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The 5 Oldest Universities in Europe and the USA

Did you know that the oldest university was a mosque founded way back in 859 AD in Fes, Morocco and that it was established by a woman? The institution still exists, and as of 1957, it has added all the mainstream subjects to its curriculum to remain the oldest continuously operating degree-granting university in the world, according to the Guinness Book of World Records.

The oldest institutions of learning that were not mosques or madrasas were established in Europe, starting with:

    1. University of Bologna: This institution is not only the oldest university in Europe; having been established in 1088 in Bologna, Italy, it still remains one of the top 50 universities in the world. It started out teaching canon and civil law before branching out to offer other subjects as well.
    2. University of Paris: Established in 1150, this institution focused on providing an education in the fields of arts, medicine, law and theology. In 1970, the university was reorganized into 13 autonomous colleges under the University of Paris.
    3. University of Oxford: This famous university was established in 1167 in Oxford, England; currently ranked among the top 10 universities in the world, Oxford governs 38 independent colleges.
    4. University of Cambridge: Founded in 1209 in Cambridge, England, the University of Cambridge is currently ranked among the top 5 universities in the world. It has produced many academic geniuses, 80 of whom went on to win the Nobel Prize in various categories.
    5. University of Salamanca: Established in 1218 in the town of Salamanca in Madrid, Spain, this educational institution still remains a famed center for studies in humanities and languages.

Coming to the US of A, the five oldest universities are collectively known as the Colonial Colleges and date only as far back as 1636. We kick off this list with the most prestigious of them all:

    1. Harvard University: Initially known as New College when it was started in 1636, Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is renowned for its high standard of education. It is also one of the most expensive universities in the world; it has produced 7 American presidents and over 40 Nobel laureates.
    2. The College of William and Mary: This is the only college in the oldest top-five list that is not an Ivy League institution. It’s a small college in Williamsburg, Virginia with less than 8,000 students; it was set up in 1693 and it holds the distinction of having established the country’s first college honor code and the first academic Greek society, the Phi Beta Kappa in 1776. It also houses the nation’s oldest college building in continuous use since 1700.
    3. Yale University: Another Ivy League college, this institution was established in 1701 in New Haven, Connecticut. It is now divided into 12 colleges. Yale was originally known as the Collegiate School. It is a popular choice with international students, with over 16 percent of its student body having overseas roots.
    4. Princeton University: Coming into the picture much later in 1976, Princeton today can claim credit for the highest per-student endowment of any university in the world. It is set Princeton, New Jersey, and was formerly known as the College of New Jersey.
    5. Columbia University: Originally established as King’s College in New York City in 1754, it has a diverse student body, over half of which is non-Caucasian. It moved campus in 1897, and now takes up six blocks of the Morningside Heights area of New York City.

5 Game-Changing Technologies That Will Help Shape 2011

There’s no doubting the fact that technology is moving forward at breakneck speed, so much so that you’re bound to miss something significant if you so much as blink or close your eyes for a short catnap. What’s in today could so easily be obsolete tomorrow, that’s how fast the world of gadgets and gizmos is growing. That’s why it makes perfect sense to look ahead and be aware of the game-changing technologies that are going to shape the year that has just begun; some of them are reality and some are just in the pipeline, but they’re all sure to give you bang for your buck and so much more. So here they are – five game-changing technologies that will help shape 2011:

  • Quad core processors for mobile phones: It wasn’t that long ago that I was bragging about my dual core notebook, now it’s amazing to think that this power has been multiplied and brought to the confines of a tiny mobile phone. Hot on the heels of its runaway success dual core processor Tegra 2, NVIDIA has come out with Kal-El, a quad-core processor with gargantuan power. It leaves behind the dual core race and is well on the way to creating faster chips with its roadmap for Logan, Wayne and Stark – all chips with nearly 100 times the processing power of the current Tegra 2 phones and expected to become a reality well within 2014.
  • Lapdocks and webtops: If you’ve heard about Motorola’s Atrix smartphone, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Imagine carrying around your laptop in your pocket – with Atrix and the Lapdock (which is a docking station with a screen and a keyboard with a trackpad), you can use your mobile phone as the processor for your laptop. The innovative webtop application allows you to run your Android applications within a window, and browse the web with a full version of Mozilla Firefox. And with remote desktop software like Citrix, you can even connect to your desktop computer at home to access files and programs remotely.
  • Internet connected television: From browsing the net on your desktop to being able to connect on the go on your notebook to being able to stay always connected on your mobile, our browsing habits have come a long way since the dawn of the web. Now stay connected using your television set – you can use a cable, but that means you’re going to miss out on the new WiFi television sets that can hook up to your home’s wireless network just like your notebook. The latest come with high definition screens that offer good resolution and sharp pictures. Now you can download movies and any form of entertainment from the web, directly onto your TV, and make your desktop computer almost obsolete.
  • Mobile banking: We’re already getting used to the fact that we don’t really have to visit the bank at all, unless it is to open a new account or close an existing one. We can do pretty much everything else through the Internet, from wherever we are. Now banking moves to the mobile phone sector, and with the advent and popularity of smartphones, you can pay bills, check your accounts, move your money, check for stock updates, and even trade in stocks, all through the myriad apps that have been written for these purposes. The environment is secure, and as mobile banking gains in popularity, we can soon expect contactless payments where you just have to wave your mobile phone in front of a sensor and have the necessary amount deducted from your bank account for access to services and goods.
  • Gamification: We’re already seeing it being implemented through social networks like Foursquare and Facebook’s “Place” application – in simple English, gamification involves the use of gaming techniques in applications that are not games. Websites could get users to participate in surveys or visit their pages by making a game out of it, with visitors collecting rewards for each level that they climb. Virtual money can be amassed and used at other partner sites as payment for goods and services, and the competitive spirit can be egged on by getting visitors to play against each other for a prize or reward. We’ve only seen the start of gamification, and 2011 holds much more in store for this new technique.

