Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Motorcycle Maui's Road to Hana

The Road to Hana on Maui


Visitors to Maui frequently choose the Road to Hana as their favorite attraction on the island. Why not turn it up a notch by going on a Harley-Davidson motorbike?

The road to Hana is formally known as State Highway 360, the Hana Highway. It curves and twists for sixty miles along Maui's coastline, passing rain forests, waterfalls and Edenic views, perfect fare for a motorcyclist.

Renting a Harley-Davidson Motorcycle on Maui

Cycle City Maui, also known as Maui Harley-Davidson, has two locations: Kahului, near the airport, and in Lahaina. They rent motorcycles to those 21 years or older with a valid motorcycle rider's license for about $260 per day, including all fees, insurance and taxes. Renting one of their Harleys includes a helmet, short term luggage storage and emergency roadside assistance if it is needed. They will also require a $2,000 damage deposit, secured by a credit card before they let the rider out the door.

Ready to Ride


The route is easy from the Kahului Harley shop. Just head northeast on Dairy Road toward Maui Marketplace Drive for half a mile, and then turn right at Hana Highway. Ride 50 miles to Hana and then if desired, another ten miles beyond to the area where the Seven Sacred Pools are located.

From the Lahaina Harley shop, it is 72 miles to Hana Bay, taking Honoapiilani Highway (State Hwy 30) to Kuihelani Highway (State Hwy 380) to Hana Highway.


Services on the Road to Hana

A motorcycle rider should gas up in Paia as there aren't any more gas stations until Hana. The only gas station in Hana, Hana Gas, has an "out of order" sign on their premium gas pump and no plans to fix it. They are located at 5170 Hana Highway. Call (808) 248-7671 first to see if they changed their minds about offering premium gas, or else make sure the motorcycle tank is big enough to make the journey without needing a refill.

The road to Hana doesn't offer many restaurants, but there are some places to stop for food. Some locals set up stands where they hawk homemade banana bread, but these stands are transient. There is a snack bar called Twin Falls Maui Farmstand that sells smoothies and fruit. In Hana, there are only four restaurants: the Hana Ranch, Ruby's Diner, Tutu's and the expensive Ka'uiki at the Hotel Hana-Maui.

Hana Travel

Don't ride the backside of Hana as the road is unpaved and not for motorcycles. In addition, the rental contract will be voided, so it is just not worth the risk. A rider can go beyond Hana only until the paved road on Highway 31 ends between mile markers 39 and 38, and then he must double back. There is a beautiful hike to the Seven Sacred Pools if a rider has the time.

Stopping at a Waterfall on the Road to Hana


The ride on the road to Hana takes all day, so unless a motorcycle rider is planning to spend the night, he should leave very early. It is not a road to be ridden during the dark. However, it is one of the most scenic, inspiring and memorable roadways on which to ride his Harley.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Best Ever Non Alcoholic Fruit Punch Recipes


photo by Caitlin Childs

A big glass bowl filled with fruit punch makes any party more festive. Here's how to make a couple of fruit punch recipes guests will rave about.

How to Make Great Tasting Punch for a Party

A table offering a delicious fruit punch to drink becomes a gathering spot for party guests to mingle. For an added flair, the bowl can be garnished with floating orange slices. A fresh cherry, strawberry, raspberry or other berry can also be perched atop each orange slice.

Another garnish is to pierce a thick orange slice and a strawberry, its green top still on, with a party toothpick, and then place it on the rim of the bowl. A small slit should be cut in the rind of the orange slice so that it will securely straddle the bowl.

How to Make "Susi's Fruit Punch Recipe"

Susi is an experimental, artistic cook in Michigan, whose concoctions and food presentations surprise even herself. She created her fruit punch recipe after mixing several ingredients she thought worked well together in a punch, and tinkered with the proportions until she felt it tasted right. She has served her punch many times at wedding and baby showers to the approbation of her wide circle of friends and fellow churchgoers.

