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Repay the full loan the instant you can. You will get a because of day, and pay close attention to that particular date. The earlier you pay back again the financing completely, the sooner your financial transaction using the cash advance clients are total. That can save you money over time.
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Usually determine the curiosity and costs to understand how much the money would really cost you in the long run. High rates of interest are normally billed by pay day loan organizations. Stay away from getting strike with delayed expenses simply by making sure you merely acquire the sum you can pay back in the time limit. You’ll often get these fees trying to hide inside the tiny produce.
Be truthful when applying for a financial loan. You might think that lying assures that you to get the personal loan, but many payday advance service providers make money from those who don’t have a good credit score, or in whose tasks are not top notch. At the end of the day, being untruthful in your program will almost certainly hinder your ability to take out loans later on.
You need to get payday loans from a bodily place as an alternative, of depending on World wide web web sites. This is an excellent strategy, simply because you will be aware particularly who it is actually you are borrowing from. Look at the listings in your neighborhood to see if there are actually any creditors close to you before heading, and appear on the web.
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You now find out about how payday cash loans job. By utilizing the ideas you may have acquired right here, you may now receive the income you need without having getting into further more economic trouble. You may also decide that you want to obtain extra income in different ways. Whatever selection you will be making, you should be glad that you just looked at this issue before taking activity.

Web Hosting, Social Media and the Future of Business on the Internet

Web Hosting, Social Media and the Future of Business

The growth of Facebook over the last several years has provided influential marketing tools for business owners. But the negative side of having a Facebook page for your business is spam that people post to your page. So how do you deal with it?

In any medium, you will get spam. First and foremost you go to your Facebook page to the “edit page” drop down menu. Click “use activity log”. This shows you in reverse chronological order all the comments that have been on your Facebook wall. It doesn’t matter where they put them, you get to see them all. When you go there, you are likely going to see some spam. When you find spam, rather than simply deleting them, hover over the little “pencil” to the right. Hover over the pencil and choose “mark as spam”. When you select that option, it will be reported as spam and Facebook will know that this person is doing spam and, eventually, if enough people report this person, Facebook will limit that person’s ability to post on other people’s pages or even suspend the spammer’s Facebook account. Then select “ban this person” so that the person will never again be able to comment on your page. If you simply delete the post, then that person will just come back to your page and spam your wall again.

Engage People through your Website

Business owners have the challenge of engaging people and generating leads, which can result in sales. So where is the business world headed and how do marketers engage people in their business? What’s next for business? Business can no longer operate as they did in the past because things are very different than they were in the past. The Internet is constantly changing and evolving. Businesses, therefore, need to adapt and change the way they create customer experiences. The future of business marketing, sales, and service has changed because customers have become increasingly connected and increasingly informed. Gone are the days that customers rely only on Google or websites to make an informed decision. Instead, people use networks, friends, or apps for information before making a purchase. When they ask a question or begin a discovery process, looking for help or direction, its these shared experiences that define what the potential customer is going to do next. This is critical because businesses are not really designing their marketing, sales, service strategies around these moments.

In order to compete in the future, business owners need to be aware of the four phases of the buying process.

Four Phases of the Buying Process

Zero Moment of Truth – Once there is a stimulus, spark, or need, the customer is going to Google it. In that moment, what comes back is the zero moment of truth. In the zero moment of truth, people can go to a social network, review site, or app and ask “What should I do”, “Has anyone heard of this”, or “What are your experiences” with this service or product. The zero component or moment is this critical instance in time. The customer did his/her research and narrowed down the decision to one or two products or services. This is referred to as the “Research Phase”.

The First Moment of Truth – This is when a person is ready to make a purchase. That person is affected by a box design or its position on the shelf, or its position amongst competitors, for example. Let’s just say someone was bent on getting a specific product but when he gets to the store, there are a lot of other things that can sway the decision process. He did his research and narrowed it down to one or two products and this is the judgement point when he is ready to make a decision, but that person is not absolutely sure which product or service he is going to choose. This is a crucial step in the buying process and involves the phase when he goes to the store or a website to look at the one or two products/services that were narrowed down in the “zero moment”. This phase is referred to as the “Cloudy Judgement Phase”. It is the period during the decision process when a person is not one hundred percent sure which product or service he is going to choose. What does the box design look like? How does it feel? Does it live up to the initial expectations?

The Second Moment of Truth – This is when the purchase is made and the customer takes that product home or to work. This phase is the experience that unfolds as the customer starts to use the product. Does it live up to what it had promised? Does it meet or exceed the expectations? How does that person feel about it? Does it still deliver over time? This phase is a “Feeling or a Sentiment Phase”.

