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Zyra's Circular
Newsletter for Issue106 of Zyra's website including 104 and 105 and the news of problems in Belize!


Here is an example of Zyra's Circular Newsletter. This is a much longer message than is typical, but at the time there was three months of new material to announce, including the story of what went wrong in Belize. If you are interested in receiving these newsletters on an irregular basis, please add yourself to the mailing list at Zyra's Circular or fill in the form. If this is all surprising to you, it's worth knowing the background: Zyra runs a website which does quite well, and so will be emigrating to a tax haven. However, it's not just a matter of tax, but a matter of finding the right place where people welcome the eccentric!

 

----- Original Message -----
From: ZYRA
To: Everyone on the Circular List
Sent: Friday, August 10, 2007 12:41 AM
Subject: Circular Issue106 of Zyra.org.uk (strangled in Belize!)
new front page picture

2007/07/29 21:23 Publication of Issue 106 of www.zyra.org.uk ! Plus issues 104 and 105 included as well! (also includes the story of the trouble that I suffered in Belize) (X)

Hi to ALL!

Zyra here again to tell you the fact that the new issue of this unorthodox website is now online! Shucks! You wait three months for a Circular announcement of a new issue and then three come all at once! There's a good reason for this; I've been in Belize for three months. I'll tell you the shocking story about this, and about many other things in this somewhat lengthy Circular. There's a lot of new stuff at the website www.zyra.org.uk and I hope you have fun exploring it. For a start, there's a new front page picture introducing 5-phase electricity, and this isn't just so I can promote Powergen, NPower, and the others at www.zyra.org.uk/powerco.htm !

In this issue: Clocks, skateboards, Spanish hotels, what to do if you're worried about your credit card at Tk Maxx, communication, expedition requisites, how to get free phone calls, furniture, warnings about scams and e-mail hoaxes, prescriptions for pets, a few affiliate concepts clarified, knickers, band merchandise, parcels, and luggage which children can ride on, charitable causes, dance fashion, insurance (including actual insurance companies and a more DIY approach), crystals, hidden problems in power cuts, cooking pots, mistakes in movies, tax avoidance (in contrast to tax evasion), bingo, debt solutions, glasses, no glasses, questions about who's to blame for climate change, how to restore biscuits that have gone soft, techniques for making a car more economical, questions about Russian lunar landings, watches, watchdog of watchdogs, blinds, golf, and quite a lot of other things too.

I'm resuming and trying to catch up with what's happened since I started writing the Issue104 Circular, which I didn't finish as I was about to set off to Belize. This was not a three month holiday, but a matter of sensible planning involving my actual emigration as a tax exile. Things did not go well, and although Belize has many good aspects to it, the problems which befell me just beggar belief! I was strangled and robbed, and the next day something even worse happened. I'll tell you more about this as the message unfolds. Meanwhile, while I've been away, the priority has been to develop and maintain the website and to create more stuff. There is quite a lot of new stuff, as you may have guessed.

You can see it's going to be a long message but will be very interesting. It's going to take me a week to write it, and you don't have to read it all at once. There are a great many pages linked to, explaining things in flabbergasting detail, and this message is just an outline. If someone sent you a big box of chocolates, consuming it all in one go would not be the best way to appreciate it.

First, a few hoax messages exposed. If you receive an e-mail message claiming it's from your bank and that you must log in to authenticate your password to prevent identity theft, don't, as it is a scam designed to commit identity theft. Banks don't send out such messages, and it's important to realise this so you don't get caught up in the scam. Recently a new one of these came in pretending to be from HSBC, which was promptly stuffed and mounted in the e-mail taxidermy museum that is www.zyra.org.uk/bankhoax.htm ! It now appears that SKYPE is also being mimicked by hoaxers pretending to be part of the security. Again, avoid. Here's an example message to eye-up at www.zyra.net/skypehoax.htm

One of the ways to avoid such silliness is to have a different e-mail address for each company you deal with, and never use your name in your e-mail address. The method foils almost all scams and is explained at the page "How to Choose Your email Address" www.zyra.info/emailaddress.htm

As well as typical scam messages such as the Co-Op Bank Devoted Customer 253 Pounds Reward Scam www.zyra.info/coopbankscam.htm there are more physical world problems such as the Parcel Delivery Service scam www.zyra.info/mailscam.htm where they try to fool you to phone expensive numbers of a type even more expensive that 0870 numbers as per www.zyra.org.uk/0870.htm !

Numerous worthy websites will tell you about hoaxes and scams and will give you advice on such of safety and good sense, but at Zyra's website you get to read more unusual advice, such as how to restore biscuits that have gone soft! www.zyra.org.uk/restorebiscuits.htm . (It's even possible to restore chocolate biscuits by this method). If you feel like recommending any such odd pages to Digg, please do. It will be interesting to see if my confidence in my hosting bandwidth capacity is justified!

Many of these pages tell of things which folk might think they know about, and yet on closer examination there is more to it, and there are intriguing additional features. With the biscuits it seemed obvious it was just a matter of using a microwave oven, until the experimental results came in. Then the hygroscopic aspect became more apparent! Now about about this?: What happens if there is an electricity power cut? ... The lights go out. So, you light a candle and cook the next meal on the gas cooker. But does the gas cooker work, or is it affected at all by the electricity failure? The answers are non-obvious,The right Power Adaptor and when looking into this further there are some slightly dangerous hidden problems such as the questionable functionality of the phone during power outage! This opens up into a new feature about hidden problems in power cuts, starting with the page www.zyra.info/powercutsnags.htm (worth reading now while the computer is still powered up!)

