Month: December 2018

Hong Kong protests offer gold some support

Precious metals prices continued lower early on Monday in Europe but at a slower pace than in recent weeks, with pro-Democracy protests in Hong Kong providing a boost to safe-haven buying. Violent clashes between protestors and the police were reported in Hong Kong over the weekend and this morning, with tear gas and water cannons being used to disperse huge crowds blocking access to the financial district. Having traded as low as $1,215.30 at one point this morning, spot gold managed to make back some of the losses and was last a modest 60 cents above Friday’s closing level at $1,219.40/1,220.20 per ounce. The pattern was repeated in silver, which dipped as low as $17.47 before recovering to $17.54/17.59 per ounce, down eight cents. “The precious metals remain vulnerable but gold prices are moving sideways in choppy trading, which suggests both underlying buying and overhead selling,” FastMarkets analyst William Adams said. “The same is true for silver, while the PGMs are still looking for support, which we feel will be found soon given the fundamentals. …

GOLD 2

China gold demand picking up again?

One of the depressing factors with regard to the gold price so far this year has been the reported fall-off in Chinese gold demand, although by world standards it remains pretty healthy. But there are now signs that it is beginning to pick up again. While the full year total is still not expected to match the record 2013 level a recent pick-up in withdrawals from the Shanghai Gold Exchange (SGE) suggests the lower prices may be beginning to stimulate demand again. Koos Jansen, who is almost certainly the most consistent analyst and follower of Chinese gold demand data, has noted the pick-up and points out on www.bullionstar.com that the latest published weekly gold withdrawals from the SGE for the last two weeks in August have been 46 tonnes and 42 tonnes respectively. This is a significant jump from earlier levels and suggests the beginning of a healthy return to purchases as the final four months of the year approach. The SGE figures may be the only reliable indicator out there of the true picture …

NEW ZEALAND

NEW ZEALAND – All about the beautiful country!

New Zealand is one of the most beautiful exotic countries. Its astonishing sceneries, with volcanoes, lakes, large forests and wildlife, attract each year waves of visitors. Not only tourists seem fond of New Zealand. The producers for Lord of the Rings picked New Zealand as Middle Earth. Furthermore, the country’s Maori population has inhibited the islands since 1200 AD. Their traditions, lifestyle and beliefs have survived for centuries. New Zealand earned the rank of the freest country in the world and you can clearly see that among the locals. They are non-judgmental and lack hierarchies. While the preservation of culture and community events are important, what one does as an individual counts more in their eyes. They respect others’ privacy and expect the favor to be returned. In Maori etiquette, songs play an important role, so don’t be surprised when people start singing on the streets. New Zealand is the only place where Kiwi means: firstly, a New Zealand inhabitant; secondly, the national bird; and thirdly (with a “maybe” in front) the kiwifruit. For an …

AUSTRALIA

AUSTRALIA – Land of Kangaroos

Australia is more than kangaroos, koalas, desert and hot weather. It’s one of the most civilized countries, ranging even higher than the US in terms of individual and financial freedom. Plan a trip to Australia if you’re interested in Aborigine cultures, the country has one of the oldest ones. Relatively isolated from the other countries, Australia has its own distinctive culture, different from the British or the other Anglo-Saxon ones. Many great sportsmen were Aussies. However, most of the foreigners know Australia for its convicts since Britain used the territory to send off his felons. Due to the wildlife in the area (and the adventures of Steve Irwin), people’s perception about the country is unbelievably inaccurate: they think of kangaroo riders, savages, and a vast portion of unoccupied land. Wrong! Australia has amazing cities, such as Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane. It has 7 universities in the Global Top 100. Australians love sports and it has not 1, not 2, but 3 Frisbee teams. Drinking is embedded within the culture. Bob Hawkes beat the World …

Best Golf Travel Bags

Best Golf Travel Bags

What makes a great golf travel bag? Of all the points to consider when looking for a bag to protect your favorite golf gear on the road to St. Andrews or Pebble beach or wherever your golf game may take you this year, the two most important are probably price and protection. Beyond these two, there is quite an assortment of bags on the market that will likely meet your needs. Protection The first decision for you to make is hard or soft shell? Hard shell cases do offer the most protection for your valuable golf clubs, but there are a few significant strikes against them to think of as well. First, they tend to be significantly more expensive than most soft shell bags. Also, they tend to be much heavier than your average soft bag and they have no give at all when attempting to fit them into limited spaces like rental car trunks. That said, there are many very high quality soft sided bags on the market that offer great protection to your …

