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Newsletter 120 by Zyra

This is the Circular Newsletter which almost everyone intended to read, but almost no-one got around to reading. On Issue120 I updated everyone with a summary of everything that had been added to the site in the past three months. Well, if you haven't managed to get around to reading it, here it is:

  ----- Original Message -----
From: ZYRA
To: Everyone on the Circular List
Sent: Thursday, September 25, 2008 10:59 PM
Subject: Time to put your feet up and enjoy 3 months worth of stuff on Issue120

Panama!2008/09/14 22:21 Publication of Issue 120 of www.zyra.org.uk (7)

Hi to ALL!

Now at last, after three months, a Zyra Circular Newsletter is forthcoming! I have been in Panama, but this isn't exactly a holiday and is more of a tax haven exploration. I'll tell you more about that in the message, but first let me point out that this is going to be a newsletter of considerable size, a bit like Circular106 www.zyra.eu/circ106.htm , so a number of tea-breaks or "comfort stops" will be inserted. If you don't have time to read this message, I feel sorry for you. However, please don't bust yourself trying to read it all in one go, as it would be like receiving a big box of chocs as a present, and fiendishly trying to scoff it all in one go like a dog!

To summarise in advance, this Circular contains three months of stuff including... Choosing what country you want to live in, How YOU can get to look through the Hubble Space Telescope, ways of learning a foreign language without it making it difficult, shoe shops, why subtitles are better than dubbing, airlines that have gone out of business, Cats that are faked-up in movies inexplicably, how to get rid of Microsoft Media Player 11 if you don't like the terms you are expected to sign up to, plus-size fashion, plumbing suppliers, why the speed of light isn't a "speed limit", the truth or otherwise of what the guidebooks say about exploring the old part of Panama City, the difference between Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom, whether the North and South pole are going to be the other way round and stuff to do with the Earth's axis after 2012 (or not!), The London Underground System, Mediterranean islands, stuff to do with finding a needle in a haystack, a photo of a straight banana, the Panama Canal, basic website planning advice, tyres (whichever way you spell the word), House of Fraser, toilet roll middles - are they getting bigger?, bed shops, the welcoming back of LinkShare, Bingo in Spanish, a candid review of a double glazing company about conservatories, the planet Saturn, and oodles of other things, at this site which now has over five thousand pages.

Let's start off with the problem of the airlines. Some airlines have gone out of business while their passengers were up in the air, leaving them with the only option being to be landed at an airport and then argue it out with the company. That's no fun, even being stranded in an exotic location, and so here's some advice about how to get your money back if you are stuck: www.zyra.net/excelair.htm . The advice may help, not just those who are stranded by XL Air, but those who are going to be stranded when the next set of in-flight bankruptcies happen. Not to worry, however, as the fiascoes can be prevented in advance by getting the right Travel Insurance www.zyra.org.uk/insure-t.htm , and some companies such as Post Office Travel Insurance www.zyra.org.uk/postofficetravelinsurance.htm are saying up-front they will insure you against such problems if you buy insurance from them!

Silverjet, who'd have thought they would have gone? There may be more to discuss about that at www.zyra.net/flysilverjet.htm , as they had made good moves to eliminate some of the ritual humiliation at airports.

Newsreaders have cheerfully announced that FlyBe www.zyra.biz/flybe.htm have survived by investing in a fleet of more fuel-efficient aircraft, which is significant because a lot of the problem is to do with the efficiency or otherwise of aircraft. I consider it would help the ecology/economy of air travel if eco-fuel powered planes were exempted from the eco-tax. More about this at www.zyra.info/alternafuel.htm

The page of Alternative Fuel has an extra paragraph added because someone has recently countered a myth which has been going around. The myth is that bio-diesel competes as a crop with food. This suits the oil companies very well, but it is about as credible as saying that oil rigs at sea compete with food because they displace fish. The truth is that there are fuel crops such as Jatropha which produce oil in vast quantities and will grow in poor soil conditions that won't grow food.

Alcohol is also a good eco-friendly fuel, although it confuses some people when it's suggested it can be used in any way to do with cars, as they can't separate the ideas properly. It's something to do with alcohol being some people's drug of choice. We encourage responsible drug-use.

Talking of which, there are a considerable number of purveyors of alcoholic beverages at this site. One of them is actually called "The Purveyor" www.zyra.org.uk/thepurveyor.htm . Also included in the category of wine and spirit www.zyra.org.uk/booze.htm places are: Adnams Cellar and Kitchen www.zyra.org.uk/adnams.htm , Wine Thief - the New Zealand wine shop in the UK (they're more honest than they sound) www.zyra.org.uk/winethief.htm , and Lillo's Italian Restaurant www.zyra.org.uk/lillo.htm . Baileys Wine Merchants www.zyra.org.uk/baileyswine.htm would have been linked if they hadn't recently lost their affiliate program. Shucks!

