The Top 4 Tourist Attractions for Adults in the United States

Tourist destinations aren’t just for kids and traveling families. Adults love to see and do just as much as kids. And while traveling to remote islands and other exotic locations may be ideal for travel sometimes, there are also times when adults just want to have some good old-fashioned fun of the mature variety. Here is a list of ideas of adult tourist attractions to consider before your next vacation.

Las Vegas Strip

Everyone knows about Las Vegas. And though the “sin city” is fast becoming a destination for families, it is still one of the most visited places for adults looking to get away. From the gambling in casinos to the live shows of all kinds, there is much to hold the interest of virtually any adult with any type of interest. Another little-known fact about Las Vegas is that there is great food there, too. Some of the best restaurants in the country are featured on the famous Las Vegas Strip, which is another reason to explore the lively city. Also, if you’re interested in venturing out, the Hoover Dam is within an hour driving distance, making for an added bonus excursion to your trip.

Branson, Missouri

If Las Vegas is too much stimuli or too far away, yet live entertainment and gambling sound enticing, you may want to consider traveling to Branson, Missouri. As one of the more mature adult tourist attractions, Branson, Missouri is ripe with live entertainment, particularly featuring mature musical acts such as artists from the 60s, 70s, and even the 80s. Branson is also known for the Titanic Museum and the Hollywood Wax Museum as well, making for a wide variety of entertainment for many adults.

Times Square

One of the most sought out tourist attractions in the entire world is Times Square in New York City. This cornerstone of shopping and entertainment is yet another perfect location for traveling adults, particularly those who are interested in seeing what the state of New York has to offer. Aside from the famous FAO Schwarz store and the flagship Toys ‘R’ Us stores, there is plenty to take in, including visiting nearby studios for MTV, or even traveling to the NBC studios in Rockefeller Plaza and the famous Broadway theater district to see a musical or two.

Universal Studios

Children aren’t the only ones that enjoy the thrills of a rollercoaster ride. Adults like them, too. If you’re the kind of adult that loves the excitement of theme parks and rides, then it’s a must that you go to one of the most visited tourist destinations for people of all ages, Universal Studios. The famous Disney World rival has a reputation for being more adult-friendly than its character-driven counterpart, but don’t let the characters deter you. Universal Studios’ characters are much more adult-friendly and there is much range, including everything from the Simpsons’ characters to X-Men. Then, you can also enjoy all of your favorite childhood treats without ever feeling like you’re out of place.

There are so many options for adults looking to get away for mature attractions. Whether your interests include adult entertainment like gambling and live shows, or you’re interested in bringing out your inner kid, the top destinations that you should consider include the Las Vegas Strip, Branson, Times Square, and Universal Studios. With these highly popular destinations, there’s something in this list for virtually every type of adult.

“Fe-Fi-Fo-Fum” – The New Madrid Seismic Zone – The Other Sleeping Giant

The New Madrid Seismic Zone (NMSZ) has received a lot of media attention lately, as the area has been subject to record flooding, monster tornadoes, increased seismic activity, thousands of mysterious Red Winged Blackbird and fish deaths, sinkholes, and most recently, levees being bombed by the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Although initially when many people hear the name “New Madrid” automatically think it is located somewhere in Spain, this sleeping giant’s fault line actually lies smack dab in the middle of the Midwestern and Southern United States. The name does however share some Spanish roots, as it is named after the town of New Madrid (located in the state of Missouri). Back in 1788 when this town was part of the Louisiana territory, it had been a colony of Spain. Historically, this town is best known for notoriously being ravaged by 1000 earthquakes between 1811-1812 when the “Great Quakes” measuring magnitude 7+ rattled the region. It is from this town’s name and the infamous wrath that plagued it, that the name “New Madrid Seismic Zone”was born.

The New Madrid Fault Line runs 150 miles and lies beneath the states of: Alabama, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee. It not only crosses 5 state lines, it also cuts the Mississippi River in three places and the Ohio River in two places.

Although hidden, the fault is active, and measures more than 200 measured events a year. Outside of the west coast, it is the highest earthquake risk in the United States. Although not as active as the San Andreas Fault in California, when this sleeping giant awakens, the destruction covers 20 times the punch because of the mere scope of the geographic area it encompasses. Recently, Arkansas was (for the most part), the area along the fault that saw the most recent seismic activity. In fact, the number of quakes Arkansas experienced in 2010 was almost equivalent to what the state experienced in the entire twentieth century.

