Writing Samples


It can be a bit difficult to give a single definition that completely satisfies what a gemstone is. Artisans, marketers, and people in the jewelry interchangeably use terms like gemstones, gems, precious and semi-precious stones, and jewels to refer to ornamental materials. But are they all the same? What makes one type of mineral more valuable, and why are gemstones so precious?
Firstly, we need to state that the term “gemstone” in the strict geological sense is used to define a mineral crystal. A mineral has to be a solid chemical compound, with a crystal lattice structure. Gemstones can be either natural or synthetic, and to be considered as precious, they have to be exceedingly rare. Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are universally considered to be precious stones. 
However most people in the jewelry trade, and even gemologists, consider other materials such as Amber, which are derived from fossilized tree resin, and Opal, a beautiful and iridescent rock created by mixing silicates and water, as precious stones as they are used in jewelry making. Pearls, are also not mineral crystals per se, however, because of their rarity and aesthetic value, they are considered as gemstones as well.
Even when gems are classed as “semi-precious” they can still have immense value, and consequently, a high price tag. Factors such as the color, cut, size, clarity, among many others can greatly impact the costs of gemstones.
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Let’s get one thing straight. Coming from most owners who’ve made the jump, the decision is unanimous: Party tents are a great investment!
There’s a LOT of holidays that we celebrate in this great country, and almost every single one of them is best enjoyed with a backyard party along with some chilled beer and a good BBQ.
A good quality party tent gives you the much needed space, flexibility as well as protection- making sure you’ll have a wonderful time, no matter what kind of weather! For intimate family gatherings, you can count on our easy pop up tent. From our simple, straightforward party tent models which you assemble yourself, no tools needed. They can go from a capacity of up to 16 people or even 50 people.
You’ll have the freedom to use this shaded space for a variety of purposes, like to set up your tables when eating, or throwing in some comfy bean bags for napping or chairs when hanging out on your backyard for all those nice sunny days. All of our best-selling USA party tents come in a variety of colors, from the basic white, or something closer to nature like brown or green and even brighter options like blue, or orange.
When you decide to buy a party tent from us, you always have the option to put it away whenever you don’t need it.
All of our products come with storage bags. The beams used are all made with high quality, rust-resistant steel framework, assuring you of its durability. We also offer a lifetime guarantee on all of the party tents in our arsenal.


I killed an elephant. Okay, I wasn’t the one that shot her but I watched her die. Well, maybe not in real life– it was on TV, a movie called Tyke: Elephant Outlaw. It is very sad. And being human I feel partly responsible for her murder.
I wrote this is for you Tyke. I hope you are surrounded by crunchy peanuts in Elephant Heaven.
It is a very human thing to want to subdue a magnificent beast and have it do your bidding. There are even statues in Thailand of the bygone times when people would ride an ostentatiously decorated elephant into battle. But taking an animal away from nature- its habitat and home, is a very convoluted thing to do. Mahouts or elephant tamers call this process as “breaking the elephant.” To catch an elephant, poachers create traps that endanger their lives.
For instance, using trap holes that can injure their ankles as they fall. Then they use long bullhooks that can pierce an elephant’s skin so they can have them do what they want. After, the elephants are then transported in cramped trucks, with barely any room to move nor air to breathe. They are destined to be circus animals or worse, as part of a thriving industry that capitalizes on well meaning tourists that want to help rescued elephants.
Other travelers have warned me against this, especially about tour operators that offer elephant rides. When we drove our rented scooter to the Elephant Kraal in Ayutthaya– advertised as a retreat center where volunteers are invited to stay a minimum of three nights to spend time with an elephant or two. The elephants were bound in rusty chains with barely any room to move, right next to their feces. They were visibly distressed and can only sway back and forth.
In the five minutes we spent in that institute we did not see them with any food nearby. Some elephants were chained in the open field at noon with no shade to hide in when the heat gets unbearable. There is no security in that rescue center. We were able to go inside without any guards asking about our intent or accosting us to a ticket booth to pay.
It was in the news a few years ago about one elephant stolen from this facility and killed for his tusk.
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