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How Desperate Are You To Stay In Business? 7 Financial Steps For Success

8 out of 10 businesses fail.90% of businesses fail.1 in 3 businesses never make it past year 3.The numbers may differ depending on what you read or listen to, but over and over we are bombarded with the same message of doom and gloom.If the experts are to be believed, it begs the question why anyone would even consider working for themselves. However in my opinion the better question would be:What are the ones who survive or become successful doing that the others are not?What they all have in common is an understanding of how controlling the money is vital to their success. Whether they do it themselves or hire someone to manage it, it has to be done.I get that the financial aspect is the least sexy of the business areas you have to deal with. Sales & marketing yields customers. You get to be creative, social and innovative.The operations side allows you to show the people who have bought from you, just how good you are at delivering on your sales promises. This is the doing part.And then last but most definitely not least, you have the financial controls. This is the exact antithesis of the sales and marketing. This is about attention to detail, analysis, and number crunching. These are commonly the very skills that so many entrepreneurs shy away from.

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But here is the kicker. The best way to know how well your sales and marketing and your operations skills are performing, is to analyse the money.The money doesn’t lie. In fact it shines a light so fierce, this alone can be a reason entrepreneurs shy away from the money management. They would rather not face the reality of a situation. They concentrate on sales and servicing and hope the money will sort itself out.This last belief does hold water, but it is essential to know on an ongoing basis whether you are on track or you are about to be horribly derailed.This fitness checklist is a quick reference for checking your financial health as you go.Financial planning (why, what, how)Why you are doing it? To buy nice things, help the needy, make your family proud. Only a few people actually work purely for the sake of it. What do you need to make it happen and how will you go about it?Inflows versus outflow To be financially fit, you need to bring more money in and spend less and you will be left with surplus to pay yourself more and have enough left over to invest in growing your business.Team Successful entrepreneurs always have a financial team of some sort. It could be just you and your accountant. At the other end of the scale you could have a bookkeeper; accountant, financial advisor, business coach, solicitor, and of course, you.Number crunch every month This is imperative. If this is not done, the decisions you make will be little more than guesswork. Despite this over well over 60% of business owners rely on gut instinct or their bank balance to determine how well they are doing. And guess how many go bust in the first 3 years? Well over 60%. Coincidence?Evaluate progress Once you start to understand & use your reports each month you will become addicted to the information they give you because they will set the basis for your future decisions. Not to mention alert you to any problems. Work on amber alerts not red ones.Shape up and strengthen

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This is the part of the process that will either make or break your business. It is no good having the information at your fingertips and not making the right decisions.When you sit with your accountant, financial adviser, marketing person, business coach, or similar professional; you would be able to concentrate on strategy and problem solving. Rather than waste time gathering information to create reports that you never do anything with.Saving versus spending As employees we were conditioned to pay all our bills first and only then save with what is left. The trouble is, after money has been directed at covering expenses there is often not enough for anything else. Including taxes or paying yourself. There are many techniques to combat this cycle, but a simplest one is:Aim to spend only 70% or less of money collected each month. If this means you battle to keep on top of expenditure, then what better incentive do you need to get your revenue and profit levels up?Remember 1 in 3 businesses do not make it to their third anniversary due to a lack of cash.So don’t be a statistic.

History of Travel & Tourism

2000 years Before Christ, in India and Mesopotamia

Travel for trade was an important feature since the beginning of civilization. The port at Lothal was an important center of trade between the Indus valley civilization and the Sumerian civilization.

600 BC and thereafter

The earliest form of leisure tourism can be traced as far back as the Babylonian and Egyptian empires. A museum of historical antiquities was open to the public in Babylon. The Egyptians held many religious festivals that attracted the devout and many people who thronged to cities to see famous works of arts and buildings.

In India, as elsewhere, kings traveled for empire building. The Brahmins and the common people traveled for religious purposes. Thousand of Brahmins and the common folk thronged Sarnath and Sravasti to be blessed by the inscrutable smile of the Enlightened One-the Buddha.

500 BC, the Greek civilization

The Greek tourists traveled to sites of healing gods. The Greeks also enjoyed their religious festivals that increasingly became a pursuit of pleasure, and in particular, sport. Athens had become an important site for travelers visiting the major sights such as the Parthenon. Inns were established in large towns and seaports to provide for travelers' needs. Courtesans were the principal entertainment offered.

This era also saw the birth of travel writing. Herodotus was the worlds' first travel writer. Guidancebooks also made their appearance in the fourth century covering destinations such as Athens, Sparta and Troy. Advertisements in the way of signs directing people to inns are also known in this period.

