How to Discover the Wines You Love

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With so many wines from all over the world to choose from, how do you find and how do you begin to select the ones you’re sure to like? Follow these tips to help you narrow down the right wines for you.

Taste

Every person has his own preferences when it comes to taste, and there are even applications and websites that help you to identify those you prefer. At the simplest level, you might tend towards bitter or salty foods while others love fruity, sweet notes.

Ascertaining your natural favorites is helpful to a point. On a limited level, you might use these to choose between one merlot and another, or between a chardonnay and a chenin blanc. Using notes in a more adventurous way, you might seek out those vanilla flavors you love as a way to branch out from your go-to wine. However, a wine that seems cruel and harsh on its own becomes an entirely different one once it’s been paired with the perfect dish and left to breathe, so it’s seldom a good idea to rely completely on your penchant for deep coffee tastes or peachy acidity.

Finding Alternatives

New connoisseurs seeking taste adventures might enjoy trying similar wines to those they always drink. Those who enjoy a grape-tinged sauvignon blanc, for example, will enjoy torrontes and moschofilero. These often move away from typical wooden flavors, adding their own unusual peach and apricot aromas.

Merlot fans enjoy luxurious textures and heavy, acidic fruity tastes. Ripasso, Malbec, and Grenache are equally bold. Merlot is not always quite as fruity as its reputation allows, so it pays to branch into different regions and years. Italian and South African merlots often mature to become milder and deeper, with emphasis on oak, mocha and tobacco notes. Cabernet Sauvignon is a popular choice, known for its smooth, subtle taste. It needs plenty of character, something that vegan fining processes sometimes bring. Unfiltered, unfined wines allowed to develop on their own are often best bought from small wineries able to pay close attention to every racking process.

Food Pairing

Wineries often offer food pairing lunches that maximize the number of tastes you are exposed to by offering smaller meals in more courses. This is the ideal way to unearth new vintages and unveil your passion for that high tannin wine you thought you hated. When the winemakers themselves are in charge of which wine you drink with which dish, you are able to find out how harsh tastes are mellowed when paired with intense foods.

Another version of a full wine pairing meal is cheese and dessert pairing. This is often done when time is an issue, such as at festivals or on a wine tasting tour. This opens you up to a range of new wines but is far from a full course in how to serve your meals.

Wine and food pairing is less complicated than you might think and you can quickly learn the basics. One of the principles is easy to learn if you’re a competent cook: the intensity of your wine should be paired in the same way you choose sauces for your pastas or meat. A full-flavored wine enhances a lightly flavored dish while a dominating taste needs an equally bold wine. Curries are enhanced by spicy Gewurztraminer, while creamy and buttery foods are best with oak flavors. The weight of the wine should match the weight of the dish. Red meat needs a heavy textured white wine while lighter foods such as fish need the delicate textures of clear, refined wine.

Acidic wines are often the most challenging for the uninitiated. They are used to lighten the experience of high-fat dishes by cleansing the palette. Acidic reds are wonderful with oily tomato-based sauces. Similarly, tannins help to clear the mouth of fat from oily red meats. The tannins refresh your mouth, allowing you to enjoy rich foods for longer.

Sweet wine is popular but often paired with the wrong foods. It is ideal with rich dishes, allowing even those who usually don’t enjoy this kind of eating to relish a new experience. Wine should usually be sweeter than the dish it is paired with, but those with an acidic presence are ideal for salty foods such as blue cheese and Parma ham. Salty foods with citrus undertones can be paired with dry wines that lift the lighter flavors of the food, creating a more holistic taste. Tart sauces can overwhelm a lot of wines, so those with vibrant flavors are best: Sauvignon blanc, Vinho Verde, and Verdejo are all wonderful with scallops, citrus chickens and prawns.

Glasses

The color of your wine glass is not only important to your visual experience of wine but also your impression of its flavor. Clear glasses with stems have long held their reputation as the best way to enhance all aspects of the experience. Their shape can either diffuse the nose, diluting its taste, or taper to direct all aromas directly where they are needed. They can even lift certain notes while dispersing others. There is no perfect wine glass, only the perfect one for each individual wine. An open rim forces you to drink your wine slowly while a narrow one concentrates the nose while directing it towards the palate.

Red wines need glasses with large bowls so that you can swirl the wine and increase its surface area. This exposes it to air, improving oxidation and letting it develop roundly to lose its harsh edges. Merlot and cabernet also need a narrowed rim that retains the aroma instead of dispersing it. Reds that have potent noses are better served with rims that are slightly more open to prevent the aroma from overwhelming you. White wine needs a narrow, small bowl that preserves temperature. Chardonnay needs an open rim while standard narrow sauvignon blanc glasses will suit most other white wines. Despite the accepted guidelines of passionate connoisseurs, everyone enjoys different elements of wine, so experimenting with glassware is recommended.

