An Introduction to the World of Minecraft

On May 17th, 2009, Markus “Notch” Persson brought to the world the game that would leave hundreds of thousands of people very happy – Minecraft. This amazing game started as a sandbox construction game but eventually progressed to the adventure-like challenge that it is today. For the beginning player, Minecraft can appear to be a little confusing and perhaps a bit overwhelming. A few Minecraft tips can go a long way towards getting them on their way.

Your character starts out in the middle of a randomly generated world with nothing on his person. By looking around you may notice some things, such as trees and animals roaming about. You may also notice that it is day outside, though the sun is moving steadily across the sky. Once the sun goes down the monsters come out, so getting together a shelter is the first thing that needs to be done.

Pressing the “E” button will open up your inventory, but also allows access to the crafting box. In the upper right-hand corner there are four squares where items can be placed to mix them together and create new, useful items. For example, by placing a piece of coal on top of a stick a torch is made. Actually, four torches are made, as Minecraft generally gives things in multiples when you craft.

Now, in order to start crafting anything, the first thing that is needed is some wood. Punching trees (by using the mouse button) until they break will allow you to pick up the piece that broke off. Taking that piece of wood and putting it into the crafting box will turn it into a stack of planks. Once four planks have been collected they can be placed in each of the four squares of the crafting box and turned into a workbench, which allows a crafting box of nine squares and the ability to create more items.

You will find yourself running around beating up on a lot of trees in the beginning. The first thing to make is that workbench. From there, a pick can be made. First, take two planks and place them one on top of the other to make some sticks. Then two sticks, one on top of the other with three planks across the top in a “T” formation will produce a wooden pick. This pick will allows stone and other hard objects to be mined. Then you need to run around and find some coal. After mining that you will need to make some torches using coal and sticks as mentioned above.

Now that you have some torches, a pick, and a workbench you need to hide. Find a nice piece of the landscape and mine your way into it. Hollow out a little area and put some torches up for light. Monsters can only spawn in areas without light, so torches will keep them away. Cover the entrance with some more blocks (to keep monsters out) and wait for daylight again. Nighttime is a good time to go digging into the ground as well, looking for more resources to use to make better items. The most common resources you will find at the surface of the world are iron and coal. Iron can be used to make better weapons and tools as well as some armor to keep you alive.

After the first night is up, you can go out into the world again and explore. Once you know how to survive the night, the rest is easy. Experiment with the workbench and different materials to create things. If you really need a boost, some Minecraft cheats are available online as well as many pages that show all the recipes for crafting items. Once you have the good materials you can make anything from railroad tracks to musical instruments to electrical powered pistons. By using all these items, you can build a world for you and your friends to enjoy and explore, complete with castles, towers, underground railroads or whatever else your can imagine.

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Types of Construction Projects

Construction is defined as “a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure.” (See 1. below) On the other hand, a Construction Project “includes all material and work necessary for the construction of a finished structure for occupancy by End Customer. This includes site preparation, foundations, mechanical, electrical work, and any other work necessary to complete the project.” (See 2. below)

There are different types of construction projects:

  1. Residential
    Residential construction projects include houses, townhouses, apartments, condominiums, cottages, single unit dwellings and subdivisions. The housing designs are generally done by architects and engineers and the construction is executed by builders who hire subcontractors for structural, electrical, mechanical and other specialty work. This type of project must conform to local building authority regulations and codes of practice. Many new builders are attracted to residential projects because of its ease of entry in the real estate market. This makes it a highly competitive market with potentially high risks as well as high rewards.
  2. Building
    Building construction is perhaps the most popular type of construction project. It is the process of adding structure to real property. Most of the projects are room additions and small renovations. Most new building construction projects are construction of sheltered enclosures with walk-in access for the purpose of housing people, equipment, machinery or supplies. It includes installation of utilities and equipment.
  3. Institutional and Commercial
    Institutional and commercial building construction covers a great variety of project types and sizes such as hospitals and clinics, schools and universities, sports facilities and stadiums, large shopping centres and retail chain stores, light manufacturing plants and warehouses and skyscrapers for offices and hotels. Specialty architects and engineers are often hired for designing a particular type of building. This market segment has few competitors because of the high costs and greater sophistication of institutional and commercial buildings as compared to residential construction projects.
  4. Industrial
    Industrial construction is only a small part of the whole construction industry nevertheless it is a very important part of the industry. These projects are generally owned by big, for-profit industrial corporations such as manufacturing, power generation, medicine, petroleum, etc.
  5. Specialized Industrial Construction
    This type of construction project usually involves very large scale projects with a high degree of technological complexity such as nuclear power plants, chemical processing plants, steel mills and oil refineries.
  6. Highway Construction
    Highway construction involves the construction, alteration, or repair of roads, highways, streets, alleys, runways, paths, parking areas, etc. It includes all incidental construction in conjunction with the highway construction project.
  7. Heavy Construction
    Heavy construction projects usually involve projects that are not properly classified as either “building” or “highway.” Examples of this type of project would be: water and sewer line projects, dams, sewage treatment plants and facilities, flood control projects, dredging projects, and water treatment plants and facilities.

These are the more popular types of construction projects. Construction is a big industry and there are now several construction companies that you can choose from. This, coupled with the use of the internet, has made it easier for the consumer to make a decision on how to proceed with his or her projects. You just need to do a little research. Don’t hesitate to contact these construction companies and ask questions. Construction projects are a major undertaking and you need to make the right decisions when you embark on these projects.



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Boston Suburban areas a good choice to run a business

BioTechs even with the latest news had shed over 1000 jobs two years ago, as it was reported by The Financial Times, WSJ, and Bloomberg that only 17 of the nearly 1300 BioTech firms were actually profitable. In 2002 the number of jobs were in the 30,000 range in Biotech. 600 layoffs came from Millennium Pharmaceuticals. And the VCs are were barely interested as they hardly even look at tech deals with all of them netting less than 3 Million in venture capital for computer software and less than 10 million in biotech in 2003. But that was then and this is now. Unemployment has dropped, money is flowing the fallout mortgage loans stopped bleeding and money is coming back for investment in all sectors. Nano and Biotech both good.

Small businesses are profitable again, college enrollment is up and we are seeing rebounding numbers in most all sectors. Boston suburbs areas are looking quite good again. Some of the largest suburb office parks which were under the gun as University, Cabot, Cummings, AMB, Canton, Northwest, Cross Point, South Shore, etc. were not seeing the attrition turn to the synergy and critical mass needed for ultimate sustainability? All this had many worried, but commerce and entrepreneurship will always find a way and they did as the buildings are starting to fill up again. Wee must count on the best and the brightest of the literary elite to make something out of nothing in the middle of being bombarded with regulators from every level of government trying to make everything, which is not equal, all the same never-the-less. God Bless them with Holly Sparklets water and wafers from Nabisco. And don’t tell me I do not know what I am talking about because we have washed those delivery vans before showing up at the Catholic Church. If it were not for all the lawyers in Boston, everybody would be out of work? Just kidding, it is not quite that bad. Things are moving along, but a lot faster now than our last surveys of 2001 and 2003.

We believe that a small business with the right market mix can survive and thrive now and probably get a pretty good deal on office space too. If you can handle the Political Correctness and the lust for literary trivia, hey go for it, take their money, they want to spend it and the customer is always right, especially in Boston, just ask them if they know what they are talking about, Think on it.

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Visit Asuncion, Paraguay!

If you’re looking for a place to find historical and contemporary attractions all in one destination, look no further than Asuncion, Paraguay. Situated on the hills by the Paraguay River, you’re sure to love the Waterfront District, where most of the city’s action takes place. You will find Spanish Colonial buildings, dating back to the 1500s right alongside modern architecture and attractions. Best of all, you’ll enjoy the many attractions at some of the lowest prices of any travel destination in the world.