Another electricity related item tells how to get the right mains adaptor for an electronic device. Finding the right PSU for a machine, or more likely which type of power supply will make-do, is explored at www.zyra.net/psufind.htm

As you might guess, on this issue there are a great many shops and online outlets mentioned, some of them quite famous and some less well known. It is no secret that this website makes money, not by selling advertising, but by helping the businesses to sell stuff. There is a difference, and this is explained at such pages as www.zyra.org.uk/select.htm , www.zyra.org.uk/splatads.htm and www.zyra.info/affils3.htm . Companies are happy because the advertising is free, and they only pay for how much good it does. Customers are happy because they are not paying for the ads at all, and are sometimes being offered a discount, for example at www.zyra.org.uk/jessops2.htm

Among the many places being given a dedicated page on this issue there are: Nabru the comfy seat shop www.zyra.org.uk/nabru.htm , La Manga Resort in Spain www.zyra.org.uk/lamanga.htm , Laskys Electrical Shop www.zyra.org.uk/laskys.htm , Jewellers BoBijou www.zyra.org.uk/bobijou.htm , Maze Direct Handbags www.zyra.org.uk/mazedirect.htm , Rebelio Electronics www.zyra.org.uk/rebelio.htm , and Crystal Age www.zyra.net/crystalage.htm purveyors of magic crystals.

There are a great many more and I'll mention some more of them later. The point is there is a wide choice of places, and they don't need to be world-famous to be featured here.

Insurance has always done well at this site, sometimes much to the surprise of some of the rather formal companies in that line of business, and they probably think the maverick style of the site is towards the top end of their risk profile, but those that have dared to take on the risk have generally done quite well.

The Prudential www.zyra.org.uk/prudentialcar.htm - no extra premium for cars with fluffy dice, Yes Car www.zyra.org.uk/yescarins.htm and www.zyra.org.uk/yesvanins.htm insurance even for old vans, Equity (www.zyra.org.uk/equityhome.htm and www.zyra.org.uk/equitycar.htm ) are described as "Insurance Reinvented"), and then there'svans how old? Argos Cat and Dog insurance at www.zyra.org.uk/argospet.htm . J S Insurance www.zyra.org.uk/travinsureonline.htm can insure travel risks, and Insurance 2 Go can insure your mobile phone www.zyra.org.uk/insure2go.htm

Some considerable time ago the insurance category page www.zyra.org.uk/insure.htm 's contents became so copious that it had to be split into subcategories such as home insurance www.zyra.org.uk/insure-h.htm , motor insurance www.zyra.org.uk/insure-c.htm , health insurance www.zyra.org.uk/insure-u.htm , travel insurance www.zyra.org.uk/insure-t.htm , and everything else insurance www.zyra.org.uk/insure-x.htm

There's even an insurance company Click 4 Gap www.zyra.org.uk/click4gap.htm who will insure against being underpaid by your other insurance company on a car insurance claim!

What if you could be your own insurance company and insure yourself? This curious idea is explored at www.zyra.info/youinsure.htm !

To sum it up it's about risk management.

Risk management also features in the matter of global climate change. It's no good praying it won't change, or assuming the things on the news don't happen around where you live. The earth's climate has been changing for millions of years and it's going to go on changing. However, the climate change may be augmented by what folks do. It's like people farting in a lift/elevator and affecting the local social climate. Recently someone trumped up a new theory and there is starting to be some disagreement about who is to blame for the problem, but let's be cautious, because some things still remain the same regardless!  Here's an intriguing commentary about this: www.zyra.net/blimate.htm

The point is that regardless of who's to blame for climate change, most of the ecological ideas are still valid. Recycling, conserving resources, avoiding pollution, preventing species from becoming extinct, not squirting stuff about that'll leave a big hole in the ozone layer - all of these things are still good even if the climate wasn't what it was thought to be. www.zyra.org.uk/eco.htm . However, I am not chancing it with natural hazards and will be migrating to a location with some elevation above sea level!

"Ecological" often points in the same direction as "Economical" and there have been some crazy things I have done to make a 40 miles per gallon car do 80 miles per gallon. I'm not saying these things were safe or legal, and I'm not suggesting they were all a good idea. So, if you are silly enough to try these things, then it's on your own risk, and I suggest you join at least one of these rescue companies www.zyra.org.uk/recov.htm before becoming stuck, stranded, or otherwise minus an engine. The crazy story is under the title "Things I've done to make a car more economical in fuel" and is at www.zyra.org.uk/economicar.htm

Possibly time for a tea-break, or a comfort-stop like they have on the buses. They'd have comfort stops on aeroplanes too if there was some convenient way of parking them in the sky at mid-air service stations.

Liquid metal mercury Well that's crazy! No-one in their right mind would do that! Indeed it's true, and the same goes for this: Why is the liquid metal mercury a liquid at room temperature? www.zyra.org.uk/mercliq.htm . I thought it was worth me being slightly poisoned to get some good material for the website!

