When it comes to unique climbing experiences in Europe one of the most enchanting is that of the Matterhorn Peak located in Zermatt, Switzerland. This is one of the most famous mountain peaks in the world; they soar over the border between Italy and Switzerland. The bottom of this peak features a very unique layout that resembles the four points of a compass. This climb is for series climbers only. So grab your U S passport and head to the great peaks of Zermatt, you may want to look into add pages to passport services in case you’d like to venture to Italy as well. Be sure to bring your hiking gear and enjoy the Matterhorn.
It is easier than ever for Americans to obtain a United States passport. With the help of online passport agencies, it is also a much quicker process than it used to be. If you are going to be traveling outside of the country, for any reason at all, you will need to present customs officials with a valid United States passport. All that you need to do to get a passport is go online, fill out the necessary add pages to pass port forms, show proof of citizenship, and send in a photo. You can prove your citizenship by showing your birth certificate, driver’s license, or social security card. Once you have your new passport, it is vital that you keep it safe at all times.
Zermatt can be found at the foot of the highest peak in the Alps. It has a primarily German speaking population of 5,800. It is about 6 miles from the Theodul Pass which borders Italy. This village is known as a mountaineering and ski resort for the Swiss Alps. Zermatt was founded as a tourist industry around 1865 following the first ascent of Matterhorn. Now it is primarily a tourist village that features many hotels and resorts and over half of the apartments are vacation apartments.
The Matterhorn is one of the highest peaks within the Alps. It has a summit of 4,478. The four steep faces that rise above the nearby glaciers actually face the four points of a compass. The Matterhorn peak was one of the last great peaks of the Alpine to be climbed. The first ascent of this peak marked the end of the ‘golden age of alpinism’. Its first ascent was successful yet tragic. A party led by Edward Whymper a professor made it to the top before a rivalling Italian crew. However, upon descent four members of the party fell to their deaths. Although beautiful and enticing, the Matterhorn is one of the deadliest peaks within the Alps. From 1865, its’ first ascent, to 1995 upwards of 500 alpinists perished while attempting a climb or descent. This is why only experienced climbers should attempt this peak.
In addition to climbing the famous peak, or maybe only climbing some of it, there are many other activities when visiting Zermatt. Many of the resorts offer mountaineering activities as well as skiing, and there are great lifts available that let you see the entire village. In addition, there is also the Matterhorn Museum. In addition to the Matterhorn Museum, there are some petroglyphs and an ancient prehistoric grinding stone that are located nearby that are listed as one of the Swiss heritage sites of national significance.
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Some primary schools in the U.K. recently espoused a “no best friends policy,” a move that mirrors practices described in a 2010 article of The New York Times: “A Best Friend? You Must Be Kidding.” Both plans illustrate anxiety with the exclusivity that comes with best friendships and seek to discourage those tight bonds to avoid bullying, cliques, and the pain that can accompany friendship “breakups.” While I agree that educators should encourage children to work with different people and to practice respect and kindness, I think there are several problems with the elimination of the “best friend.” For one thing, forcing some children to socialize only in large groups will mean that those children don’t really socialize at all; this policy smacks of extroversion, and for children who are introverted or reserved, a close friend can be the sole comfort that makes large group interactions possible. Such a policy could prohibit introverted children from learning how to work with large groups, whereas a close friend could actually facilitate that process.
A Slate article titled “The Buddy System” speaks to this issue as particularly critical for middle-school boys, for whom a single close friend can ease any number of adolescent transitions. Of course, as any grown-up knows, friendships come and go, and the demise (especially of tight-knit bonds) can be incredibly painful at every age and stage of life. But prohibiting children from forming close friendships (if such a prohibition is even possible) doesn’t teach people how to practice—or dissolve—intimacy with compassion and love. Nor does it teach young people that principle of loving our neighbors, even when we like some of them significantly more than others. To me, it rings false to pretend that we relate to and like everyone the same amount; it seems natural to prefer the company of some over the company of others. The lesson within that natural tendency should not be exclusiveness or wholesale inclusion but recognition of different temperaments and gifts and a respect for each individual.
Of course, I come to this topic as an introvert, married to an introvert (who wonders how he found a spouse even more introverted than him) with a child who expresses definite introverted tendencies. I see my toddler’s intense attachment to a few people in her life, as well as her evident discomfort in crowds and large social groups. I need to teach her friendliness in a way that some parents don’t have to think about (their kids smile, apparently, without a ton of coaching), and I work on strategies to help her in contexts where there are a lot of people. If her father and I are any indication, she can learn to survive those contexts, but she won’t ever enjoy them or flourish in them. And most likely she will rely on a few key relationships in her life to help her navigate a social space that feels contrived, superficial, and cold. Institutional policies that require us all to serve as interchangeable parts miss the point that we are gifted differently to serve differently. That’s the body. Some members may thrive in the thick of the social scene, but for some of us, those “best friends” are the lifelines that equip us to mingle at all.
Christ and Pop Culture
Recently I have been in a few different bookstores with display signs proclaiming, “If you loved The Hunger Games, try this!” Beneath which are stacks of Koushun Takami’s novel Battle Royale.