The active faults within the NMSZ are poorly understood and cannot easily be studied like other active fault regions (like California) because they are not expressed at the ground surface. Complicating matters further, the faults are hidden beneath a couple hundred feet of thick layers of soft river deposited soils called alluvium. Since alluvium is very soft, it erodes in a very short time or may be quickly covered over by new deposits, thereby quickly hiding evidence of earthquake fault lines.

According to some scientists, the possibility of a major earthquake measuring 7.5 or greater happens every 200 years. The last time it occurred in this region was the Great New Madrid Earthquake of 1811-1812 so I guess we are right on schedule should the giant awaken from his 200 year slumber.

FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) is conducting a National Level exercise within the New Madrid region. On May 16th. The purpose of this training exercise is to simulate the catastrophic nature of an earthquake of this magnitude within this region. With 2011 being the bicentennial anniversary of the great quakes of 1811-1812 holding these exercises at this time is quite fitting.

One does not have to look very long for information about the New Madrid fault line the web is a buzz with countless conspiracy theory views of how HAARP(High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) will initiate a quake in this region. Many bloggers question why FEMA ordered emergency blankets, underwater body bags, food and water for 7 million survivors within the New Madrid Seismic region, and question why they would spend so much money on something that may happen? Other bloggers speculate that natural gas “fracking” is causing disastrous cracking in the fault line, weakening it further, and that if an earthquake does happen, the natural gas locations would blow in a domino effect like fashion one after the other. Other conspiracy Theorist warn that several nuclear facilities lay along the New Madrid Fault Line and that what recently occurred in Fukushima Japan could actually occur on US soil. Other bloggers point out the striking resemblance of geographic flooding in the NMSZ region as almost identical to that depicted in a future map of the USA (put by the US Navy) that shows the US West Coast, The New Madrid Seismic Zone area, as well as the Eastern seaboard as being all submerged under water. Others speculate that the US Geological Centre (USGC) is taking down larger scale earthquakes in the NMSZ as quickly as they prop up on their website and that there is an ever growing mass media “black out” on mysterious events that have plagued the USA.

With the active fault lines not visible to the naked eye, making it difficult for scientist to study, it may be difficult with 100% accuracy to speculate when the next “Great Quake” will occur. If it does occur within our lifetime, it is estimated that its effects would damage 20 or more states with the state of Missouri alone having sustained at least $6 billion in loss and damages. It is difficult to fathom the devastation of such an event. Something like this could literally split the US in two causing their economy to plummet further and the loss of life would be enormous. Only Mother Nature knows when “Her Giant” will awaken, but I do hope that this “Giant” will remain asleep for a very long time experiencing only dreams of awakening.

The Shanghai Girls Advertisement Posters

“The Shanghai Girls” is a term for a particular style of advertising from the 1920’s and 1930’s that depicted very modern, beautiful women from Shanghai, China. These posters advertised a wide variety of products, including cigarettes, gum, batteries, perfume, medicine and many others. Shanghai experienced a population boom in the 1920’s, when thousands of Russians and Jewish immigrants fled the Soviet Union after World War I. By the early 1930’s, Shanghai had become the world’s fifth largest city, and was the residence of approximately 100,000 foreigners. The eyes of the world were on the city, and Shanghai became known as the “news capital of China” due to an increased world interest in the Far East and mounting concern regarding the West’s relations with Japan. The intrigue regarding this distant land may have influenced the incredible popularity of the Shanghai Girls’ ads of the early 20th century. Shanghai was also known to be a pioneer in the fashion industry, and the Shanghai Girls were considered to be glamorous fashion icons.

Though Shanghai is almost as far east as one could travel, the city boasted cutting-edge technology and a decidedly Western appearance. Around 1900, there was an immense push in Shanghai to modernize everything. Amenities and advancements born in the West such as elevators, air conditioning, neon lighting and department stores, popped up in Shanghai almost immediately. In 1882, Shanghai was the first city in China to install electric street lighting. The East’s fascination with the West (and vice versa) was perfectly complemented in the Shanghai Girls’ advertisements. The Shanghai Girls flawlessly melded the delicate, painstaking beauty of the East with the trendy, progressive advancements and desires of the West.

When a region seeks to modernize, it’s not unusual for the media to become more provocative in an effort to revise social stigmas and taboos. The Shanghai Girls were a good example of this common trend. The Shanghai Girls advertisements featured beautiful Asian women in vivid, colorful detail. Though the ads were meant to promote products, the ads themselves were works of art. The ads and other paraphernalia were generally reproduced from hand-painted artwork that was signed by the artist who created it. In addition to the beauty of the pieces, advertisers made the most of the motto “sex sells”, by sometimes featuring the ladies in revealing outfits. “Revealing” at that time sometimes meant featuring women in a short, form-fitting chi-pao, or classic Asian one-piece dress. Other ads presented women in even more alluring and provocative clothing.

