Things to Do in Brantford

There’s always something to do in Brantford, Ontario! From history and heritage to exquisite natural beauty, Brantford’s got it all. Hiking, biking and canoeing to catching a show or going to one of the city’s fine museums, there is something for everyone here in the birthplace of Wayne Gretzky.

The Tournament Capital of Ontario

Brantford is known as the Tournament Capital of Ontario, and with good reason. Some of the best sporting events in all of Canada are held right here. Numerous arenas, skating rinks, playing fields and more make Brantford a popular sporting destination all year round.

The true centre of sports in Brantford, however, is the Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre. Containing 3 ice surfaces, an Olympic sized swimming pool, 2 softball fields, 3 tennis courts, 2 football fields and much more, you’ll never find yourself bored here.

The Wayne Gretzky Sports Centre is also home to the Sports Hall of Recognition, a place where Brantford recognizes some of the many sports heroes it has produced as well as other sporting greats. The Hall hosts rotating exhibits featuring 28 athletes at a time with a variety of fascinating artifacts from each one. The one permanent exhibit is that of Wayne Gretzky, showcasing a collection including his Los Angeles Kings jersey.

The Grand River

Brantford is located on the beautiful Grand River, which provides many things to do in Brantford. Water sports such as swimming, boating, canoeing, fishing: you name it! You can even have fun out of the water with hiking, biking and more.

One of the great places to visit along the Grand River is the Brant Conservation Area, located right in the bend of the Grand River. A popular camping destination, it is makes and excellent home base for plenty of fun to be had in Brantford, the Telephone City.

History

The city of Brantford is a place with a very powerful history. One of its nicknames is the Telephone City, in honor of one of its greatest residents: Alexander Graham Bell. Immigrating to Brantford with his family as a young adult, much of his work on his most famous invention was done right here in the city. The Bell Homestead is now a national historic site , where you can take a tour guided by staff in authentic 19th century dress, to get a feel for Bell’s home as it would have been when he lived in this very house.

Fun for the Whole Family in Brantford

There are plenty of great places to bring the family in Brantford, such as the Ben Mar Family Fun Centre. Miniature golf, go-karts, enclosed driving range, batting cages, arcade, a ferris wheel and much more can be found at the Ben Mar Family Fun Centre. Located in between Paris and Brantford, it is a great place to spend a day of fun and excitement.

More fun can be found at the Earl Haig Family Fun Park. An exciting go-kart track, mini-golf and batting cages are just the tip of the iceberg here. The star attraction are its amazing water attractions, including a 60′ water slide, a gigantic wet and wild leisure pool and the 600′ Lazy River Ride.

 

 

Modern American Animation

This article describes the history of animation in the United States of America since the late 80’s until the early twenty-first century. This period is often called the renaissance of American animation, during which many large American entertainment companies reform and reinvigorate its animation department after the decline suffered in the 60, 70 and 80.

From 1988 to the present

Disney’s return

In the mid 80’s, the American animation industry fell into disgrace. Toy commercials masquerading as entertainment programs cartoons dominated the evening and the morning of Saturday, and the only experiment was carried out by independent developers. Even animated films were projected in theaters at times, but the glory of the old days was gone. Even the animation giant Disney, which had fought a corporate acquisition in the 80’s, was considering abandoning the production of animated feature films.

Both the enthusiastic audience, critics, and the animators were taken by surprise when the long-awaited renaissance of animation began in the oldest and most conservative corporation, Disney.

Disney had a drastic change in the 80, its new chief Michael Eisner the company relocated to his feet, returning to its roots and revitalizing their studies. With great fanfare, in 1988 the study worked with Steven Spielberg to produce the animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film was a success, and gave to the animation industry awaited push for that time. Roger Rabbit not only earned him a pile of money for Disney, but also sparked the popularity of the classic animation that continues to this day. The history of animation suddenly became an object of study (and their fans). Several directors, business legend, such as Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng were suddenly in the spotlight, being acclaimed after decades of being virtually ignored by audiences and industry professionals.