A Japanese novel first translated into English about ten years ago, then retranslated in 2009, Battle Royale is something of a cult novel. I don’t know if it will use The Hunger Games to piggyback into the mainstream, but it’s already well-known enough that there are plenty of blog and forum posts claiming that Suzanne Collins ripped it off.
While that’s a debate I don’t really care to explore, the similarities between the books are striking. Battle Royale posits a totalitarian Republic of Greater East Asia, whose government annually kidnaps a class of middle schoolers, puts them in an arena with an uneven distribution of supplies and weapons, and forces the children to kill each other until there is only one left alive.
There are significant differences, as well. Unlike the Hunger Games of Collins’ books, the battle here is done in secret, with only government agents watching. Battle Royale is told in a third-person narrative voice, and it manages to invest each of its forty characters with at least the amount of life needed to make their deaths meaningful. It is an extremely violent novel—it makes the violence in The Hunger Games look somewhat tame—but it strikes me that if violence ever has a purpose in fiction, it certainly does here. The violence is not glorified, it is simply shown, as if the author is saying, “This is what we mean when we talk flippantly about war, murder, etc.” At the same time, the violence is used to show the depravity with which human beings—even children—will behave, if given permission. Like its literary ancestor Lord of the Flies, this novel could be read as an essay on original sin.
Like Lord of the Flies and The Hunger Games too, Battle Royale could be read as an indictment. I don’t know enough about Japanese culture or recent history to pick up on any subtle political agendas that might be there, but Takami’s and Collins’s books are both indictments of the complacency necessary to create a culture in which children are regularly murdered and nothing is done to stop it. Both books seems to me to ask the question, How close is this to happening? And to answer, closer than you think.
Is Battle Royale worth reading? I am loath to recommend a book based on its last line, but the last line of Battle Royale is one of the most striking I have ever read. It is this ending that lets the book avoid the accusation of voyeurism and acts in a similar way to the psychologist who says, “Every person in a dream is you.” Battle Royale is an indictment of sin, on a societal level and a personal level. As such, it is a book I think Christians would do well to read and carefully consider.
Christ and Pop Culture
Owl City – Live from Los Angeles 2012 English Christian Concert Film
Live from Los Angeles
is the Debut American Christian Live Concert film album released by American Christian Singer, Owl City. Owl City
is a musical Project by the Singer, song writer, Multi-instrumentalist Adam Young
. This album was filmed on the All Things Bright and Beautiful
Tour. This album was released on February 07, 2012
and released under the label Eagle Rock.
Album Details ::
Album :: Live from Los Angeles
Artist :: Owl City (Adam Young)
Release Date :: February 07, 2012
Genre :: Concert Film
Label :: Eagle Rock
Hometown :: Owatonna, Minnesota, USA
Owl City – Live from Los Angeles 2012 concert film biography and historyBiography ::
is an American electronic/synthpop musical project by singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Adam Young, formed in 2007 in Owatonna, Minnesota. Young created the project while experimenting with music in his parents’ basement. Like many musicians that achieved success in the era between 2005 and 2009, Owl City developed a following on the music and social networking site Myspace in the late 2000s before signing with Universal Republic in 2008.
01. The Real World
02. Cave In
03. Hello Seattle
05. Swimming In Miami
06. Umbrella Beach
07. I’ll Meet You There
08. Plant Life
09. Setting Sail
10. The Bird And The Worm
11. Lonely Lullaby
13. Dreams Don’t Turn To Dust
15. Meteor Shower
17. Alligator Sky
18. Deer In The Headlights
19. Yacht Club
20. How I Became The Sea
21. If My Heart Was A House
CLICK HERE FOR COMPLETE DETAILS ::
Christian Songs and Movie download
Okay, I admit, I’ve been a little lazy with checking up on Noisetrade (among other sites), but wow, have I missed a lot!
Jars of Clay has joined with tour mates Matthew Perryman Jones and Leagues to form a six-song sampler that can be downloaded here. Each artist is offering two songs for free, and for the sake of saving time, “Small Rebellions” and “Body and Wine” are the two songs by Jars of Clay (TFCMB readers, please correct me if I’m terribly mistaken).
On another note, be sure to download Third Day’s four-song live sampler and Starfield’s The Kingdom EP.
Last, but certainly not least, check out Sarah Macintosh’s song “Galaxy Former” off of the recently released album Current, which ironically enough, was co-produced by JT Daly of Paper Route! I haven’t listened to this particular song quite yet, but Sarah Macintosh’s unique style immediately reminded me of Charmaine (one of my favorite female artists).
So there you have it – plenty of downloads to keep you busy for a short while. Enjoy!
The Free Christian Music Blog
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Categories: Christian Metal
| Tagged: and…
Pregnancy can be an amazing experience. For some women it’s all they’ve dreamed about. For others, they want it to be as quick and painless as possible. Whatever the viewpoint, motherhood is the goal. However, it is more difficult for some than others. This is why programs such as Pregnancy Miracle review exist, to assist women the homeopathic way in conceiving a child. There are other programs that give advice on how to conceive the desired sex, programs such as PlanMyBaby offer insight and homeopathic guidelines to getting that little boy or girl you’ve been waiting for. No matter the gender or the manner in which the pregnancy occurred, the side effects of pregnancy are always variant and a little kooky.