You’ll want to make sure to spend a day at the Botanical Garden and Zoo. With over 500 species of local flora and 70 species of animals, most of them native to South America, it is one of the oldest and finest zoological parks in South America. In addition to the gardens and zoo, guest can spend time at the Museum of Natural History and the Asuncion Golf Club.

The Museuo Nacional de Bellas Artes de Asuncion (National Museum of Fine Arts) is also a must see for visitors to Paraguay’s principal city. Featuring the work of international and Paraguayan artists, in addition to several exhibits dedicated to the preservation of historical documents and artifacts important to the history of the region. Perhaps due to the influx of immigrants in the late 1800s, much Paraguayan art shows the distinct colors of the diverse European people groups who now call Paraguay home. The Museum was founded in 1909, and has contiguously offered residents and visitors alike to take in the rich art culture of Paraguay.

No trip to Asuncion would be complete without taking an excursion to see the local waterfalls. Both the Salto Crystal Falls and the Iguazu Falls are accessible from the area. Most visitors book package trips, allowing them to take in both, along with several other river attractions.

Finally, neither history lovers nor those who follow current events should miss the opportunity to take in the Plaza de los Heroes. Built as a tribute to the many colorful figures who have impacted the history of Paraguay, it is often used as a place for demonstrations commemorating significant events as they unfold. Should you be fortunate to visit Paraguay when such an event is taking place, you will not want to miss the chance to see this country’s proud people gather outside the Plaza, patriotically waving their national flag.

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10 Senior Portraits Dos and Don’ts

DO reserve a session with your photographer early in the season since their schedules can be booked months in advance.

DON’T wait too long…many high school yearbook deadlines are as early as October, so consider scheduling a session during late summer, before the school year begins.

DO pick a myriad of scenic backgrounds for your senior portraits – think wooded areas, old buildings with intricate architecture, railroad tracks, lush greenery, etc.

DON’T choose locations that have busy and really detailed backdrops that can detract from you as the focus.

DO opt to wear a variety of different outfits, both casual and dressy, especially if you will be shooting photos outdoor. If you are involved in school sports or activities, consider wearing your uniform (i.e. letter jacket or cheerleading uniform). You’ll get a wide variety of photos to choose from.

DON’T clash with your surroundings. Avoid wearing loud, busy patterns and wording on your clothing – it distracts from you. Stick with solid, flattering hues such as neutrals, blues, and reds.

DO stick with your own, natural look to achieve the best photographs.

DON’T try out a new look! You’ll end up with photos that look nothing like you! Boys should avoid getting a new haircut right before the shoot and girls should not try new hairstyles or makeup for the pictures.

DO relax! If you are comfortable, relaxed, and enjoying yourself, your personality and happiness will show beautifully in the portraits.

DON’T stress over blemishes, tan lines, and other minor imperfections – most Salt Lake senior portraits studios can easily erase flaws during the touch-up process.

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Model Trains for Beginners

Model trains are a hobby that fascinates enthusiasts and attracts admirers from all over the world. When taking up this exciting hobby, some thought should go into what type of model railway you wish to build as model trains for beginners can be overwhelming if you just dive in. This creative past time is the perfect way to display skill, imagination, and capture the wonderful essence of historical railways and trains with nostalgic memories of the past.

Whatever your vision is, spend some time planning your model railway and join a local enthusiasts club where you will find plenty of helpful tips and hints to get you started. Many small model railway projects start small and expand into complex systems capable of operating several trains at once in all kinds of different terrain. The tips in this article will help you plan and think about how to commence your own model railway.

Theme and Era

Are you looking for the days of luxury trains like The Flying Scotsman or Orient Express, or looking to the great Trans continental railways like the Trans Siberian Express or the Indian Pacific, which ran on the world’s longest straight stretch of track across Australia? You need to decide on the year, the country and the rolling stock and trains you require. This is a very exciting task, and your project will evolve from these ideas.