The Roman Empire

With no foreign boundaries between England and Syria, and with safe seas from piracy due to Roman patrols, the conditions favoring travel had arrived. First class roads coupled with staging inns (precursors of modern motels) promoted the growth of travel. Romans traveled to Sicily, Greece, Rhodes, Troy and Egypt. From 300 AD travel to the Holy Land also became very popular. The Romans introduced their guidebooks (itineraria), listing hotels with symbols to identify quality.

Second homes were built by the rich near Rome, employed primarily during springtime social season. The most fashionable resorts were found around Bay of Naples. Naples attracted the retired and the intellectuals, Cumae attracted the fashionable while Baiae attracted the down market tourist, becoming noted for its rowdiness, drunkness and all-night singing.

Travel and Tourism were to never attain a similar status until the modern times.

In the Middle Ages

Travel became difficult and dangerous as people traveled for business or for a sense of obligation and duty.

Adventurers bought fame and fortune through travel. The Europeans tried to discover a sea route to India for trade purposes and in this fashion discovered America and explored parts of Africa. Strolling players and minstrels made their living by performing as they traveled. Missionaries, saints, etc. Traveled to spread the sacred word.

Leisure travel in India was introduced by the Mughals. The Mughal kings built luxurious palaces and enchanting gardens at places of natural and scenic beauty (for example Jehangir traveled to Kashmir drawn by its beauty.

Travel for empire building and pilgrimage was a regular feature.

The Grand Tour

From the early seventeenth century, a new form of tourism was developed as a direct outlet of the Renaissance. Under the reign of Elizabeth 1, young men seeking positions at court were encouraged to travel to continent to finish their education. Later, it became customary for education of gentleman to be completed by a 'Grand Tour' accompanied by a tutor and lasting for three or more years. While ostensibly educational, the pleasure seeking men traveled to enjoy life and culture of Paris, Venice or Florence. By the end of eighteen century, the custom had become institutionalized in the gentry. Gradually pleasure travel displaced educational travel. The advent of Napoleonic wars inhibited travel for around 30 years and led to the decline of the custom of the Grand Tour.

The development of the spas

The spas grew in popularity in the seventeenth century in Britain and a little later in the European Continent as awareness about the therapeutic qualities of mineral water increased. Taking the cure in the spa quickly acquired the nature of a status symbol. The resorts changed in character as pleasure became the motivation of visits. They became an important center of social life for the high society.

In the nineteenth century they were gradually replaced by the seaside resort.

The sun, sand and sea resorts

The sea water became associated with health benefits. The earliest visitors there before drank it and did not bathe in it. By the early eighty century, small fishing resorts sprung up in England for visitors who drank and immersed themselves in sea water. With the overcrowding of inland spas, the new sea side resorts grew in popularity. The introduction of steamboat services in 19th century introduced more resorts in the circuit. The seaside resort gradually became a social meeting point

Role of the industrial revolution in promoting travel in the west

The rapid urbanization due to industrialization led to mass immigration in cities. These people were lured into travel to escape their environment to places of natural beauty, often to the countryside they had come from change of routine from a physically and psychologically stressful jobs to a leisurely pace in countryside.

Highlights of travel in the nineteenth century

· Advent of railway initially catalysed business travel and later leisure travel. Gradually special trains were chartered to only take leisure travel to their destinations.

· Package tours organized by entrepreneurs such as Thomas Cook.

· The European countries indulged in a lot of business travel often to their colonies to buy raw material and sell finished goods.

· The invention of photography acted as a status-enhancing tool and promoted overseas travel.

· The formation of first hotel chains; Pioneered by the railway companies who established great railway terminus hotels.

· Seaside resorts began to develop different images as for day-trippers, elite, for gambling.

· Other types of destinations-ski resorts, hill stations, mountaineering spots etc.

· The technological development in steelships promoted travel between North America and Europe.

· The Suez Canal opened direct sea routes to India and the Far East.

· The cult of the guide followed the development of photography.

 

Tourism in the Twentieth Century

The First World War wave first hand experience of countries and aroused a sense of curiosity about international travel amongst less well off sector for the first time. The large scale of migration to the US mean a lot of travel across the Atlantic. Private motoring began to encourage domestic travel in Europe and the west. The sea side resort became annual family holiday destination in Britain and increased in popularity in other countries of the west. Hotels proliferated in these destinations.

The birth of air travel and after

The wars increased interest in international travel. This interest was given the shape of mass tourism by the aviation industry. The surge of aircraft and growth of private airlines aided the expansion of air travel. The aircraft had become comfortable, faster and steadily cheaper for overseas travel. With the introduction of Boeing 707 jet in 1958, the age of air travel for the masses had arrived. The beginning of chartered flights boosted the package tour market and led to the establishment of organized mass tourism. The Boeing 747, a 400 seat craft, bought the cost of travel down sharply. The seaside resorts in the Mediterranean, North Africa and the Caribbean were the initial hot spots of mass tourism.

