1分快三玩法

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Miscellaneous


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In the Cards


Send it with a smile – explore the traditions of the Christmas card

In the Cards


Send it with a smile – explore the traditions of the Christmas card

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

In the Cards 

December 11, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: The very first Christmas card, Sir Henry Cole, 1843

One of the earliest American Christmas cards (Philadelphia, circa 1849–53)

One of the earliest American Christmas cards (Philadelphia, circa 1849–53)

As Christmas approaches, beyond the act of giving gifts, a simple, heartfelt card can also express your gratitude and love. Though we now live in an electronic age, handwritten cards are still irreplaceable. 

The history of sending Christmas cards can be traced back to 1843 in the UK, when Sir Henry Cole, the first director of the precursor to the famed Victoria and Albert Museum, came up with the card idea with a friend, painter John Callcott Horsley. Back then, they were sold for one shilling each – due to their rarity, those originals fetch handsome prices nowadays. Since the 1860s, Christmas cards rose in popularity as the printing technology improved. By the early 1900s, they had spread all over Europe and were especially popular in Germany. 

In the United States, Christmas cards have circulated since the late 1840s. Louis Prang, a printer who was originally from Germany and had previously lived in the UK, was devoted to mass-producing cards in the US in the 1870s; he used chromolithography technology to lower production costs. In celebration of Prang’s contribution, he is now crowned the “father of American Christmas cards”. As time marched on, the card industry became lucrative – and competitive. In the 1920s, it’s estimated that there were more than 40 factories and 5,000 workers in the industry. Every year, each company would hire artists to design cards, with fierce competition between each other as they clawed for a piece of the market.

In modern times, many people put their received cards on the most noticeable place in their living room, such as the fireplace mantel or on ropes hung from the wall. In 2004, former US president George W Bush and his wife sent more than two million Christmas cards, breaking a record for the most cards sent. Even with the rise of the internet, this cherished tradition is still going strong.

Images: ©2016 All Rights Reserved (One of the earliest American Christmas cards);

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Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag


Plump, rosy-cheeked and carrying a sack full of goodies, here comes Jolly Old Saint Nick

Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag


Plump, rosy-cheeked and carrying a sack full of goodies, here comes Jolly Old Saint Nick

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Santa’s Got a Brand New Bag

December 11, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

1分快三玩法Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way… As the familiar song rings throughout every public space once again, it’s obvious that Christmas is coming. Can you still remember what gift you wanted most from Santa Claus when you were a kid? The man who brings happiness and warmth is often depicted in a red suit with fluffy, white beard and a big bag full of presents. However, the jolly old fellow hasn’t always appeared the way we envision him today.

It is said that Santa’s clothes were initially green in the early 17th century, as the colour was thought to have the power to defeat the cold. Setting the stage for the modern-day depiction, in the 1860s, cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper’s Weekly, the famed American political magazine based in New York City, as part of a larger illustration whose title was “A Christmas Furlough”. In his work, Santa Claus was drawn complete with reindeer, a sleigh and many more of the iconic associations today. However, for a long time, the well-known red suit was not the default version. In the 1864 edition of American writer Clement Clarke Moore’s poem “A Visit from St Nicholas” (also known as “’Twas the Night Before Christmas”), Santa Claus was depicted in yellow.

The most significant turning point came in the 1920s, when the Coca-Cola Company began its Christmas advertising. It is said that Santa’s red coat appeared because of the predominant colour of Coca-Cola’s logo; however, the red clothes had already existed long before illustrator Haddon Sundblom painted him for the campaign. Due to the magical powers of advertising, the famous slogan “The Pause That Refreshes” impressed people, together with the kindly, grandfatherly man with round, rosy cheeks and a scarlet outfit. Some of Sundblom’s works depicting Santa Claus have also become valuable art pieces that have been exhibited in famous museums, such as the Louvre and the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. Coca-Cola solidified the image in our minds – and the marketing machine is largely responsible for our association with Santa in his big red suit.

