Visit Hot Springs for health

Visit Hot Springs for healthI had recently been back from a long trip, which had included some great hot springs. The weather back home was chilly and I felt like going back to visit the hot springs again. Though you find top quality pool heaters that keep your outdoor and indoor pools heated to your liking all year through, the experience you get with a natural hot spring is certainly beyond words.

Before the present day sophisticated spa treatments, those who wanted to enjoy the wellness benefits headed to the various hot springs that are spread worldwide.  You can see plenty of hot springs right from the Dead Sea region to the wild West America. Not only are the hot springs good for your health they are situated in such stunning spots that you get to enjoy the surroundings as much as the hot springs themselves.

The word spa originated from the famous watering spot in Belgium, Spa back in 1600. In the years since, the changes in culture have led the way for man to search for natural and mineral enriched waters for treatment of various illnesses right form joint and muscle aches and sinusitis to cosmetic skin care.

The spas flourished during the Roman period when thermae baths were built in places where the mineral springs were identified. As years passed, the hot springs grew into such big attractions that towns were built around them with wellness resorts established where people flocked on advice of their doctors who recommended cure for their illnesses with the spas. Here are some best hot spring spots you are sure to get a great experience in.

Banff Upper Hot Springs, Canada

Situated in Western Canada, this hot spring bathhouse is a protected Heritage site. Completed in 1930s, the hot spring was first discovered in 1882 by workers involved in the construction of Canadian Pacific Railway.  Two springs were found in the Sulphur Mountain base and the springs got their first visitors in 1884 from Europe. The hot springs located 5,200 feet from sea level are the highest hot springs in Canada.

Rich in magnesium, sodium, calcium, sulfate and bicarbonate the springs are said to have muscle relaxing and skin healing properties. However, even if the springs travel quite a long way from the earth’s center they are the hottest of the springs found in Rocky Mountains with a temperature of 104 degrees.

Ma’in Hot Springs, Jordan

This spa has strong biblical roots. It is said that King Herod traveled to this spring for treatment purpose. The Hammamat Ma’in springs are from the highland plains in Jordan. The water is from winter rainfalls. The water as it travels over the valley gets heated by underground lava fissures. Minerals including calcium, magnesium, potassium, hydrogen sulfide are found here and are great for deep tissue level massage.

San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Although there are hundreds of hot springs in Mexico, this site is the most famous and the prettiest too. The thermal waters here have been used by the natives for several centuries. But the baths and spas were built only in 1950s.

Safety for Vehicles

Safety for VehiclesSometimes people are left to wonder if technology does more harm than good. Whatever be the majority vote on this matter, I still feel that technology is for our good. In fact, take the car we drive in daily. There have been so many improvements made to increase our safety on road that technology cannot be doubted.

Motor vehicles have undergone significant changes all through history. For instance, the initial vehicles didn’t even come with windshield wipers or seatbelts.  The vehicles on road today have undergone a sea change, since the time of Henry Ford. Now you see so many new features that are designed with ultimate safety for you and your family. Here are some top safety devices you see in cars today.

Air bags

While the airbags are frowned upon and thought as dangerous, they have actually saved many people’s lives. You have side and dual stage types of airbags. Dual stage goes off at varying times. If the accident is a minor one, one airbag goes off, while in accidents that are more serious both airbags are used. Side airbags are for preventing head injuries. Airbags however are harmful to small kids and they should always be in the back seat, where you don’t have any airbags.

Auto dimming or electro chromatic mirrors

The reflection of light from oncoming vehicles on your mirrors is an annoying thing. The auto-dimming feature reduces glare and prevents accidents. Using a nice led light bar also gives better lighting, while driving at night.

Impact absorbing steering

Steering systems are designed to compress on impact reducing rib injuries to drivers. According to studies, the driver fatalities have been reduced by 12% and risks that are more serious have come down by 38%. In a crash, drivers are pushed forward and the steering wheel is the main cause of injuries to them. This feature helps in preventing such risks.

Sensing system for backup

This is of immense help when you are backing up. The sensor warns when you near any object or vehicle while reversing. Many vehicles have this option now and it has certainly reduced the collisions in vehicles.

Head restraints

Whiplash and head injuries are the commonest injuries to occur in automobile accidents. The top portion of front seats has head restraints to reduce such injuries. In the latest models, the system is more advanced where the seat moves downward and back on collision, so you will not be pushed forward and risk such injuries.