Disney continued the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with “The Little Mermaid”, the first of a series of animated films that seemed to recapture the magic of the golden age of Walt Disney himself. The studio invested heavily in new technology of computer animation for such purposes, but could do super-productions like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin,” which attracted audiences that were not seen in decades, and Once provided a visual feast that has not been exceeded since the 40. The peak of the hit Disney was in 1994 when his film “The Lion King” exceeded all expectations of the study to become one of the most successful of all time. Even later Disney films as “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Hercules,” “Mulan” and “Tarzan” was blockbusters.

Disney has also made inroads into the neglected area of the animated TV series. With the success of shows like “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”, “The Adventures of the Gummi Bears Disney” and “Duck adventures”, the “new” Disney made his mark in TV pictures. Through association and repetition, Disney can provide high quality animation for TV. A series of large diffusion was conducted in mid-nineties, with some critics designating “Gargoyles” as the Disney animation project for TV’s most ambitious and best done artistically. The soundtracks of each of these animated films were an important part of its success, because Disney was including in each of these projects a loud voice from the world of music, such as Elton John (The Lion King), Luis Miguel (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Ricky Martin (Hercules), Christina Aguilera (Mulan), Celine Dion (Beauty and the Beast), Ricardo Montaner (Aladin), Jon Secada (Pocahontas), among others.

Spielberg and animation

Spielberg and Bluth

While Disney gave new life to animation, Steven Spielberg was making his own way. Animation amateur life, Spielberg was also interested in making high quality animation, and worked with his rival, Don Bluth animation producer to produce “Fievel and the New World.” The box office success of this and Bluth’s next film, “In The Land”, Hollywood made him realize that Disney did not hold a monopoly on animated features. The other Hollywood studios resumed production of its own animated features, but still falling into the trap of trying to imitate Disney’s 1997 film Don Bluth, “Anastasia”, produced by Fox, is mentioned as the one launched the Fox Animation Studios and Disney’s rival, however, these studies failed to succeed after “Anastasia” and closed in 1999. Like most successful productions of Disney, “Anastasia” was attended by Thalia, who played the central theme of the soundtrack in its versions in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Spielberg and Warner Bros.

Spielberg, meanwhile, switched to TV and worked with animation studio Warner Bros. to produce “The Tiny Toon Adventures,” a high quality animated series that paid homage to the great cartoons of Termite Terrace. “The Tiny Toon Adventures” had a good rating thanks to its young viewers, which inspired the Warner Bros to resurrect his dying animation studio and once again a contender in the field of animation. The Tiny Toon Steven Spielberg were continued by presenting “Animaniacs” and “Pinky and the Brain”. The latter not only attracted new viewers to Warner Bros., but also captured the attention of viewers adolescents and adults.

Bakshi’s return

Ralph Bakshi, director of innovative animated films like “Fritz the Cat” and original “Lord of the Rings”, returned to animation after making a brief stop in the mid 80’s. In 1985, he teamed up with the young Canadian animator John Kricfalusi and the legendary British band “The Rolling Stones” to make an animated music video for “The Harlem Shuffle”, which was completed in early 1986. Although the music video did not talk much, he built a production team “Bakshi Animation” project continued with the short-lived but well received, “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse.” Bakshi & Co, worked on numerous projects at the end of the 80, but the biggest project was “Cool World: a blonde between two worlds”, which premiered in 1992. The production got out of hand and ended up being severely criticized and forgotten by almost everyone.

Outsourcing animation

The main reason for increasing the quality of American animation is the ability to outsource the heavy lifting to cheaper animation houses in the South and Southeast Asia gaining a large number of frames at low cost. The script, character design and storyboarding is done in American offices. The storyboard, models and color books are mailed abroad. Sometimes causes problems because no final product can be completed until the frames are mailed to the U.S.. Although budgets have been reduced, foreign productions houses are chosen per episode, or even per scene, depending on the amount of money available at that time. As a result there is a big difference in quality from one episode to another. This is particularly evident in shows like “Gargoyles” and “Batman”: The Animated Series where, sometimes, the characters seem completely different from one episode to the dismay of its directors.