Light and Sound
Oxford researchers recently discovered that the time of day and kind of celebration affects wine’s taste differently. Creating a festive atmosphere using classical music and warm lighting gives you the impression of sweetness, lifting wines that rely on subtle notes. As yet, research is in its early stages, so wine connoisseurs are left without solid guidance but plenty of room to experiment.

Top Seven Family Road Trips in the Garden State

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Family road trips are never easy to plan. After all, when trying to plan something that pleases the entire family, it is important to pick the right destination. While there will always be some give and take on a family vacation, New Jersey is a great place for a road trip thanks to its range of family friendly destinations. If you are considering a New Jersey road trip with your family, remember these destinations to make your adventure as fun as possible.

1. Historic Smithville. Although New Jersey has a number of well-known destinations, one of the best for a family getaway is one you have probably never heard of at all. Historic Smithville is often overlooked by even the most knowledgeable New Jersey residents. However, this lesser-known destination is big on family appeal. Smithville is a town modeled after the era of the Revolutionary War. Although not all the buildings are historic, the ambiance is perfectly matched to the 1700s, making this historical representation educational and fun. The shopping is fantastic, and the bakery simply cannot be missed. There are also more modern attractions in the nearby Village Greene, including mini golf and paddleboats.

2. Funtown Pier. There is no shortage of amusement parks in New Jersey, but families often find that Funtown Pier is the best for the needs of the whole family. Located at Seaside Park, Funtown Pier is well paired with a day on the beach. The pier itself, however, has plenty to do with rides and games that everyone in the family will enjoy. Funtown Pier makes a great day trip, especially since there is shopping and eating onsite, making this destination an inclusive experience. Funtown Pier is also a great way to finish off the day with most of the attractions open in the evening hours.

3. Turtle Back Zoo. Families can pick from many zoos in New Jersey, but Turtle Back Zoo still stands out as the best family-friendly attraction. The zoo is very well developed with special exhibits like the Sea Lion Water Garden and the Homely Nests. The layout flows naturally from one exhibit to the next, making it easy to navigate even with very young visitors. The onsite food pavilion is well stocked with family favorites, and the gift shop is full of colorful souvenirs. There is also a special Wild New Jersey exhibit, which is especially popular with local residents who may not be aware of some of the creatures living in their own backyards.

4. Indian Acres Tree Farm. This venue is specially geared toward families, providing a wholesome and active environment that parents will appreciate as much as the kids. The picnic area is free for everyone, including the large playground area. However, most people like to make a day here thanks to the other attractions. There is the thrilling Giant Pillow Bounce, and the zip line is sure to get the heart pumping. Events vary throughout the year, including Pumpkin Picking Wagons and Spring Farm Malls. It is an especially great stop in the fall when Eerie Acres Haunt is open. For families who want to enjoy all the attractions, there is affordable package pricing available.

5. World of Wings. World of Wings is unlike most children’s museums. While there are plenty of kid-friendly activities, World of Wings also has a unique butterfly atrium, which is home to innumerable live butterflies from around the world. Guests can even visit the receiving room, where it is possible to see butterflies as they emerge from the chrysalis. Other animals and insects are on display in the Exhibition Hall. In addition to these hands-on educational opportunities, World of Wings also has a play space for toddlers and a rock climbing wall along with other popular exhibits for the whole family.

6. Grounds for Sculpture. Most attractions are full of flash and noise, but Grounds for Sculpture is a different type of experience. This idyllic park is full of plants, flowers and trees, providing an unparalleled backdrop for a day of exploration. However, in addition to these natural wonders, the park also has a selection of sculptures. The sculptures are nestled throughout the park, allowing for a walking tour like no other. Rat’s Restaurant is also located on the grounds, and there are frequent concerts throughout the summer. While some family vacations are nonstop, the Grounds for Sculpture can be a more relaxing way to entertain the family.

7. Cape May. Cape May is a well known tourist attraction along the East Coast. Cape May Point State Park in particular is especially well received by families. The park gives families easy access to various beaches and other educational nature programs. There are hiking trails, fishing spots and scavenger hunts. During certain times of the year, whale watching is also popular here. Plus, Cape May Point State Park is close to Cape May itself, which has its own range of attractions like the Cape May Bird Observatory and the Cape May Zoo. Families should also be sure to check out Cape May Whale Watcher, which is one of the most respected whale watching tour groups on the coast. Since 1973, Cape May Whale Watcher has been giving guests the opportunity to see the most magnificent creatures in the ocean. Cruises are structured to see dolphins and whales in their natural habitat. There are also lighthouse cruises and other unique opportunities available on the waters of Cape May.

Planning a family trip can be tricky unless you know where to look. It is important to create a trip that is fun, affordable and engaging. Fortunately, New Jersey has plenty of good choices, ensuring a vacation that everyone will love.

