5 Tips to Handle Your Phone While Traveling Abroad

“Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the world all of one’s lifetime.” These are the words of famous writer Mark Twain that describes beautifully about the reason we travel. We do it for fun, enjoyment and to break from our daily mundane routine. It is really nice to feel the sun on our back, or see the wonders that travelling to a new place can provide us. Going to a new place is always etched to our memory and nothing feels good than capturing the splendid moments we spent on as pictures or videos and sharing them with people we love. We have every social network at our disposal and it is a great loss to not be able to share our memories on them.

Moreover, as we are stranger in the new place, we always look for maps to navigate our ways through the landscapes. All of these are possible today at a single click on our mobile phones. It helps us to find place places to our liking through navigation, captures photos and videos and let us to be connected to our close friends and family. It is thus, very important to handle our phones efficiently so that it doesn’t run out of juice when we need it the most.

Tips to handle your phone:-

1. The first thing you need to do is download a travel app like Hopper, Kayak or NobelApp. This app shows the best deal going around the place you visit including cab fares, hotel rents and flight fares. Some apps like NobelApp also provide promotional deals which makes your travel quite cheap.

2. Using your phone is a necessity while travelling and it can drain your battery very quickly. It may not be possible for you find a charging point and you may miss out on important opportunities for a long time. To counter this problem, you must always carry an extra set of batteries and a power bank which can keep your phone charged on the go, and you won’t have to rue over lost chances.

3. When you travel to a different place calling home could be very expensive. Always carry an international calling card like Nobel Phone Cards to get over the situation. It makes you calls cheap and provides quality reception even if you are travelling outside your home network.

4. Try to get a Local SIM card to avoid high expenditure on you roaming SIM card. You can get a lot of offers on the local SIM cards which can make your travel less expensive.

5. Always carry extra memory cards for storing the photos and movies you have clicked so that you don’t have to compromise on the memories of the most pleasant moments

Travelling also makes you vulnerable to a huge expense and the security of your belongings in a foreign land. You must always look for appropriate travel insurance and include your gadgets in it to avoid any mishaps. After all you didn’t go for a vacation just to return with distress and disappointment.

Beijing Travel – Confucius Temple

Confucius is one of histories greatest philosophers and teachers and in the same league as famous western philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Pythagoras and Socrates.

Born in 551BC, Confucius is China’s most influential philosopher and educator. The morals and principles of his philosophy are an integral part of values and ideology of modern Chinese society. He has been revered by the common people, emperors and leaders alike for thousands of years and a number of temples have been built all over China in his name.

The Confucian Temple in Beijing is the second largest Confucian temple in the world and only surpassed by a larger temple in Qufu, the home town of Confucius. Located near the center of Beijing, the Confucius Temple provides a marvellous insight into the world of Confucius and his influence on modern China.

History

Construction on the temple began in 1302, the sixth year of the reign of Emperor Dade of the Yuan Dynasty and was completed in 1306. The temple was enlarged, restored and rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty and again during the Ming Dynasty.

Grounds and Layout

The grounds of the Confucius Temple cover 22,000 square meters and are a made up of several courtyards and buildings laid out on a central axis. The main buildings on the central axis are the Xian Shi Gate, Da Cheng Gate, Da Cheng Hall and Chong Sheng Memorial Temple. There are also two rows of smaller buildings on the left and right side of the grounds.

Xian Shi Gate (Gate of the Master) – This gate houses the ticket office and the security checkpoint that tourist pass through to enter the temple.

Da Cheng Gate (Gate of Great Success) – This gate is also called the Halberd Gate because 24 of the ancient Halberd weapons that are displayed inside.

Da Cheng Hall (Hall of Great Success) – The main building in the temple and it is in this building that Confucius was enshrined and worshiped by China’s Emperors.

Chong Sheng Memorial Temple – This hall was not built until 1531 during the reign of Emperor Jiajing of the Ming Dynasty. The hall was used for offering sacrifices to five generations of Confucius’s ancestors. The Confucius Temple performances are given on the steps of this temple.

History of Confucius Display Room – This is a long narrow building on the right side of the second courtyard. The room displays extensive information on the life and history of Confucius, his family, his accomplishments and his back ground. I found a display of his family tree very interesting because it only shows male descendants. This simple omission says a lot about Confucian philosophy and values.

Development of Confucianism Display Room – On the left hand side of the second courtyard is a room displaying information on the development and state of Confucianism in China and around the world in past and present times. There is a lot of information on the importance in the modern world of the values and ideas taught by Confucius.