Safe display

While it is necessary to keep your eyes on road always, it is natural to check for the speed, fuel other things, which can at times, lead to accidents. A heads up display helps to display information across the windshield, so you can watch whatever information you require easily and quickly.

Seat belts

While these are a part of all vehicles, there have been many new improvements to seat belts done over the years. The seat belts of today have belts that wrap your shoulders and lap, and some seatbelts keep the wearer from being thrown forward in case of an accident.

Influences of Technology on Modern Art

Influences of Technology on Modern ArtArt has been around for as long as humanity has been making tools. The two skills grew together out of the same exceedingly creative human mind. In this way, art and technology are inextricably linked together, evolving together even if they are not evolving on exactly the same path.

As technology evolves, our lives and the world around us changes. As our lives and world change, so to do our expressions (both what we express and how we express it). In modern art, we can see this link more powerfully than ever as new technologies offer an even wider range of mediums which artists can use.

The turn of the 20th century, for example, saw major shifts in artistic mediums. It was at this time that photography was invented and with that came a whole new way of representing the world around us. Around that same time, film also emerged providing artists for the first time in history the ability to create moving pictures. This changed the scope of what could be expressed. No longer was the artist limited to expressing a single emotion or a single moment in time. With film, the artist can tell a story or show a more complex and detailed perspective of a single moment and emotion. The possibilities were endless.

Later on, the computer came into being and brought a slew of new technologies and abilities including digital media and the ability to digitally manipulate photographs and other images. This meant that there was no longer a clear distinction between representing the real through creative production (painting, drawing, etc) and depicting the real through objective mediums (photography, film, etc). Now, one could take a photograph of a real scene and manipulate to look however he or she chose. Continue reading “Influences of Technology on Modern Art” »

Differences between Art and Craft

Differences between Art and CraftAll too often, art and craft are seen as the same thing. Today, you will even find the phrases combined into the generalized hobby of “arts & crafts.” Despite this common perception, however, art and craft are two very distinct forms of human creativity. Each have their own, unique strengths and specialties.

In a nutshell, one could describe the differences between art and craft as follows:

  • Art is the use of various tools and materials in order to express an idea, emotion, or set of ideas and emotions.
  • Craft is the use of various tools and materials with the sole purpose of creating a real, tangible product.

However, this distinction is too brief and nonspecific so let’s dive deeper into the unique characteristics of each one.


Artists, art historians, and art critics will all give you different answers to the troublesome question of “what is art?” These widely different definitions are part of what makes art so wonderful. It is a boundless medium of expression that can take on many different forms and meanings the imagination and conjure up. It is precisely this boundlessness which makes it so difficult to define. Continue reading “Differences between Art and Craft” »

New Seven Wonders of the World

The world today is filled with many wonderful from natural formations that leave you speechless to magnificent feats of human ingenuity. People have been exploring and wondering over the many awe-inspiring sites in the world for centuries. In fact, it was the ancient Greeks who began the tradition of identifying the Seven Wonders of the World. That is, those sites which are so wondrous and inspiring that one should visit them if he or she wants to have a truly profound experience. Of course, for the ancient Greeks the “world” consisted entirely of the Mediterranean region. For that reason, the list has been modified over time to include wonders from all over the world.

The Original Seven Wonders of the World

The list created by the ancient Greeks included many ancient wonders that are no longer here today. There were many amazing architectural constructions and artistic creations whose splendor we can only imagine today. The list included:

  1. The Colossus of Rhodes: a 100 foot tall statue of Helios (a Greek Titan).
  2. The Lighthouse of Alexandria: a 400 foot tall lighthouse that once guided the ships coming into the largest port in Egypt.
  3. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon: a magnificent and magical botanical garden
  4. The Statue of Zeus at Olympia
  5. The Temple of Artemis at Ephesus
  6. The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus
  7. The Great Pyramids of Giza

Of those original seven, only one (the Great Pyramids of Giza) still exists today. Therefore, it became necessary to create an updated list of wonders, reflecting the monuments and sites that still remain. The lists have changed frequently over the years and even become more specific. Today, we have lists spanning the wonders to be found in all of existence—from the seven wonders of the natural world to the seven wonders of the industrial world. There is even a list of the seven wonders of the solar system! Continue reading “New Seven Wonders of the World” »

Ancient World’s Most Peculiar Medical Treatments: Would You Ever Try These?

