Top Hotels in Newport Beach, California

Newport Beach, is an oceanside city in the Los Angeles area of southern California. The oceanfront community is a great getaway destination that is both fashionable and charming.

Communities within Newport Beach include Balboa Island, Corona del Mar, Santa Ana Heights, San Joaquin hills and Newport Coast. Attractions in Newport Beach include Balboa Peninsula, Fashion Island Mall and Crystal Cove State Park. The Balboa island Ferry transports pedestrians, bicycles and cars across the harbor channel between Balboa Island and Balboa Peninsula.

Following are some of the top hotels in Newport Beach, California.,

The Island Hotel Newport Beach. The Island Hotel overlooks islands of Balboa, Lido and Catalina. The Spa at The Island Hotel offers soothing treatments in an island of calm. Amenities include a fitness center swimming pool, high speed Internet access and more. Dine at the Palm Terrace Restaurant and Lounge or poolside Palapa Bar. Pet Friendly. AAA Five Diamond Newport Center Drive, Newport Beach, California 1-949-759-0808.

Balboa Bay Club and Resort. Balboa Bay is a waterfront paradise along the California Riviera. The hotel is reminiscent an Italian villa. The First Cabin Restaurant offers unique fine dining and an impressive wine selection. The exclusive Spa is reserved for members and hotel guests. AAA Four Diamond. 1-888-445-7153.

Fairmont Newport Beach. The Fairmont combines European traditions with California flair. Hotel amenities include large outdoor heated swimming pool, whirlpool, fitness facilities and more. bambu Restaurant and Lounge serves California cuisine and cocktails. Small pets allowed. Pet fee is $25 per pet per night. MacArthur Blvd., Newport Beach, California. 1-949-476-2001.

Best Western Newport Beach. This beach hotel is just steps from the Pacific ocean. Best Western is located near Fashion Island and South Coast Plaza. The hotel is minutes away from Catalina Cruises, Huntington Beach and Laguna Beach. Balboa peninsula is ideal for outdoor recreation. Amenities include complimentary continental breakfast and outdoor heated swimming pool. Pet friendly. Coast Highway, Newport Beach, California 1-949-642-8252.

Hyatt Regency Newport Beach. Amenities include three outdoor swimming pools, fitness center, whirlpools, high speed Internet access, business center. Restaurants on the premises include Sol Restaurant, Jazz Festival, Sandbar Lounge and The Buzz Stop. 1-949-729-1234.

Newport Beach Marriott Bayview. Amenities include swimming pools, whirlpool, fitness center. Restaurants on the premises include Herons Restaurant, and Lobby Bar. 1-949-854-4500.

Newport Beach Marriott Hotel & Spa. Amenities include swimming pools, whirlpool, fitness center, spa. Restaurants on the premises include Sam & Harry's, The Lounge at Same & Harry's and Starbucks Marketplace.1-949-640-4000/

Information is subject to change. Contact the hotels for additional information and to make reservations.

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Downtown Fish Joint in San Diego, California

Located on the trolley line at C Street between 5th and 6th Avenues in downtown San Diego, Downtown Fish Joint is a favorite lunch spot for the locals. It is a small eatery that seems to cater to carry-out orders. The dining room is small and is adorned with fewer tables than one would expected. It is rather nice that the large glass windows up front allows good view of C St (and the trolley line) from practically any table.

The menu here is basically fried or grilled fish and other seafood meat in various combination anchored to land by a small selection of chicken tenders (in taco, burrito, quesadillas, or sandwich). You can have good fried fish tacos here for as low as $3.50, but most of the dishes are $8 and up…. with the exception of the New England style clam chowder, which is pretty good and quite reasonably priced (go for the one served in the sourdough bowl! At $6.95, it is a very good deal).