Interesting, as some time ago someone at a well known affiliate marketing company commented that Zyra's website is unusual in having dedicated pages for companies AND actual interesting non-commercial content, at the same site. This is surprisingly rare, and it contrasts with the majority of websites which are (according to the same theory) either entirely commercial and therefore not especially interesting, or entirely content-only and therefore don't actually make any money. Instead, what happens here is that it's like a big museum where entry is free and you can look around at the exhibits, and it's optional if you'd like to visit the museum gift shop, except that this website's "museum gift shop" is www.zyra.org.uk/shopping.htm !

On this Issue (or should that be "Issues"), there's a few famous names added, well known places such as DHL www.zyra.org.uk/dhl.htm , Nokia www.zyra.org.uk/nokia.htm , Time Out magazine www.zyra.org.uk/timeout.htm , and Wickes hardware & DIY www.zyra.org.uk/wickes.htm (I think Wickes will be especially happy as this type of advertising doesn't involve paying for a high percentage of catalogues going into the recycle wheeliebin).

Here's a few who are less well known, but also have dedicated pages: Xcape With Us www.zyra.org.uk/xcapewithus.htm (yes, it really is spelt that way), Urbanity Store www.zyra.org.uk/urbanitystore.htm , Teddy Bear Friends www.zyra.org.uk/teddybearfriends.htm , Makoosh www.zyra.org.uk/makoosh.htm , Gamez Gecko www.zyra.org.uk/gamezgecko.htm (again, note the spelling), and FilmNight www.zyra.org.uk/filmnight.htm

In writing this I can't help feeling at least one of these companies will write in and say "How dare you! We're at least as famous as Nokia! And we've got more aeroplanes than DHL!" or something like that. Still, I didn't know them well, and if you'd asked me a few months ago who Brora are, I'd not have been able to tell you with confident certainty that they are (as per www.zyra.org.uk/brora.htm ) a notable supplier of Cashmere in Scotland!

If guessing, I'd have been right in my guess on what Woodford Clocks have to sell. See www.zyra.org.uk/woodfordclocks.htm . Also, Gala Casinos, www.zyra.org.uk/galacasinos.htm , a fair guess up front. It might also be possible to surmise what's available at The Packaging Store www.zyra.co.uk/packagingstore.htm . Less obvious are such intriguing trading names as Big Bad Buffalo www.zyra.org.uk/bigbadbuffalo.htm , More T Vicar www.zyra.tv/moretvicar.htm , and Only a Pony www.zyra.org.uk/onlyapony.htm ! You may even have to visit those links to find out what they are.

window shopping cat

Cats are featured quite well at this site, and here is a picture of a Belize cat, perhaps not as distinctive as a Manx cat in terms of tax havens and their native feline populations, but nevertheless it's a moggie looking in a shop window, though whether at its own reflection or at something in the shop is a matter of speculation. Still, it gets a humorous write-up at www.zyra.bz/i8634.htm

Dogs of a greater or lesser feral nature roam the streets of Belize City at night. They can do this with safety without being mugged, as they have no wallets or watches.

Watch Dogs are another thing altogether, and there is a new FEATURE about them at Zyra.org.uk - not just a page or two, but a feature. The extent to which watchdogs are the faithful guardians of good practice (which they are supposed to be), or whether they are more of the style of "dog in the manger" or even "nothin' but a hound-dog", is examined with some scrutiny. The feature "Watchdog of Watchdogs" www.zyra.org.uk/watchdog2.htm includes reviews of the FSA, GMC, ICSTIS, OFCOM, LTUC, and ABTA. As the feature includes watchdogs in the past as well as the present, there's a review about the UK Radiocommunication Agency www.zyra.org.uk/radioagency.htm whose loss is lamented.

This then raises the question of what you can do if you have a problem with radio interference now. So, there's a page about some practical and diplomatic solutions at www.zyra.info/radioint.htm

Yet another page of curious advice, as per those at www.zyra.org.uk/advice.htm . I don't mind people recommending pages here and linking directly to them, but if some ignorant yahoos steal chunks of the site and give no proper credit then it is considered poor form! You'd think that would be obvious, but no, it has now become necessary explicitly to state it in the Fair Use page www.zyra.org.uk/fairuse.htm

The churls in question, rather than sorting their own house in order, have instead BANNED THIS SITE! What do you think to that? If you don't like Internet censorship, perhaps you'd like to put the good word in and tell folks about this site, which won't be silenced by such corporate misbehaviour. Did you know, you can define your own homepage to be what you want? See www.zyra.org.uk/homepage.htm

This is not just about How to Get Rid of Yahoo www.zyra.org.uk/yahoo2a.htm , but is a matter of having your own personal empowerment.

Some ISPs are a problem as they issue crippled browsers. Worth checking: Does your web browser have an address bar in which you can type www... etc? If not, then it can most likely be restored by the technique explained on the page How to Get a Full Set of Browser Bars and Controls: www.zyra.net/browserbars.htm

On a computer in El Salvador I noticed they'd taken away the "view source" option, but I have an idea to put it back by something approximating to the Zyra downloadable desktop icon www.zyra.org.uk/zyralink.htm . See, the Great Firewall of China is not the only piece of manmade authoritarian control infrastructure visible from Cyberspace!

Talking of which, there are some extra resources towards campaigning for Human Rights at the page www.zyra.org.uk/rights.htm , including Amnesty International www.zyra.org.uk/amnestyinternational.htm and another place highlighting some of the problems, The Medical Foundation www.zyra.org.uk/themedicalfoundation.htm , helping the victims of torture.