Kid-Friendly and Mom-Approved: Simple and Sassy Easter Projects

You can tell Easter is fast approaching when you start seeing egg and bunny-shaped candy, cards and gifts start popping up in stores. This is a holiday that Christians and non-Christians alike celebrate, whether in a religious sense or just taking part in the traditional Easter egg hunt.

This is a very exciting holiday for kids. They look forward to the Easter Bunny hiding eggs for them to seek, the decorative baskets and candy, and the enjoyment of the festivities. As busy parents, we know that you don’t always have adequate time to sit down and plan these things out, so we thought we’d help you out. We’ve compiled a list of simple decorating tips and ideas for eggs, Easter baskets and crafts as well as ideas for themed games, food, desserts and more—that won’t use up all of your time or patience. Most of these items can be found around your house, so that will save you time, money and stress!

However your family decides to celebrate, with these tips you’ll be sure to find some simple and enjoyable activities for your kids to enjoy.

source: flickr.com

1. First things first – Egg decorating: There are endless, creative and age-appropriate ways for you and your kids to enjoy decorating Easter eggs.

These are just a few examples of what you can use:

-Dye, crayons, food coloring, watercolors and paint are great basic ideas for adding color to those ordinary eggs.

If you want to add a little oomph, may we also suggest:

-Embellishing them with lace. You can find some great examples shown here: Martha Stewart

-Cutting and pasting magazine or newspapers strips to add creative messages

-Bedazzling them with beads and jewels

If you have younger children, safe and easy ideas for them can be using stickers to add character and personality or giving them a glue stick and letting them spruce them up with cotton balls, shapes cut out of paper, glitter or any other household items you have laying around that could work for these crafts.

If you want to go even further with your Easter eggs, check out these sites for some amazing ideas to turn your eggs into works of art: All Recipes or Family Fun

2. To properly hunt these newly decorated treasures, you’ve got to have the proper basket: Now these can be as minimal or as fancy as your budget or patience allow.

-Wicker baskets: Ribbon and lace work great for wrapping around the handle or tying bows around the body. You can even personalize the ribbon with their name for a special, added touch.

-If you want something a little more affordable , you can buy Easter-themed plastic buckets from any dollar store or party store. If you’d rather decorate your own, buy a solid plastic bucket and use paint or markers to decorate with your child’s name or a personalized message.

source: crafts.kaboose.com

3. If Easter is a time for you and your to give back to the community, try some of these volunteer ideas that can be both helpful to others and rewarding to you. These ideas can give a sense of value and involvement with the world around them:

-Volunteer at a soup kitchen or homeless shelter

-Donate any old or unused clothes, shoes and toys to those less fortunate

-Plant a tree

-Bring books to a hospital and read to the kids

-Visit a nursing home

4. Crafts: If your kids are busy bees, and you need more activities to keep them entertained, try out some of these crafty ideas:

-Using cut up paper, paper from your paper shredder, spray-painted packer peanuts, fake Easter grass, moss twig or grass, let your little ones build their own nests to put their Easter eggs in.

-Use construction paper, pipe cleaners, popsicle sticks, stir sticks or any other items around your house to let your kids build and decorate their own crosses.

-Cut bunny shapes out of construction paper and let them glue cotton balls on them to bring their Easter bunnies to life.

source : food-easy-recipes.com

5. Easter-Themed Food and Desserts: Eating can be a fun activity when food is shaped into festive objects. There are several foods that can easily be shaped into bunnies or eggs or whatever fun shapes you desire. Turn mealtime into a creative activity.

-Pancakes

-Sandwiches

-Cookies

-Biscuits or croissants

-Or if you want to be daring, make cupcakes or a cake and let your kids go crazy decorating their own with frosting, sprinkles, candy or whatever your imagination can come up with.

It can also be a sneaky way to get kids to eat vegetables. “Well, the Easter Bunny eats carrots and celery. Don’t you want to try some?” (Don’t worry, we won’t give up your secrets)

We don’t want holidays to add any stress to your lives, so we hope you find some of these ideas to be easy and inventive ways to keep your kids entertained and to enjoy this time with your family. The more involved they get to be in the projects, the more fun they’ll have and the more excited they’ll be.

Have a very Happy Easter!

5 Ways for Older Teachers to Cope with Technology

It’s everywhere these days, and there’s no escaping it; and while some people swear by technology, there are others who abhor it and want nothing to do with it. However, there are certain professions where you must embrace technology if you wish to remain relevant, hold on to your job and do it successfully, and teaching is one of them. Technology has made massive inroads into the classroom and is now an integral part of education. So if you’re an older teacher who is a technophobe and wishes lessons would go back to being all about books and papers, the bad news is that you must find ways to cope with the change. However, the good news is that it’s easy to do so once you set your mind to it. Begin by:

  • Accepting it: Fighting any kind of change only makes it harder to cope; it’s like trying to swim against the tide. But when you embrace change, you find that it envelops you in return and that it’s not such a bad thing after all. Technology starts to look much better once you accept it as a part of your life and start looking for ways to master it.
  • Realizing the value of technology: Once you stop looking at technology like it’s the enemy, you soon begin to realize how much of a friend it can be. You can achieve so much more when you start to use technology in and out of the classroom, and with this realization, you start to become more enthusiastic about learning technology and picking up skills that will help you improve as an educator.
  • Starting out slowly: Learn the basics of technology first before you jump to the more sophisticated aspects – this way, you don’t get discouraged at the outset if you’re not able to grasp concepts and skills. Get someone who’s a patient teacher to show you the ropes, and don’t hesitate to ask questions when you’re in doubt – as a teacher, you know that this is an integral rule of any learning process.
  • Practicing your skills regularly: Nothing comes to you without practice, so make time each day to practice your new skills and become familiar with them. The going may be slow initially, but you’ll soon get the hang of it as the days go by. The key to becoming an expert in any field is to practice, practice and practice some more.
  • Using it whenever possible: So now that you’ve gained some confidence in your technological skills, start to use technology wherever applicable. Don’t be afraid of making mistakes – when you let your fear stop you, you become a slave to it. Just remember that the more mistakes you make, the more you add to your experience and the more skilled you become.

