June 24, 2011

The Myths of Hope Diamond: "The Killing Stone"

The Myths of Hope Diamond: "The Killing Stone"

HOPE DIAMOND DATA
WEIGHT: 45.52 carats
DIMENSIONS: Length 25.60 mm
Width 21.78 mm
Depth 12.00 mm
CUT: Cushion antique brilliant with a faceted girdle and extra facets on the pavilion.
CLARITY: VS1. Whitish graining is present.
COLOR: Fancy dark grayish-blue



Of all the well-known big diamonds the most infamous is the Hope Diamond, a blue colored beauty that was dubbed "The Killing Stone." According to the legend the hope was placed in front of a Buddha statue when it was stolen by a warrior, Tavernier, and a curse that foretold bad luck and death befell on the stone ever since. For this transgression, the legend says, Tavernier was torn apart by wild dogs on a trip to Russia just after he had sold the diamond. This was the first horrible death attributed to the curse. But many others would follow…

The businessman who had acquired the stone sold it to king Louis XV. Soon after that, the businessman got poor, contracted a mysterious disease and died suffering terrible convulsions.

When Louis XV died, his grandson, Louis XVI, became king with Marie Antoinette as his queen. According to the legend, Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI were beheaded during the French Revolution because of the blue diamond's curse.

After the French Revolution, the diamond was hidden in a government building, where it was stolen in 1791. Six years later, the thieves were condemned to the death penalty.

In 1830, Francis Hope bought the huge blue diamond in an auction for 90.000 pounds and gave the stone his name. Francis Hope, who was a member of the parliament, soon died a sudden, unexplained death. Soon after his demise, his widow was burned to death in their mansion. After receiving the stone, Francis Hope's heir and nephew, Thomas, went bankrupted and was abandoned by his wife.

Thomas got rid of the diamond, which was purchased by the Russian prince Iva Kitanovski who gave it to a ballerina. The night she wore it for the first time she was shot and killed.

After a series of tragedies the stone found itself in the hands of Sultan Abdul Mamid II, who was forced to resign in favor of his brother and took the Hope along with other personal things to exile.

In the beginning of the 20th century the Hope was purchased by the McLean family and soon after, their daughter committed suicide and their nine-year-old son died in a car accident. Mr. McLean got really depressed and died months later in a mental institution in 1941. Evalyn McLean had wanted her jewelry to go to her grandchildren. But in 1949, two years after her death, her jewelry was put on sale in order to settle debts from her estate.



When the Hope diamond went on sale in 1949, it was bought by a famous New York jeweler: Harry Winston. For almost a decade, Winston offered the diamond on numerous occasions to be worn at balls to raise money for charity.

Then, on the 10th of November of 1958, this magnificent blue diamond traveled in a plain brown box by registered mail and was met by an eager group of people at the Smithsonian Institute. Some believe that Winston donated the Hope diamond to rid himself of the curse.

In 2003, the Hope was taken to a museum laboratory for testing. It was only the second time in 20 years the Hope has been removed from its necklace setting. They focused an ultraviolet beam on the stone. Then turned off the beam and, in pitch dark, the diamond glowed bright orange-amber (most blue diamonds phosphoresce light blue.) It's that strong color, which lasts for several seconds, that intrigues scientists. Some speculate it's related to chemical impurities that give its blue color. What causes the gem to fluoresce remains a mystery. But since the Hope Diamond has inspired many legends, some say that the glowing color reflects the blood of royalty spilled during the French Revolution and the trail of death and bad luck that followed the stone over the centuries.

Aside from its bad reputation, this diamond has been nothing but good luck for the Smithsonian Museum. After Winston's donation, attendance has jumped and it has encourage others to donate, helping the museum to build its world-class gem collection.

So don't worry if you decide to visit it, the Hope's negative magnetic energy won't pass through the thick crystal glass that guards this mystical, largest deep blue diamond in the world or what so ever.

SEO - 4 Vital Techniques

Search Engine Optimization: Four Vital Steps For Optimizing Your Website

 

There is a bit of confusion about search engine optimization. Some people think that SEO (the abbreviated form) is nothing more than tricking search engines into giving a high ranking for a particular site. Others think that search engine optimization is so complex that they could not possibly understand it. Neither of these views are correct. Search engine optimization is best defined as the art and science of building web pages that are both search engine friendly and user friendly. Below are four basic steps that you should take when optimizing your web pages.
1. Your web design should emphasize text and not graphics.

