Ten Ways to Make Money Online and Earn Good Income

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The Internet offers great moneymaking opportunities for Individuals with computer knowledge and skills required to thrive in this online medium. There are a number of ways to earn money online but the ten best possible ways to earn money online are:

Try selling things on the Internet. That is the simplest way of making money online using the Internet. Selling products on the internet through online shopping portals, virtual auction sites, or setting up a web store in your own website provides a great income opportunity to everyone who has something nice to sell to potential customers online. This is ideal for generating the required amount of revenue on a long-term basis and is the simplest of moneymaking options available online.

For all those who believe that their photography skills can impress anyone, there is a great option to sell photos online and earn money. There are numerous stock photography agencies present online, which help you in selling your photos online. These agencies offer great incentives and income opportunities to budding photographers. The amount is paid on a per-download basis to these photographers after getting the royalty payment rights from them. This is a very useful way to earn money online if you have the required skill set.

Several message boards have many visitors to their sites. These message boards are dependent on regular contributions from the forum members to keep the community alive and the conversation growing. As the message boards get popular, there are chances that more members that are new will join the forum and get their queries solved or contribute towards the discussion. These message boards get the sufficient advertisements to pay to their most active members, who have been posting on a regular basis, thereby giving them a chance to earn some money.

Through various social networking sites, it is actually possible to earn money while going through different profile of people who are members of these sites. Some social networking sites pay its users money to improve page impressions in their profile to attract more visitors. These sites also offer money for uploading and sharing pictures and referring new members to the social networking site. The money given to an Individual depends on a proportionate payment structure setup by the site that distributes almost half of its advertising revenues to its members.

Filling up surveys is another way to earn money online. Filling up market research survey may look like a very boring activity but the opportunities to earn money in this type of work are endless. There are thousands of research groups online, which would like to take your opinion about various things and in that process, pay you for presenting your opinion. For each survey completed, there are certain points or money given out to the users. Once the money-earning limit is hit, the survey team allows the user the opportunity to take the money or exchange the points for a certain amount of money.

Another great way to earn money online is through blogs. The process of blogging can help users earn lot of money online by putting in creative content in their blogs. There are two ways of going about this blogging activity: one is to create your own blog and write all the content on your own. This is a painful process where you need to do all the hard work to earn money. The second one is to setup a sponsored blog where you write reviews about products for companies wanting to promote their business. These blog sites pay you money for providing favorable opinion about a certain product. This is one of the best income opportunities present online.

The internet provides the perfect platform for freelancers to earn money by providing services based on their skill sets. These may include talent such as writing, programming, graphic designing, and training. There are many websites where buyer posts their requirements for a particular assignment and freelancers can bid for that assignment. The buyer then selects the service provider for the assignment and assigns the task to them. This is one of the safest ways to earn money online and the website takes a certain cut from your payment as the intermediary to have got you the job. It is more or less a win-win proposition for everyone involved.

The three other ways to earn money online is by betting, setting up an online business, or by playing computer games. Each of these options provides different sort of earning potential and requires different amount of effort to set the ball rolling and generate the required amount of income for you.

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Modern American Animation

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This article describes the history of animation in the United States of America since the late 80’s until the early twenty-first century. This period is often called the renaissance of American animation, during which many large American entertainment companies reform and reinvigorate its animation department after the decline suffered in the 60, 70 and 80.

From 1988 to the present

Disney’s return

In the mid 80’s, the American animation industry fell into disgrace. Toy commercials masquerading as entertainment programs cartoons dominated the evening and the morning of Saturday, and the only experiment was carried out by independent developers. Even animated films were projected in theaters at times, but the glory of the old days was gone. Even the animation giant Disney, which had fought a corporate acquisition in the 80’s, was considering abandoning the production of animated feature films.

Both the enthusiastic audience, critics, and the animators were taken by surprise when the long-awaited renaissance of animation began in the oldest and most conservative corporation, Disney.

Disney had a drastic change in the 80, its new chief Michael Eisner the company relocated to his feet, returning to its roots and revitalizing their studies. With great fanfare, in 1988 the study worked with Steven Spielberg to produce the animated film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, directed by Robert Zemeckis. The film was a success, and gave to the animation industry awaited push for that time. Roger Rabbit not only earned him a pile of money for Disney, but also sparked the popularity of the classic animation that continues to this day. The history of animation suddenly became an object of study (and their fans). Several directors, business legend, such as Chuck Jones and Friz Freleng were suddenly in the spotlight, being acclaimed after decades of being virtually ignored by audiences and industry professionals.

Disney continued the success of Who Framed Roger Rabbit? with “The Little Mermaid”, the first of a series of animated films that seemed to recapture the magic of the golden age of Walt Disney himself. The studio invested heavily in new technology of computer animation for such purposes, but could do super-productions like “Beauty and the Beast” and “Aladdin,” which attracted audiences that were not seen in decades, and Once provided a visual feast that has not been exceeded since the 40. The peak of the hit Disney was in 1994 when his film “The Lion King” exceeded all expectations of the study to become one of the most successful of all time. Even later Disney films as “Pocahontas,” “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”, “Hercules,” “Mulan” and “Tarzan” was blockbusters.

Disney has also made inroads into the neglected area of the animated TV series. With the success of shows like “The New Adventures of Winnie the Pooh”, “The Adventures of the Gummi Bears Disney” and “Duck adventures”, the “new” Disney made his mark in TV pictures. Through association and repetition, Disney can provide high quality animation for TV. A series of large diffusion was conducted in mid-nineties, with some critics designating “Gargoyles” as the Disney animation project for TV’s most ambitious and best done artistically. The soundtracks of each of these animated films were an important part of its success, because Disney was including in each of these projects a loud voice from the world of music, such as Elton John (The Lion King), Luis Miguel (The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Ricky Martin (Hercules), Christina Aguilera (Mulan), Celine Dion (Beauty and the Beast), Ricardo Montaner (Aladin), Jon Secada (Pocahontas), among others.

Spielberg and animation

Spielberg and Bluth

While Disney gave new life to animation, Steven Spielberg was making his own way. Animation amateur life, Spielberg was also interested in making high quality animation, and worked with his rival, Don Bluth animation producer to produce “Fievel and the New World.” The box office success of this and Bluth’s next film, “In The Land”, Hollywood made him realize that Disney did not hold a monopoly on animated features. The other Hollywood studios resumed production of its own animated features, but still falling into the trap of trying to imitate Disney’s 1997 film Don Bluth, “Anastasia”, produced by Fox, is mentioned as the one launched the Fox Animation Studios and Disney’s rival, however, these studies failed to succeed after “Anastasia” and closed in 1999. Like most successful productions of Disney, “Anastasia” was attended by Thalia, who played the central theme of the soundtrack in its versions in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

Spielberg and Warner Bros.

