first_imgSliabh LiagMinister of State Joe McHugh Teachta Dála has welcomed the announcement from the Tourism Minister Paschal Donohoe on the 8.8 per cent increase in overseas visits to Ireland for the first ten months of 2014.Commenting on the announcement, Minister McHugh said “I welcome the announcement from the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport on the strong performance for the tourism sector as it signifies that the measures this Government implemented to help the tourism sector are continuing to work while the people of Ireland continue to benefit greatly from the increase in revenue and jobs that this increase provides.“The figures published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) show a solid increase in all the major markets for tourism as there have been over 6.5 million visits to Ireland over the first 10 months, an 8.8% increase over the same period in 2013. Visits from Mainland Europe grew by 6.9% during this period, while visits from North America grew 14.5%, and visits from Great Britain, Ireland’s largest market, grew by 8% for the first ten months of 2014. These numbers show that tourism in Ireland is almost back to pre-downturn levels and the goal will be to continue to sustain and increase these promising numbers. “Part of this solid increase has to be accredited to the extremely successful Wild Atlantic Way as the new adventurous project continues to draw visitors from across the world. This success can be seen in Donegal as Malin Head, Fanad Head, and Slieve League draw visitors in with their stunning beauty and wonderful people. The local economies in Donegal benefit greatly from an increase in tourism as it provides additional revenue and jobs that otherwise would not be there. It should remain this Government’s prerogative to maintain this increase and push it to even new heights to make the sure the people of Ireland can reap these benefits.“I want to commend the efforts of groups like Failte Ireland and Tourism Ireland for continuing to look for new and exciting ways to foster growth in the tourism sector and continuing to bring the additional revenue and jobs that Ireland needs. The international tourism market continues to be increasingly competitive and it is largely thanks to groups like these that Ireland is able to succeed in bringing visitors from across the world to come and enjoy the many beautiful things this country has to offer.“These figures show that Ireland continues to be a desirable destination for overseas visitors and it is the duty of the Government to ensure that these figures rise to even higher levels. I commend the Minister for helping bring about this increase and his intentions to make sure that they only continue to increase so that the additional revenue and jobs that come with tourism continue to come to Ireland.”  DONEGAL BENEFITS FROM MASSIVE INCREASE IN TOURISTS IN 2014 – McHUGH was last modified: December 8th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalJoe McHughTourism Numberslast_img read more

Materialism Destroys Beauty

first_img(Visited 414 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 Materialism brought forth modernism, which glorified bland utility. Some want to bring back the Christian virtue of beauty.Walk through housing tracts and commercial centers built in the first half of the 20th century, and you are likely to get depressed. Plain horizontal lines predominate. Cubical, unimaginative forms with flat roofs and and bare walls devoid of ornamentation draw the eye nowhere. Colorless steel and concrete, far removed from nature, give a feeling of walking in Soviet factory cities. The relationship is as plain as the architecture: materialism brought forth communism as well as modernism. Architects of the period, like German architect Bruno Taut, were on a campaign to destroy beauty:“Oh, our concepts: space, home, style! Ugh, how these concepts stink! Destroy them, put an end to them! Let nothing remain!” (ref: John West, Darwin Day in America, p. 194)John West traces the materialist roots of modernist architecture.What replaced the ornamental beauty of Victorian architecture was The New Architecture, Futurist Architecture, The International Style, or simply, Modern Architecture. The new emphasis was on function, not form; utilitarianism, not ornamentation. And it was ugly. In chapter 9 of Darwin Day in America, John West describes the movement, and quotes its leading lights. They looked on the ornateness of Gothic cathedrals and Baroque interiors as grotesque. From one extreme, they sprang to the other. Arches, columns and decorative facades were out. Banality was in. “In the Futurists’ view,” West says, “a building really was reducible to its construction materials, and therefore the most honest building was one where the materials rather than aesthetic considerations were allowed to determine everything about the building.”West traces the spread of this mode of architecture from Germany after the first world war. The Bauhaus movement, emphasizing radically streamlined forms, spread from there throughout Europe. Despising “romantic gloss” and “wasteful frivolity,” these architects gave rise to cities of ugly monotony, with “cold, utilitarian, and numbingly standardized” building projects. In essence, it was a rejection of individuality. And what was