Five Overlooked New Jersey Attractions

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New Jersey has one of the most vibrant tourism industries in New England. With its historical settings and its fun-filled shoreline, there is truly something for every type of traveler. While the full list of possible attractions is impressive, the popularity of the sites means that some get overlooked. If you want to experience something a little different on your next New Jersey trip, consider these five attractions off the beaten path.

1. Asbury Lanes. From the outside, Asbury Lanes does not look like much. This aging bowling alley certainly would not be anyone’s first choice at first glance. However, there is much more to this attraction than meets the eye. While Asbury Lanes does indeed offer bowling, the interior provides guests a full evening of fun and entertainment. There is plenty of food on hand, which completes the bowling ambiance for those with ample experience on the lanes and those who are trying bowling out for the first time. Even if you do not want to bowl, Asbury Lanes is a great place to stop in the summer thanks to its events. Asbury Lanes hosts everything from live bands to dance parties. There are even movie showings throughout the summer. With all this, Asbury Lanes is a great nighttime destination for adults anytime during the summer.

2. Cowtown Rodeo. As a state on the East Coast, cowboys are not an expected attraction in the Garden State. That is not to say, however, that there is nothing of the West that New Jersey does not get right. To the contrary, New Jersey is home to the best rodeo in the northeast thanks to Cowtown Rodeo. This rodeo has been a staple of the state since it opened in 1929, and despite its eastern location, it remains a respected rodeo destination. As a family owned business, Cowtown Rodeo stays true to its roots and offers a family friendly rodeo experience that is fun and exhilarating. Many of the animals at Cowtown are regarded among the best in the country. Rodeos are held each week, and there are other attractions and events held on the grounds as well, especially in the summer. There is even a popular market with vendors inside and out, offering fresh produce and other items in a great venue. Even if you know nothing about rodeo, Cowtown is a great experience that no one should miss.

3. Grape Expectations. The New Jersey wine scene is one of the best. Though there are a growing number of respected wineries across the state, one of the best to visit is undoubtedly Grape Expectations. The winemakers here are award winning, and the winery is well suited to guests, thanks to its inviting atmosphere. In particular, Grape Expectations brings the process of winemaking to life, giving guests the chance to see and experience all stages of the process. From pressing grapes to bottling a barrel, Grape Expectations is a comprehensive experience. There is also a wide range of wines available for tasting, including exotic options with grapes from all around the world. Even those who are not interested in winemaking will enjoy the social atmosphere. Plus, guests can even make their own wine to take home with them, and many people visit prior to a wedding or special event to create a concoction to commemorate the event. Grape Expectations is located in Bridgewater.

4. Dragon Boat Festival. Dragon boats may have originated in China, but there is no need to travel halfway around the world to experience the wonder of this specialized watercraft. In fact, New Jersey has its own dragon boat event with the Dragon Boat Festival in Cape May Harbor. This event is designed to support charity since every boat that enters will compete in the name of its desired charitable organization. Even those who know nothing of dragon boats are welcome to participate since all supplies, including boats and safety gear, are provided by event organizers. Teams simply have to pick a charity, sign up and show up to have fun. There are two main races with a shorter course on Saturday and a longer one on Sunday. The festival will also include other activities, such as food, shopping and live entertainment. The whole family can come out to Cape May Harbor to cheer on the racers or just to appreciate the beauty of these unique boats.

5. C.F. Martin Guitar Factory tours. Music aficionados are sure to enjoy the C.F. Martin Guitar Factory. This factory makes some of the best guitars in the country, and tours are available for interested guests. These hour long tours are led by a company guide, who is well versed in the history of the company and the construction of these magnificent instruments. With a tour, guests will see how guitars are made, which can provide unique insight into the wonder of the guitar’s musical capabilities. A good tour should always be paired with a trip to the Martin Guitar Museum, which is located nearby. This museum showcases the best of music history with a particular emphasis on instrument usage and overall craftsmanship. Although the factory and museum are not technically in New Jersey, the nearby location in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, makes this a worthwhile day trip during any New Jersey getaway.

New Jersey is full of attractions. While it is fun to go to the most popular venues, sometimes the lesser-known attractions can offer a distinct experience that can be hard to replicate. Clearly, whether you are a New Jersey resident or a first-time visitor, there is always something new to try. Consider one of these destinations or come up with one of your own to make your next New Jersey trip the best yet.

Summer Fun: Seven New Jersey Attractions

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New Jersey is a fantastic summer destination thanks to its countless attractions. To make the most of your summer vacation, just consider these seven popular destinations in the Garden State

1. The Queen Mary. There is always something to do on the Jersey Shore, with plenty of shopping, eating and beach-going fun. However, some of the best attractions on the Jersey Shore go a little farther off the coast. In particular, the Queen Mary is a great choice for a summertime adventure. The Queen Mary sails from April through December, offering guests an exciting fishing experience. The fishing is appealing for experts and novices alike thanks to the helpful crew members, who are always on hand to help with any issues or concerns. In fact, the Queen Mary provides such a great experience that it is often considered the best attraction on the Jersey Shore.