Display Space

Model trains for beginners should not be over ambitious and should allow enough space to show off the layout without overwhelming the room for a first time model. You can always expand or start a new project that is wall to wall. All model railways are a labour of love, and it is best to start small because of all the detail involved.


If you have a small display space, then a smaller scale model railway will work better although more impact is needed from the scenery and setting. Larger scale models are easier to work with, but are more expensive.

Plan of the Track

Your track design has several options, and it is best to draw some different configurations on graph paper. Once you are satisfied with the layout of your track, you can use your sketch to build it into your setting.

Which Track Type to Use

There are many different brands of track on the market with varying rail sizes, roadbed attached track pieces and track only. Custom curves can be made from a flex track product. Review and try different types to see what suits you.

Display Table or Bench

Before deciding on the size of display area for your model railway, you can do a dummy run with your track on the floor. This will give you an idea of overall size required. Estimate how much extra will be needed for scenery and extras. This will give you the size of board, bench, or table for your display.

Electronics and Wiring

The operation of your model railway can be very sophisticated with digital command control (DCC) that enables you to operate two or three trains at once. Locomotives are electronic, but many other components and accessories are also electronic which will give you an authentic replica of a real railway with lights, switching of tracks, steam and smoke, whistles and other sounds. You can even buy tiny video cameras to record your train’s journey around your personal layout, which is great fun to watch.

Starting a model railroad can turn into a life long experience with something new and different to be added every day as your imagination updates your vision. Model trains for beginners are a rewarding and interesting hobby that not only gives satisfaction to the modeller, but also to people who see it. Just remember to plan carefully for a layout you will have for life.

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High Altitude Locomotives

When China decided to build a   railroad  line, which would be nearly 16,000 feet high a special locomotive had to be built to run at these high altitudes, as well as oxygen had to be secured for those passengers and locomotive engineers. This technology had to be borrowed from other sources and luckily there was a multinational corporation, which was able to handle this.

General Electric has built the GE C38AChe, which is a high altitude locomotive, which runs at optimum even at high elevations. In fact, General Electric has built 78 of these GE C38AChe Locomotives. Each one having 4000 hp and to they are an engineering marvel of technology both old and new. If you look at the GE C38AChe, you see that slightly resembles a locomotive, but it’s guts are state-of-the-art technology on the leading edge of locomotive engineering. Here’s a picture;

The GE C38AChe is able to operate over the Himalayas, something no other rail line has ever achieved and a bold step for trade indeed. Apparently, whether it is building a Treasure Fleet, Great Wall, Massive Cities or even a  railroad ; China thinks big and boldly. Using the best technology in the World, China is making the grade. Consider all this in 2006.

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Disney Orlando Theme Parks

Walt Disney World is a place that seems magical. It is a world set apart from the real word where childhood reigns over all. Yet, Disney World can be daunting for any parent who takes their children on a Disney World Adventure. Therefore I present my guide to Disney Orlando Theme Parks to help the parents find their way around. The Walt Disney World Unofficial Guide contains information on the theme “lands,” the rides and the must sees in each area.

Magic Kingdom

The Guide to Disney Orlando Theme Parks starts off with the most famous, iconic and majestic of the four theme parks: the Magic Kingdom.

  • Main Street USA

Upon entrance to the Magic Kingdom, you will find yourself on the streets of Main Street, USA. Main Street is the center of it all. This one street branches out to the six mini worlds of the Magic Kingdom: Adventure Land, Frontier Land, Liberty Square, Fantasy Land, Mickey’s Toontown Fair, and Tomorrow Land. Cinderella’s Castle is at the center of it all. On Main Street, you and your family can take a   railroad  ride on the Walt Disney World  Railroad  line. This  railroad  has stops in Frontier Land and Mickey’s Toontown Fair. Main Street USA is also the site of parades. During the Daytime, there are the Main Street Trolley Parade and the Disney Dreams Come True Parade. At Nighttime, there is the SpectroMagic Parade. This parade features bright floats that light up the nighttime sky as well as lively music that echoes throughout the park. This is a can’t miss event! Of course your favorite Disney characters make appearances. The Genie from Aladdin and Sebastian from the Little Mermaid all appear on the floats as well as classics such as Mickey and Minnie Mouse.

