Month: February 2014


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Between the millions of paintings that are created and shown in galleries and museums all around the world, a very small amount transcend time and make history. This select group of paintings is recognizable by people from all over the world and of all ages and will probably continue to echo and leave impressions in the minds of people in the centuries to come. Below is a list of some of the most famous paintings in the world.


1. Mona Lisa – Leonardo da Vinci. The most famous painting in the world is the main attraction of the Louvre museum in Paris, where it is seen by six million people every year! Leonardo da Vinci painted it from the year 1503 or 1504 till shortly before he died in 1519


Most Famous Paintings: Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci

Most Famous Paintings: Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci




2. The Last Supper – Leonardo da Vinci. This world famous painting is not shown in a museum, but rather covers the back wall of the dining hall at Santa Maria delle Grazie monastery in Milan, Italy. It was painted by the most famous artist of all time, Leonardo da Vinci in the late 15th-century. The painting depicts the scene of The Last Supper of Jesus with his disciples


Most Famous Paintings: The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci

Most Famous Paintings: The Last Supper, by Leonardo da Vinci




3. The Creation Of Adam – Michelangelo. Located on the ceiling of The Sistine Chapel in Vatican City, Rome. The Creation Of Adam was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512 and it is just one of nine scenes from the book of Genesis that are painted on the center of the ceiling of the chapel


Most Famous Paintings: The Creation Of Adam, by Michelangelo

Most Famous Paintings: The Creation Of Adam, by Michelangelo




4. Starry Night – Vincent van Gogh. Painted by Dutch artist Vincent van Gogh in 1889, Starry Night is one of the most well known paintings in modern culture. The painting is part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The painting was the inspiration for the song ”Vincent” (also known as “starry starry night”) by Don McLean. McLean’s song reference the painting as well as other paintings by the famous artist


Most Famous Paintings: Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh

Most Famous Paintings: Starry Night, by Vincent van Gogh




5. The Scream – Edvard Munch. The most famous piece by Edvard Munch, painted around 1893. It was painted using oil and pastel on cardboard. This frightening painting is on display at The National Gallery, Oslo, Norway


Most Famous Paintings: The Scream, by Edvard Munch

Most Famous Paintings: The Scream, by Edvard Munch




6. The Persistence Of Memory – Salvador Dali. Painted in 1931 by the Spanish artist Salvador Dali, The Persistence of Memory is one of the most recognizable pieces in art history. This work of art is known to make people ponder on their way of life and the way they spend their time, and it is also thought that Albert Einstein’s Theory of Relativity was inspired by this wonderful piece


Most Famous Paintings: The Persistence Of Memory, by Salvador Dali

Most Famous Paintings: The Persistence Of Memory, by Salvador Dali

7. Girl With A Pearl Earring – Johannes Vermeer. Considered by many to be “the Dutch Mona Lisa” or the “Mona Lisa of the North”, this beautiful painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer features, well… a girl with a peal earring. The painting was completed around 1665 and is on display in the Mauritshuis Gallery in the Hague, the Netherlands

Most Famous Paintings: Girl With A Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer

Most Famous Paintings: Girl With A Pearl Earring, by Johannes Vermeer

8. The Night Watch – Rembrandt van Rijn. Completed in 1642, this famous artwork is on display at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The painting depicts a city guard moving out, led by Captain Frans Banning Cocq, his lieutenant and the rest of the guard’s armed men


Most Famous Paintings: The Night Watch, by Rembrandt van Rijn

Most Famous Paintings: The Night Watch, by Rembrandt van Rijn




9. Self-Portrait Without Beard – Vincent van Gogh. Even though Van Gogh painted many portraits of himself, this one is by far the most famous as it is his last self-portrait and one of the few that depicts him without a beard. It was given by him to his mother as a birthday gift. It is also one of the most expensive paintings of all times, as it was sold for $71.5 million in 1998, and is now part of a private collection


Most Famous Paintings: Self-Portrait Without Beard, by Vincent van Gogh

Most Famous Paintings: Self-Portrait Without Beard, by Vincent van Gogh




10. Guernica – Pablo Picasso. The most famous painting by Picasso, completed in 1937. The painting was painted in Paris and is Inspired by the bombing of Guernica in Spain during the Spanish Civil War. The painting is on permanent display in Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid, Spain


Most Famous Paintings: Guernica, by Pablo Picasso

Most Famous Paintings: Guernica, by Pablo Picasso

Sarkodie Releases Another Sick Video; Preach [Download]

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Sarkodie unveils the visuals to Preach, one of the tracks off his Sarkology album that features producer, Silvastone.

