The Fun and Ease of Online Shopping vs. The Brick and Mortar OptionWritten by Anne Peterson
When my sister and discussed our shopping plans this year we found to our surprise that our attitudes were much different. She was hip New Yorker, living in a trendy section of Brooklyn and commuting in to her publishing job in Manhattan. I’m a down home Midwestern type of girl who prefers to drive everywhere and I love my suburb. We were chatting together on my mother’s couch after we had stuffed ourselves with cake from our parent’s anniversary party, and when we got onto topic of shopping (my favorite pastime), my sister gave me quite a shock. While I was dreading upcoming birthdays and Christmas, but my sister had a very positive outlook. She was looking forward to experience, and I was flabbergasted.
As it turned out, she was a devote of shopping online, and so she was looking forward to surfing around, researching options and deals, and getting all her shopping done early. I argued with her, saying that personalization of actually finding a gift by oneself in person was something that couldn’t be duplicated by a machine. Also, many of really great items I would like to get were not kind of items that were technologically oriented, and what little vendors would have their stores online?
The debate got pretty heated, and soon we decided to bet on it. We bet each other a new iPod player (pretty technologically oriented there, but I figured that I could sort it out once I won) that other person would have much better shopping runs if each of us used other’s techniques. I was positive that if she could discover how nice it was to go into brick and mortar shops, she’d forget all about online shopping – and I definitely knew that I would like shopping online. Since we were basically buying gifts for same people, we’d have a fair contest. We’d be fair in our evaluations, as well, and insist on telling each other how we’d done. Each of us would rate shopping system on ease, quality, price, and getting gifts that was appropriate and appreciated by recipients. Here’s our results:
For our brother’s present, I hopped onto internet and typed in bird watching into search engine. After searching through a couple options, to my surprise I quickly found a birding book that was specific to our state, plus a CD of bird calls. The site not only offered free shipping, but would wrap package and mail it to my brother. “Well”, I thought. “That was easy – but I knew books and CDs were easy to get via internet. How about something tough?”
Precious Stones-The Big Five-Part 2 The RubyWritten by Sam Serio
What fairy tales of enchanted princesses and legendary lore of Arabian Nights does not mere mention of ruby conjure up to our imagination! No stone has been more intimately connected with poetry and romance, and few gems can compare either in beauty or value with a perfect ruby. When Solomon exclaimed that “a virtuous woman was more valuable than rubies,” and Job, that “the price of wisdom is above rubies,” they both mentioned what to them was most valuable thing in existence. And its value and rarity have not decreased since their time. Today a perfect ruby of five carats will fetch at least five times value of a diamond of same size and quality, while rubies without flaw or blemish, and of true pigeon-blood variety, weighing as much as ten carats, are so rare and valuable that ten times value of a perfect diamond would be considered a very low price to pay for so perfect a gem.
The ruby is oldest or first known of all precious stones, dating far back in early history of Chaldea and Babylonia. The finest specimens, as well as largest quantities, are found in Upper Burma, and at present time over one-half of world’s supply comes from this locality. The rubies found in Ceylon, Siam and Australia have not deep rich color of Burmese ruby which is a shade of red slightly inclined to purple and is often called “Pigeon Blood Ruby.” The value of rubies depends upon their color and transparency.
The red sapphire or ruby is most valuable of corundum family, and when found of a good color, pure and brilliant, and in sizes of one carat and larger, it is much more valuable than a fine diamond of same size.
Rubies and Sapphires are scientifically same stone, differing only in color. Corundum, predominating mineral of both, is composed of nearly pure alumina. The coloring substance, which differentiates rubies and sapphires, is believed to be chromium. In scale of hardness gem ranks as No. 9 and is thus hardest of all substances excepting diamond. Color is most important factor in determining value of ruby. The gem is always more or less imperfect, but its freedom from bad imperfections is also important. Since fine rubies of all sizes are extremely rare, price increases very rapidly with an increase in size, and a fine ruby of more than four carats commands an extraordinary price and can be said to be most valuable of all gems, exceeding greatly a diamond of equal weight. The color of ruby varies from lightest rose tint to deepest carmine, but rarest and most valuable shade is known as Pigeon Blood. This is color of arterial blood. The ruby has always been greatly admired, and many say that ruby in British Crown is most beautiful gem they have ever seen.