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Pining for Tradition


From its pre-Christian roots in Europe to the modern day, the Christmas tree has been an enduring symbol of the holidays. Will your living room host one this winter?

Pining for Tradition


From its pre-Christian roots in Europe to the modern day, the Christmas tree has been an enduring symbol of the holidays. Will your living room host one this winter?

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Pining for Tradition

December 11, 2019 / by Jean Vonka

Long before the advent of Christianity, the evergreen was the symbol of everlasting life in numerous ancient cultures. Due to its strength, the Vikings thought it was the tree of the god of light, Balder. The early Romans and the Celtic Druids decorated their temples with fir tree boughs. In northern Europe, pagans used evergreen branches to decorate their homes and doors during the winter solstice as a reminder of the spring to come. Surrounded by an aura of mystery and magic, evergreens were also used to keep away witches and ghosts until the Middle Ages – but these pagan customs weren’t appreciated by the clergy. 

So how did the tree become a symbol of Christianity? There are many different theories, but most agree that the tradition has its roots in Germany. One legend says that Martin Luther, the 16th-century German Protestant reformer, was the first to bring a Christmas tree into a house. As the story goes, walking home on a cold winter night, Luther
was amazed by the beauty of the stars twinkling among the evergreens. He decided to share this enchanting setting with his family and brought a small tree into his home, then put some candles on the branches to symbolise the stars. 

Initially a Germanic tradition, the Christmas tree became popular in Britain centuries later when Prince Albert (who was German) introduced a gigantic Christmas tree at Windsor Castle. He, Queen Victoria and their children were sketched standing around it. Published in The Illustrated London News in 1848, this drawing widely contributed to the fad of Christmas trees in Britain and, in syndication two years later, among the fashionable set on America’s East Coast. Thus was born the modern Christmas tree, trimmed with its flamboyant ornaments and surrounded by gifts. 

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Today, Christmas trees are all around the world, whether as a symbol of Christianity or not. But merry as it is, this tradition has its environmental consequences, especially when it comes to the artificial tree industry. Here are a few alternatives so you can create your own clever, stylish and sustainable tree.

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1. All About Tape

Embrace your inner child by making a graphical Christmas tree on the wall. Cut and paste with washi tape to create a colourful one – the perfect solution for tiny spaces and a great way to have fun with the children.

2. The Magical Garland

1分快三玩法Here’s a tree that will cheer you up all winter long. Hang your favourite garland in the shape of an evergreen and arrange the decor around it to bring it to life. Opt for a LED light garland to enchant every winter evening.

3. Bookworm Tree

If you want to simultaneously declutter your living room and add some cheer, why not make a Christmas tree out of your books? Pick some of your favourite novels and arrange them in a way that instantly says “Christmas”. Wrap them with a nice garland, add a bright star on top and say hello to the most enlightened of evergreens.

Images: Brit + Co (tape tree); Downtothewoods (garland); Flickr: Tim Evanson/Creative Commons (book Christmas tree - Round Room - Stan Hywet - 2014-11-25; background removed)

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Naughty or Nice


You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry – or you may get an unwanted visit from Krampus, the Christmas demon

Naughty or Nice


You’d better watch out, you’d better not cry – or you may get an unwanted visit from Krampus, the Christmas demon

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Naughty or Nice

December 11, 2019 / by Jon Braun

All around the world at Christmastime, children gleefully await the arrival of Santa Claus and a windfall of presents under the Christmas tree. Of course, that’s all well and good if you’ve been nice – but what if you were a naughty boy or girl this year? In the regions of Alpine Austria and southern Bavaria, that adds up to a terrifying visit from Krampus, the half-goat, half-demon sidekick to Saint Nick whose mission is to punish the misbehaved.