My usual order here is the cod fish & chip ($8.50), which is quite a meal (or two, I've never managed to finish the whole thing in one sitting) of 6 long strips of breaded fried fish with crisscross fries, slaw, and tartar sauce. The fish itself isn't particularly remarkable (rather bland compared to a few other places in downtown), but the fries are always perfectly salty and chewy. The slaw often looks rather dated and tasted quite old and vinegary… practically wilting in your mouth. Disgusting stuff, I must say.

The star item on the menu for me is the garlicky shrimp burrito ($11.95). I've only ordered it once, since spending over $10 for a burrito is hard on my conscience. The portion size here is very generous, and the garlic and the shrimp turn out to get along quite well when soaked in salsa sauce, a good and fresh bed of shredded lettuce and onion and wrapped in a soft tortilla.

Service is quite friendly and fast. This is a mom and pop eatery, and pop loves getting the business done with before chatting – a trait I really admire in restauranteurs! The place can get quite crowded during lunch hours (this place is only 2 blocks from the City Hall and a block north of Broadway, downtown's main thoroughfare), but I've never had to wait more than 14 minutes for my food.

It's too bad they are only open for lunch from 10:30AM-5PM Monday through Thursday, and from 10:30AM-7PM on Friday and Saturday. No alcohol. Major credit cards accepted.

Downtown Fish Joint: 407 C Street (between 5th and 6th Avenues), San Diego, CA 92101. Tel. (619) 239-3506.…

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People of Iran – Doing What Americans Should Have Done in 2000?

The election in Iran was pitched as reformer against hardliner, the future against the past. Although little might have changed if the "reformer" Mir Hossein Mousavi defeated "hardliner" Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, so much could have changed.

The presidency of Iran isn't as powerful as many think, with ultimate power being held by Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. The cleric holds power to overrule the president whenever he sees fit, and to guide him to the policies Khamenei deems important. Still, the president of Iran holds a big spot on the world stage, and has power to address issues, as long as he remains in context with the clerics.

But with the results of the presidential election looking very suspect and the people hitting the streets in protests, at least a chance of a re-vote exists. The decision may come as soon as Friday. If that happens, or even if a lesser accommodation is made, the point is clear. The clerics who have long dominated Iranian politics have to address change.

The majority of Iranians don't want to fall into the mold made for them by FOX News and conservatives in America. They don't want to be political pariahs. They want to engage the west, especially America. And they are willing to take to the streets to keep away from that. They want change at home too, like more equality for women.
Will they get what they want? Probably not right away, but big steps have been taken. And the Iranian people join the ranks of other birthing democracy movements like the Orange Revolution in Ukraine in showing the power of people in mass.

It's a lesson we here in America need to re-learn. The power of protest ended the Vietnam War. The power of protest propelled the civil rights movement. The power of protest gave us labor laws, gave women the right to vote, and ended slavery. It can bring change again.

We have it easy here – with some notable exceptions, protesters in America aren't in danger of losing life and limb these days. We can march and then go home at night in relative safety. The Iranians hitting the streets have more in common with civil rights marchers in the 60s then with the challenges America faces today. So I have to ask – where are America's protesters?

Sure, we have the tea bag movement, but it's ill-defined and even less informed. We had marches against the war in Iraq, but not big enough. What would have happened if millions of Americans would have been out in the streets for days after George Bush was allowed to steal the presidency in 2000? What if America (or at least Florida) was forced into a new vote? How much damage to the country could have been avoided?

Or what about health care? Polls show a big majority of Americans favor single payer health care, and even more favor at least a public option. Still, big money interests are dimming the chances …

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Back to Basics in the Public Education System

Today’s public education curriculum is much more complicated than it was fifty or even twenty-five years ago. Every year brings new things that educators feel are important enough to add to the curriculum. Teachers have to teach twice as much in the same amount of time. And our children are paying the price of not being able to focus on material long enough to do anything with it but remember it for the tests.