2. Sky River Helicopters. Sometimes the best way to get away is to go up. Such is the case with Sky River Helicopters, which operates out of Pittstown and Williamstown. Sky River Helicopters has a wide selection of flying activities available, including some of the best tours in all of New Jersey. However, Sky River Helicopters is also proud to be a great charter service, offering convenient and fast passage from one destination to the next to ease the burden of your summer schedule. If all of that is not enough, Sky River Helicopters even has flying lessons, which can be a great way to learn and have fun over the summer months. Specific tours include photo flights of New York City or sunset tours.

3. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk. There are boardwalks all along the coast, but there is something special about this one located in Point Pleasant Beach. Jenkinson’s Boardwalk gives visitors easy access to the beaches, which are perfect with white sand. The boardwalk itself has been well developed to support any type of visitor from the very old to the very young. In particular, this boardwalk is rated highly by families, who appreciate the attractions for children as well. In addition to the rides and games, there is a fantastic aquarium with everything from sharks to seals. There are many events throughout the summer, and festivals are common, making this boardwalk an ideal place to pass the summer.

4. Delaware River Tubing. Water fun is always a great summer pastime. This is why Delaware River Tubing is so popular in the summer. The business has been open since 1987, consistently offering great river experiences on the Delaware River. The options are varied, allowing each guest to tailor their water based fun to any specific ability level or interest. Some people enjoy a leisurely trip down the river on a tube, but others may enjoy a bit more action with a kayak or canoe. Delaware River Tubing has opportunities for the whole family, which makes it a great family friendly choice. Because of this, a trip with Delaware River Tubing never gets old, which means visitors are likely to come back year after year to experience the wonders on the water.

5. Green Flag Driving Experience. New Jersey has a popular racing scene, so it is no surprise that there are plenty of opportunities to take to the track yourself. For the very best racing experience, however, look no further than Green Flag Driving Experience. After 11 years in operation, Green Flag Driving Experience knows how to appeal to the thrill seeker in everyone. All equipment is provided along with careful safety tips to ensure that the experience is fun and secure. Before getting behind the wheel, every guest will learn about the important science of racing with lessons on weight transfer, vehicle response and more. While this education has its merits, the real thrill happens behind the wheel when everyone gets to live out their adrenaline-fueled dreams. This track is great for first-time drivers as well as for those with more experience.

6. Beneduce Vineyards. New Jersey has a number of reputable vineyards, many of which offer their own tasting hours each week. However, for a bit more of a wine experience, Beneduce Vineyards is an excellent summer destination. Beneduce Vineyards has spectacular grounds in Hunterdon County, which is known for its idyllic hills. Beneduce Vineyards stands apart thanks to its unique Winemaking Club. In this club, visitors can get in on the action and make their own barrel of wine. The winery also offers tours and wine tasting. Of special note is the vineyard’s Group Therapy, which is a unique happy hour that features live music on the patio. While this vineyard is a must-visit in the summer, it also has off-season opportunities in its Tropical Oasis, a converted greenhouse reimagined as an all seasons patio.

7. Liberty State Park. With its location on the East Coast, New Jersey has plenty of history. One of the best places to experience that history is Liberty State Park. Liberty State Park gives visitors easy access to some of the most important historical sites in all of America. Guests at Liberty Park can go on to visit both Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. The summer is the perfect time to appreciate American history with fresh eyes, learning about the freedom the country strives to uphold and all the people who came to find it for themselves. There are also iconic photo opportunities from the park itself, which makes this timeless destination a great day trip.

With these seven attractions, it is easy to pick and choose the summer vacation of your dreams. Plus, these destinations are just the start. New Jersey is a great place for summer living no matter what your personal summer dreams may be.

Four Tips to Picking the Right University in Israel

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With growing business opportunities and burgeoning research capabilities, Israel is an attractive place to pursue advanced degrees. However, with a variety of universities in the country, it can be difficult to select the right option. Currently, there are nine different universities in Israel, each with its own unique advantages. To make the decision process easier, remember the following critical factors.

1. Location. The location of a school can have a huge impact on the overall student experience. Every city is different, offering its own unique attributes. Some students may prefer the historical and cultural significance of Jerusalem, where schools like the Hebrew University of Jerusalem are located. Universities in Haifa have the advantage of a seaside location, which can be especially helpful for those interested in marine studies or water-based recreation. Other factors may be more personal in nature. If students have family or friends in Israel, it may be worth choosing a university in their proximity in order to save time and money on commutes. It is also worth looking at the area surrounding the campus for lodging, shopping, groceries and entertainment options.