Technology tends to grow on you, and once you master one form of it, conquering the rest is just a mere formality.

When Does Your Degree Really Count?

There’s an unspoken and unwritten rule that insists you go on to college after you’ve graduated from high school; the general perception in the job market is that if you want to make something of yourself, you need a college degree backing you up. However, not all college degrees are equal; some of them have higher standing and are more widely accepted than others, so if you’re making the effort and raising the necessary funds to go to college, you must ensure that the degree you’re going to earn counts for something in the world you’re going to inhabit in the near future. So how do you go about doing this?

  • Know what you want to do in life – having an aim and setting personal and professional goals is the first step towards choosing the right degree.
  • Find out what qualifications you need to achieve your goal.
  • Make a list of colleges that offer the degree you need to break into the profession of your dreams.
  • Assess your potential and the viability of gaining admission to these colleges; based on this evaluation, choose ten (or more if you prefer) colleges where you stand a reasonable chance of admission.
  • If your school grades are low, focus on getting good scores on your SAT/ACT – this could help you gain entrance to a better college.
  • Apply to the list of colleges and hope to be selected by one or more.
  • Don’t take out a student loan if you can help it; look for scholarships and grants that can pay for college, and start your search early, when you’re still in high school. Ask your parents, friends and relatives for assistance, and if all else fails, take out a loan at a low interest.
  • Once you start college, start working on your grades right from your freshman year instead of slogging it out in your senior year to make the required grade when you’re desperate for a job.
  • Find a job that allows you to earn money for everyday expenses and if possible, set aside some money towards repaying your student loan.
  • Also focus on boosting your extracurricular profile by getting involved in sports and other non-academic activities. This helps develop your overall personality and helps differentiate you from the hundreds of thousands of people who hold the same degree and have better grades than you.
  • Try and improve your communication skills, especially those that come in handy during job interviews and when dealing with clients and customers (employers are on the lookout for people who come with more than just a degree).
  • Build a network of people who can help you in looking for a job, providing recommendations, and helping you out of tough situations; start with your professors, they’re more valuable than you think they are.
  • Start looking for jobs even before you graduate – attend job fairs, prepare your resume, and apply for jobs through online and offline channels.
  • Once you get a job, focus on repaying your student debt at the earliest.

If your degree helps you do all of the above, then it’s really, really worth every penny, every minute and every drop of sweat you’ve put into it.

Top 50 Hair Blogs and Articles

Getting gorgeous hair is the goal for many people. Washing, conditioning and styling can wreak havoc on your locks, so it’s important to use the right products for your hair’s texture and treat it right in order to get it in its most healthy state. These hair blogs and articles will guide you through accessing your hair’s damage, finding the right products to bring it back to life and get the trendy hairstyles seen on celebrities and supermodels.

Top Hair Blogs

Learn what will whip your hair into shape, see you through a dry winter and keep your color lasting.

    1. Hair Style Talk This blog has everything you want to know about hair, including tips on how to prolong your highlights and color and how to care for African American hair.

    2. Fashionising It’s all of the latest celebrity hairstyles and how to get the looks you see supermodels rocking on the runway without the fuss of going to the salon.

    3. Babes in Hairland If your little girl feel she’s stuck in a hair rut (courtesy of mom’s ponytails), look to this hair blog for countless fresh hairstyle ideas for little girls.

    4. Girly Do Hairstyles Learn interesting hairstyles that are easy to pull off without tons of accessories or products. This site is aimed at moms who need new hairstyles for their daughters.

    5. Princess Hairstyles If you need new ideas for how to style your daughters hair, this is your blog. There are also plenty of options for pageant darlings or those who have a special occasion and want something unique.

    6. The Wright Hair This mom shares her tips and ideas for styling your little ones’ hair without putting her through pain. One daughter has thin, flat hair, making this a great blog for those who struggle with a similar texture.

    7. Cute Girl Hairstyles Whether your daughter loves pigtails, ponytails or super simple ‘dos, this site has awesome ideas for those stuck in a hair rut.

    8. Chic Clips Hair This mom doesn’t claim to be a professional, but she’s devoted to making her kids hair stand out in the crowd. This site is a must-read for moms who want to learn to work with various textures of hair (after all, one kid can have super curly locks while the other has stick straight hair).

    9. Curly Hairdo Ideas This site is all about embracing your child’s natural curls instead of trying to fight them with products and hot tools, which is damaging for the hair follicle.

    10. Tweens Teens and Moms Hairstyles The whole family can grab hair ideas from this site that incorporates tips for teaching kids how to style their own hair once they’re around 8 or 9 years old.

    11. Glossy Family This entire family gets in on the hair action with reviews and hairstyles that almost anyone can do. The products featured are often all-natural and organic, so you know what’s going on your family’s heads.

    12. How To Hairdos Dads who have to do their daughters’ hair will appreciate this hair blog because it has simple, but cute styles that are easy to create in a couple of minutes.