Adult Animation

The Simpsons

In the 90’s came a new wave of animated series whose primary aim was the adults, after an absence in the genre over a decade. In 1989, “The Simpsons,” an animated short based on the “The Tracey Ullman Show,” became the first animated series in prime time since “The Flintstones” and captivated a large part of the audience. It was the first hit series for the fledgling Fox, caused little sensitivity, entering popular culture and gaining wide acceptance. In 2008, “The Simpsons” seem to show no signs of stopping, and could surpass “Gunsmoke” as the fiction program on the air longer the history of American television. In 2007 have released their first film, titled “The Simpsons: The Movie”, dubbed in Spanish and Chinese.

Ren and Stimpy

In 1991, Nickelodeon premiered “The Ren and Stimpy Show,” “Ren and Stimpy” was a quirky series run riot violated all the traditional restrictions of correct drawings of Saturday morning and instead favored the quirky style of the short the golden era. Moreover, the series creator, John Kricfalusi, who had worked as an animator during the downturn of Saturday morning, was much influenced by the classic works of Bob Clampett.

Spike & Mike

Alongside mainstream animation nineties there was a strange and experimental movement. In a short animation festival in 1989, organized by Craig Decker and Mike Gribble Spike (known as “Spike & Mike”) and originally located in San Diego. It all started with the representation of a collection of thematic short, known as the Classic Festival of Animation, in places of business meetings and trade throughout the country.

The collections were made mostly by Oscar-nominated short, works of students of the Institute of the Arts in California and experimental work of the National Film Board of Canada. The first festival included works by John Lasseter, Nick Park and Mike Judge. Judge’s work, “Frog Baseball” marked the first appearance of their franchise characters Beavis and Butthead.

However, the festival gradually became a film program called Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation and turned into an underground movement of adult humor and subject matter.

Adult Swim

In 1994, Cartoon Network gave consent to a new series called “Space Ghost” coast to coast with a particular postmodern turn, showed live interviews with celebrities, mixed with cartoon animations original “Space Ghost.” The series made the leap with the production of Hanna-Barbera, now owned by Cartoon Network. It was the beginning of a common practice used old Hanna-Barbera characters for new productions, as the surreal “Underwater Laboratory 2021″, based on the cartoon short early 70’s “Sealab 2020.” Also, Harvey Birdman, attorney, on a mediocre superhero, Birdman which was originally the star of Birdman and Galaxy trio had become a lawyer. Its customers, like many of the characters in the series, came completely from old Hanna-Barbera characters.

In addition to large animation files old and cheap, independent animators also began to benefit from new digital technologies. An artist with sufficient technical skills could explore new styles and forms with much more freedom. The traditional animation skills of drawing and painting had given way to digital manipulation and aggressive use new techniques of animation.

Along with these new programs, the American audience, particularly in geographic areas influenced by fusion with the cultures of the Pacific coast, began to adopt Japanese cartoon, or anime, 80. This growing market for anime videos satisfy the public child and adolescent, with a large number of Japanese series translated into English. Initially access was limited to videos, but the anime as it became a mainstream found its way into the film department stores throughout the U.S.. As the animation occupies a different place in Japanese culture, including a range of issues not addressed by the American animation.

“Adult Swim” is a block of animation for adults that is issued at the start of primetime on Cartoon Network, leads the adult industry and has the latest technology in animation. Adult Swim, which originally aired on Sunday night in 2006 was in the air until 5:00 AM, and was broadcast every night except Friday. The series, which is produced exclusively for Adult Swim, as “The Brak Show,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Tom Goes to the Mayor”, tend to be surreal and bizarre, but also considered fresh and original. Adult Swim reissued series “Futurama” and played an important role to avoid the cancellation of “Family Guy”. In addition, it also issues numerous popular Anime series such as “FLCL”, “Lupin III” and “Inuyasha.”

Other drawings for adults

Other TV stations also experimented with animation for adults. MTV has produced several animated series especially for young and adult audiences, “Liquid Television” and “Beavis and Butthead”. Even USA Network program found a cult following with his “Duckman show”. But the adult animated series of the 90 most successful was “South Park” which premiered in 1996 as a cartoon pirate on the Internet.