A corresponding growth in hotel industry led to the establishment of world-wide chains. Tourism also began to diversify as people began to flock alternative destinations in the 70s. Nepal and India received a throng of tourists lured by Hare Krishna movement and transcendental meditation. The beginning of individual travel in a significant volume only occurred in the 80s. Air travel also led to a continuous growth in business travel especially with the emergence of the MNCs.

The Stages of US Airline Deregulation

I. Regulation

Although US airline deregulation was initially envisioned as leading to an increased number of carriers whose divergent service concepts, market segments, fleets, and route structures would have produced new competition, stimulated traffic, and lowered fares, it almost came full cycle and only resolved in Virtual monopoly. Three distinct stages occurred during its evolution.

The regulation itself tracks its origin to 1938 when Congress adopted the Civil Aeronautics Act. Its resultant five-member Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), formed two years later in 1940, regulated fares, authorized routes, awarded subsidies, and approved interline agreements, among other functions.

"Regulation, by definition, substitutes the jurisprudence of the regulator for that of the marketplace," according to Elizabeth E. Bailey, David R. Graham, and Daniel P. Kaplan in their book, Deregulating the Airlines (The MIT Press, 1985, P. 96).

So regulated had the environment been, in fact, that an airline often had to resort to the purchase of another carrier just to obtain its route authority. Delta Air Lines, for example, long interested in providing nonstop service between New York and Florida, continuously petitioned the CAB for the rights. But the regulatory agency felt that Northeast, a small local service carrier often plagued by low traffic, financial loss, and bad weather because of its route system, needed the lucrative Florida route's revenue potential to boost it back to health and granted it the authority instead .

Undaunted, Delta extremely satisfied to acquiring the regional carrier and subsequently received approval for the merger on April 24, 1972. But these extremes would have shortly no longer be needed.

A glimpse of the future could already be had in California and Texas. Devoid of jurisdiction over local air transportation, the CAB could either exercise fare nor route authority over intrastate airlines and these carriers, usually offering high-frequency, single-class, no-frills service at half the fares the regulated "trunk" airlines were forced To charge, consistently recorded both profit and traffic growth.

Air California and PSA Pacific Southwest Airlines, for example, operating in the Los Angeles-San Francisco market, saw annual traffic figures increase from 1.5 million passengers in 1960 to 3.2 million in 1965. Texas-based Southwest Airlines simply provided low-fare service between Dallas and Houston and other Texas points. These airlines demonstrated that true deregulation could yield fares accessible to average-income passengers, provide greater airline and service concept choice, and pilot traffic.

Passengers and government alike increasingly decreed regulation during the mid-1970s, citing the examples set by Air California, PSA, Southwest, and other intrastate airlines as demonstrable proof that deregulation could produce mutual airline- and passenger-benefit. At least that was the theory.

Ultima conceding to reason and democratic rule, President Jimmy Carter signed the Airline Deregulation Act on October 28, 1978, in the process eliminating the need for CAB approval of route entry and exit and reducing most of the current fare restrictions. Even those would have been eliminated when the Civil Aeronautics Board, in its now famous "sunset," was disbanded in 1985.

At the time of the event, eleven then-designated "trunk" carriers collectively controlled 87.2 percent of the domestic revenue passenger miles (RPMs), while 12 regionals, 258 commuters, five supplementary, and four intrastates provided the balance of the RPM distribution. Which would still ply the skies when deregulation's dust settled?

II. Deregulation

Stage One: New Generation Airlines:

Like the California and Texas intrastate airlines, an increasing number of nontraditional, deregulation-spawned carriers initially infiltrated the US market. The first of these, Midway Airlines, was the first to receive certification after the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act and the first to actually inaugurate service, in 1979.

Founded three years earlier by Irwing Tague, a former Hughes Airwest executive, Midway inaugurated low-fare, high-frequency, no-frills "Rainbow Jet" service in November of that year from Chicago's underutilized Midway Airport-which was once the city's only airfield Until O'Hare was built and which Midway hoped to resurrect the same way Southwest had at Dallas's Love Field – with five single-class, 86-passenger, former TWA DC-9-10s, initially to Cleveland, Detroit, and Kansas City . Its low fare structure fostered rapid growth and it strategically jumped to penetrate the Chicago market without attracting O'Hare competition from the established carriers.

But, having been employed by Midway, the author can attest that it quickly learned three vital lessons, which indicated that it would have to remain tremendously flexible in order to survive under competing competitive market conditions:

Although it served a secondary Chicago-area airport, it first and foremost still competed in the Chicago market.

Secondly, once the employee airlines lowered their fares, its load factors declined.

Finally, the high-density, low-fare strategy, which had become the principle characteristics of deregulation-spawned upstarts, was ineffective when an airline attempted to cater to a specific market segment, such as the higher yield business one, where increased comfort and Service were expected.