    13. Hair Style Blog This site no longer updates, but it has great info over managing straight hair, curly hair and what to do when your hair is so damaged it seems beyond repair.

    14. Latest Hairstyles If you’re at a loss for what to do with your hair next, this site has plenty of ideas, from the latest ‘dos that celebrities are wearing to classic styles suitable for the mature woman.

    15. Balding Blog If you have questions on balding or thinning hair, this is the site that will show you the actions you can take now to prevent further hair loss.

Top African American Hair Blogs

Whether you wear your hair natural or regularly relax your hair, these top hair blogs show African American women how to manage their hair with ease.

    16. Happy Girl Hair Learn how to manage African American hair with natural products that won’t weigh it down and allow you to embrace its natural texture. It has real stories from moms telling how they work with their daughters hair to avoid harsh relaxers.

    17. Beads Braids Beyond This site focuses on curly and wavy hair with emphasis on working with African American hair. It is a godsend for those who need real product reviews that will make taming waves and tight curls easier.

    18. Natural Hair Beauty This site has plenty of inspiration and tips for those hoping to go natural with their hair. It isn’t impossible to manage, but the transition can be difficult for those attached to relaxers.

    19. Keep Me Curly Stop fighting with your daughters’ hair and learn how to keep it neat so she can play the day away. This is a great site for those who have their first baby and want to learn the tricks of the trade.

    20. Black Girl with Long Hair This is the ultimate natural hair blog for African American women. It shows you how to make the healthy transition to natural hair, while still moisturizing and conditioning your hair so it grows back in the best possible shape.

    21. Honeysmoke This mommy blogger shows you how to treat your little girl’s hair so she learns to love it and also reviews the must-have products for making the job easier.

    22. Le Coil Get inspiration for your natural hair with this Tumblr that’s full of amazing images that will make you put down the harsh chemicals and work with what nature gave you.

    23. Afrobella Get tons of tips for working with your natural hair at this African American beauty blog. It’s a must-read for those looking for products that will enhance curly hair’s natural texture versus weighing it down.

    24. Hair Milk Read blog posts from real women who are going the distance to grow out their natural hair and get product recommendations for affordable items you can grab at your local drugstore.

    25. Grow Black Hair Get product reviews, learn how to care for your scalp, how to deal with knots and more at this fabulous African American hair blog.

    26. About Black Hair This About site shows you the ins-and-outs of styling black hair, whether you’re all natural or use a relaxer and loads of products.

    27. The Coarse Hair Diary This site doesn’t update as often as it used to, but it has profiles of real women who’ve chosen to go natural with their hair and offers their hair story of how the transition went.

    28. Long Hair Don’t Care No matter what your hair’s texture is, you can have long locks that shine like there’s no tomorrow. This site shows you how to get there and style your hair so you aren’t tempted to chop it off.

    29. Black Hair Care Blog This blog shows you how to care for African American hair, ensuring the scalp doesn’t get too oily but the ends stay moisturized enough.

Top Blog Posts and Articles on Dying Your Hair at Home

Going blond? Looking to cover up grays? Look no further than these articles which walk you through getting that stellar from-the-salon look right in your own bathroom.

    30. Oprah – At Home Haircoloring Tips Learn how to choose the right shade that won’t wash you out or look too stark.

    31. Makeup Files – Home Hair Dying 101 Check out this step-by-step tutorial to making your hair look fabulous with the help of a box of dye from the grocery store.

    32. Beauty Tips – Dye Your Hair at Home Here are at-home haircoloring tips from a gal who dyes her hair dark and another who goes blond without the help of a professional.

    33. Haircuts Hairstyles – How to Dye Your Hair at Home Learn the buzz words to look for to ensure your color comes out close to the swatch shown on the top of the dye’s box.

    34. Beyond Jane – How to Lighten Your Hair Using Hydrogen Peroxide Everyone knows hydrogen peroxide lifts color, but do you know how to wield the chemical so your hair comes out looking presentable? Learn how with this article.

    35. Lovelyish – Tips for Dying Your Hair at Home Choosing the right hue and having the right tools will making dying your hair at home an easy process that will save you major money in the long run. Learn how to do it right.

    36. Instructables – Dye Your Hair a Strange Color You might want to pull a Rihanna or Katy Perry and go for a completely wild hair color. This tutorial shows you how to get intense color that makes a statement without staining your bathroom floor.

    37. Blonde Ambition From going blond at home to keeping the color ultra vibrant without any brassiness, this site has plenty of content over blond hair.

    38. Pregnancy Hair Color and Your Pregnancy If you regularly color your hair, but need new options now that you’re pregnant, this article is the go-to for learning everything you need to know about how to treat your hair when with child.

    39. Style Tips 101 – Dying Your Hair This site has tips for dying your hair on your own and also talks about limiting how often you use dye to three to four times a year to avoid damage.

Special Occasion Hairstyle Blogs, Blog Posts and Articles

If you have prom, a wedding or other special occasion on your social calendar, look to these blog posts and articles for getting ultra glam hair that fits the shindig.

    40. Wedding Hair Updos This site has special occasion hairstyles for every length and texture of hair. It’s a great resource for those who have very short hair or are unsure of how to style difficult to manage hair for a special party.

    41. Prom Hairstyles Learn how to make your hairstyle fall in line with the neckline of your dress and any earrings or a necklace you might be wearing.

    42. Updo Princess Whether you want something soft and romantic or super chic, this site has plenty of special occasion hairstyles to choose from.

    43. Total Hair Learn how to work with your hair’s natural texture when creating the ultimate special occasion hairstyle. There’s also a celeb photo gallery to get inspiration from red carpet looks.

    44. Sally Beauty – Special Occasions The blog of this beauty superstore give you ideas for special occasion hairdos that will work on women young and old and gives suggestions for products that will help you achieve the look.