A natural pause appears here to mull over the stuff and to resume a state of mind conducive to continuing with the rest of the message, which contains a lot of new material including at least one new feature.

Now a lunar landing conspiracy with a difference. History is often more extraordinary than fiction, and it's interesting that several decades ago American astronauts landed on the Moon. There's not much room for doubt there, as they left lots of stuff lying about, some of which can be detected from the Earth! Also, we know the first man in space was Yuri Gagarin, who was a Russian (a fact which didn't cheer up the US government at the time).Russian Space Agency But, how many Russian cosmonauts landed on the Moon? It's not a trick question in a quiz. If you ask some people they'll make a guess and say that there were a few Russian lunar landings, and if you ask the conspiracy theory people they might instinctively say that the Russian lunar landing program, rather than being said to be "faked-up", was actually HUSHED UP! Well let's get the facts right: There were no cosmonauts walking around on the Moon, and you can't keep this moon stuff secret because there are people around with telescopes! However, there were Russian moon landings. Having a one ton truck trundling around on eight wheels on the Moon was pretty good, especially back then. Now the conspiracy question: What's happened to all the TV camera images that were taken?! I think someone has got them and I think they should be put online. There must be some old mag-tape somewhere in a cellar, or maybe in a bank vault alongside those cans of caviar which you always see in movies whenever someone's looking through all the stuff in a bank vault. Where are those images? Let's find them! Here's the page about the idea... www.zyra.tv/lunokhod.htm

Now some help for folks who are in debt. It's a problem and it doesn't go away by ignoring it. However, some of the problem is that debt has evolved to arrive by stealth, and one of the things that helps it to sneak up on you is the illusion of Credit Limit. This is a mirage which gives a false impression of the bottom of a pocket in a different place from where it really is. For more about this, and how to solve it, see www.zyra.org.uk/creditlimit.htm

This has been tagged-onto the page "What to do if you are in debt" www.zyra.org.uk/in-debt.htm , and it's also connected up with the Debt Solutions Phone Line at www.zyra.org.uk/debtphone.htm

A garden pond isn't just for dropping your mobile phone into. It can also be used for keeping fish. A garden water feature is a joy to behold, and the fact it puzzles cats is merely an extra bonus. Pond Keeper is a specialist place where there's all the kit required to create and maintain a pond. www.zyra.org.uk/pondkeeper.htm

Cooking pots, saucepans, and kettles have come a long way since they were used directly in contact with fire and might be said to call each other black. Spotlessly clean cookware seems very popular on this issue of the website, and the names include Premier Cookware www.zyra.org.uk/premiercookware.htm , the Professional Cookware Company www.zyra.co.uk/theprocookco.htm Kitchen Science www.zyra.org.uk/kitchenscience.htm , and Nisbets (suppliers of catering equipment to the trade) www.zyra.org.uk/nisbets.htm

There is a kitchen category www.zyra.org.uk/kitchen.htm , but there is a certain irony as my own kitchen is not a particularly clean place, especially considering some of the recent experiments.

There's an old saying "Cleanliness is Next to Godliness". This is a curious idea and although it's fair to say cleanliness is quite a good virtue, I think it's questionable where on a scale of virtue it would rank against such virtues as Truth, Courage, Generosity, Reliability, etc. The idea is explored further at www.zyra.org.uk/cleanliness.htm

It may even turn out that Doubt is a virtue, especially as... Congratulations! You've won the Lottery! Because you've looked at this at precisely this moment you've won a prize! ... well, would you be fooled by that and be lured into clicking on a banner saying that? How many times have you seen that you've been selected to win a 42 inch plasma TV? Or that you are the 100,000th person to see the page and therefore it's a special opportunity? If the banner was jiggling about in a distracting fashion, that might make it more tempting, or maybe it might just be annoying! More about this at www.zyra.net/congratscam.htm

I've also got my doubts about "CRAZY LIKE A FOX", which, although it sounds good setting up your own business and working from home and after a while making a lot of money, and being crazy as well, there seems to be something about "CRAZY LIKE A FOX" which smells. It might not smell quite like a fox, but I suspect there is something a bit iffy about it, and something which, if a bit of cunning was applied, could be sussed out. www.zyra.net/crazyfox.htm

Next, blinds. You pay a lot of money to have a fancy conservatory put up so you can get a lot of sun, and then you get some blinds to shut it out so it doesn't melt your gramophone records! One of the problems with installing Windows is that you can be spied upon. A Fire Wall in front of the house might be a bit unsightly, but blinds allow you to see out. Here are a few helpful links: Blinds Supermarket www.zyra.co.uk/blindssupermarket.htm , Web Blinds www.zyra.net/web-blinds.htm , and Hillarys Blinds www.zyra.co.uk/hillarysblinds.htm

Please don't tell me there's anything wrong with the spelling of "Rafael Hoteles" www.zyra.org.uk/rafaelhoteles.htm as it is a Spanish hotel chain and that is how the name is spelt. If you want to spell "Español" with a special symbol over the n, the answer is [alt] 164 [no-alt] as per www.zyra.org.uk/kcodes.htm

Hotetur www.zyra.org.uk/hotetur.htm is also an accommodation contact in Spain, Cuba, Mexico and Dominican Republic, all of which are places whose language is Spanish.

