Background Search

The Internet is fast becoming as much of a mode of communication as a way of getting knowledge and entertainment in a faster and easier way. Many friendships first started out as instant message chats or chance meetings in chat rooms. Background searches are one of the latest ways of taking a peek at a person’s past, with or without him or her knowing it.

Though people can rely on their own good sense regarding business dealings or personal relations over the Internet, one should definitely use background searches before taking any further steps.

A background search is a tried and tested way of finding out necessary and common details about friends, acquaintances and romantic partners.

A lot of details can be found through various background searches. These background searches can give a lot of information about any given individual and can avert a lot of trouble. One can search for a person’s background using the name, address, maiden name or state of residence. The various backgrounds one can search through these include criminal history, personal history, property purchase history, marriage records and divorce records.

There are many ways that one can make a thorough background check of an individual. Private detectives have been traditionally employed by worried fathers for a thorough background check of their would-be sons-in-law.

Various websites offer background checks for individuals. While some of the searches are free, most should be paid for. These websites are basically search engines, which have a database of names, addresses, professions, telephone numbers and states of residence for various individuals.

Background Search Engines

Background search engines are a simple way to find background information over the Internet. Background search engines work much like regular search engines, with the only difference being the databases these search engines sift through for data.

The databases of the background search engines mainly involve information regarding the various searches one may search for, like names, addresses, Social Security numbers, employment history and more.

There are different search engines for different searches. For example, there will be a different database for an employee search engine as compared to a criminal search engine.

Various search engines require different forms of information. Some of the columns in a search engine can include first name, last name, gender, city, state and age. Through search engines, one can also search through maiden names and Social Security numbers.

The search engines collect and collate information on US residents regarding their names, phone numbers, current and past addresses, and birth years. Some background search engines then allow the user to connect to other websites and return queries with personal and sensitive information varying from criminal background checks to satellite photos of the residences.

Some of the sites have come under fire, after issues have been raised as to what stops potential stalkers and other criminals from getting personal information freely over the Internet. Many of the websites offer information up to ten years old.

While some of the searches on these websites are free, advanced searches cost money. People Search Engines, as they are called, are today found on various Internet portals as a side feature.

Baby Penguins

Penguins are a group of flightless birds found only in the southern hemisphere. They are of the order Sphenisciformes and the family Spheniscidae. There are seventeen species of penguins in the world, the largest of which is the Empire penguin, which stands at an average height of 3 feet and 9 inches. Most people think that penguins live only in the coldest places on Earth like Antarctica, but penguins also live in the tropics. A species of penguins live in the Galapagos Islands near the equator.

Penguins are some of the most familiar animals in the planet, although most people have never seen a penguin in the wild. But most people recognize penguins because of the distinct and easily identifiable black-and-white plumage that all penguins have. Penguins, in their natural habitat, are extremely adapted to the aquatic life. The sea is their main source of food, which consists of fish and small crustaceans called krill.

Penguins have a peculiar mating habit; some penguins will mate for life, while others for just one season. Penguin parents usually cooperate in taking care of their baby penguins. But it is mostly the task of the male penguin to incubate the egg until it is hatched. It is amazing how penguins take care of their offspring in the extreme cold and harshness of their habitat. Baby penguins are hatched covered with a grayish down that protects the chicks from the cold.

Throughout the nesting period, baby penguins are confined to the burrow or nest where they are fed by their parents. When baby penguins reach the age where they don’t need constant care from their parents, they are often grouped in nurseries where they wait while their parents hunt for food. One amazing trait of both parent and baby penguins is that they recognize each other even in the midst of hundreds of penguins. Once the baby penguin sheds its downy feathers and gets its plumage, it can then start to fend for himself.

Atomic Wall Clocks

Today, an atomic clock is the most accurate time-measuring device, and to manipulate our hectic schedules, we need constant reminders about every second wasted or gained. Having an atomic wall clock in our homes, offices, or public places affects our transportation, manufacturing, communication, and other technical functions.

We have swaggered hours away from sundials, the sand hourglass, and cuckoo clocks (with a cuckoo bird popping out every hour), or the carved wooden grandfather clock ticking in the hallway. The later pendulum and crystal quartz clocks were accurate but needed constant servicing. Atomic wall clocks have changed time viewing and are available in different designs and features, depending on the manufacturer. A radio-controlled atomic wall clock is reset to the US WWVB atomic clock in Boulder, Colorado, and can adapt automatically for daylight savings time. Some wall clocks have added features to monitor indoor temperatures for extra climate comfort or jumbo letters for checking time from distance.

Design and color are secondary, as the hallmark of a reliable atomic wall clock is that it should not require frequent setting and should automatically adjust to time changes. Most atomic wall clocks have their time corrected on regular basis through signals from regional stations. A clock purchased in the U.S. will not work in Europe or the Far East, as clocks contain chips specific to a region. Another important checking point is battery operation. Preference should be given for electric wall clocks, as battery back up is not a long-term proposition.