Ingredients:
  • 1 32-ounce bottle (950 ml) of strawberry margarita mix or strawberry daiquiri mix
  • 24 ounces (2 large cans or 720 ml) frozen concentrate lemonade, orange juice or lime juice, or any combination of the two juices
  • 2 quarts (1.9 liters) 7 Up (or Sprite or Mountain Dew)
  • Optional: lime sherbet
Directions:
  1. Mix the strawberry margarita or daiquiri mix with the two cans of frozen juice.
  2. Add the 7 Up.
  3. After mixing, add cold water to taste (1 can usually).
  4. Optional: Put lime sherbet in after mixing. This recipe makes about a gallon (3.8 liters).
An interesting twist would be to freeze some of the 7 Up or Sprite in a ring mold, and have it float in the punch. Since Susi's punch is non-alcoholic, it can be served at children's parties.

For those who love ice cream, Pina Colada Punch will be a special treat. It is also very simple to make. Some grocery stores stock pina colada sherbet only during the Christmas holidays as it is most popular then. If it is difficult to find, a substitute is to use pineapple sherbet and 2 tbsp. (30 ml) of coconut extract.

"Pina Colada Punch" Recipe

Ingredients:
  • 1/2 gallon (1.9 liters) pina colada sherbet
  • 20 ounce can (563 g) crushed pineapple, in its own juice
  • 1 liter of 7 Up
Directions:
  1. Break up the sherbet in a punch bowl with the crushed pineapple.
  2. Add the 7 Up. This recipe makes about a gallon (3.8 liters).
A fun job to assign at a party is the role of the punch server, as he can cheerfully greet guests while ladling them a glass. Anyone can serve colas at a party, but taking the time to make a pretty punch bowl to offer a fruity drink will please not only everyone's tastebuds, but also their eyes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lick Observatory on Mt. Hamilton in San Jose, California

Reflector Telescope at Lick Observatory

The Lick Observatory is one of the best attractions in San Jose, California and even better, is no cost. It was dedicated in 1888 with a state-of-the-art telescope, furthering man's undaunted quest to understand the solar system and reach for the stars. Every thirty minutes a docent gives a fifteen-minute tour, but viewing everything on the campus will take about two hours. Several telescopes and their associated instruments dot the site, including a Planetary Finder. The Lick Observatory has discovered more planets than any other observatory in the world.

Docent Tour at Lick Observatory

History of James Lick Observatory

The Observatory's founder, James Lick (1796-1876) was the richest man in California during his day. Originally from Pennsylvania, he was a businessman with the foresight to buy real estate in the beautiful western territory around the time of the gold rush in 1849. Lick's holdings escalated in value. He never married, but did father a son through a beloved mistress, and didn't meet the boy until he had grown into a man. Lick was unimpressed by his progeny's laziness, and promptly removed him from his will.

Apparently Lick had other plans for his fortune, namely building a monument to immortalize his success and stature. He entertained the now laughable ideas of erecting a giant Egyptian pyramid in San Francisco or a colossal stature of himself in San Francisco Bay, but eventually was convinced to proceed to a more practical end. He would use his vast resources to build an observatory with the largest, most advanced telescope in the world, and the site for this technological wonder would be Mt. Hamilton, the highest peak of the Diablo Mountain Range and within distant sight of his home in Santa Clara.

Mt. Hamilton View at Lick Observatory

After its completion, he donated the facility to the University of California, and students studying science and astronomy have been interning there ever since. A cluster of buildings house about twenty-five people and at least one dog in this remote setting.

In 1959 the Shane Dome and its 120-inch reflector telescope were installed on the premises, bringing the Observatory once again to the forefront of astronomy and research. The Shane telescope is a scientific marvel as it yields photos and information about distant stars and galaxies in our universe. A self-guided tour in the Shane Dome includes an audiovisual presentation and interpretive displays.


As impressive as Lick's telescopes are, so is the twisty, nineteen-mile road from San Jose to get there, winding through narrow passes and precipices in a steep ascent. Originally the road was the most modern one in the entire State of California, yet it still took seven hours to travel. Today it takes an hour or so, but the views are just as amazing. Visitors should bring food or snacks and have a full tank of gas as there are no facilities on Mt. Hamilton.

Lick Observatory Courtyard


The Lick Observatory is open every afternoon and closes at 5:00 p.m., but those wishing to make the trek are advised to call ahead to (408)274-5061 for current information as it is sometimes closed during the winter. It actually does snow in San Jose! However, the city offers many things to do for visitors, and the Lick Observatory definitely ranks among its top attractions.