Resultantly, Midway modified its strategy by introducing a conservative cream-colored construction; Single-class, four-abreast business cabin seating with increased legroom; Additional carry-on luggage space; And upgraded, complimentary-wine in-flight service in exchange for higher than Rainbow Jet fares, but those which were still below the major carriers' unrestricted coach tariffs.

The newly implemented strategy, dubbed "Midway Metrolink," significantly reduced the number of seats per aircraft. While its DC-9-10s and -30s had respectably accommodated 86 and 115 passengers, for example, they were reconfigured for only 60 and 84 under the new Metrolink strategy.

Almost successful, it sparked explosive growth, from an initial 56,040 passengers in 1979 to almost 1.2 million in 1983.

Capitol Air, another deregulation-transformed carrier of which the author had equally been part, also experienced initial, rapid expansion. Formed in 1946 as Capitol Airways, it had completed domestic charter service with Curtiss C-46 Commandos and DC-4s, ever acquiring larger L-049 Constellations, and by 1950 became the fifth largest US supplement carrier after World Airways, Overseas National (ONA ), Trans International (TIA), and Universal. It acquired the first of what was to become one of the largest used-Super Constellation fleets in January of 1960, historically operating 17 L-749s, L-1049Gs, and L-1049Hs during the 14-year period from 1955 to 1968.

Redesignated Capitol International Airways, the charter airline took delivery of its first pure-jet in September of 1963, a DC-8-30, and subsequently operated four versions of the McDonnell-Douglas design, inclusive of the -30, -50, 61, and 63 series, which replaced the Lockheed Constellation as the workhorse of its fleet.

Receiving scheduled authority in September of 1978, Capitol inaugurated New York-Brussels service on May 5 of the following year and a second, Chicago / Boston-Brussels transatlantic sector on June 19. Like PSA and Southwest, Capitol Air, a former supplementary carrier, Was not regulated by the CAB and there before conducted its own "deregulation experiment" by sublimating proven charter economies of single-class, high-density, low unrestricted and even standby fares to scheduled service in order to attain low seat-mile costs and profitability.

The planned concept, branded "Sky Saver Service," consistently attested capacity-exceeding demand and sparked considered fleet and route system expansion. Operating six DC-8-6s, five DC-8-63s, and five DC-10-10s to seven US domestic, three Caribbean, and three European destinations from a New York-JFK hub by 1982, it attracted an ever-increasing Passenger base: 611,400 passengers in 1980, 1,150,000 in 1981, and 1,824,000 in 1982.

Passengers, unaware of deregulation-molded carriers who low fares could only attain profitability with used aircraft, high-density seating, and lower-wage nonunion employees, often voiced criticism about Capitol Air's non-interline policy and refusal to provide meals and hotel rooms during Delays and compensation during missed, other-airline connections. Neverheless, its fares in the New York-Los Angeles market ranged from an unrestricted $ 149 based upon a round-trip purchase to a one-way $ 189, while the majors' unrestricted tariffs in the market hovered at the $ 450 mark. As a result, Capitol Air's load factors exceeded 90 percent.

By September of 1981 ten new carriers received operating certificates and inaugurated service.

"The first effects of deregulation were dramatic," wrote Anthony Sampson in Empires of the Sky: The Politics, Contests, and Cartels of World Airlines (Random House, 1984, p. 136). "A new breed of air entrepreneurs saw the chance to expand small companies or to establish 'instant airlines' which could undercut fares on local routes; they could dispense with much of the superstructure and bureaucracy of the big airlines and could use their flexibility to hit The giants at their weakest points where they could make quick returns. "

Four types of airline types emerged and searched considering initial impact on the traditionally regulated airline industry.

The first were the deregulation-spawned upstarts, such as Air Atlanta, Air Florida, Air One, Altair, America West, Best, Carnival, Empire, Florida Express, Frontier Horizon, Jet America, Midway, Midwest Express, MGM Grand Air, Morris Air, Muse Air, New York Air, Northeastern International, Pacific East Air, Pacific Express, PEOPLExpress, Presidential, Reno Air, SunJet International, The Hawaii Express, and ValuJet.

The second were the deregulation-matured local service carriers, including Allegheny, Frontier, Hughes Airwest, North Central, Ozark, Piedmont, Southern, and Texas International, which quickly outgrew their former, regulation-imposed geographic concentrations.

The third, the boundary-crossing intrastate airlines, encompassed companies such as Air California (later AirCal), Alaska, Aloha, Hawaiian, PSA, Southwest, and Wien Air Alaska.

The fourth were the deregulation-transformed charters, such as Capitol Air, Trans International (later Transamerica), and World Airways.