Spielberg, meanwhile, switched to TV and worked with animation studio Warner Bros. to produce “The Tiny Toon Adventures,” a high quality animated series that paid homage to the great cartoons of Termite Terrace. “The Tiny Toon Adventures” had a good rating thanks to its young viewers, which inspired the Warner Bros to resurrect his dying animation studio and once again a contender in the field of animation. The Tiny Toon Steven Spielberg were continued by presenting “Animaniacs” and “Pinky and the Brain”. The latter not only attracted new viewers to Warner Bros., but also captured the attention of viewers adolescents and adults.

Bakshi’s return

Ralph Bakshi, director of innovative animated films like “Fritz the Cat” and original “Lord of the Rings”, returned to animation after making a brief stop in the mid 80’s. In 1985, he teamed up with the young Canadian animator John Kricfalusi and the legendary British band “The Rolling Stones” to make an animated music video for “The Harlem Shuffle”, which was completed in early 1986. Although the music video did not talk much, he built a production team “Bakshi Animation” project continued with the short-lived but well received, “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse.” Bakshi & Co, worked on numerous projects at the end of the 80, but the biggest project was “Cool World: a blonde between two worlds”, which premiered in 1992. The production got out of hand and ended up being severely criticized and forgotten by almost everyone.

Outsourcing animation

The main reason for increasing the quality of American animation is the ability to outsource the heavy lifting to cheaper animation houses in the South and Southeast Asia gaining a large number of frames at low cost. The script, character design and storyboarding is done in American offices. The storyboard, models and color books are mailed abroad. Sometimes causes problems because no final product can be completed until the frames are mailed to the U.S.. Although budgets have been reduced, foreign productions houses are chosen per episode, or even per scene, depending on the amount of money available at that time. As a result there is a big difference in quality from one episode to another. This is particularly evident in shows like “Gargoyles” and “Batman”: The Animated Series where, sometimes, the characters seem completely different from one episode to the dismay of its directors.

Adult Animation

The Simpsons

In the 90’s came a new wave of animated series whose primary aim was the adults, after an absence in the genre over a decade. In 1989, “The Simpsons,” an animated short based on the “The Tracey Ullman Show,” became the first animated series in prime time since “The Flintstones” and captivated a large part of the audience. It was the first hit series for the fledgling Fox, caused little sensitivity, entering popular culture and gaining wide acceptance. In 2008, “The Simpsons” seem to show no signs of stopping, and could surpass “Gunsmoke” as the fiction program on the air longer the history of American television. In 2007 have released their first film, titled “The Simpsons: The Movie”, dubbed in Spanish and Chinese.

Ren and Stimpy

In 1991, Nickelodeon premiered “The Ren and Stimpy Show,” “Ren and Stimpy” was a quirky series run riot violated all the traditional restrictions of correct drawings of Saturday morning and instead favored the quirky style of the short the golden era. Moreover, the series creator, John Kricfalusi, who had worked as an animator during the downturn of Saturday morning, was much influenced by the classic works of Bob Clampett.

Spike & Mike

Alongside mainstream animation nineties there was a strange and experimental movement. In a short animation festival in 1989, organized by Craig Decker and Mike Gribble Spike (known as “Spike & Mike”) and originally located in San Diego. It all started with the representation of a collection of thematic short, known as the Classic Festival of Animation, in places of business meetings and trade throughout the country.

The collections were made mostly by Oscar-nominated short, works of students of the Institute of the Arts in California and experimental work of the National Film Board of Canada. The first festival included works by John Lasseter, Nick Park and Mike Judge. Judge’s work, “Frog Baseball” marked the first appearance of their franchise characters Beavis and Butthead.

However, the festival gradually became a film program called Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation and turned into an underground movement of adult humor and subject matter.

Adult Swim

In 1994, Cartoon Network gave consent to a new series called “Space Ghost” coast to coast with a particular postmodern turn, showed live interviews with celebrities, mixed with cartoon animations original “Space Ghost.” The series made the leap with the production of Hanna-Barbera, now owned by Cartoon Network. It was the beginning of a common practice used old Hanna-Barbera characters for new productions, as the surreal “Underwater Laboratory 2021”, based on the cartoon short early 70’s “Sealab 2020.” Also, Harvey Birdman, attorney, on a mediocre superhero, Birdman which was originally the star of Birdman and Galaxy trio had become a lawyer. Its customers, like many of the characters in the series, came completely from old Hanna-Barbera characters.

In addition to large animation files old and cheap, independent animators also began to benefit from new digital technologies. An artist with sufficient technical skills could explore new styles and forms with much more freedom. The traditional animation skills of drawing and painting had given way to digital manipulation and aggressive use new techniques of animation.

Along with these new programs, the American audience, particularly in geographic areas influenced by fusion with the cultures of the Pacific coast, began to adopt Japanese cartoon, or anime, 80. This growing market for anime videos satisfy the public child and adolescent, with a large number of Japanese series translated into English. Initially access was limited to videos, but the anime as it became a mainstream found its way into the film department stores throughout the U.S.. As the animation occupies a different place in Japanese culture, including a range of issues not addressed by the American animation.

“Adult Swim” is a block of animation for adults that is issued at the start of primetime on Cartoon Network, leads the adult industry and has the latest technology in animation. Adult Swim, which originally aired on Sunday night in 2006 was in the air until 5:00 AM, and was broadcast every night except Friday. The series, which is produced exclusively for Adult Swim, as “The Brak Show,” “Aqua Teen Hunger Force” and “Tom Goes to the Mayor”, tend to be surreal and bizarre, but also considered fresh and original. Adult Swim reissued series “Futurama” and played an important role to avoid the cancellation of “Family Guy”. In addition, it also issues numerous popular Anime series such as “FLCL”, “Lupin III” and “Inuyasha.”

Other drawings for adults

Other TV stations also experimented with animation for adults. MTV has produced several animated series especially for young and adult audiences, “Liquid Television” and “Beavis and Butthead”. Even USA Network program found a cult following with his “Duckman show”. But the adult animated series of the 90 most successful was “South Park” which premiered in 1996 as a cartoon pirate on the Internet.

The more fast-paced animation and disturbingly clandestine saw the light, the more dominant force in television animation was, led to an increasingly frenetic territory and perhaps eschatological, for example in “The Tick and Duckman.”

In 2005, adult animation pioneer Ralph Bakshi said he would work on another film, “The Last Days of Coney Island” which he would finance and produce independently.

The decline of the Saturday Morning

After spending nearly a coma for over two decades, the American animation industry experienced a sudden growth in the 90. Several new studies appeared keen to take risks, and found a large number of markets to sell their talent. Along with the animated TV series, the animation used in television commercials, video games and music videos. The small animation studios challenged “Hanna-Barbera Productions” in the market for TV animation.