When was the last time educators and administrators combed through the curriculum as a whole and weeded out unnecessary lessons and combine concepts that naturally go together? Spelling, for example, no longer needs to place so prominently in this generation of spell check. Instead provide a list of vocabulary words and have students use them in sentences and stories. You’ll be teaching spelling, vocabulary and composition at the same time. Kids learn more from doing than being told anyway so it stands to reason that placing more emphasis on reading will spill over to grammar, spelling and word meanings as well as reading skills.

Alternatively schools need to stop teaching shortcuts where skills are necessary. It was a disappointing shock to me when I found out that my sons’ teachers not only allowed but encouraged them to use calculators when doing mathematics. How can they possibly learn advanced math when they are taught to let a calculator do the basics? Math skills build upon the previous skill so the basics here cannot be skipped.

Back to basics curriculum would put the emphasis on skills and knowledge that is most essential to living as a successful citizen in this society. Skills like basic math, algebra, reading, writing, basic science, world and U.S. history, personal finances, health, physical fitness, and computer skills would be included. By paring down the curriculum to what is essential for predictive adulthood; we can ensure that the majority of students graduate from high school with at least enough skills to succeed as adults. Note I said succeed, not merely get by in life.

Additionally it would be imperative with a back to basics curriculum to make sure to provide exposure to advanced material so any student with a passion – say aerodynamics or sociology – would be able to learn and gain knowledge and skills about that subject. Possibly a “Blank” period could be provided for the students to explore their own interests with the guidance of a teacher or a team of teachers.

This idea may not be perfectly ironed out but I believe it is a good start towards bringing authentic learning back into the public school classroom.…

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Four Ideas on How to Plan for a Educational, Memorable Fourth of July Celebration

The fourth of July is definitely an important time of year. It celebrates the time when America was finally freed from the hands of the British after the Revolutionary War. No matter how boring the subject may be in a history book, the fourth of July was definitely one of the most important times in American history. Of course, most teenagers and young children won't want to hear this whole story from beginning to end, but there are different ways that we can make Independence Day a holiday worth celebrating. Here, I'm going to list a few ways you can make the fourth of July the day to remember.

Cookout – This is one of the most common ways to celebrate Independence Day. Combined with a few friends, family, and games, this idea can also turn out to be one of the most enjoyable. An interesting way to add some education to this idea would be to read out the story of the Declaration of Independence while everyone is eating.

A Trip to Washington D.C. – This one may be a bit more expensive than the others, but hey, it's summer vacation and this would be a fantastic idea to make learning about Independence Day a bit more enjoyable. Check out the White House, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial.

Go out for ice cream – This idea is relatively simple, and inexpensive. You don't have to go out for ice cream either; you could just buy some in advance and enjoy it on the porch or at the park. Here, you can just talk about why Independence Day is important to our lives, and what exactly happened on that day.

Visit relatives – There's nothing better than spending time with your fellow relatives, and to me, the more the merrier. You could go visit grandma's house or maybe a local aunt or uncle. Regardless of who you're visiting, it's no doubt that a day spend with relatives is a lot easier to remember than a day where everyone stays at home. You could have your child do a homework assignment a few days before the gathering on why the Fourth of July is important to American history, and have them present the assignment some time during the holiday.

I hope these ideas helped to spark some plans for a memorable, yet educational Independence Day experience. Happy Holidays!


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What About Our American People?

What about our American people?

America, this is the home of the free and the brave, and endless opportunities.

That’s why so many around the world want to live here. I admit we do have it nice here compared to a lot of countries. But what about the people that are already citizens here? that were born and raised.

It just seems that American citizens struggle to survive in this country. The average joe in America struggles to live, and it just seems that there isn’t a lot of help out there for us middle class, and low income Americans.

Americans either make a little too much money, or not enough to get any kind of assistance. Americans work like dogs to make a little bit of money so they can take care of their families, and just plain survive. And in all fairness it’s really not fair at all.

Immigrants come to this country for freedom, and lots of opportunities, and that is great. But sometimes it’s unfair to the citizens of America, because it sometimes just seems like they have more opportunities than we sometimes do, some of them live a better life than us as Americans.

