Magic, Creativity and Harry Potter

The Making of the Harry Potter Films

Potions Classroom


Not Your Usual Family Day Out!

It was a very uplifting experience to visit the Harry Potter studio tour at Warner Bros, Leavesden in Hertfordshire this summer. Opened in 2012,  it is a pleasing demonstration of the talent and creativity present here in the UK, and a boost for British business and our very vibrant film industry. Who would have thought fifteen years ago, that J.K. Rowling’s initial volume of ‘Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone’ would blossom into such a fertile and multi-faceted business!

We were impressed by the sheer volume of props, models, costumes and sets on show, so I’ve included a few photographs here, and there is a fuller report and more images on the ‘Your Ultimate Resource’ website here.   A great way to spend an afternoon, or even longer, and an opportunity to see the Gryffindor Common Room, the intriguing Potions Classroom, and the Ministry of Magic’s stunning Atrium, to name but a few of the sights to be savoured.

Gryffindor Common Room

 

Ministry of Magic

 

Millions of tiny diamonds discovered in candle flame

 

Diamonds dancing in a candle flame 
Discovery could revolutionise the way we produce diamonds

Changes the way we look at candle flames forever

The magic and romance of candlelight, the way candles bring a sparkle to our lives, might be finding some scientific explanation according to recent research. Throwing a little light on candles, and why they fascinate us so much, a report from Professor Wuzong Zhou of St Andrew’s University, Scotland, published in Chemical Communications Journal reveals that an astonishing 1.5 million tiny diamond nanoparticles are created in a candle flame every second it burns.

 

Zhou created a new technique of sampling particles from the centre of the flame, something not previously possible. He said, "Unfortunately the diamond particles are burned away in the process, and converted into carbon dioxide, but this will change the way we view a candle flame forever".  There is currently no way to extract the diamond particles, but with development the technique could lead to a more environmentally friendly and cheaper way of producing industrial diamonds. 

 

The renowned scientist Michael Faraday in his celebrated 19th century lectures on “The Chemical History of a Candle” said in an 1860 address to the flame: “You have the glittering beauty of gold and silver, and the still higher lustre of jewels, like the ruby and diamond; but none of these rival the brilliancy and beauty of flame. What diamond can shine like flame?”

Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why illuminating flames and candlelit settings are so entrancing, and why they enhance our perceptions of the beauty of the moment and of the people in it.

Just think, millions of tiny diamonds dancing before our eyes!

Who knew what mysterious hidden jewels were forming, shimmering and dissolving, hidden in plain sight in a candle flame! 

Valentine’s Twittermantic with Hallmark

Hallmark Romantic Verse Competition Returns for Valentine's 2011

LONDON, England, January 19, 2011

 – UK Wide Search for the Best Twittermantic

– Winner Receives a Luxury Romantic Break Away

After the huge success of last year's Twittermantic competition, which saw more than 600 entries, author and poet Christine Miller, Founder of ReSource, a global intelligence provider in the business and personal development field,  has again agreed to act as a judge.  Hallmark Cards is again giving the UK's wannabe Shakespeares the chance to show off their poetic side in a national creative writing contest, launching today. But in the true spirit of a modern day Romeo or Juliet – the romantic verse must be composed in just 140 characters on the popular social network site, Twitter!

The competition, back by popular demand, is being launched by Hallmark's online personalised card service, Hallmark.co.uk (http://www.hallmark.co.uk/), as part of its build up to Valentine's Day, with a luxury weekend break away on offer for the winning Twittermantic!

The best entries collected before Valentine's (February 14th) will be judged by an online public vote and by a panel of experts, including poet and published author, Christine Miller. (https://www.christinemiller.co)

Christine said: “Many writers – poets, journalists, bloggers et al, have said that Twitter, far from restricting their expressiveness, has helped them hone their skills and improve their writing. This is because they don’t have the luxury of length, so have to drill down and identify the key points and condense their ideas. It has provided a paradoxical opportunity to get more creative and meaningful by saying less – a pared down scenario with greater freedom, where new types of expression like text speak are not only allowed but positively encouraged.  So be playful and have fun.

‘Have great fun, Let your senses soar, send us your love poems, ♥♥♥♥. We want to see lots more!’”

free-guide-to-twitter-poemsChristine is offering a FREE guide to writing poems over Twitter, normally valued at £7.99, to all entrants of the Hallmark competition, and will be offering tips on the Hallmark blog during the competition.

[Read more…]

10/10/10 words

I was prompted by the unique significance of the date on Sunday 10th October 2010  to write some words – and set myself a light hearted challenge to only use words containing the word 'ten'…here's the result:

Tender Words

Listen, attend:
Countenance
Brightened,earth-mother
Heartened,
Lightened.
Tension softened,
Sentences sweetened.
Tendrils extending,
Tenacious,
Glistening,
Stencilling
Molten intensities,
Insistent, persistent,
Smitten.
Potent portent,
Hastening
Enlightenment.
Penitent, chastened,
Quietening.
Contentment,
Tentatively tendered.