In fact, Hanna-Barbera could not compete with the new varieties of animation on the market. During the time that dominated the entire spectrum of pictures of the Saturday morning Hanna-Barbera had virtually no competition, causing a deterioration in the quality of its series. In the 90’s, the study could only offer fried as “A Pup Named Scooby-Doo” and “Tom and Jerry Kids Show” to compete with “Fox Kids” and the new “WB Television Network” from Warner Bros. Hanna-Barbera stayed behind and found himself completely bought by Turner Broadcasting.

Hanna-Barbera not only had problems adapting to the changes that are spread all over the TV. The “Big Three” networks (ABC, NBC and CBS) found its loyal audience being eroded by competition from new channels, including new strains of “Cable TV” as Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network. Video games and movies available on video also helped change the market, to the point that for a time gave NBC cartoons altogether. The ABC was bought by Disney, and Disney turned the grill on Saturday in a series of Disney animated productions.

While the series animated in large networks seemed mediocre, the cable television cartoon achieved several successes. Nickelodeon did see light cult hits like “Doug,” “Rugrats,” “Ren and Stimpy,” “Rocko’s Modern Life,” “SpongeBob,” “Invader Zim” and “The Fairly OddParents.” Meanwhile, a new owner of Hanna-Barbera, Time Warner, the study focused on the creation of new drawings for the Cartoon Network. Hanna-Barbera was an influx of fresh blood and a new generation of drawings of Hanna-Barbera cartoon was born as “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Johnny Bravo”, “Cow and Chicken”, “Powerpuff Girls” and ” Courage the Cowardly Dog. “

Still, each new piece of animation was not a gold mine. The Disney animated films began to suffer in quality to late 1990, after the producer Jeff Katzenberg left the studio and team up with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen to form DreamWorks. Also, several animated films were released in the 90 trying to imitate the success of Disney, but as in the Years 1930 and 1940, the animations of 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros could not catch a considerable market segment Disney movies that had been dominant. In particular, Warner Bros, had a string of failures “Cats Do not Dance”, “The Magic Sword” and “The Iron Giant” (the latter being praised by critics and audiences, but virtually being ignored by most the public) died at the box office. Warner Bros. also tried to recreate the success of “Roger Rabbit” to “Space Jam”, an attempt to combine the popularity of Bugs Bunny with basketball superstar Michael Jordan.

In addition, the market trend of children continued during the 90’s, almost as ubiquitous as a decade earlier. Two major events dominated toy many children’s programs in the afternoons of the weekend: “Mighty Morphin Power Rangers” in the mid-90 and “Pokemon” from the latter half of the 90’s to mid Years 2000. Until the animation suffered another revival in the 2000s, a great deal (and many dollars spent) continued to spend on merchandising.

The growth of computer animation

Yet another wild card is added to this crowded and competitive atmosphere with the emergence of a new wave of “Computer Animation”. The decade of the 90 experienced an exponential improvement in the use of computers to enhance animated sequences and special effects. This new form of entertainment soon dominated the world of special effects in Hollywood (the film “Terminator 2”: “The Judgement” and “Jurassic Park” included impressive computer-animated sequences), and was only a matter of time to find a film produced entirely with computers.

Once again it was Disney who led this area. Disney animators had introduced computer-generated sequences gently in his movies, as in early 1991 in “Beauty and the Beast.” A computer-generated magic carpet played a significant role in “Aladdin.” In 1995, Disney produced with Pixar “Toy Story”, the first completely computer generated film. The film was a huge success and created a new movement, other studies investigated produce their own computer-animated films (CGI).

Perhaps because it first developed as a new method of creating special effects, computer animation was not seen as a form of “children’s entertainment.” After decades as related but separate industries, the line between animation and special effects are eliminated by the popularization of computer special effects, to the extent that the use of computers in Hollywood movies has become a natural. The best special effects are often so subtle they go completely unnoticed. The winner of the Oscar for best special effects with “Forrest Gump” (1994) relied heavily on computer special effects to create the illusion of realism, to the extent that the actor Tom Hanks was seen shaking hands with U.S. President John Fitzgerald Kennedy. The movie “Titanic” used computer graphics to bring each scene in three hours, which produced a level of realism that helped the film itself to become the biggest movie box office tax collection so far.

The computer animation has also made forays into television. The series of Saturday morning “ReBoot” gained much popularity among adults, this was the first of many CGI series like “Beast Wars,” “War Planets” and “Roughnecks”. The quality of computer animation has improved considerably with each new series. Many non-animated TV series (especially science fiction “Babylon 5”) invested heavily in CGI production, producing special effects of a higher quality of its predecessors could dream at a relatively low cost.

Other studies with Disney tried their luck with computer-animated films and discovered their weaknesses to the monopoly that was putting animated Disney box office successes. While DreamWorks with “Antz” and “Small Soldiers” paled in comparison with the productions of Disney-Pixar’s “Bug” and “Toy Story 2”, finally got a big hit numbers with “Shrek” in 2001. “Shrek” was a huge box office success, attracting the public on the production and mastering summer of that year, “Atlantis”. Even 20th Century Fox pulled the oil when it conducted a CGI animated film in early 2002 entitled “Ice Age”. Not all studies were successful at the box office with computer animation, Paramount with “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” released in 2001 they did so well at the box office, but received a nomination from the Academy and later found success with the television series based on the film which was awarded the following year.

But the real star of the CGI revolution seemed to be Pixar. Even before “Toy Story” The study made a name producing amazing animation shorts (his short “Tin Toy” won an Oscar) and when Disney tried to create a CGI film on its own without Pixar (“Dinosaur”) the result was notably disastrous.

Despite this success, the computer animation continues to rely on characters drawn and stylized. In 2001, living first attempt to create a world completely animated using “human actors” digital “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within,” which found a moderate critical acclaim but did good box office.

The CGI special effects increased to such an extent that in 2002 science fiction film “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones” was considered by its director, George Lucas, as the first animated film that used real actors. In fact, the CGI effects have become so common that it is difficult to distinguish computer-animated real life. A growing number of films begin using completely computer created characters interact on screen with real parts, as Jar Binks in “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace” Gollum in “Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers” and the main character in “Hulk.” While computer-generated characters have become acceptable actors, fully animated movies with virtual actors seem to lack a few years.

Disney seemed ready to lead the decline in hand-drawn animation, despite the box office success of “Lilo & Stitch”, the failure of its hyped summer “Treasure Planet” seemed to assure that there would be further reductions in the study of Disney animation. The loss was most damaging to Disney in 2002 when the Oscar for Best Animated Film went to the artist (by hand) by Hayao Miyazaki, “Spirited Away” Disney inflicting a second defeat followed the Academy Awards.

Disney settled all their desks and Dreamworks Animation also announced it would abandon the traditional drawn animation and focus exclusively on computer-generated productions from 2003 onwards. While frame traditional animation is likely to remain supported by the TV cartoon and TV ads in the near future. The schools of animation history believe that “the era of classic American design,” which began with the Walt Disney film “Snow White” is about to end. Others disagree, pointing a moderate success of traditionally animated film “Brother Bear” and the fact that Pixar has announced it will produce traditional animation films in their own attempt to revive this art form.