The Infinite Moment of Truth- This is the last thing that a person does or feels that shapes what they do or say after the purchase. It shapes the impression of the product. It shapes what the person says and ultimately what it does is impact the next person that is heading into the “zero moment”. The “infinite moment of truth” is the shared experience. The buyer is going to have an impression about it. What does the buyer say and where? Let’s just say your customer writes a blog post about your product and the customer loves it, but then he later needs to have it serviced, causing disappointment. So, the buyer writes another blog post about it. How does this impact the next person? People are documenting everything in status updates, blog posts, tweets, YouTube videos, Facebook posts, so that when the next person starts their journey in the “zero moment of truth”, that information can come back to influence their decision. The goal for retailers is to influence the “infinite moment of truth”. These feelings are very influential to future, potential customers and they get an impression from feedback and it impacts them. If people are sharing experiences around your product or service, then why would you not have people in your company intentionally design those responses? Businesses need to remain aware of:
Discovery
Evaluation
Service
Nurturing the ongoing customer relationship
How has social media had an impact on the future of Internet and business?

These moments of truth are there. People are thinking in this way. It is a dynamic journey. Many businesses are using social media in very experimental ways. They are not defining what the experience is. They are trying to get views, impressions, clicks, and build up communities. Social media is still in a way disconnected from real-world business objectives. That is a problem. Many business are maturing over time to better align social with business objectives, but for the most part, many businesses are acting as if social is a marketing function, rather than a service functionality or sales approach that can generates leads or ultimate sales.

It is still experimental, but if you take a step back and realize that people are going to have a conversation with or without you, and if you could ultimately decide what people will think, experience, and share about your brand, then you are getting in front of those conversations. These companies go to great lengths to intentionally get you to notice and appreciate things about their products and services. Things are intentionally designed in order to generate a feeling and an experience that the customer has so that the brand has more control over what people encounter in the moment of truth.

Social and Internet Sharing to Benefit your Website

A lot of businesses are introducing Instagram areas so that people are actively sharing their experience while at their store or events. You can’t just rely on the design, but rather you need to create these moments to encourage people to photograph, share, and tweet. You also have to monetize it and call it to their attention. Over time, you will see that it effects everything: the product, the service, how customers return the product if they need to. These are experiences that are designed by “the chief experience officer” of an organization.

Experiential Social Design

Disney is a wonderful example of how a business can create an experience. Everything about it is intentionally designed for you to feel, do, or see something. Its very intentional and therefore, they are hoping that these intentional experiences are what people tell their friends. And in a social and connected world, what people tell others becomes the very thing that influences potential buyers who are looking for information.

Generation ‘C’

This generation is defined by a digital-first mentality. When we are making decisions, we have a lot of life experiences that influence us. In many ways, some people have many life experiences that bring them from analog to digital. With the “Generation C” group, however, they are digital first. Once you start to look at their behavior, and they pick up an iPad, or iPhone, they start to mimic the behaviors of other generations. Behaviors start to look similar in the decision making process. Really what we need to be thinking about is what people in the digital lifestyle are thinking about. If people in their 20’s, 30’s and 40’s are exhibiting the same behavior, then you can’t segment your marketing according to age, but rather by the digital lifestyle. The ‘C’ stands for connected. This is the biggest demographic which represents the future of business. Of all the generations, Generation ‘C’ is the one which generates the most impact because it spans multiple generations. Digital and human nature become one and it only becomes more persuasive.

Targeting Generation ‘C’ for Business

Walk in the day of the life of your customers that you are trying to sell to. All the moments of truth need to be analyzed and those experiences need to be journey-mapped so you can see who your connected customers are.

Actions Steps for Businesses

Take a deep breath. There are a lot of data and a lot of reports that reveal the way businesses are using technology. In some cases, this data is not the way people want brands to use technology. So be aware that this is coming. The future of business is not a question, but it is an answer. Take your social media team and point them to listening. Look at what are the experiences that people are sharing. Are they loving it? Are they hating it? See where and why those things are happening. What you think people are sharing and doing is often not at all what is driving your strategy today. You need insight and empathy in order to track the moments of truth.

Web Hosting and your Website

Analytics is a crucial tool to track the daily visits to your websites, including direct, organic and referral. Traffic types are analyzed such as feed, organic, referral, direct and e-mail. Your website’s audience, behaviors, technology used to view your site, number of mobile visitors and even the flow that visitors take as they journey through your website are important analytics to study as a marketer. Which pages are most popular and which are the highest exit points are helpful to know. This is crucial so you, the webmaster, can mold your website to match the needs and desires of your visitors. By studying their actions, you can be in front of the buying process and the “zero moment of truth”.