Odd cravings are very common when pregnancy is involved. Pickles and chocolate are highly coveted items, although it does depend on the pregnant chick. Cravings indicate the body’s need for certain nutrients or minerals. A craving for red meat indicates a need for iron whereas a craving for bread represents the need for quick carbs. Pregnancy is an evolutionary concept; therefore the human body has adapted overtime to express cravings for certain needs.
Just like there are odd cravings for pickles and chocolate there will also be the exact opposite. Foods that you once might have loved may now cause you to run to the nearest toilet to dry heave. This is because there are certain foods that are not good for pregnant women. Those who avidly drank coffee may notice they have developed an aversion to coffee and the smell of coffee. A seafood lover may vomit at the smell of any type of seafood. This is the body’s way of keeping the pregnant woman safe. Caffeine and seafood are dangerous foods for pregnant women and can have harmful effects on fetuses.
Do you feel like you’ve been cast in the on screen version of Rip Van Winkle, as Rip Van Winkle? Don’t worry, it’s completely normal. Sleeping and resting are the most important things next to proper nutrition for pregnant gals. The body is working over time; there is way more blood pumping through your system as well as oxygen to keep your little one squirming. Rest as much as possible, as you will only wish you had done it more often once your little bundle of joy comes screaming out.
When it comes to pissing off a pregnant lady, beware, hormones mixed with crazy emotions are weapons of mass destruction. Deities help the poor soul who fails to deliver the exact item the pregnant woman was craving. A roller coaster ride of emotions is once again a perfectly normal side effect of being knocked up. Anyone who tells you to take a chill pill or calm down is completely out of line and should immediately be placed on death row.
By the end of your pregnancy you will barely remember a time when you weren’t pregnant. You will not remember what your feet look like or what it was like to not urinate every 12 seconds. But in the end you will have a beautiful baby. You may have thought that it was never possible, but with programs such as Pregnancy Miracle you were able to conceive the perfect mini-me, and perhaps you even got the girl or boy you dreamed of by following the guidelines of Plan My Baby review. It was a long road, but worth it.
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Steven Greydanus isn’t just a great film critic, he’s also a thoughtful blogger. Case in point, “How should we speak of the dead?”, which uses the recent death of Andrew Breitbart as an opportunity to explore how we should talk about our ideological enemies when they shuffle off this mortal coil.
On one level, it seems to me that to take a man’s death as the occasion for attacking his shortcomings as we see them, however serious they may be, is not entirely unlike walking into a wedding reception and starting to complain loudly about the groom’s scofflaw ways or the bride’s shabby treatment of her family.
The fundamental point, I think, is that our first response to the news of death (or any calamity) befalling anyone be one of human solidarity rather than drawing lines and casting stones. This is not to say that there is no place for drawing lines or casting stones at all. Beyond that, it is a matter of human intuition, culture and understanding.
A thought experiment that may or may not be helpful. What if the news had been, not that our ideological enemy had died, but that he had been in a car crash and was now a quadriplegic? What if we heard that he had lost his children in a plane crash?
How would we respond to such news? As an occasion to comment on our differences with his theology and public stances? Or as an occasion for a moment of human (and Christian) solidarity?
Greydanus’ article reminds me of something I read a few years back on Crooks And Liars, a well-known liberal blog. When White House Press Secretary Tony Snow announced that his cancer had returned, the blog — who had been very critical of Snow in the past — put aside political differences for a moment. Nicole Belle wrote:
We give a lot of grief to Tony Snow (and not without cause), but as someone who had a cancer scare of my own, this is the last news any cancer patient wants to hear. And as we sent thoughts and prayers to Elizabeth Edwards, so too, should we send them to Tony Snow and his family, for what they are about to face. This isn’t about partisanship, this is about humanity.
Christ and Pop Culture
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Categories: Christian Pop Music
| Tagged: Dead
Stephen Hawkins, an AP Basketball writer, recently wrote an on-line piece about the rise of Baylor athletics. Baylor President and former White House prosecutor Ken Starr told Hawkins:
Athletics provide a voice through which the university speaks to the entire world.
“I’m so proud of the way our athletes use their God-given gifts coupled with their very hard work to bring great joy and pride to all of Baylor nation,” Starr said. “The voice of Baylor athletics is quite eloquent right now.”
Hawkins was able to calculate what I was not able to calculate, in terms of the link between athletic success and enrollment figures:
[At Baylor University] There are more than 40,000 applications for the upcoming fall semester for only about 3,000 freshman spots. That’s up from 15,458 applicants for the Fall 2005 class, right after the Lady Bears won their first national title. Average SAT and ACT scores for incoming freshmen also have significantly increased during that time
As mentioned in the CaPC Hoops Feature, success in college sports reveal a particular university’s influence on American culture. This is also why the CaPC Hoops Tournament matters.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2012/03/21/national/a015240D67.DTL&ao=2#ixzz1plOBGc3v
Christ and Pop Culture