It seems that America is the land of opportunity for everyone else, but Americans. Many people believe that America focuses on everything they can do in the world, for everyone else, it just seems we as Americans are a little left out sometimes.

Some Americans may or may not agree with the way this country is, and that is fine. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I guess that’s one great thing about America, Freedom Of Speech. Don’t misunderstand me when I say we have a wonderful and caring country at times, I just wish America could focus a little more on the people who are entitled to the same, as the ones who we welcome to America.

Credit in this country is another problem. More people in America seem to have poor credit rather than good, and this makes it really hard for us to live because everything in this country is based on creditworthiness . More Americans are going into debt because they can’t make enough money to pay their bills, and it’s sad to see so many people struggle. And once you ruin your credit, it seems to ruin your life.

Trying to get a loan once you’ve had a few credit problems in the past is nearly impossible. And if you do succeed in that loan, be ready to pay a lot of interest. I don’t understand why a financial institution would want to make some ones interest so high when they have bad credit.

If you’ve had problems in the past why would they want to make it so hard for you to succeed .It’s just not fair to the American people who want a second chance to better their lives. America needs to start thinking about these people that are left out. No …

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Funding Your Graduate Education with Assistantships

Funding your graduate education is very different from undergrad. Graduate assistantships allow students to exchange work for financing their education. In general, assistantships are available from well-funded departments in disciplines that produce scholarly work. Departments will attempt to admit only the number of graduate students that they can fund. Professional programs like architecture, law, business, and education are the exception. These departments will not attempt to fund everyone, since they award many more degrees than there are spots for assistants.

All assistantships pay for a portion of your tuition. You are required to work for a set number of hours per week for a set wage. Even though it may seem you are being underpaid in the wage area, a graduate assistant is receiving a large monetary benefit from the tuition waiver. Imagine a state university is offering $10,000 for 20 hours per week of work and full tuition remission. At the in-state tuition rate of $250 per credit hour, the tuition remission is worth approximately $6000. This is equal to a full-time salary of $32,000 per year-not exactly rich, but enough to live on.

There are many types of graduate assistantships. The most common are teaching assistantships and research assistantships. Assistantships may also be offered doing other types of work, such as running a dormitory or working in an administrative capacity with the department. Some assistantships provide health insurance or free health care. At many Universities, graduate assistants are represented by a union. The union will negotiate the minimum terms of all graduate assistants' renumeration.

A teaching assistant will take on responsibilities for teaching or administering a course. Masters-level students frequently will work for a professor who is teaching a large undergraduate course, and will take on grading, tutoring, and course material prep duties. Doctoral students will often take on the full responsibility for teaching a smaller undergraduate course or specialized graduate course. Teaching assistants are chosen based on their mastery of the course material and ability to communicate the knowledge. A drawback to being a teaching assistant is that it frequently takes time than the number of hours stated in the award. No overtime will be paid. Another drawback is that teaching responsibilities take away time that could be devoted to researching for your thesis or dissertation. However, teaching experience is invaluable when applying for faculty jobs after graduation.

Research assistantships are the most prized type of assistantship. Students holding one will perform research work with a professor on a grant. Assistants will be intensely involved in the process of performing the research work. They may perform literature reviews, lab tests, interviews, surveys, or computer work. Some grants will require extension or technical assistance work to real-world practitioners. At the end of the grant, many projects will be written up as reports or scholarly journal articles. This gives the assistant the opportunity to be published, which is essential during the job search phase. A smart graduate assistant will choose a thesis or dissertation topic that relates to the …

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The Psychology Behind Why Abused Women Stay with Their Partners

Why do Montreal women and women in the rest of Canada and the USA stay in abusive relationships?

