Stephen King’s Insomnia

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Stephen King’s Insomnia was first published in 1994 and like a number of King’s other novels, it is set in the state of Maine and in the fictional town of Derry. The genre of this book is not traditional horror but rather a supernatural or sci-fi thriller. Other aspects of the book are also somewhat unfamiliar to King’s normal offerings, firstly the book is very long at over 800 pages in length and also the main characters are all in their 60’s and older.

Even though Insomnia is in the supernatural or science fiction genre, King still manages to address a number of important issues whilst continuing uninterrupted with the book’s main story. Subjects such as abortion, domestic violence and women’s rights are all covered in such a way as not to detract from the entertaining storyline.

The plot of Stephen King’s Insomnia is rather slow to get going and things don’t really pick up pace until at least 100 pages in but this allows King to really create a cast of believable characters that the reader can empathize with throughout the novel. Ralph Roberts who is a retiree starts to have problems with insomnia and the condition deteriorates as he manages to get less and less sleep until he can’t sleep at all. Ralph starts to see things that aren’t able to be seen by other people such as people’s energy fields or ‘auras’ and alien beings that he calls ‘little bald doctors’ as a result of their appearance. Ralph also discovers that Lois Chasse, a woman he has feelings for is also able to see these alternate planes of reality and the alien creatures.

As with many of King’s books, one of the main themes of Insomnia is the fight of good versus evil and in this particular case the hero is Ralph Roberts who is a retired widower and a very ordinary and believable character who faces up against the Crimson King and his followers. There are a number of highly entertaining twists as King develops the plot, one in particular where Ralph is shown a piece of the future and has to make a life altering decision based on the vision, prompting the reader to question individual morality against self-preservation. As with many of King’s novels the ending isn’t all happiness however as the main protagonist is killed and is accompanied by the consoling remark that at last Ralph can rest.

Stephen King’s Insomnia had a very important part to play in the progression of King’s series of books because when Ralph defeats the Crimson King ultimately saving the life of the young boy Patrick Danville, it sets the direction for King’s Dark Tower series. Although the first novel in the Dark Tower series was published in 1982 and there were 3 books before Insomnia was even written, Insomnia introduces the reader to the pivotal character of Danville in the future Dark tower books.

Insomnia may not be a traditional Stephen King novel, it’s length, character composition and storyline pace are somewhat different to many of his other books, it is undoubtedly an enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining read.

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Calculating Stride Length & Stride Frequency

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The following exercise explains how you can calculate the stride length and stride frequency of a runner on a treadmill.

Consider first some definitions of terms:

Stride length: Stride Length corresponds to the horizontal distance between the location of a foot at one point in time (usually the first point of contact with the ground)to the same point of the same foot at the next occurrence of the selected position in the running cycle.

Step: A step corresponds to the horizontal distance between the location of a foot at one point in time (usually the first point of contact with the ground) to the same point of the contra-lateral foot at the next occurrence of the selected position in the running cycle. In essence two steps constitute a stride.

Stride Frequency: Stride frequency corresponds to the number of strides that are completed in a specified time period. The standard unit of measurement is the hertz (Hz) which records the number of cycles per second. Step frequency is the equivalent measure using a step (as defined above) as the core parameter.

Timecode: Time code records the passage of time via the use of a sequence of pairs of numbers separated by colons. e.g. 00:01:15:32. The first pair of numbers represents the number of hours, the second pair the number of minutes, the third pair the number of seconds and the last pair the number of hundredths of a second.

The speed of a runner can be defined as being equal to Stride Length × Stride Frequency

Given the relationship between running velocity, stride length and stride frequency plus a video record (with timecode) of a runner on a treadmill it is a straight forward matter to calculate values for the stride length and stride frequency of a runner at a known speed.

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A Dance With Dragons Audiobook: Maximizing Your Listening Experience

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If you were an avid fan of fantasy novels full of larger than life creatures and creepy but powerful villains, “A Dance with Dragons” by George R. R. Martin would be perfect for your taste. It is the fifth book of the author’s seven epic fantasy novels (A Song of Ice and Fire series) and it offers a completely refreshing take on the already fantastic story. However, living in the fast-paced digital world has its own drawbacks. For one thing, almost everything that you need and want can be accessible online, and this makes many people busier than ever. Nevertheless, do not let your super tight schedule get in the way of leisure reading because there is a way to do this. It is through “A Dance with Dragons” audiobook.

The audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” is a great technique when it comes to imagining what’s going on with the book at any time, even when you’re doing something else. Whether you are driving or working out, it is a relaxing way to keep your minds off of things. The audiobook has many features. These are as follows:

Unabridged Audiobook

The audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” is unabridged, which means you will hear every word that was written in the novel. Nothing is left out. This may pose a negative aspect to some people but to George R. R. Martin enthusiasts, this is certainly good news. After all, you would want to hear everything that he has written to get that full listening enjoyment in this 49-hour audiobook.

Published by Random House Audio

Random House is currently the biggest publisher of books in the world. It has become a household name for many major companies and authors. This business is so huge that they even have their own audiobook department, which is where the audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” was born. This truly says a lot and this only goes to show that you can expect nothing but the best when it comes to this fantasy novel. The audio quality is nothing short of amazing and that will totally give you your money’s worth.

Narrated by Roy Dotrice

The audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” is created without cutting any corners; that’s for sure. Its narrator is Roy Dotrice, a Tony Award winning, Broadway British actor that has made his way to fame through his exemplary acting skills. You can certainly feel the emotions that G. R. R. Martin wrote and trying to expose. Roy Dotrice’s soothing, almost melodic voice can stun, bewilder, and frustrate you all at the same time, making it effortless to imagine the climactic scenes in this fantasy epic novel.

There you have it. These factors make the audiobook so special. Not only that the story can magically lure and captivate you, the crystal clear, unabridged version of this book makes the experience all the more exciting and fun. By the end of the day, it is all about ensuring a high quality product that can enhance all the features of the book and “A Dance with Dragons” audiobook can seamlessly provide that.

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How Much Does an Amber Cost?

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The price of amber is determined by the different life forms which are found in the stone. Intact insects, plants, flowers etc will increase the value of amber and these stones will be highly priced. Typically, an amber necklace with say, a trapped dragonfly, will have a high price and will enjoy a heavy demand in the market.

The prices of these gems can vary depending upon the clarity, color, polish and size of the piece. The prices mentioned in this article are in general for gems of fairly good color and good clarity. Opaque pieces of amber can usually be bought quite cheap – for as much as $0.10 to $1 for a carat or less. For pieces around an inch in size and with insect inclusions, the prices can range from $50 to $60. An average stone of a good size and with inclusions would cost around $195.

Good wholesale quality beads can also be purchased for as low as $15. Shapeless and uneven pieces without any fossil inclusions ranging from 1 to 1.5 inches in size and weighing around 10 to 12 carats would cost anywhere between $30 to $40. Polished beads without any inclusions of about 1 centimeter usually cost from $1 to $2 per carat.

Many a times, this gem is heated to give it an old or aged look. These pieces usually cost less compared to a similar piece having the original color.

Amber pieces with unusual flora and fauna are a collector’s item. Fossils in this gem always increase its value and beauty. A pendant with inclusions is guaranteed to get a good price in the market. A carved ring is also very highly priced in the market.

A significant difference in the price of the amber is made depending on the period from which the amber originates from. The older the gemstone, the higher is its price. However, it is not easy to identify the age of the stone. Most gemological laboratories also do not often certify amber gemstones. The process of finding out the age of the amber stone involves identifying the inclusions present in the stone and estimating the period in which it existed.

There is an interesting piece of news about a piece of Dominican amber with inclusions. Recently, such a piece with a large lizard trapped inside it was sold for $ 75000. This figure cannot really give us a hint of how high a price this gemstone can fetch.

In fact, the amount of history associated with amber jewelry would only serve to increase its market value. Similarly, antique jewelry or a pendant with insect is very highly valued in the market.

There are frequent attempts made in the market to sell amber ‘simulants’ as genuine amber. Simulants of this gem include ambroid, copal resin, kauri gum, dammar, celluloid and plastic. These simulants would normally cost a fraction of what a real stone costs.

Thus, we can see that the price of this gemstone mostly depends upon factors such as age, inclusions, quality and size.

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Memories Before and After the Sound of Music – Book Review

Agathe von Trapp, born in 1913, is the eldest daughter of Baron Georg von Trapp. Agathe, her siblings and parents formed the famous Trapp Family Singers, which inspired the popular film, The Sound Of Music.This famous movie was based on books written by Maria about their lives and experiences from her perspective, which – of course – the movie producers had creative license with. After reading Agathe’s memoir, Memories Before And After The Sound Of Music, interest for Maria’s books will likely increase once again.