Sources:

The Lick Observatory; San Jose, California

http://www.ucolick.org/

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Sunday, July 24, 2011

Best Ever English Toffee Recipe

Best Ever English Toffee Recipe

English toffee is one of the tastiest candies to make and serve, especially during holidays like Christmas. Trying to come up with a simple but special thank you gift for a child's teacher or coach? Want to serve party guests something to rave about and remember? Try making a batch of homemade English Toffee.

Chocolate Toffee Makes a Great Gift

Guests will appreciate the candy, and gift tins bearing homemade English toffee will be gladly received by teachers, coaches, neighbors and relatives. It also makes a great party favor. At Christmastime, organize a cookie exchange with friends and bring several batches.

Cici's Italian Ristorante in Fremont, California has a local supplier make this recipe for them, and they offer a small plate of the candy to customers at the end of their meals. The English toffee is wildly popular and customers often ask if they can purchase a box of it.
Promo 120x60

Candy-making can be tricky to master, but the key to success is an accurate candy thermometer. English Toffee must reach a hard crack level of 300 degrees. It cannot be one degree less or else it will not harden properly and the sugar will stay granular. The thermometer also should not touch the bottom of the pan or the reading will be inaccurate. The bottom tip of the thermometer should suspend inside the butter/sugar mixture. The confectioner who diligently uses a candy thermometer should obtain superb results. Here is a best-ever recipe for English Toffee candy that has been handed down for generations:

Best Ever English Toffee Recipe Ingredients:
  • 2 Giant 8 oz. Hershey bars, or 16 oz. (450 g) milk chocolate divided in half (Trader Joe's offers delicious 17 oz. bars of Belgian chocolate called Pound Plus that are excellent for this recipe)
  • 2 cups (300 g) finely chopped walnuts or pecans
  • 3 cups (600 g) granulated sugar
  • 1+1/2 lb. (681 g) SALTED real butter (do not use unsalted butter or margarine, or the recipe won't turn out)
Recipe Directions:
  • Grate 8 ounces (225 g) or one of the chocolate bars and set aside.
  • Boil sugar and butter while stirring constantly on medium heat to hard crack level (300-305*F or 149*C) on candy thermometer. IT MUST REACH THIS LEVEL, NO MATTER HOW IT LOOKS.
  • Tip: Start off at medium high and then lower the temp as it gets closer to 300*F (149*C). Watch it like a hawk.
  • Pour mixture onto large ungreased cookie sheet with sides (jelly roll size) and immediately spread on the grated chocolate. Smooth over top.
  • Sprinkle half of the nuts on top. Cool till hard.

  • Melt the other 8 oz. (225 g) or other bar of chocolate in double boiler or in small saucepan on very low heat, stirring constantly.
  • Tip the cooled toffee out onto wax paper and spread other side with the melted chocolate; sprinkle rest of nuts on and cool till hard.



  • Then crack into small pieces with knife. Makes lots--a pitcher full!


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Friday, July 22, 2011

Review of the Shore Bird Restaurant in Waikiki

Shore Bird Restaurant in Waikiki, photo by Daryl Mitchell

One of the most popular restaurants in Waikiki, Honolulu is the Shore Bird Restaurant & Beach Bar because of its stellar location on this legendary beach. Diners enjoy sea breezes and a Diamond Head view in the casual, open-air facility on the ground floor level of the Outrigger Reef Hotel, located at 2169 Kalia Road. Birds comically waddle along the floor, looking for tidbits customers might toss their way.

The Shore Bird Restaurant in Waikiki


The restaurant's ambience is pure Hawaiian, with hanging surfboards, lights sprouting palm leaves and fans on old fashioned pulleys to cool the tropical air. A well stocked salad bar is a meal in itself, but the fun of this eatery is the opportunity to grill one's own steak or fish at the giant barbeque. There is a full service bar and karaoke nightly, too.

The food is fair to pretty good, but what makes this place so special is its setting. Families can walk from the surf and sand to fill up at the buffet for a reasonable price and then stroll back to the shore. The restaurant is also within walking distance of the Lewers Street Beach Walk shopping strip, an interesting row of shops. "Go to the Shore Bird for lunch and Duke's for dinner," advises frequent Oahu visitor, Kate Barker of Pleasanton, California. Of course, travelers will want to sample all the fabulous places to eat in Waikiki, but the Shore Bird at the Outrigger Reef is not to be missed.