If you think going to the doctor seems daunting, think again! Modern medicine is nothing like it medicine some hundreds years ago. Unusual ancient medical practices and devices discovered from different ancient civilizations appear to be gruesome if not deadly. Surprisingly, these frightening medical treatments were completely accepted – even considered the only recourse – at the time. For sure you’ll be thankful that we now have modern medical equipment like these nursing tools and gadgets reviewed at this site.

Let’s take a look at some peculiar medical treatments used in ancient civilizations.

  1. Mercury

Who would have thought this toxic chemical was once used for treating ailments? Notorious for its adverse effects on health and long banned in healthcare settings, mercury was a common topical medicine and elixir used in ancient Greece and Persia. Chinese alchemists also believed this chemical has the ability to boost vitality and increase lifespan. In some ancient culture, mercury was concocted with other equally poisonous compounds like arsenic and sulfur to create a powerful mixture that promised eternal life. You probably know what happened to those who took this unusual brew.

  1. Skull cure

Ancient Babylonians believed that most illnesses are punishments from the gods for past offenses or caused by demonic forces. Unlike modern physicians who use diagnostic tools, such as sphygmomanometer, thermometer or a pulse oximeter — you can read more about that here: , ancient Babylonian healers simply observed their patients and diagnosed them while asleep. For example, grinding of the teeth will lead the healer to suspect that a spirits of a deceased family member was reaching them as they slept. To drive away these spirits, the patient is made to sleep alongside a human skull for a week. According to ancient texts, the patient must also kiss and lick the skull.

  1. Trepanation

Trepanation, the most horrifying surgical procedure, is also the medical world’s oldest form of surgery. This procedure has been practiced for over thousands of years and has been used by different cultures across the world. Aztecs practiced it, the ancient Greeks also did it, and even modern medicine does it too!

In trepanation, the doctor creates a whole in the skull. There is both a religious and medical reasons for this practice. In some cultures, opening up the skull allows the release of demons while others practiced it to relieve pressure within the brain. There also other cultures where trepanning is done to increase mental capacity.

Ancient doctors and healers used some grisly devices that looked like blunt knives and cookie cutters. Without real anesthesia, antiseptic and sterilization, ancient cranial procedures were downright dangerous! If you think trepanning was absolutely fatal, you’re wrong. In fact, skulls found in Peru suggested that those who underwent this procedure actually survived the horrifying treatment!

Believe it or not, these horrible treatments were actually done by our ancestors. And these are just three of the many unusual procedures ancient doctors thought were helpful. If these were the treatments today, would you ever see your doctor?

Study the Stars to Learn Art

Ancient people of the world loved the night sky. They were fascinated with the points of light up there that seemed so unreachable. Since we now understand a lot more about space and the night sky, we sadly are much less fascinated by them. We don’t love the night sky as much as we used to. I would like to fix that; I have personally been inspired so much by deep space, the stars, and the night sky. Here are a few ways you can add character to your own art through the night sky. Good luck!

How Big It Is

We are so tiny compared to everything in the universe. Carl Sagan in his book “Pale Blue Dot” talks about how insignificant we are compared to the entire cosmos. That is scary to some people, but not as scary to me personally. Think about it; the universe is so big that your problems are so small compared to it. Stars die every day; light takes so long to reach Earth that many of the stars we see in the night sky have already died, but their light has been travelling for millions of years to get to us. That inspires my art. Our problems only seem huge. But is a bit of trouble really anything compared to the death of a star? The sky gives me a sense of proportion.

The Variety

Do you own a telescope? If you don’t, you’re missing out. Click here to pick one up from… It’s one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. There is so much variety in the night sky, and it truly amazes me. The obvious parts of the sky are the moon and the stars. While those are beautiful, there is so much more out there. There are the other planets in our solar system. There are asteroids between Jupiter and Mars. There may even be a few tiny planets that we don’t know about in our very solar system.

When you look further out, there are nebula; gas clouds bigger than we can comprehend that birth stars over thousands of years. There are suns that make our sun look tiny. And there are other galaxies outside ours. Much of my artwork is space themed, because I find that I never run out of inspiration when it comes to looking at the night sky. It’s really amazing. Get a telescope from Like Hubble and see for yourself!