"Search engine friendly" means that search engines should be able to find data on your site that they can put in their data bases. While a picture may be worth a thousand words, a search engine is trying to classify pages by text and not by images. If you have an opening page with a beautiful picture of the sea and only two words of text saying "enter here" then this page will not rank high in searches for Florida Vacations. Similarly if you have a headline with important text containing your site's keywords it should not be displayed as a gif or jpeg image. Pages that are all flash or all images are not search engine friendly, and often are not user friendly as well.

2. Links to your interior pages should be easily found by search engines

An important thing to remember is that you want not only your main page, but all of your interior pages to be included in the search engine index. While most people will probably enter your site through the main page, many will enter after doing searches which lead them to your inner pages. The best way to make sure that search engines will find and index your inner pages is to include text links to these pages. If you have navigation system which uses Java script or images, then it is best to add an additional text link navigation bar at the bottom of the site to ensure that the robot follows the links to your inner pages.

3. Your pages should be built around specific keywords or keyword phrases

Robotic search engines and human users have one thing in common: they are trying to figure out what your site or your particular web page is all about. It is not possible to get high rankings for thirty different search terms with only one web page. However it is possible to build separate web pages which explain and give importance to various aspects of your organization's activity. These sub pages can be optimized so that they perform well in searches for your various keywords.

4. Once your material is organized, then your keywords should appear in strategic portions of your web pages

If your site is about Florida Vacations, then these words should appear in the following places of your html pages:

a. In the file name or the url.

If your site is called www.floridavacations.com then this will give you a head start in any searches for this term. Similarly if your company is called XYZ Travels you may have a web page with this url: www.xyztravels.com/floridavacations.html

The url or file name is an important indicator to a search engine, so don't miss the opportunity to put your important term either in your main domain name or in your file names.

b. In the title tag

The text that is displayed in the blue line at the top of your browser is your title tag. The title tag is located in the section of the document. If your main phrase is "Florida Vacations" then the title tag in your html document should look something like this: Florida Vacations: Florida Vacation Information by XYZ travel

c. In the Description tag

The description tag is not seen on the web page but search engines often display it as the text which gives the searcher an idea of what your page is about. The description tag should be compelling, and make someone want to click and see your page, while also containing the keywords that are in your url and your title tag. A description tag for this site might look as follows:

d. In the headlines

Just as someone reading a newspaper looks at headlines to find out what is important, a search engine robot looks at the headlines of a web page in order to pick up the essential feature of that page. Put your main phrase in a headline and place it near the top of the page. Your headline text should be enclosed with special header tags such as , , . A headline tag for our hypothetical page could be written as follows: Florida Vacations: Plan Your Vacation Now And Save Money or Accommodations, Entertainment and Transport in Florida

If you don't like the look of the h1 tag, then use a smaller tag, h2 or h3, or adjust your site
's style sheet so that the h1 tag is displayed in a small font which better matches your body text.

e. In the body text of your page

Your main keywords or key phrase should appear in the first paragraph of text and in a natural way throughout the text and also at the end of the page. In normal writing you would first introduce your subject, then explain what it is about and then summarize at the end. Follow this same procedure when you start writing your web page. Pages written in this style will automatically have correct keyword density and distribution.

f. In anchor text on your page

Anchor text is the clickable portion of links on your web page. Suppose you are describing your Florida Vacations and you want to direct your web visitors to an inside page with more information about this subject. Instead of making a link that says "click here," it would be better to have a link that says "Click here for more information about Florida Vacations" or even better, the link text will only be "Florida Vacations" and the "click here" will be rendered as normal text.

If you follow these search-engine-optimization steps when building your website you will end up with web pages that are easily understood by your visitors, and easily classified and indexed by search engines.

Job Crisis and Alternate Earning Method

Job Crisis and How to Earn Alternate Way 

No matter what happens to the economy, you'll probably still need income. Work continues even in hard times. Sadly, and ironically, at a time when so much more needs to be done, it gets harder and harder for people to actually find jobs.

We can guess what type of jobs might disappear first as a result of decreasing oil supplies and economic collapse--such as housing construction, highway construction, just about any kind of construction for that matter, credit cards, banking, stocks and bonds, overnight tourism (daytrip may do okay), airlines (but bus and maybe even railroads may do well), the automobile industry and all its related businesses, hotels and motels, drive-through fast-food, car washes, chain stores dependent on cheap goods from China, and so on--but it's probably more useful to try and predict what type of jobs and skills will be most needed. Read More