Although some of these carriers, particularly Air One and MGM Grand Air, targeted very specific market niches by offering premium seating and service, the vast majority, whether spawned, raised, or matured by deregulative parenting, attained (or attempted to attain) profitability by Means of several core operating characteristics, including, of course, low, unrestricted fares, single-hub, short- to medium-range route systems, high-density seating, limited onboard service, lower wage nonunion work forces, and medium-range, Medium-capacity trijets, such as the 727, and short-range, low-capacity twinjets, such as the BAC-111, the DC-9, the 737, and the F.28.

All achieved high load factors, generated tremendous traffic in existing and emerging markets, and created considered competition.

"In this respect," wrote Barbara Sturken Peterson and James Glab in their book, Rapid Descent: Deregulation and the Shakeout in the Airlines (Simon and Schuster, 1994, p. 307), "deregulation worked like a charm."

Stage Two: Monopoly:

Although the established, traditionally regulated major carriers temporarily lowered their fares in selected high deregulation airline-concentrated markets in order to retain their passenger bases, the established airlines, long nurtured and protected by regulation, were not structured for profitable operation with them. Yet even in those cases where they managed to eliminate competition from the market, another low-fare upstart seemed waiting in the wings to fill the void.

The incumbent carriers were then faced with the choice of relinquishing painstakingly developed markets or dwindle financial resources to retain passengers until they themselves slipped into bankruptcy. It quickly became apparent that the deregulation-sparked fare reductions would have become permanent elements of the "new" unregulated airline industry and the major carriers historically discovered that they had to fundamentally structure themselves or succumb to the new breed of airlines. Almost every aspect of their operations would, in the end, be transformed.

The first aspect targeted was the route system. Traditionally comprised of point-to-point, nonstop service, which had its origins in 1940 and 1950 CAB route authorizations, these route systems actually contained no inherent "system" at all, and consistent instead of unbalanced geographic implications that asserted in lost revenue to Other carriers and inefficient, uneconomical use of existing fleets. What was really needed was a centralized "collecting point" for self-feed.

Because of bilateral agreements, European carriers actually operated the first "hubs," channeling passengers from, say, Copenhagen to Athens by means of an intermediate connecting point such as Dusseldorf. Any passenger flying either the Copenhagen-Dusseldorf or Athens-Dusseldorf sector could theoretically transfer to any of the airline's outward-radiating flight spokes, vastly increasing the number of markets potential served. These European capital hubs also demonstrated increased aircraft utilization, improved traffic flow, a larger market base than traditional point-to-point service relying only on origin-and-destination traffic could have supported, and retention of the connecting passenger.

"Although passengers prefer frequent nonstop service, such service can be quite costly," according to Bailey, Graham, and Kaplan (p. 74). "Airlines that face strong incentives to establish hub-and-spoke operations … By combining passengers with different origins and destinations, a carrier can increase the average number of passengers per flight and thenby reduce costs. Carrier take advantage of the economies of scale in aircraft. At the same time a hub-and-spok operation provides more convenient service for travelers in less heavily trafficked markets. "

The first US hub had its origins in the 1940s when the government, trying to develop the south, awarded Delta some profitable, long-range routes in exchange for its agreement to serve several small communities from Atlanta.

"All of these routes became the 'spokes' leading into a Delta 'hub' at Atlanta," said Peterson and Glab (p. 120). "With it came the compelling benefit of passenger retention."

Allegheny, formerly a Pittsburgh-based local service carrier without a distinct long-range development plan, recorded considering successful success on its eastern and mid-Atlantic state route network, which had progressively "evolved" because of its Pennsylvania funneling point. Increasing the balance of its predominately business and small community route system with longer-range sectors to leisure-oriented destinies, it was further able to nurture this evolution and by 1978 73 percent of its passengers connected. By 1981 this figure rose to 89 percent-meaning that 89 percent of those flying to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh were not flying to Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The Delta and Allegheny hubs were only the beginning of the phenomenon, since the concept did more than create airline concentration in a particular city. Instead, it resisted in an extreme monopolistic strangulation that precluded any competition.

At four of the major US hubs (Atlanta, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas-Ft. Worth, and Denver), for example, "the two largest carriers have simply squeezed out or have made it virtually impossible for other airlines to expand and Gain market share, "wrote Julius Maldutis in Airline Competition at the 50 Largest US Airports since Deregulation (Salomon Brothers, Inc., 1987, p. 4).

In Atlanta, where both Delta and Eastern once had hubs, the possibility of any significant third-carrier competition was eliminated. In 1978, for instance, Delta's and Eastern's hub traffic percentages were respectively 49.65- and 39.17-percent, while nine years later these figures had increased to 52.51- and 42.24-percent.

Analysis of the 50 largest airports (which represented 81.1 percent of US scheduled passenger enplanements) indicated that only ten of these airports could have been considered less than highly concentrated. On the other hand, 40 (or 80 percent) of the airports had excessive amounts of concentration. The ten most concentrated airports had one airline that had more than 66-percent market share of passenger enplanements.