Krampus – whose name is derived from the Old High German word krampen, which means “claw” – is said to be the son of Hel, the god of the underworld in Norse mythology. Emerging from European pagan traditions, Krampus is a figure you’d be right to be scared of – no matter your age. With his flaming-coal eyes, matted fur, cloven hooves, snarled horns, long pointed tongue and jagged fangs, this “Evil Santa” appears on Krampusnacht, occurring the night before the Feast of Saint Nicholas.

Looks aren’t everything, of course.Krampus carries a basket or a sack, a set of shackles, a whip and a bundle of branches for the purpose of swatting naughty children. Sometimes alongside Saint Nick and sometimes solo, Krampus visits the local homes and businesses, handing out lumps of coal and birch bundles – a sobering reminder of the dire results of being naughty.

What’s that ominous basket for, you may ask? Why, it’s for carrying the bad children back to the pits of hell for all manner of torture. Adults, you’d be right to be scared out of your wits, too – in those particularly egregious cases of naughtiness, parent-napping is included in his repertoire as well.

Krampus has recently spread his reach around the world. He’s a frightening reminder to children everywhere that they’d better be on their best behaviour, no matter the season – because you never know when he’s going to show up on your doorstep. So which list are you on this year? Better check it twice…

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No Soil, No Problem


Want a plant, but don’t like all that dirt? Tillandsia, the air plant, is the perfect choice for you

No Soil, No Problem


Want a plant, but don’t like all that dirt? Tillandsia, the air plant, is the perfect choice for you

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

No Soil, No Problem

October 30, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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Some people have conflicting feelings about plants. They like that touch of green, but they don’t like the dirt and insects that often come with it. However, that’s one reason Tillandsia (the air plant) has become so popular. This resilient, easy-grower may get your busy life in full bloom – whether you’ve got a green thumb or you’re new to the world of plants.

1分快三玩法Tillandsia is a genus with around 650 species under the Bromeliaceae family. They grow natively in the forests, mountains and deserts of Central and South America, the southern United States and the West Indies. 

Uniquely, they’re evergreen and perennial-flowering plants, and they normally grow without soil. Most of them are epiphytes – attached to other plants through their roots. Unlike most of the plant kingdom, they use their leaves (instead of roots) to absorb moisture and nutrients through tiny scales called trichomes. 

What you need to provide for your Tillandsia:

  • Most of them are suited to bright light or filtered sun – but avoid direct sunlight, especially in summer, as this may lead to sunburn.
  • They can survive between 5°C to 35°C, but the ideal temperature for them to grow is 15°C to 25°C.
  • They need a well-ventilated area, as they love fresh, moving air. The movement of air dries the plants between waterings, which helps avoid diseases that result from overwatering.
  • Spray them with water around three times per week at night until the silvery leaves turn darker. You can tell if there’s a lack of water by how curly the leaves appear, save for a few curly-leaved species, e.g. Tillandsia streptophylla and Tillandsia duratii Visiani.
  • Fertilising isn’t necessary, but it will increase the growth of your plants and their blooms. If you do this, use fertiliser specifically for Tillandsia. Don’t fertilise if it’s too hot or if you’ve just bought your plant within the past two to three weeks. 

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Betting on Big Mouth


1分快三玩法Want to make money off the modern trend of Twitter-style outrage? Here’s how

Betting on Big Mouth


1分快三玩法Want to make money off the modern trend of Twitter-style outrage? Here’s how

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Betting on Big Mouth 

April 3, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Every few days, it seems, an “expert communicator” (that is, big mouth) from the corporate world tends to say something “outrageous” – usually on Twitter or other social media – and cause an outcry. Following this, the stock of whichever company they represent will take a dive. The next day, this person apologises or resigns, and the PR experts get to work assuring the public that the big mouth’s comments in no way reflect the company’s values. Presto – the stock goes back up.