Technology has advantages and makes our lives comfortable. But there is nothing to beat the traditional wall clocks, with their tick-tocks reverberating throughout the entire house. A grandfather clock has a pendulum that oscillates back and forth to produce time-sound, while an atomic clock has preset alarm sounds. We do have crossovers, old models with the latest technology, but ask any wall clock collector and the answer would be that there is nothing to beat the romance of wooden wall clocks with Roman letters.

Atomic Clocks

Time waits for no man. Keeping this mind, we set about inventing clocks to synchronize ourselves with lunar cycles. It was an impressive leap, beginning some 10,000 years ago when the Egyptians came up with sundials in 2100 BC. Sundials, or shadow clocks, first used by Sumerians, worked on the premise of measuring the length of shadows to deduce time of day. Weather played spoilsport as on cloudy days, and when the months changed, shadows would not correspond with the markings. The Romans tried to do better by pilfering Cleopatra’s Needles, the tools used by Egyptians, but had to be content with town criers announcing the changing time. Around 325 BC, the water clock followed sundials; a water clock was basically a bucket of water with a hole in bottom to record slipping time but not hours. Various contraptions and models followed, ultimately resulting in clocks.

The word clock has its genesis in French word “cloche,” meaning bell. The first clock used weights to move gears, which in turn moved the hands. The one problem was that someone had to reset the weights until weight was propped by an oscillating horizontal bar attached to vertical spindle with protrusions to act as diversions. Soon, springs replaced weights, reducing the size of the clocks that could be carried, kept on a mantelpiece, or hung as wall clocks. Mechanical clocks and watches gave way to electronic timepieces with quartz crystal, later to be surpassed by atomic clocks.

Accuracy is the hallmark of atomic clocks, which are turning out to be more reliable and uniform when compared with time deduced by the rotation of earth. Atomic clocks operate by measuring the resonant frequency of a given atom i.e., Cesium, Hydrogen, or Mercury, increasing exactness more than a billionth of a second per day. It is this accurateness that has made atomic clocks more dependable as alarm clocks for domestic, scientific, or public functions.

Atomic Clock Times

Time measured by rotation of Earth is not uniform when compared with time kept by atomic clocks. It was not always so, and atomic clocks underwent changes before giving us accurate time. The first atomic clock, built at the U.S. National Bureau of Standards in 1949, was a maser with attached equipment. It was followed by advanced atomic clocks that provide high accuracy by allowing for microwave interrogation of atoms isolated from each other and from any exterior disturbance.

Atomic clocks are used as time standards for counting the passing seconds. In 1884, the Greenwich Mean Time or GMT was established as first global time scale and UTC, its atomic equivalent, was established as the official time for the world in January, 1972. The International Bureau of Weights and Measures, or BIPM, is the official keeper of atomic time for the world. In the U.S., the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s NIST-F1 is an example of accuracy with neither gaining nor loosing a second. Atomic clock time is important for global positioning of satellites, various missiles, rocket programs, aviation programs, navy, power distribution, mobile and landline telephone systems, the Internet, GPS, and digital television. The movement of the earth causes random fluctuations in length of days and years, and the atomic clock has been able to manage the anomalies of time differences. A recent example is the leap second added due to slowing of the earth’s rotation on December 31, 2005.

The unique measurement capability and success of atomic clocks is such that time and frequency have far higher accuracy than any other physical quantity. NASA uses atomic clocks to provide reliable and consistent navigation for interplanetary space travel, where fractional disparities in clock tick rates can dramatically affect the navigation of spacecraft. Similarly, computers are coordinated with atomic clock time and sitting anywhere in the U.S., we can have access to precise minutes and seconds.

Atomic Alarm Clocks

Imagine setting clock alarm for waking up early the next morning only to be awakened minutes or hours late and then missing out on appointments or meetings. It was can be a frequent occurrence without an atomic alarm clock. With an atomic alarm clock, however, there would be no excuses for late risers, as the alarm goes of on time and can help do away with television or cell phone alarms.

The alarm clock is replete with gizmos, such as audio announcement, automatic summer and winter daylight-savings adjustments, and display time in seconds/minutes of day, date, and alarm time. There is volume selection, which is a bonus as the alarm clock has an extra long beep. Since it is a radio alarm clock, it works on receiving the radio time signal generated by the U.S. Atomic Clock located in Colorado, saving users precious minutes in the bargain.

Another product that can prove useful is the travel atomic alarm clock. For frequent travelers, these clocks work well as their amazingly perfect antennae pick up radio signals from atomic time transmitters. Another plus is that users can do away with the services of a hotel or host for wake up calls when vacationing, on business trips, or traveling for whatever reason.

Atomic alarm clocks come in various designs and sizes, are portable, and are easy to read and set with familiar and positive sounds or songs. Instead of being roused with raucous or shrilly notes, one can hear a soothing favorite song or tone so as not to wake up in a crabby mood. Whether it is a pocket watch or cell phone look-alike, an atomic alarm clock is a must with other traveling accessories, especially if one is on a tight schedule.


