girl deals with the pregnancy more than the guy. Your body will change and it may become uncomfortable. Ask any woman about pregnancy and they’ll tell you it hurt likes heck! Some try to forgo using any medication but they usually have medication to numb the pain. Do you want to experience this at the age of 14, 15, or 16? If you think menstrual cramps hurt, try having a child!

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Source by Amandah T. Blackwell

Agnes Keith – A Hidden Treasure in the Land Below the Wind

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Land below the Wind is a well known expression here in Sabah, Borneo and a often mentioned. Where does the expression come from? How come its so famous and who made it a such a well known expression?

Malaysia has many treasures and one of them we found is Agnes Keith. She was an American author and journalist who lived in Sabah, Borneo from the end of 1934 to the beginning of 1952.

We got curious and wanted to know more about this exciting woman who lived under a longer period in Borneo and made such an impact on people that she still is famous today.

How did she end up in Borneo?

Agnes Keith was born in Illinois, USA in july 1901. After meeting Henry Keith an Englishman (later known as Harry) and marrying him she followed him back to Borneo in 1934. Harry was Conservator of Forests and Director of Agriculture for the government of British North Borneo (now days known as Sabah) under the Chartered Company and was also Honorary Curator of the State Museum. Their home in Sabah was in Sandakan on the east coast of Sabah. While Harry were away on his many trips and adventures all over Sabah Agnes started to write about her new land. She always kept a diary and could easily collect her notes.

The title of Agnes’ first book about the North Borneo (now known as Sabah), LAND BELOW THE WIND (1939), has become the unofficial motto of Sabah. The phrase was used by sailors to describe all the lands south of the typhoon belt, but Agnes Keith popularized the special connection of the phrase with Sabah, by applying it exclusively to North Borneo in her book.

She makes a vivid picture of the land she came to love. People, culture, adventures and her daily life gives us a picture of how life was here in Sabah back then.

It was followed by THREE CAME HOME (1947), which focused on hardships suffered in the Second World War, and was subsequently made into a Hollywood movie, and the third book was WHITE MAN RETURNS (1951), which tells of her life in Sandakan after the war.

All throughout her books Agnes Keith used her own drawings to make a more vivid picture of her adventures.

Agnes Keith house was destroyed under the war by Japanese. It was rebuilt and are now in care of the Department of Sabah Museum under the supervision of MS Stella Moo-Tan.

You must admire this woman – at least we do. She came from convenience to a small tropical place on the other side of the earth. No air condition – or the facilities were so used to today. Many times she suffered from Malaria and other tropical diseases. Her coming to Borneo was not as convenient as our trip was. In her time you travelled by boat for weeks!

Still her love for this country and the people really shine through when she writes. She came to love Sabah and Borneo just as we have too!

In 1952 Agnes Keith left Borneo – she died at age 80 in British Columbia, Canada

Everyday we experience new things in our new home land. Borneo is a exciting place to live and there is much more to explore. We can warmly welcome you to the Land below the wind! Make it your next destination and explore Malaysia’s treasures you too!

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Source by Catarina Berg