Stephen King’s Insomnia


Stephen King’s Insomnia was first published in 1994 and like a number of King’s other novels, it is set in the state of Maine and in the fictional town of Derry. The genre of this book is not traditional horror but rather a supernatural or sci-fi thriller. Other aspects of the book are also somewhat unfamiliar to King’s normal offerings, firstly the book is very long at over 800 pages in length and also the main characters are all in their 60’s and older.

Even though Insomnia is in the supernatural or science fiction genre, King still manages to address a number of important issues whilst continuing uninterrupted with the book’s main story. Subjects such as abortion, domestic violence and women’s rights are all covered in such a way as not to detract from the entertaining storyline.

The plot of Stephen King’s Insomnia is rather slow to get going and things don’t really pick up pace until at least 100 pages in but this allows King to really create a cast of believable characters that the reader can empathize with throughout the novel. Ralph Roberts who is a retiree starts to have problems with insomnia and the condition deteriorates as he manages to get less and less sleep until he can’t sleep at all. Ralph starts to see things that aren’t able to be seen by other people such as people’s energy fields or ‘auras’ and alien beings that he calls ‘little bald doctors’ as a result of their appearance. Ralph also discovers that Lois Chasse, a woman he has feelings for is also able to see these alternate planes of reality and the alien creatures.

As with many of King’s books, one of the main themes of Insomnia is the fight of good versus evil and in this particular case the hero is Ralph Roberts who is a retired widower and a very ordinary and believable character who faces up against the Crimson King and his followers. There are a number of highly entertaining twists as King develops the plot, one in particular where Ralph is shown a piece of the future and has to make a life altering decision based on the vision, prompting the reader to question individual morality against self-preservation. As with many of King’s novels the ending isn’t all happiness however as the main protagonist is killed and is accompanied by the consoling remark that at last Ralph can rest.

Stephen King’s Insomnia had a very important part to play in the progression of King’s series of books because when Ralph defeats the Crimson King ultimately saving the life of the young boy Patrick Danville, it sets the direction for King’s Dark Tower series. Although the first novel in the Dark Tower series was published in 1982 and there were 3 books before Insomnia was even written, Insomnia introduces the reader to the pivotal character of Danville in the future Dark tower books.

Insomnia may not be a traditional Stephen King novel, it’s length, character composition and storyline pace are somewhat different to many of his other books, it is undoubtedly an enjoyable and thoroughly entertaining read.

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Calculating Stride Length & Stride Frequency


The following exercise explains how you can calculate the stride length and stride frequency of a runner on a treadmill.

Consider first some definitions of terms:

Stride length: Stride Length corresponds to the horizontal distance between the location of a foot at one point in time (usually the first point of contact with the ground)to the same point of the same foot at the next occurrence of the selected position in the running cycle.

Step: A step corresponds to the horizontal distance between the location of a foot at one point in time (usually the first point of contact with the ground) to the same point of the contra-lateral foot at the next occurrence of the selected position in the running cycle. In essence two steps constitute a stride.

Stride Frequency: Stride frequency corresponds to the number of strides that are completed in a specified time period. The standard unit of measurement is the hertz (Hz) which records the number of cycles per second. Step frequency is the equivalent measure using a step (as defined above) as the core parameter.

Timecode: Time code records the passage of time via the use of a sequence of pairs of numbers separated by colons. e.g. 00:01:15:32. The first pair of numbers represents the number of hours, the second pair the number of minutes, the third pair the number of seconds and the last pair the number of hundredths of a second.

The speed of a runner can be defined as being equal to Stride Length × Stride Frequency

Given the relationship between running velocity, stride length and stride frequency plus a video record (with timecode) of a runner on a treadmill it is a straight forward matter to calculate values for the stride length and stride frequency of a runner at a known speed.


A Dance With Dragons Audiobook: Maximizing Your Listening Experience


If you were an avid fan of fantasy novels full of larger than life creatures and creepy but powerful villains, “A Dance with Dragons” by George R. R. Martin would be perfect for your taste. It is the fifth book of the author’s seven epic fantasy novels (A Song of Ice and Fire series) and it offers a completely refreshing take on the already fantastic story. However, living in the fast-paced digital world has its own drawbacks. For one thing, almost everything that you need and want can be accessible online, and this makes many people busier than ever. Nevertheless, do not let your super tight schedule get in the way of leisure reading because there is a way to do this. It is through “A Dance with Dragons” audiobook.

The audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” is a great technique when it comes to imagining what’s going on with the book at any time, even when you’re doing something else. Whether you are driving or working out, it is a relaxing way to keep your minds off of things. The audiobook has many features. These are as follows:

Unabridged Audiobook

The audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” is unabridged, which means you will hear every word that was written in the novel. Nothing is left out. This may pose a negative aspect to some people but to George R. R. Martin enthusiasts, this is certainly good news. After all, you would want to hear everything that he has written to get that full listening enjoyment in this 49-hour audiobook.