Directed By Dego Visionz UK & Filmed and Edited By IGNITERR / NANGTV


3 Simple Acts Of Kindness That Can Make Someone’s Day

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“The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention.” ~Oscar Wilde


It’s the small, everyday things that can make or break a day for us.


While we celebrate the role models who inspire thousands (in person or on Facebook!), for most of us everyday moments—a stranger jostling us in the shops, a car cutting us up at a light, someone pushing in front of us in line at the post office—can upset us out of all proportion.


But the flip side is that we can also be disproportionately pleased by the small actions of a stranger.


On a bad day recently, rushing down the road in Chiang Mai, Thailand, late for an appointment, I dropped my bag and things spilled all over the road. I looked at my possessions spread out in the dust beneath me and held back tears.


As I stood there, a Thai woman, tending a food cart at the side of the road, walked over and carefully helped me pick everything up. Then she smiled at me, patted my hand, and walked back to her stall.


This small act of kindness from a stranger reminded me to be kind to myself in turn, and I took a breath before continuing with my day, lighter in heart and mind.


Be that stranger. Here are three small acts of kindness you can carry out today.


Offer your help.


Last year I met someone who challenged himself to offer his help to one person every day.


One day, I was really ill, in a foreign country, alone. I had no way of getting to the shops. He offered his help and brought me groceries. It was a small thing for him. But I was hugely grateful, and it made a real impact on me, this almost-stranger providing practical help.


Now I try and offer my help more often.


At first I used to think no one would be interested in my help, or they’d be suspicious, or a hundred other reasons which stopped me offering. But even when people don’t need it, they appreciate being offered help.


I offered someone help with something they were carrying yesterday, and while he turned the help down, we exchanged a joke and a few words, and both of us went on our way happier.


And when people do need the help, you’ll be amazed at the long lasting impact it can have.


Be of service. Offer assistance.


Say thank you.


You might say thank you a hundred times a day. It’s a politeness, a courtesy. But how many times do you actually mean it? How many times are you still engaged in the conversation when you say it, and not turning away toward the next thing?


I have a friend who, when she writes birthday cards, doesn’t just write the usual “To Sarah, Happy Birthday, Love Mary,” but takes the time to write her friend a more heartfelt message.


She includes in that message some of the things she is grateful to the friend for doing for her that year. Getting a card from her doesn’t feel like a formality, it feels like a true connection. And her cards are the ones I remember.


Today, say thank you like you mean it. Catch the other person’s eye and say it firmly. “Thank you. I really appreciate your help.” It could be to the girl who serves you your caramel macchiato in Starbucks, or your dad for helping you out by putting that shelf up for you.


Or if face-to-face feels too personal or intimate, write a letter or a card to a friend thanking them for something specific they contributed to the friendship last year—their joy, their lightness of touch, the great presents they always buy you, their sense of humor.


Be grateful, and share that gratitude with the other person.


Compliment someone.


We judge others in our head all the time, just as we judge ourselves all the time. “I hate that dress she’s wearing; I look fat in that mirror; I can’t believe she just said that; that nail varnish is awful; he really can’t do that yoga pose…” It’s a constant narrative.


But we also think positive things in the same way: “I love that skirt; I wish my hair was that color; those shoes are great; he does a great downward dog; I wish I was that confident.”


In my last job, particularly when I was feeling negative (and knew it might leak out), I used to push myself to articulate the compliments I usually just said in my head. Sometimes the person I was complimenting was a little taken aback, but they were always pleased.


Put your focus on the positive by expressing it. Tell someone what you like, admire, appreciate. Share the love.


These actions might seem small, but not only do they make others’ lives better, they are also directly nourishing for you.  Being kind is good for your health.


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Article By: Ellen Bard

Overcoming The Fear Of Taking Risk: Just Do It

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“Fear is inevitable, I have to accept that, but I cannot allow it to paralyze me.” ~Isabelle Allende

About eight months ago I hitched a ride to Buenos Aires, Argentina via a one way ticket with the love of my life. It wasn’t as easy as it sounds. I wasn’t throwing things in my suitcase and cashing out my bank account while kissing friends and family goodbye, sayin’ “See ya!”

My boyfriend and I were recent graduates at wits end suffering economic woes with no place to go. We had always wanted to go abroad to teach English, but weren’t sure where we’d end up.

At one o’clock in the morning after an argument over my apprehension, I just told him to book the tickets and I’d feel better.

Well, I thought I’d feel better. We finally booked our long anticipated flight. Champagne wasn’t popped and confetti didn’t cascade to the floor. I sat on the bed wondering why I felt so petrified to go. It had been a childhood dream of mine to travel abroad.

It was rather terrifying, and for the first time in my life I was afraid of an adventure.

Surprisingly, as I looked at our online itinerary my stomach sank. Nausea filled my days when I looked around knowing I was going to leave everything I knew.