Reaching the Affluent on Social Media Platforms Top 7 Strategies Using the HR Department

Social Media is a phrase everyone knows or has heard, and is certainly being tossed around by seemingly everyone with a heart beat and a pulse these days, and yet it is difficult at times to answer the question regarding Social media. If Facebook, MySpace, and Wikipedia are Social media sites, then what is social media? Perhaps the best way to define social media is to break it down. Media is an instrument used for communication, such as the radio, a newspaper, and television, and social media would be a social instrument of communication.

In Web 2.0 terms, you’re given information while that information interacts with you. The interaction can be various things from comments to rating a product or articles, and thus the beauty of Social media – it’s a two-way street providing you the opportunity to communicate while you’re engaged on that site. At one time it was commonly held that no one could sell High-priced items online, or anything else of real value for that matter – but that time has come and gone. More than three-quarter of US online adults made a purchase over the Web.

Nearly 4 out of 10 online buyers have made a travel purchase and more than one-third have managed their credit or banking accounts online. American Express Publishing and the Harrison Group’s report “The Second Annual Survey of Affluence and Wealth in America” found that 70% of US consumers with over $100,000 in discretionary, house hold income surveyed prefer online buying to the in-store experience. The same number (70%) also goes online to research products, comparison shop and make purchases.

This fondness for online shopping could very well be a case of time equaling money. More to the point, the retail experience has varied in its character. For example, the introduction of online retail has significantly changed the overall shopping experience. The term e-tail encompasses so many different experiences such as grocery e-tail, auction e-tail, and or specialty e-tail and a host of others. But now there’s a new experience on the rise and has been added to online shopping which is the rise of e-luxury online.

So what has sparked this sudden growth for luxury online? This new growth is largely because most wealthy Internet users in the United States are optimistic about the economy going forward according to Ipsos Mendelsohn and their online spending has historically been higher than average. That should make everybody happy and present an attraction to retailers, which have increased their attention to social networks to attract customers. But does this mean that the affluent will be as receptive to social marketing as other Web users? The answer to that question depends on who you ask. According to a study conducted by Unity Marketing, the outlook is mixed. But as confidence grows among Affluent about the economy, the Affluent will drive online spending. Believe it or not, the affluent lead the way to E-Commerce recovery, and that leads to another interesting point I’d like to make.

In the past, most corporations’ communications teams were responsible for protecting and preserving the corporation’s reputation. However, with the huge popularity of Social media, every department in your business can play a huge role in branding, monitoring and protecting the corporate image and reputation, beginning with the Human Resource department. One of the greatest challenges for Human Resource executives is breaking through walls that some corporations put up simply because there’s a belief and or policy to allow only their communication’s departments to represent the company and its brand identity. In some companies the wall is big. But there is a way to knock it down, if one has the right tools. Except in a few instances, most companies offer largely undifferentiated products and services; airlines for example fly their aircraft over and over, while serving the same food, and retail stores offer the same merchandise.

In many respects, their brand strategy is quite simply their business strategy. A brand, frankly speaking, is a promise to consumers to provide a specific level of service, value, and quality that can be expected and received. Think of a brand as a covenant between a business and its customers. Branding expert Martin Lindstrom said it best when he said “Great brands and religions have something in common: the idea of vanquishing a shared enemy.”

Today’s media approach to branding the message of a company to the consumer is greatly enhanced, with all the Social media platforms out there today, one thing is for certain – if the promise is not kept, customers will flee and go elsewhere. A classic example is Eastern Airlines who promised to “Earn its Wings Everyday” through superior customer service while simultaneously canceling flights, losing bags, and serving passengers horrible food. As a direct result, trust between customers and the airline were irrevocably broken, passengers boycotted and eventually Eastern Airlines went out of business and destroyed the brand forever.

What went wrong? Eastern Airlines failed to align the behavior of their employees with the brand promise, and that leads to my first tip to anyone building a brand; understand that the copy in your ad does not deliver your brand’s promise, nor is it your product – your brand’s promise is delivered by your people.

Herein lies the opportunity for Human Resources to break down the walls and into the branding game, by helping ensure that all of the large and small actions that people in the company take every day, throughout the organization, fall in line with the brand strategy.

Finally, use these seven tips to further enhance your position and participation in the company’s brand identity, ensuring that your company and its brand will have ever lasting years, and be in business for years to come.

Top 7 Strategies and Tips for getting Involved with the Company’s branding from the Human Resource Department to reach the Affluent:

Conduct interviews as if you’re using a crystal ball. Look deeper and ask questions that lead to future responses.
During interviews start thinking of the big picture – convey how the corporate reputation affects every aspect of the company’s business, including the hiring and terminating process.
Create a company policy centered on conduct and disclosure, and offer to the communications department for implementation outside of your office and department.
Understand how quickly information moves online and be ready to respond swiftly should an issue appear online.
Review Social media sites before conducting an interview, and become aware of the social behavior of the person seeking the position in the company before to employ them.
Keep your temper under control, and never speak badly to anyone using Social media and review if the potential new employee has done the same. Remember that your bad comments will out live your temper.
Think the Future. Try to predict how announcements, changes in policies, ad campaigns, and world events can impact your organization, while taking part to lead in a reputation crisis.
Keeping these helpful tips and strategies in mind will go a long way in the process of an HR executive participating and supporting with branding strategies. Ten years ago it would not have been possible for this kind of intelligent departmental interaction to be feasible.