The more fast-paced animation and disturbingly clandestine saw the light, the more dominant force in television animation was, led to an increasingly frenetic territory and perhaps eschatological, for example in “The Tick and Duckman.”

In 2005, adult animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi said he would work on another film, “The Last Days of Coney Island” which he would finance and produce independently.

The decline of the Saturday Morning

After spending nearly a coma for over two decades, the American animation industry experienced a sudden growth in the 90. Several new studies appeared keen to take risks, and found a large number of markets to sell their talent. Along with the animated TV series, the animation used in television commercials, video games and music videos. The small animation studios challenged “Hanna-Barbera Productions” in the market for TV animation.

In fact, Hanna-Barbera could not compete with the new varieties of animation on the market. During the time that dominated the entire spectrum of pictures of the Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera had virtually no competition, causing a deterioration in the quality of its series. In the 90’s, the study could only offer fried as “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo” and “Tom and Jerry Kids Show” to compete with “Fox Kids” and the new “WB Television Network” from Warner Bros. Hanna-Barbera stayed behind and found himself completely bought by Turner Broadcasting.

Hanna-Barbera not only had problems adapting to the changes that are spread all over the TV. The “Big Three” networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) found its loyal audience being eroded by competition from new channels, including new strains of “Cable TV” as Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Video games and movies available on video also helped change the market, to the point that for a time gave NBC cartoons altogether. The ABC was bought by Disney, and Disney turned the grill on Saturday in a series of Disney animated productions.

While the series animated in large networks seemed mediocre, the cable television cartoon achieved several successes. Nickelodeon did see light cult hits like “Doug,” “Rugrats,” “Ren and Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “SpongeBob,” “Invader Zim” and “The Fairly OddParents.” Meanwhile, a new owner of Hanna-Barbera, Time Warner, the study focused on the creation of new drawings for the Cartoon Network. Hanna-Barbera was an influx of fresh blood and a new generation of drawings of Hanna-Barbera cartoon was born as “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Johnny Bravo”, “Cow and Chicken”, “Powerpuff Girls” and ” Courage the Cowardly Dog. ”

Still, each new piece of animation was not a gold mine. The Disney animated films began to suffer in quality to late 1990, after the producer Jeff Katzenberg left the studio and team up with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to form DreamWorks. Also, several animated films were released in the 90 trying to imitate the success of Disney, but as in the Years 1930 and 1940, the animations of 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros could not catch a considerable market segment Disney movies that had been dominant. In particular, Warner Bros, had a string of failures “Cats Do not Dance”, “The Magic Sword” and “The Iron Giant” (the latter being praised by critics and audiences, but virtually being ignored by most the public) died at the box office. Warner Bros. also tried to recreate the success of “Roger Rabbit” to “Space Jam”, an attempt to combine the popularity of Bugs Bunny with basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

In addition, the market trend of children continued during the 90’s, almost as ubiquitous as a decade earlier. Two major events dominated toy many children’s programs in the afternoons of the weekend: “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” in the mid-90 and “Pokemon” from the latter half of the 90’s to mid Years 2000. Until the animation suffered another revival in the 2000s, a great deal (and many dollars spent) continued to spend on merchandising.

The growth of computer animation

Yet another wild card is added to this crowded and competitive atmosphere with the emergence of a new wave of “Computer Animation”. The decade of the 90 experienced an exponential improvement in the use of computers to enhance animated sequences and special effects. This new form of entertainment soon dominated the world of special effects in Hollywood (the film “Terminator 2″: “The Judgement” and “Jurassic Park” included impressive computer-animated sequences), and was only a matter of time to find a film produced entirely with computers.

Once again it was Disney who led this area. Disney animators had introduced computer-generated sequences gently in his movies, as in early 1991 in “Beauty and the Beast.” A computer-generated magic carpet played a significant role in “Aladdin.” In 1995, Disney produced with Pixar “Toy Story”, the first completely computer generated film. The film was a huge success and created a new movement, other studies investigated produce their own computer-animated films (CGI).