2. Size. The size of the university can create a much different atmosphere for students. A larger university will have more academic programs to consider, and campus life is much more diverse. However, smaller universities can offer a more intimate experience for students, which can be appealing for students who want more one-on-one attention. The largest university in Israel is the Open University of Israel with almost 40,000 students. The smallest university is the Technion, which has fewer than 15,000 students in any given year.

3. Programs. The main purpose of attending a university is to learn and attain a degree. Therefore, it is essential to look at the range of programs offered by the university. Some universities, such as the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and the University of Haifa, have a wider selection of liberal arts to consider. Other schools, like the Technion, have more specialized degree programs in the sciences and other technical studies. For students who want to pursue a specialized degree, it is important to check the degree listings at each university first in order to make the best decision possible.

4. Campus life. Attending a university is about more than academics. There is also a social factor that is worth considering. Campus life is different at each school. Before making a decision, look at the lifestyles of students on campus. Consider what the dorms are like. Look into what student organizations are available and what campus events are offered throughout the year. It can be helpful to look at the overall demographic of the students in order to find the ideal setting.

Pursuing an advanced degree is an important decision. These four factors can have a huge impact on the quality of the student experience at any university. Look carefully at the potential universities using these factors in order to make the best decision for high-quality advanced study in Israel.

Contract Management in the Small-Business World

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As a successful small-business owner and entrepreneur, Amir Landsman has had extensive experience in the field of contract management. Understanding the key elements that make up modern contract management theory and taking advantage of technological advances in this field can help small businesses achieve greater success in today’s competitive marketplace.

What Is Contract Management?

Contract management is the process of tracking and ensuring compliance with the provisions of contractual agreements between companies and their employees, vendors, affiliated partners and clients. These provisions may include deadlines, required payments, ongoing business relationships and nondisclosure agreements. Some of the most common contracts in the business world include the following:

•  Purchase orders

•  Employment arrangements

•  Construction contracts

•  Invoices

•  Vendor agreements

•  Contracts governing intellectual property rights and ownership

Managing the risks associated with these contractual obligations can help companies achieve more financial stability and can ensure the most positive relationships with clients, vendors, partners and staff members.

Risk Management

Remaining in compliance with all local, state and federal laws governing contracts can be challenging in itself. When combined with the risks inherent in contractual relationships, however, the need for contract-management strategies that include risk assessments and ongoing compliance monitoring becomes obvious. In a very real sense, contract management is risk management and offers companies a solid defense against legal missteps and failure to meet their obligations. A comprehensive contract-management plan can also allow for fine-tuning on the vendor side of the equation and can provide companies with the information needed to ensure profitability.

Creating the Contract Management Plan

A workable contract-management strategy must incorporate several key elements:

•  Staffing arrangements that provide support and oversight for the contract-management process

•  Information technology solutions that streamline evaluation and assessment of current contracts and provide useful reminders for upcoming deadlines and payment dates

•  Contract-creation software packages that allow customization and the incorporation of boilerplate text to reduce response times

•  A plan for converting existing contract information to digital format and a centralized data storage system for maintaining that information securely

•  Access to specialists with a range of skills that may include legal, financial and compliance expertise

Depending on the nature of the business, other components may also be useful. As an entrepreneur in the financial-services field, for instance, Amir Landsman might require accounting packages, risk-assessment software and staffing solutions specifically geared to serve the needs of his small business.

Establishing Parameters for Contract Provisions

Commercial firms typically engage in large numbers of similar transactions during the fiscal year. Although the items purchased by customers may vary widely, the terms of sale and the time frame for payment generally remain the same from one sales agreement to the next. Creating forms that reflect the general terms and conditions for sales contracts can save time during the purchasing process and can ensure uniformity for all clients of the company. Similarly, employment contracts can be standardized to ensure that all staff members are treated equally and fairly. This can relieve some of the workload from human resources departments and can improve employee morale throughout the workplace.

Optimizing Vendor Relationships

The reporting functions in modern contract-management software systems can allow companies to identify underperforming vendors and to compare sourcing options for materials and inventory more directly. In some cases, this can reduce the overhead costs for commercial firms and can allow manufacturers and service providers to manage their budgets more productively. By identifying and retaining suppliers with proven track records for reliable delivery and affordable pricing and eliminating those that do not meet expectations, small businesses can make the most of their available funds. Contract-management strategies can ensure the most effective supply-chain arrangements for these corporate entities.

Legal Considerations

Especially in the financial and medical fields, retaining required records and ensuring easy access to this data can present significant challenges:

•  Healthcare providers must comply with the provisions of the Health Care Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, more commonly referred to as HIPAA. This legislation requires medical facilities and individuals in the healthcare field to protect patient information and to provide their patients with information regarding when and how that information will be used in the healthcare setting. Other regulations and requirements also govern the interactions between patients, insurers and medical-care providers.