  • Mickey’s Toontown Fair

Mickey’s Toontown Fair is located in the North east section of Magic Kingdom between Fantasy Land and Tomorrow Land. There is a stop here on the Walt Disney World  Railroad . You can board this  railroad  to Frontier Land or Main Street USA. The Toontown is the home of all toons, so have your camera ready. Famous cartoon characters such as Goofy, Donald, and Mickey are bound to make an appearance here. You and your family can take a tour through Mickey Mouse’s House or ride a mild roller coaster on “The Barnstormer at Goofy’s Wiseacre Farm.”

  • Frontier Land

Frontier Land is located on the West Side of Magic Kingdom sandwiched between Liberty Square and Adventure Land. The Walt Disney World  Railroad  line has a stop in Frontier Land. Frontier Land features one of the more famous attractions in the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain. The guests ride a log flume 52 1/2 feet into the air and then drop down at a 45 degree angle. As the log drops from such a high location, there is a 40 inch height requirement. The log drops into a pond called Briar Patch. Riders in the front usually get soaked the most, but lookout! There have been reports of the whole log getting soaked. How about a indoor roller coaster ride to dry you and your family off after Splash Mountain? Enter Big Thunder Mountain  Railroad . The ride takes place on cars resembling locomotives and features locales both indoors and outdoors on a huge mountain and abandoned mining town.

After these big thrills, it is best to sit down, relax and watch a show: Country Bear Jamboree! The Country Bear Jamboree features robotic, but real-looking bears that sing country folk songs for the whole family. Once the merry show has ended, the family can take a raft to Tom Sawyer Island where they can enjoy an incredible walk through attraction featuring elements from pirate and Tom Sawyer lore. And obviously who kind of Frontier would it be without a little arcade shooting range? Experience the Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade with 97 targets and 35 shots from the infrared rifle for one dollar.

  • Adventure Land

Adventure Land is located on the south west of the Magic Kingdom. The theme of Adventure Land is the far away worlds seen in such Disney movies as Tarzan and Disney properties such as Indiana Jones. Adventure Land takes you to the jungles and deserts of Africa and Asia. Here, you and your family can board the Jungle Cruise Ride. This ride simulates being on a riverboat in the rivers of the Amazon. Along the ride, robotic animals, resembling the animals found in the Amazon in real life, are found along the shore of the river.

Next, you can visit The Enchanted Tiki Room. This is a short ten minute show hosted by two birds from Disney Lore, Iago from Aladdin and Zazu from the Lion King. After sitting down and enjoying the show, your family can be well rested for The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Your kids can get into little vehicles that resemble the Magic Carpet from Aladdin. These carpets are attached to a center that lifts the vehicles up into the air and turns them around and around like a merry go around.

The ride that inspired the movie Pirates of the Caribbean is found right in Adventure Land. And obviously enough, this ride is called Pirates of the Caribbean. This is an indoor boat ride as guests float through spectacular pirate scenes featuring cannon blasts, buried treasure and other surprises that I won’t spoil here. Beware: there are two hair-raising drops on this ride!

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Modeling – Plastic Modeling Kits Considered

As a teenager, and even starting as early as age 6, I liked to build plastic models. At one point I think I had built every single 1:172 scale plastic model which existed. I built race cars, army tanks, HO scale rail-road buildings, and nearly every possible aircraft. In fact, I had so many airplanes hanging from my ceiling with fishing line, that times you could not see the ceiling. A miniature Smithsonian Aviation Museum in the making – so, that’s what I did in my youth, and I enjoyed it very much.