their motivation? Materialism, West argues. Many of the leaders of futurist architecture were avowed materialists, who traced their materialism to Darwinism. Human beings were representatives of a species, with the same needs. They should be happy living in white cardboard boxes, all alike. In a world governed by impersonal natural laws, who should care about individual creativity?The Return to BeautyA backlash against cold utilitarianism began in the late 1950s. Post-modernism began to replace modernism. The inertia gained by the modernists would take a long time to stop, however. One can still see it in the bland furniture sold by Ikea, with its flat-painted tables and chairs with unimaginative square corners deprived of ornamentation, its plain metal picture frames, its monochromatic cushions emphasizing functionality over beauty. Government housing projects often resemble stacked concrete slabs with minimal openings, all the same, extending for many blocks. The banality of these buildings must take its toll on the attitude of their inhabitants. That’s why psychologists are coming to realize the value of parks, open spaces and trees on the well-being of people in cities and apartments (17 July 2018). The beauty of nature, by contrast, often inspires works of great art.We humans seem to have a natural aversion to these fruits of modernism. A backlash is going on right now in the UK. Breitbart News reports that Sir Roger Scruton, a celebrated conservative philosopher who was partly responsible for helping open eastern Europe from communist domination, has been selected to lead a commission on new housing standards that is a “blow to modernism,” according to the article.Communities Minister James Brokenshire announced the Building Better, Building Beautiful commission at the weekend, a body which will “promote better design and style of homes, villages, towns and high streets, to reflect what communities want, building on the knowledge and tradition of what they know works for their area.”This article presents the contrast between traditional values and modernist values in bold colors. Who is opposing Scruton’s appointment?The body, which will be chaired by Scruton — an expert on the philosophy of aesthetics and a rare self-professed conservative in UK academia — is expected to produce a report, which will “advocate for beauty in the built environment” by December 2019. Because Scruton is an unapologetic social conservative the announcement has been pounced upon by the left who have demanded his removal using — as James Delingpole reports — confected outrage and “offence archaeology”.Again,Scruton’s appointment was immediately attacked by the left, and The Guardian newspaper took the opportunity to republish their previous claim that he resembles a narrow-minded racist because of his views on architecture.Charges of racism and Islamophobia, most people know now, are empty reflexes by those lacking facts with which to make a reasoned argument.Where does Scruton’s motivation for beauty come from? He clearly has a disdain for the “cult of ugliness” produced by modernism. Another article cited by Breitbart says he is “instinctively hostile to Modernist… horizontal slabs.” Government housing projects, he argues, need not be eyesores of sameness extending from east to west. Scruton wrote in 2013,“Conservative-minded architects like Leon Krier at Poundbury and John Simpson at Swindon have shown that this need not be so, that we can learn from our traditional architecture how to build in ways that enhance the neighbourhood, and in ways that produce affordable housing too.“People protest at the faceless estates that destroy the view from their window. But no-one protests at Poundbury except the modernist architects who sense the threat that it poses to their monopoly game.”Decor on exterior of Westminster Abbey, London (DFC)The Source of BeautyThe Breitbart article does not mention Darwinism, but it does mention communism, which included Darwinist materialism as one of its core pillars. Marx’s “dialectical materialism” implies evolving materialism, without absolutes.Scruton, who argues for a universal value of objective beauty, was awarded a special medal by the Polish government in honour of “intellectual courage and integrity” in 2016 for his work during the Cold War in building secret underground universities in Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia in opposition to the Communist regimes.Speaking at the time, he told Breitbart London of the award: “I helped to plant a few seeds of conservative thinking in those countries, and to emphasize that it is permissible to love your country more than the global forces that wish to suppress it… In 1989 the destructive materialism of the communists was replaced by the soft materialism of the new Europe.A “universal value of objective beauty” is the opposite of evolution. Most ground objective value in religion. An earlier article at Breitbart showed instances of the beautiful houses of Parliament, with soaring architecture adorned with art pieces celebrating individuality and beauty. “Art of Britain’s Parliament Tell Story of Great Christian Nation That Revisionists Would Erase.”Scruton’s campaign against ugly modern architecture, therefore, runs deeper than government planning for homes. “My small influence comes from expressing the belief that materialism, in whatever form, is the problem,” he said.In Darwin Day in America. John West shows in detail how Darwinism corrupts whatever it touches – even architecture. More good books on this subject are by Jerry Bergman: The Darwin Effect and How Darwinism Corrodes Morality.Darwin was like an anti-Midas; everything he touched turned to crud. The hand of God brings grace, mercy and peace. What newborn child of God would not respond with thanksgiving and develop a newfound appreciation of the good, the true, and the beautiful?last_img read more