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Waikiki Beach at Outrigger Reef Hotel

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fundraiser Ideas for Halloween

photos by Dianne Smith

October is a very effective month for raising revenues because of the popularity of Halloween. Children love to dress up, and parents love to indulge them during this holiday.

Non-Profit Fundraising Ideas

Many families turn the purchase of their Halloween pumpkin into a family event, similar to buying a Christmas tree in December. Children run through the pumpkin patch with delight as they search for their favorite pumpkin.

Bales of hay, pumpkins and gourds can be bought wholesale from a local farm and then placed in a parking lot or field for a charity fundraiser. Scarecrows with pumpkin heads can be perched at strategic spots and if there is a lot of hay, a pyramid stack or maze can be laid out. Hay can also be stacked as a wall resembling a castle front for added interest, and a horse drawn wagon can take people on hayrides. A table covered with an orange tablecloth can be set up to sell apple cider, gourds, caramel apples, popcorn, trick or treat bags and even Halloween costumes for additional sources of revenue.

Fundraisers Featuring a Haunted House

Candlelighters, a non-profit in Fremont, California, uses a haunted house as their sole fundraising method to earn well over $50,000 every October. Their haunted house is open only three weekends leading up to Halloween, and is phenomenally successful. They award and distribute the proceeds to dozens of grateful local charities throughout the rest of the year.

Candlelighters' Haunted House in Fremont, California

With a large creepy house and lots of volunteers, a haunted house can be created for an excellent fundraiser. A twisted tree in the yard is a plus! Giant spiders, spider webs or a hangman's noose can be hung from its branches. Workers can dress in witch, vampire or ghost costumes while they sell tickets to the crowd and show people where to go.

Black curtains can hang in the doorways of the house for people to walk through. Each room should have a different setting, such as a graveyard, funeral parlor, seer's home with a crystal ball and tarot cards, bat cave, murder scene, wolf's den, torture chamber, guillotine room, prison, mummy room, skeleton closet, three witches stirring a black cauldron with dry ice in it, and if possible, a ghost ship theme where visitors can be made to walk the plank.

Version 2 of 234 x 60 Pixels

Strobe lights, audios of cackling witches and other special effects like doors slamming, dropping spiders, and ghosts popping up add to the scary atmosphere. Visitors can be blindfolded, and led to put their hands in a bowl of "eyeballs," which are skinned grapes, or "dead man's guts," made from warm, wet spaghetti noodles and squished tomatoes.

Fundraiser Ideas

A carnival is another fundraiser that requires lots of volunteers but the results can be very rewarding. They take several months to a year ahead to plan and advertise for. Organizations like schools can turn their gym or each classroom and hallway area into a game room, each decorated with orange and black crepe paper and balloons.

Caramel Apples


Halloween Carnival Fundraiser

Cake walks, clothes pin drop into jars, tug-of-war, ball throwing into a barrel, horseshoe toss and musical chairs are just a few of the games that can be set up. Obstacle courses, relay races, face painting, raffles for big and small prizes, giant slides, bingo, bowling, bocce ball, ring toss, a silent auction and paint ball are other ideas.

Small children can go on an expedition with a costumed Dora the Explorer, and time can also be set aside for a live auction selling donated items from local businesses. Individuals can donate things like a stay at a vacation home or a coupon for a service like housecleaning or yard work.

Concessions also provide a lot of revenue, more so when the food is donated. Many grocery stores will donate yesterday's baked goods to charities when they first open their doors. If a volunteer is willing to go and ask the grocery store managers early in the morning on the day of the carnival, doughnuts and cookies will probably be donated. The month of October can be an especially lucrative time for charities that need to raise funds if they take the time to plan a Halloween-themed fundraiser.