You love the man and cannot imagine what it would be like to be without him. You are afraid to leave. Oftentimes these men hold power on these women by threatening to kill them if they leave. You feel you have nowhere to go and do not know how you can survive on you own or with your children. The fear of the unknown is our worst enemy. You don't know where to turn to get help

Note: There are women shelters and many websites that can help you through this transitional period please take advantage of the wonderful services available to you. Reach out – don't be afraid there are people who are standing by to help you. Your first major step may be to simply tell a family member, friend, pastor, teacher, doctor, anybody you feel comfortable with.You are afraid of what people will think of you

Note: This Montreal Mental Health examiner's friend's mother was abused for years, she took it in stride. When my friend was in her 40's and her father came home and beat her mother because he didn't like the taste of the spaghetti sauce, my friend asked her why she was taking this abuse all these years. Her mother's answer was, "he is my husband, I cannot leave, what will the neighbours think?"
He is my husband I married for better or for worse.

All women please understand that you didn't get married to be abused or even killed. Get out! That is the only logical thing to do to stay alive.
You don't believe in divorce

Note: Okay so don't believe in. Then don't get divorced, but don't live in the same house with this abuser who is hurting you.

To be continued


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What's the Psychology Behind American Idol?

Can you sing?

I mean really?, or do you just believe that you can sing, and really can't? Do you also think that you look just like Jewel, or maybe Tom Cruise? Do you perceive yourself as a great intellectual leader, or well accepted and loved, no matter what environment you carelessly amble into?

These sublime questions beg an explanation. Just how, and more significantly why, do the worst of the worst American Idol contestants seem utterly oblivious to their obvious lack of talent? In order to understand, one must merely look within.

This twisted sense of self is not limited to vocal ability, to be sure. Many of us entertain an often skewed internal image of how we look, how others perceive us, and what the limitations of our abilities really are. Any given person almost invariably harbors an internal image that is not consistent with the external one that they actually project. Most of us think we are better looking, smarter or more talented than we really are. Why is that? The clockwork mechanism of this grandiose illusion is often rooted in the subconscious need to protect one's ego. In order to survive the relentless grist and tumble of daily life in a society of our peers, such illusions are often necessary to shield our often fragile sense of self-esteem as much as a suit of armor shields a Medieval Knight from raining blows. Such self-deceptive devices are often quite fragile, however, as evidenced by the brutal effect of Simon Cowell's scathing remarks, as these illusions tend to die hard, with great upheaval, and often in overt agony

Sigmund Freud once stated "Rob a man of his subterfuge and he goes mad", that is to say, once our armor of self-illusion has been cracked and exposed to the world by poignant, scathing criticism, madness may ensue. Sometimes hearing the truth can be devastating, but yet we love to hear it said, as long it is levied on others and not ourselves, of course.

Why is that?

The obvious answer is that when Pontius Cowell casts another American Idol contestant to the lions, we applaud with ferocious glee, just as spectators in the Roman Colosseum bellowed in uproarious approval, thumbs down, when a vanquished combatant was tossed to their death. The psychology behind this vulgar impulse, of course, is that at some deep, primordial level, we see it as slaying the twisted sense of self that all of us bottle tightly within, but are too terrified to confront, as most of us deeply and passionately need to believe that our own illusions are quite real, and not illusions at all.…

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Jumpin' Jellyfish Disneyland Ride – California Adventure

Jumpin' Jellyfish is a Disneyland ride that lives up to its name. Guests board vehicles that look just like giant colorful jellyfish, and the vehicles jump up and down, making a mild thrill ride perfect for kids.

The theming of this ride is adorable and colorful, and the line is never too long. While there's a height requirement for this ride, it's very low, so even young kids can enjoy it.

Jumpin' Jellyfish offers a mild thrill for adults, too. Parents can ride with their kids, and the whole family can enjoy the laughs that are sure to come. The jellyfish jump up and down from several different heights to give you a varied ride experience that will thrill every time.

Even if you don't have kids, this ride is worth checking out if the wait isn't too long.…

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