In Conclusion…

The stars are beautiful, and they inspire me. Few other things can make me so ready to create art than the stars and planets. But not all my artwork is space themed! Looking at the stars can remind me of other issues that we face as humans, like mortality and the meaning of life and that leads me to create different art. Everyone is different, and everyone creates differently. What will your inspiration be? What drives you to create? I want to know!

Religion and Art

Religion has historically been one the biggest drivers of art. Even the cave paintings, some the first art we’ve ever identified historically, seemed to be documenting some sort of deity. The cathedrals of Europe are stunning, and designed to make people think of God because of their sheer size. The Dome of the Rock is designed to dazzle onlookers with the glory of the divine. Why is religion the producer of some of history’s greatest art?

Beyond Ourselves

One of the biggest reasons that religious art is as wonder as it is is simply because it points to something bigger than we are. When people have a cause that is much larger than they are, that cause will drive people to create things that are truly wonderful. The cathedrals of Europe took over 200 years to complete. The longest construction time for a cathedral was 600 years… that’s around 10 generations. What on earth would drive something to start a project that they wouldn’t live to see, and neither would anyone they knew while they were alive? In 600 years no one would even remember who they were. So, the main reason that religious art has the power that is does is because it is driven by something beyond us; the belief that in creating this cathedral, they were honoring God.

Religious Power

Many of the largest works of art and architecture were sponsored at least in part by the state. Because in the medieval period, there was no separation of church and state. The catholic church had as much or more power than the king himself. Because of this enormous power, they also had massive amounts of money at their disposal to create works of art. During the Renaissance, it was much the same. They commissioned artists like Michelangelo and others to make statues and paintings with religious themes. In the Muslim world it was much the same; caliphates had enough power to create stunning Mosques. These would not have been possible without religious money.

In the Modern Day

Even today, there are wonderful examples of art. I just went up to New York to play paintball with my family (and yes, I wore a great-quality paintball mask to be safe!) and saw the cathedral in the middle of New York City. Although this wasn’t built with as much state/religious money, it is a real work of art in the middle of one of the world’s busiest cities. Even if you’re not religious yourself, it is sometimes nice to think about how religious has done some good in addition to the bad. Many paintings, statues, and buildings that we take for granted have come as a result of people believing in some sort of deity. Maybe there is something to that; believing in something often gives us a direction in life that many people seem to lack. Either way, a true fan of art cannot deny the impact that religious history has had on the world of art history.

How “Ugly” Art Preserves Culture Too

When one looks at an H.R. Giger painting, it’s difficult to see how this art contributes positively to the overall world of art and culture. This can be hard to see because “ugly” artists like Giger often create designs that are quite shocking and horrifying. However, this art actually contributes much to the world of art, but in a quite different way than the art of Michelangelo or Da Vinci.

Different Perspectives

My favorite art teacher in school once said that art is a representation of what it means to be human. That does not mean that it is pretty, but that doesn’t mean it’s always ugly either. Some art will fall to either extreme, just because humans often fall to extremes as well.  Art pieces like the ones Banksy creates will often provoke negative emotions, which are just as valid as positive emotions. Gustave Dore’s illustrations for such religious literary texts as Inferno and Paradise Lost are great examples of this; they SHOULD be ugly and shocking, because the meaning of the texts are often ugly and shocking. Art should match the emotion that the artist is trying to provoke.

Types of Art

Art can be broadly divided into three emotional categories: The Exquisite, the Mundane, and the Ugly. The Exquisite is represented by most Renaissance Christian art; it is a bit overblown but breathtaking at the same time. The Mundane is broad, but great examples include the Impressionistic painters depicting scenes of starry nights or flowers or lilies. The Ugly is a fairly recent development, and has much to do with the loss of hope for many during the Industrial Revolution. Each of these represent stages in our life. The Exquisite is what we hope to gain eventually; it is unreachable but hopeful. The Mundane is where we are in life. We are simply living life and enjoying it, from doing simple things like picking up great racquets for a game of badminton all the way to playing games with children. And the Ugly represents our fear, and what we hope to never see.

