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The History of Writing (history of writing) Writing is commonly used by billions of people each day. However, many of us don’t know the history of writing, and some of us would rather not ponder it for fear of getting a headache. Written communication is much needed today, and many societies could not survive without writing. Writing has a history like everything that is in existence today. The exact history of this form of communication may be clouded and even over exaggerated at times, but there are two known facts, writing has been used for a very long time and writing will be used for a very long time. The true beginning of writing is unknown, but it does have a comprehensive history. The first artistic paintings and writings were said to be done in the form of naturalistic paintings of animals and people in caves. The pictures were known as attempts to appease the spirits of animals that were needed to kill in the hunt. In ancient times pictures were also done of human beings. These pictures of humans were typically done in series, with a figure appearing in different physical positions progressively, which represented positions a ceremonial dance performed by ancient people. Progressively, the early societies began to stylize their messages, which were similar to using symbols to represent restrooms, handicap-accessible places, and international road signs. These stylized symbols are known a petroglyphs and hieroglyphs. The most famous system of hieroglyphs belonged to the ancient Egyptians who had hieroglyphics that were partially representational pictures that were stylized. Petrogylphs were often used by Native Americans as messages along trade routes, ritual information, and various other things. However, they were not as sophisticated as hieroglyphs. During this ancient period, Europeans preserved esoteric knowledge in runes and in an alphabetic writing system known as ogham. The Chinese culture also has a place in the history of writing. The culture began by writing like many others by using pictures then slowly moving to stylized pictures. However, over time the pictures became less representational and more abstract. Today, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and other Asian languages are written with the use of ideeographs. An ideeograph is used to represent an idea instead of a word. Around 1700 B.C. a new form of writing appeared in the Middle Eastern cultures. During this time, the Phoenicians created an alphabet. This development was different from all others because the symbols represented sounds, not pictures or ideas. The combinations of sounds made up the words of the language, which was crucial in the history of writing. The alphabet developed by the Phoenicians spread to Northern Africa and became the system of the Arabs, and spread northwest to Greece. The Greek developed their own letters, which were modified even more to become the Cyrillic alphabets of Russia, the Balkans and the Romans. The Romans modified the alphabet and made it the alphabet that is recognized today. The history of writing developed even further into the 20th century. Following World War II, the Japanese and Chinese began to use the alphabet to represent the sounds of their languages. For these Asian cultures, the alphabetic system was easier to write by hand and to print economically, so it made life far simpler for those cultures. The artistic form of writing used by these Asian cultures will likely never die, but there are many advantages to using an alphabetic system, and many modern people of these cultures benefit handsomely from learning to read and write using the current alphabet. The history of writing is long and sometimes vague, but it can be seen as a necessary teaching that will help modern societies understand the importance of written communication, and understand how the world would be forever changed without it.