    45. Real Beauty – Holiday Hairstyles for Your Twenties The younger you are, the more you can get away with when it comes to experimenting with your hair for a formal event. Learn how to get the looks starlets are wearing and make the appropriate for real life.

    46. Become Gorgeous – Special Occasion Hairstyles If you’re going classic or ultra trendy with your special occasion hairstyle, this site has options that will make want to try out many styles for your big events.

    47. Short Hair Style – Wedding Hair Styles This site is great because it focuses on short hairstyles, which can be especially tough to style for a special event. Learn what products to use and how to make your ‘do stand out without looking overdone.

    48. Just Hairstyles If a big event is right around the corner and you aren’t sure how you want to wear your hair, check out this site for plenty of images that will inspire you.

    49. Elegant Hairstyles This blog is all about the most chic and polished updos that will work with ultra fancy makeup and a gorgeous gown.

    50. Hair Finder – Special Occasion Learn how to communicate with a hair stylist for getting that perfect prom ‘do and how to create cool styles on your own that are fit for the most upscale occasion.

Caring for your hair doesn’t have to be a chore once you have the right products and know what to do with them. Remember to regularly condition hair and use a heat protector if you’re a fan of the blow dryer or flat iron. Small steps like these will improve your hair’s overall condition and ensure you’re showing off those luscious locks for years to come.

How to Teach Your Child to Cook

It’s a skill that’s an asset at any point of your life; no matter your age, no matter your sex, and no matter your station in life, knowing how to cook is always a big advantage. And although it’s never too late to pick up cooking skills, it helps if you start early.

  • Get your child interested in cooking by allowing them to help you around the kitchen. Instead of shooing them out, allow them to watch what you do before they graduate to washing veggies, fetching ingredients for you, cutting out shapes with cookie cutters, and icing cakes.
  • Once they’re old enough to understand what safety means and why they should try to stay safe in the kitchen, teach them how to operate the stove and oven correctly. Show them how to protect themselves from fire accidents and what to do in case of accidental spills and mishaps.
  • If they’re able to handle a knife, teach them how to cut vegetables safely without nicking themselves. Also show them the right way to store knifes that are not being used and the safe way to clean sharp objects like knives and blender blades.
  • Teach them how to maintain a clean kitchen – this means clearing the countertop of clutter, keeping out only the things that are necessary, washing dishes as soon as you’re done with them, and wiping down surfaces to keep them hygienic and sparkling clean.
  • Once these peripheral aspects have been taken care of, get down to the nitty-gritty of cooking with a few lessons in the basics of the craft – how to make scrambled eggs and toast, how to put together a quick and nutritious salad, how to make wholesome meals from canned goods, how to use what’s on hand to make a filling sandwich, and so on. These are the skills that will come in handy when your child goes camping or goes off to college.
  • Encourage them to try out their newfound skills by following recipes to make one dish for dinner or any other meal – supervise them but let them do their own thing. And no matter how the dish turns out, support them in their efforts to learn cooking.
  • Once your kids get this far, their natural interest in cooking should take over and they start to experiment with their own recipes or make their own meals even when you’re not around. And even if they’re not really too keen on cooking every day, at least they’ve learned the basics needed to survive in the kitchen.

When you teach your children how to cook, you teach them self-sufficiency and responsibility – they’re able to live on a budget because they can make their own food; their health does not suffer because they’re forced to eat greasy and unhealthy junk food while in college or living alone and working a job; and they don’t have to rely on anyone else for delicious, wholesome and nutritious home-cooked meals.

The Importance of Religion in Childhood

There are many virtues that parents can teach their children, but when they teach them religion, they teach them all the virtues at once. Religion is an important part of who we are and what we will become, because its tenets and principles guide us at every stage of our lives. A child who grows up around religious parents and loved ones is often more religious as an adult. But beyond this, religion is important in and must play a leading role in childhood because:

  • It defines character: There’s no doubt about it; religion makes us better people. When we follow the teachings of the Lord and listen to what the Bible tells us to do, we become more selfless, kinder and more generous. We learn how to distinguish right from wrong and do the right thing all the time. Our morals are well defined and we find it easy to stay on the path of righteousness and truth. When character is built in childhood, it stays with you through life. So the influence of religion on children has a positive effect on them throughout their lives.
  • It boosts self control: Children face enormous pressure in their teen and preteen years as they struggle to deal with their changing bodies, raging hormones and the need to fit in with their peers. This sometimes drives them to experiment with alcohol, sex and other illicit activities. When they’re basically religious by nature, they are able to find the strength to avoid such activities, no matter how much they’re pressured to do so. They learn to trust in God and to avoid all that is immoral and illegal.
  • It reduces stress: It’s hard enough for adults to deal with stress, so when it comes to a child or a teenager, you can understand how difficult it is for them to cope with the tension of day to day life. Children who have faith in their religion and their God are able to seek support and solace in the Church and so are able to deal with their stress in healthy ways. They don’t go looking for trouble or causing it because they know they can turn to religion for an outlet.

When children are exposed to religion and its positive influences at an early age, they are able to deal with life more effectively and easily as adults.

Top 49 Ski Resort Blogs

If you are looking to get away this dreary winter, hitting the slopes might be the perfect solution to your winter blues! Finding the perfect ski resort can be tough, and for this, you must do your research. There are many mountains, both near and far, that make each resort is unique in it’s own way. After searching hundreds of blogs in order to find the best, we have narrowed it down to the top 49 Ski Resort and Lodge Blogs. Broken down into subcategories, we have: Resort Blogs, Year Round Resorts, Around Town Blogs, Imagery Blogs, Mountain/Regional Blogs, Review Blogs, and Bonus Blogs. Take a look at these blogs, and your bags will be packed with ski goodies before you’re done reading!