In 2004, he premiered the movie “Sky Captain” and “The world of tomorrow.” Note that the entire film was shot against a blue screen with the background completely computer generated and all were real actors. Robert Zemeckis film “Polar Express” starring Tom Hanks with five characters is done entirely with CGI animation, but uses motion capture technology to animate the characters.

In July 2005, Disney announced it would close their studies in Australia in 2006. That study, responsible for video sequels like “The Lion King III” was the last bastion of hand-Disney artists. However in 2006, Pixar creative chief John Lasseter, told Time magazine that could restore traditional animation unit of Disney, saying that “of all studies should be doing 2-D animation, it should be Disney.”

In December 2009, the last great animated film that has gathered huge profits at the box office is “Avatar” from 20th Century Fox, directed by James Cameron, has received high praise for the quality of special effects are really impressive.

Animation Awards

The animation has become so widely accepted that at the beginning of the XXI Century (2001), the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences introduced the Oscar for best animated film. The two main rivals for the first year of this award were two CGI films: “Shrek” from DreamWorks and “Monsters Inc.” Disney-Pixar. The award was for “Shrek.” However, there were complaints that the award seemed to be geared more toward family movies to animated films, “The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius” was the third nominee, not the innovative and critically acclaimed adult film “Waking Life” or visually innovative “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within.” Hayao Miyazaki’s critically acclaimed “Spirited Away” won in 2002 and the Disney-Pixar film “Finding Nemo” received the award in 2003.

The Annie Awards were presented at the Los Angeles branch of the International Animation Society (Association international du film d’animation or ASIFA), known as ASIFA-Hollywood, the month of February competing animation for film and TV.

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A Free Gift Certificate Template Makes Giving Printable Gift Certificates Fun and Easy!

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This season of giving, why not consider giving away certificates to your family members, friends or even valued clients? A printable certificate entitles the receiver to free services or discounts on goods that are on sale from the issuing store. Traditionally, certificates that businesses issue are printed on colorful and elaborate pieces of special paper. A gift-cert. serves dual purposes – a voucher that the receiver can claim and an advertisement for the giving party.

These days, it is easier for small businesses to give away gift-card certificates to their clients by using gift-certificate templates. These are templates that may be customized using Microsoft Office applications. There are also websites that provide free gift certificate templates which can be customized and printed out. Some websites charge minimal fees for you to use their gift-certificate-templates, which you can customize and print. In some cases, you can choose a design, customize it and order the gift-style-certificates in bulk.

Unlike big businesses which usually opt to use gift-cards that look like credit cards, small businesses may not be able to afford such, so printable certificate templates are better options. These certificates may even be printed on demand, meaning they are only printed whenever needed. Often, a simple redeem code is all that is written on some gift-certs., which the client can use on their next purchase. In some cases, though, a certificate may also contain the company’s mission, slogan or anything that will be easy for product recall. Sometimes, special softwares are needed to design these gifting-certificates and to get them mass produced, if needed.

Making your own customized-gift-certificate is just a matter of choosing the right give-away certificate template, filling in your details and printing them out. This is an inexpensive way of giving gifts to people you care about in a unique way. You can use your own creativity to come up with designs that describe either your personality or your company.

Although gift-cards provide the added functionality of being used as debit cards, most small businesses do not need this feature, so customized gift-certs are better ways for small businesses to share gifts to their clients.

Printable-certificates are not just for businesses, by the way. It has been a tradition in some families to exchange gift-style-certificates that entitle the bearer to something which may not have monetary value, but one that can say a lot – like a massage gift, a hug, free babysitting, a movie and dinner treat, to name a few.

Free gift certificate templates are great tools to creating your own gift–style-certificates, which can help you share a meaningful gift without having to spend too much money.

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How to Switch to an Upright Golf Swing Plane and the Benefits it Has to Your Distance and Accuracy

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As a golf instructor I can see no reason why golfers should not adopt an upright swing plane regardless of their physique or flexibility.

Yet, if you go online to search “golf swing plane” you will see multiple explanations about the subject and just as many differing versions about what is correct and what is not correct.

As I will show shortly from a purely mechanics and physics point of view, the benefits in distance and accuracy far outweigh those of a flatter swing plane and for those reasons alone I recommend and teach the concepts of adopting a more upright swing for all my students.

Swing plane angles are usually associated with a golfer’s height.

Golfers who are shorter in height are said to have a flatter swing plane.

It is also common to see golfers adopt a flat swing motion due to characteristics of their physique that limit the range of their swing flexibility, such as their chest and mid section size.

On the other hand taller golfers naturally swing with a more upright swing plane simply because of the increased height of their shoulders from the ground.

But, the physical characteristics of a golfer are not the only things that govern their swing plane angle.

What also determines swing plane is how they position themselves in their setup, and how they rotate their shoulders on the backswing…

Swing Plane Angle

Before I get into the specifics of an upright swing let me first define how the angle of the swing plane is often understood.

I say that because I am sure like most passionate golfers you have read Ben Hogan’s book “Five lessons. The modern fundamentals of golf” and his explanation of swing plane is probably one that is stuck firmly in your mind.

Here is his explanation…

Try to image a golfer forming a right angled triangle in their setup position.

The vertical side of the triangle is formed from the top of their shoulders/neck to the ground around their feet position. The horizontal side is formed from the club head and ball position to that point on the ground that meets the vertical side of the triangle.

The hypotenuse, or long side of the triangle, is determined from the club head to the point on their shoulders.

The classic understanding of the angle of the swing plane is that it is the angle between the hypotenuse and the horizontal side of this triangle. (Remember the plate of glass illustration in Hogan’s book resting on the golfers shoulder…)

You can now imagine how this angle would increase or decrease due to the height of the golfer and why swing plane is often associated with the golfers shoulder height.

The reason why I say this is how swing plane angle is often determined is that there is a big assumption with this theory that is incorrect most of the time…

What it assumes is that the club head swing path follows this same angle throughout the backswing so that the high point of the swing lies on an extended line that is drawn from the ball through the top of the shoulders to the hands at the top of the swing…

The reality is that the angle at which the swing “actually” rotates can be totally different resulting in the hands reaching the top point of the swing either below or above the point of the “Hogan plate glass definition.”

The reason for this is that the swing plane angle is not only influenced by your setup, it is mostly determined by the plane around which your shoulders rotate.

Your setup might show one swing plane angle that may be entirely different from the actual plane of rotation of your shoulders.

Here’s why…

Rotational Planes of your Shoulders

To understand your shoulder rotation motion, stand upright in front of a mirror. Hold your arms out straight from each side. You can rotate your shoulders in a horizontal plane around the axis of your spine… which is easy to do.