As a Human Resource executive, you can take advantage of this opportunity to reach the affluent consumer by incorporating social media and monitoring into your communications plans today!

Social Media – Is the Return on Investment Satisfactory?

Social Media

Social media, like so many things on the web, has gained momentum without proving a thing! People say that social media has brought them increased sales. An ad will increase your sales too and takes a lot less time, money and energy.

Which is better? Well, actually, according to the latest gurus, a business now has to continue offline advertising in print, radio and television while investing the time and resources into social media. There is a big cost to social media which, like a hungry animal, is devouring more and more resources..

Costs

Look at the costs of social media –

time searching for tools to learn the platform. Every platform is different and each one has a multitude of apps and a long list of rules. Infraction of any rule means that your work goes down the drain!
time learning how to utilize each platform effecitvely – what’s the point of using anything if you don’t know what’s effective and what’s not?.
time “designing” profiles to suit the platform
time to work with designers, writers, and other experts to develop your presence on each site (if you don’t have the time to do it yourself)
time gathering a following
time communicating
time keeping up with the latest innovations – remember, each platform has only itself to consider when developing its software, but any business person must learn, it is said, several platforms. Can you imagine how much time is involved!
money to buy the software with which to automate social media input
money to pay for the ads
time and money in developing new methods to measure return on investment
Buzz creates this mad rush to the latest tool. Remember when Overture and Yahoo! were the rage? Then, Google appeared. It was the rage – people couldn’t stop talking about this searching tool with the funny name. Google has become a verb – “Google it” and yet operating quite successfully in the background are MSN and Yahoo among others. There are many search engines. The difference: Overture, Yahoo! and Google helped you find information you needed for free and the return on time invested yielded results within a reasonable amount of time. Social media costs a lot of time with no immediate results. For business, time is money.

Beware of the Rages

The rage today is Facebook. People rushing by the millions to Facebook. Ironically, most people don’t know how to use it well but that doesn’t matter. Madly, people spend hours “connecting” — with who exactly?

They say to use Facebook for connecting with” friends”. How can anyone possibly communicate as a friend with 5,000 people? It’s impossible even if that person was the most outgoing personality on the planet.

Here is the clincher on Facebook – they say that the site is a way to connect with your friends. But, then, again, they are not adverse to anyone creating a fan page for business purposes and buying ad space. How do you have the time to send people to your fan page and develop contacts on your Wall? After all, the Wall is where you connect with “friends”, right? Is that the reason anyone would communicate with “friends” to sell them stuff? I don’t think you’d have friends for a long! So what does the word “friend” really mean?

Lots of people love Twitter but the automation tools on Twitter now create a blur of messages – who is really connecting? It’s like a long string of advertising but there is no pretense that all the people you connect with are friends. Did anyone ever think how someone with 55,000 Twitter followers could ever communicate with them all socially?

No one can accomplish these feats, obviously so “social media” is quite a misnomer. They may have started out that way and some people may actually be utilizing these sites as they were intended but they have actually become “sales tools”.

There’s More

Of course, it doesn’t end at Facebook and Twitter. There are other social media sites too and industries growing as a result – social media consultants, social media managers, social media specialists, books, videos, software.

I can tell you from experience, it takes a lot of time, money and energy to be involved in social media. As a business, no business except for major corporations has the resources to be “intimately” involved with them all.

As for consumers, do you really think they will be spending all their time involved with “company messages” or “getting to know you”? Of course not. They will be looking for commentary, for responses to your services and/or products from others. That way, social media can be helpful.

What should you do?

Go to the 4 main sites: Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and MySpace. Get the free account and have a look around to understand the “culture” of that site.
Pick one. Pick the one that suits you and your business best. Learn it. There are a lot of resources on YouTube.
Build relationships by joining groups on the site. Use it every day, twice a day for about 15 minutes.
Connect with the other sites the old-fashioned way – put up an ad!
Measure your return on investments as usual!
Once you’re comfortable with one site and you feel you need to engage on another one, go through the same process. Like everything else in business, manage your time and money.

In the next article, I’ll cover some good tools for you to use. If you would like more time management tips and ideas, please visit my site – the link is below – I would like to see you there!