Resorts: These top-notch resort blogs will have you booking your lodging in no time. Well manicured and extremely informative, these blogs are very helpful.

  1. Powderhorn The Powderhorn Resort is in Mesa, Colorado and features some of the softest snow out there. This informative blog is up to date on all things Powderhorn related. Whether it’s the weather or the latest late-night parties in town, this blog will keep you in the know!
  2. Whitewater Ski Resort Blog The Whitewater Ski Resort Blog is an extremely well written blog that is up to date with daily ski conditions. “Ski the Powder Highway” seems to say it all, as this blog provides every reader with the nitty gritty details of what you need to know in order to ski here!
  3. Big Sky Ski Resort Big Sky Ski Resort is one of Montana’s top ski resorts and is known as “The Biggest Skiing in America.” Posts are submitted from various bloggers, and cutesy photos are always attached. This part of America seems like a great place to visit!
  4. Donner Ski Ranch Donner Ski Ranch hails from Lake Tahoe, and has created an open forum for guests to write about their experiences. A great piece of information for those searching for a new ski spot, hearing from previous guests. Described as a relaxed ski atmosphere, sit back and enjoy the blog!
  5. Silver Mountain Resort Silver Mountain Resort is a resort in Idaho that has everything from skiing amenities to an indoor waterpark! John Williams, Blogger of the resort’s site does a great job advertising all the wonderful options at Silver Mountain. What are you waiting for- get over there!
  6. Ski Homewood Ski Homewood is the blog for Homewood, located in Tahoe City. While skiing plays a big part at Homewood, this blog has all the info you need- from planning a wedding to attending the Snow Rangers Academy, Ski Homewood has got it all. Check out the photo gallery to visualize yourself there!
  7. Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Resort has a great blog that is constantly promoting fun events and specials at this Oregon ski resort. As January was “Learn to Ski and Snowboard Month,” this blog does a phenomenal job of attracting new visitors to the site, while keeping the seasoned ski-vets as well! Have fun!
  8. Elk Springs Resort Blog The Elk Springs Resort Blog in Gatlinburg, TN maintains a unique blog for all of the cabins, lodging, and places to stay while you’re there. With pictures for each place you can rent, you’re bound to be signing up to visit this quaint town.
  9. Ski Lodge Engelberg Ski Lodge Engelberg is a Swiss ski resort located in the monastery village of Engelberg. A quaint, magical town setting, this resort is worth visiting just for the scenery (not to mention the skiing!).
  10. Galena Lodge CMH (Canadian Mountain Holidays) post on Heli-Skiing, Galena Lodge has a terrific site on skiing and the ski culture Galena provides. As on of the first lodges in the area, this place is worth a visit for all of its new and state of the art offerings. The beautiful photo gallery is worth a visit!

Year Round: These two blogs do a great job of keeping you in the loop year-round. Check them out for all four seasons!

  1. Snowstar The Snowstar Ski resort is fresh out of Andalusia, IL and keeps all skiers and guest up to date on the mountain’s latest happenings. This blog will keep you updated with sun and ski activities year round.
  2. Roundtop Roundtop comes from the Pennsylvania slopes and chronicles everything from the beginners to the hardcores hitting the powder. Roundtop Mountain Resort is open year round and is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year. Tune in to this blog for the latest deals at Ski Roundtop, they’re worth it!

Around Town: Want to know what’s going on outside of the slopes? Check out these blogs for the hot après spots.

  1. Sundance Resort Blog The Sundance Resort Blog is a great site that provides all the up to date information going on t Sundance. While many associate this great place with the film festival, the other 50 weeks of the year are just as fun! Check out this site for specialized posts such as a ladies clinics and nightly specials at the Sundance Owl Bar.
  2. Heavenly Mountain Resort Blog The Heavenly Mountain Resort Blog is based out of Lake Tahoe and gives an almost daily report of mountain conditions. This blog maintains the California laid back attitude while providing all the information anyone could ask for. Check out the “around the town” section to see where the hot spots are in Tahoe.
  3. La Tania La Tania is located in France, but blogged from the UK, and has a well-updated blog with videos and all. Inviting guests to post their experiences in La Tania, this site is worth checking out to get a skier’s perspective.
  4. Grand Targhee Ski Resort The Grand Targhee Ski Resort has a fabulous blog entitled “Freshghee.” As one of Wyoming’s top ski spots, the Grand Targhee blog provides readers with everything from events in town to music festivals to weekly competitions. Check it out for some fun!

Images: These blogs’ beautiful images will have you booking your flights to the mountains. A standout performance with photography here.

  1. SkiUtah SkiUtah is a well-read blog with a devout following from skiers all over the world. Proclaimed the “Greatest Snow on Earth,” this blog will have any skier packing his/her bags immediately and quickly finding the fastest route to Utah. Superb graphics and imagery makes this blog a winner. Also, the sales on this site are not to be missed!
  2. Ski Solitude The blog for the Solitude Ski Resort, Ski Solitude, will already have you relaxing after just looking at the screen. With a flickr photo stream to die for, this Utah resort’s blog seems like a great place to visit, whether you’re riding solo or if you have a big group.
  3. Telluride Ski Resort’s Blog Telluride Ski Resort’s Blog is written by Dave Riley, CEO of Telluride Ski and Golf. This great blog gives a resort pro’s opinion (he’s worked at countless resorts) on the ins and outs of making a resort great for all visitors. Beautiful pictures on this blog will have you booking your ski trip ASAP!
  4. Ski Holidays with snoman Ski Holidays with SnoMan has a special feature on ski resorts and Les Deux Alpes – The Upside Down Ski Resort. Unlike most ski slopes, this area has beginners at the top taking the lift down, rather than learning at the foot of the mountain. An interesting article, and pictures are sure to provide any reader with envy!
  5. Telluride Another Review of Telluride, this time coming from Travelblog.com. Travelblog is a great site that reviews places all over the world. The best parts of this post are the breathtaking photos posted from the guest blogger. If you are on the fence about visiting Telluride, you’re sure to fall in love just by the pics!
  6. Park City Mountain Resort Blog The Park City Mountain Resort Blog is a well-manicured blog with many day-to-day updates to keep all visitors in the loop. This site gives prompt snow reports and 5 revolving bloggers to give all sorts of POVs. Great imagery on this site keeps the skiers coming back for more virtual fun.

