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Tiger Eye: Beauty and Culture

What is tiger eye? Where does it come from? Why is it now a standard foundation in personal jewelry collections? When did it become so popular? How did nature create its dazzling beauty?

Tiger eye or tiger’s eye is natural asbestos. Asbestos is a metamorphic mineral fiber that is considered part of the family called hydrous magnesium silicate. Ancient civilizations recognized asbestos’s resistance to fire. The name is derived from its historical use in lamp wicks. Ancient Egyptians used asbestos for burial cloths to protect the dead during their journey to the afterlife.

During volcanic events, the fibrous asbestos is replaced by iron-bearing quartz called limonite. This is what creates the dazzling golden luminous eye of the tiger that provides such elegant beauty in tiger eye stone. Ancient Egyptians believed the beautiful tiger eye would bring good fortune and protect its bearer. They related this well-being to the sun which they worshiped as a god.

To this day, many people who study the chakra consider tiger eye a tool for health and well-being. The word chakra is Sanskrit for wheel or disk of life and signifies one of seven basic energy centers in the body. The wheel came from the chariot that carried the sun across the sky. The chakras and Kundalini came to be an integral part of yoga philosophy in the 7th century.

The beautiful semi-precious tiger eye gems that we enjoy are most commonly golden brown. Occasionally, the stone is blue/grey and is then called falcon’s eye or hawk eye.
Red tiger eye is created through heat treatment and is also called cherry tiger eye. Most modern day tiger eye comes from Australia, China and South Africa. It has a hardness of 7.0 on the Moh’s hardness scale. In 1822, Friedrich Moh, a German mineralogist devised a practical way of comparing hardness or scratch resistance in minerals. The scale is based on a rating of one to ten, with ten being the highest. One of the reasons for the popularity of tiger eye is its durability. Buyers should beware of imitation glass or plastic beads called cathaystone which is manufactured and not natural. Visit to access a basic resource for quality tiger eye jewelry.

Regardless of what tiger eye jewelry you wear for everyday or a special occasion, you add a special expression of beauty, elegance and sophistication to your life. This expression has developed through a great history and desire for cultural and human well-being.

Gardening and Health Benefits

Gardening is one of those hobbies which can be enjoyed by almost anybody. From the very young to the very old, from the very healthy to those with poor health or some form of disability, all types of person can enjoy various types of gardening. For those adults who are strong and healthy virtually any aspect of the hobby can be thoroughly enjoyed as often as they like but for those less fortunate strenuous gardening tasks, such as those involved in landscaping and building a new garden, may be beyond their capabilities. Such folk can still enjoy some of the lighter tasks, such as pruning and weeding, and they can certainly enjoy all of the many benefits.

One of the most obvious benefits of gardening are related to the elements of exercise. One of the beautiful things about gardening is that the hobby offers many different levels of exercise from the vigorous and strenuous to the light and easy going. At different ages we require different levels and different types of exercise. It is often a joke that when somebody is about to retire from full time employment they are likely to take up gardening in their spare time. It is true that a great many of us choose to take up the hobby late in life when we have much more spare time to enjoy such things but, for the elderly, regular and gentle exercise can help ensure that joints remain supple. For some elderly gardeners a simple task such as bending over to remove a weed can prove to be nearly impossible, or could lead to injury if done incorrectly. For this reason there are a number of garden implements available to help older folk. These include long handled tools which reduce the need for bending or a small platform with tall poles at each side to help the person lower themselves to a seated or kneeling position and then aide them in returning to the standing position.

Of course regular exercise is important to us all. Unfortunately it is often said that the increase in child obesity is due to lack of regular exercise and bad diet. Well gardening can cater for both these needs because as well as providing all sorts of opportunity for exercise we can also grow fresh fruit and vegetables in even the smallest of spaces. Young children, more often than not, find the whole process from planting the seeds to harvesting the produce, highly fascinating. Many schools now try to incorporate simple gardening into their science lessons and more and more are developing their own gardens, both flower and vegetable, for both educational and recreational use.