More Power

The last reason why ugly or negative art is made is because negative emotions have more power than positive ones. This is a sad fact about the world we live in. Fear will induce a stronger reaction than the same amount of love; pain produces a bigger reaction than pleasure. And a dreadful or fearful image will create a stronger emotion than will a beautiful one. A scary movie sticks with you longer than a romantic movie. Artists love provoking emotions, and very driven ones can provoke very powerful emotions with fearful images. So why do we love scary movies or have a fascination with frightening images? It’s because we connect with them on a stronger level than we do with beauty. Is that bad? Maybe, maybe not… But it is true, so don’t be afraid to be afraid occasionally!

The Art of Music

Art is what defines the human spirit and sets us apart from all the other creatures on this planet. I have seen a video clip of an elephant painting somewhere in Thailand. It holds the brush in its trunk and splashes some different colours onto the canvas. When there is an animal doing something seemingly clever like that, there is always an entrepreneur around, and in this case, the zoo sells the paintings for amounts of money that an individual artist would dearly love just so that he/she can eat! But a painting like that, be it by a monkey, a dog, a cat, or snail crawling over paper can never compare to what a human can produce.

What is art? It’s an expression of one’s creative skill and imagination, usually in a visual form, like a painting or sculpture. This creation can be admired or appreciated by others. Art also exists in things like music, literature and dance. When I look at certain artistic events or things, I really do appreciate the skill that goes into the finished product. I have visited many, many churches across Europe and seen religiously inspired art that just amazes me.

I love music. I actually play a couple of instruments myself, a guitar and an accordion. I would like to learn how to play the keyboard, be it a piano or an electronic keyboard. I can sit back in my lounge chair at home and immerse my mind in some classical music. I was recently at a public park, near where I live and they have a bandstand designed to accommodate musical bands performing concerts. This day they had the local university band playing a classical piece, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. I had to stop and listen, although acoustics in these sorts of places aren’t the best. I love the sound of the violins, though. They are always in the front row and provide the sweetest sound mixed with cellos and French horns. Where do you buy a violin from these days anyway? I have never seen them in a musical store, just guitars, drums, maybe a clarinet, some electronic keyboards and more guitars.

As a kid, I always associated violins with an orchestra playing classical music, or maybe gypsy music in the countryside of Hungary and Romania. (Okay, I can’t help the way I think all the time!) But with the internet and Facebook and YouTube and all manner of social media, I have been introduced to different aspects of violin playing that makes me think of it as a really cool instrument. I have now seen some artists performing with these violins in various bands and groups and they provide a diversity of sound mixed with traditional band instruments like guitars and drums. If you want to listen and see a real artist perform on a good electric violin, I suggest you check out a young lady by the name of Lindsey Stirling. She will blow you away with her performances.

Following in the footsteps, life and times of Jesus

It will be a contentious subject to talk about on any given day, mainly in lieu of our cultural diversity and, as a result, our broad religious beliefs. But, with few exceptions, there is consensus among scholars, religious philosophers, lay men and women, Rabbis, Imams, and many other religious schools of thought, that the personage of one Jesus Christ is authentic on most levels of human comprehension.

This post will appeal to devout Christians, born again or newly converted. It should be interesting to those who regard themselves as agnostic. To most artists, discussions and debates on the existence and the form He took, is essential for their own creativity.

Thoughts on Christ the movie star

Now that we’ve given you an extensive introduction, let us move on to a few thoughts on how Jesus Christ is interpreted in film. Because the post is short, we cannot go into detail on any particular aspect but interested readers can always broaden their knowledge by contacting us directly here or widening their own research via the internet or published texts.

Many believers and non-believers acknowledge that before He officially began his short ministry in the land of Canaan, He followed in the footsteps of His adopted father, one Joseph, a carpenter of note in the small town of Nazareth.

Some folks will believe this, others will refute it, but if He wanted to directly respond to a wanton act of faith from a follower, He could perform a miracle. A cheeky reviewer might remark that if He were living in the twenty-first century today, He would have no use for mechanical wood-crafting tools and pole saws such as some those listed on this website. Christ Almighty would have no need for just about any kind of saw, angle grinders or jigsaws. Bruce Almighty, on the other hand, will say that neither does he. Evan Almighty, however, given his performance in the film of the same name, may not just need the tools (and others) just mentioned, but he’d need a great deal of hands to help him out.