People at affiliate marketing companies www.zyra.org.uk/affil.htm take a keen interest in looking at the page of affiliate programs that have been Bunged Up www.zyra.co.uk/bungedup.htm as it represents a resource of opportunity for asking the companies if they'd like to have a new affiliate program, with their network of course. What I'd ask is, contact them in random order, not alphabetically, or it will be quieter at one end than the other.

Panama FlagNotably famous merchants added to the affiliate portfolio now include: House of Fraser www.zyra.org.uk/houseoffraser.htm , F Hinds the jewellers www.zyra.org.uk/fhinds.htm , Australian airline Qantas www.zyra.info/qantas.htm , AVIS car hire www.zyra.org.uk/avis.htm , Bradford and Bingley www.zyra.org.uk/bradfordandbingley.htm , New Look Fashion www.zyra.org.uk/newlook.htm , Pizza Hut www.zyra.org.uk/pizzahut.htm , and the Daily Express (at least their Bingo if not the newspaper itself) www.zyra.org.uk/dailyexbingo.htm

Panama, Central America, and the CaribbeanNow about Panama, what's it like then? Well it's hot, and wet, a place where tropical hot-house plants that grow well in a greenhouse thrive outdoors. It's a country where there's modern business and infrastructure, as well as having jungle and wilderness. Plus, the place is notable for having one of the world's busiest shipping lanes going right through the country! To find out more, have a look at this summary page www.zyra.net/panama.htm , plus there's a page about the legendary Canal at www.zyra.info/panama-canal.htm , where you can also find out the answers to such curious questions as which way the water might flow ?! Other Panama-related pages include Panama property www.zyra.net/panama-real-estate.htm , Panama Contacts www.zyra.net/panama-contacts.htm , Casco Viejo www.zyra.net/casco-viejo.htm , and Las Delicias www.zyra.net/las-delicias.htm . Real-estate is known as Bienes Raices, so that gets explained at www.zyra.info/bienes-raices.htm , plus there are likely to be more language-related links now that I am going to have to learn Spanish. In Panama I found that on TV there were typically American-English dialogue movies with Spanish subtitles and I realised how useful that it when learning Spanish,Panama Canal and how much better subtitling is than dubbing! So, we get www.zyra.tv/subdub.htm , and Ways to Learn a Foreign Language www.zyra.eu/learn-language.htm . Plus, although I'm trying to learn Spanish, I noticed that most of the Spanish-speaking people I met in Panama were keen to learn English, so I've added an extra link on the front page to provide the subtitling experience in the opposite direction (see the last link on the front page at www.zyra.org.uk ). This isn't good for learning Spanish, but it is good for learning English if you already speak Spanish!

You seldom see a straight banana, but in Europe they are never seen, as they've been banned by bureaucratic European rules. However, in Panama... www.zyra.eu/bananast.htm !

Now is the time for the First Tea-Break. I don't know how long it's taken you to read this far and follow the interesting links, but it's taken me a day to write this far. So a cup of tea, or some other refreshing beverage, is a good idea at this point, and then the second day of newsletter-writing begins! ...

There are a great many companies that get a mention at this site, and if you want to look up a shop to see if they are included, you can look in the full site index www.zyra.me.uk/sindexf.htm which is listed in A..Z order so it's as easy as the telephone book but not made from trees. (You have to scroll down a few pages before you get to A...Aardvark...Acorn etc, because there are things before A). On this issue there are some companies with some interesting names, for example Big Bathroom Shop www.zyra.org.uk/bigbathroomshop.htm where bathroom fittings are the speciality, Hotels Hotels Hotels www.zyra.org.uk/hotelshotelshotels.htm where they tell you about hotels but they tripled the name to emphasise the point, OYYY www.zyra.org.uk/oyyy.htm which is a place where they sell computer stuff. I could tell you about places at random, but in fact some of the companies fit into distinct classes, for example there's a whole section on PLUS SIZE fashion www.zyra.net/plus-size-fashion.htm . The places that sell big shoes, and clothes whose style and design matches customers' size and personal taste, are there listed for you to browse through. So I don't need to mention Masseys, Mason Shoe, Junonia, Wissota Trader, Maryland Square, etc, as they are all listed on that page!

Another set of names I don't need to mention specifically is the following: Manos, Aspro, Escapades, and Panorama. These are all holiday companies who are now all encompassed by Thomas Cook www.zyra.org.uk/tomcook.htm . All the individual pages will remain, however!

The fact that pages remain is interesting, and this happens whether we're on good terms with the companies (as with the Thomas Cook companies) or whether the situation is more embarrassing (as with one of the insurance companies who used to have a credit card). However, with these situations the opportunity is always left open for the companies to mend their ways, change their policies, or in some way come back into being on good terms with us. Recently the book company Barnes & Noble wrote in and said that they no longer have an "exclusivity clause". Well Done to Barnes & Noble. The page gets updated, and we enter into diplomatic discussion. Now if one or two other things in the contract are adjusted we might be able to sign up to the affiliate program. Even in absence of that, the page www.zyra.org.uk/barno.htm gets updated to reflect the current situation.