Perhaps because it first developed as a new method of creating special effects, computer animation was not seen as a form of “children’s entertainment.” After decades as related but separate industries, the line between animation and special effects are eliminated by the popularization of computer special effects, to the extent that the use of computers in Hollywood movies has become a natural. The best special effects are often so subtle they go completely unnoticed. The winner of the Oscar for best special effects with “Forrest Gump” (1994) relied heavily on computer special effects to create the illusion of realism, to the extent that the actor Tom Hanks was seen shaking hands with U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The movie “Titanic” used computer graphics to bring each scene in three hours, which produced a level of realism that helped the film itself to become the biggest movie box office tax collection so far.

The computer animation has also made forays into television. The series of Saturday morning “ReBoot” gained much popularity among adults, this was the first of many CGI series like “Beast Wars,” “War Planets” and “Roughnecks”. The quality of computer animation has improved considerably with each new series. Many non-animated TV series (especially science fiction “Babylon 5″) invested heavily in CGI production, producing special effects of a higher quality of its predecessors could dream at a relatively low cost.

Other studies with Disney tried their luck with computer-animated films and discovered their weaknesses to the monopoly that was putting animated Disney box office successes. While DreamWorks with “Antz” and “Small Soldiers” paled in comparison with the productions of Disney-Pixar’s “Bug” and “Toy Story 2″, finally got a big hit numbers with “Shrek” in 2001. “Shrek” was a huge box office success, attracting the public on the production and mastering summer of that year, “Atlantis”. Even 20th Century Fox pulled the oil when it conducted a CGI animated film in early 2002 entitled “Ice Age”. Not all studies were successful at the box office with computer animation, Paramount with “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” released in 2001 they did so well at the box office, but received a nomination from the Academy and later found success with the television series based on the film which was awarded the following year.

But the real star of the CGI revolution seemed to be Pixar. Even before “Toy Story” The study made a name producing amazing animation shorts (his short “Tin Toy” won an Oscar) and when Disney tried to create a CGI film on its own without Pixar (“Dinosaur”) the result was notably disastrous.

Despite this success, the computer animation continues to rely on characters drawn and stylized. In 2001, living first attempt to create a world completely animated using “human actors” digital “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within,” which found a moderate critical acclaim but did good box office.

The CGI special effects increased to such an extent that in 2002 science fiction film “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” was considered by its director, George Lucas, as the first animated film that used real actors. In fact, the CGI effects have become so common that it is difficult to distinguish computer-animated real life. A growing number of films begin using completely computer created characters interact on screen with real parts, as Jar Binks in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” Gollum in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and the main character in “Hulk.” While computer-generated characters have become acceptable actors, fully animated movies with virtual actors seem to lack a few years.

Disney seemed ready to lead the decline in hand-drawn animation, despite the box office success of “Lilo & Stitch”, the failure of its hyped summer “Treasure Planet” seemed to assure that there would be further reductions in the study of Disney animation. The loss was most damaging to Disney in 2002 when the Oscar for Best Animated Film went to the artist (by hand) by Hayao Miyazaki, “Spirited Away” Disney inflicting a second defeat followed the Academy Awards.

Disney settled all their desks and Dreamworks Animation also announced it would abandon the traditional drawn animation and focus exclusively on computer-generated productions from 2003 onwards. While frame traditional animation is likely to remain supported by the TV cartoon and TV ads in the near future. The schools of animation history believe that “the era of classic American design,” which began with the Walt Disney film “Snow White” is about to end. Others disagree, pointing a moderate success of traditionally animated film “Brother Bear” and the fact that Pixar has announced it will produce traditional animation films in their own attempt to revive this art form.

In 2004, he premiered the movie “Sky Captain” and “The world of tomorrow.” Note that the entire film was shot against a blue screen with the background completely computer generated and all were real actors. Robert Zemeckis film “Polar Express” starring Tom Hanks with five characters is done entirely with CGI animation, but uses motion capture technology to animate the characters.