Things to Pack when TravellingDoesn't it annoy you when children ride on your luggage? Well, I suppose it depends on whether they are your children or just some that have decided to tag along. Still, one solution is to get some luggage which is actually designed for children to ride on! www.zyra.org.uk/trunki.htm

(make sure they dismount before check-in)

When travelling, it's important to remember everything, and not forget various things which are essential. With this in mind, I created a travel checklist for my own purposes, but afterwards I considered it might be generally useful, so I've published it online. You can see this at www.zyra.info/travelchecklist.htm . You're welcome to print it out and cross things off. That's what it's for.

Maybe now would be a good time to mention Jumbo Go www.zyra.org.uk/jumbogo.htm where you can get maps, phrase books, and travel guides, and find out about the destination before setting off. Plus, Ready To Leave www.zyra.org.uk/readytoleave.htm who are also purveyors of travel kit.

"Luggage" is to become a new category on the next issue of the site, and it will include eBags www.zyra.org.uk/ebags.htm

Also, it now appears that airport/hotel transfers are sufficiently worth considering in advance that this too may become a category! For now they are linked from the flying related category www.zyra.org.uk/airport.htm , which also includes airport parking etc, such as www.zyra.co.uk/airparks.htm

I'll mention briefly some additional travel resources that have been added to the main Travel category www.zyra.org.uk/travel.htm recently:

* Broadway Travel www.zyra.org.uk/broadwaytravel.htm - holidays in the Canary Islands

* Wegolo - www.zyra.org.uk/wegolo.htm - cut-price flights - including the option to book hot or cold flights!

* Med Life Hotels - www.zyra.me.uk/medlifehotels.htm - described as the new fast and effective way to book hotel accommodation, apartments, studios and villas throughout Greece, Cyprus, Egypt, Spain and the Canary Islands

* Late Rooms www.zyra.org.uk/laterooms.htm - hotel rooms discounted if you can book late enough as there's no-one to stay in them that night!

* Flight.co.uk - www.zyra.org.uk/flightcouk.htm - Flights ... "and no annoying advertising on the site anywhere"

* Hotel Hippo www.zyra.org.uk/hotelhippo.htm - "the worlds most user friendly Hotel and Short Break website"

* Sapphire Villas - www.zyra.org.uk/sapphirevillas.htm - "Luxury Overseas Villas with Private Swimming Pools - at rates that you might pay for a package holiday. Available in Florida, Cyprus and Rhodes"only visible online

* Authentic Italy www.zyra.org.uk/authenticitaly.htm - Authentic Italian holidays in accommodation owned by Italians, but marketed mainly to the UK!

* Tom Cruise and Captain Cook - not quite, I mean, it's actually Cruise Thomas Cook www.zyra.org.uk/cruisetcook.htm

And now, a special thanks to Credit Expert by Experian www.zyra.biz/creditexpert.htm for sending in a news article about the worrying snag which occurred at TK Maxx a while ago involving credit card details being compromised. This is not as worrying as might have been initially guessed, and the story is visible online at www.zyra.tv/tkmaxxfraud.htm , which conveniently links to the security issues about id theft and what to do to prevent it at www.zyra.tv/idtheft.htm

Surely it must be time for another tea-break? OK, that's a good idea. I think so too. After the break I'll talk about the anomalous things in movies, which seem to crop up again and again.

Coming back to the thing I said earlier on about scenes in movies where people are going through the stuff in a bank vault and almost always find a can of caviar, I wonder how realistic that is. At first it seems to make sense, that caviar is expensive, so someone might store it in a bank vault, but it might just be a convenient plot device to help authors when puzzling what possible items of food might sustain characters locked in a bank vault! The same plot device is used again and again, so either caviar is routinely stored in bank vaults, or it's a myth perpetuated by repeated use in movies. A similar thing is seen in the use of gold in movies, where gold bars are wafted about as if they are far too light weight. Real gold is heavier than lead, and this isn't what's seen on screen. This mistake is seen so much now that it's now become a page in itself! www.zyra.org.uk/goldweight.htm (I speak from personal experience!)

The "common mistakes in movies" www.zyra.tv/moviegoofs.htm has become a special extended feature on the "common misconceptions" www.zyra.org.uk/miscon.htm (of which there are many included and explained!). We're not talking minor specifics such as the Teeth of the Headless Horseman, or the odd microphone boom visible in shot, but some things which have become part of the language of cinematography.

Travel to exotic placesThe movie mistakes commenting started with Krakatoa, which a quick reference to a map will reveal is WEST of Java, not EAST of Java! www.zyra.tv/krakatoa.htm

I've not been to Java, but I can see it on a map. However, when you see people in a movie undo the four screws holding a ventilation duct grille on the wall and then proceed to crawl through the ventilation system, that is something I've got first-hand experience of, and I can tell you it's somewhat different to what you see on film. www.zyra.tv/ventishafts.htm

Other matters covered in more detail than expected include Swooshing Spacecraft www.zyra.net/swooshing.htm , and the use of rocket boosters to land! www.zyra.tv/boostlanding.htm

It's basic physics, and it's not rocket science. Well it is, actually. That's also explained at www.zyra.info/basicrocket.htm including some down-to-earth experiments of a greater or lesser degree of safety involving boats and skateboards.

Skateboards, surfboards, and snowboards, and the extreme street cred associated with that genre, featured at www.zyra.org.uk/skate.htm , includes several new items here: Blackleaf www.zyra.org.uk/blackleaf.htm , Nucleus www.zyra.org.uk/nucleus.htm , and Saltrock Surfwear www.zyra.org.uk/saltrocksurfwear.htm

Band Merchandise is available from Bravado Online www.zyra.net/bravadolive.htm , and it is Official band merchandise. (If it had been "unofficial" it might have been verging on being BANNED Merchandise).