The challenge to old-fashioned expectations of women didn’t end with the clothing they wore in the advertisements. The women of Shanghai wanted to modernize not only their look, but their freedoms as well. Women were depicted in roles previously unfamiliar in Chinese culture, such as playing a European game of billiards. Until this point, women featured in Chinese paintings appeared in artwork for the sole purpose of being admired by men. In a sense, the women of older paintings suffered a decrease in social status simply by appearing in them. While the Shanghai Girls certainly used their sexual prowess to garner attention, it was on their terms. Instead of being only a pretty face with no real sense of purpose, these modern ladies held the subtle power to mesmerize a multitude of nations.

Carl Crow, a Missouri writer born in 1884, started the first Western advertising agency in Shanghai, which he managed for 19 years of his life. Crow is mostly credited with spearheading the marketing phenomenon of the Shanghai Girls. Crow was also the founding editor of the Shanghai Evening Post, and wrote 13 books during his lifetime. The Shanghai he met upon his arrival in 1911 was not the same Shanghai when he left 25 years later. The enormous economic boom had transformed the city immensely – and Crow had transformed its role in advertising.

Advertising paraphernalia featuring the Shanghai Girls is very popular and collectible. One will find that the women who appear in older Shanghai advertisements from the turn of the 20th century are not nearly as captivating as the ones in the 20’s and 30’s. Additionally, the artwork is not nearly as vibrant and charismatic as its contemporary counterparts. Both original and reproduction advertising products, postcards and posters featuring the Shanghai Girls remain in high demand, even almost 100 years later.

Toni Mari Couture – Exclusive Designer Dog Apparel For The Upscale Dog

Toni Mari couture is one of the dog couture collections that you can use to give your dog a new style. Their dog collection features some exciting new dog apparel designs that can make dressing up your dog so much more interesting. The collection is also constantly growing with new designs.

The designs are often breathtaking and irresistible especially for fashionable dog owners who want their dogs to match their fashion sense. With all the fantastic designs, your dog can easily beat you when it comes to being fashionably fabulous. The couture collection is found in many top pet boutiques and they are topping the bestseller charts.

How It All Began

The Toni Mari couture for dogs was introduced in 2006 when it opened its first retail online clothing store especially for pets. It began as a quite unknown name in the business and used to carry another brand called go.fetch. Soon enough, however, couture for pets became more well-known and with this rise in popularity led to a sudden innovativeness that surprised, quite happily so, all the enthusiastic pet lovers out there.

The Toni Mari Design Culture

What Toni Mari is now most renowned for is the way that their designs are extremely detailed, you wouldn’t be able to tell that they’re expressly and meticulously designed for dogs. It also helped that all of their products are made in high quality and are surprisingly very comfortable and functional, despite all the fabulous details like glitters, fur trimmings, ruffles, and so on. This couture for pets has also received praise for its outstanding customer service, which is impressive for a 3-year-old company.

Toni Mari Couture Collection for Pets

Take a quick browse around their couture collection for your beloved friends. You’ll be surprised with what you’ll find. They offer:

• Dresses
• Vests
• Shirts
• Coats
• Jumpers
• Sweaters
• Sleepwear
• Underwear
• Pants
• Skirts
• Accessories

Here are some of their most popular products.

• Butterfly smock dress – Get this attractive aqua rumpled number with a floral skirt for a sunny day at the park.
• Cherry picking dress (yellow and lime) – Your dog will look adorable in these cherry-themed printed and colorful dresses.
• Ice cream sundae harness dress – Are you going out for ice cream? This colorful pink and blue pastel number with ice cream sundae prints are perfect for the occasion.
• Hawaiian hibiscus dress (red) – Are you going to a beach party in hawaiian theme? Make sure your dog is appropriately dressed.
• Ballgame vest- Are you watching a ballgame? Get a lively red vest for your dog with baseball prints.
• Gold swirl formal tuxedo-style vest – This is the perfect outfit for your formal dinner out with your dog.

Where to Get Toni Mari Couture for Pets

Are you interested in theirs unique offers? Their pet products are widely distributed in the US, specifically in pet boutique shops in Arkansas, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and South Carolina, among others. You can also get Toni Mari couture internationally, namely in Bermuda, Canada, Netherlands, and Russia.

