Category: Blog

When God Takes You by the Hand and Brings You to Good Places

It seems to me that there’s something common in the faces of the Indonesian holy men – all of them have deep wrinkles in the corners of their eyes. These are laugh wrinkles, like sun rays that seem to prove that an Indonesian holy man lives in blessed harmony, looking at the world through the healthy prism of laughter.

Papa Jero’s eyes were the same. Long beard, droopy hair and pajama-like batik patterned clothes could let me assume the uncle living in a shed in the mountains is a weird hippie. But there’s so much warmth beaming from that hippie, the smile, the eyes. His humble shack on North Bali looking at Buyan lake is always open to his guests, because when Jero has a lot to do, then Jero is happy. Now this weird papa tells himself to be a holy man.

If this was all I knew about him I’d think him to be a weirdo. But bit by bit the microcosm of the holy man opens up to us, revealing Hinduist colours intervened with animistic powers and Buddhist rationality. In every expanded family there’s usually one holy man that the god has given special powers to communicate on a bit more powerful level. If there’s someone ill in the family or there’s a quarrel the holy man can help a lot. A holy man has no steady relationship with any temple but if necessary he could take part in sacred rituals.

Usually the power of the holy man is passed from one generation to another. Jero got to know about his role only six years ago when somebody in his brother’s family was suffering from a difficult illness. When the family went to a farmer for consultation, as it’s proper on Bali, he’d told that in their family there already is one holy man. The threads led to Jero and in a magical way the sick became well again. This was followed by some other weir healing cases that papa Jero had to do with until people really started turning to him when they had any trouble. But not always do the methods carry fruit, Jero says honestly.

Sometimes I’m lucky, sometimes I’m not. Sometimes the god talks to him, sometimes he doesn’t. Usually when Jero feels sensation in his chest there’s somebody from the family coming over; if he feels it in his head, somebody from the village is coming; when he feels it on his hand, there’s a foreigner coming. Jero says that money isn’t the most important, health is as important, if not more. Jero understands that the god’s treat doesn’t depend on the amount of the sacrifice. “You have to believe, truly. Even a small sacrifice is a good sacrifice.” In the morning Jero wakes up and says he has a feeling somebody’s coming. It’s less than 30 minutes later when the owner of his land arrives and waves a contract before the holy man.

The contract says that papa and his family have to move because this is a place where a hotel for tourists has to be built. With a pool, of course. But Jero doesn’t worry, he’s happy per se. He baptizes all of us his children and like a modern man he says that one has to love all countries and honor all nationalities. The little papa takes his five European children, who are all much taller than he, into his jeep and drives us to the most beautiful rice fields of Bali, which have also been noticed by the protective hand of Unesco. And then we hold hands and meditate. Our new mom cries when we drink our last morning coffee and try to ask Jero if the god is rightful and moral. If you live your life in an honest way, truth truth truth, then god takes your hand and takes you to good places, Jero says.

That’s all. I think I have to do a little sacrifice to god, really honestly, I’ll let him have mango and banana, truth truth truth, as papa Jero says. Because this really was a very good step of him to take us here.

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Is Venice A Good Place For Budget Travelers?

Can budget travelers afford to visit Venice?

Italy hold such a historic appeal to all travelers. It is the home of the great Roman Empire, and the great rulers and emperors that the world has heard of or read about as well as the Vatican City that houses the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church. Today it is a very common tourist destination for these reasons and more. Italy is known for exotic weather and glorious beaches among other things that draw tourist today. As much as we may all be keen to see the world, the cost can stand in the way of this. This article will explore whether budget travelers can afford to visit Venice. Without knowledge of the city, you can burn a hole in your wallet. So, if you are planning to visit Venice, you are reading the right article, read on.

There are various factors that all tourists will save money on if they know how to, these include food, accommodation, travel and among other things.


Like most parts of Italy Venice is filled with a wide range of food outlets, and other Italian themed snack bars. It can save you a fortune if you pick up a few of these snacks along the way instead of having to pay for meal in a restaurant. You can always visit restaurants when you get back home. Mercato del Rialto is an open market in Venice. If you have kitchen facilities wherever you will be staying while in Venice, picking up some food from the traders in this market can also save you a lump sum.


They say the true charm of Venice is in its waters. If you choose not to miss out on this experience, you may also want to get on the waterbus, and not a private boat. Doing this will save you over three quarters of the potential fee of a private boat. While on land, you can hire a bike for as little as €5 for the day. You can also make use of the local bus service, which is relatively reliable and most importantly very affordable.


Where you go will determine how much you spend in Venice. Most tourist areas are priced for tourism. You need to shy away from this, blend in with the local and have an authentic Venice experience. Wander into local bars and enjoy cheap authentic Italian drinks and their amazing hospitality. Spend some time going through the different markets, tasting local cuisine.


