Fun London Walk From Tate Modern Across Westminster Bridge and Back Via St Pauls Cathedral

We took our London fun Thames walk in May. The River Thames can make an ideal walk as a first foray out into London for new visitors. Why is the River Thames embankment such a great choice?Well, it offers both the flavour of the real London atmosphere, and a high level of iconic architectural history in one short burst – Tate Modern, South Bank, Royal Festival Hall, Waterloo Station, London Eye, Thames Embankment, Westminster Bridge, Big Ben, Downing Street, St Paul’s Cathedral and the Millennium Bridge. These London landmarks combine history, beautiful architecture and riverscapes with certainty – that is, newly-arrived visitors cant get lost! They go down one side of the River Thames and up the other, taking in many of London’s most famous landmarks and attractions on the way. Those with time to unwind and enjoy London can stop to explore these sights and venues, others can bookmark them on their map for next time – or at least take a photo of the outside!Another great reason to choose a Thames River walk early on in a fun London trip is that, combined with a simple map, this walk really helps new London visitors to get their bearings for sightseeing during the rest of the trip. The River Thames is an easy delineator, neatly cutting, as it does, the two halves of the historic capital city of England in two halves.Starting at the Tate Modern art gallery for example, tourists have an ideal opportunity to walk and to view contemporary modern art for free and even those with not much time can pop in, perhaps just to see one or two favourite pieces and similar works nearby. Walking left out of the gallery, scenic views can be enjoyed (and photos taken) of the Millennium Bridge and St Paul’s Cathedral across the water – providing a good bench-mark for London walkers wanting to get their bearings about where they are headed.Continuing left, a pleasant riverside stroll towards the Royal Festival Hall takes visiting walkers past a quaint hidden-away shopping quarter where there is an opportunity to take refreshments such as coffee or ice creams. In summer a festive spirit is in evidence with events such as Street Art exhibitions or sand castle art sculpture taking shape on the ‘beach’ of the Thames.More fun, particularly for those with kids, can be enjoyed at the little playground to the front of Waterloo Station, and by watching the street entertainers in the gardens and ‘promenade’ adjacent to the London Eye. Alas, visitors who have not bought advance tickets for the latter London attraction may not have time to schedule a ride here as well as a walk.Before reaching the uber photo opportunity stop of Westminster Bridge, sculpture can be appreciated either by paying to visit the Dali museum on the left, or just by stopping to admire the free exhibits outside. The giraffe is always popular with children and makes another good holiday photo opportunity.Great views and fun London photos of the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben can be enjoyed from Westminster Bridge, and the walk continues over it, taking visitng London walkers along past The Houses of Parliament and Parliament Square. Originally called The Palace of Westminster, this iconic building was built over the place where Edward the Confessor ordered the first palace to be constructed in the 11th century. This was the residence of English kings until 1512.Moving on, via Parliament Street and Whitehall, this fun London walk brings visitors to Downing Street. Number 10 was presented by King George 11 in 1732 to the then Prime Minister, Robert Walpole, who wanted it to be made available to subsequent first Lords of the Treasury, interestingly, the first role of English prime ministers to this day!Fit walkers who appreciate the fresh air, exercise and sightseeing can continue along Victoria Embankment towards Blackfriars, The City and their eventual destinations – St Paul’s Cathedral and back over The Millennium Bridge. Those whose tired legs need a little help by now have the options of an eight minute tube ride to Mansion House.Those who choose to walk may find the working London atmosphere of The City and Fleet St an interesting contemporary comparison, should they choose to take a detour from the river. The street furniture and greenery of the vintage lamps and the park, not to mention more photo opportunities at Cleopatra’s Needle are the alternative on the more river-hugging route closer to the Thames. Good shots of the London Eye (which walkers left a short while ago) can be taken here too.The present church of St Paul’s Cathedral was designed by Sir Christopher Wren, and makes an atmospheric and peaceful place to sit and rest, either inside or outside, and for reflecting upon the architecture and the time it took to build – 33 years up to 1708. Originally, however, there had been a church on the spot in 608.From here it is thankfully just a short distance back to the Millennium Bridge and the start of the fun London walk.