Selecting The Best Compound Bow

The best compound bow is a bow that uses a levering system of cables that bend the limbs, that is the upper and lower portion of the bow, which provides the flex and power to eject the arrow.

Limbs on a modern compound bow are stiff compared to those in a recurve bow or an old-fashioned longbow, because it is not made from wood. From the point of view of energy efficiency, wood is nothing like the modern compound materials that are used in the best compound bow today.

The extra stiffness in the bow is counteracted by the series of the levers and pulleys that these high tech bows incorporate. Without them, it would be impossible to flex the bow at all, unless you were Hercules! As the string is drawn back mechanical advantage is gained and energy increased, until reaching the point where peak weight is achieved and the energy is released to launch the arrow.

Another advantage to the best compound bow is that you can use them whatever the weather. Most wood is absorbent, so using a bow in damp or rainy weather can be entirely different from using it under dry sunny conditions. Indeed, old fashioned bows used only in hot climates do tend to crack as the natural oil in the wood evaporates.

The compound bow only dates back to the 1960s when a Missouri man applied for the first patent. Since then, most serious hunters and archers have given up their old-fashioned wooden bows for a compound bow. They are much more efficient, and offer increased velocity and increased accuracy.

There may be many arguments between hunters and bowmen about which is the best compound bow, and also arguments about which are the better materials used in bow construction. This can be anything from aluminum, magnesium or an aluminum alloy that is used in the construction of aircraft.

The strength of a bow is in its limbs, without any energy being stored in either the pulleys or the cables. The construction of the cams and wheels is important, as these must move the string, so they most function smoothly. Although the term “string” is still used, all the latest and best compound bows don’t use string but highly efficient high-modulus polyethylene cables that can hold enormous tensile strength and are designed not to stretch, as stretching decreases the efficiency of the string. Some of the older bows used to use a high tensile coated steel, but the best bow today probably uses the polyethylene construction for its cables.

The cams directly control the speed of the arrow and there are a few different kinds of bows that contain either soft or hard cams, with softer cams normally being used by those learning archery.

If you are considering buying a bow and you are interested in becoming an archer, it would be best to talk to someone who teaches archery, to tell which is the best compound bow for you.

Professional IT Services: Damage Assessment Reporting Just Got Easier

On May 22, 2011, an EF5 tornado tore through Joplin, Missouri, killing 162 and causing $2.2 billion in damages. Due to the broad path of the storm, professional damage assessment tools were needed to survey and report the damage. The Center for Geospatial Intelligence at the University of Missouri helped to provide those tools by using an IT application that detects changes in topography using satellite imagery. The results generated by the application helped state agencies coordinate recovery services for Joplin in a timely, streamlined fashion.

What was accomplished in Joplin is being accomplished in other disaster areas with the help of the same strategies. The application used by the Center for Geospatial Intelligence is part of a new line of tools that expedite and economize damage assessment reporting. In addition to geo coding, these tools offer the following advantages, among others:

Automated Damage Assessment Reporting

Automated damage assessment reporting reduces the need for workers and decreases human error. According to research, automating assessment reporting can increase the productivity of the reporting process by ten times, and reduce its cost by ten times as well. When it is implemented through a managed IT support provider, automated damage reporting can save organizations that routinely perform reporting thousands of dollars a year, if not more.

FEMA Damage Assessment Template

To report damage assessments to FEMA in a manner that yields a timely response, the reporter must use the FEMA reporting template. Providers of professional IT services now include the FEMA template in assessment reporting applications.

Receives Picture and Video Evidence

When it comes to understanding the scope of large-scale damage, a picture is truly worth a thousand words. By uploading visual evidence of the damage, the reporter can create a compelling case for a timely response.

Who Needs an Automated Damage Assessment Tool?

Agencies that assess the damage caused by large events such as tornados need the ability to report damage automatically, but companies that report damage caused by small events such as auto accidents can benefit from the same ability. Today, insurance agencies and corporations commonly use damage reporting applications.

Regardless of the type of damage that must be reported, an automated reporting tool helps the reporter to assess and report it quickly, in a cost effective manner, and in a way that encourages a fast response.

Conclusion

If your organization needs a better way to report damage assessments, contacting a suitable provider of professional IT services should be your next move. In addition to supplying an automated damage reporting application, the provider can help you tailor the application to your reporting process by providing managed IT support.

As the Joplin tornado demonstrated, successful damage assessment reporting depends on more than the integrity of the reporter; it also depends on the capabilities of the reporting tool. When you use an application that automates damage reporting, the timeliness and cost of the reporting process can improve dramatically, and a response to the report can be received in a shorter period.