Now that you have had all the fun in the world, you may need to start considering where to lay your head. Venice tourist areas can be very expensive. It is wiser to start planning ahead, look into house share, couch rental, maybe a hostel (venice hostels) and camping websites. Not only do these allow you to meet great people, local and visitors who you would not ordinarily meet in a 5 star hotel. There are various camping sites within reasonable proximity to the beach. These are worth looking into. Otherwise, enjoy Venice.

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Florida SEO Expert

Do you live in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida area and need an SEO expert to help drive traffic to your business?  Florida SEO organizations recommend Brandamos as the Fort Lauderdale SEO expert that you need to contact.

Using a local SEO expert will benefit your business greatly.  With the local expertise your content will be specialized to your specific area, the Fort Lauderdale area. “If your business earns more than $100,000 per year, but having limited success online,” contact Brandamos. They are experts at flushing out strategies to elevating businesses and brands in the online space.

When hiring a corporate SEO firm you will be one of many clients that are all vying for the same top spot on the search engine list.  When you have the same company competing with itself, you can’t be sure that you are getting the very best quality for your precious advertising dollars.

Brandamos works with promoting the businesses that utilize Fort Lauderdale’s 300 miles of waterways and shores in the local area.  With the yachts and ships that enter the Fort Lauderdale waterways bring in over $600 million a year, in that one area of the city alone.  The amount of money that can be made by making sure that your business has the most exposure is immeasurable. When choosing Brandamos, you will be choosing to take your share of the millions that are going to be made with or without you in the Fort Lauderdale area.

Using an SEO expert like Josh Irving will be one of the best things you can do for your business.  The way search engines search for content and query’s by each individual user are growing and evolving every day.  Trying to keep up with the way your information will be found can be demanding and you want to make sure that you are at the forefront of any search that could be related to the services or goods that you provide.  Brandamos will make your site the best of the best.  With the content and knowledge that you will receive by hiring a local expert you will be sure to increase the profits from your online presence.

Years ago, when search engines were new and there weren’t thousands if not millions of pages that offer the same content as you, you could stuff keywords into your content and the unsophisticated search engines would pick it up and direct the users to your site. With the changing technology the criteria is constantly changing and an SEO expert will be able to take on the headache of making sure the search engine finds the best site to suggest to the users, yours.

Brandamos does regret that they sometimes have to turn down potential clients.  It might be a bad business model, but they won’t take on a client unless they can see that their services will benefit the client to the best of their abilities.   The founders say in their profiles that they feel that it is unethical to take on clients that they cannot benefit.  Its amazing to see leads come in and sales made for our clients. There is nothing like it. When you decide that your business could use a professional SEO touch so that your products and services are at the top of the search engines search list, Brandamos will be happy to assist you will all of your SEO needs.

Need more proof that Brandamos is the best, just run a search for local Fort Lauderdale SEO agency, guess whose name is at the top of the list.  That’s right, Brandamos.  If they can create these types of results for themselves, think what they will do for your business.  Do you want your business to be the first thing that users see when they search for the keywords in your content?  Contact the one who’s at the top.



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Drug Abuse and Alcohol Addiction Statistics

Statistics on Drug Abuse and Alcohol Addiction


These problems are more common than people may think

There is a lot of data and statistics out there in regards to drug abuse and alcohol addiction, from the national costs to overdose rates.  It is important to understand these statistics as more than statistics – these are real people with difficult struggles.  You may in fact know someone that is having a drug or alcohol issue, so understanding these statistics is important to knowing the risks involved and creating a proactive plan for you or those you love.


The Cost

The cost of drug and alcohol abuse is a major part of national healthcare expenditure, with alcohol costing $30 billion and drugs costing $11 billion.  If you include crime costs and lost productivity costs, those numbers increase dramatically: alcohol costs $235 billion and drugs cost $193 billion.

Billions of dollars are being put into resources for a preventable problem – unfortunately, there haven’t been any dramatic decreases in drug or alcohol abusers, and the costs seem to be rising from year to year.


Youth Statistics

While there may not be promising results from surveys and research in adult drug and alcohol users, there is generally good news for youth.  2014 saw a decline in over the counter and prescription drug abuse in youth.  The most significant drop was in the use of Vicodin: 2014 statistics reported that around 5% of high school kids used Vicodin recreationally, down from 10% in the previous year.

Statistics are also very promising with drinking.  There is a major trend of reduced drinking in high school aged children, and that trend is predicted to continue into the near future.  Binge drinking also dropped from 2013 to 2014.  The percentage of high school seniors who binge drink is under 20% – the peak was 32% in 1998.