Now try and rotate your shoulders in a vertical plane by lifting your right arm and dropping your left arm so that you maintain a straight line from hand to hand across your shoulders. The axis of rotation in this plane is a point on your chest just below your chin….this motion is not very easy to execute.

The reality of your shoulder turn on the backswing is that it is operating in a combination of both vertical and horizontal motion.

As you would expect, a shoulder turn that is moving more in the horizontal plane will create a flatter swing plane.

One that is operating more in a vertical plane will produce a more upright swing plane.

So when we go back to the classic Hogan explanation of the swing plane being governed by the setup and height of the golfer, the only way that a golfer will be on that same plane at the top of their swing is if the combined horizontal and vertical movements of their shoulder turn happens to match that angle.

This seldom occurs…

Having this understanding that swing plane is affected more by your shoulder rotation than your setup and height allows you to make adjustments to your backswing to gain some of the benefits from an upright swing path.

Here are some of the key reasons why I always recommend a more upright swing plane that are based on the mechanics and physics of the swing.

Improved Consistency of your Swing Accuracy

The first reason affects the accuracy and ball flight path of your shot.

If you have ever reviewed my free video on the “Understanding the mechanics of common swing faults” where I outline the physics of why your shots “fly” in the manner the do , the outcome of all your golf shots boils down to two major factors:

o The direction your shoulders are aiming at the point of contact with the ball

o The orientation of your club head face at the point of contact with the ball

The flatter your swing plane the more your shoulders are moving in the horizontal plane.

This means they are only “aiming” at the target at a point just before contact and shortly after contact. That is because the club head motion is moving more “across” the target line like a baseball swing rather than towards the target line like a putting swing.

Outside of this very small region the direction your shoulders are aiming is further to the right of the target on the down swing and further to the left of the target on the follow through (opposite for lefties).

The success of a flatter swing plane requires a high degree of “timing” and balance in the swing through the contact point since there is very little margin for error.

The level of “ball spin” generated by a poorly timed swing also determines the accuracy of the shot.

The relative difference between the shoulder swing plane and the orientation of the club face at the point of contact determines the amount of spin generated on the ball.

The more the shoulders are moving “across” the target line the greater the ball spin created leading to exaggerated hooks or slices.

On the other hand an upright swing is produced by the shoulders moving more in the vertical plane which means the time the shoulders are moving down the target line is a lot longer during the swing.

The result is that the club head moves down the target line over a larger region of the swing giving a higher margin of error for timing and balance problems.

The impact on ball spin is also reduced, because the shoulders swing less “across” the target line at contact for a poorly timed shot.

In both cases the consistency of your swing accuracy will improve the more upright your swing plane angle…

Higher Swing Power and Distance

Observe all of the big hitters on tour and one of the common features you will notice is most adopt an upright swing.

I wrote about this in a previous Turnberry newsletter but it is worth reviewing the reasons why an upright swing plane generates more power for the swing:

o The hands and club head will be higher off the ground at the top of the swing generating more “potential energy” for the swing. When you think of the energy that can be created by hoisting a 20-30lb weight above your shoulders and dropping it, you will understand where increased energy comes for the swing. That weight being the combined weight of your club and arms.

o You use your powerful muscles down your right side and the top of your left shoulder which can generate more power for the swing than using the power of your lower back muscles rotating around the base of your spine in a flatter swing.

Improved Balance

Your balance during the backswing and downswing is affected by the centrifical force of rotating the club head as it is in motion and on what angle that force is acting on your trunk.

The centrifical force generated by the club head moving in a circular path acts to pull your shoulders forward toward the ball which can affect the stability of your trunk during your swing.

To give you and exaggerated example of the effect this might have on your balance, try to imagine the action of an athlete throwing the hammer.

In this case the athlete has to overcome the enormous centrifical force needed to rotate the hammer by “leaning back” in order to stay balanced during the spin.

A flatter swing plane has a similar impact on the balance of the golfer who has to counter the effect of the centrifical force need to rotate the club head with the lower back muscles in order to hold the trunk in position during the swing.

During an upright swing this centrifical force is being generated more up through the trunk and legs from the ground generating less effect on your lower back muscles allowing your trunk to remain more stable.

How to Generate an Upright Swing

As much as you might expect your setup to impact the plane angle, it impacted more by your shoulder rotation.

I encourage you to start your swing with a “downward rotation” of your left shoulder…

Many golfers initiate their swing by moving their hands.

For golfers who may be stiff in their trunk flexibility, shoulders or may have a few inches more around their mid section than they would like, starting the swing with their hands encourages them to “wrap” their swing around their body causing a flat swing plane.

That is because their shoulders are moving more in the horizontal plane.

The net swing results can be excessive slicing, with the ball starting the flight path heavily to the left, or pushing the ball to the right.

This is because the region where the club head is moving down the target line is very small lowering the margin of error for accuracy in the swing as I covered earlier.

Start your swing by a downward movement of the left shoulder and you will counter this problem.

It ensures your swing begins with more of a vertical rotation of the shoulders. By doing so your shoulders will be rotating more down the target line.

Mirror Exercise for Correct Setup

The other area that will affect your swing plane is your setup.

I encourage you to practice this swing initiation drill with your left shoulder turn in front of a mirror at home.

As you turn watch your hand motion. Adjust your setup in order to make it easier to turn vertically and move your hands along a more upright swing plane.

Here are a few pointers to help you:

o Let your arms hang vertically down in the stance with your hands positioned no more than six inches away from your leg

o Keep your back straight from the hips up. Do not let your shoulder hunch forward

o If you are large chested you may want to lean forward more in the stance to give your arms more clearance to move straight back rather than wrap around your body

As you go through this routine you are likely to feel muscle stiffness in the back swing that you are not used to…especially in your left shoulder.

That is because it is much easier to rotate your shoulders horizontally around your spine than to rotate them vertically.

This is normal since the motion in the vertical plane uses different muscles in your golf swing.

Shoulder Flexibility

Many golfers are just too stiff in the shoulders to do this effectively and when they first try an upright swing plane on the range they find the results disappointing.

Should this occur, shorten your backswing considerably because the stiffness of your golf muscles in the upright swing plane is causing other areas of your swing to breakdown.

Caution: Never allow your left elbow to break when trying to swing more upright. You will defeat the purpose of the adjustment to a higher swing plane and only cause yourself more timing problems.

An exercise I recommend to improve shoulder flexibility in the vertical plane is to take a broom handle and place it across your shoulders and then wrap your elbows and arms over the top of the handle.

For some people this may be a stretching exercise in itself, so do it gently without stressing the shoulder muscles.

Now move the handle straight down one side as far as you can go, and hold for 60 seconds. As you hold the stretch, do not allow your hips to move sideways in the opposite direction as this will counter the stretch.

Likewise keep your trunk upright and straight as much as possible during the stretch.

Now do the same motion in the opposite direction.