An even bigger success recently has been that of LinkShare. LinkShare is an entire affiliate network, and for a long time there has been a stand-off situation because of things in the LinkShare contract. Well now, things have changed. We have reached an amicable agreement with LinkShare, and got a contract which is agreeable. This could open the way to a whole set of new affiliate arrangements with numerous big name companies especially in the USA. Now that we're on good terms with LinkShare again, the LinkShare page here is updated! See www.zyra.org.uk/linksha.htm and all the old stuff turned into history (archived at www.zyra.org.uk/linksharehistory.htm ), and there have been a whole set of pages about merchants at LinkShare that have been updated to reflect the improved diplomacy. This is good news, and it's a definite Well Done to the people at LinkShare who have done the negotiating and the legal work to make this possible. Next, we should see the links resume and new merchants added, each with their own dedicated pages, as with other networks. In the long run, patience pays.

With contracts, if you don't agree, don't sign it! So, if you've started to "upgrade" Microsoft Media Player 10 to Microsoft Media Player 11, and you get to the bit where you are just expected to sign the contract in which you agree potentially to spyware being installed in your machine, it's not too late to say "NO!" and to undo and restore to the previous situation. See "What to Do if You don't Agree to Microsoft Media Player update agreement": www.zyra.org.uk/media11.htm

BINGO! Not simply in the sense of triumphalism regarding the success with LinkShare, but also in that there are now more Bingo pages here, spread across different networks. These include: www.zyra.org.uk/bingo.htm the main Bingo (category) page, and then separate pages linked for Bingo Zest, Bingo Sky, Dream Bingo, Bingo Magix, Cyber Bingo, Bingo Bongo, Bingos.co.uk, and even El Bingo. The last of these, El Bingo, is a bit different as you can see from www.zyra.eu/el-bingo.htm as it is in Spanish.

BEDS and Mattresses: No Spanish ones yet, and neither do they represent a tax-efficient method of storing money, but there are some comfortable ones for sleeping on, jumping up and down on, or using for other purposes which I'll not go into great detail about here. The BED category www.zyra.org.uk/beds.htm has several new contacts including: Bed Star , Co-op Bedshop , Duvet & Pillow Warehouse , Dreams , and Mattress Online. That last one sounds to me like a virtual bank, and although the savings account interest rate wouldn't be great, the investment would at least be springy enough to bounce back from the credit crunch!

And now on a more cheerful note, a few planets. The planet Jupiter, still safe in its designation as "a planet", has had a page for some time at www.zyra.org.uk/jupiter.htm , not that we've actually got an affiliate program with it, althoughSaturn according to the composer Holst it is the bringer of joy, and this site is good on Google searches for "cheer me up". However, you can see the Galilean Moons of Jupiter through binoculars, always good as a party trick on a dark night www.zyra.org.uk/mjupiter.htm . Recently added, Saturn: www.zyra.net/saturn.htm with rings you can see with a good telescope. Less well known, the (dwarf) planet Ceres www.zyra.info/ceres1.htm which although small, is larger and nearer than its level of obscurity might suggest. The fun level of gravity would make it a good tourist destination.

If technological advances in space travel were to start progressing the way computers have done, with so many megabytes and then so many gigabytes and then so many terabytes, things would soon get very interesting.

However, some people might consider that the Speed of Light is a problem to space travel. That is, even at 186 thousand miles per second, light still takes several years to get to/from nearby stars such as Alpha Centauri, Barnard's Star, Epsilon Eridani, etc. As Albert Einstein is quoted as saying that it's not possible to go faster than light, people assume it's some kind of "speed limit", so they assume it would inevitably take a long time for any spacecraft to make the long trip at that limited speed. Well, it's not true! They have misunderstood what Albert Einstein said, and although there is a measurable "speed of light" www.zyra.org.uk/speed-c.htm for observers of the scene, the situation is very different for travellers. Space travellers become in-effect time travellers into the future, and their speed from their own perspective is much faster than is observed from the ground. So, in contrast to the common misconception, it is possible to get from interstellar place to place in a much shorter time than the number of "light years" measured would suggest! This is further explored at www.zyra.org.uk/lightspeedlimit.htm and the myth exploded. However, you can't use this to avoid being late for meetings.

Second Tea-Break. I think it all depends on how many of the links you're following, but you must know that this Circular message only contains brief summaries and hints and links and references about things, and that most of the really interesting in-depth stuff is at pages on the site.

For example, I'm not going to list all of the links to all of the dedicated page for the online shoe shops that have been added to the site over the past three months. According to the size of your feet and your taste in style, either of both of which may be quite different to mainstream, a wide range of choices is available from the links on the starting page www.zyra.org.uk/shoes.htm , and it's up to you to explore. However, I'll list the names here: Shoe-Shop, SoftMoc, Shoe Buy, Planet Shoes, Heels, Boot Barn, Schuh, Sweet Feet Shoes, Shoe Shop, and Branch 309.