5 Directors You Should Keep An Eye On

first_imgThey may not be household names yet, but these directors are the future of your favorite movie franchises.Top image via CBS Films.The trend of indie directors making the one-feature jump to King Kong or Star Wars means that the possibility of unknown directors taking the helm for mega blockbusters is no longer out of the question. Studios are starting to bank on this idea and are, for the most part, seeing fantastic results — both critically and commercially. With examples like Jurassic World, Star Wars: Episode VIII — The Last Jedi and Thor: Ragnarok, small-time directors now have the opportunity to head big productions. Let’s take a look at some directors to keep your eye on.Hiro MuraiImage via MTV.Perhaps the best working director you’ve never heard of is Hiro Murai. After directing seven episodes of the recent Golden Globe-winning series Atlanta, Murai also directed an episode of the latest X-Men spinoff series, Legion. Given each show’s reception, Murai’s ascension to the director’s chair on bigger and bolder projects is imminent. Murai excels in the pacing and narrative of episodic television, and his music videos are visionary (see his work with Childish Gambino, Flying Lotus, Chet Faker, and Massive Attack). Even though he hasn’t made his big-screen debut yet, that jump is right around the corner.Macon BlairImage via Radius-TWC.Best known for his understated performances in Jeremy Saulnier’s past two films, Blue Ruin and Green Room, the actor-turned-director just struck gold at Sundance when his little-indie-that-could won the Gand Jury Prize Dramatic then followed that feat with a Netflix deal. Though one successful indie feature doesn’t always guarantee blockbuster projects, consider Colin Trevorrow‘s one-film-jump to Jurassic World. Blair’s film I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is a bold entry into the director’s sphere, so expect bigger and better things on the horizon.Jennifer KentImage via IFC Films.Universally acclaimed 2014 horror film The Babadook stunned audiences and critics and certainly garnered well-deserved attention from the studios. The Australian-based director found a way to bring big ideas to her small film while making a finished product that felt large in scope and intimate in characterization. Kent’s next project has been announced as a revenge thriller set in the outback. Sign us up. Her path to mainstream success might be unclear, but her films are certainly a comforting sign of a good filmmaker who found her own voice.Dan TrachtenbergImage via Paramount Pictures.Securing backing from J.J. Abrams for your first feature isn’t the textbook definition of indie filmmaking, but considering where Dan Trachtenberg started and what he had to work with, Trachtenberg has already skyrocketed into the stratosphere of elite filmmakers with only one feature under his belt. Having recently directed the (in my personal opinion) best episode of the recent Black Mirror season, Trachtenberg is almost certain to move onto bigger and better things. There’s an excellent episode of The Nerdist podcast during which Abrams and Trachtenberg talk about how each of them came to know the other and why the new director earned the helm for 10 Cloverfield Lane. You can listen to The Nerdist interview here.David MackenzieImage via CBS Films.David Mackenzie exploded onto the scene last year with the Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water. The film earned praise for its exceptional tone and Coen Brothers-esque pacing. After this Oscar season, the ROI from Hell or High Water will most definitely pique the interest of any rational studio. What lies ahead for Mackenzie is still unclear, but I can only imagine his best work is still in store.Who are some up-and-coming directors whose work you’re excited to see in the near future? Share in the comments below.last_img read more

If You Want Better Results Focus on Competency

first_imgIf you want better results than you are generating now, you have to pay for them in advance. Paying for them means first improving yourself. If you’re going to do more, have more, and contribute more, you have to start with being more than you are now. You have to grow, and you have to improve until you become someone capable of producing better results.Getting Things BackwardsEverybody wants. They want more money. They want better results. They want to advance in their career. They want a great life outside of work. But mostly they want these things without having to change who they are and what they are doing. If wanting were enough, everyone would already have there every wish and hope and dream.Wanting, wishing, hoping, and dreaming isn’t enough to give you the results you want. The result