After a few days of this stretch, you will find your distance on the range will improve as you begin to extend your backswing more. However, you should see marked improvement your accuracy consistency right from the start the more you swing down the target line.

Good Luck!

Regards,

Les

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Vergnano Vs Lavazza – Who Is the Best?

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In the battleground of different brands the competitions among the brands are very worthy. In today’s competition of the brands, there is a famous coffee candy brand called Vergnano in one corner while in other corner, the brand of coffee candy Lavazza stands as a rival or competitor of this brand. Let us have a brief description of both of these companies in the wide world of coffee candy business.

Vergnano History

Caffe Vergnano is a well reputed company in an international marketing world which also possesses a very interesting historical background. This company came into existence in the year 1982 by the Domnico Vergnano with an opening of small grocery business in the city of Chieri located near the Turin region. With the best business strategy, Domnico Vergnano has laid this small grocery business to achieve great specialization in selling as well as roasting of coffee. He after getting permission from his ancestors, purchased a coffee plantation area in Kenya in 1930’s and with this investment on the coffee plantation in Kenya, he raised his business into new heights by expanding it to three new warehouses in Alba, Turin and Cheri. He himself transported the coffee from these three warehouses and made his company really a no.1 coffee candy company in the world from over the last century.

Vergnano Current Position

At present, the Vergnano Company establishes itself among the top five reputed Italian coffee companies in the world and owns more than 8000 square meter plant along with 11 production lines that can operate automatically. Also, around 32 coffee shops are located in different parts of the world including the famous places like Italy, Munich, Bermuda, Canada, Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Lavazza History

The other competitor in the battle ground i.e. Lavazza is also a popular brand in the history of coffee plantation. The details of the historical background of this company is not available till yet but this company also stands top among the leading coffee companies in the world because they regularly offer delicious coffee candy to the people from past few successive years.

Tasty Lavazza Coffee Candies

Lavazza offers some of the fine quality and utmost delicious coffee candy like Lavazza Gran Filtro candy which is especially prepared with the 100% pure premium American blend beans of Central America region. This candy is blessed with rich aroma and unique taste which is highly appreciated by the people of almost all the countries of this world. The candy is prepared with the use of Lavazza exclusive decaffeination process and with drip coffee machines which can reduce the content of caffeine in such candies to 0.10%.

Lavazza also deliver delicious taste to the people in other candies like Bali’s little coffee candy which is highly preferable among the people especially kids during the day time. Candies of Lavazza companies are highly reliable among the people and are eaten by all age groups. It is somehow difficult to predict which candy can deliver better taste.

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How ASUS Is Now Ruling – History of ASUS

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ASUS has now became a well known name in the world, but a few years back it was quite unknown. We all thought and still think that it is some Chinese brand.

Actually, it is a Taiwanese company.

The name “ASUS” is taken from a Greek word Pegasus meaning “the winged horse“.

ASUS was founded by four hardware engineers, previously working for Acer in 1989.

There is a great story about initial success of ASUS.

Company created a prototype for a motherboard using Intel 486 processor without any access to the actual processor

They approached Intel to request a processor for testing and Intel was facing some issues with the processor so these genius solved it and guess what, ASUS started receiving Intel engineering samples before all of it’s competitors and after that there was no looking back.

ASUS created some of the most reliable motherboards which are still in use today.

In 2008, ASUS got divided into three parts:

ASUS – focusing on branded computers and electronics.

Pegatron – focusing on OEM manufacturing of motherboards and components.

Unihan corporation – focusing on non-PC manufacturing(cases etc).

Products:

Motherboards

Graphics Card

Sound Card

PCs

Tablets

  • Fonepad
  • Memp Pad
  • PadFone
  • Eee Slate

Mobiles

  • Zenfone 2(Recent)
  • Pegasus 2(forth coming)
  • Zenfone series

ASUS Padfone is a product which needs special mention.

It was first launched in 2011 and the features were extraordinary(compared with any phone of that time):

  • Full HD 5 inch screen(in the phone)
  • 2gb RAM
  • Full HD 10-inch screen(tablet with dock)
  • 64 GB internal memory
  • Quad core processor
  • 13 megapixel camera and much more.

Some strange facts about ASUS:

  • ASUS notepads are one of the first devices of this kind to reach on mount Everest(functioning well too).
  • In 2001, ASUS released wireframe display drivers that allowed players to use wallhack, announcing the settings as “special weapons”. This was criticized by gaming community for encouraging unfair play and after that Punkster anti cheat software started detecting & blacklisting players using ASUS display drivers.
  • ASUS Zenfone 2 (recently launched) is the first of it’s kind to have a RAM of 4 gb after that many companies followed the same.

The best thing about ASUS is that it is not constant, it is always trying something new unlike the big brands Apple and Samsung. ASUS in every way can put a great competition to all big brands and we hope to see some more innovative advancements by them very soon.

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Adidas ZX 700 Trainers – A Brief History

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Adidas is one of the most recognisable and classic sportswear brands of all time. Formed in Germany in 1948 by Adolf “Adi” Dassler after splitting with his brother, over the last 60 years they’ve produced some classic designs and styles which are desired the world over. The companies 3 stripe logo is featured on all Adidas products and is clearly defined all of their products, including the ZX 700.

The Adidas ZX 700 trainer is part of the Adidas Originals range and were originally launched in the 1980s. Back then this shoe was way ahead of it’s time with it’s durable, high-performance outsole it provided comfort and support when running over a range of surfaces, even when running long distances.

One of the unique things about the ZX700 shoe is the fact that they are bio-mechanically correct. Bio Mechanics is the study of how it moves in mechanical terms. Bio Mechanically correct trainers are designed to work in harmony with the movement of your body as you run. This is especially useful when running over long distances to prevent injury.

The latest version of the Adidas ZX 700 still reflects the classic standout 80s style, however Adidas have brought it bang up-to-date with a unique mix of real and synthetic textiles and great looking fresh colours. You do of course, still get that all important bio mechanically sound trainer sole that will last, even over high mileage.

If your a serious runner then these shoes may not be for you as you can probably find more modern, up-to-date training shoes. However if you want a shoes that’s ultra comfortable, stylish and classic then you won’t be disappointed with the Adidas ZX 700. If you owned a pair back in the day then I doubt you’ll have to think twice about getting the modern equivalent and reliving the good times of the 80s.

Available in a range of colours and styles from bright colours through to more subtle toned down shades, so you’ll be able to find a pair that goes with your individual style and look. If you’re looking for a great new pair of Adidas originals trainers then you won’t be disappointed with a new pair of Adidas ZX700s.

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Video Wall Software Improving Content Management

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Let’s face it: today’s technology is miles ahead of the technology from even ten years ago, and it’s improving at an exponential rate. Standard definition is hardly standard anymore; now 1080p high definition is the norm for most types of screens. And the new high definition – 4K Ultra HD – is a full four times sharper than regular HD!