Spiderman Wall Decals – Let Your Children Live Their Fantasy With Their Favorite Super Hero Stickers

Wall decals can quickly brighten up the interiors of any room in an inexpensive way. Kids’ wall decals can be used to add fun with customized designs for living spaces. Young boys love superhero fantasy stickers and appliqués on their walls. The best decor for kids’ rooms would be superhero image like Spiderman wall decals.

The interior décor theme for boys’ room should be comic characters and favorite objects. Wall Spiderman wall stickers have been designed to work effectively on various surfaces like glass, floors and furniture. Décor for boys’ room can vary in themes from animals, science fiction to superhero comics.

Young kids love to have fun with pretend play using Spiderman toys. Boys love Spiderman as superhero for his innocent childlike looks and strong powers to help others. Spider man wall decals work with most color schemes and enhance the superhero décor theme of the rooms.

A personalized Spiderman wall mural can be created with framed posters, movie collectables and removable wall stickers. Spiderman toys or comics can be used for wall decorations. The heavy duty adhesive action of Spider man wall stickers is really strong and you can also reposition it easily after using it for a long time.

The Spiderman wall sticker is a hyper durable vinyl decal which can be put up easily to blend with any décor. The kids’ wall stickers are safe on a wall or ceiling. Spiderman wall appliqués are available in the form of peel-n-stick. You can simply “peel” it from the backing sheet and apply it over a clean smooth surface.

Kids’ wall decals work absolutely great for tenants who desire a customized living space during their stay. Spiderman wall stickers are easily removable and reusable. They are self adhesive, pre cut and available as packs. Spider man wall appliqués vary in size from small stickers to the BIG life size decals. They look great with matching border.

Large sized kids’ wall decals are available as several easy to apply sections. Spiderman wall stickers appear great when applied on the ceiling with their borders and vivid backgrounds. The Spiderman wall decals are often printed on white sheet of paper and all the safety measures are taken for shipping. Children’s wall stickers do not get damaged or ruined easily.

A Spiderman theme room décor can be created with authentic theme lamps, collectible figurines and Spiderman wall stickers. A woven spider web rug can be used on the floor to carry the décor theme. Stretchy spider webs can be attached at various points of the room to induce a multidimensional effect. They can be easily removed without leaving the scars.

Kids’ wall decals can be easily removed and carried along while moving out. They can be easily peeled for repositioning. Wall graphics are not stressful for use with interiors since there is no need to match patterns and achieve straight lines as with the wallpapers. Spider-man wall stickers are highly adhesive and can be applied over various types of surfaces.

Removable wall stickers can be highly beneficial for tenants as there is no requirement of glue and nails for application. Kids wall decals can be used for special events like birthday parties to reflect the occasion. Spiderman wall decals are light weight and do not cost heavy postage expense with the order.

How to Visit the Great Wall of China

One thing you need to keep in mind is that the Great Wall is spread over 8,000 kilometers so there are countless places to visit not just one or two spots. What I’ve done is put together a description of the most popular places to visit that are easily accessible from Beijing and how to get there.

Visiting the wall may sound a little difficult but it easy and getting there is half the fun. Trust me, visiting the wall will be worth it and a highlight of your time in China. There is a saying from Chairman Mao that goes like “He who has never been to the Great Wall is not a true man.” A little sexist (thank Confucius for that) but clearly shows how awesome the wall is and the importance of seeing it.

The popular areas of the wall are Badaling, Simitai, Mutianyu, Shanhaiguan Pass and Jiayuguan. Other areas of the wall also good to visit include Gubeikou, Jiayu Pass, Jinshanling, Huangchua cheng and Juyongguan.

Which part of the wall to visit? – My Recommendations

Badaling is good to visit if you are short of time and you like crowds and extras in your photos. It is over developed (cable cars, gift kiosks and much more) and packed during the tourist season and called the Disney land of the great wall. The photo you can see of Badaling was on a quiet day. Seriously!

Mutianyu is a less developed and much less crowded so much more rewarding to visit. Simatai is (my opinion) the best part of the wall to visit but tragically closed for renovations. If you are in reasonable physical condition, like hiking and want to see the wall in its original form, Gubeikou is the best part of the wall to visit.

Shanhaiguan is great for 2-3 day trip from Beijing and takes to you to the Bohai sea. If you have a week spare, visit western China and experience the splendors of Jiayuguan. Go over the details of each part of the wall below and see which part suits you best.

Badaling

Badaling in Chinese means “reach in eight directions” because the system of ridges the wall straddles stretches out in all directions. These ridges made this part of the wall a strategic position due to transport and defensibility. Magnificent scenery in this area and locals are very proud of the number of international VIPs who have visited Badaling.

There are numerous tour companies that will take you Badaling and most hotels can easily take you there or organize for a tour company to pick you up and take you.

Size – 7,600 meters long with an average height of 7.8 meters and width of 5.7 meters. Big enough the experts say for 5 horses to gallop along side by side. Maybe I’d rather gallop in single file.