When I took on this project I reminisced to my husband about the bonding moments I had with my mother because of the movie; he went out and promptly rented the DVD from our local store. I think it is wonderful that the movie has survived all these years and can still be found on movie rental shelves. Memories Before And After The Sound Of Music is likely to experience similar success, simply due to how dear the family’s story has been to the masses.

The book is written as a non-fiction account from Agathe’s memory – as such, readers will see the changing times through the eyes of the eldest daughter of the family. Perhaps due to the fact that Agathe was a young adult at the time, the story does not include the causes of the turmoil. Her bitterness seeps through here and there – and at times, I got the impression that she had once harbored unpleasant feelings towards Maria and the movie producers, which seem to have healed. Agathe’s child-like adoration of her biological parents is apparent in their heroic and greater-than-life portrayal – but then, perhaps they really were like that.

Readers will find that Agathe’s book will travel farther back in time, before Maria entered their lives. The biography follows through to what happened after their escape and clarifies common misconceptions. I found it surprising that Agathe was 25 when the family left for America – the only “children” during the escape were those recently born from Maria.

Though this family’s story is definitely and inspiring riches-to-rags story, one cannot deny that this well-connected family certainly did not suffer like their countrymen. Isolated castles and mansions, pristine lakes and mountains, private farms, fully staffed estates… no, this was certainly not suffering, by any account. However, the war left the family with nothing but the loyalty and love of their fans and friends. This was enough for them to survive Ellis Island, find a home in America, record albums, go on tours and establish a successful music camp – which is operating today in Vermont.

As a fantastic bonus, the center of the book contains over 30 pages of photos of the family starting in 1875 through to images of the family today, including one shot of the next Trapp family singing group.

Top Five Supplements for Bodybuilding

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When it comes to bodybuilding or building muscles in general, our body is often limited by our nutrition. And regardless of how hard we train, sometimes we just can’t make any progress as we are lacking important nutrients that help us achieve better results. Therefore, people turn to supplements.

Supplements are an amazing way to add valuable nutrients that help us build muscle, recover faster or train harder. They boost the results and push our limits, allowing us to make a significant progress with each training.

And despite the fact that we all have unique bodies and react differently to some supplements, there are 5 essential supplements that every bodybuilder needs.

Whey Protein

Whey protein is a fast-digesting milk protein that helps deliver essential amino acids to the skeletal muscle. It is a foundation for muscle gains and the most frequently used supplement.

Whey is quickly shuttled into the muscles where it exerts its strong anabolic effects. Therefore, it is often used as a pre-workout and post-workout meal to increase protein synthesis and improve muscle restoration and recovery. Whether your goal is to drop body fat or build lean mass, adding a whey protein can speed both the loss and the gain process.

It can help with:

Recovery – After the intense workout your body desperately looks for protein to repair itself. If taken immediately after the workout, whey helps trigger rapid muscle recovery and builds strong and lean muscles.

Appetite Suppressant – Whey protein shake can be even used as a meal replacement or a healthy snack that will increase body’s protein levels and reduce daily calorie intake.

Amino Acids – Whey protein contains essential amino acids needed for protein synthesis.

Recommended daily dosage: 20-30g

Creatine

Creatine is the second most used supplement and for a good reason – it is a naturally occurring substance that promotes increased muscle cell volume, lean body mass, post-workout recovery and increased muscle performance.

Naturally produces in liver, pancreas and kidneys, creatine is primarily found around skeletal muscle tissue (95%), where it is transformed into creatine phosphate from which the energy molecule ATP is produced.

Creatine increases energy and strength, allowing harder workouts and better performance, which cause muscles to become bigger and stronger.

The creatine level naturally found in our body is sufficient for ongoing cellular function and is definitely not enough to cause massive muscle growth. Therefore, people opt for creatine supplementation to reap its full benefits.

Recommended daily dosage: 5-10g

Branched Amino Acid (BCAA)

Branched-Chain Amino Acid, also known as BCAA, is another amazing supplement that bodybuilders use to improve their workout results. Protein consists of 20 amino acids, and only 3 of them are referred to as BCAAs: valine, isoleucine and leucine. They help regulate protein metabolism and stimulate protein synthesis.

BCAAs have a similar function as protein – they drive nutrients into the muscle tissue and help muscles recover faster. They also serve as an energy source during workouts, so taking BCAAs as a supplement can replace the nutrients lost during intense exercises. They also improve metabolic recovery and reduce pain caused by muscle fatigue.