From the moment a fruit or vegetable is picked it begins to lose it’s nutritional benefits most noticeable is the reduction in vitamin content. All produce now has a sell by date and a consume by date but, when it comes to fruit and vegetables they are best consumed as soon after harvesting as possible. Food should not be too processed, it should not be cooked for too long, as this further degrades the vitamins (steaming of fresh vegetables is increasing in popularity because it helps retain vitamins). Freezing the produce as soon after harvesting as possible can help greatly but nothing beats food which is picked and eaten on the same day.

By indulging in a little gardening you can ensure that at least some of your diet includes food which can be picked and eaten on the same day. Furthermore you can ensure that it is even healthier by avoiding the use of artificial chemicals. Organic fruit and vegetables are considered far healthier and organic gardening is not really that difficult. You will be amazed at how gorgeous a fresh organic new potato can taste and as for tomatoes, have you tasted a tomato recently? They are disgusting, they are often orange and rather tasteless. Compare the cheaper tomatoes with organic vine tomatoes and you can really taste the difference, and I really do mean that you will taste a massive difference. Sadly there is just a massive increase in the price but, happily, tomatoes are one of the most commonly grow vegetables or fruit grown in indoor gardening. I have often grown tomatoes on my kitchen window where they receive most sunlight and where they can be watched closely (as they do require a fair bit of attention). Homegrown tomatoes are simply the best and they remind me of my great grandfather who always grew a great many in his small greenhouse alongside one or two pot plants, a cacti or two and some seed trays full of annuals for his beautifully kept flower garden. He was an avid gardener all of his long life and credited his good health to his love of gardening.

There are numerous other health benefits to gardening, far to many to comprehensively list here, but, with a little research you will find sufficient ways in which to benefit from gardening to encourage almost anybody to take up the hobby. Even the disabled can benefit and can have a garden designed to compensate for their disabilities, such as raised beds which can enable them to weed, prune and plant. However the greatest benefit has to be the enjoyment of the garden itself. Time spent relaxing in a garden it truly priceless, especially if you have a hectic modern lifestyle. Just an hour or two a week spent taking in the sun surrounded by the sounds of birds and other wildlife can prove highly restorative. It is therefore little surprise that nearly every hospital, hospice, health spa or other such places, all have well kept gardens.

Collie Dog Breed Characteristics And Health Care Problems Info

Lassie, the popular series on television has made the Collie a recognizable breed to many. The Collie is noted for it’s intelligence and deep affection for the family.

Appearance – The Collie descended from dogs used for herding and this trait is still strong in them. The Collie is a wonderful dog for the household as they have innate desire to safeguard. Some dogs of this breed can be anxious due to its ancestry, however, most are usually hardworking and smart. The Collie is a member of the AKC Herding Group. The Collie can be as high as 22 to 26 inches tall and weigh in at 55 to 80 pounds.

The Collie is an energetic breed and is known for its perseverance. The Collie has beautifully shaped almond eyes and they reflect their perceptiveness. The eyes can be brown or blue. The Collie can either have a smooth coat or a rough coat, and the rough Collies have a fuller coat. They come in sable and white, tricolor and blue merle markings.

Characteristics – These dogs are not good with apartments since they love to spend most of their time outside. A family that is outgoing and energetic, and in the possession of a relatively big back yard would be the ideal situation for a Collie. The breed is sociable and extroverted but still make excellent watchdogs and protectors. They will sound an alert if there are strange humans or creatures. The do bite gently or nip at heels of the young kids to prevent the children from straying in the wrong direction.

Puppies of this breed are extremely smart and can prove to be a handful as they can be stubborn and get into trouble. Puppy obedience classes work well for them and they learn to socialize at an early age. You will need to demonstrate who is in charge and show the Collie what can be allowed and what is prohibited.

Health Problems and Grooming Issues – There are a few issues associated with the Collie. They can suffer from eye problems or PRA. More likely is the possibility of taking your puppy or dog to the vet for jumping from a moving vehicle or exploring his surroundings than for a health problem.

They like to eat, so ensure that the dog does not put on too much weight or there could be medical issues because of obesity. They enjoy three small meals a day.

Although it has long hair, it does not need as much grooming as one might think. In any case, the Collie’s coat must be groomed very often to reduce tangles. The Collie is alert and perceptive, ideal for protecting your household and can bring you much joy for years to come.

Why We All Make Stupid Decisions on Money, Work and Health

It happens. Often.