With flatter, thinner screens that support ever higher resolutions, it’s clear that our hardware has surpassed our expectations and given us the possibility for the absolute top-of-the-line screen quality when it comes to audio/visual solutions. So what’s left? Where do we go from here, and how can we possibly improve upon what we already have?

The answer, which many overlook, is content. Sure, we may have the means to display amazing images and videos on super-sharp screens, but we also need the right content to actually put on those screens, and an easy way of doing so.

That’s why video wall software has become just as important as the actual hardware. Video wall installations are ideal for a wide variety of environments, from retail to education to entertainment, but often the content management systems can be complicated and time-consuming.

With the right video wall software, you should be able to manage your content with ease. That’s the next step in technological innovation: not just improving the hardware, but improving the ways that we add and manage content. We’re moving towards a world where content is king, and management that is both intuitive and user friendly is the name of the game.

Software also adds a level of customization that allows you to really make the content reflective of your identity or brand. Customization is increasingly important in today’s world where we are constantly inundated with information that can seem generic. With software that lets you customize your content, you can create something that is completely   unique  to you and your company. This is perfect for when you want to stand out in advertising or create dynamic presentations to showcase your business.

The right software allows users to program and schedule content so that it will play at specific times-perfect for planning ahead. There are usually plenty of configurations available as well, like picture in picture. Software is also useful when you want to use a combination of different media sources, such as CD/DVD players, cameras, the internet, and more.

The future of AV technology is content management, so instead of just thinking about the right hardware, consider also a system that comes with integrated and intuitive software.

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Top 10 Films About Contemporary Art

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Visiting art galleries and reading art magazines and books is great. But sometimes you just want to lie on your sofa with a cup of tea and relax watching a good movie. Now that it’s winter, you might feel this desire more often. A movie can be an art form and when it is a movie about great artists and art, it’s like watching ‘art squared’, so to speak. So don’t miss out, give it a try – you won’t be sorry.

Here is a list of movies about contemporary art to get you started. Some are old, some new, but all are really inspiring. I have listed the movies alphabetically, and I haven’t given any of them a personal rating since as far as I’m concerned, all of them are worth watching. This is just to inspire you to watch these films, and perhaps move on to others afterwards.

Art School Confidential

Who said anything about talent?

IMDb rating: 6.3

Director: Terry Zwigoff

Production year: 2006

This movie is a comedy rather than drama, and it focuses on the story of an art student who had spent all his life dreaming about being a great artist. Although the film makes fun of the contemporary art world in many respect, it also shows its attractive side, and gives an idea of the dedication artists can feel to their work.

Basquiat

In 1981, A Nineteen-Year-Old Unknown Graffiti Writer Took the New York Art World by Storm. The Rest Is Art History

IMDb rating: 6.8

Director: Julian Schnabel

Production year: 1996

This is an absolutely unforgettable movie about American street artist Jean-Michel Basquiat. It gives you a deep view of Basquiat’s world, his life, friends, love and works. Julian Schnabel is an artist himself, and so has personal experience of the world he’s looking into, something that adds an unusual and meaningful level of validity to the movie.

Exit Through the Gift Shop

The incredible true story of how the world’s greatest Street Art movie was never made…

IMDb rating: 8.2

Director: Banksy

Production year: 2010

It is brilliant movie, which keeps you guessing and puzzling right through to the end. At first sight you may think that the film is about street art documentary filmmaker Thierry Guetta, but actually it is about world famous graffiti artist Banksy. I won`t be surprised if after watching this film you want to hit the streets with a spray can.

Factory Girl

When Andy met Edie, life imitated art

IMDb rating: 6.1

Director: George Hickenlooper

Production year: 2006

Although the movie is dedicated to the life of underground film star Edie Sedgwick, and this aspect of it is certainly interesting, much of the appeal comes from his explored relationship with Andy Warhol. Watching the movie will give you the a fairly comprehensive impression of the Factory, a place where artists of any genre met and created what became a game-changing part of modern art.

Frida

Prepare to be seduced

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Julie Taymor

Production year: 2002

This is a fantastic biographical story about the life and work of an extraordinary and immensely strong woman, the well-known Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. The film is like her works: colorful, full of love, powerful and unique.

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus

IMDb rating: 6.2

Director: Steven Shainberg

Production year: 2006

This is a sincere look at the iconic American photographer Diane Arbus and her real love for Lionel Sweeney, who helped her to become an artist who came to help define photography in the twentieth century.

The Great Contemporary Art Bubble

IMDb rating: 7.3

Director: Ben Lewis

Production year: 2009

This is an extremely interesting BBC production, by a UK art critic, Ben Lewis. It will take you on a journey into the contemporary art world, with all its secrets. You will visit world famous auction houses and galleries, and even the homes of art collectors.

How to Draw a Bunny

IMDb rating: 7.2

Director: John W. Walter

Production year: 2002

This is a documentary about Ray Johnson, who has been called “New York’s most famous unknown artist,” and is about the mysteries of his life and art, and of course his influence on the Pop Art world.

My Left Foot

A film about life, laughter, and the occasional miracle

IMDb rating: 7.8

Director: Jim Sheridan

Production year: 1989

This is based on the fantastic true story of Christy Brown, painter and author, who could control only his left foot. It is the only film in this list that won 5 Academy Awards, – Best Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis), Best Supporting Actress (Brenda Fricker), Best Director (Jim Sheridan), Best Picture and Best Screenplay (Shane Connaughton and Jim Sheridan). With that recommendation, how can you fail to give it a go?

Pollok

I thought I knew all the outstanding artists in New York and I don`t know Jackson Pollock

IMDb rating: 7.1

Director: Ed Harris

Production year: 2000

Wonderful movie about world famous American painter Jackson Pollock. This film demonstrates his great talent and difficult nature, and the way he tried to combine the two.

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Otaku Nation: Anime’s Effect on American Pop Culture

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The modern age of Anime arrive in Japan in the 1960s, and over the course of the next decade or so boomed into the giant robot, space battle genre bender that we would soon recognize as the anime of today.

Evolving over the next 30 years or so, it reached a peak where it could begin to overtake and become an integral part of other cultures, much like the Hollywood of the 1930s quickly grew to encompass the rest of the world and inform their pop culture. In the same manner, American pop culture becomes increasingly informed by the trends and cult response to anime.

Anime first appeared in the US market in the 60s with shows like Kimba the White Lion and Astroboy. However, the national consciousness as to where these shows came from as well as the poor marketing of the shows made them forgettable and rather than a jumping in point, they act as a nostalgic reminder.

When Speed Racer arrived, the beginnings of a true consciousness that Japan was creating something new and exciting began to set in. The popularity of Speed Racer was never that of its American contemporaries, but it created in a set fanbase the willingness to devour newer offerings later on in Starblazers and Robotech (a convoluted perversion of multiple animes, but still a relative success in the states). Still, the affect was mostly underground.

