What Are The Top Art Schools?

Rankings are always tricky. Rating the top art schools depends on the criteria of the one or ones doing the judging and possibly whether or not they have some sort of connection or vested interest in placing certain schools where they place them. Cronyism aside and imagining a perfect world of total objectivity, a one-size-fits-all rating system would only work in a world where artists are determined ahead of time in a test tube and everyone is a homogenous clone. But then you have to wonder if art and creative expression would even really exist in such a utopian society.

So, back to the present day reality, a single specific answer to the question, "What are the top art schools?" generally does a disservice to the needs of the individual student. As with stereo components, it depends entirely on priority and application. The top school for music and performing arts will likely not be the top school for commercial and visual arts. Even within a single category, the "best" art school will still depend on the needs and priorities of the student.

There are a number of organizations and publications willing to give it a shot, though, and their conclusions can be easily found on the Internet. However, it is best to consider these ratings simply a starting point, as they can be quite misleading. Remember that higher education is funded primarily by the students who attend said facilities. No students, no school. No school, no over-paid faculty incapable of working in the real world. (Oops. Did I say that out loud?) And that, that certainly does not apply to all art school faculty members.

The first thing you need to determine is what you plan to do with an art education. There are many and varied career choices. The art career or occupation you want will be one of the most important deciding factors in your own personal ranking system.

For instance, if you're already working in the art field of your choice (or close to it) and all you need is a piece of paper, then you can probably get what you need from a local community college or state university. Depending on the state, that may be a less expensive way to get that piece of paper than going to a dedicated art school.

If, on the other hand, you're gunning for a particular possibly prestigious position in a well-known art gallery, it would serve you well to work backwards. Find out what they consider the top art schools and which of those they most often hire graduates from. In other words, which art school degree will get your resume to the top of the stack?

Your choice may also come down to economics. What can you afford; what kind of financial aid is available; and what are you chances of a reasonable pay off?

In the end, you are the judge. You will have to determine what the top art schools are for you and make the best choice for you. After all, individuality is the very pulse of art.

Jewelry Shopping

My cousin who I hardly see maybe about once a year wants jewelery from me for her sixteenth birthday. We've got a quirky little relationship. Unlike my sister, who I've been at war with since she was born, the dynamic with my younger cousin is more affable. We get on. I'd never get my sister jewelry – far too weird. But somehow for a cousin like her, it feels both big brotherly and friendly.

So I'm working through mental pictures to try and remember what kind of jewelry she wears, as I figure there could be some sort of theme, color, and material concurrent to her tastes. Or are they just random? Would anything do? Buying jewelry I am discovering taking takes reasonable time and mental effort, not to mention empathy (or is it sympathy?) And some other types of emotional engagement that I do not know the words for.

Ok, so a diamond ring might be a bit too much, but then again I do not want to just get some plain accessories. A bracelet perhaps? A sparkly bracelet? I'm trying to think how many different types of jewelry there actually are out there. I guess it's limited by the imagination. There's so many innovations in design and beauty wear it's hard to keep track unless you read the fashion supplements in Sunday newspapers.

Though even fashion is hardly a guide. I guess looking at what jewelry to buy online may help. Some of the jewelry shopping web sites are overwhelming with regard to the range of jewelry to buy on the Internet.

It's hard to tell what's retro and what's just new anyway. What's in one week can be out the next and then the week after it's back in again but on a white gold chain or something.

I try a new tack on choosing what jewelry to buy online for my cousin. I guess she'd be happy whatever I bought as she's the type who appreciates the 'thought that counts.' But she'll probably also want something nice; some kind of awkward politeness is not the response that would encourage me to buy jewelry online for friends or family again.

What's her favorite color? I'm not sure if she has a favorite color – at least one that does not change week to week. Maybe a multi-colored necklace? Then again, I quite fancy that she'd love a brooch. Brooches look great. I think. Yes she'd quite like a brooch.

It's so easy to look at brooches online, or bracelets, necklaces, rings. Prices, sizes and types all in convenient little lists that you can scroll through. Given that in jewelry shop most of the stuff is sealed behind reinforced security glass it is not much different to looking at jewelry on a web page.

I see a nice looking brooch online. Studded with green and blue gems. It's not too loud but looks both quirky and timeless, in a modest kind of way. It's subtle. Not quite like my cousin but they do say opposites attract.

Microsoft Lumia 950: It Could Be Better

The Lumia 950 is Microsoft's attempt to turn your phone into something like a full-on Windows PC. It is built to move you to the next level of worker productivity. Unfortunately it comes up a little short.

The first Windows 10 device is designed to extend the benefits of the Windows experience to the smart phone. The goal is to use the phone to power a desk type experience to a monitor. This includes syncing office documents and photos across all your devices and connecting with the Windows store so your favorite apps, game, music and video are all in one place.