History – Built in 1505 by Hong Zhi of the Ming Dynasty.

Getting there – Badaling is 80km out side of Beijing and the easiest part of the wall to visit so you have several options to get there. The main ones are by train, bus and taxi.

Taxis are expensive with at least 100RMB one way. The best place to find taxis to Badaling is at Tiananmen square.

Trains leave Beijing North train station roughly every 90 minutes and take an hour to reach Badaling. The train tick cost 15 RMB and the train station at Badaling is close to the wall. Walking from the station to the wall should take around 15-20 minutes.

919 Bus is the best bus to Badaling. Take the subway to the Jishuitian subway station on line 2. Use exit A to leave the subway and walk east around 450 meters to the bus stop which is next to an obvious and large land mark, the Dengshengmen Watch tower. The bus will drop you off at the south side of the wall.

Mutianyu

The literal Chinese meaning for Mutianyu is admire fields valley. This part of the wall is the longest fully restored section and the scenery is inspiring with the wall winding through the mountains surrounded by tree covered scenery. Mutiany is much better to visit than Badaling because the wall architecture is superior and it is MUCH less crowded.

Size – 22,000 meters long with average height of 7 to 8 meters and an average width of 4 to 5 meters. There is a watch tower every kilometre which adds a lot to the awesomeness of this part of the wall.

History – Construction originally began around 1500 years ago and has been rebuilt/renovated several times. The current wall is a restoration of the wall is it was in 1568 during the Ming Dynasty.

Getting there – Mutianyu is 95 kilometers north of Beijing and getting there takes around 2 hours and 30 minutes. Harder to reach than Badaling but more rewarding.

Buses are the only main option for getting to Mutianyu and there are two ways to get there by bus. The first is to catch the 936 bus at the Dongzhimen Wai (东直门外) bus station directly to the wall. The second way is to catch the 916 or 936 buses from Dongzhimen bus station that take you to the Huairou town ship where you get of at the Huairou bus station or Mingzhu square and can catch a mini bus to the wall. If there are no mini buses, you can catch illegal taxis to the wall. The taxis should cost between 40 to 70 RMB.

Simatai

Could not find an official translation so nearest I can come up with myself is the officer in charge of horses or the station/platform for managing horses. Simatai is a wonderful section of the wall to visit and my personal favourite. The bad news is it has been closed for renovations since June 2010 and the Simatai authorities are not expected to open it again until at least mid 2012.

This section of the wall is one the few sections that has the original appearance of the great wall. This characteristic was recognized by UNESCO who acknowledged it as a World Heritage Site in 1987. The Simatai wall is built on steep mountain ridges and very harsh terrain. Perilous, dense, diverse, artful and peculiar are five words often used to describe Simatai.

Size – 5.4 kilometers long and some parts of the wall are only 40cm wide. One amazing characteristic of Simata is the high density of watch towers with an average distance of 44 meters between each tower.

History – Originally built during the North Qi dynasty in 550-557. It was rebuilt during the Ming dynasty during the period from 1368 to 1398.

Getting there – Simatai is 120 kilometers from Beijing. With the wall being closed, there are no official means of transportation and will not be until it opens up again.

Warning – Some parts of this section are steep with angles of up to 85 degrees (ladders anyone?) and is very narrow in some places so you need to be in good physical condition to hike Simatai.

Gubeikou

Retaining Walls Basics

Often an overlooked but essential component of landscaping is the construction and design of a retaining wall. These are built to ensure that dirt, sand, and especially rock remains in place. For lots built on any sort of slope, often a retaining wall of some kind is necessary for safety as well as city requirements. Made of brick, stone, cement, allen block and wood, they are frequently used to stabilize slopes and slants that are present in your yard. These structures may also be constructed to resist water pressure that could lead to erosion of soil otherwise. While they are seemingly are simple to design and construct, there is a method to building solid, reliable walls that should ideally be left to professionals.

Overview of the Science

In the beginning stages of building a retaining structure, it is important to consider the elements and possible problems that may arise depending on the wall’s design. For instance, if not designed to retain water, it is necessary to implement a drainage site in the structure so the water pressure behind the wall does not cause damage. This may determine the materials used for the construction.

Engineers must determine the force that will be exerted on the wall based on a physics principle. The soil or land is analyzed in terms of whether the land is at rest, active, or passive to determine what types of reinforcements the structure may need in building. The pressure that is exerted on walls by soil is called the Lateral Earth Pressure. Using a formula looking at the gravitational pull in proportion to the horizontal force of the soil, engineers can calculate the angle, design and necessary aspects to include in the project.