Solid Wood Furniture: The Allure of Wood in Your Home

You can’t beat the quality of solid wood furniture. Why is solid American wood unbeatable as a raw material for handmade American furniture? Perhaps because if its endurance. Perhaps because of the way it is easily cut, carved and formed into virtually any item of furniture. Perhaps also because of its sheer beauty and glow when fashioned and finished by masters of their craft.There are many types of furniture on sale in American furniture stores. You can purchase modern tubular steel pieces or the molded plywood furniture designed and constructed by George and Ray Eames in the 1940s. Plastic and fiberglass furniture came in the 1950s and 60s. Much of that original stuff is worth a fortune now.The Transience of New MaterialsNone of these new materials has lasted been proved a good alternative to wood. They offered artists and designers an opportunity to move away from wood for high quality furniture. Many designs were popular in their day, but did they ever take the place of solid wood furniture? Never!With the development of corrosion-proof metals and new plastics, wood became no longer a cool material to use for the modern furniture of the day. For most of history, wood and stone have been the construction materials of choice – for homes and the furniture used in them. Stone was popular in the old civilizations, or perhaps we only think so because all wooden furniture is long gone.Latterly, metal was rarely used in construction other than as reinforcement. However, it all changed with the development of tubular aluminum and steel, pressed plywood and plastics. Each of these had its day, being used extensively by the artists of their time. However, they were no more than transient, fading into insignificance as wood remained supreme.The Allure of Solid Wood FurnitureWood has a warmth to it that you can feel. There is no substitute for the feel of the grain and warmth of genuine wood – even if that is only a thin veneer of walnut over white oak, plywood or particleboard. There is something about the look of wood furniture that no synthetic material can match.When you feel its weight, solid wood lets you know that you have a substantial and enduring item of home furniture. Nothing looks the same as a waxed pine table top, or a table that has been lovingly French polished to a high, deep shine. No synthetic or metallic material can offer you the same brilliance and high quality appearance than properly finished and polished wood.The Strength of Wooden FurnitureA major difference between solid wood and plywood or particleboard is that of endurance and strength. It is not possible to fashion traditional joints using anything other than real wood. You cannot cut mortise and tenon or dovetail joints using particleboard or plywood. Such materials must be joined together using glue, screws, plugs and plastic or metal jointing blocks.The traditional carpentry joints using in solid wood furniture are crafted to use the strength of the wood and design of the joint itself for its strength. A pinned tenon or a properly crafted dovetail joint needs no glue, nails or screws to make it secure. Unlike plywood or particleboard, solid wood joints do not separate their layers or disintegrate when they become wet. They remain strong, and expand and contract along with the parts they bind together in extremes of heat and cold.Metal, Cane and Other Furniture MaterialsSure, a table made from stainless steel or even painted iron or aluminum will be strong. But none of these has the same look, and wood does not rust or oxidize as metals do. Stainless steel is an exception, in that it retains its brightness. However, while there is a place for stainless steel furniture, few would want to furnish an entire dining room or sitting room using it.Metals, cane or rattan, and plastics have their place, particularly for outdoor and patio furniture. However, none of these has the look of high quality solid wood furniture. For accent pieces, yes, metals and even ceramics and glass can look great. A smoked glass top on a coffee table can be very attractive in the correct setting, but for a main dining table you cannot beat solid wood.The allure of wood has been recognized by mankind ever since they found a more comfortable alternative to sitting on the rocks in their caves. Wood became the material of choice due its availability and easy working. Even when the new metals and plastics became viable alternatives, solid wood furniture has been regarded as a symbol of quality. It looks good, feels good, endures and is easy to fashion into furniture suitable for any room in your home.