The word angel finds its genesis from the Greek word “anggelos” and Latin “angelus,” meaning a messenger. In common usage, it is used in reference to someone with divine beauty and charm, a cherub, ingrained with godliness and infinite virtues. The Old Testament and the Hebrew literature doesn’t specifically state if an angel is a mortal or a divine messenger, a bodiless divine spirit. The Bible states more affirmatively that an angel is a divine creature, a celestial envoy from God. The Bible however agrees that an angel may adopt a mortal form to accomplish its assigned mission.

Angels are not just messengers of god. There are different categories and hierarchy of angels. Dionysius, in the fifth and sixth century, explained the various categories. The Seraphim, Cherubim, and the thrones are the first in the hierarchy and are considered to be heavenly counselors. Domination, virtue, and power rank second in the hierarchy and are the divine governors acting out the wishes of the counselors. The archangels are the third category, with principalities acting as protectors of nations, archangels as guardian angels, and the last among archangels are those who are closest to the humans. The last categories of angels that generally come in touch with human beings also have many subcategories among them.

Angels were created by the Almighty to act upon His divine will and execute His supreme providence. God is the all and end all. He is holiness personified, and therefore not accessible to mortal beings afflicted by cardinal sins. The angels serve as the intermediary between God and humans. They work for God in the interest of mortals. In other words, God works through rectors of his will, the angels. Angels are not synonymous with spirit guides. Unlike the spirit guides who intend to dictate and control one’s life, angels merely perform their consigned duties. They can be consoling, gentle, rescuers as well as swift, ruthless implementers of justice, all in complete adherence to the Divine Will.

Angels are said to have existed since time immemorial. They are invested with supernatural powers and are emancipated from mortal afflictions like death, illness, etc. They are immortal and free from the human failings and frailties. Being bestowed with divine attributes, angels, since their very Genesis, have received God’s benevolence and love as well as eternal bliss. The most significant function of angels is to act as God’s agents and guide man to become worthy of His love and affection. Some consider angels as higher beings invested with powers inconceivable and unachievable by humans. Many consider angels as servers of God’s wishes and, hence, lesser than humans, who are God’s own children.

Gabriel is the angel carrying verbal messages; Uriel is the angel of bereavement and change; Michael is the protector and warrior angel; and Raphael is a healing and curative angel.

American Flags

A flag is a symbol of a country’s sovereignty. In fact, flags can go beyond mere symbolism and become the standard around which a nation and its people rally. The American flag is a source of immense pride to American citizens. The Stars and Stripes brings out the best in Americans and encourage them to do their bit for their nation. America has several flags, each with its own history and story to tell. In addition to the Stars and Stripes, each of America’s fifty states also has a flag of its own.

There is a story behind each of the flags – when and how they originated and what the symbols stand for. Apart from the 50 American states, there are also flags for US districts, territories and possessions. For instance, there is a flag for American Samoa, the Commonwealth of Northern Marianas, the District of Colombia, Guam, Micronesia, and the American Virgin Islands. Then there is the Presidential Flag and the Vice-Presidential Flag, and historical flags such as the flag of the Confederate States of America and the flags of the Revolution.

Unlike the flags of other countries, American flags are not meant to be waved only on special occasions – every American is free to wave the American flag at any time. Besides, in keeping with its tradition of freedom and liberty, America does not prohibit the use of its flags on items of clothing – even women’s lingerie can boast of the stars and stripes.

American flags can be made of various kinds of fabric – polyester, nylon, or various blends. Any material will do, so long as the person waving the flag has the right spirit.

American Flag History

Every flag has a history of its own and if one delves deep, a fascinating story comes to light. The American flag is no exception.

Nobody knows for sure who first designed the Stars and Stripes, though there are some commonly accepted stories about the origin of the flag. According to one school of thought, Congressman Francis Hopkinson was the man who designed the flag, but some historians believe that Betsy Ross, a seamstress from Philadelphia, was the one who designed the American flag.

It was not till June 24, 1912, that the proportions of the American national flag came to be prescribed. As a result, flags made before this year show different patterns of the stars and unusual proportions. But mostly, stars were placed in a straight row and had proportions more or less similar to the ones now accepted.

Several acts have determined the evolution of the American national flag. According to the First Flag Act, passed in 1777, it was established that the American national flag would comprise thirteen red and white stripes and thirteen white stars against a blue background. In January 1794, it had 15 stars and 15 stripes. In 1818, the flag had 13 stripes and one star for each state. In 1912, President Taft decreed that the stars should be arranged in six horizontal rows of eight each. He also came up with new proportions of the flag. In January 1959, President Eisenhower decided that the stars should be arranged in seven rows of seven stars each, horizontally and vertically. And in August 1959, Eisenhower again made changes – this time, he said that the stars should be in nine rows horizontally and 11 rows vertically. As of today, the flag has 50 stars and 13 stripes.