•  Financial advisors and service providers are required to comply with similar privacy regulations under the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Financial Modernization Act of 1999. Although not all financial institutions are subject to the provisions of Gramm-Leach-Bliley, the general principles of this legislation allow customers to opt out of sharing personally identifiable information with any third parties not directly related to the processing, marketing or legal requirements of their transactions with the financial-services provider.

Small-business owners often find it difficult to maintain legal compliance with the rules governing customer interactions, retention of financial and medical records, access to records for patients and clients and general accounting practices. Contract-management experts and customized software packages can often provide added support for taking on these challenges and creating a workable strategy for growth and profitability.

Centralized Storage

Going digital can further streamline the contract-management process in the small-business environment. By investing in a comprehensive contract-management software package, these companies can often create a centralized repository for company data and establish tiered access for staff members. Digital storage systems typically provide a wider array of search options and can deliver faster and more accurate results. This can ensure full compliance with accessibility requirements and can allow companies to respond more quickly to changing market conditions as they arise.

Integrating contract-management processes into existing workflows can produce significant benefits for small businesses. By standardizing contracts and creating boilerplate language for use in all corporate interactions, these companies can reduce their legal exposure to risk and can ensure uniform handling of these ongoing agreements. Improved access to needed data can increase productivity among staff members and may even boost morale in the workplace. As vendor relationships and partnerships become more complex over time, contract-management systems will help small businesses to manage data more effectively and to achieve greater success in today’s highly competitive marketplace.

Exploring the History of Paris With Amir Landsman

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As a world traveler, Amir Landsman has visited Paris, France, many times. On his latest trip, he chose to focus on the city’s captivating, eclectic history.

What’s in a Name?

This historic city is often referred to as the City of Light because, as many believe, it was among the first cities in Europe to install gas lights along its streets and walkways. Paris is also commonly called the City of Love and has earned a reputation for romance among writers, filmmakers and other artists.

Modern City With Prehistoric Roots

Archaeologists believe that Paris was first settled in about 4,500 B.C. by hunter-gatherers along the Seine River. In approximately 52 B.C., Roman invaders captured the town, which they called Lutetia. Paris remained under Roman rule for almost 500 years. The collapse of the Roman Empire left this area unprotected and allowed it to be captured and assimilated into the Frankish territories during the latter years of the fourth century. Under French rule, Paris became a center for commerce, religion and education.

A Revolution Like No Other

The French Revolution began in 1789 as a response to the unbridled spending and debt incurred by King Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette. Both were executed in 1793, one year after France declared its independence from royal rule and established itself as a republic.

A Tourist’s Paradise

Today, Paris is a global tourism destination and boasts a number of distinctive landmarks, including the Louvre, the Basilique du Sacre-Coeur, the Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the scenic Champs-Elysees fine dining and upscale shopping area.

Teaching Young Athletes Skills for Life

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As assistant basketball coach for the Saint Paul’s Athletic League, Amir Landsman helped players develop their athletic and social skills on and off the court. The importance of good sportsmanship, fair play and clear communication were emphasized during the practices and games to instill these values and to provide a solid foundation for future academic and athletic growth.

Good sportsmanship can help young athletes make a positive impression on teammates as well as opponents. This skill can also help players maintain the right attitudes for success in their later professional interactions. By learning to remain gracious in victory and to stay positive after a defeat, young men and women can develop core values of kindness and perseverance to weather whatever life may bring them.

Maintaining fair play can help athletes learn to internalize integrity in all their dealings with others. By focusing on playing the game well rather than on winning or losing, coaches and other role models can help young athletes appreciate what’s really important.

Teamwork and communication are also vital to the growth and education of athletes in any sport. Working together to accomplish a common goal can instill a sense of camaraderie and help athletes clearly and effectively communicate their ideas. These skills can serve children well as they progress through the academic setting and enter the business world in later life.

How to Plan an Affordable Ski Vacation

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Amir Landsman and his family enjoy skiing in exclusive venues around the world, including Chamonix Mont Blanc in France and Hochzillertal-Kaltenbach in Austria. Planning a ski trip can be a challenge, however, especially for individuals and families on a budget. These three tips to finding the right accommodations and travel arrangements can cut thousands of dollars off the cost of deluxe ski vacations in elite locations, making them an affordable luxury even in difficult economic times.

Hunt for Off-Season Discounts

Opting to schedule a ski trip during the resort’s off-season can not only save money but can also reduce wait times and crowds in these popular tourist areas. Choosing less desirable times does have risks: Inclement weather or limited local services may become an issue in some resort locations. However, the savings realized by off-season travel can often make minor inconveniences worthwhile.