A similar thing applies to all of the perfume places, whose names include Perfumeland, Perfume Emporium, Cheap Smells, Fragrance X, and Fragrance Zone. All of these can be accessed via www.zyra.org.uk/perfume.htm , and the pages are quite descriptive so you don't need a USB Aromatron plug-in to appreciate the finesse of the olfactory experience.

Some things require a bit more explaining, for example: There's a bookie where you aren't supposed to bet on the horse that's going to win, and instead you try to pick a losing horse! Have you been any good at betting on horses that lose? If so, it might be worth a look at www.zyra.org.uk/elitehorseracing.htm . Then there's "Bid and Click", which seems at first to be an online auction, except that the winner is not the person with the highest bid but the lowest unique bid. See www.zyra.org.uk/bidandclick.htm (I'm sure this has a gambling element to it and requires some luck).

There are some places whose names are curious, for example Jos A Bank www.zyra.org/josabank.htm , who isn't a bank in fact, but a tailor. And, Baker Ross www.zyra.org.uk/bakerross.htm , not a baker, but a toyshop. Yet, Bright Filter, www.zyra.org.uk/brightfilter.htm , even though it sounds like it might be water purification, is in fact a child-safe Internet browsing system. If you install this, please check www.zyra.org.uk and make sure you can see it! My site is designed to be child-friendly!

Shearings, not in the sheep wool business, but in coach holidays www.zyra.org.uk/shearingsholidays.htm . Perhaps the prize for odd company names this issue goes to a place named "Tires Easy", whose product is long-lasting and hard-wearing www.zyra.net/tireseasy.htm

Optical Zoom v Digital ZoomI think some pictures would improve the look of this Circular, so I'll now include the set which go with the explanatory page about the difference between Optical Zoom and Digital Zoom www.zyra.info/digizoom.htm . That page itself is helpful when deciding on your choice of digital cameras.

The thing is, although "digital" sounds modern and fashionable, the truth is that it's a poor substitute for real optical zoom. Optical zoom is telescopy, whereas digital zoom is more like getting a pair of scissors and cutting a piece out of the middle of a photo.

Talking about telescopes, how would you like to have a look through the Hubble Space Telescope? Well it is one of the best telescopes, and it is up there in space so it doesn't have to see through all the murky pollution in the atmosphere. However, might it be a bit tricky for you to get to look through the Hubble Space Telescope? Well you can! Here's an explanation: www.zyra.org.uk/hubble-look.htm

On a more earthly note, there are some high-performance machines whose design involves features to ensure they remain on the ground: Cars. The more powerful they are, the more thought has to go into methods to stop them from leaving the ground, as the earth's gravity, though notably a bit much, sometimes isn't enough to maintain the vehicles' grip on the surface. Here are some snazzy car pages: Parts America www.zyra.net/partsamerica.htm - the Web’s full-service destination for do-it-yourself automotive repair and restoration, Racer Wheel www.zyra.net/racerwheel.htm - a huge selection of custom wheels, ground effects, projector headlights, and altezza tail lights , Auto Barn www.zyra.net/autobarn.htm - might sound German, but in fact it's American, Andy's Auto Sport www.zyra.net/andysautosport.htm - the world's more prolific body kit distributor - although it's only vehicles and they've not moved into cybernetics and androids yet, Jeep Parts www.zyra.net/jeepparts.htm - the leading mail order and Internet distributor of Jeep parts and accessories, A J Prindle www.zyra.net/ajprindle.htm - PRND21 , Auto Geek www.zyra.net/autogeek.htm - for a superb showroom finish, plus The Ultimate Finish www.zyra.org.uk/theultimatefinish.htm , and Vivid Racing www.zyra.tv/vividracing.htm , which seems to have something about it where you can customise your car into something more like on Death Race 2000.

Optical Zoom v Digital ZoomMotorcycles too, including Jafrum www.zyra.net/jafrum.htm - the Most trusted Name in Motorcycle Helmets, Leathers and Accessories , Motorcycle Superstore www.zyra.net/motorcyclesuperstore.htm - the largest online selection of motorcycle gear, motorcycle apparel, motorcycle parts and motorcycle accessories, and Get Geared www.zyra.org.uk/getgeared.htm - where you can get motorcycling outfits that could save your life if you come off.

Did you know that sometimes searching for stuff can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack? Is that true? Well, what would it be like to search for a needle in a haystack, and how difficult would it be? If you were to actually try this, what clever solutions would help to make it easier? This whole needle/haystack business is explored in some detail at www.zyra.org.uk/needle-haystack.htm !