Read more: Candlelighters Halloween Fundraiser in Fremont, California

"The One-Minute Cure" by Madison Cavanaugh Book Review

The One-Minute Cure by Madison Cavanaugh


For anyone plagued by a serious illness, reading The One-Minute Cure may be a godsend, as it inspires hope through the use of oxygen therapy. In 114 short pages, the author outlines a simple method to rid one's body of pathogens, fungi, toxins and bacteria to regain optimal health. Diseases like cancer, diabetes, Alzheimers, AIDS and heart disease are a few of the afflictions that have been cured through the oxygen therapy she espouses.

Oxygen Therapy as a Natural Cure

Oxygen is essential to life, and is therefore the secret to curing all diseases, according to the book. The human body is made up of 70 to 80% water, and since water is composed of one molecule of oxygen for every two molecules of hydrogen, the body contains 62 to 71% oxygen. If the cells are oxygenated, they will enable the body's own immune system to fight all diseases. Cavanaugh claims that "the primary physical cause of all diseases is linked in one way or another to oxygen deficiency." Her thesis is corroborated by holistic Dr. Jerry Lee Hoover N. D., who states on his website 'cancernaturalcure.com' that "a fact worth knowing is that cancer cells cannot live in the presence of oxygen."

Cavanaugh writes that a simple, inexpensive way to oxygenate the body is to ingest it in the form of a common chemical: food-grade hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). While drinking undiluted 35% H2O2 can be harmful or even fatal, it is very beneficial when properly diluted with distilled water. It is extremely important that H2O2 be watered down, and one chapter of the book is entirely devoted to measuring the dosages for specific ailments. Because of the cost of liability insurance, some health food stores won't even stock 35% food-grade H2O2, so consumers may have to purchase it online.

Oftentimes, holistic healing proponents disparage the medical establishment and pharmaceutical industry as roadblocks to true healing. This book is no different except in one key area. Cavanaugh will not profit from her readers buying the natural product as she does not manufacture it. Her only profit resides in the sale of her books. H2O2 is a naturally occurring, non-patentable compound that is affordable and readily available. If anything, widespread use of the substance could potentially wield a mighty blow to the lucrative health industry.

Stop Aging Now. Natural Solutions for a Longer, Healthier Life.

The One-Minute Cure

This brings up another point, which is that Madison Cavanaugh is a pen name, and the reader has to wonder why she wanted to hide her true identity. If H2O2 is such a miracle substance that can be ingested in just one minute, wouldn't she want to take the credit for saying so? Or perhaps it is because she completely plagiarized Dr. David Williams work in chapter four. However, it is no secret that naturopaths are highly criticized by traditional medical practitioners, so this may be the reason why she used a fictitious name. She also mentions 15,000 European doctors who treated over ten million people during the past seventy years, but gives no further documentation. Such a claim should be strengthened with supporting data, and her omission is glaring.

The Appendix then discusses a "missing piece" in getting well, which is avoiding stress. While there is general agreement about the negative effects of stress on the human body, this portion of the book could have been left out, as it thinly disguises the author's personal religious beliefs as fact. Many people may find her preachiness objectionable, particularly Christians, as she discusses spiritual transformation without any mention of one's need for Jesus Christ.

However, the facts about H2O2 are highly compelling and worth taking a look. Ingesting and inhaling adequately diluted hydrogen peroxide will not only avoid the serious complications of pharmaceuticals, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, it can only benefit the users. Therefore, The One-Minute Cure is an interesting read for anyone seeking relief from health issues, especially terminal illnesses.

Sources:

Madison Cavanaugh, The One-Minute Cure (Beverly Hills, CA: Think-Outside-The-Book Publishing, Inc., 2008).

www.cancernaturalcure.com

http://www.educate-yourself.org/

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Monday, July 18, 2011

Makaha, a Less Traveled Hidden Jewel of Oahu


Makaha, on the leeward side of Oahu 

Travel Hawaii: Check out undiscovered places on the island of Oahu, like the leeward coast in Makaha. Makaha is located in the opposite direction of Waikiki from Honolulu airport, and many tourists never visit this breathtakingly beautiful and less traveled part of Oahu.

Driving west of the Ko’olina Resort for ten miles will bring visitors to the stunning setting of Makaha Valley, amidst the Waianae Mountains. They may want to stay at the scenic Makaha Resort and Golf Club on Makaha Valley Road or at any of the individually owned vacation rental homes to take advantage of its hidden attractions.