The Importance of Pinterest in Online Marketing

There’s a new marketing powerhouse in town: Pinterest. If you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s an image sharing board, and is currently the fastest website to ever break the 10 million unique visitor mark. The community is largely female-dominant (in 2012, 83% of U.S. users were women), however, so not everybody will be able to successfully market there.

The site is based around user-made boards that they “pin” content to. The content is generally high-quality, aesthetically-pleasing images. Some popular categories on Pinterest include food, interior design, fashion, and crafts. When a user sees a pin that they like, they can choose to “re-pin” it to one of their boards, and everybody following that user will then be able to see it as well.

Working at a Missouri SEO firm, I have a few clients that I feel fall into this niche market. With some original content and Google analytics, I decided to do some research. I chose four images that I felt would appeal to Pinterest and posted them on a board. Keep in mind, I currently have no followers on Pinterest, and somebody with a large fan-base would be far more successful.

When you share an image on Pinterest, the image links back to the site it was originally hosted on, so it’s great for sharing original content from your website. The first three pictures I posted failed to generate any traffic. However, the fourth image received over 100 re-pins in a matter of a few hours. I repeated this test a few more times and came up with some interesting data.

For every 100 re-pins an image received, my website would see about 16 unique visitors. While this may not seem like a lot, keep in mind that popular pins can receive multiple thousands of re-pins, and creating a pin takes virtually no time at all (in theory) and is completely free.

This also tells me that there are at least some users interested in where the content originated. Convincing other users to feel the same may just be as simple as creating some incentive in the image itself (ie: Click here for more details!).

So, if you’re trying to market something that you think Pinterest would enjoy, I suggest giving it a try. Etsy stores have been getting a lot of success from it.

I plan to learn more about pinterest in the near future, so stay tuned!

How Do We Identify Great Leaders?

I had the pleasure recently of meeting CJ Huff, Superintendent of Joplin, Missouri Schools, while visiting the high school campus at Northpark Mall. All I knew about him I learned from People magazine and the local news. To be honest, before the Joplin Tornado I’m not sure I even knew his name – considering I live in the Carthage, Missouri School district (about 10 miles away). After meeting him, however, it was clear that this man is someone who can accomplish amazing things.

I said as much to him and his response was: “I had a great team.” In the few moments we had to discuss an upcoming bond issue and the vision for Joplin Schools, I could tell he was a great leader.

That singular thought has made me consider what it is to be a great leader, and why did I think that about CJ Huff? People tend to categorize Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, George Washington or George Patton as great leaders. Why? Leaders are not leaders unless they have followers. Followers are people who are inspired or motivated by others and choose to believe in their same vision or cause. Notice that word choose – that is important. Leaders are not truly leaders if their followers do so through force or submission, that is a dictatorship or slavery.

If you asked 100 people to define their idea of an inspirational leader, there would be 100 different answers back. However, there are some commonalities percolating to the top within such a question. Greatleaders.info lists three categories that many leaders fall into: charismatic personality, situational leadership and morality or spiritual leadership. From our brief encounter, I submit CJ Huff is blessed with two of the three. He is a very engaging person with the ability to discuss rather complex issues on the appropriate intelligence level of his audience. For example, he was able to dissect the bond issue fairly rapidly and help me understand the need for the bond. And, he is a humble man. When I mentioned the People Magazine articles and honors, he was quick to deflect the praise to his team. This trait makes him more appealing as a leader because he does not bask in the glory of his accomplishments and recognizes he did not do it alone.

CJ Huff also had situational leadership with the Joplin Tornado. This is not an event that anyone would have asked for or dreamed would happen, but it did. The days and weeks afterwards brought a sense of panic. Would everything turn out alright? What would become of Joplin? What would people do for their homes or jobs? CJ Huff stepped up in the face of an overwhelming situation and made things happen with a singular focus in mind – getting the Joplin students back in school.

CJ Huff told me that he started working with city leaders on May 23rd (the day after the storm) in order to restore students to schools. They had daily morning meetings that outlined each day’s events and then reviewed those efforts during the next day’s meeting. That level of communication and commitment to the purpose is evident as every Joplin school (in some fashion) opened on time last fall.

My business is to help people rise to become great leaders, but what does that mean? Do I want them to face adversity in order to prove they are a good leader – NO! The idea is to create good leadership habits and behaviors in our everyday lives so when we are tested, we can stand up strong. The city leaders already established a trust and communication between each other so when Joplin was devastated, the connections were in place for success. Hardship is not the time to establish strong relationships, although their creation can be a side effect – look at all the new friends and family we have built because of our shared experience.