In July 2005, Disney announced it would close their studies in Australia in 2006. That study, responsible for video sequels like “The Lion King III” was the last bastion of hand-Disney artists. However in 2006, Pixar creative chief John Lasseter, told Time magazine that could restore traditional animation unit of Disney, saying that “of all studies should be doing 2-D animation, it should be Disney.”

In December 2009, the last great animated film that has gathered huge profits at the box office is “Avatar” from 20th Century Fox, directed by James Cameron, has received high praise for the quality of special effects are really impressive.

Animation Awards

The animation has become so widely accepted that at the beginning of the XXI Century (2001), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced the Oscar for best animated film. The two main rivals for the first year of this award were two CGI films: “Shrek” from DreamWorks and “Monsters Inc.” Disney-Pixar. The award was for “Shrek.” However, there were complaints that the award seemed to be geared more toward family movies to animated films, “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” was the third nominee, not the innovative and critically acclaimed adult film “Waking Life” or visually innovative “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.” Hayao Miyazaki’s critically acclaimed “Spirited Away” won in 2002 and the Disney-Pixar film “Finding Nemo” received the award in 2003.

Fishing for Steelhead in Canada

If you’re an experienced fishing hobbyist or enthusiast, you should be ready for steelhead fishing. And what better place to do it than in Canada? Steelhead fishing is popular there because of the abundance of this species and also because of the numerous bodies of water found there.

The Canadian steelhead

The steelhead belongs to the trout family and is considered as a close relation of another popular fish, the rainbow trout. It is one of the most sought after game fish and is highly prized. It is native to North America’s west coast and is also found in California, USA, Japan and Asia’s east coast.

Although most types of rainbow trout stay in the streams where they were hatched all their lives, some of them migrate to other bodies of water such as lakes while others move out to sea.

The steelhead is one of these seagoing trout. They are spawned in the rivers and streams where they stay for a year. They then swim to the sea as smolts and live 2-3 years there until they mature. As adults, they will return to the rivers were they began life. Canadian steelheads can be pretty impressive, weighing up to 20 lbs. when mature.

Fishing for the steelhead

In Canada, the steelhead can be found in many of this country’s numerous rivers and streams. Fishing for the steelhead isn’t for beginners with little experience because it requires both patience and some skills. Fishing for the steelhead in Canada also means catching the fish during the colder months starting August until December, although they can also be caught until April. In some areas with heavy snows, fishing for the steelhead can be a very challenging adventure indeed.

Two of the most popular ways to catch the steelhead is through fly fishing and/or drift fishing using pink worms and roe. Certain areas in Canada also limit the number of steelheads you can catch. For example, some areas will only allow one catch from a hatchery per day and only two in the possession of the fisherman, with a maximum of only 10 steelheads per year. Any wild steelhead caught must also be released.

Advantages of fishing for steelhead in Canada

Probably the best reason for fishing for steelheads in Canada is the fact that many resorts and outfitters are available to assist and advice visitors. Equipment is also readily available and there are countless locations where fishing may be done. Furthermore, there is an added benefit of having plenty of other activities to do and scenic beauty to enjoy.

The Best Spiritual Retreats and Sacred Places to Enrich Your Mind, Body and Soul

Have you taken ‘time-out’ to balance your energies lately? Sometimes we need a little boost or a life transforming experience – especially when going through periods of change and growth. This can come in many forms including relationships, heightened sensitivity or a longing to ‘find out more.’

Through a spiritual retreat you can rejuvenate, reconnect, develop your intuition and learn how to release anything not needed in your life with likeminded others. It can be the start of a new journey or chapter in your book. Change is the only thing we can be certain of in life; why not embrace the opportunity to take your soul to new heights where you can begin to live the life of your dreams?

Tranquility Retreats – The Secrets of Ayurveda & Alchemy

“Nurture yourself with our healing and rejuvenation services from around the world.”

Located on the island of Maui, Hawaii this world-class retreat has continuously altered the lives of many.