Makaha, Oahu

For a special treat, swim among wild dolphins with Wild Side Specialty Tours at the Waianae Boat Harbor on Farrington Highway, which takes groups out near the coast of Makaha. They also visit "turtle bath," fondly described as the place where turtles bask on coral rocks as tropical fish eat the debris off their shells. During January through March, whales can also be seen on these tours.

Makaha Beach Park is the birthplace of championship surfing, which later moved to Oahu's North Shore. The waves are rough and gargantuan in the winter, when Buffalo's Big Board Surf Classic is held. The summer provides calmer waters for families with children to swim in. Underwater caves thirty to fifty feet below make scuba diving particularly fun. Kayaks can also be rented at Paradise Isle Kamaaina on Farrington Highway and taken to Makaha Beach.

Shortly up the coast from Makaha, Yokohama Bay offers a mile long sandy beach with pristine water. Water sports like kayaking, snorkeling, diving and surfing are enjoyed there, in addition to hiking the scenic trail to Kaena Point, the westernmost part of the island. An ancient legend said that departing souls went to the afterlife from Kaena Point, and it is very special to the Hawaiian people.


Kaena Point, Oahu, Hawaii


Undiscovered Oahu Includes Kaneaki Heiau in Makaha

A heiau is a place where the Hawaiians worshipped and offered religious sacrifices. They are sacred to the locals, so visitors must be respectful when they visit. To get to the Kaneaki Heiau, take Makaha Valley Road to Mauna Olu Street, and drive through the gated neighborhood. The heiau is off the beaten path, but accessible to the public.


Kaneaki Heiau in Makaha Valley

Makaha Resort and Golf Club

Makaha Resort and Golf Club offers golfers a championship 18-hole golf course with breathtaking views of Makaha Valley, the Waianae Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean. Just watch out for the peacocks darting across the green. They are the descendants of birds owned by the royal Hawaiian family over a hundred years ago.

Makaha is on the leeward, dry side of Oahu, sporting spectacular vistas and ocean sunsets. The name means "fierce," which described the original warriors who dwelt there and whose descendants now populate the nearby Hawaiian homesteads. However, ferocity has turned to aloha, and the area offers the visitor many hidden attractions.


Waianae Mountain Range in Makaha

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Makaha Valley View

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Deep Southern Gooey Butter Cake Recipe

A yellow cake mix makes a great ingredient for a fancier dessert. Try this classic recipe from the deep South to wow your guests. The Tallman family served Southern Deep Gooey Butter Cake often at parties, and their daughter graciously gave the recipe out to earnest inquirers.

Best Cake Recipe From a Yellow Cake Mix

Ingredients:
  • 1 standard size 18.25 oz. (517 g) yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (227 g), melted or at room temperature
  • 1 lb. box (453 g) of powdered sugar, with a tablespoon or two (13 g) reserved
  • 2 eggs, beaten
Directions:
  1. Grease and flour a 13 x 9 x 2" (32.5 x 23 x 5 cm)    baking pan or two 8 x 8" (20 cm x 20 cm) pans.
  2. Make the bottom layer by mixing in a bowl the cake mix, 1/2 cup melted butter and 2 eggs. Pour into the pan(s) and pat down with one's hands.
  3. Make a top layer by mixing the cream cheese, powdered sugar and 2 beaten eggs in another bowl and then spread the mixture over the bottom layer.
  4. Sprinkle with the resserved powdered sugar and bake at 350*C (176*F) for 40 to 45 minutes. The top should be golden brown and the edges dark brown when the cake is done.

This cake serves about 20. It stays fresh in the refrigerator for several days, and also freezes well. Garnish the serving plates with a few raspberries or blackberries on a mint leaf as a nod to healthy nutrition, and then serve guests proudly with a sweet and very rich grand finale to dinner.

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    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Is Dubai the Babylon of Revelation?

    Burj Dubai by Joi Ito
    Babylon's Tower of Babel?
    Ancient Babylon existed in what is now modern Iraq, on the banks of the Euphrates River. The future city of Babylon described in the biblical book of Revelation will be a resurrected version of her, but there is debate over where this fantastical metropolis will be.