An American Universal Health Care System

Health Care System Needs Reform, Not a Government Takeover Believe it or not, America boasts some of the world’s best doctors, the most advanced health care system, and the most technically superior resources in the world, bar none. Those who travel globally and have gotten sick know that their first choice for treatment would be in the U.S. Though health care in America is, more expensive than any other country, many of the worlds wealthiest come to the U.S for surgical procedures and complex care, because it holds a worldwide reputation for the gold standard in health care.To examine the complex health care issue, a small research study was conducted from randomly selected doctors in a best doctors database. We ask 50 top doctors, located in different states and who practice different specialty fields, ” Is a universal health care plan good for America?” Forty-eight of these doctors essentially responded that it was a “bad idea” that would have negative impacts on the quality of our nation’s health care.Social Engineering MedicineOne of the greatest mis-conceptions some people have relied on with regard to the health care debate is that, given a universal health care system, every person in the U.S. would receive the highest quality health care – the kind our nation is renowned for and that we currently receive. However, unlike some public amenities, health care is not a collective public service like police and fire protection services, therefore the Government cannot provide the same quality of health care to everyone, because not all physicians are equally good orthopedic surgeons, internists, neurosurgeons, etc, in the same way that not all individuals in need of health care are equally good patients.As an analogy – stay with me – when you design a software program, there are many elements that are coded on the back-end, and used to manipulate certain aspects of the software program, that your average “John Doe” who uses the software (the end user) does not understand or utilize, nor do they care about these elements. Certain aspects of the program are coded, so that when one uses that portion of the program, other elements of the program are manipulated and automatically follow the present or next command.Likewise, once a universal care plan is implemented in America and its massive infrastructure is shaped, private insurance companies will slowly disappear, and as a result, eventually patients will automatically be forced to utilize the government’s universal health care plan. As part of such a system, patients will be known as numbers rather than patients, because such a massive government program would provide compensation incentive based on care provided, patients would become “numbers,” rather than “patients.” In addition, for cost savings reasons, every bit of health information, including your own, will be analyzed, and stored by the Government. What are the consequences? If you’re a senior citizen and need a knee replacement at the age of 70, the government may determine that you’re to old and it’s not worth the investment cost, therefore instead of surgery, you may be given medication for the rest of your life at a substantial cost savings to the government, and at a high quality of life price to you.Solutions:Fixing the current U.S. health care system might require that we;1. Encourage prevention and early diagnosis of chronic conditions and management.
2. Completely reform existing government are programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.
3. Forgive medical school debt for those willing to practice primary care in under-served areas.
4. Improve access to care, provide small businesses and the self-employed with tax credits, not penalties for providing health care.
5. Encourage innovation in medical records management to reduce costs.
6. Require tort reform in medical malpractice judgments to lower the cost of providing care.
7. Keep what isn’t broken-research shows 80% of Americans are happy with their current insurance, therefore, why completely dismantle it?
8. Reimburse physicians for their services.
9. Innovate a system in which Medicare fraud is dramatically decreased.Devil In the Details Socialized medicine means:1. Loss of private practice options, reduced pay for physicians, overwhelming numbers of patients, and increasing burn-out may reduce the number of doctors pursuing the profession.2. Patient confidentiality will need to be compromised, since centralized health information will be maintained by the government and it’s databases.3. Healthy people who take care of themselves will pay for the burden of those with unhealthy lifestyles, such as those who smoke, are obese, etc.4. Patients lose the incentive to stay healthy or aren’t likely to take efforts to curb their prescription drug costs because health care is free and the system can easily be abused.5. The U.S. Government will need to call the shots about important health decisions dictating what procedures are best for you, rather than those decisions being made by your doctor(s), which will result in poor individualized patient care.6. Tax rates will rise substantially-universal health care is not free since citizens are required to pay for it in the form of taxes.7. Your freedom of choice will be restricted as to which doctor is best for you and your family.8. Like all public programs, government bureaucracy, even in the form of health care, does not promote healthy competition that reduces costs based on demand. What’s more, accountability is limited to the budgetary resources available to police such a system.9. Medicare is subsidized by private insurers to the tune of billions of dollars, therefore if you take them out of the equation, add a trillion dollars or more to the current trillion dollar-plus cost estimates.10. Currently, the government loses an estimated $ 30 billion a year due to Medicare fraud. Therefore, what makes anyone think that this same government will be able to run & operate a universal health care system that is resistant to fraud and save money while doing so?.

Customized Automotive Chemicals Help Give Chemical Suppliers An Edge In Business

Those in the automotive chemicals business are often on the lookout for ways to stand out from their competition. Constantly trying to outdo each other in terms of product range, services offered and pricing, these businesses often forget that one of the major things can really set them apart from others is simply a unique product with superior quality.One of the ways to achieve this is by partnering with a supplier that can customize specific formulations that are different from the others currently on the market. By combining ingenuity with a thorough understanding of both chemicals and the industry, these businesses can maximize the expertise of their suppliers to come up with a solution tailored to address unique situations.Quality is crucial in any business, and the automotive chemicals trade is no different. This is why businesses need to choose suppliers that use top-grade raw materials and whose chemicals meet all the necessary industry approvals. Suppliers that have established partnerships with their manufacturers will be able to provide clients with reasonable prices without sacrificing quality.Chemicals for the automotive industry are a dime a dozen, and consumers will be drawn to those which have something different to offer. Whether it’s a lubricant that can withstand the most extreme environments or eco-friendly car wash chemicals, businesses have the capability to provide their customers with something that other companies don’t have. By enlisting the services of suppliers who offer custom solutions, those who retail automotive chemicals will be able to step their business up a notch with their unique product.