In the 1980s, the introduction of Beta and VHS made it possible to join together with friends and watch more varying forms of anime. Truly it was the technological revolutions of the coming years that would make it truly possible for anime to perforate the American entertainment bubble. When Akira arrived in 1989, the effect was palpable. Receiving only a limited American screen release, few saw it in initial release, but the copying of VHS tapes and word of mouth made it something of a cult sensation. Those that knew of Akira were fans for life, eagerly awaiting their chance to partake more and more of the growing trends out of Japan.

For Japan’s part, this era was a period of major expansion, a veritable boom in the business. The 1980s saw the success of shows like Gundam and Dragon Ball overgrow the national consciousness and become runaway sensations. The explosion of the manga industry before hand, with serializations of works by Akira Toriyama and Katsuhiro Otomo in the early 80s simmered in the youth of Japan and finally seeing the commercial possibilities of these works, creating in the process a major conglomerate of companies in the Akira Committee to bring the massive budget of Akira to fruition.

By the 90s anime was the mainstream in Japan, and the result was the ramping up of production and increased output of shows. In part because of the simple, streamlined art style, multiple artist were able to work on a single project and create on episode a week for years at a time, resulting in monumental runs such as the case of Dragonball (156 episodes) and Dragonball Z (276 episodes). The ability to serialize and turn a story into something that millions of youths would tune into each and every week made companies billions (of yen) and secured the kinds of commercial sponsorships and funding necessary to undertake incredible projects that would require vast sums of money to complete.

Back in America, a few executives were beginning to see the effect these shows were having in Japan. Slowly and very carefully they began taking the most popular, Dragonball Z and Sailormoon for example and finding timeslots very early in the day, before the daily retinue of American cartoons, testing the waters of marketability. In 1995, the trickle of anime into the states was just that, a relative trickle. Sailormoon aired every morning in syndication, but chopped up and missing key seasons to relate the endings of important storylines. Dragonball Z ran an equally mild run early on Saturdays in syndication that was abruptly cut when the rights to the show were lost by the initial company and purchased by Funimation.

All the while, works from Japanese masters like Hayao Miyazaki were being overlooked, passing unnoticed through limited release in the states, while making him a God of his craft in Japan. All the while companies like Manga, Funimation, and Viz were buying up licenses and releasing little known, untraceable shows that no one knew the origin of. The shows were treated poorly, often dubbed and cut up to match American audiences. Viz even launched the first Anime magazine in 1993 with Animerica, primarily reviewing their own products but still giving a view of the culture that no one knew anything about.

But, in 1995, the release of the shows in America along with the premiere and rave reviews of Neon Genesis Evangelion in Japan, Otaku interest abroad began to spike. Otaku is a bid of a misnomer as it’s a bit of an insult in Japan, a mean spirited way to call someone a nerd. Here though, it generally means a purveyor of Japanese pop-culture and with the Otaku so in style right now it’s less of an insult than a clique. The import and fan subbing of shows began in earnest via VHS editing software that few if anyone had access to. The early 90s was a time of massive growth of interest in the little known import of Anime though, and the American marketplace wasn’t slow to react.

In 1997, television networks made broad sweeping moves to bring shows to the mainstream. The Sci-Fi channel had always had a small niche in its latenight line up for cult classics like Vampire Hunter D, but Warner Bros finally brought the genre to primetime. Funimation finally got their licensing figured out and Dragonball Z saw its triumphant return to the Cartoon Network, with new episodes to follow a year and a half later. And in 1998, a little known video game for the Game Boy exploded in the American market, bringing along with it its entire arsenal of marketing ploys, including the overwhelmingly childish, but enormously popular Pokemon anime. Finally, children across the nation were gluing themselves to the television set as earnestly as their Japanese counterparts had for nearly a decade before hand.

Miyazaki’s new film played to better reception, receiving a proper release via Miramax. Princess Mononoke was a success in the terms of the time, even receiving the coveted two thumbs up (let alone a review at all) from Siskel and Ebert. Films began to arrive in America more liberally, still finding limited release, but release at least. And the shows began to pour in. At the time, the fansub scene was more or less the only way to get access to some of the more obscure titles being released in Japan. But as the market boomed, so did the licensing by major companies, and it actually started to become illegal to fansub certain shows because they might be released by a company eventually.

Thus began the final and full assimilation of Japanese pop culture into American. The DVD format sped up the process, as more episodes of a show could be packed into a disc than a VHS and production costs plummeted, removing a lot of the financial risk of an untested foreign product in the American marketplace. Cartoon Network debuted its Toonami afternoon cartoon slot, in which they featured anime that had been around for a little while, but managed to appeal to a much larger demographic and spread the word about these great story driven cartoons from across the ocean. An entire generation grew into the growing popularity and became entranced by the epic storylines, amazing storytelling and ability to show in a cartoon what many considered adult themes and much more mature perspectives on things like competition and personal success. The Japanese ability to cross genre and the extremely high production values that started to go into shows made in the late 90s and beyond meant amazing shows that appealed not just to children but to adults and beyond.

What started as a crossover, slowly began to actually change the way in which American’s marketed their television to children. Shows with more adult content appeared, and in some cases emulated the Japanese format. The writers at Pixar crafted brilliant, more maturely themed cartoons without the silly musicals of Disney past, and Disney even dissolved their tried format in favor of more mature, complete stories. The devolution of American quality in cartoons though as they attempted to match the output meant even more Japanese entries in the market. Now, if you turn on Fox kids in the morning you’ll find over half of the shows on are animes. And Cartoon Network still presents multiple entries themselves, with more mature offerings in their Adult Swim block late at night. Spirited Away won the Oscar for best animation in 2003 and South Park, the quintessential American barometer of cultural trends at first knocked the trend with their Chinpokemon episode, later to embrace it (while still mocking it) via changing their own art style in the Weapons episode just a couple years ago.

Nowadays, you’ll find anime oriented t-shirts everywhere, an entire aisle devoted to DVD releases in Best Buy (compared to the one row only seven years ago) and the success of the Anime Network, a channel solely devoted to Anime programming. Magazines like Newtype, a Japanese trade magazine for the Anime industry is now translated and released in America every month with previews of new shows, and American directors like James Cameron are looking to direct live action versions of manga like Battle Angel Alita.

Now, we see new releases from Japan within six months, and the fansub community has to scramble to keep up with what’s legal and what’s not legal to offer via their online services. The internet itself has made it a huge community, where a show can be recorded on Japanese television, ripped and subbed, then uploaded within a couple hours for the world to view. There’s no lay over, and new shows are immediately available. And it’s evident in the universities too. Japanese is one of the most sought after languages, filling up immediately with a yard long waiting list every year, and more sections being added every year.

Japanese pop culture managed to tap a certain perspective that American counterparts were unable to do themselves and in so doing, cornered and grew in a market that few thought existed in America.

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