WITH LOVE.

©Christine Miller

10/10/10

 

 

How to Increase Your Business Success with Mind Maps – Tony Buzan

Tony Buzan, author of 100 best-selling books

Tony Buzan, Inventor of Mind Maps and author of 100 best-selling books

Chris Griffiths CEO of Think Buzan

Chris Griffiths CEO of Think Buzan

Mind Maps for Business

We’ve used Mind Maps at ReSource since the very beginning – our first edition contained a hand drawn map of the contents, and Tony Buzan has been a regular contributor covering areas from business to creativity and poetry.  In a brief preliminary interview for an upcoming  ReSource feature, I asked Mind Maps® inventor Tony Buzan about his latest book, ‘Mind Maps for Business’, written with Chris Griffiths,   CEO of Think Buzan.

“Tony, what’s different about this book ‘Mind Maps for Business’? What differentiates it from ‘Mind Maps at Work’, for example?”

“There is a comprehensive difference – ‘Mind Maps at Work’ was a play on the word ‘work’ – it was a way of showing Mind Maps working, and how they are effective in people’s lives in a broad range of contexts, not just at work. It also served as an introductory text for people in any working situation, not only in business, which is completely different.  In a way, it was a gentle preamble to Mind Maps for Business, and it certainly generated demand for the business book. People had read Mind Maps at Work, and other books, and this led to many requests for a book totally dedicated to the business world.

“The Mind Maps for Business Book has copious illustrations, there is full colour throughout, and there are inspiring stories and case studies  gathered from around the world from major players using Mind Maps. Some examples are Nicky Oppenheimer, Chairman of de Beers diamond mines in South Africa, who describes Mind Maps as an ‘indispensable tool’, which he used to steer his senior management team during a time of refocusing to capture the essence of the organisation – where it had been and where it was heading.”

Mind Maps for Business

Mind Maps for Business

Packed with Stories and Pictures

It’s true the book is packed with accounts of success in using Mind Maps for business from many different people.  Stephen Lundin, author of the 5 million copy best selling  FISH! says:

‘Mind Mapping uses the brain in the way it was designed, saves time, improves results and is fun. How can any business person be without this powerful tool?’

Masanori Kanda is known as one of the most influential entrepreneurs in Japan today. He was named the top marketer in the November issue of GQ Japan (2006) and speaking of the radical reorganisation of his company to respond to change, says: ‘Mind mapping can play a pivotal role in the process of developing a sustainable organisation that is adaptable to rapid changes today. With open and transparent cross-functional communications in all directions, the organisation grows to become more fair, resilient and effective.’

The introduction in 2006 of iMindMap, the Buzan technology for computer generated Mind Maps, developed in conjunction with Chris Griffiths, has also given rise to many more business applications. Major corporations, including Boeing, have used the methodology to envision and manage the multiple stages of complex projects from conception to delivery.

Says Mike Stanley, of the Boeing Corporation, USA:
“The use of Mind Mapping is an integral part of my Quality Improvement Project at Boeing. This has provided savings of over $10 million for my organisation.”

iMindMap Running a Meeting example

iMindMap Running a Meeting example

Timely and Comprehensive Guide

Now is the time when this book from Tony and Chris is most needed – we live in a fiercely competitive world, where global choice is greater than ever before, and customers and clients have broader options and market intelligence readily (and instantly!) available through the Internet. Agility in spotting trends, organising and managing multiple ideas and strategies, and smart implementation are key to success, something to which the use of Mind Maps is eminently well-suited.  They can help you sell, negotiate, plan, brainstorm, manage – and do so more effectively, saving you time and money.

Several people I’ve interviewed recently for ReSource (including top US business coach Marshall Goldsmith and New York Times bestselling author and consultant Marcus Buckingham) have suggested that ‘we’re all entrepreneurs now’. One unexpected current example in the UK is within the public sector, in tertiary education, where funding cuts are changing the landscape dramatically. Situations are arising where employees, some of whom have been in their jobs for ten or fifteen years, are now obliged to re-apply for their existing posts – and are consequently required to ‘sell’ themselves again as the best possible candidate for the job. This requires the skill of knowing how to best position yourself, not something most public sector employees have previously had to consider. The ability to identify and promote your key assets, talents and expertise as benefits to your organisation thus become critical to successful job retention, and Mind Mapping can also assist with this.

Transforming Business and Life

In this age of the changing world of work, when everyone, whether employed or running their own business, needs to adopt a more intelligently entrepreneurial mindset, ‘Mind Maps for Business’ helps fill a need for ways to develop clarity of thinking and effective methods to manage complexity and diversity. Mind Maps have been proven to achieve this –  over many years, across innumerable disciplines, and ‘Mind Maps for Business’ is an essential addition to the library of books we return to time and again for practical applications and guidance on being better in the business world – especially in the business of living productively and well.

You can get the book easily now at Amazon & WHSmith

Look out for a full article in the next edition of ReSource