On the plus side, the phone does have a nice quad HD display, 5.2 inches, 564 pixels per square inch. USB-C for fast charging and a large capacity battery. The attractive display is easy to read outdoors. It is scratch resistant with a strong display glass.

Photo quality is on-par with the best smartphones. "Rich Capture" provides a triple LED natural flash. You can adjust the color saturation levels of bright or dark areas. A 20 MP sensor attempts to effectively eliminate motion blur. The quality camera image holds up even in low light.

The phone is constructed of plastic, a negative for some. The battery can be removed and it does has a microSD card slot which many phones do not. The Cortana voice assistant is also included.

Microsoft's secret sauce to all this is the Windows Continuum. The goal is to connect your Lumia 950 to a Microsoft Display Dock and use it with an external monitor, keyboard and a mouse. Office apps and Outlook can be scaled up to create a big screen optimized work environment. The idea is maintain productivity even without a laptop.

The Continuum feature is not really available in Android or iPhone devices. It will take some finesse to get it set up and some experimentation with the right type of cables etc. to make it work.

Once you have it together and working, whether it be in a hotel room or conference area, you can share a PowerPoint presentation or a video on large screen. When done you can undock your phone. Then you can resume working on the same project in a matter of minutes.

Many report problems with typing on the device. Automated spell check is not available. It will take longer to correct errors.

Windows 10 brings a few other additions to the Lumia 950. One is Windows Hello, now in beta mode. Hello is iris-scanning recognition software. It works by just starting into the phone.

App selection for a Windows phone still remains challenging. The platform is not supported by Google. Those who rely on Gmail, Google Maps, Google Drive, and Google Docs will have to find third party applications or go directly to the web for usage.

Pricing starts at $ 550 in the US and will be determined by carrier. A larger 5.7 "inch XL version is scheduled to be introduced later and will cost more.

The 950 is a good start for Microsoft to bring more productivity to the smart phone, but not the end result many were expecting. Unfortunately the design is not really anything new, Continuum set-up can be challenging, and a lack of apps is troublesome.

Windows fans may seize the opportunity to jump on the Lumia bandwagon and work through some of the phone's shortcomings.

Others will wait until Microsoft fixes some of the inherit problems with not only the phone but the Continuum system itself before giving it a more serious look.

Hotels in Puri With Swimming Pool

Located on the eastern shores of India is the holy city of Puri – one of the sacred Char Dhams. Puri also has a beautiful beach and many good hotels that offer all the necessary amenities such as swimming pools. Read on to know more about this beach city and also check out some good Puri hotels with nice pools.

The town of Puri is located on the shores of Odisha overlooking the Bay of Bengal. It is located around 60kms south of the capital city Bhubaneswar and is well connected by roads and railways. The nearest airport is the Biju Pattnaik Airport that is in Bhubaneswar around 65kms away. Puri is a bustling pilgrimage town and is famous for its 11th century shrine dedicated to Lord Jagannath- a form of Lord Vishnu. The temple complex covers an area 10 acres and houses three main temple structures associated with the Lord and his siblings. The complex also houses numerous other small temples dedicated to various deities and each temple is said to have a myth behind it. The temple visit should take a day and you should also try out the delicious Prasad that is a full blown meal by itself. After visiting the temple, head straight towards the sea beach. One of the most beautiful beaches on the eastern coasts, the Puri beach is an ideal place to relax or frolic in the waters. The waves are not very high and the beach is considered to be safest for swimming. The beaches are also ideal for taking a long relaxing walk among the soft sands in peace. It is advisable to take a bath with fresh water after a dip in the sea as the salty water could play havoc with your skin and hair. There is a paid bathing service near the beach but if your hotel has its own swimming pool then it could prove to be a blessing. Many luxury hotels in Puri with swimming pool also have their own private beach and you can take a dip in the sea and relax in the swimming pool afterwards. These hotels also offer pool facilities such as bar / eateries, Jacuzzi, steam baths, etc. making the pool side an absolutely relaxing experience. Check out below some of the good hotels in Puri with swimming pool and other added features.

Hotels in Puri with swimming pool

Hotel Holiday Resort is one of the finest 4 star Puri hotels that is located close to the sea beach on the Chakratirtha Road. It enjoys a customer recommendation of approximately 86% which means 9 out of 10 people would select this particular hotel. Previous guests have praised its location, facilities and its standard of services. The hotel offers a nice swimming pool along with sauna, Jacuzzi and steam bath. The rooms cost Rs.2000.

The Chariot Hotel is a 3 star hotel in Puri that is located near the sea beach. It enjoys wide recommendation among travelers and is known for its numerous facilities and its tranquil surroundings. The hotel has its own private beach and offers a swimming pool and an aqua park along with spa, Children Park, a multi-cuisine restaurant and an open air cafe. The room rates start from Rs.4000.