In St. Louis, where both TWA and Ozark operated hubs, the former enjoyed a 39.06- percent market share, while the latter had a 20.21-percent of it in 1978. In 1986 these corresponding figures were significantly increased to 63.16 and 19.68 percent. The following year, after TWA acquired Ozark, its only other significant competitor, it parlayed this share into 82.34 percent with nine other US domestic airlines sharing the remaining 17.66 percent. An airline computer listing, reflecting all carriers operating between New York's three major airports and St. Louis. Louis on December 1, 1995, disclosed 27 flights on this day. Not one of them was operated by a carrier other than TWA! This was power.

Similarly, deregulation-matured Piedmont, which only captured a 10.19-percent market share in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1977, parlayed this into a monopolistic 87.87-percent a decade later after having established a hub there. The same transformation occurred in Pittsburgh with Allegheny / USAir / US Airways-43.65 percent in 1977 and 82.83 percent in 1987.

"Since a large proportion of city-pair markets can not support convenient nonstop service, hub-and-spoke operations have proved to be the dominant strategy of air carriers since deregulation," wrote Bailey, Graham, and Kaplan (p. 196). "There has been a significant shift away from the regulatory vision of linear systems and toward sunbursts of routes."

Aside from the hubbing concept, the major carriers experienced several other fundamental changes. Aircraft, for example, were reconfigured for higher-density-and, in some cases, single-class-seating, while business cabins augmented first class and coach sections on selected routes; First class cabins were later replaced by those of business class in a trend-following pattern sparked by some special-niche deregulation airlines.

Fuel-inefficient aircraft types were gradually replaced by new-generation designs and daily utilization increased-from 8.6 hours in 1971 to 10.3 hours in 1979. During the 1970s and early 1980s average aircraft size increased on long-range sectors, while during the late- 1980s the size increased in all categories. During the early 1990s pure-jet technology for the first time penetrated all markets-from the 50-passenger regional to the 500-passenger intercontinental.

Employment was also metamorphosed. According to Robert Crandall, former chairman and chief executive officer of American Airlines, "deregulation is substantially anti-labor … there has been a massive transfer of wealth from airline employees to airline passengers."

The deregulation-spawned airlines' fare reductions produced a lower revenue and profit base from which funding could be restructured into traditionally high employment salaries and benefit packages, thus necessitating increased employee productivity, cross-utilization, part-time, nonunion, profit-sharing measures . In some cases, employment was actually provided by contracted ground service companies in order to reduce benefit compensation. The author was involved in the initial ground service company experiment at JFK International Airport between Triangle Aviation Services and Royal Jordanian Airlines.

"A relatively new, but quickly developing concept, the service company provides the personnel on a contractual basis to the particular carrier for which a certain amount per daily turn-around is assessed, according to Airport-Based Airline Careers (Hicksville, New York, 1995, p. 9). "The service company then hires the personnel, conducts the training programs (if any), and determines the hourly wage and benefit package."

Having worn Royal Jordanian's uniform and provided all ground operations functions, I often felt "made in the middle," simultaneously trying to please both the passenger and the airline. After all, they were both my customer, revealing the concept's inherent conflict.

Reduced airline employment wages and benefits actually trace their origins to Crandall himself who devised a plan to reduce employment costs with a "B-scale" payment scheme that initially offered lower salaries to newly-hired employees and required them to accrue greater longevity before they could Attain the higher "A-scale" levels.

"American (itself) was poised to increase dramatically in size, and it had a strong incentive to so," said Peterson and Glab (p. 136). "The more it expanded, the more workers it would hire-all at lower B-scale wages-and the more its average costs would drop."

According to Bailey, Graham, and Kaplan in their work, Deregulating the Airlines, regulation created above-industry standard monetary and benefit compensation. "It is now clear that inflexible work rules and higher than competitive pay flourished during regulation." Airline employees appear to have benefited substantively from CAB's protective regulation. " (P. 197)

Yet another deregulation-sparked necessity was the increasing reliance on automation. American Airlines, again led by Crandall, created the first computerized airline reservation system, SABRE, which was immediately followed by United's Apollo System. As powerful sales tools, these automated systems were purchased by travel agents who paid a paying fee to their owners for each booking made while smaller carriers had to negotiate for representation.

So sophisticated and multifaceted did these systems become that their information was progressively sublimated through each aspect of the airline's operation with their "reservation modes" providing reservations, itineraries, fares, hotel, tour, and ground transportation bookings, frequent flier mile tracking, and ticketing ; Their "departure control systems" (DCS) providing passenger check-in and boarding pass issuance; And their "controller modes" utilizing this information for aircraft weight and balance and load plan and load sheet generation.