We just secured an interview with Ori Brafman, co-author of Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior (Doubleday Business, 2008), to discuss our Dark Side (well, he calls if “different hidden forces” and “psychological undercurrents”).

While reading some reviews about his book, I particularly enjoyed finding, after the usual impressive long collection of endorsements, this “disclaimer”:

*DISCLAIMER: If you decide to buy this book because of these endorsements, you just got swayed. One of the psychological forces you’ll read about in Sway is our tendency to place a higher value on opinions from people in positions of prominence, power, or authority. (But you should still buy the book.)

Alvaro Fernandez (AF): Ori, what is SWAY? can you give us a couple quick examples?

Ori Brafman (OB): Sway is about why perfectly rational people make irrational choices. We interviewed business executives, airline pilots, doctors, and even a Supreme Court Justice to uncover the psychological forces that affect our decision-making. What was especially interesting was to find out that we all get swayed, and that these psychological forces are much more ubiquitous than we thought.

Take, for instance, the story of Jacob Van Zanten who was the head of safety for KLM. One foggy afternoon, Van Zanten took off without getting tower clearance, causing the biggest airline accident in history. Why would this man, who’s the head of safety make such an irrational choice?

Or look at the story of Harvard Business School students who paid $204 for a twenty-dollar bill.

AF: Happy to have attended Stanford… Now, how did that happen?

OB: The professor set up an auction for a $20 bill. But there was a twist. The winner would get the $20 bill. But the second place bidder, would still have to honor his bid, but would get nothing. At first there are lots of bidders, but then as the bidding approaches $20 people start pulling out. Inevitably, though two people stay in. As the bidding continued to rise, the second-place person became determined to not be the sucker who pays good money for nothing in return. The amazing thing is that time after time the auction continues well past the $20 point. People are just so determined not to lose, that they keep on bidding up.

AF: Why do people get Swayed?

OB: Without realizing it, we get swept up by a host of different hidden forces. I think of it like being in a boat in the middle of the ocean. It may look like we’re standing still, but underneath the surface, undercurrents move us without us realizing it. The same thing happens with psychological undercurrents. In Sway, we look at some of the major undercurrents and explore how they intersect triggering so many different irrational behaviors. The thing is that we’re prone to psychological sways all of the time–whether we’re conducting a job interview, going out on a first date, or deciding whether to sell a stock.

AF: Let’s be practical for a minute… what can people do to Sway other people?

OB: We’re constantly engaged in a hidden dance of sorts where we sway people around us and are swayed by others. One of the most unusual studies we encountered has to do with what we call the chameleon effect. In the study, a group of men and women–who had never met each other–were told to have a short phone conversation. Now, before the conversation, each man was shown a picture of the woman he’d be talking to. Unbeknownst to the men, the pictures were fake. And half the men were shown a picture of a beautiful woman, while the other half were shown a picture of a less attractive woman. The pictures had nothing to do with how the real women looked like, and the real women had no idea that there were any pictures shown. The kicker is that the women who the men thought were pretty ended up sounding beautiful on the phone. And the women who the men thought were less attractive ended up sounding less beautiful. We take on the roles others ascribe to us. Think about that with employees or even with your kids. If we think someone is smart, there’s a good chance they’ll live up to that role.

AF: And what can people do to prevent being Swayed?

OB: The biggest step is to recognize how often we get swayed. We have a tendency to think that our decisions are rational, when in fact, different sways may have informed the decision. Once we realize that we’re prone to get swayed, the second step is figuring out specific strategies to counter the sway. It ranges from taking a long-term perspective to using empirical models for job interviews.

AF: For example?

OB: We have a propensity to “diagnose” a job candidate from the first moment we meet him or her. We assign a diagnosis, and are unable to see things in a different light despite objective evidence to the contrary. It’s for this reason that job interviews are terrible predictors of actual performance. A much more effective approach is to conduct very structured interviews that don’t allow managers to get swayed. In these interviews, the questions are pre-scripted and focus on experience and ability rather than vague things like “what’s your biggest strength?” We call these the Joe Friday interview (just the facts…) These interviews may seem less personal, but they’re actually much more effective for actually selecting a good candidate.

AF: Ori, thank you very much for your time.

OB: My pleasure!