Mountain: These blogs are not necessarily tied to a certain resort, but promoting the ski mountain and region. Many parts of these blogs give recommendations about area lodging.

  1. Wildcat Mountain Wildcat Mountain, Pure Vertical Fun promotes fun on the slopes. This informative blog tells you everything you need to know about what’s going on at Wildcat. With live video updates of snow and skiing footage, these New Hampshire mountain pros will guide you.
  2. Key to the Rockies Key to the Rockies is a great site for easy and accessible places throughout Keystone. Colorado offers some of, if not the best, ski locations in the country, Keystone being a major spot for seasoned skiers. Regardless of which Rocky Mountain hot spot you hit- this site makes it easy on anyone to get reviews and more importantly, make reservations!
  3. Ski Marble Ski Marble is a simply great blog coming to you from Newfoundland, Canada. This ski area is known for its challenging terrain, abundance of snow and short lift lines. Having the highest vertical drop in the Atlantic Canadian region, you’re in for a treat when visiting this blog. Enjoy!
  4. Visit Breck Visit Breck is a Breckenridge-dedicated blog that shines with its generous forum for locals and visitors alike. Providing the latest ski and social news, you’re never going to have a dull moment in Breck. Great recommendations from Breck lovers worth trying!
  5. Whitefish Ski Area Whitefish Ski Area is located in Northwest Montana and was a local ski area turned visitor friendly. With breathtaking views and beautiful terrains, this spot is worth a visit if you’re in the area!
  6. The Beaver Creek Blog The Beaver Creek Blog is an avidly updated blog with insightful posts about Beaver Creek’s latest conditions and ski options. This site provides all the in-town options for activities, as well as snowfall for many of the area peaks.
  7. Steamboat Ski Bums Steamboat Ski Bums is a great blog written by none other than Steamboat’s greatest ski bums. Blogging on behalf of ResortQuest, these outdoorsmen provide every fun, athletic, interesting, and outdoorsy activity possible throughout the year. Definitely check out this site for the best local-recommendations.
  8. Deer Valley Described as possibly the best skiing spot in America (yes, there are many candidates and even more judges), Deer Valley maintains a great blog that is here to keep all visitors in the know. With 6 contributors and counting, the Deer Valley Bloggers provide useful information so that visitors are aware of daily conditions.
  9. SnowRev.com SnowRev.com has an excellent feature post on Japanese Ski Resorts and has listed each and every place you can ski. You will be shocked to know that there are hundred of possibilities. If you are thinking about skiing in Asia, definitely give this site a look.
  10. We Love Breckenridge We Love Breckenridge is written by Roger and Teresa Moen, two Breckenridge lovers. Proclaimed “the best place on earth,” this couple blogs about why you too should believe the statement. A bonus, they blog about all 4 resorts in town. If you’re considering Breckenridge, definitely take a look at this blog!

Reviews: These resort and mountain reviews give readers an honest idea of what to expect at each place.

  1. Ciao Bambino Ciao Bambino is a family-fun blog that has given a review of Steamboat skiing in Colorado. This unique blog, written by Moms, has set out to encourage families to travel and write about travels. Seems that they have been just about everywhere, so check it out before planning your next trip!
  2. Venere.com’s blog Venere.com’s blog has listed the top 5 ski resorts in Germany. If you are planning a ski trip in Germany, consider these excellent recommendations based on specific regions. From Garmisch to Baden Baden, you’re covered!
  3. Golden Arrow Blog The Golden Arrow Blog, Golden Gab, blogging from Lake Placid, NY has a special feature post about Whiteface listed as the #1 Eastern Ski Resort. Second only to Mont Tremblant in Quebec, Canada, Whiteface happily claims this spot, ranked by SKI Magazine. Check out this review, and book your ticket to Whiteface, already!
  4. Ski Blog Ski Blog is a wonderful site for all skiers out there. Justin Blackburn, an IT guy from Arizona, tries to pack in as much pow-pow as possible every year, and then writes about it. Five years strong, this blog is up to date and gives great accounts of various ski topics (mainly places) categorized by state and resort.
  5. Liftie.com Liftie.com is a great blog that will give you the low-down on just about anything ski related. While they are not tied to a specific resort, these writers are well read when it comes to ski locations, so check it out of you are looking for a spot to ski. Enjoy getting to know the “lifties!”
  6. The Ski Department Blog The Ski Department Blog has reviewed one of the best Finnish resorts: Yllas. This area consists of two towns, Akaslompolo and Yllasjarvi. Written by Claire Warrington, a seasoned traveler to Yllas, this article is definitely worth checking out if you are going to be skiing in the area.
  7. Blog from Italy This Blog (part blog part magazine) from Italy gives a great, detailed review of Roccaraso Ski Resort in Abruzzo, Italy. This is definitely a busy blog with posts regarding just about anything. This particular ski section is a helpful resource for those lucky enough to ski in Italy!
  8. Ukraine.com Ukraine.com’s feature post on Fun in the Snow at Bukovel may have you wondering why you have never been to Ukraine. The plush snow and great ski terrain provides for a great family holiday environment.
  9. HotelClub.com Who knew skiing inside could be so much fun? All the rush and none of the frostbite. HotelClub.com’s blog gives a detailed account of the 5 best indoor ski blogs. Have fun staying warm!
  10. Ski-concierge.com Ski-concierge.com gives a magnificent review of the La Plagne Ski Resort in the French Alps. With endless activities from bobsledding to fun après ski spots, this review will have you jetting to the Alps ASAP!
  11. Japan Visitor Blog Japan visitor’s special post devoted to the ski lodge in Niigata is worth a read if you are interested in hitting the Japanese slopes. Sti Ski Lodge Niigata offers many great deals and is worth a visit for some powdery skiing.
  12. Crystal Ski Ireland Crystal Ski Ireland is Ireland’s premiere site for booking, rating, and reviewing the world’s top ski resorts. From the US to France to “the finest” section (featuring Austrian and French Chalets), this site ensures you’ll find a hot that caters to your skiing needs!