Types of Materials Used

One common structure is a basement wall made of cement. The design of the basement is critical to the stability of the house as it is the foundation. Metal rebar is implemented into the design of the basement foundation which offers support to the walls. Depending on the amount and type of soil surrounding the basement walls, there may be specific angles employed in the design as well as increased thicknesses utilized. Some residences still utilize cement retaining walls in addition to their basements however, more commonly, other materials are used to construct the walls needed.

Another material used is stone or rock. These walls are more aesthetically pleasing and have been used in modern designs of homes. Using drystone building techniques also allows for water drainage without having to implement specific methods into the job. These walls are typically used for homes or buildings with terraces, slopes and slants in their yards. Common landscaping techniques also use stonework to create beautiful designs. Rocks can also be used by piling them into steel wire baskets to form a wall.

Types

The three main types of retaining walls are gravity walls, piling walls, anchored walls or cantilever walls. Depending on the condition of the soil and the purpose of the wall and space to work within, engineers will decide upon a wall to use. Gravity walls usually require the use of a professional excavator to dig a trench for construction. Gravity retaining walls are designed to lean into the retained earth and are sometimes flexible.

Cantilever walls are constructed using steel-reinforced masonry techniques to secure the soil. The use of buttresses or shorter wing-walls alongside the main retaining wall can also be employed to provide extra support to the structure. The benefit of using a cantilever wall includes utilizing fewer materials for construction. The base of the wall must be placed below the frost point of the ground whereas, gravity walls do not have that restriction.

Sheet piling walls are also another type of retaining wall that is constructed. This technique is used in tighter spaces with soft soil to retain. Using steel, wood planks or vinyl sheets, the materials are driven into the ground to create a wall. Depending on the height of the wall, an anchor may be needed.

A final type of wall that is used is an anchor wall. Anchored walls are simply any of the aforementioned walls using an anchor for added support. Cables, pressurized concrete, and other mechanisms may be used to secure the wall completely.

What Are the Advantages of Home Sewing Fabric-Covered Walls?

Stapling is the fastest and easiest method; although not on all walls (dense plaster or concrete walls will never accept this method). Although upholstering is more time consuming, and more expensive, you will be able to create a soft, rich look.

Pasting is also easy, but the walls must be carefully prepped to hide imperfections because the fabric is applied flat against the walls.

Draped fabric can be softly shirred or pleated and then hung from rods or stapled to a lattice framework. Draped walls require two or three times more fabric as flat covered walls, yet they are very elegant and hide all wall imperfections without any of the difficult prep work.

If you decide to glue or paste fabric to your walls, remember that this method is very secure and abrasion resistant. It does require a well-prepped wall because the fabric is pasted directly onto the wall, making it the method that most closely resembles wallpapering. Flat fabric panels are pasted to the wall a section at a time. The paste acts as a seam sealant, eliminating the need for trim along the seams and top and bottom edges, although trim is often applied to complete the look. Actually, this is one of the least expensive methods of covering walls with fabric because batting, lattice framework, and double yardage are unnecessary.

If you choose to use double-stick vinyl tape, remember that this is the least secure method and is generally used for a temporary wall covering. Again the walls must be clean and smooth because the fabric is applied flat against the wall. Tape is positioned around the entire perimeter of the room at ceiling and floor levels and around all window and door openings. The protective covering is removed from the tape as the fabric is hung one foot at a time.

Stapling is the fastest and easiest way to apply fabric to any wall. It can be done in many different ways, depending on the type of wall and the desired look. Stapling fabric directly to the wall is the least time consuming approach. The walls do need to be in moderately good condition, however, because bumps and cracks may show through the fabric. Once the fabric is stapled around the room, all seams and edges need to be covered with trim to hide raw edges and staples. Grosgrain ribbon, double welting, braid, gimp, and wooden moldings are the most popular trims.

Upholstered walls, with a layer of batting under the fabric, create a very rich and soft look, but are more time consuming. By adding batting, no wall preparation needs to be done. Batting also covers darkly painted or paneled walls with no problems. It can be stapled to the lower edge of the framework, or, if the walls allow it, directly to the walls. The fabric is stapled after the batting has been attached. A benefit to batting is that it deadens sound, which is good in dining rooms or playrooms. It also acts as insulation.