I rationalized every excuse to get out of going but I reminded myself to persevere and that everything would work out. But the questions still popped up in my mind.

Was I making a mistake? Was this risk going to be worth every penny and hardship?

The night before our flight my stomach was curling into knots and my mind was a twisted mess. I tried telling myself to calm down and to just take the risk. I knew that if I could just get my butt into my window seat that everything would be fine. But even then my fear didn’t subside.

It wasn’t until the plane took off that I realized I had done it. I was twenty thousand miles in the air, and nine hours ahead of me was awaiting an entirely different world. But the fear was ever present. After a week of being a tourist, the fear remained hidden under a layer of excitement.

I couldn’t sleep, I was thousands of miles from home, only able to utter a few phrases in Spanish that I remembered from middle school.

I stayed in the apartment as much as possible because I was afraid to go out and communicate with others, let alone take a bus by myself and get lost some bad part of town.

With time, the fear slowly dissolved, the unfamiliar became familiar. We found jobs and an apartment within three weeks of arrival, a blessing considering we had no idea what we’d do when we got there. I had kept on despite my reluctance and faked a smile when I wanted to scream and run.

Everything worked out because I kept a positive affirmation despite the fear.

Many of my friends made excuses for themselves by letting me know how easy it was for me to just up and leave to a foreign country because of my circumstances, especially having a boyfriend who spoke fluent Spanish.

Yes, some of the opportunities I was afforded made the journey easier, but we worked our butts off, sold everything we owned, and packed up our few belongings into plastic bins.

My boyfriend, who is an optimist, was ecstatic and I looked calm because I wanted everyone else to believe that I was confident in my decision to up and leave.

From most people’s expressions and comments they didn’t believe we’d commit to actually boarding the plane, but I surprised everyone and even myself when I handed the boarding pass to the attendant and shook the pilots hand as I entered the plane.

The fear crippled my mind, but my legs managed to carry me to my seat.

Of Course There Will Be Doubt

Despite my crippling fear, sleepless nights, and fake demeanor, I knew deep down that I needed to take the risk; after all, that’s why it’s called a risk. Of course as with any life changing decision, you will doubt yourself.

You think Neil and Buzz weren’t freaking out before they got into an eight-ton firecracker that was going to take three days to get to the moon? They didn’t even know if they’d sink elbow deep in moon dust, but they took one small step for man, and an even greater leap for mankind.

I am sure that despite the years of preparation and endless simulations, they still had a sleepless night before one of humanity’s biggest risks.

Most people who take risks are kidding themselves if they don’t doubt themselves a teeny tiny bit. So do yourself a favor and take one small step toward your goal despite your apprehensions and gut-wrenching fear.

Fake It Until You Make It

Like I did, and so many other risk takers do, you have to fake it until you make it. It sounds cliché but it holds a boatload of truth. Use reverse psychology on yourself. You’re your own worst enemy. Tell yourself and others that you are confident about taking the risk and notice how your apprehension will dissolve.

Nurture the Positives, not the Fear

Print out some pictures of your risk and tape them on your ceiling so when you wake up with cold sweats, you can remind yourself that you are going to do what it is that you set out to do. I put pictures of Patagonia as my desktop screensaver to remind me of the beauty I would experience in Argentina.

Write a pros list and forget the cons. Focus on the major pros. Cons can always be worked through.

Whether it is lack of money, not knowing the language, being thousands of miles away from home, I knew that it was what I had always wanted to do and I could find money by selling all my things, or start learning basic phrases or use Skype to talk to friends and family. There is a positive to every negative.

No Excuses: Just Do It

Even worse, don’t make excuses about why you shouldn’t do it. Nowadays, we make excuses for everything. I’m too busy, I don’t have the money, or I don’t want to disappoint others. Make every excuse why you should do it.

Despite my crippling fear which gave me many sleepless nights, I stuck with it and kept telling myself “We already bought the tickets.” Like the Nike slogan, I needed to “Just Do It.” Perpetual excuses will pour from your mouth, but remember fear shouldn’t be a chain holding you back.

Don’t let fear paralyze you; close your eyes and imagine that everything will work out.

Don’t expect the unexpected and focus on what could go well. Just as life will have its highs and lows, taking a risk comes with excitement and terror. Fear is only natural when taking a risk. So go on! Jump out of that plane (with a parachute of course) into the world of your dreams.

Photo by _overanalyzer

Ten Foods That Bloat Your Belly

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              Ten Foods That Bloat Your Belly


By Erin Palinski-Wade from Belly Fat Diet For Dummies


Belly-bloating foods work in different ways. Some things you eat can increase gas in your stomach, making your abdomen look and feel distended. Even though this bloating is only temporary, it can still be uncomfortable and make your pants feel quite snug around your waistline. Other foods can lead to long-term belly bloat from increased visceral fat storage.