Christ the humorist

Fundamentalists, who, like the Pharisees in Jesus’ physical time on earth, contradict themselves time and time again, may not approve of this humorist approach towards introducing a review or profile on the scale of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ or Jim Caviezel, the actor who portrayed Jesus in Gibson’s film work of art. Gibson, himself a sectarian, took a stab at Jesus being a good-natured man for all people by taking an intimate detour from the visually grim, violent and horrific ordeal of Christ’s enduring walk to Golgotha, showing Him hard at work crafting tables and chairs familiar to us today while adoring His Mother, Mary.

Christ the Son of God

Martin Scorsese tried his luck in imagining Christ as an adulterer. Apart from the condemnation, on an artistic level it simply didn’t work. But faith-centered Christians are still in awe of Roma Downey’s (of Touched by an Angel fame) pleasant presentation of Christ as He was in accordance with the Biblical transcriptions.

The Renaissance Art

The Renaissance ArtHistory teaches us so many things. What I love most about human history is the way art forms were glorified. The Renaissance period in particular was highlighted by the novel ideas and approaches used during that time. For instance, the concept of humanism was focused on more, where human needs, interest and skills were given significance.

Humanism altered the way artists viewed their work and the subjects they chose. Human beauty and pleasures of life were portrayed in the paintings more. This is what made the Renaissance art to outshine that of the Middle Age art forms. The Renaissance artists like Da Vinci chose to study the human form in different perspectives and this can be seen in the paintings of that period.

More depth and liveliness can be seen in them. The Renaissance artists sought inspiration from nature and I think that it is great nowadays to be able to stay in touch with nature at home, have a peek here to know how. Also visit this page for practical way on how to grow inspirational garden at home.

Departing from convention

When you take a look at the artistic achievements during the Renaissance period, you’ll be stunned at the way the features were exquisitely portrayed. While Florence remained the undisputed leader, the influence was seen in Milan, Rome and Venice too. Right from the sculptors, artists, musicians and painters to the architects a marked deviation from the medieval age can be seen. You can find naturalism in all their works. While the Medieval people believed only in God’s power, the Renaissance artists looked up to artistic originality and considered works of art as unique and brilliant.

Wealthy artists

The Renaissance ArtRenaissance period saw many of the artists flourishing as they were handsomely paid for their work of art. There were many wealthy patrons who were ready to shower their wealth on the artists for their work on nature. Records show that Leonardo da Vinci earned 2000 ducats annually, when 200 ducats were sufficient to live luxuriously for a whole year. Michelangelo received 3,000 ducats for creating the art work on Sistine Chapel’s ceiling and since he didn’t need any more money, he’s said to have refused payment for his work on Basilica of St. Peters. These facts suggest that Renaissance period was indeed a golden era for artists who are always portrayed as struggling individuals.

Renaissance art concepts

There are two main concepts in Renaissance Art.

1. Realism

Artists focused on realistic portrayal of the universe and human beings. The natural human form was replicated in their creations. This made realism being termed as naturalism. Also during Renaissance period, human beings were in essence good people and God’s ultimate creation. This thinking can be seen in the paintings, which had psychological profile with facial expressions being given more prominence.

2. Perspective

This involved the linear depiction of space and time, which enhanced the naturalism concept. This brought in another dimension to paintings done on flat surfaces namely distance. The objects in background were depicted in smaller size than those in the front. Brunelleschi used this concept excellently in his works creating a wonderful three dimensional effect.

The problem with sequels is that they become redundant

We continue to get major headaches over the propensity of production companies to produce sequels, mainly to generate more money than produce a film well worth watching and being preserved in the annals of good filmmaking. We do agree, however, that in certain instances, the sequel is warranted, mainly because the story continues in a logical sequence, sometimes with appropriately placed flash-backs to remind audiences of what happened before. Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather trilogy is a good example of this. But then there are those sequels, far too many too mention in this small space, which are degenerative where film art is concerned.

Learning to quit while ahead

Sylvester StalloneHollywood action legend, Sylvester Stallone, may have utilized a good pair of boxing gloves during training for the original Rocky film to successfully create some authenticity in some of the boxing ring scenes, but like the legendary Muhammad Ali, Stallone did not master the sporting scheme of quitting while still ahead. For those not familiar with the legend, Ali liked to brag that he was The Greatest, even vainly producing a dramatic biographical film of the same title in which he actually took the leading role himself.