I must admit I had my worries about GET ME IN www.zyra.me.uk/getmein.htm which is described as "the UK and Europe’s largest secondary ticket market" and "enables buyers to purchase tickets even when the event is SOLD OUT!", but I am assured this can happen honestly as some people who've bought tickets later find they can't get to the event, so by reselling the tickets it gives someone else a chance to go instead.

Getting into gigs that are sold out?! Next it'll be How to Get Free Phone Calls! True... see www.zyra.org.uk/freephonecalls.htm

tropical sceneVarious indicators of Global Climate Change, the peril formerly known as Global Warming, can be seen: Scientific measurement of sea temperatures, atmospheric composition, and the number of times stock footage of icebergs breaking off the ice shelf are shown on news dramatisations even though they do this all the time anyway. Plus, as well as air conditioners now being on sale in the UK, with its famously cold/damp weather, there is also a cultural tendency for companies to adopt names which are more "cool" than "hot". For example:

* Alaskan Airconditioners www.zyra.org.uk/alaskanaircon.htm - portable air conditioners in the UK.

* Arctic Clearance www.zyra.co.uk/arcticclearance.htm - the UK’s Internet marketplace for brand names at clearance prices.

* Igloo Kids www.zyra.org.uk/iglookids.htm - "an eclectic range of products which appeal to both children and parents alike"

* Feeling Chilled www.zyra.org.uk/feelingchilled.htm - gadgets!

One of the interesting rare exceptions is The Red Hot Shop www.zyra.org.uk/redhotshop.htm where the speciality is Asian culture products. Worldwide delivery from the UK's leading South Asian Lifestyle Portal!

Let's have a look at some more of the interesting online shops, many of which take thinking about and looking into. But first, before I set off, I wrote a few pages to help affiliate merchants to understand better the way this site works. The page is "Relationships with This Site" and is at www.zyra.org.uk/relationships.htm . The fact is, it's not a channel for advertisements, but is more of a commentary and referral resource. When I tell you about a place, I'm talking about the place and what I think about it, and I might tell you what that company has said about themselves, but that's in quotes. This is the distinction between merchant content and affiliate content, a concept often misunderstood by banks and corporate entities, so this gets a write-up at www.zyra.org.uk/distinction.htm . I must have been on good form when I wrote that, as it has a certain entertainment value, not only containing the astonishing analogy of the (fictitious) Flibbertigibbet Bank with its flaky damp wallpaper and free fruit, but also the astonishing bit where the lawyer puts the dog on the witness stand to testify about the "guard dog" sign, and the finesse of this stuff makes it worth reading even if you're not into all this stuff about "affiliate marketing"!

There are some interesting online shops which I'll mention as follows:

Lapjacks - www.zyra.org.uk/lapjacks.htm - snazziness to make laptops personal.

Pineapple Shopping - www.zyra.org.uk/pineappleshopping.htm - dance-inspired fashion.

InterParcel - www.zyra.net/interparcel.htm - worldwide parcel delivery.

Plan IT Software - www.zyra.org.uk/planit.htm - health and safety planning software.

Food Full Stop - www.zyra.org.uk/foodfullstop.htm - online farmers' market.

Inside Right España - www.zyra.org/insiderightespana.htm - "Inside Right Espana are the number one furniture packaging company in the UK for Spanish properties" - How about that for a niche market?!

Belize CityLook At My Crazy Shoes - www.zyra.org.uk/mycrazyshoes.htm - clearly not the ordinary shoe shop.

Nationwide Paintball - www.zyra.org.uk/nwpaintball.htm - you don't usually get a chance to go around shooting at people with a gun, especially in the UK!

Joe Browns www.zyra.org.uk/joebrowns.htm - shopping catalogue - fashion

At this site you will see places big and small all get a chance in the free market economy, and it would be considered poor form of the big places stuck together to collaborate against the small places by augmenting the terminology to prejudice against them, but there is one line of business where it's been noticed that has happened: Religion. I have my own opinions about the truth or otherwise of various religions, but I also regard it as reasonable to have other people believing in whatever they want regardless of the fact that it's not true, or plainly silly. Considering the amount of trouble caused by major religions in the world, I don't think they have much moral high-ground to criticise minority belief systems, so when they are seen to describe the minority faiths as "CULTS" while pretending that they, the major religions, are something different from that, it looks bad. This matter is further examined at www.zyra.tv/cults.htm

It's much more common for a belief system to denounce all the others. This is a lot less threatening when it's a small place doing the denouncing. The technique isn't limited to the religion business. There is a DVD/Video shop called "Forget The Rest", which is quite bold of them! www.zyra.org.uk/forgettherest.htm

The only "rest" I tend to forget is of the type I should take, ie some sleep, when instead I am persisting in getting on with the work!