In contrast, finding stuff at Zyra's website is more like trying to find "needle" and "haystack" in a dictionary! See www.zyra.org.uk/finds.htm . A..Z order is quite helpful, as well as the find things are linked together associatively like in the mind. However, on the wider issue of how to find stuff generally, for example on the Internet, there's a page about that too, at www.zyra.org.uk/to-find.htm

Moving on from "needle in a haystack" to... "mad as a fish". I wonder, how mad, generally speaking, is a fish? Well it may seem odd that they are tempted to eat maggots (www.zyra.org.uk/fishing.htm ), but that is just a matter of having different taste in choice of food, surely? Plus, when I have been in the mental hospital, I have not seen many fish there. Aha! But that's the thing, they are "the ones that got away"! Nevertheless, there is a company whose name is... Mad as a Fish, and this is now featured at the page www.zyra.org.uk/madasafish.htm . Maybe if you explore around their site, they'll have a helpful explanatory page answering this curious point.

Optical Zoom v Digital ZoomHatters, now that's another matter, so to speak. At the time of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carol, some hatters had a form of madness which was brought on by persistent exposure to the liquid metal mercury they used as part of the process of hat making. Mercury is explained at www.zyra.org.uk/mercury3.htm , but these days hatters tend to be no more mad than professionals in other similar lines of business. Then again, at New Urban www.zyra.org.uk/newurban.htm they have a range of trilby hats in a range of crazy colours. I was hoping to find some madness of some sort at Hat World www.zyra.net/hatworld.htm , but it all seems remarkably sane.

Panama hats are usually made in Ecuador, by the way. Now for things you want to keep under your hat, privacy and security are important, although in a more literal sense for "under your hat", there is hair, or the lack of it. Verseo is a useful contact in the hair-growth business www.zyra.net/verseo.htm , and they are have solutions to the opposite problem, to do with hair that's growing in the wrong place - hair removal. Hair Genesis www.zyra.info/hairgenesis.htm is another good hair-growth contact, with probably very little to do with anything biblical.

A few more hair/health/beauty contacts include: Gorgeous Shop www.zyra.org.uk/gorgeousshop.htm , Direct Cosmetics, Beauty Trends, StrawberryNet (welcome back!), Lush Cosmetics, Lip-Ink International (semi-permanent lip colour), Dr Nirdosh, Healthy Direct, Vitabiotics, Beautique, Nail 4 You, Just Beautifully, Look Fantastic, UK Med, and PharmacyFix. These can be seen at www.zyra.org.uk/beauty.htm and www.zyra.org.uk/health.htm

In a similar way, the Travel/Hotels pages www.zyra.org.uk/travel.htm and www.zyra.org.uk/hotels.htm have (over the past three months) the following additions: IFA Hotels and Resorts, Balkan Holidays, You Travel, On The Beach, Holidays in Spain, Lopesan (Gran Canaria), Hotels Viva, Direct Holidays, Medlife Hotels, Island Cruises, Responsible Travel, Holiday.co.uk , Millennium Hotels and Resorts, Premier Inn, Legacy Hotels, Search Travel Online, Travelcare, Grange Hotels, Libra Holidays, Fresh Holidays, Cheap Flight Seats, Hotels 4U, and Hotel Shop.

In addition to these, there's also a page with a few of Mediterranean Islands www.zyra.eu/medisle.htm which includes Cyprus www.zyra.eu/cyprus.htm , Menorca www.zyra.eu/visitmenorca.htm , and Lesbos www.zyra.org.uk/lesbos.htm - which is a place famous for its poets, and yet it doesn't make the most of that.

Well it's clear that another day has gone by and I have not managed to get near to completing this Circular, so here's the Third Tea Break. There's still a lot of interesting stuff to mention, including the Earth's axis in 2012, toilet roll middles, and the overdubbing of cats in movies!

Middles?Now about those cardboard middle-bits in toilet rolls, (by the way, that picture from the page of the Checklist of Items to Pack when Travelling www.zyra.info/travelchecklist.htm is the last surviving picture from stolen digital camera 0430227773 www.zyra.net/0430227773.htm ), ¿have you noticed any difference in cardboard tube size over the years? I have a suspicion that in some of the cheaper brands of toilet paper, the middles are bigger than they were a while ago. This may seem explainable by the notion that it makes the roll look bigger while saving on actual toilet paper. However, this seems unlikely as the problems of doing this would surely outweigh the advantages. More about this issue of extraordinary political importance at www.zyra.org.uk/trollmiddles.htm !

Now here is a chance to bag some collectable souvenirs of a time in history. Whenever the Olympic Games are held in a country whose human rights record is in question, for example Nazi Germany 1936 and China 2008, the paraphernalia associated with the event becomes much sought-after by curio-collectors and connoisseurs of antiquities. After the type of thing described at www.zyra.tv/chinaface.htm , it may be that such items as the oJOoj4 Deliciosa Felicidad en Mandarin cola can will become rare souvenirs worth much more than their cost price. Now is the time to collect them, in the present time, before they move into history. See www.zyra.net/ojooj4.htm

It may seem unsurprising, but there are some more mobile phone company pages on this issue. These are all linked from www.zyra.org.uk/mphones.htm and include: Beepy, Affordable Mobiles, Mobile Phone Xchange, Fone Bank, Mobile Shop, Mobiles Please, and Mobile Express. These are mainly UK mobile phones. When I was in Panama I bought a mobile phone, but now I'm back in the UK it says it's out of range.