Negotiate With Hotels

A number of online companies offer negotiating services that can help travelers identify the cheapest rates possible in top-quality hotels. While bed-and-breakfast accommodations may offer lower initial rates, these smaller businesses typically cannot match the rates available from motivated chain hotels in resort areas.

Book Early

Most airlines offer significant discounts for early bookings. These can add up to major savings on a ski trip to overseas and domestic locations. Shopping around online for the best deals can cut costs even more and can ensure the most affordable rates for flights.

By incorporating these three tips into the planning process, travelers can make their dream ski vacation a luxurious reality.

The Scenic Wonders of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc

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Avid skier Amir Landsman frequently visits the beautiful ski resort of France’s Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, known worldwide for its unparalleled ski runs. Chamonix was the site for the first Winter Olympics held in 1924 and is one of the oldest and most popular ski resorts in Europe.

Mountain climbers also frequent this scenic area due to the proximity of Mont Blanc, one of the tallest peaks in Europe. (For those looking for an easier way up, you can scale the Aiguille du Midi and take in the majestic sites via cable car.)

Chamonix is classed as a commune and is home to nearly 10,000 people. While most of Chamonix is located in France, Italy lays claim to a portion of the mountain range and residential areas. Sightseeing, skiing and extreme winter sports are among the most popular activities in the area. In fact, approximately five million people visit Chamonix-Mont-Blanc each year.

An exclusive restaurant provides stunning panoramic views of Mont Blanc and is located at the uppermost station of the Brevent cable car. If you’re planning a trip, pay attention to the conditions: During snowy weather, the roads to Chamonix may present serious challenges to passenger vehicles not equipped with snow tires and all-wheel drive.

For Landsman and others, this scenic region of the world offers unique attractions and exceptional skiing opportunities. By sharing these experiences with friends and family, visitors create memories that will live on long after these trips end.

Amir Landsman Acts Globally to Help Environments and Individuals in Need

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A strong sense of social responsibility is the motivating factor behind Amir Landsman’s drive to help others. He has traveled around the world and has encountered many different cultural environments during his journeys. His experiences instilled empathy for those struggling in less-developed countries and those suffering due to improper environmental practices, lack of safe drinking water and toxic pollution. Landsman has supported several international organizations devoted to improving living conditions and creating a greener future for those most in need.

As part of his commitment to bettering the plight of others, Landsman has made significant contributions to the Blacksmith Institute, an organization that provides help for residents of environmentally damaged areas. Through an annual event called Blacksmith Benefit for India, the Institute provides financial support for volunteers working to remediate environmental damage in India. Landsman has always had an affinity for the people and the culture of India and, as a result, has made sizable contributions to the Blacksmith Institute and its efforts.

SHARE Africa is another of Amir Landsman’s favored charitable organizations. Designed to help Kenyan residents help themselves, the program provides education and financial support for at-risk orphans in the country and offers training to help Kenyan medics manage healthcare needs more effectively in their local communities. By supporting these activities, Landsman and others can make an immediate and significant difference in the quality of life for individuals and families in the Nyanza Province of Kenya.

Exploring Curry With Adventurous Chef Amir Landsman

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In his business career and in the kitchen, Amir Landsman is not afraid of taking risks and accepting new challenges. As a chef, Landsman enjoys preparing classic dishes from around the world. Curries comprise an especially diverse group of dishes and are staples of Indian and southeast Asian cuisine. While the familiar yellow bottle of spice may be the only exposure some U.S. cooks have to Indian curry, the actual dishes that make up this savory cuisine are far more diverse and exciting than the tame appearance of standard curry powder mixtures. While some curries do contain curry powder, the real common denominator for this category of cuisine is hot chili peppers. Most curry dishes are served with naan flatbread or rice to help absorb any excess liquid.

Curry powder is not just one spice. Instead, it is a mixture of several different ingredients that typically include turmeric, coriander, cumin, red pepper and other spices popular in Asian cuisine. Because each manufacturer uses a slightly different formula in creating its curry powder products, chefs may experience significantly different results from the same recipe when switching brands of this particular spice.

Chicken, duck and pork are common meat ingredients for Asian-style curry dishes. Vegetarian curries, however, are very common in India and are increasingly popular in the United States, especially among health-conscious gourmands. Depending on the type of curry dish being served, the level of spice can vary considerably. Phall curries are generally regarded as the hottest type of curry and may incorporate the notorious ghost pepper to up the ante for diners even more.

Discovering World Cuisine With Amir Landsman

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One of Amir Landsman’s passions is the discovery of new cuisines and dishes from around the world. During his travels, Landsman has sampled foods in numerous countries and continues to enjoy Middle Eastern, Asian, European and American cuisine regularly. From the curry-based dishes of India to the spicy Szechuan fare served in southwestern China and the savory delights of perfectly seasoned roast beef from the United States and Great Britain, gourmands have a never-ending array of culinary delights to enjoy and explore. By seeking out new delicacies and preparing them for his friends and family, Amir can share these discoveries with those closest to him.