Cigarette smoking is at its lowest rate in recent history, and has reduced by as much as 50% in the past five years.  The average percentage of daily cigarette smoking in teenagers is around 5%.

Illicit drug use has also been on the decline in the past few years, and despite the increased use of heroin in adults 26 and older, its use has been declining in teenagers.

While there are great statistics on drug use in teens, there are also areas that are cause for concern.  Many teens report that common drugs such as marijuana are very easy to come by.  While it is easy to get these drugs, there is a marked decline in marijuana use in high school students in the United States.  Many teenagers believe that regular use of marijuana isn’t unhealthy, so the number of high school users may increase in the near future if that attitude trend stays the same.

There has been an alarming increase in the use of electronic cigarettes in teenagers, with around 17% of high school seniors regularly using them.  While the tobacco in electronic cigarettes is inhaled differently than traditional cigarettes, the long term health impacts of electronic cigarettes are still unclear.


Adult Statistics

Statistics on adult drug abuse and alcohol addiction are less promising than the youth statistics.  In fact, over 50% of people over 26 years old have reportedly used illicit drugs at some point in their lives.  Over 87% of people 26 and older reportedly drank alcohol at some point in their lives.  These numbers are much higher than many people may think, and with so many people using drugs and alcohol, the more cases of drug abuse and alcohol addiction will arise.


Overdose Rates

There has been an alarming rise in overdose deaths in many categories of drug use.  In 2011, almost 18,000 people died from overdosing on prescription drugs – this was three times the number reported in 2001.

2011 also saw a dramatic increase in deaths caused by heroin overdoses.  Almost 5,000 people died from heroin overdoses, which is almost twice the number reported in 2010.


Treatment Options

If you or someone you know has a problem with drug abuse and addiction, it is vital to get help as soon as possible.  At Meridian Treatment Solutions, we provide the care and expertise that you need for a successful recovery.  We provide the structure and support needed for recovery, and have personalized treatment options that fit each individual patient.

Whether you’re struggling with drug use or alcohol problems, our staff is ready to put you on the path toward recovery.  We have a strong community of people with similar stories that you can rely on for help and guidance during these difficult times.  Don’t wait for treatment – the longer you wait, the more problems can occur from excessive drug use.  It’s important to seek treatment as soon as possible in order to ensure the best possible recovery outcome.

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Finally, the Spring/Summer ‘09 campaign is here!

So we’ve been patiently waiting for the day to reveal our newest campaign to all of you….and that day is today.

“in a FAST PACED WORLD” is the theme for our Spring/Summer 2009 campaign. We were inspired by the idea of [others] who are living, working, breathing in our fast world yet they are somehow existing at a different speed. We like people who take time to slow down in our superfastechnologicrazy world….people who make art, use pencils, typewriters, ride bikes, sit in parks, sip their drinks slow and watch the rest of the world go by.

Take a look through the campaign images, we think they’re amazing, and comment back to let us know what you think of the campaign, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Also check out the amazing work of our friend Peter Dawson who shot the whole campaign here

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Jason and Laren from Invisible Children visit COO HQ

Steve and I met up with Jason and Laren, two of the three who started Invisible Children, for some breakfast and hang-out time.  By the simple act of telling a story that gripped them they have transformed the youth of America into a fund-raising, world-changing force.

They stopped by the [city of others] HQ out in LA and left rockin’ a pair of jeans each. Here we are, best buds in a classic jump shot:

Check out the screening schedule here because IC is probably going through your city and your school.

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We’re inside a book!

Our good friend, speaker, and all-around brilliant human being Erwin McManus just wrote a new book called “Wide Awake” all about following your dreams and realizing that “it’s time to live, to create, to imagine, to dream…”

Erwin was a big part of our story (he actually fed us steak and let us sleep in his kids room one night because we were homeless when we first moved to LA) and he wanted to feature our story that led to the creation of [city of others]

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What do you do for COO?

Daniel Corrigan, friend, savant, COOvangelist, and general art-man strikes again in leading the COO revolution.

He got out the ‘ol finger paints to rock the [city] colours on the walls of CalArt in Valencia, CA

What do you do for COO?

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Invisible Children roadies rockin’ COO

We love what Invisible Children is doing to stop the war in Northern Uganda and in educating the youth of our country. IC just sent out 60 “Roadies” whose job is to drive around the country showing the newest film that documents the awful conflict in Uganda. [city of others] made a custom black jean just for the Roadies because we believe in what they are doing and the power of sparking a movement through our young and creative generation.

Here’s some of the Roadies the day they left with their new jeans

Watch this video to see what being a roadie is all about:

The Roadies have a blog that you can check out here to see what they’re up to.

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