The 192com company with their UK Info Disc wrote in to ask if I'd please not muddle them up, so now there's a separate page www.zyra.org.uk/192com.htm and another www.zyra.org.uk/uk-info-disc.htm , although it would be nice to get a deep-link product link with affiliate code s2d6 on it to go with the aforementioned page!

The London Underground gets a dedicated page, regardless of whether there's an affiliate program, at www.zyra.org.uk/london-underground.htm

There are a few insurance links added from www.zyra.org.uk/insure.htm , including Co-op home & motor, Insure With Ease, and horse insurance Pet Plan Equine www.zyra.org.uk/petplanequine.htm , but most notable is Direct Line, as they have punctured the bubble of price comparison sites. This may not seem obvious at first, but when Direct Line announced "You won't find us on any price comparison sites" they have effectively fundamentally undermined the whole notion of price comparison sites. This deserves a whole page as it is quite significant! www.zyra.org.uk/pcomp.htm (that's the page on which the relative merits of chalk and cheese are mentioned). Well Done to Direct Line! It's about time someone did it. Clue: The most romantic bunches of flowers and the best Art would never have done well on price comparison sites.

Museum Selection - www.zyra.org.uk/museumselection.htm - items inspired by the world's best museums -  probably not the cheapest artifacts, but certainly of considerable interest. Bambino Direct - www.zyra.org.uk/bambinodirect.htm * - quality nursery goods specialists - although if it's a matter of price then the secondhand pram I have for sale is cheaper (and assuming that borrowing a high pressure air-hose to blow all the dust out of it doesn't cost anything as it's a free service at garages). Leonidas - www.zyra.org.uk/leonidas.htm - Belgian chocs - again, price not being the best comparison, and it's tricky to see any way of having an objective Indulgence Comparison Site!

There are some fashion places added to the category www.zyra.org.uk/fashion.htm , an eclectic mix for sure: Shirt Magic (design your own shirt), Maidenform, Bunny Hug, Urban Outfitters, Quake for Men, Bravissimo, Peacocks, Pyjama Room (comfy casualwear), Milan Clothing, and Bridal Party Tees.

If you are thinking about planning a website, you may be interested in the hosting at Vivostar www.zyra.info/vivostar.htm and a basic website planning advice page www.zyra.net/webplan.htm

A hint there for a Tea Break (4), after which some curious movie-making mistakes are to be examined. These are sufficiently non-obvious that they don't get into "movie goof" sites.

Cats in movies often behave entirely differently to the way actual cats in life behave. We can't blame this on bad acting, because it's difficult enough to get cats to follow directions anyway.meow! Instead, the problem seems to be that cats are often pictured as creatures that suddenly leap out from a hidden location and make an inappropriate noise. The reasons for this include a complete misunderstanding of cat behaviour, but also there is an element of very poor overdubbing using a stock sound effect which has presumably been got when someone trod on a cat's tail! For more about this, see www.zyra.at/fakecats.htm

Another thing which has become a screen cliché is the location of dart boards. In situation comedies in people's living accommodation, where would you expect to see a dartboard as if someone had thoughtfully hung it? On a wall nice and safely where mistakes would not be a problem? Well, presumably for some deep and dark suspicious reason, in so many shows, we see the dartboard hung ON A DOOR! Now come on, no-one is that stupid?! See www.zyra.org.uk/dartboarddoor.htm

These choice items go in the collection of common mistakes in movies www.zyra.tv/moviegoofs.htm , along with crawling through the ventilation ducts, the weight of gold, and a few space dynamics problems of an elementary physics nature.

Yes, but... "If you're so smart, why ain't you rich?". Well actually... www.zyra.org.uk/smartrich.htm

(Apparently, the question was never intended to be answered, and was typically a put-down line used as a glib answer-back at anyone who said anything clever, and it was fashionable during the Great Depression rather than the present day economic crash).

Talking of which, "credit cards that can't go into debt", or pre-pay cards, are becoming more fashionable, and there's another one added on this issue, Optimum www.zyra.org.uk/optimum.htm , on the page of these things www.zyra.org.uk/prepaid.htm

Saving money is a good idea www.zyra.org.uk/savecash.htm, but it has been said that I take it to extremes, for example saving money by burning gambling machines! www.zyra.org.uk/freeheat.htm

(The fire may need to be poked, but not with a Prime Poker www.zyra.org.uk/primepoker.htm !)

