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Tips for Choosing a Djembe: Three Things to Look For In Finding The Right Drum

The djembe is a versatile drum whose popularity has spread throughout the world. Originally a West African instrument, djembes are now made and played throughout the world. More and more people, from beginners to professionals, are learning to play hand drums. Djembes are a great choice because of their great sound and versatility. Whether you play casually at drum circles or professionally on stage, there’s a djembe that’s right for you. Read on for tips on choosing a djembe that suits your needs.

When looking for a djembe, you’re likely to find such a wide variety that choosing the right one seems pretty confusing. Djembes differ in how they’re made, what they’re made from and where they’re made. If you’re comparing djembes, you may be asking yourself, “Where do I start?”.

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Evil Plant Invaders: The Knapweed Wave of Deathknapweed0001

Walk any trail in the woods of the american west and you’re likely to see spotted knapweed. Locals have come to know knapweed as an invasive plant. It shows up where it’s not wanted, it out competes native plants, and it spreads quickly, seemingly taking over every field and hillside with little chance to stop it.  While many see knapweed as a tough, adaptable invader, few realize how evil and menacing this plant truly is.

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New York Times

March 24, 2006

Drum Circles: Where the Beat Goes On


 ALONG with the chirping of birds and croaking of frogs, spring brings another sound: the slapping and thumping of fingers on taut leather drumheads. The end of winter means a returning bloom of the drum circle, as those that have hibernated or moved inside for the winter reverberate again through the open air.

 Drum circles — According to muscial research paper, the informal groups of people playing percussion instruments — in the United States are most commonly based on West African traditions, but the music style depends on the players. There are circles for women, for men, for children, for families. Most are open to participants or listeners — some even provide extra drums. They resound on beaches, in parks, on piers and on mountains. Besides West African-style drums and music, there are Middle Eastern, Native American, Caribbean and Brazilian styles. Look for African djembes, the most common drums, but also bougarabou drums, doumbeks and congas.

 What were once loose-knit, word-of-mouth gatherings now have schedules listed on the Internet. Many sites, including drumsontheweb.com, rhythmweb.com and drum-circle.org, list drum circles by state and type. Many drummers say what is appealing is that drumming doesn't take years of lessons to learn.

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Ten Reasons to Drum for Your Health 

1. Drumming is for everyone
Drumming does not require advanced physical abilities or specialized talents. It does not require participants to read music or understand music theory. Drumming, even a simple pattern, offers benefits to a huge range of people. Drumming is a universal language. It transcends gender, race, age, and nationality. In fact, nearly every culture on earth has some form of drumming tradition.

Furthermore, group drumming and drum therapy is currently being used for people with brain injuries or impairment, physical injuries, arthritis, addictions, and more. Studies are finding numerous health benefits from drumming for people with these conditions.

2. Drumming reduces stress and boosts the immune system
Studies have shown that drumming lowers both blood pressure and stress hormones. The active component of drumming helps reduce stress in a number of ways. It’s fun, it’s physical, and it’s a great diversion from other stress-filled activities. If you need to vent, what better way than to hit something?

Drumming is also meditative, inducing relaxed mental states that reduce anxiety and tension. Drumming combined with deep breathing and visualization techniques offers even more stress reduction benefits. “We know that stress takes a toll on the immune system,” says Ann Webster, PhD. “When you’re under stress, blood levels of stress hormones go up and your body is no longer able to make killer cells and other cells of the immune system in the amounts it normally would, and that can lead to disease progression. Reducing stress is very restorative. It gets the system back in balance.”

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Choosing The Perfect Campsite
The three most important factors to ensure that you’re a happy camper

 Before you head out on your next camping excursion (or your first!), there are a few things to consider when choosing a campsite. Even if you camp in an established campground, you often have a critical decision to make about where to put your tent. Smart tent placement can make the difference between a pleasant outing and a weekend of discomfort, or worse. The following will help you choose a campsite for maximum safety and comfort while minimizing your impact on the landscape.

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