Prominent spiritual teachers and healing masters Alisha Olivier and Davidji offer you the very best healing programs, which will ensure you return home a newly-revitalized person. You’ll enjoy treatments ranging from massages, yoga sessions, healing with essential oils, sound meditation, cranio sacral therapy and lots more.

The Secrets of Ayurveda & Alchemy offers a personal transformation program called ‘Healing From Within.’ As suggested, this elite method promotes a healing approach through tapping into your deepest emotions. You can take part in one-on-one sessions personalized just for you.

An intricate garden setting awaits you on this retreat. Enjoy your stay in an exclusive cottage located among the abundance of lush flowers, trees and fresh air, koi pond and brook.

This exceptional place will give you peace, healing and serenity to enrich your mind, body and spirit.

Stone Light Spiritual Retreat Wisconsin

“A spiritual place where heaven and earth meet.”

Stone Light is a unique spiritual retreat center that offers a peaceful place for relaxation, personal and spiritual expansion…

The area situated in Kickapoo River Valley Wisconsin, is famous for being ‘driftless or un-glaciated’ because it’s one of the few parts in America missed by advancing glaciers over the millennia. As a result, this preserved the exceptional topography of the region making it a prime location for a spiritual retreat. The breathtaking terrain and clear streams are one of the many features to enjoy in this organic haven where many ‘spirit orbs’ have been spotted!

You can spend the night in four uniquely designed Amish Built Cabins named The Crystal, Emerald, Sapphire and Rose Cabins – furnished with a homely fireplace to ensure your comfort.

Also, tucked in seclusion amongst the woods is a chapel that can be reached through nature trails and stone pavements. Revitalise the way nature intended as this retreat is free from any electronic interference.

Group or private sessions include akashic records, astrology, breath-work, massage, nutrition, shamanic healing, spiritual mentoring and reiki.

Healing Rock Retreat Canada

“Come as you are; leave inspired and refreshed.”

For over 10 years, Daryl Wood has provided a space for adults to nurture and relax on a spiritual, physical and emotional level. Healing Rock Retreat is a premiere retreat located on the shores of Lake Huron, Ontario Canada.

What draws people to Healing Rock is the sacred lands of the Bruce Peninsula with ancient cedars, glacier rocks and crystal clear water. What they find is a special place to rest, reflect and rejuvenate – to remember who they are and what matters to them.

Healing Rock Retreat is an adult-only private three bedroom self-contained suite on the shores of Lake Huron. Nestled amongst the tall cedar trees the space is comfortable and nurturing. Witness the full moon rise over the lake or the brilliant star filled dark skies.

This is a place to walk, meditate, write, hike, sleep, reflect, create, run, draw, read, swim, explore, talk – or just breathe…

‘The Artful Hiker’ healing program will inspire you to express yourself through art, photography, writing and nature. Activities and therapies include life coaching, shiatsu massage, reflexology and reiki.

Come as you are. Leave feeling refreshed with clarity, courage, energy, new perspective, focus, enthusiasm, a calm mind, a content heart and a nurtured soul.

“Come with us to an ancient land where we will weave the energies of heaven and earth, sea and stars, fire and water, aloha and magic!”

Discover an ancient land in Hawaii where magical energies flourish. A Real Retreat is something you do truly for you. It’s about expanding everything, fearlessly…

Facilitated by internationally respected Stacey Demarco and Denby Sheather, two gifted spiritual and healing practitioners from Australia, activities and programs are specifically designed to help you grow.

Rejuvenate with delicious organic vegetarian food, connect with nature and powerful magic. Experience the healing power of seasonal yoga with one of Australia’s most gifted teachers. Enjoy the powerful nature energies of Hawaii and two practitioners dedicated to your transformation.

You will be staying at the beautiful Kalani Oceanside Retreat on the Big Island of Hawaii. “Kalani Honua” meaning harmony of heaven and earth, and this is exactly what these 120 acres of organic environment aspires to, with nutritious vegetarian food, eco accommodation and a stunning heart-opening location (your choice of single, twin or triple share).