Leonard Cohen: Eclectic 60s Musician Still Draws Fans

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As a devoted fan of Leonard Cohen, Amir Landsman is conversant with the singer-songwriter’s entire catalogue of iconic songs. Born in Montreal, Quebec, Cohen learned to play the guitar during his teenage years and soon began reading his original poetry at clubs located in the Little Portugal neighborhood of Montreal. These early compositions formed the basis for many of Cohen’s most memorable songs during his later musical career.

Leonard Cohen’s college experiences at McGill University allowed him to grow intellectually and to test his skills in the literary field, particularly in poetry. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in 1955, Cohen released a collection of his poems through the Dudek publishing house. Entitled “Let Us Compare Mythologies,” the book was well received by critics but failed to reach a wider audience. Cohen pursued his educational career at McGill but ultimately returned to writing and published several books of poetry and two novels before beginning his musical career in earnest in the late 1960s.

In 1967, the album Songs of Leonard Cohen was released to considerable popular acclaim. It was quickly followed by Songs from a Room in 1969 and Songs of Love and Hate in 1970. All three albums are considered classics and, along with New Skin for the Old Ceremony, are widely regarded as Cohen’s core musical achievements. Cohen has also released numerous compilation albums and collections of his masterworks, ensuring that fans like Amir Landsman can enjoy the haunting melodies and intriguing lyrics of Leonard Cohen for many years to come.

Amir Landsman Appreciates Good Music

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Amir Landsman enjoys listening to good music every day. He loves a wide variety of music and appreciates its power to both soothe and motivate. That’s why he has so many different kinds of music in his personal collection.
However, his favorite artists are Leonard Cohen and Queen. Anyone looking at Landsman’s iPod or iPad would probably find either the complete collections of both artists or something close to it. There is just something about the music of both artists that speaks to him on a personal level and he can’t get enough of them. He also likes to introduce his friends and acquaintances to the wonders of Leonard Cohen and Queen.
amir landsman enjoying music

Enjoys Friendly Competition

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Amir Landsman loves to play sports and is very competitive. He recognizes that exercise is important to keeping fit and healthy. However, he doesn’t play just for that reason. He loves sports and enjoys winning a friendly competition. He puts everything he has into a game when he plays. His two favorite sports to play are tennis and paddle ball, and he is always bringing in friends and acquaintances to play with him. His frequently plays these sports at the Nyack Field Club, which is conveniently located near his company and his home. It’s easy for him to get in a game or two before or after work.

Amir Landsman: World Traveler

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Travel broadens anyone’s horizons and Amir Landsman is no exception. He adores traveling anywhere his whims take him and soaks up local culture like a sponge. He always enjoys the prospect of getting to travel somewhere new and loves to bring his family along for the experience. His two favorite places to travel are Paris and Vienna, and he visits these two cities as often as possible. However, he loves exploring lesser known locations as well. For instance, he recently visited Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he toured the Georgia O’Keeffe museum with his family.

Amir Landsman: Foodie Extraordinaire

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Sampling the cuisines of cultures from around the world is a huge source of pleasure for Amir Landsman. He is particularly fond of Indian and Korean food and constantly seeks out new restaurants that serve this type of fare. He is adventurous when it comes to food, however, and will sample almost anything once. If he loves it, he’ll come back to it again and again. He also has some serious culinary skills in the areas of Jewish and French cooking. He regularly treats family and friends to his latest restaurant-quality creations and they are always extremely well-received.

Amir Landsman Is a Skiing Enthusiast

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One of the activities Amir Landsman loves the most when he’s not working is skiing. There’s nothing he likes better than hitting the slopes at some of the world’s best ski resorts with his kids. In fact, he regularly takes at least a couple of ski trips a year and works in more when he can. Some of his favorite resorts are Hochzillertal-Kaltenbach in Austria and ski de Chamonix in France. He also loves to ski in Canada, New Hampshire and Vermont, where some of the best ski spots in North America are located. These are within driving distance of his home and he loves to use them as quick weekend ski getaways as often as possible during the ski season.

Amir Landsman Loves the NBA

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Amir Landsman loves going to NBA games during his leisure time. His favorite team is the Brooklyn Nets. He’s a huge fan. One of his ideas of a perfect afternoon or evening is sitting in the stands with his friends or family, and cheering on the Brooklyn Nets as they take on their competition. He is frequently able to attend home games due to the proximity of his company and residence to Brooklyn. If you’re a Brooklyn Nets fan as well, you just might spot Landsman at the next game you attend. He’ll be the one cheering as his favorite players make amazing shots and score points galore.

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