Bonus: These Bonus blogs are some extra, interesting tidbits that have to do with skiing and resorting. Definitely some interesting stuff worth checking out!

  1. ezinearticles This post actually goes out to all the resort bloggers (who we’re ranking!). Just a few tips for the snow obsessed blogger to make their blog more appetizing for guests. From stories to videos to contests, these recommendations will have guests raving about your blog.
  2. Odin Technologies Odin Technologies, “the trusted RFID resources,” does a great job of bringing the latest and greatest technologies to the slopes. This exquisite article explains how THE MIX was able to count and use RFID devices on the first day the slopes opened in Vail and Keystone. Read this post to understand more about how RFID is taking over!
  3. Snowshpere Snowshpere is a “magazine for snow travelers,” and has a great post about a DIY ski resort. While this may sound confusing, it is a way for snowboarders and skier to get their “freestyle fix,” in their own backyard. Backed by SnowGel, this article is worth reading, just to picture the idea of it all!
  4. Our Vail Ski Home Our Vail Ski Home is the blog belonging to Mark Gordon, Colorado Real Estate Expert. Primarily focused on Colorado and the Vail-area’s real estate, this timely blogger posts many videos that are pertinent to the current days of Colorado!
  5. snowskiing The snowskiing channel has a great blog wit ha special feature on an indoor ski resort in Israel. The trend of skiing indoors is increasing in popularity these days, and it seems that this resort, Sha’ar HaGilboa Centre, allows enthusiastic Israeli skiers (or visitors!) to enjoy the sport year round. Check out this review for some interesting facts about the centre’s plans!

Top 10 Ways Teachers Can Make Lessons More Interesting

I’ve always believed that your love for a subject depends on the kind of teacher you have in your early years at school. So if your Math teacher could not make you understand the subject in spite of being a certified genius, you’re bound to develop an aversion to the subject. Teachers are the tools through which students learn, and no matter how brilliant a student is, the way a lesson is taught makes a significant difference to the student’s understanding of and passion for the subject. So if you’re a teacher, it’s up to you to make lessons more interesting and stimulating. And if you’re looking for ways to do so, here are a few that might help:

  1. Know your subject: You would think that teachers are supposed to know their subject, but some of them come to class unprepared and end up consulting their notes all the time or worse, reading from the book. Unless you thoroughly know what you’re supposed to teach, you’re not going to earn the respect of your students, and when they don’t respect you, they lose interest in your classes.
  2. Talk to them, not at them: We had a teacher in high school who mumbled to the blackboard, and if he did talk to us, most of his words were muffled by his beard. I’ve also met my share of teachers who are erudite and knowledgeable, but they have trouble getting their students to understand their teaching. You must talk to your students, not at them.
  3. Use analogies: One of my favorite teachers taught Algebra in high school and she used a great analogy to teach us how the signs change when they cross over to the other side – she would tell us that if her son crossed the equal sign and went over to the other side, he would become her daughter. Similarly, if the plus went over to the other side, it would become a minus and vice versa. Needless to say, Algebra was one of my best subjects because we were always eager to see what analogy she would come up with next.
  4. Be approachable: Your students must be able to approach you with any questions or doubts they may have, and when you encourage them to do so without fear, they enjoy your lessons and learn much more.
  5. Get practical when possible: If the lesson facilitates practical demonstrations (in subjects like science), make the classroom a lab for a day. Or if you teach Literature, get your class to act out the roles in a play they’re reading. Geography lessons get more interesting when students who’ve traveled outside the country relate their experiences in class. And, well, you get my drift.
  6. Crack a joke or two: Don’t be averse to making a joke or two during the lesson to get your students to laugh. A mini break or relaxation from the lesson will get them to like you more without distracting them too much.
  7. Take it outdoors: If your school allows it, schedule a class outdoors on a nice and sunny day – I remember looking forward to these impromptu al fresco when I was in middle school.
  8. Don’t make your students feel stupid: No matter how asinine your students’ questions are, answer them patiently and without ridiculing them. This makes them open to interacting with you in class.
  9. Take command: If you don’t exude authority and are not able to keep your students in line without having to raise your voice, indiscipline can reign in your classroom and ruin your lesson. So take command from day one, and prevent unruliness and misbehavior so that your lesson goes smoothly.
  10. Know your students: And finally, bond with your students in small ways – know their first names and remember personal information they share. Offer insight and personalized feedback into the way they’ve performed on tests instead of just handing back their papers with their grades on them, and suggest ways for them to improve themselves. When your students like and admire you, they take more interest in your class and want to improve their performance.