There were several congratulatory references to compliments and praise made by Nobel Prize winners to Confucianism. Very ironic considering the current status the 2011 Nobel Peace price winner has in China.

I saw at least three primary school groups in the Confucius Temple when I was there and over heard one teacher lecturing his students on the values of Confucius in their studies. The Chinese education system clearly places a lot of emphasis on a 2,500 year old philosophy and its teachings.

Classical Chinese Music House – This is a small building to the left of Da Cheng Hall that has been converted to a shop selling food, ornaments and jade furniture. I found a lovely jade table and chairs in the shop that would have been great to take back home.

Jin Shi Stone Tablets – Jin Shi is a name for scholars who successfully passed the examination system in Imperial China. The examinations were a prerequisite for work in the government’s vast bureaucracy and passing these exams was considered a great honour and accomplishment.

198 stone tablets have been erected at the front and rear of the temple’s entrance courtyard that list examination results of 51,624 Jin Shi from the Yuan, Ming and Qing dynasties. Interestingly this examination and selection process continued until 1905.

Stone Stele Pavilions – 14 pavilions have been built in the temple’s first and second courtyards that house stone steles (tablets) recording historical information on ancient China. Some examples of these records are the successful suppression of a riot in Qinghai in 1725 and the completion of a renovation in the Confucius Temple in 1769.

Performances

Performances are often held in the front of the Chong Cheng Memorial Temple that last for around 20 minutes. I’m not sure what relationship if any the performances have with the teachings or life of Confucius but they are enjoyable to watch and the period costumes are very cute.

Unlike most travel spots in Beijing, the performances are not shown at regular times to all tourists. The performances are only held for large tour groups who purchase VIP tickets to the Confucius Temple. If you are keen on watching a performance, I suggest you discretely tag long with a large tour group when they enter the Chong Cheng Memorial Hall. This is how I accidentally crashed a performance.

Getting There

Take the subway to Yonghegong station which is at the intersection of subway lines 5 and lines 2. Leave the station using the C exit, turn left and walk several hundred meters. You will know if you have gone to far if you reach the entrance of Lama Temple.

After several hundred meters you will see a road on the right called Guozijian street. Go down that road and the temple will be on the right had side. If you have trouble finding the temple, ask a local where the “kong miao” is. You will have no problem finding people who will point you in the right direction.

Tickets and Times

The tickets are 30rmb each and the opening times are 8:30 to 6:00pm with no tickets sold after 5:30pm.

2009 Nobel Peace Prize Winner – President Barack Obama, Was it in His Stars?

An astounding thing happened on Friday morning October 9, 2009. President and Mrs. Obama were awakened before dawn with the news that the President had won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize. A very surprised president accepted the award, said he was humbled by the honor and by the august body of past winners. Instant political controversy brewed. I agreed with the president’s surprise and quiet disclaimer, I think it was a bit soon. However, I was proud of his accomplishment for both the man and my country. This was a moment of great honor and should be accepted and enjoyed as such. But there are always people who must rain on someone’s parade. Those who can’t participate because they lack the skills themselves often find the need to throw stones. These were the same people who applauded when Chicago lost their opportunity to host the 2016 Olympics. As an American I found that quite offensive. Both our political far right and the Taliban thought President Obama should not win or accept the award. Strange company.

The list of Nobel Peace Prize winner names reads like a world who’s who in the cause of peace. Several Americans have won over the years, including four presidents and one vice president, Al Gore. Since I had done the research on all 43 presidents recently, I wondered what in each of the four presidential charts indicated the skills for such an honor. These are very distinct and different men as evidenced by their charts. I wondered if their collective charts would show commonality in some way. In my search I did find an unexpected connection to the USA Virgo Rising natal chart as well, a dedicated research effort for me. First I will look at the personal then at the commonality. These are completely different individuals but a skill set which produced the award is visible in each. Last I will briefly note connections to the USA chart because it is both interesting and available.

Just what is the Nobel Peace Prize? Swedish industrialist and inventory Alfred Nobel bequeathed and funded five Nobel Prize awards upon his death four of which are scientific or literary. According to Nobel’s will, the Peace Prize is to be awarded “to the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.” Nominations are made by specifically qualified people by February 1st each year. Awards may be made for actions completed, underway or which may require large segments of time to complete, to those who are in a process to either resolve a conflict or to create peace. Both individuals and organizations may receive the prize, singularly or in multiples (a single prize shared). It is presented December 10 th , the anniversary of Nobel’s death. Beginning in 1901 and as of 2009 the prize has been awarded to 97 individuals and 20 organizations. There were 19 years in which no peace prize was awarded.