    Revelation 17:3-5 (NIV) pictures the city figuratively as a woman sitting on a beast in the sea, but verse nine's reference to her location on seven hills indicates she will be a literal place. Some theorize this biblical city could be the grand metropolis of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates.

    Babylon in the Last Days

    Revelation 17:1 (NIV) says Babylon will "sit on many waters," and Revelation 18:19 (NIV) states that "all who have ships on the sea will become rich through her wealth." Clearly, Babylon will have access to sea ports. Dubai is perched on "many waters," including the Persian Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz and the Indian Ocean. The Euphrates River of old Babylon is 500 miles away, accessible through Gulf waters. Dubai is also extending its real estate by creating residential islands in the Persian Gulf, more evidence of existing "on many waters." Hazel Wong, an architect for Dubai, said, “Local property firms are constructing man-made islands and canals which will double Dubai’s coastline and further assure its big-bucks allure bringing water into the desert while building the land into the ocean.”

    Revelation 17:3-5 (NIV) depicts Babylon as a richly and royally dressed woman, glittering with gold, precious stones and pearls. She wears purple and scarlet, like that worn by royalty and the wealthy in Bible times.

    After her destruction, the Bible says that people will say, "Was there ever a city like this great city?" (Revelation 18:18, NIV) Many cities in the world are rich, but Dubai’s burgeoning extravagance is unparalleled. Luxury Travel, an exclusive travel agency for the very wealthy, promotes Dubai City because of its "numerous opulent hotels, towering attractions, peerless shopping, stunning entertainment and commercial opportunities." Luxury Travel also says "vast investment in luxury golf and entertainment resorts - such as Dubailand and Dubai Golf City - means the city is set for even more dramatic growth as a prestige destination."

    Dubai, Revelation and Babylon

    The worldwide trade of Babylon is demonstrated in Revelation 18:11 (NIV) by the phrase "merchants of the earth" and verse seventeen says that those affected by her are "every sea captain, and all who travel by ship, the sailors, and all who earn their living from the sea." All kinds of things are sold in Babylon's markets, including precious metals and gems, silk and scarlet cloth, ivory, costly wood, iron and marble, spices, wine, olive oil, grains, animals, cars and even people. At her destruction, all the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn. They will watch her burn, even as the world’s great men, merchants from across the globe, despair. (Revelation 18:15-19, NIV)

    Dubai’s far-reaching trade is already legendary. “There is presently no city [on earth] that could compel all the kings and merchants of the earth to do business with it… and whose kings and merchants will weep and mourn at her destruction," says Pastor Walter James Taylor, Founding Pastor of Livermore Valley Worship Center. "I strongly suggest that there is one under construction across the gulf from the land of Shinar, which by far and away will become (at least physically) the finest city on the earth, bar none, and one who I also strongly suggest that Satan is constructing for his man – the Antichrist. This city is Dubai.”

    Last Days and Babylon

    The future Babylon will have international influence, as Revelation 17:2 (NIV) mentions Babylon's alliance with "the kings of the earth" and verse fifteen says she will sit among "peoples, multitudes, nations and languages." Revelation 18:3 (NIV) indicates that "all the nations will drink the maddening wine of her adulteries" and "the kings of the earth will commit adultery with her," along with "the merchants of the earth" who will grow rich from her "excessive luxuries." Dubai is already recognized as an international Emirate, with 81% of its residents expatriates, according to UAE Interact. A total of 300 islands in the shape of a world map are being developed off the coast at a cost of 14 billion, with individual island price tags averaging 15-50 million for the world’s tycoons to purchase.

    Revelation 17:6 (NIV) shows the disciple John, the author of the book of Revelation, astonished at the disturbing vision of Babylon represented by the prostitute and the beast. An angel then proceeds to explain to him in the next six verses who she was. He said the seven heads on the beast are seven hills on which the city will sit, and they are also seven kings. The United Arab Emirates is composed of seven sheikdoms or kingdoms: Abu Dhabi (the federal capital), Sharjah, Ajman, Umm Al Quwain, Ras Al Khaimah, Fujairah and of course, Dubai. Is this number seven only a coincidence? Perhaps, but there is no denying that beyond the number, Dubai has uncanny similarities to the extravagant city of Babylon in the Bible's last book of Revelation.

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