Published by Random House Audio

Random House is currently the biggest publisher of books in the world. It has become a household name for many major companies and authors. This business is so huge that they even have their own audiobook department, which is where the audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” was born. This truly says a lot and this only goes to show that you can expect nothing but the best when it comes to this fantasy novel. The audio quality is nothing short of amazing and that will totally give you your money’s worth.

Narrated by Roy Dotrice

The audiobook version of “A Dance with Dragons” is created without cutting any corners; that’s for sure. Its narrator is Roy Dotrice, a Tony Award winning, Broadway British actor that has made his way to fame through his exemplary acting skills. You can certainly feel the emotions that G. R. R. Martin wrote and trying to expose. Roy Dotrice’s soothing, almost melodic voice can stun, bewilder, and frustrate you all at the same time, making it effortless to imagine the climactic scenes in this fantasy epic novel.

There you have it. These factors make the audiobook so special. Not only that the story can magically lure and captivate you, the crystal clear, unabridged version of this book makes the experience all the more exciting and fun. By the end of the day, it is all about ensuring a high quality product that can enhance all the features of the book and “A Dance with Dragons” audiobook can seamlessly provide that.


Why Seek a Top Retained Search Firm for Executive Recruiting?

Executive positions within a company are crucial to initial success, remaining competitive, and thriving in the future. They shape policies and procedures, manage massive amounts of money, hire managers and entry level personnel, and protect the business reputation. The brightest, most talented, and experienced professionals can lead a company well into the future with innovation, creative thinking, and bold new ways of reinventing the industry. The most likely place to have access to such executives is a Top retained search firm.


To understand the benefits of using a top firm, people must first realize what being retained indicates about the firm. Firms do not become retained by businesses and global corporations because one recruiter was able to quickly fill an executive position. Consistent and successful placements are components that lead to agency retention. Candidates presented are ones that suit the needs, fit well with the business culture, have unique experience, and stay with the company for many years.

A secondary reason is to save time. Using different agencies is time-consuming. Business owners have to explain needs, nature, and goals over and over again to recruiters who are not familiar with the company’s operations. A retained recruiter can start future searches with minimal information. Provide the title, job description, and benefits package to recruiters over the telephone and let them d the rest.

Measuring the Capacity of a Recruiting Firm

Tenure is an essential measurement tool for a recruiting firm. It means the recruiting team knows the industry, conducts interviews that allow them to capture the intangible nuances of a professional, and listen carefully to the future goals of companies for ideal matches. Another tool is the speed at which a firm can produce a short list of candidates. Because executive and top management are so important to the company, having such positions vacant for long periods of time can be detrimental.

There is a balance required for speed and results. Getting a short list fast is ideal, but that will not be beneficial if no one on the list is right for the position. The perfect balance is quickly finding candidates that will enhance and lead the business. One component cannot be sacrificed in favor of the other component. Experienced and retained agencies have protocols and procedures to ensure both components are satisfied.

How Professional Video Production is Exploding in the Corporate World

When someone thinks about video production they might think about the entertainment industry. While video production is a staple mark of many areas of entertainment, what many video production experts are understanding is that there are a number of different facets for this type of work outside of the entertainment industry. Corporations are using video production more than ever before, and there is a great deal of work that doesn’t always stifle creativity and can be extremely lucrative for even a small Video Production company.

The Power of Video

Businesses these days understand the power of social media and they understand that outlets like Facebook and YouTube can make a huge impact on not only keeping in contact with existing customers, but it can be a powerful tool to draw in new business. However, while Facebook can be an interactive social media experience involving messaging and texting, sites like YouTube are video driven.

For this reason, it will be important for businesses of all sizes to have a presence on video social media sites. In addition, it’s also important to put their best foot forward to create the best quality videos possible.

Quality Productions

This is where professional video production can come in and save the day. Not only will a video production company be able to produce high-quality video from a technical standpoint, from a creative standpoint, they can be quite captivating and entertaining. In some cases, a company may be looking to properly highlight the products or services they provide. A high-quality video that is shot on the best types of cameras and that is scripted and produced in a professional manner can do all this plus much more.

A New Take on Corporate Video

There are some companies may be looking for videos that are entertaining, captivating or unique. In this case, video production services can provide a wide range of different skill sets to create videos that can be posted on corporation or business websites as well as their corresponding social media pages.

As you can see, video production has many more outlets than simply movies or television shows. With the creative opportunities and the business opportunities that exist with corporate video production, a video producer can have a very lucrative and creatively satisfying career in the corporate world.

How Much Does an Amber Cost?