The first American President (26th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Theodore Roosevelt in 1906 for his successful mediation of the Russo-Japanese War and for his general interest in arbitration. This was a military man who as a Colonel led the Rough Riders in Cuba during the Spanish American War and was assistant Secretary of the Navy for the USA. In 2001 he was also awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously for his military actions, the only president to win such honor. Before his presidency, Mr. Roosevelt was also head of the New York City Police Commission reforming the very corrupt New York City police, as well as Governor of New York. He ascended to the presidency after the assassination of William McKinley. President Roosevelt was a world-class big game hunter whose personal hunting efforts helped supply the Smithsonian and many other national museums with taxidermy models of flora, fauna and insects from both Africa and South America. The Rio Roosevelt River in Brazil was named after him. This was a man of action who was awarded the world’s highest peace prize. His motto: “Speak softly and carry a big stick” is well known, an excerpt from a 1900 letter to Henry Sprague.

Astrologically what does President Roosevelt’s chart reveal as a world-class peacemaker? His Midheaven is 00 Pisces 14 with ruler spiritual Neptune at 22 Pis 29 retrograde (been there, done that previously) in the 10th for starters. Midheaven co-ruler Jupiter (philosopher, world traveler) is at 21 Gemini 04, also retrograde (been there, done that) in the 12th (internal philosophy) on the backside of his Ascendant at 24 Gem 37, strongly influencing his coping skills and personal projection. He was larger than life and the author of 35 books. His Jupiter opposes (confronts) his Venus (cooperation, conciliation, detenté, peace) in the 6 th of work/service, in Sagittarius (world diplomat) and conjunct (united) with his Sagittarian Descendant, his point of partnerships, alliances, truces, joint partners. There’s always more to read, but that makes my point.

The second American President (28th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Woodrow Wilson in 1919 for his work in creating the League of Nations and for orchestrating the Treaty of Versailles. Unfortunately the sitting U.S. Congress was so angry that he led us into the war (or we could be speaking German right now), even though he himself was against the war in principle. Congress refused to allow America to join the League and it never fully evolved. See what happens when you upset an obstructionist congress? The League was the predecessor to the United Nations. Regardless of whether his accomplishment was successful or not at that moment, the Nobel Prize Committee recognized his work as a man of peace. Much quieter than his predecessor Roosevelt, Wilson was a lawyer, dignified president of Princeton University and former governor of New Jersey. His accomplishments as President are truly myriad, including the Federal Trade Commission, Women’s Suffragette, Federal Reserve, Liberty Bonds, and more.

Astrologically President Wilson was very Saturn/Capricorn, Sun, Mercury in Capricorn, Saturn elevated in the 9th of foreign cultures, and Saturn’s old rulership of Aquarius holding Moon, Mars, Venus. This was a no-nonsense very clannish president and he had a tremendous sense of responsibility for his country (his Midheaven was 4Ës from the USA Sun.) If his hand had not been forced by Germany’s attack on international shipping, knowing that Europe was about to fall to the onslaught and that the door would then be open for Germany to attack the U.S., he would not have entered the war. Isolationism was typical of the U.S. since its birth but change entered with the Spanish-American War. I read the Lunar Nodes as relational and karmic. They straddled his Asc/Dec axis, with the emphasis coming from Libra on the Ascendant (habits, knowns, internally locked), growing towards the Descendant and Aries, more assertive, aggressive, especially regarding partners and alliances. I have mentioned his three Aquarius planets, but two are Venus and Mars, conjunct (united) within 1 minute of arc, on the money! His Asc/Dec and his N Node/S Node rulers act as an Ari/Libra unit. I think we can see this one.

The third American President (39th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize was James E. Carter in 2002, long after he left office. He was awarded the prize for work “to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development.” He was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. President Carter came from a farming/businessman, legal and military background. He was a naval officer until the death of his father required him to return to the farming/business world. He was both a Senator and Governor of Georgia, and presided over the Camp David Accords, Strategic Arms Limitation Talks, Iran Embassy takeover and hostage situation, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, civil rights, Geneva Accord, negotiations with North Korea, and more. He has been and is still active in the cause of peace and uplifting the human condition through his Carter Center work on human rights and his Habitat for Humanity.