Now that I’m older I still occasionally enjoy building models, air brushing them, and although I don’t have space for them all, I enjoy building dioramas also. Now then, if you would like to learn more about building plastic models, or if you would like the models you build to come out better, more realistic, and more historically authentic, then there is a very good book I’d like to recommend to you, and it is actually one that I own myself. The name of the book is;

“Plastic Modeling Kits” by Jack C. Harris, Crestwood House Publishers, New York, NY, (1993), 48 pages, ISBN: 0-89686-623-8.

The author of this book is a master modeler, and this book is well illustrated. Mr. Jack C. Harris has written an excellent book and he has included chapters about; plastic model kits, how to choose your first plastic kit to build, and how you can work your way up in skill. He also explains the tools you will need to build these models, along with the glues, and paints. There is a great section on airbrushing, and I wish I had this book back when I was a teenager because I could have really used it.

Would you like to learn how to customize your plastic models once you are completed, there is a chapter on that as well. And there is information on how to win and enter contests, and where to display your plastic models where they will be viewed the most. You’d be surprised that museums will be happy to have your plastic models if they are done correctly, and you can even enter them in the local county fair for prizes and accolades.

In the book there is information on joining master modeler clubs, or even how to make your own club with other local hobbyists. And if you are worried about using the right terminology when talking to your modeling friends, then there is a complete glossary in the back, so you use the proper buzzwords. Indeed, I hope you will please consider this if you plan on building plastic models for profit, or as a hobby. Please think on it.

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Don’t Miss Greenwich When Staying in Canary Wharf

Greenwich provides visitors with views, heritage and attractions. This beautiful London borough is only minutes from Canary Wharf and the perfect place to explore when staying in the capital city.

This South East London area is set on the river and is one of the five Dockland boroughs which is rich in maritime history. This area is rich in Georgian and Victorian architecture complete with a covered market. The area is also a World Heritage Site and is accessible via rail, road or bus from Canary Wharf.

This is a fantastic day out whether you are in London on business or for leisure. To truly experience all the city has to offer, you need to experience the beauty of Greenwich and the great sights and attractions it provides.

Things to do and not to miss

The Royal Observatory is an absolute must when visiting Greenwich. This observatory is located in the famous Greenwich Park and dates back to 1676. It is Britain’s first state-funded scientific institution which has a planetarium on the side. This is a very popular tourist attraction.

Then there is the Cutty Sark, a clipper boat which was responsible for transporting tea from China many years ago. This boat gives you the unique opportunity to climb aboard a nineteenth-century boat, see what it was like to live aboard and be amazed at the craftsmanship.

A visit to Greenwich must include a visit to the National Maritime Museum. The largest museum of its kind in the world. This museum focuses on the history of the Royal Navy and is brimming with facts and artefacts. It is a great way to learn about the Navy, also soak up some of the heritage of the country and explore the history dating back centuries.

Be sure to stop past Queens House. This property is brimming with architectural heritage and is a top art gallery, dripping in the most beautiful masterpieces. Queens House is a seventeenth-century villa and is a top visitors attraction for those visiting Greenwich for the day or a few days.

Greenwich Park is the most beautiful place just to relax and soak up the greenery while staying in the heart of a busy city centre. Greenwich Park is one of the oldest royal parks in Britain and is set right on the river bank. It welcomes millions of visitors each year and if it is a nice sunny day and you are looking for something within close proximity to your Canary Wharf hotel, then this may be the right choice for you. Ideal for a leisurely walk or to simply spend some quality family time together.

Then if you are looking for something a little quirky and unique, then it is definitely worthwhile stopping past the famous Greenwich market. The market is completely undercover, making it an ideal place to visit throughout the year. It is completed with cobbled walkways and is open seven days a week for added convenience. Here you can buy quirky souvenirs, antiques and crafts, something to take home with you to remind you of your Canary Wharf adventure.

The Old Royal Naval College is another place definitely worth visiting with its impressive groups and baroque dining hall. Then there is the O2, one of the most famous centres in the world which host a number of events throughout the year and is often visited by leading bands and artists. Here you will find a selection of quality restaurants, and when there are no shows, you can take the ninety-minute guided tour.

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