The price of amber is determined by the different life forms which are found in the stone. Intact insects, plants, flowers etc will increase the value of amber and these stones will be highly priced. Typically, an amber necklace with say, a trapped dragonfly, will have a high price and will enjoy a heavy demand in the market.

The prices of these gems can vary depending upon the clarity, color, polish and size of the piece. The prices mentioned in this article are in general for gems of fairly good color and good clarity. Opaque pieces of amber can usually be bought quite cheap – for as much as $0.10 to $1 for a carat or less. For pieces around an inch in size and with insect inclusions, the prices can range from $50 to $60. An average stone of a good size and with inclusions would cost around $195.

Good wholesale quality beads can also be purchased for as low as $15. Shapeless and uneven pieces without any fossil inclusions ranging from 1 to 1.5 inches in size and weighing around 10 to 12 carats would cost anywhere between $30 to $40. Polished beads without any inclusions of about 1 centimeter usually cost from $1 to $2 per carat.

Many a times, this gem is heated to give it an old or aged look. These pieces usually cost less compared to a similar piece having the original color.

Amber pieces with unusual flora and fauna are a collector’s item. Fossils in this gem always increase its value and beauty. A pendant with inclusions is guaranteed to get a good price in the market. A carved ring is also very highly priced in the market.

A significant difference in the price of the amber is made depending on the period from which the amber originates from. The older the gemstone, the higher is its price. However, it is not easy to identify the age of the stone. Most gemological laboratories also do not often certify amber gemstones. The process of finding out the age of the amber stone involves identifying the inclusions present in the stone and estimating the period in which it existed.

There is an interesting piece of news about a piece of Dominican amber with inclusions. Recently, such a piece with a large lizard trapped inside it was sold for $ 75000. This figure cannot really give us a hint of how high a price this gemstone can fetch.

In fact, the amount of history associated with amber jewelry would only serve to increase its market value. Similarly, antique jewelry or a pendant with insect is very highly valued in the market.

There are frequent attempts made in the market to sell amber ‘simulants’ as genuine amber. Simulants of this gem include ambroid, copal resin, kauri gum, dammar, celluloid and plastic. These simulants would normally cost a fraction of what a real stone costs.

Thus, we can see that the price of this gemstone mostly depends upon factors such as age, inclusions, quality and size.


Memories Before and After the Sound of Music – Book Review


Agathe von Trapp, born in 1913, is the eldest daughter of Baron Georg von Trapp. Agathe, her siblings and parents formed the famous Trapp Family Singers, which inspired the popular film, The Sound Of Music.This famous movie was based on books written by Maria about their lives and experiences from her perspective, which – of course – the movie producers had creative license with. After reading Agathe’s memoir, Memories Before And After The Sound Of Music, interest for Maria’s books will likely increase once again.

When I took on this project I reminisced to my husband about the bonding moments I had with my mother because of the movie; he went out and promptly rented the DVD from our local store. I think it is wonderful that the movie has survived all these years and can still be found on movie rental shelves. Memories Before And After The Sound Of Music is likely to experience similar success, simply due to how dear the family’s story has been to the masses.

The book is written as a non-fiction account from Agathe’s memory – as such, readers will see the changing times through the eyes of the eldest daughter of the family. Perhaps due to the fact that Agathe was a young adult at the time, the story does not include the causes of the turmoil. Her bitterness seeps through here and there – and at times, I got the impression that she had once harbored unpleasant feelings towards Maria and the movie producers, which seem to have healed. Agathe’s child-like adoration of her biological parents is apparent in their heroic and greater-than-life portrayal – but then, perhaps they really were like that.

Readers will find that Agathe’s book will travel farther back in time, before Maria entered their lives. The biography follows through to what happened after their escape and clarifies common misconceptions. I found it surprising that Agathe was 25 when the family left for America – the only “children” during the escape were those recently born from Maria.

Though this family’s story is definitely and inspiring riches-to-rags story, one cannot deny that this well-connected family certainly did not suffer like their countrymen. Isolated castles and mansions, pristine lakes and mountains, private farms, fully staffed estates… no, this was certainly not suffering, by any account. However, the war left the family with nothing but the loyalty and love of their fans and friends. This was enough for them to survive Ellis Island, find a home in America, record albums, go on tours and establish a successful music camp – which is operating today in Vermont.

As a fantastic bonus, the center of the book contains over 30 pages of photos of the family starting in 1875 through to images of the family today, including one shot of the next Trapp family singing group.

Author: Agathe von Trapp

Publisher: Publish America

ISBN 10: 1-4137-6026-0

ISBN 13: 978-1-4137-6026-2


If You Think You Understand Experts, Then This Might Change Your Mind

Getting The Best Air Conditioning Units In Dubai

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