Recommended daily dosage: 3-5 grams upon waking and 3-5 grams before and after the workout

Glutamine

Glutamine is the number one supplement for a speedy recovery and therefore essential for every serious bodybuilder. It slows down muscle-tissue breakdown during intensive workout which elevate endurance and improves strength. It allows bodybuilders to lift heavier weights for a longer period of time and train harder, which cause the production of greater lean muscles.

Glutamine also helps preserve the muscle tissue, which helps burn additional fat, while slowing down the muscle loss. It also improves the immune system by placing stress on the entire body instead of just the muscle and quickly restores the health of the muscle tissue, which ensures rapid recovery of the whole body.

Recommended daily dosage: 5 grams upon waking, 5 grams after the workout and 5 grams before bed

Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine (BA) is a naturally occurring amino acid that increase intramuscular levels of Carnosine by 60% in less than a month. During high-intensity workout the body accumulates large amounts of hydrogen, which cause our pH to drop and we become more acidic. This lactic acid can decrease muscle performance, cause severe fatigue and shut down the nerve drive (causing muscle failure).

By taking Beta-Alanine supplements, bodybuilders maintain an increased level of Carnosine and delay the accumulation of hydrogen and all its side effects. BA also elevates endurance, delays fatigue, improves force output and repeated sprint ability and works great with creatine.

Recommended daily dosage: 2-6 grams per day, taken in smaller doses throughout the day

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5 Local SEO Strategies You Can Do Today!

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Local businesses are looking to capitalise on using search engines such as Google to drive traffic to their website and through their front door. Research has indicated that 60 to 70 percent of in store purchases start with research online.

For a small business this is a massive opportunity to help grow your business with an effective local SEO campaign. Below are 5 strategies you can do today to start your local SEO campaign started and dominating your competition

1 – List your business in Google Places

List and verify your local business listing in Google Places is a fantastic place to start your local SEO campaign, without a listing you will find it difficult to place your business in the top positions on page 1.

2 – Complete your Google Place page listing

When filling in your listing, ensure you fill out your listing to Google guidelines and so that it is 100% complete. Here are some handy tips to help get the most out of your listing:

Address: This gives Google an indication of your geographical location so they can relate your listing to searches. When completing your address include their suburb you are located in and the city name; a common fault is just to list the suburb. Including the city name in the address will help Google know you want to target your city and also help you by embedding part of your targeted search phrase(s) in the listing.

Categories: You have the option to include several categories that are related to your business. However, you only need to fill in the first category from the designated Google options. The remaining fields for categories can be used to fill with options that you may find more related or keyword rich.

3 – Get reviews

A massive factor in the way Google decides how to rank listings in Google Places seems to be the number of reviews a listing has. The more reviews, the better your changes are of being closer to the top. A great way to get reviews from current and past clients is ask for them in your electronic correspondence, eg, provide a link in an email newsletter or a link from your email signature.

Google will also use and display reviews from other review sites. A good way to find out what review sites Google are using in your industry is to do a few Google searches and take note of them. Now you know other review where you should list your business and ask customers to review you that will help in your local SEO.

4 – Build links to your website

Building links to your website is a necessary task if you want to see your website move up the search results page. There are many ways to complete this task and to do it yourself can be a little time consuming, but very rewarding when you achieve the results you want. To get the best results from your link building, it is a good idea to mix up the anchor text of the links that you build. They should range from keyword phrase rich links, products you sell, to your brand/business name. An important aspect of link building is to get the right anchor text pointing at the right landing page. For example, if one of the products you sell is blue widgets, it is advisable to build some links with the anchor text “blue widgets” and point them at your blue widget product page. This will inturn help you rank highly in the search engines when people search for “blue widgets”.

5 – Build Links to your Google Place page

Just like building links to your website, it can be a good idea to build links to your Google Place page. This will give Google an indication that your listing and business is very relevant to the keyword phrases that you are targeting; making you the authority in your industry and geographical location.

By implementing the above 5 local SEO strategies you will be heading in the right direction to have your business listed at the top of the search results and boosting the exposure of your business to your local marketplace.

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How to Make Your Article Marketing Work For You

Article marketing works. It is a medium you can use to market products, whether your own products or affiliate products. It simply involves writing articles which make people want to come to your site or to your landing page.