doesn’t come before the effort, and the effort isn’t usually effective before the growth that allows one to take sufficient action in pursuit of their desired results. Wanting, wishing, hoping, and dreaming requires nothing from you. Results, success, the attainment of your goals all require more—much more—starting with you becoming a person capable of the effective action necessary to produce the results you want.Professional Development is PersonalWhen you are working on developing yourself personally, you are developing yourself professionally. Whatever you do as it pertains to your professional development also spills over into your personal life. How could it be otherwise? There is only one “you,” and the “you” at work is the same “you” at home.For most of human history, people believed that you grew as much as you need to—and as much as was possible—by the age of around 18 years old. Robert Keegan’s work has proven otherwise; we continue to grow throughout our lives—and we are all pure potential, which brings me to one of my core beliefs that no human has ever reached their full potential, not DaVinci, not Einstein, not me, and not you.Without knowing how accurate the stat is, they say some meager percentage of the population every reads a book after high school, and a small number reads after college. I do know, however, that most people do very little to improve their competencies when it comes to their profession—including salespeople.Your primary directive must be to grow and evolve, leaving what you are now to become the person that comes after who you are now.The First Order of BusinessYour first order of business must be becoming an expert. You have to acquire and develop your skills. You are not going to produce the result of a professional when your competency is that of an amateur. You are not going to match the expert when you have the skills of a novice. If you want big-time success, you have to develop big-time competencies.The time you work in a role is not a real indication as to your competency. The 10,000 hour doesn’t suggest that the famous number is proof of positive of expertise. Instead, Ericsson’s theory is that it takes 10,000 hours of deliberate practice, practice so intense that after a couple of hours of work, you need to rest. Deliberate practice means working on something until you perfect it. When was the last time you worked so hard on some competency that you need a nap?If you work in sales, you need competencies in many different areas, many of which you will find in The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever Need, starting with your mindset, with Self-Discipline, Optimism, Caring, Competitiveness, Resourcefulness, Persistence, Initiative, Communication, and Accountability. The reason these attributes (or character traits) come first is that they are what is necessary to becoming someone worth buying from in the first place. At the same time, you also need to be competent in the skills of sales: Closing, Prospecting, Storytelling, Diagnosing, Negotiating, Business Acumen, Change Management, and Leadership. Learn Anthony’s core strategies & tactics for sales success at any level with The Only Sales Guide You’ll Ever NeedI put a reading list at the end of every chapter in that book so readers could get additional help in developing these competencies. The two books that followed both focused on skills, with The Lost Art of Closing focused on commitment-gaining, and Eat Their Lunch devoted to making business acumen practical and tactical, so you can displace your competitors and steal your dream client away.Build a PlanIf there is some area where you need to improve your competency, pick up three books on the subject, read them all, take notes on the author’s beliefs and the actions they suggest you take. Make a list of things you will do differently after studying the topic and stick with it long enough to improve in that area.With the advent of the internet, there is no end of courses and training available to you at a lower cost than ever, especially since you can take them without having to travel and at your own pace. If you are not enrolled in a program now, find something you want to learn and get started. Start applying what you learn.Competency only follows action. Reading a book and not acting on what you learned is the same as not having read the book. Taking a course without applying what you are learning is the same as not taking the course at all, expect you will have wasted your time and money, leaving you no better than you were—and maybe worse off.High PerformanceThe best performers in any human endeavor are the ones with the highest competency, experts, if you will. There are a few with natural attributes and talents, those who were born to do something, but most of them developed themselves in the quiet hours of the day when it was dark outside, and everyone else was sleeping.You don’t see people doing the work of developing the competency you admire; you only see the result. A result this also available to you, should you decide to do the work to acquire it. Get the Free eBook! Want to master cold calling? Download my free eBook! Many would have you believe that cold calling is dead, but the successful have no fear of the phone; they use it to outproduce their competitors. Download Nowlast_img read more