Author: Ryan

A good crack of thunder boomed, and the rain let loose just as the waitress came back to clear our plates. “Listen at that,” she clucked. “Don’t we need it!” We do, we agreed. The hayfi elds aren’t half what they should be. “Let’s hope it’s a good long one,” she said, pausing with our plates balanced on her arm, continuing to watch out the window for a good long minute. “And that it’s not so hard that it washes everything out.” It is not my intention here to lionize country wisdom over city ambition. I only submit that the…

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I’ve known the Coffman family for 18 years. I started out as their costumer back in the day when they owned a party/costume shop AND Graftobian Makeup Company. When they asked me to consult on Graftobian’s new line, I jumped at the chance. It felt invigorating to have my opinion valued enough to help choose colors and test the quality. The resulting product by Graftobian is an amazingly smooth, creamy, and color saturated line of professional face and body painting makeup. These colors are truly exceptional… no need to tweak colors in post processing with these babies… they are vibrant…

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To understand how social influence works, you need to look at how people are influenced in the real world, face to face. Social influence isn’t something new. That’s how human beings function; we’re influenced and motivated by each other to do things. We’re social beings, and sharing information on our experiences is all a part of social interaction. Is influence bad? Of course not. More often than not, people seek that influence. People ask each other for advice; they share decision-making processes with friends and colleagues; they discuss their own experiences. How much a person is influenced depends on multiple…

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On August 23, 1999, Blogger launched as one of the earliest dedicated blog-publishing tools. At that time, social media was considered a niche activity on the fringes of the Internet. But today, Blogger is the 16th most popular site on the Internet, hosting millions of blogs. In a span of three years, Facebook has grown to over 200 million users, and Wikipedia, for all practical purposes, has replaced Britannica as an encyclopedia. Social media is today the most important phenomena transforming the Internet. There is more to it than the phenomena, though. It also presents unique marketing opportunities, providing new…

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There’s a saying that the Philippines “has it all” and this is certainly true above the sea (as well as below). Northern terraced mountains give way to steamy southern rainforest. In many parts of the country rice fields sit in the shadow of volcanic cones (some still active). Their past eruptions have created some extremely fertile regions making farming popular for nearly half of the Philippine land. And the Philippines boasts over 7,000 islands (official count is 7,107) and some stunning, coconut covered atolls. 2,000 of the isles in the Philippines have inhabitants. In contrast, it is said 2,500 don’t…

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There’s a saying that the Philippines “has it all” and this is certainly true above the sea (as well as below). Northern terraced mountains give way to steamy southern rainforest. In many parts of the country rice fields sit in the shadow of volcanic cones (some still active). Their past eruptions have created some extremely fertile regions making farming popular for nearly half of the Philippine land. And the Philippines boasts over 7,000 islands (official count is 7,107) and some stunning, coconut covered atolls. 2,000 of the isles in the Philippines have inhabitants. In contrast, it is said 2,500 don’t…

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We don’t know beans about beans. Asparagus, potatoes, turkey drumsticks—you name it, we don’t have a clue how the world makes it. I usually think I’m exaggerating the scope of the problem, and then I’ll encounter an editor (at a well- known nature magazine) who’s nixing the part of my story that refers to pineapples growing from the ground. She insisted they grew on trees. Or, I’ll have a conversation like this one: “What’s new on the farm?” asks my friend, a lifelong city dweller who likes for me to keep her posted by phone. She’s a gourmet cook, she…

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This is the classic theatrical adhesive. Our formulation is second to none! Use prior to application of modeling wax and to adhere lighter-weight items like crepe wool and bald caps, to the skin. To use Spirit Gum 1) Paint Spirit Gum onto the area where appliance will attach. 2) Tap Spirit Gum until tacky. 3) Stick on item, then secure edges with additional Spirit Gum if needed. To remove Spirit Gum Use a cotton swab, brush or sponge tipped corrector (p. 36) soaked with Spirit Gum Remover to work the remover under the item until fully loosened. This is a…

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We were staring it in the face. Away went our little family, like rats leaping off the burning ship. It hurt to think about everything at once: our friends, our desert, old home, new home. We felt giddy and tragic as we pulled up at a little gas- and-go market on the outside edge of Tucson. Before we set off to seek our fortunes we had to gas up, of course, and buy snacks for the road. We did have a cooler in the back seat packed with respectable lunch fare. But we had more than two thousand miles to…

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The Philippines has always been a dive destination favorite and with new resorts on new island destinations popping up along with the tried and true, it is becoming one of the most popular places in the diving world to visit. Toss in reasonable prices and a normally favorable exchange rate for most of the world’s leading currencies and you have a real gem dive destination to explore. It is one of the most diverse countries in Asia. Sitting along the eastern reaches of Oceania, it has the Pacific Ocean (Philippine Sea) at its lengthy east coast. Malaysia and Indonesia are…

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