Now before you start getting excited, I have to tell you that you have to give value first before people would want to purchase something from you. You just don’t put together one or two crappy articles all in the name of getting traffic. No!

That’s just plain wrong.

You have to put the interest of your customers at heart first. This reminds me of the Law of Compensation which states that ‘The amount of money you are paid will depend on the need for what you do, your ability to do it, and the difficulty in replacing you.’

So you have to give valuable information to your readers.

Now what you want to create when you write your articles is what is called CURIOSITY. You want them to WANT MORE of what you have given them.

And they can only want more of what you have given if what you have given is valuable. So the idea is to give them a taste of the delicious meal you’ve prepared so that they will be the ones ordering more.

Now how do you do that? You give them useful but incomplete information. Yeah that’s how you do it. Now that you’ve given them a gift (something you gave them for free), they would trust you as an expert and someone who is willing to add value to their lives first, not just telling them to buy something from you on the first meeting.

You have to give before you receive. Give and it will come back to you. That is the way it is. That’s the Law of Sowing and Reaping.

So when you give a very informative article about how to solve a problem and you tell them that they can get MORE information if they go to your website, they will go there excitedly. This is because they now trust you as an expert and someone who is willing to be generous with their information before asking for something in return.

Examples of information you can write an article about are ‘how to make more money in less time’, ‘how to import cars without stress’, ‘how to get a visa without going to the embassy’, etc

Keep Writing Articles

DO NOT ever quit. Don’t just stop writing articles because after a month of writing there is no traffic to your site. You have to keep on believing you’ll succeed before you have your breakthrough. You have to stick to it. Keep on writing and adding value to lives. Share the information you have. The rewards will come if you don’t give up.

Write Regularly

Don’t write articles once in a blue moon and expect instant results. Write at regular intervals. This helps you in the following ways:

1) Search engines love sites that are content-rich and are always being updated at regular intervals. It helps you rank high in the search results.

2) It motivates people who have been to your site keep coming back. I mean, why should they come back if they keep seeing the same old articles they’ve read a hundred times on your site?

So what is the summary of the above point? It is automation. Article marketing automates the internet marketing business. It automates your traffic. That is why it’s even good to contribute your articles to article directories like EzineArticles which ranks high in terms of traffic on Once your articles are there, they are there for life and they bring residual traffic to you.

Keep Your Articles Short

The reason is because you want to keep people’s attention. You don’t want to bore them to sleep. You want to go straight to the point. I will suggest you keep it between 400 and 1000 words. There are a few times that your articles might have to be longer. But do that ONLY if it is absolutely necessary.

Write in a Professional Manner

By that I don’t mean you should write your article if you’re writing a formal speech. As a matter of fact you should write your article using simple, informal words as if you were talking to a friend. It makes you connect with your audience and makes you interesting. What I mean here is to reread your articles to make sure your spelling is correct, your grammar and punctuation are correct. The way you write can give people a good or bad impression about you.

I hope this article has given you lots of information on how to get started. Start writing articles today and make success out of it. Good luck.

Four Tendencies Drive The Development Of Electronic Products

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There are four tendencies to drive the electronic products in the year of 2011, namely the improvement of energy efficiency, personalized medical care, the comfortable and safe movable device and the safe applications with low power consumption.

Every tendency needs some new technology. Although these technologies are on the different developing stage, they all devotes to reforming all the applications in people’s daily life. Especially the application of NFC technology will change the cell phone into electric wallet. Nokia has declaimed that the new releasing cell phone will contain the NFC function in 2011. The high-performance frequency technology is another increasing field. The development of wireless base station makes the data transmitted by the wireless connected terminal more and more. What is more, the IC drive used in the fluorescent lamp will also increase in the year of 2011.

The largest challenge comes from two aspects, one is the supply source, and the other is increasing potential of the new emerging market. Although the integration has not happened between the related industries, companies are trying to be complementary with each other, thus their income will increase, and their customers will get better solution. Besides, a flexible and competitive supply chain is very important to meet the demand of customers. Although the platform of technology can be gained by the outsourcing, the engineer needs the proper techniques process which is able to provide the advantage and leading technologies.

It is predicated that the growth of the electronic products will be stable in 2011. The entire industry’s growth rate will be between six percent and eight percent, and the high performance mixed signal will be higher than others. Meanwhile, the new business strategy and design will help the high performance mixed signal market more prosperous. The related integrated circuit of the electronic products is 02087MXP.

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