Similarly, if a colour computer printer has four elements C,M,Y and K, does that mean it has 4 InkJets? www.zyra.co.uk/4inkjets.htm

Again we're into the name shuffling, and it's always been a curious point that sporting events seem to have names that don't quite match the sport in question, for example the Badminton Horse Trials being an equestrian matter not a racquet sport, and what would the Ryder cup be? Not bikes or horses, but golf. Having seen some of the golf being played, the quality is astonishing, verging on miraculous. More golf "links" added to www.zyra.org.uk/golf.htm (Golfalot, Golf Online, etc), although it was curious to note that the online golf shop whose name is "American Golf" turned out to be a .co.uk ! Still, it is at the .net here... www.zyra.net/americangolf.htm

And now some more companies that are named after places whose geography may or may not correspond to their location or customer-base: Farm Africa www.zyra.org.uk/farmafrica.htm - folk in the developed world get a chance to buy gifts for their friends which also results in poor farmers in Africa receiving something really useful, The Cotswold Company www.zyra.org.uk/cotswoldcompany.htm, furniture for home and garden, named after The Cotswolds - a region in the UK, Ipanema www.zyra.org.uk/ipanema.htm , named after a beach near Rio in Brazil (as per the song "The Girl from Ipanema"), but selling flip-flops generally round the world but especially in the UK (free UK delivery), Yes Asia www.zyra.org.uk/yesasia.htm - Asian entertainment products - free worldwide delivery - sent from the UK because that's where the company is based. Also, Anglian Conservatories (named after Anglia, an ancient name of a region), customer testimonial at www.zyra.me.uk/anglian2.htm

Also on a geographical theme, Caledonian Connoisseur www.zyra.org.uk/caledonianconnoisseur.htm - Scottish food, and Amaarah www.zyra.org.uk/amaarah.htm - Welsh jewellery.

However, A1 Gifts www.zyra.org.uk/a1gifts.htm isn't named after the road, and Borders www.zyra.org.uk/borders.htm is a bookshop which seems to transcend dividing lines between places!

HighwayWell it may seem at odd place to have Tea Break 5, but it's got to fit in here somehow or the finalé will be in the wrong place!

This photo (right) is of a four-lane highway, but it's not the A1 in the UK. It is the Panamerican Highway at part of it where it goes through Panama. Roads this good in a tax haven, not paid-for out of tax? There's a toll, usually around $1. There are arrangements with private enterprise companies to build roads, usually on some kind of lease agreement.

Although you might have noticed there are quite a lot of companies mentioned in the pages, it's up to you whether you visit them, and also as there are something like eighteen pages added every week it is now the case that the site can be used like a directory so you can look up places in the site index, the full version of which is at www.zyra.me.uk/sindexf.htm . Some of the companies are the everyday essentials and usual things, and some are notably something different from the norm. I'll name a few next, to give some idea of this: "Do Something Different" www.zyra.org.uk/dosomethingdifferent.htm which is an adventure activity holiday site in the general category of Adventurous Gifts www.zyra.org.uk/advgifts.htm along with Red Letter Days and Treat Me!, Trampled Underfoot www.zyra.org.uk/trampledunderfoot.htm is a trampoline shop, so that sounds quite fun, jumping up and down in the garden. "On The Cover" www.zyra.co.uk/onthecover.htm is an extraordinary idea where you can have your friends pictured on the front cover of a magazine just for fun. There's fun furniture at Bean Bag Bazaar www.zyra.org.uk/beanbagbazaar.htm and Elephant Bean Bags www.zyra.org.uk/elephantbeanbags.htm . Plus, e-Fancy Dress www.zyra.org.uk/e-fancydress.htm is an online fancy dress place but not necessarily for going to a fancy dress party, and is perhaps more of a fantasy dress.

Then there's the Gym Company www.zyra.org.uk/gymcompany.htm for installing your own fitness facility, and Aspects Pools and Spas www.zyra.org.uk/aspectspoolsandspas.htm for pool accessories and stuff.

There are also some yummy chocs at various places on the Chocs page www.zyra.org.uk/chocs.htm including Send Chocs, Lovehearts (also links to Love Hearts Jewellery), Chocolate Now, Montezumas (fair trade chocolates).

Of course there are places on here that supply basic utilitarian things such as kitchen sinks, eg. Kitchkof - www.zyra.org.uk/kitchkof.htm , but the thing is, if you need a kitchen sink, such a place could be just what you are looking for.

Similarly for Fireplace World www.zyra.org.uk/fireplaceworld.htm and Haysom Lighting www.zyra.org.uk/haysomlighting.htm and all the sink and bathroom places at www.zyra.org.uk/bathroom.htm

Panama!So when people ask "What is Zyra's website about?" I try to explain, www.zyra.co.uk/zyra-about.htm , and point out that it's about almost everything, so yes it can have kitchen sinks and yet also explain that the North and South pole are not quite the way round they might be assumed to be www.zyra.tv/norsth.htm , and then there's an explanation of why clocks go round clockwise! www.zyra.info/clockwis.htm

On my travels I have met people who ask about the notion that the Earth's poles are going to flip, and the idea that in 2012 there's going to be something very drastic happen, possibly even including a substantial shift in the Earth's axis. The worry is based on the Mayan calendar, but if you ask any Mayans (yes, you do see them, in Central America in the present age), they'll likely not have such a doomladen view of the astrological changes associated with 2012/12/21. I've tried to summarise some of the likely and unlikely things on this page: www.zyra.net/poleflip.htm . So, don't panic.