Freebie Etiquette (Yes, There is Such a Thing!) When you are on the hunt for free stuff, it can be easy to be so blinded by the offers that your manners go flying out the window completely. You may also just not realize that when it comes to taking advantage of freebies there is a general code of conduct that it pays to follow. While you are racking up the free stuff, keep these common courtesy rules in mind so that you are doing your part to keep the hunt for freebies fun and enjoyable. Freebie etiquette rule number one is to remember that there is a face behind every freebie, no matter how distant it may seem. Since so many freebies come from websites and you don’t actually have interaction with a human being while you are getting them, it can be very easy to forget that someone (or very likely, a lot of someones) worked hard to bring you that website and that free deal. If you have a problem with a website or a form while trying to get some free stuff, deal with it as respectfully as you would if you had to approach a customer service rep in person. Leaving foul-mouthed posts on a message board or unloading a barrage of outrage on a customer reply form isn’t the way forward. Someone – a real person – will have to help you, and you’ll get a lot further by treating them with respect. Respect is also the name of the game when it comes to rules attached for freebie offers. There are often restrictions in place for taking advantage of free offers, such as the age you have to be to cash in on the offer or how many offers per household can be taken. Sure, there are plenty of ways to get around these rules and “trick” a company into giving you an offer for which you are not really eligible. However, when you try to simply bleed out as many free offers as you can, you’re only making it hard on companies to be able to keep bringing these offers to you. If this freebie isn’t for you, take a back seat and make room for the folks who can take advantage of it. Your time will come. Related to this last rule is the idea of not being too greedy when gobbling up the free stuff. Just because something is free doesn’t mean you should use a “smash and grab” approach and go for as much as you can get of anything you can get. Remember that there are a lot of other people out there who like to get in on the freebies, too, and think about how you would feel if you lost out on something you really wanted because someone came along and took them all. Don’t take more than your share of any free offer, and don’t take things you don’t want or need just because they’re free. Everyone loses when you do that. Last but not least, if you have an opportunity to say thanks for a freebie, grab it. Of course, this can be hard to do when the free offers you are taking advantage of are found on the Internet, but there are still ways. Look for the customer comment field in the request forms you fill out to get your free stuff and leave a quick thank you there. You can also write a thank you on message boards and chat rooms that are associated with the freebie websites. The good will generated by your gratitude will only help convince companies that freebie offers are useful tools for reeling in the customers.

Free Fun Game Favorites on the Net The World Wide Web has become a repository of free entertainment. You can find everything from funny clips to interactive games. Where can you go for the best games on the Web? Here are some of the top sites for online gaming that is fast, free and fun. Ready to Play? Check Out These Great Websites Are you ready for the best in online gaming? There are many top gaming sites that can get you gaming and having a blast in no time. One of the top gaming sites is the MSN Gaming Zone. This site has over 100 free and fun games. They also offer free trials of the hottest games. This is where you can find some of the web's best gamers. Another popular site is Heat.net. You can bring the heat on this hot gaming website, featuring over 115 online multiplayer game downloads. This site is home to such popular games as Diablo and Warcraft II. In order to play most of the games on this website, you will need to download the software. Ready to get the hottest shortcuts? If so, you will want to head for GoCheat.com. Even the most honest soul needs to get their fill of cheat codes. As all true gamers know, cheat codes can provide you with a fun and easy way to maneuver around a game. You can save your game and jump ahead with the right cheat code. For those of you that don't care for complicated or violent games, head on over to Pogo.com to get your own dose of gaming fun. Pogo.com features classic board games and casino games, including bingo, poker and other classic games. Make Your Computer Your Own Movie Theater Do you have a couple of hours to kick back in front of the computer? Do you love movies and are interested in cutting edge film? If so, you will enjoy the entertainment that you can find on the World Wide Web. One of the most popular sites for short films is Atom Films. You can watch an original short (or long film) right on your computer. Atom Films is well known for showcasing innovative short films. Atom Films even featured the winner of the 2000 Academy Award for best live action short film. You can even find short works by famous stars, such as George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston. The Sync is another great site for video entertainment. The Sync offers more edgy film shorts than other online short video websites. Who Doesn't Enjoy a Good Puzzle? Work Out Your Brain at these Websites If crossword puzzles are your thing, you will surely appreciate, the selection of games put forth by yahoo games. This site contains a host of fun, classic puzzlers. Yahoo game gives you a shot at a daily puzzle. Another great place to check out if you are a puzzle fan is the Puzzle Depot. The Puzzle Depot has a neat pattern-matching tool that can help you in a crunch. Choose from a range of difficulty levels from your crossword puzzles. For a Bit of High Culture on the Web If you feel like treating yourself to a bit of high culture on the Web, take an art break with artmusuem.net. This neat website gives you a 3D experience tour of many of the finest museums in the world. This is much easier than buying a ticket and flying over to Paris. This website offers you the full experience of some of the world's greatest museums, including audio narrative, and a neat zoom-in function that gets you within a nose of some of the world's greatest masterpieces.