Astrologically President Carter has both his 12th house Sun and Ascendant in Libra strongly indicating his desire for cooperation, conciliation, alliance, détente. He also has his Saturn 6Ës into the 1 st in Scorpio (widely conjunct his Ascendant) along with his Moon (intensity, deep feelings) later in the house. This strong 12th house plus Scorpio emphasis would lead to much behind the scenes activity. Scorpio’s ruler Pluto is elevated in the 9th adding to this emphasis and power and persuasion internationally is added to the mix. Many astrologers don’t realize the emphasis of Libra in past military leaders. Libra is the chess player, able to look through the eyes of all the positions and to project ahead and see moves as they develop. His sense of fairness and justice is so strong that it helped him become the peacemaker, but can cause him occasional problems for his forthright confrontation if he senses unfairness or injustice.

The fourth American President (44th) to win the Nobel Peace Prize is our sitting president, Barack Obama, the very surprised man I spoke of in my opening statement. The reason given for his selection was for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples. It was also emphasized that it was given for performance and not expectations. Since he has been President for not quite nine months, his is a work in progress. America’s prestige and reputation had suffered worldwide for the previous eight years. President (and Mrs.) Obama have managed to recoup much of our lost position. President Obama has made overtures for peace and negotiation worldwide. Our country is again presenting itself as the world caretaker and no longer the world bully. He is young so his work is still establishing itself. Before his presidency he was a lawyer who majored in constitutional law, civil rights, community projects, and a first-term Senator from Illinois. He definitely has made an impression on the world community and the Nobel selection committee in particular. This honor gives him a challenge to fulfill what he has started. President Obama is the new kid on the block, a work in progress, huge potential that is working hard to produce actuality. He is the president of hope and change in our lifetime, as were Presidents Jefferson, Lincoln and Kennedy. Astrologically we can look to see if he has what it takes to produce. Production itself will be up to his efforts and reception by the world community. It is said that a prophet is seldom known in his own country (paraphrased) and the current political rhetoric is proof of that. The man needs a thick skin.

Astrologically Aquarius is rising, 18:02 and the rulers of the chart are Uranus is in the 7 th in Leo and Saturn in the 12th strong in Capricorn and conjunct Jupiter also in Aquarius, both retrograde in phase two of that great conjunction that signifies a new start lifetime. That is definitely apropos. The Nodes of expanded relationship and karma are again across the Asc/Dec axis as in President Wilson’s chart, about 9Ës into the 1st /7th . The strong tie between the Asc/Dec emphasizes the I/you/we role of partnership, alliance, and cooperation. The president has 5 planets (one of them the chart ruler) plus the Lunar Node within a 50Ës cluster across his 6th /7th houses. Here’s where the man lives. His connection to the world at large and international treaties is well illustrated. Yes he can. Now the question is “will he?” Judgment of the results is personal perspective.

Commonalities: I looked statistically for commonalities in this exclusive group of four. I had thought that Libra would be strongly represented due to the nature of the award: peace. The Ari/Lib axis was a weaker by overall count axis, but with both Presidents Wilson and Carter with Sun and Ascendant. All four presidents had placements in Cancer. “Three each had placements in Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius and Pisces. No signs were completely void. The overall average of all positions per sign is 4.5.

In my presidential research I had found good information by looking at the sign axis. Dominant and recessive qualities emerged easily. Because the 52 positions (13 x 4) must be divided by 6 axes, the average becomes 8.7 per axis. Two axes are high (14/10), two are low (4/5) and two (9) are average.

14 by axis: Leo/Aq 9 by axis: Vir/Pis 5 by axis: Ari/Lib

10 by axis: Can/Cap 9 by axis: Tau/Sco 4 by axis: Gem/Sag

All four presidents had placements in Tau/Sco and Vir/Pis. Three of four presidents had placements in Leo/Aqu and Can/Cap.

Looking at houses, all four presidents had placements in the 5th house and three each had placements in the 4th , 6th , 9th , 12th , no houses were empty. Because the midheaven and ascendant were two of the 13 points for each chart, the house count would be skewed so averages are not given.

Individual degrees showed distinct groupings. The strongest was 2 to 8.5Ës Tau/Sco with all four presidents represented. The next strongest was 18 to 22.5Ës Vir/Pis with all four presidents represented. Next was 22 to 27 Leo/Aqu with three of four presidents, followed by 13.5 to18.5 Can/Cap, again three of four.

USA chart: Because I have done extensive work with the USA Virgo rising chart, I saw individual Nobel Prize connections with that chart as well in three of four cases. The USA Neptune is 22 Vir 24. The USA Moon is 22 Aqu 38. The USA Sun is 13 Can 01. The exception was Teddy Roosevelt who was extremely strong in the Tau/Sco axis 2 to 8.5Ës.

Conclusion: President Obama follows an august lineage of bringing hope, change and ultimate success to the endeavors embodied in the Nobel Peach Prize. Astrologically, he has the potential to accomplish “fraternity among nations.”