It is only through these sophisticated airline reservation systems that carriers were able to implement "yield management" programs-that is, the determination of the optimized balance of passenger-attracting low fares and profit-generating high fares based upon seasonality, departure time, demand , Convenience, capacity, and competition to produce an absolutely profitable flight. An airline reservation system consultation, for instance, listed 27 separate fares between New York and Los Angeles on December 1, 1995 just with American Airlines, ranging from an unrestricted $ 1,741.82 one-way first class fare to a highly restricted $ 226.36 round-trip coach fare . The codes in the "Fare Basis" column, such as "KPE7HOLN," were accessed in order to reveal the restrictions attached to each – the printout of which spanned several pages!

Another fundamental change to the deregulated industry was both the structure of and relationship of the regional and commuter carriers to the majors. Because history is sometimes cyclic, the pattern once demonstrated by the local service airlines of abandoning small community, low-density routes when they admitted pure-jet aircraft once again occurred, but now with two primary differences: (1). The present-day regionals were never, by regulation, restricted to these routes, and (2). Although rapidly-expanding with pure-jet fleets of their own, they attempted to coexist, rather than compete, with the majors through code-share agreements in which their aircraft appeared in major-resembling liveries and their flights carried the affiliated airline's two-letter Codes.

Of the 300 destinations served by Delta during the latter part of 1995, for example, 85 of these were actually reached by one of its four "Delta Connection" code-share carriers, including Atlantic Southeast Airlines (ASA), Business Express, Comair, And Skywest-only the first of which had yet to acquire pure-jet equipment at that time. American outwardly purchased its own commuter-feed airlines and collectively designated them "American Eagle."

Neverheless, the major carriers' deregulation-necessitated restructuring was complete.

When TWA matched Capitol Air's unrestricted transcontinental coach fares, the former supplement recorded 30-passenger bookings on DC-8-61 aircraft otherwise able to accommodate 252 and cancelled its flights. In a similar situation, when established USAir's and upstart's PEOPLExpress's load factors were analyzed in the Buffalo-Newark market between August of 1981 and June of 1982, the latter consistently reported that there were at least 20 points lower.

"The data thus suggests that many consumers chose to travel on the carrier with the greater name recognition and amenities when the fare is the same," continued Bailey, Graham, and Kaplan (p. 106).

Competition extremely forcibly Capitol Air to realign its route system to include an increasing number of ethnic and un- and underserved markets until the majors also encroached on this territory and the carrier was left with little choice but to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, ceasing operations On November 25, 1984.

Midway equally encountered major-carrier opposition. Indeed, whatever strategy it implemented to define its optimum niche, it was always counteracted by the aggressive majors. Acquiring Air Florida in 1984, for example, it reconfigured its aircraft with dual-class seating, but riding on both sides of a seesaw, it soon swung back to the single-class concept and in November of 1989 once again to the dual-class One, by which time it operated an 82-strong fleet with its "Midway Connection" affiliation and carried 5.2 million year passengers.

But over-expansion and an attempt to replace Eastern at its Philadelphia hub during poor economic times in direct competition with USAir ruled in its own demise two years later, on November 13.

"Although these numerous strategies indicated a constant reassessment of its proper course, they also indicated the instability of market conditions in deregulated skies and the airline's determination to remain in them and its resilience to navigate them with a juxtaposition of service concepts, cabin configurations, seating Densities, and marketing strategies, "according to The McDonnell-Douglas DC-9 (Hicksville, New York, 1991, p. 59).

Capitol Air and Midway were only two examples of deregulation-matured carriers that succumbed to the radically restructured majors. Indeed, of the approximately 100 airlines that had been certified since the passage of the Airline Deregulation Act, only one, America West, was still in operation at the end of 1995.

"(The major airlines) implemented a strategy with which they could beat the lower-fare competition at its own game by aggressively expanding and charging comparable fares, despite high losses on certain routes, all in an effort to maintain-or, in some cases , To regain-market share … The major carriers mighty mighty and monopolistic by eliminating competition where it was encountered, "according to the Austrian Airlines Passenger Handling Manual-JFK (Hicksville, New York, 1990, pp. 10-11).

Stage Three: Megacarrier:

Airline expansion, once set in motion, seemed self-propelled and resisted inertia. Monopolies, by definition, know no boundaries. The logical next step was foreign market penetration.

Unlike US domestic growth, however, "it was a lot tougher for a US airline to gain access to a new foreign market than to a new domestic one, because international air services were still tightly regulated by bilateral agreements between the United States and foreign governments , "Wrote Peterson and Glab (p. 283). "… To win immediate operating rights to a foreign country, a US carrier had to buy the route authority from another US airline."

The phenomenon, it will be recalled, was a virtual repetition of the US domestic governmental structure prior to deregulation. Such a purchase in the latter case was usually only granted if the route-authorized airline was in financial difficulty and needed the revenue generated by the sale to remain viable.