With a guided Meditation every night, daily spiritual workshops, practical magic sessions and a super powerful full moon ritual you’ll transform through a spiritual retreat journey like no other.

The Mandala Center Retreat

“Come join us as we explore, learn, play, reflect, rest, and renew.”

The Mandala Center located in New Mexico, Northern America is a serene not-for-profit sanctuary where you’ll find peace, renewal and a deeper understanding of life.

Situated on the slopes of the Sierra Grande Mountain (very close to the Colorado and Texas borders) with sweeping and expansive views of the desert plains and volcanic mountains. The rural area and quiet environment lends itself to times of rest and contemplation.

Here you can explore a variety of holistic workshops and retreats ranging from meditation, yoga, art, women’s empowerment, personal transformation and lots more.

The Mandala Center also provides beautiful rental space for groups seeking time and study for spiritual growth, personal development, wellbeing and creative expression. Up to 24 people can stay in shared rooms with full catering available.

The Mandala Center was born from a vision. Tish Hewett founder of the Mandala Center began construction as a personal retreat home and felt led to include round walls and rooms. Tish asked her daughter, “Why am I making round walls?” Anna replied, “You are building your own Mandala of healing and wholeness.”

Take a journey on the road less travelled to the Mandala Center where you’ll explore, learn, play, reflect, rest, and renew with the very best of company.

Now it’s your turn… Do you have a spiritual retreat experience you’d like to share?

Tameera Kemp is the founder of Light Stays Retreats and Living – the worlds most advanced holistic directory for retreats, events and classes.

She formerly managed adult education for eight years at a top Australian university, creating one of their most successful course programs in journalism, media and communications.

Tameera has a special interest in websites and their power to connect people worldwide, blogging, social media and developing online resources to enrich personal development, wellbeing, creativity, travel and growth. Tameera established Light Stays Retreats and Living in 2011 creating her dream global resource to inspire and guide your journey.

 

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Missing Persons Investigations of a New Age

George Orwell’s novel Nineteen Eighty-Four was first published in 1949. You’d have thought that his vision would no longer be up-to-date 65 years later. The world he described was a world where Big Brother was watching people, constantly seeking information about crime think or any other kind of offence against the glorious super state of Oceania.

Edward Snowden showed us, that what Big Brothers these days are doing is not all that different from what Orwell described. Sure, the technology is quite different from what he had envisioned, but Orwell’s novel is not about science and technology, but about the horrible world where governments might monitor our every move, observe us in our most intimate moments and know about everything we do. Modern day supercomputers, satellites and all sorts of technology make that easily possible for various government agencies.

Yet there is so much information out there that is easily accessible without any spying satellites, supercomputers or without bugging mobile phones. It’s the information millions of users are putting online every day of their own free will, just to get some likes, re-tweets or shares. People tell themselves that they are doing this to stay in touch with each other, but they fail to realize how much of their personal information they are giving away every moment of every day.

With more than half of Australians being active on Facebook, it seems like this would be the most promising social network to start an investigation. The information found on Facebook is truly varied. There are photographs, comments as well as check-ins that give away a person’s current location. Furthermore there is a time stamp on everything, which makes it easy to create a collage of events a person went through at a certain time. No special equipment is needed for all of this with much of it capable of being performed with a simple smart phone.

Of course people tend to forget, that social media doesn’t mean just Facebook and Twitter. Apart from other household names like LinkedIn, Google+ or Pinterest, there are dozens of other smaller, niche websites that cater to all sorts of profiles. Finding information across all of these platforms can turn into a large investigation on its own.

Investigating social media is not only about snooping either. People tend to forget, that Facebook is first and foremost a platform for communication. As many people from the younger generations no longer even have a landline and choose not to publicly reveal their mobile number, Facebook and other social media may be an easy way of tracking them down for communication or to even serve court documents.

Being a private investigator and not knowing anything about social media is something that has become unimaginable in this day and age. While traditional methods such as surveillance are still very effective, they are considerably supplemented with comprehensive desktop investigation based on extensive social media profiling and as the next generation moves more of their life onto the internet the value of this brand of profiling is only going to increase.