Method Comparison:

1. Pasting to Wall:

· Least yardage required; good for tight budgets

· Useful when staples will not penetrate the walls

· No home sewing is necessary

· Temporary; home sewing fabric can be taken down; paste washes away

· Walls must be in good repair

· Will not cover paneling

· Paste acts as a sealant, eliminating a need for trim

2. Stapling Directly To Your Wall:

· Limited yardage; good for tight budgets

· No home sewing is necessary

· Quick and easy method

· Staples often need trim, covering

· Walls must be in moderately good condition

3. Stapling to Lattice Framework:

· Limited yardage; good for tight budgets

· Hides damaged walls, no need for wall preparation

· Covers paneling

· No home sewing is necessary

· More permanent due to the lattice framework

· Trim is necessary to conceal seams and staples

· Home sewing fabric easily snagged or distorted by furniture or sharp objects

· Framework adds to the expense

4. Stapled with Batting Between Framework & Fabric:

· Conceals damaged walls

· Acts as additional insulation

· Absorbs sound

· Secure and snag resistant

· Very plush looking walls due to the extra dimension

· Batting requires extra work and extra expense

5. Taping to a Wall:

· Least secure method

· Fast and easy temporary method

· Walls need to be in good repair

· Can be used when staples will not penetrate

· Home sewing fabric easily can be removed to change the decor

6. Shirred or Gathered:

· More expensive due to the extra fabric necessary

· Hides damaged or paneled walls

· Easy to remove, change or replace

· Can be used when staples will not penetrate the walls

· Extra fabric creates drapery effect; very rich-looking

Armed with this knowledge, and having some knowledge of the price of paint, the smell of paint, and the problems of obtaining the right colors in the brand of paint you prefer to use, wouldn’t home sewing fabric walls within your home appeal to you?

Walls: Why Do We Create Them?

This morning, I saw a squirrel trying to scale a wall of my house. Salamanders, too, love to climb the walls as they scamper after tiny flies.

The walls that link together to house something form the embracing arms of security. A wall that stands alone, however, arouses curiosity. Do you ever look at a wall and wonder what is hiding behind it?

Robert Frost said in the “The Mending Wall”:

“Something there is that doesn’t love a wall…”

“Before I built a wall I’d ask to know

What was I walling in or walling out

And to whom I was like to give offense…”

Walls have had an immense influence on mankind since the dawn of civilization. The first walls were the cave walls. Man left his first traces of existence on the cave walls as the first hint of his soul and imagination, since he created art despite his new and unfamiliar status on the planet earth.

Ever since, the walls have become mankind’s showcase. Man has made his walls out of a myriad of materials: wood like knotty pine, teak, cherry, mahogany, oak, sticks, tree trunks or logs, dry stone, cement, brick, glass, metal, plastic, hay, flesh, suspicion or sensitivity.

He has filled these walls or left them hollowed. Then, he has painted the walls drab gray or in all colors or whitewashed them. Sometimes has kept them in their natural tones; he has wall-papered them not only with paper but with plastics and other invented materials; and he has paneled them with wood and synthetic materials.

On top of these walls, he has hung tapestry, billboards, lamps, neon lights, flower boxes, paintings, mirrors, signs, inscriptions, advertisements, manifestos, photos, writing, and even poetry.

Then, after ivy climbed the walls of some of his schools, the man has made those schools above and beyond the reach of others, calling them Ivy League Schools.

As if all this wasn’t enough, man has invited the wall both in concept and expression into his language. Man walls in his feelings, walls out the unwanted, and stonewalls someone else’s offer of progress. He keeps four walls around himself, and when this becomes too much to handle for him, he climbs the walls, making off-the-wall comments. When he can’t proceed or his mind is blocked, he runs into a wall. He smirks at girls who are wallflowers standing on wall-to-wall carpeting. If he is too drunk or gets an ophthalmologic illness, he becomes walleyed.

Man has given the name “wall” to natural structures and phenomena like the canyon walls, sea walls, the eye wall inside a hurricane, walls of time, the cell walls inside his body, and many other things in his universe.

Sometimes man’s imagination and extra sensory perception take over for him to see apparitions drift through the walls. For possibly the similar reason, when he is afraid to tell his secrets, he’ll whisper to say, “the walls have ears,” personifying the walls. He even gives four walls to his Pandora’s Box. Then, as a masochist, he opens that box.

Occasionally, man reveres what a wall represents, as in the case of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and the black granite wall of Vietnam War Memorial. Sometimes, man brings down a wall constructed for one reason when its purpose has run out of fashion or it doesn’t serve his purposes anymore such as the Berlin Wall. Some nasty walls like prison walls are visible. Others may be invisible, but their malicious effects are felt deeply inside the humanity’s psyche like the Iron Curtain, the Walls of Prejudice or Bias, Walls of Revenge, and Walls of Anger.

Man attaches walls to everything in his life. He is the mason who builds the walls, only to protest and whine about them. Then, he tries to break through these walls or to bring them down, and for that, he spends more effort than erecting them.

This getting rid of the walls business has to be carried out with caution, without banging into walls, hurting oneself, or hurting anyone who is walled in by one thing or another. Especially in the case of an inner child who is trapped inside the man’s being, one has to break down the walls gently but with firm hands, since inner children are especially sensitive.

So, why does man build a wall? Probably, to challenge himself, since challenges employ and entertain. If only man wouldn’t scrape his skin while climbing or breaking through!