In later years, Will Smith, an accomplished actor in his own right delivered an Oscar-nominated performance in a far better film, Ali. The original Ali’s true claim to fame was that be remains the only heavyweight boxing champion to have won the world title three times during a long career. But he also paid a heavy price, suffering irreparable brain damage as a result of his exertions.

Never nearly as good as Paul Newman’s Someone Up There Likes Me and Robert de Niro’s Raging Bull, Sylvester Stallone delivered a nostalgic production in the form of Rocky for which his film was acclaimed as Best Picture at the Academy Awards at the time.

Cheesy one-liners and tragic losses

The ExpendablesBut, as in life, people, famous or not, are often remembered for their failures and previous accomplishments are quickly forgotten. And still Stallone has not learned his lesson. His latest follow-up to the Rocky Empire, Creed, is yet another flop for which he will be duly remembered. Now, whether this was intentional or not remains to be seen, but Stallone’s three movie series of The Expendables was nothing short of hilarious in which the whole gamut of legendary Hollywood action men, all good Republican pals into the bargain, romped about and had a jolly good time for old timer’s sake.

Famous for his cheesy one-liners, former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, forthrightly remarked to Bruce Willis in one of the many action scenes that ‘we belong in a museum’. On that remark, critically, we’d like to argue otherwise. The Fast and the Furious had a very long run of sequels, curiously for all the right reasons.

This action-packed series was extremely popular among audiences, so quickly-made sequels made sense. It was only after the tragic death of Paul Walker that cast and crew decided that enough was enough.

When action movies become art movies

It is rare when this happens, but there are a few movies in the genre of action movies that have been elevated to the status of being art for art’s sake. More to the point in the context of this website, surprisingly and perhaps even pleasingly so, some action-oriented films can be classed as art films for a number of reasons but mainly related to how the story is projected onto the screen and how all other cinematic effects, such as photography and even action sequences are blended into the story line. Films included in the genre of gangsterism, however, cannot be classified as action movies per se, mainly because there is more focus on dramatic art.

Oscar-worthy father and son performances

To learn how producers are able to create authentic costumes in a film such as the Karate Kid re-make, you can click here. In fact, let’s talk a little bit about that surprisingly good remake of the original Karate Kid movie from the eighties. As one of the executive producers of the twenty-first century version, this was quite a coup for Will Smith and his unusual family. Smith, you may recall, is no stranger to the action genre and fairly good dramatic roles.

Who can ever forget the tearful true life father and son story in which acting father and son played their part in delivering Oscar-nominated performances? The new Karate Kid drama is also a bit of a tear-jerker but cannot be considered as an action flick. Jackie Chan takes the role of the father figure, mentor and guru, all rolled into one, quite seriously and admirably lives up to his promise of having retired from fast-paced kung-fu and action-styled pieces.

The past-master of action and art nouveau

But where the modern Karate Kid can be critically acclaimed as bordering on art, even though essentially a coming of age and family drama is through its realistic, shot on location scenery. Here you see typical scenes of everyday urban Chinese life juxtaposed with magnificent scenes from China’s breathtaking rural landscapes, creating the perfect backdrop and supporting role for creatively uplifting the actors’ performances.

Quentin Tarantino is both a past-master at creating action movies which also double up as art nouveau. Who can ever forget his mesmerizing Kill Bill series, an excellent pastiche of the kung-fu genre? And let’s not forget Pulp Fiction and Inglorious Basterds. A particularly strong inter-textual response to past film variations is Jackie Brown in which legendary actors, Pam Grier and Robert de Niro were deliberately cast.

Finally, a strong tribute must be made to Sergio Leone from which Tarantino draws much of his inspiration and directorial skills. Previously, Leone’s Westerns were mockingly and pretentiously referred to as spaghetti Westerns.

Now, because they are mainly dated, Leone’s classics can be considered period art films. Hollywood icon, Clint Eastwood, the original star of the Leone Westerns, also elevated the Western genre to very good dramatic art for which he was recognized.

Artistic & Creative Hobbies You Could Try Out

Artistic and Creative Hobbies You Could Try OutThe world of hobbies goes beyond the Sunday afternoon’s of stamp collecting, a hobby you enjoy can help improve talents or realise passions. While it can be argued that nothing beats sitting down and reading a good book, there are plenty of things out there to try which can even be hands-on. The perfect present can be made from crafting items such as homemade candles or beauty products. Don’t fear that you’re not skilled enough, the main joy of trying a hobby is finding something to play with that can relax you or take your mind off things.