In the context of video shops, "the rest" refers to those listed at www.zyra.org.uk/video.htm , which has recently had added to it DVD.co.uk www.zyra.co.uk/dvd-co-uk.htm , Store4 www.zyra.org/store4.htm , and Select Cheaper www.zyra.org.uk/selectcheaper.htm

If you were looking for formal wear, you'd probably not think of Zyra's website as where to look! However, on this issue, traditional attire is available from these classy tailoring companies: Brook Taverner www.zyra.org.uk/brooktaverner.htm , Gieves and Hawkes Ltd www.zyra.org.uk/gievesandhawkes.htm , and Joseph Turner www.zyra.org.uk/josephturner.htm

There are GOLF contacts too, at 118 Golf www.zyra.co.uk/118golf.htm , and if the sport of golf is too arduous, it can be made more leisurely by having an electric motor on your golf trolley, as per www.zyra.org.uk/motocaddy.htm

You might be interested in this, or you might find that instead it's more interesting to hear that Sky TV is now a bookie! See www.zyra.org.uk/skybet.htm . Also, Bingo! Foxy Bingo www.zyra.org.uk/foxybingo.htm , William Hill Bingo www.zyra.org.uk/whillbingo.htm , and Bingo Chicks www.zyra.org.uk/bingochicks.htm , plus Legs11 www.zyra.org.uk/legs11.htm except that's not bingo, it's hosiery. Knickers! The range of lingerie at www.zyra.org.uk/lingerie.htm has been stretched to include an extra eight online lingerie companies, which I'll not list in sequence here. For more details you may need to have a look.

Stylish items for the home next. Some of this is in the classification of "furniture" and some of it is more towards "home accents":

Style For Home - www.zyra.me.uk/styleforhome.htm - various swish things

The Designer Box - www.zyra.org.uk/designerbox.htm - snazzy items to have around the home.

Home Temptations www.zyra.org.uk/hometemptations.htm - home furnishings and accessories from lighting to bar stools, kitchenware to crockery.

Darlings of Chelsea, Reid Furniture, Sambourne Furniture, Feather and Black - connected via www.zyra.org.uk/furnit.htm and www.zyra.org.uk/accents.htm

Now a few noble charity good causes. These take looking at in close detail as the issues they address are very serious. Solving the problems of world poverty, Action Aid www.zyra.org.uk/actionaid.htm , and Care International www.zyra.org.uk/careinternational.htm whose emphasis is on world poverty in regions of conflict (war). Deaf children learn best if not shouted at, and their charity is visually displayed at www.zyra.org.uk/ndcs2.htm and www.zyra.org.uk/ndcs.htm

CLIC Sargent at www.zyra.org.uk/clicsargent.htm is a children's cancer charity. This does not need any further elaboration, and you can have a look at the page to see for yourself.

International Animal Rescue - www.zyra.net/internatanimaresc.htm - rescue and rehabilitation of animals, prevents quite a lot of suffering per amount of money donated.

Architecture and British Heritage looked after by The National Trust featured at www.zyra.org.uk/nationaltrust.htm - special discounts and other benefits for members on visits to stately homes and other attractions.

See it's all very well me saying "take a closer look at this, and that", but I feel I am not so good for business for opticians as my text is always nice and big so everyone can see it, whereas some sites have tiny near-invisible text which looked good in the web designer's office but is not so good out there in Internetland.

Opticians such as Eye Experts www.zyra.org.uk/eyeexperts.htm are not going to sell as many pairs of glasses because of this, surely?

Now, in addition to not selling many glasses at www.zyra.org.uk/optician.htm , I have the extra difficulty selling "no glasses" as a realistic product. Indeed, the people at Optimax www.zyra.org.uk/optimax.htm , who offer laser eye surgery to mend eyesight so you don't need to wear glasses, must wonder how I have any hope of convincing people that they should have the treatment, when they can see my site so easily! "Optimax is the UK’s No 1 laser eye specialist" ... so, wouldn't it be more salesmanlike to say "Optimax is the UK’s No 1 laser eye specialist" in small text so people feel the need to partake of their services?!

Seeing is believing, but watching is looking. If you watch the watch you might be telling the time, or it might be more like hypnosis www.zyra.tv/hypnocx.htm . Watches, valuable items of jewellery combined with portable timepieces, are available from www.zyra.org.uk/watches.htm and there are some new names on there on this issue.

It must be time for a tea-break. After the break, the final push including a variety of interesting things including the shocking Belize story! Theft, strangulation, police abuse, false imprisonment, and a general write-up of a situation!

PETS. Let's hope they stay in good health and don't need to have a private medical consultation with the Vet. However, animal medical treatment is such that prescriptions for pets have to be paid for. They are not on the National Health Service! Obviously you still need the expert advice of the vet, but on the matter of buying the medication, it's a bit like buying a toothbrush from a dentist or instead from Superdrug www.zyra.org.uk/superdrug.htm ! In the case of pet medication the situation is explained at www.zyra.me.uk/petmeds.htm

"How To Find Stuff" has always done well at www.zyra.org.uk/to-find.htm but now extra paragraphs have been added to improve it, making it even more useful.

Tax Avoidance or Tax Evasion? There is a difference. It's like the difference between "shopping around" and shoplifting! See www.zyra.info/evasion.htm

The way to remember which way round it is, is to consider this: The taxman isn't your enemy, but tax is a problem. You AVOID problems, but you take EVASIVE action against your enemies.