Oak Furnitureland www.zyra.org.uk/oakfurnitureland.htm - Can you guess what they sell? Could it be OAK furniture? Yes, but they also sell furniture made of birch, and, (would you believe it?), mango. It's not always so easy to guess, as Diamond Lounge www.zyra.org.uk/diamondlounge.htm isn't a jewellers but a classy dating site. As for lounges, VIP lounges are to be found at www.zyra.org.uk/prioritypass.htm

Next, I'll reel off a few surfing/boarding/fashion suppliers: Boardsport Warehouse www.zyra.org.uk/boardsportwarehouse.htm , Snowpaw Store www.zyra.org.uk/snowpawstore.htm , Island Surf www.zyra.bz/islandsurf.htm , and Rip101 www.zyra.tv/rip101.htm

And then the matter of choosing a country to live in. It's not entirely a matter of tax as per www.zyra.org.uk/taxhaven.htm , but a matter of comparing the complex range of good and bad features of places, and being able to make an informed decision. This is explained at www.zyra.net/choose-country.htm

If you decide to move, there are some helpful links at Move Me www.zyra.me.uk/moveme.htm , and Really Moving www.zyra.org.uk/reallymoving.htm , which has services to do with moving house, including selling the house!

Countries are not as static as they look on the map, and are changing on an ongoing basis, with new countries being formed, usually by a process of Secession. See www.zyra.net/secession.htm

Well, I'm not going to be able to fit in the remaining items on the schedule, as it's got like a game of scrabble where there's no way of making up convincing words out of the remaining letters such as Q and Z etc. So, if you'd like to see the other items I've not mentioned yet, see the What's New Index www.zyra.org.uk/nindex.htm

And now the finalé: It's an interesting story, and here's what happened. I won a holiday in Barbados! This was no hoax, but was in fact a genuine prize by Affiliate Future, who will now get a special mention here: www.zyra.org.uk/affutur.htm . Affiliate Future is an especially affiliate-friendly affiliate marketing company and has one of the best affiliate-recruiter programs, as well as being a low-fuss network, which is quite important when you're going in for affiliate marketing. Now it's all very well winning a week in Barbados at the affiliate conference, but the flight was to set off from the UK, and I was already booked for three months in Panama at the time. So I sent Xyroth on my behalf. Xyroth has an affiliate website www.xyroth-enterprises.co.uk and also works closely with this site www.zyra.org.uk . There is expected to be a page, or a set of pages, about Barbados, and this will be linked from various places including the tax havens www.zyra.org.uk/taxhaven.htm , but at the time of writing this Circular Newsletter the Barbados page was not complete, so watch this space.

As well as Xyroth getting a week in Barbados, and Affiliate Future getting an expanded feature to include the Affiliate Future America network www.zyra.net/affutur2.htm and the Affiliate Future Europe network www.zyra.eu/affutur3.htm , the merchant involved in the prize Jet2Holidays gets a special upgrade to the dedicated page, www.zyra.org.uk/jet2holidays.htm , plus an extra page www.zyra.org.uk/jet2-flights.htm . Evidently a fun time was had by all, and it was very good for business.

So, this Circular 120 ends on a cheerful note. I hope you've had fun reading it and exploring the pages mentioned. If you're new to the Circular List, don't worry, these messages are usually not as long, and the next one, Issue121 will probably be about a third the length, to be sent in about three weeks.

Kind Regards to ALL!Around the World

Have Fun!



The views expressed in this message are not necessarily those of the writer. The sender of this message disclaims any and all liability for any persons getting all muddled-up on account of the bafflement involved in reading the stuff herein. Any persons drinking jugs of tea along with the diabetic do so at their own risk and it is upon their own responsibility to remember to go to the loo accordingly. Any similarity between this message and any type of pork luncheon meat is entirely coincidental. If you received this message in error, you should thank your lucky stars that you were so fortunate as to get such an interesting message, rather than all the usual guff that tends to clog up the average inbox. On no account should you try to delete this message by setting fire to it, if you find it has been printed out on printer paper and pinned to a notice board. If you reply to this message (please keep it polite) you will probably get a response, although it may take a while as there are quite a lot of copies of the Circular sent out. If you have received this message by a forwarding, you are welcome to sign up to receive the next issues yourself at www.zyra.org.uk/circular.htm

If you get a large box of chocs for Christmas, you're not supposed to expect to scoff it all in one go! This allegory is applied to newsletters of this type.

This message, Zyra's Circular 120, was sent on the 25th of September 2008, but some time around 5th January 2009, a page about Barbados had to be created! There's a page about Panama, and in 2012 Zyra emigrated to Panama as a tax exile.

* The link to Bambino Direct www.zyra.org.uk/bambinodirect.htm, oddly went to Banbino Direct www.zyra.org.uk/banbinodirect.htm although this has now been adjusted.

I wonder how many of the pages mentioned in a Circular Newsletter like this are still alive with working affiliate links. Most of them, I would have thought.