Below is a list of hobbies that you can try out:


Creative hobbies are the classic ones, which can range from sewing to paper craft. The first and most simple step into a creative hobby requires buying some paints, paper and brushes. Watercolour sets can be a great way to start getting into painting, as they are easy to use and relatively cheap. Any art shop or even local stationary shop will have some watercolours and brushes. The next step is chosing your subject, it’s best to paint from life at the start to get a sense of what shapes and colours you enjoy experimenting with. From there feel free to get more abstract or conceptual releasing your inner Mondrian.

Other possible paints are acrylic and oil. Acrylic is also a good choice for beginners and can be applied more thickly. Oil paints cost a bit more and require practice to get the hang of, but once mastered is an extremely enjoyable medium to use. You also don’t have to rely on paint brushes! Anything can be used to put paint to paper, such as ping pong balls and the base of old glass bottles. Whatever junk you have lying around the house may come in handy.


On the inside of antique books there is often a page dedicated to a print of marbled ink, these mesmerizing prints are surprisingly easy to create yourself. Not only is it a calming activity but it can be great for making your own cards or home decorations. A number of tutorials can be found on youtube or websites. Marbling sets can also be picked up from art shops but if you plan to make the hobby more longterm you can buy the parts yourself. What is needed:

  • Oil pants
  • Turpentine (Keep this away from children and always use with an open window)
  • Uncoated paper
  • Baking tray or any other shallow rectangular tub.
  • Rubber gloves
  • Items with which you can mix the paint – old combs, tooth picks or tips of paint brushes.

You then pour a little water in the tray, about an inch. Mix your oil paints with a little turpentine (wearing gloves is advised), and the ration is a teaspoon of turpentine for every half a teaspoon of oil paint. Pour your paints in the water, and mix away until patterns you like are formed in the water. Lay a piece of paper gently across the water and once it is completely flat across the top quickly remove. Lay flat to dry and voila, you have a marble design.

Paper crafts

This can be all manners of things, and is a fantastic activity for kids as well as adults. Papier-Mâché is used in primary schools for good reason, it is easy and relaxing. There’s a lot on online about how to begin Papier-Mâché from creating the pulp to possible designs.

Paper can also be used to make three-d sculptures, with a number of videos on youtube showing how to make honeycomb structures and paper vases. Origami is also an excellent hobby and there are more than enough brilliant origami folders out there to learn from. You can begin with the site, offering extensive projects and downloads.


A step up from Papier-Mâché, sculpting can be done at home or in workshops. Lots of places have pottery workshops or other sculpting workshops with equipment that can be so readily brought for home. Unless you plan on buying a ‘firing’ oven. However, for home sculpting, oil-based modelling clay can be easily brought. It may not appear to be the most refined and difficult for detailed work, but it is easily workable and stays soft whilst being manipulated.


Whistle while you whittle, there are all kinds of high end equipment you can purchase for advanced wooodwork but you can also begin at basics. At home you can make wooden candle holders or simple boxes which you could later paint and decorate. A drill and shaping tools are essential items for anyone wishing to begin woodwork. Local hardware stores are more than happy to help in advising beginners so that you can swiftly start to make your own furniture and abandon Ikea for good.


Linocuts are a perfect harmony between sculpting and painting, they require a focus and detail which may not result in a 3-dimensional object but you can create deep lines and depth. The choice of how deep you cut into the linoleum affects the shade and detail of the picture you wish to print. Art shops and craft shops will supply the necessary linoleum sheets and tools, from there it is up to you. The beauty of linocuts is that even the most simple design can come out looking incredible, the resulting prints can be great gifts.

Finally, if the creative crafts aren’t so appealing for you then there are many practical options to take up. Become a master of chess of start learning a language. Not only are there websites for such activities but also books that can be picked up at second hand shops, following that it is a case of practice makes perfect. Making your own soap and candles is a skill anyone can pick up with a bit of patience. the foundation of both these is picking essential oils and scents that you like. Homemade candles can even be made from using leftover candle wax from old candles. Fortnum & Mason’s of London began on the idea of selling left over candlewax from Queen Anne’s household.

Most importantly make sure to have fun with which ever hoppy you select and not to turn it into a chore.