Smart investors in the US are already capitalising on this trend by scouring the papers for outrage stories, buying the depressed stock and cashing out a few days later. Last summer, news leaked that John Schnatter, the well-known founder of the Papa John’s pizza chain, had used racist language on a conference call. The company’s stock fell from 51 to 48 points in a heartbeat. When he resigned the next day, the stock shot up to 54. 

1分快三玩法Next up was Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, who engaged in an unsavoury row with a diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue mission. Though the controversy ended up being a little less dramatic – as the head of the private company SpaceX, Musk is as protected from burn-up as his revolutionary rockets – he still gave the investors of Tesla and other Musk-related public companies the jitters. Stocks wobbled and only recovered once he issued a fulsome apology. 

Naturally, speculating on such PR gaffes is best suited to the US markets. Hong Kong residents can access the New York Stock Exchange through several major banks after filling out a few forms. Don’t get offended – get rich.

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Web of Deception


Ethical hackers are turning the tables on ransomware scammers – and you can watch the hilarious videos

Web of Deception


Ethical hackers are turning the tables on ransomware scammers – and you can watch the hilarious videos

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Web of Deception

April 3, 2019 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Forget e-sports and competitive video gaming – there’s an increasingly popular blood sport that’s sweeping internet video sites. Known as “scam baiting”, a typical ruse goes like this: “White hat” (ethical) hackers trawl the web for malware that, once downloaded, produces a pop-up window suggesting a virus has infected the computer and provides a phone number for “tech support”. These are generally aimed at the unwitting and gullible, but those taking the bait here are well-intentioned hackers. 

Once contacted by phone, the scammer seeks to remotely take control of the caller’s computer using remote access software. For the purposes of deception, as well as for amusement in the accompanying real-time video and audio of the computer screen and audio activity, the “victim” plays dumb as the phony tech support person goes through the nefarious motions of locking the computer’s data files and completing the actions with a flourish – a scary-looking ransom note on the screen. 

1分快三玩法At this point, the “victim” will reveal himself or herself as a highly knowledgeable computer expert. Sometimes they merely question the scammers over the phone about the moral aspects of their trade. More satisfyingly, often they will have covertly gained access to the scammer’s computer network during the remote-access link-up. Turning the tables, they will torment the scammer as a cat does a mouse, or simply cut to the chase and erase the scammer’s entire network. 

All you’ve got to search for is “scam baiting” videos – they make for some extremely entertaining viewing, especially if you’ve ever had a nasty experience with ransomware.

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Gift-Wrapping Tips


Inspirational ideas that make for creative giving

Gift-Wrapping Tips


Inspirational ideas that make for creative giving

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Gift-Wrapping Tips

December 5, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

 
 

Snowflake Toppers

1分快三玩法If there’s one thing that embodies winter the most, it would be the snowflake. For a good-looking snowflake fit-out, you need to attach them one by one on the top of your gift with double-sided tape or glue. Various colour choices are available, so this winter can be as warm and fun as you desire.


 
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Towel Up

A book is never a bad idea as a gift choice. If you wrap said book in a linen tea towel, the receiver can actually get two gifts. All you need to do is fold and wrap the towel, and then centre the ribbon on the front. Tie one cute and simple bow and you’ll be finished.


 
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Environmentally Friendly

In an age when many people pursue an environmentally friendly lifestyle, vintage fabrics and paper napkins can all make great wrapping materials. If you want a cute bow, a scarf or a belt can play the part. For the artistic and creative, this wrapping method is definitely worth a try.


 
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Potted Amaryllis

Decorate your gift in the shape of a potted flower for an interesting and cute touch. The idea is actually inspired by amaryllis petals. With a piece of crepe paper, you need to water down some paint slightly on the edges, and then gently stretch them. After wrapping a ribbon and tying a bow, the creative wrapping shape is done. You can also add a plant’s stem if you want to make it even more vivid.