Cristoforo Colombo Rome Hotel Review

Cristoforo Colombo Rome Hotel Review

For those travelers looking for an affordable hotel right in the commercial center of Rome, the Cristoforo Columbo Hotel is a good choice. The lower rate of the Cristoforo Columbo somewhat offsets the fact that the hotel lacks a great many of the amenities provided by larger in-town hotels. The Cristoforo Columbo provides guests with the opportunity to enjoy the historical sites of the city while remaining outside the primary tourist zones where prices are significantly higher. Wows and Woes The hotel staff can help guests find their way into the tourist zones using the city’s bus system. They’re happy to draw maps or direct customers to the nearest bus station. While the hotel caters primarily to guests who have their own cars, the local buses are still far and away the most efficient way to get into the city to see the sites. The nearest bus stop is less than one-quarter mile away from the hotel, and the nearby tobacco stand is the ideal place to purchase your bus tickets. Guests can walk to …

QR Codes Aren’t Sweet Without Strategy

QR Codes Aren’t Sweet Without Strategy

QR codes represent a unique mix of technology and advertising that is steadily improving with evolving new forms and functions. But their functional improvement is meaningless if the platform is not applied with the right strategy and tactics in the real world in order to connect with consumers. Most people within the marketing community are no strangers to seeing QR codes attached to advertisements and products these days. Even many tech-savvy consumers know how to create QR codes for promotion or information sharing, which is the beauty of their open platform design. Anyone can use them, read them, and get creative. QR codes have created a new way for brands to engage their audience with products and services, and there are already quite a few examples of ways that “traditional” QR codes are getting pushed further, including the logo-friendly Snap-tag. Snap-tags are a gussied up version of the mobile interactive code options. Instead of the static-like appearance of QR codes, they’ve created a sleeker option that focuses more on branding with a cleaner code look …

Twitter

Twitter Verification Implications for Brand Marketers

With recent news that Twitter’s verification process has become linked to monthly advertising, there has been conversation and debate about blurry lines in the sand. What does this change mean for your brand or company on Twitter? Is verification critical to your Twitter strategy? Twitter verified accounts are used to denote the authenticity of certain pages on Twitter. The verified badge helps users identify that a legitimate source is authoring the account’s Tweets (or at least officially ghost-tweeting on behalf of a legitimate source). Beginning primarily with the rise of celebrities’/politician’s use of Twitter, verified accounts then spread to other categories such as news outlets, companies and more. Confirmation that the account is being run by who it says it is. Digital Trends recently reported (highlighted? exposed? uncovered?) that the verification process is tied to a monthly advertising fee. While this policy and the manner of its implementation are stirring up some debate, what does this mean for your brand? I doubt that Twitter is going to make The White House account, or a celebrity …

About Backcountry Vacations

About Backcountry Vacations

Strictly speaking, backcountry vacations entail non-motorized treks into remote, wilderness areas. Ideally, these involve backpacking or the use of pack animals with a hiking itinerary that involves at least one overnight camp. But newcomers to backcountry travel may want to ease into the experience starting with day hikes. The Originals Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. Hikers get the picture in Guadalupe Mountains National Park, Texas. John Muir (1838-1914) and Bob Marshall (1901-39), principle founders of the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society, respectively, are the patriarchs of contemporary backcountry travel devotees. Muir wrote of venturing into Yosemite National Park backcountry, and Marshall could hike 50 to 60 miles a day across alpine terrain. National Parks Lost Valley State Park in Arkansas is seen in early spring. Lost Valley State Park in Arkansas is seen in early spring. The National Park Service administers some of the best backcountry in the United States. Knowledgeable and helpful rangers and loads of resource material about trails and destinations facilitate planning. Teamwork A cascade runs …

About Sunken Ships

About Sunken Ships

Mystery surrounds sunken ships, with tales of lost treasure or historical artifacts. The topic has been popularized by the movie series “Pirates of the Caribbean,” with its portrayal of The Flying Dutchman and Davy Jones’ Locker legends. Study of submerged vessels can lead even to fascinating vacation opportunities. The Granddaddy of Sunken Ships The story of the Titanic’s sinking is the indisputable champion of sunken ship stories. “Titanic” film director James Cameron continues the story with documentary footage on cable television’s Discovery Channel of undersea efforts to study the vessel’s wreckage. The Graveyard of the Atlantic The waters off of North Carolina’s barrier islands, known as the The Graveyard of the Atlantic, offers great access to historical data on actual sunken vessels. More than 2,000 ships have sunk in these waters since people began keeping records in 1526, according to a North Carolina tourism website. Cape Hatteras National Seashore A visit to Cape Hatteras National Seashore, North Carolina, provides an excellent and accessible vacation if you are interested in learning more about all things seagoing …