Bloat-inducing bagels


If you go to the bagel store or a deli, you almost always get a huge bagel made with 100 percent refined flour. That refined flour sets off the cascading events of elevated blood sugar, elevated insulin levels, and increased belly fat storage.


If you’re a bagel lover, don’t worry. Healthier options exist. Aim for a small bagel (the size of the palm of your hand), and make sure it’s made with 100 percent whole grains.


Cabbage-powered gas


Cabbage is a vegetable known for increasing gas production in the gastrointestinal tract during digestion. Gas-producing vegetables are often easier to digest and break down when cooked well. So, choose cooked over raw. And don’t eat large quantities of cabbage on a day you want your waistline to look slim.


Bloat from carbonated water


For one to three hours after drinking carbonated water, you may feel as though your belly has expanded. The carbonation can make your stomach look distended and cause clothing to fit more snuggly around your midsection.


If you really love carbonated beverages, aim to drink just one glass per day. Also, avoid carbonated beverages a few days before an event or outing where you want your belly to look as flat as possible.


Cola (including diet cola) for a too-full feeling


A cola may contain sugar, corn syrup, or another liquid sweetener. All of these sweeteners increase fat storage right in your abdominal area. High sugar content, especially in liquid form, immediately raises blood sugar, which in turn spikes insulin levels. This elevated insulin level signals your body to begin storing the excess sugar as fat.


Diet soda doesn’t contain sugar, but it still has carbonation. Diet sodas are also packed full of artificial sweeteners. These sweeteners are foreign chemicals to your body, so when they’re consumed in excessive amounts, they may increase inflammation, which in the long run can increase health risks and belly fat. Your best solution is to try a naturally flavored seltzer or a glass of water with a splash of lemon or lime juice for added flavor.


Waist-expanding risk of fried foods


Deep-fried foods can cause you to feel heavy and sluggish because the high levels of fat in these foods slow digestion. Commercially fried foods often contain the most dangerous of all fats: trans fats. These fats in even small amounts have been linked to many negative health effects (such as heart disease). They can also significantly elevate inflammation in your body.


If you love fried foods, try breading the foods in whole-grain flour and pan-frying them in a small amount of olive oil (or baking them instead). The foods will come out crispy and delicious without all the dangerous fat.


Downside of ice cream


Ice cream contains a large amount of sugar, and foods high in sugar cause both blood sugar and insulin levels to rise, resulting in the storage of more belly fat. Because ice cream is a milk product, it also contains high levels of lactose, the sugar found in milk. Many individuals have lactose intolerance, which causes them to have trouble breaking down lactose and leads to increased gas production, bloat, and even diarrhea.


Extreme temperatures in foods, such as very cold (like ice cream), can also stress the gastrointestinal tract and lead to cramping and bloating.


Sausage stored as fat


Sausage is a fatty meat that’s loaded with unhealthy saturated fat. This fat clogs arteries and may also increase inflammation, which has a direct link to belly fat storage. Sausage is almost always high in sodium as well. And food high in sodium causes your body to retain water, giving your belly a bloated look and feel.


Sausage made with leaner meats like turkey, chicken, or venison contains less saturated fat and fewer calories. Even leaner options can be high in sodium, so save them for occasional treats rather than meal staples.


Sugar alcohols as sweet substitutes


Sugar alcohols are sugar substitutes that can only be partially digested by the body. Many times you see these in foods like sugar-free candy, gum, and snacks. They’re often listed as xylitol, sorbitol, and maltitol. Because they’re only partially digested in your body, they provide fewer calories per gram than actual sugar, but they also can cause gastrointestinal side effects, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea.


Gum containing sugar alcohols can have some health benefits, such as helping to prevent dental cavities. It also has no impact on blood sugar and insulin levels due to the low glycemic index of sugar alcohols.


Aired-up with sugar-free gum


Chewing gum, in general, while fine to do, can lead to the swallowing of air. The more air that you swallow, the more this air accumulates in your gastrointestinal tract, which can cause bloating, pressure, and belly expansion.


White rice for a bigger belly


White rice has been refined and stripped of the outermost and innermost layers of grain, removing most of the fiber, nutrients, and proteins. White rice digests rapidly in your body, creating that cascading effect of increased insulin levels, increased fat storage, and an increased waistline over time. Also, as a refined grain, white rice offers a low level of satiety. So you’ll eat it, won’t feel very full, and then eat more.


If rice is a staple in your diet, you can keep it that way. Simply choose a less-processed option instead. Brown rice and wild rice can be substituted for white rice in almost any recipe and are much friendlier to your waistline!