 
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From Fabric to Paper

If you have some bold prints in your house, perhaps on old clothing or vintage linens, they can be great materials to wrap your gifts in an eye-catching way. All you need to do is make colour copies on white paper, and then adjust the scale to get the pattern as you desire.


 
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On the Button

Besides on clothing items, buttons can also be a good accessory for wrapping gifts. You can write down some meaningful words on a piece of paper and then affix it with a button. After tying it with twine, this special and creative gift is ready to be presented.

Images: Leung Pui-yee

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Selling History


1分快三玩法The Forbidden City has come to symbolise China’s rich past – and continues to stay relevant (and marketable) in contemporary times

Selling History


1分快三玩法The Forbidden City has come to symbolise China’s rich past – and continues to stay relevant (and marketable) in contemporary times

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Selling History 

November 21, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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As an enduring symbol, the Forbidden City has always been a must-visit in China. In the age of e-commerce, it has also gained huge popularity among the younger generation by promoting creative products that feature “cute” elements of Imperial China. Popular products include tiny dolls (whose images usually show officials or maids), fashionable handbag tags, stationery and much more. Among these, masking tape is particularly sought-after and always sells out lightning-fast; people use it to decorate their notebooks, phones or lipstick tubes. The black lacquer pattern originates from the palace’s collection and, with the use of laser technology, shows various colours in different directions. 

With more than 900,000 followers on its online shop’s Weibo account, this stately palace has become an internet celebrity in its own right. In 2015, its sales volume surpassed RMB 1 billion and its stories attracted more than 100,000 views. Its target customers are people in their 20s or 30s who appreciate individuality and are enthusiastic about fresh topics on the internet. Unlike in the old days, when the palace focused on staid historical stories, it’s now committed to connecting famous people and anecdotes in history with cute and creative products. For one, quotations from emperors can be a great resource for designers. Emperor Yongzheng’s “I miss you a lot” was applied to a fan design, becoming a big hit. 

In August, the Forbidden City collaborated with famed Chinese bottled water brand Nongfu Shanquan on a new product. These bottled waters are covered with traditional images of emperors, concubines and empress dowagers, alongside their humorous monologues. On the eve of the Forbidden City’s 600th birthday, this magnificent work of architecture will certainly bring more surprises as it continues to stay relevant in the modern age.

Images: Weibo:@农夫山泉; gugong1925.world.taobao.com

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Forest Therapy


Many people have turned to the “medicine” of simply being amongst the trees

Forest Therapy


1分快三玩法Many people have turned to the “medicine” of simply being amongst the trees

Lifestyle > Miscellaneous


 

Forest Therapy 

June 6, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Shinrin-yoku1分快三玩法, or “forest bathing”, is a term that was first coined as part of a national public health programme in Japan in the 1980s as a practice for relaxation and preventative healthcare – by just being in the presence of trees. Inspired by ancient Shinto and Buddhist practices, this green concept has been growing in global popularity. 

Numerous studies have pointed out that being in nature can bring health benefits – including lowering the heart rate and blood pressure, reducing stress hormone production and improving the overall feelings of well-being. In the 2012 book Your Brain on Nature1分快三玩法, written by US physician Eva Selhub and biophilosopher Alan Logan, nature-based therapies are being introduced as a countermeasure to today’s technology-addicted lifestyle. 

1分快三玩法Forest bathing is simple and has little barrier to entry – just go to the woods and open all your senses in the embrace of the trees. As follows are a couple of great places to practices in Hong Kong and, if you’d like to try it with a professional coach, Jasmine Nunns’ organisation Kembali provides such services, including guided walks into a number of local forests.


Sai Kung East Country Park

1分快三玩法Officially designated in 1978, this country park takes up a vast area on the Sai Kung Peninsula. Two tree walks are available here: Tai Tan and Wong Shek. 

Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve

This flourishing nature reserve’s woodland is hilly, with a diversity of tree species and numerous streams and rivers. It’s also one of the best locations in the city for forest bird observation. 

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