Now something very odd. There is an online shop which sells stuff which is very peculiar. Things like slime, gunk, and gooey stuff, but which can easily be cleaned up. The place started out selling Pokemon and went on to sell the latest in-thing, whatever that was at the time. Later the in-thing was Floam, which is a substance with some of the properties of modelling clay. Then later, some stuff which turns bathwater into gloopy gunk of various colours, and (this is the key feature that makes it more acceptable) back again! For more about this, see www.zyra.org.uk/iwantiwant.htm

There is a whole range of memorabilia and collectables available. Or should that be collectibles? Do you collect Tables or do you collect Tibbles? Anyway, music memorabilia, autographs, sport memorabilia and other interesting items are available from various places which are now at www.zyra.org.uk/collect.htm (some of them are so sure about the Tibbles/Tables matter that they have nailed it to the mast by their choice of domain name!).

You have to be careful when putting a web address in, as mistakes can result in problems! It's at least as bad as dialling the wrong phone number. See www.zyra.tv/addresscare.htm

The free phone call revolution known as VoIP has upset some monopoly phone companies in some parts of the world and they've tried to ban it. This then produces the question What If They Try To Ban It?, and issue gone over some more at www.zyra.net/novoip.htm

According to my circular-writing notes I have at least eighty things which I could write about next, but I'm not going to do that, and instead I'll just leave it that there are many more things on this site than are mentioned in this message! You can catch up with the complete list in date order at the What's New Index www.zyra.org.uk/nindex.htm and explore this site. It's taken seven years to write the site, so you can expect to take a few weeks exploring it!

Now the finalé of this Circular, the Belize story. I don't usually end the Circular on a downbeat note, but this is the exception. It is not a happy affair, and in some ways it is quite grim. Don't get me wrong; Belize is not a bad place, and it has many good things about it. It's just that I found on my experimental three month test trip that there were some problems which would make it very difficult for me to move there and set up home.Tropical Storm, but at least it's not cold! In essence, the problem is that I would not only have to have a house that was thief-proof, but also police-proof! The reasons for this will be explained, but first I'd like to thank all the nice helpful people who have helped me while I've been on this three month adventure. People I got to know, my neighbours in Belize City, business contacts, and others. I've given many of them a mention and a LINK at www.zyra.bz/belizecontacts.htm , and there's a special category for folks in the Real Estate business who showed me round places and gave me advice and helped in various ways. Hence, there's www.zyra.bz/belize-realestate.htm which should continue to be good for business.

Even though I suffered, I am not saying "don't go to Belize!". For one thing, it's much safer to go there and be a tourist than it is to migrate there! Also, some people would survive quite well in Belize, and I met quite a few expats who get on well, but there is a clear difference in their survival strategy, as they are not high visibility and do not stand out from the crowd.

Most of the people I met in Belize were very friendly, and also I found that my unusual appearance was considered very positively by almost everyone. The problem is the minority who were prejudiced. This wouldn't usually matter as they could be ignored, but as some of them were in the police force it was a different matter.

After I was robbed by masked raiders who burst into the house, strangled me, ransacked the house, and stole my laptop, camera, watch, and some cash I'd got as I was intending to put a deposit on a property purchase, things got worse the next day when the police did something which damages the country more than the violent crime. You don't expect the police in a country to be efficient, but you do expect them to not be actively dishonest. What happened to me was, when I went to the police station, the police locked me up and took my house keys, then while they'd got me out of the way they went to the house, let themselves in, and helped themselves to anything they could find that that the robbers had failed to steal. If you'd like to see the whole story, you can read it online. The shocking truth is revealed! However, it's explained in a matter-of-fact way, and the sequence starts with a Review of Belize, showing both good and bad aspects, at www.zyra.bz/belize.htm , then going on to describe the crime and the police abuse on subsequent pages.

Even the problems in Belize are classed into different types, of "minor" (solvable) problems, and "major" problems, of a type which unless a solution could be found, would preclude Belize from my tax-exileship plans. You can defend against crime by having good enough security, but avoiding police prejudice and abuse, it's a more tricky matter.

Incidentally, if you buy a secondhand EOS350D digital camera and it happens to be serial number 0430227773, it's stolen! I don't expect I'll get it back, but at least it's a marked item! Plus, there aren't many Philips Freeline laptops with the "[" key missing. Nor are there many Accurist Tachymeter watches which tell the time well but have the second hand stuck at 50 seconds. I'm giving a thousand Belize dollars reward (that's USD$500) for the return of the laptop, but only if the DATA is intact. It had got a thousand photos of my adventure on it, and over 200Kb of text file I'd written, and my business material. These are more important than the hardware.

So anyway, the story starts at www.zyra.bz/belize.htm and then goes on to www.zyra.bz/c070526.htm and the subsequent pages. Shocking, but that's what happened.

Replacing the equipment is possible, but replacing the dream is more tricky. I'm now looking at other migration destinations including Panama, Aruba, and St Kitts & Nevis. If you have ideas about diversity-tolerant tax havens where eccentric expats are welcome, please do say!

Kind Regards to ALL!

Zyra

www.zyra.org.uk

The events and characters portrayed in this story are entirely factual, and the similarity with actual life first-hand experiences is entirely intentional. Characters, whether living or dead, have stories to tell which live on, and are there to be seen. There can be few things worse for a country than to mistreat a travel writer. Anyone can become a travel writer if they have something to write about on their travels!


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That newsletter took eleven days to write. So, it may have taken more than a few minutes to read it.

Stolen Canon EOS350D digital camera serial number 0430227773 now has a dedicated page.

This, Circular 106, is one of the biggest pages within Zyra Europe

Update 2012: I have now emigrated to Panama, which is much better!


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