Pan Am, particularly hammer by deregulation's effects, was forced to sell its lucrative Pacific division, along with aircraft and ground facilities, to United for $ 750 million to remain afloat. United, already then a large, financially sound airline, now had a global route network with proper domestic feed.

More important than the sale, however, was its far-reaching implications. "The United Airlines purchase of Pan Am's Pacific division was set to set off a domino effect," continued Peterson and Glab (p. 148) "Many airlines were alarmed at the new competition that they faced, especially Northwest, which is expected to the nation's largest airline Moving on its Pacific turf. Northwest knew it would need a substantially larger domestic network of its own, and the fastest way to get one would be through a merger. "

By the end of 1986 it had done just that, acquiring Republic, which itself had been formed by the North Central-Southern merger in 1979 and the secondary Hughes Airwest acquisition in 1980, and the strategy rewarded Northwest with monopolistic status at all of its hubs , Such as Minneapolis, with an 81.55-percent market share.

Delta, fearing it would be unable to compete with airlines of such magnitude, purchased Western Airlines for $ 860 million in September of 1986, in the process obtaining a coast-to-coast route structure and new hubs in Salt Lake City and Los Angeles.

The already described TWA-Ozark merger produced such a lock on St. Louis. Louis that it controlled three-quarters of all gates and was able to assess much higher fares in those markets where there was no competition.

In fact, these mergers only served to tighten a carrier's already almost unlenting grip on a particular hub. Deregulation-spawned Empire, for instance-a rapidly-expanding New York State Fokker F.28 Fellowship operator-adopted a Syracuse hub and recorded an initial 1979 market share of just.75 percent, but this exponentially increased to 27.36 percent in 1985 when Piedmont acquired the growing regional. Two years later, its market share climbed to 39.82 percent. However, when USAir in turn purchased Piedmont, the Syracuse hub lock skyrocketed to over 61 percent.

Perhaps the most encompassing (and disjointed) merger was that between PEOPLExpress and Continental, which itself had already been the result of an amalgamation between the original, pre-deregulation Continental, Texas International, and New York Air. PEOPLExpress had equally already absorbed Denver-based Frontier. Texas Air, owner of the new conglomerate, also acquired Eastern, but retained its separate identity.

All these mergers, consummated during the latter half of 1986, unequivocally produced the "megacarrier."

"Deregulation's theme, echoing Darwinian philosophy, clearly demonstrated itself to be 'survival of the fittest,' which, for the airlines, translated as 'survival of the largest,' according to the Austrian Airlines Passenger Service Manual-JFK (p. 10). "If the long-established major carriers… wished to survive and maintain the markets they had so carefully nurtured during regulation, they would somehow have to implement a strategy which would ensure that they would remain 'large.'"

The major airlines' fundamental restructuring, beginning with monopoly and ending with megacarrier, constituted that strategy, as carriers tracing their origins to the infantile days of aviation and bearing names virtually synonymous with the industry fell like a string of acquisition-induced dominoes. By 1995 only seven US megacarriers remained, including American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, TWA, United, and USAir, along with two significant majors-America West and Southwest-a few "niche" airlines, and the regional-commuters which were almost exclusively aligned with one of the megacarriers or majors through code-share agreements.

Even these names disappeared early in the 21st century. Like brides and grooms walking down a monopoly-destined aisle, Delta married Northwest, United took Continental as its lawfully wedded, American joined arms with US Airways, and Southwest tied the knot with AirTran.

III. Conclusion

Although the examples set by Air California, PSA, and Southwest had indicated that a deregulated environment would ultimately prove to be mutually advantageous to both the operating airline and the passenger, these experiments failed to approximate actual conditions, since the rest of the US airline industry was still regulated and these fledgling airlines had therefore been insulated from major-carrier competition. Lacking the authority, cost structure, and equipment, they had been unable to launch comparable service of their own.

The initial proliferation of small, low-fare, no-frills, non-unionized deregulation-spawned, -bred, and -transformed airlines provided tremendous airline-, fare-, and service concept-choice only until the major carriers implemented their fundamental route system, aircraft, employment, computerized reservation system, and regional airline affiliation restructuring, reversing the expansion phase into one of buyout, merger, bankruptcy, retrenchment, consolidation, monopoly, and, ultimately, megacarrier. The upstarts, having lacked the majors' name recognition, financial strength, frequent flier marketing tools, and size, invariably succumbed, leaving most of the original dominant airlines, although in greatly modified form, until even these surrendered to prevailing forces. US airline deregulation had thus come full cycle.

Two Excellent Hospitals in Changchun, China

Changchun, located in northeast China, is the capital and largest city of Jilin province. It is a major industrial, transportation, tourist and cultural center of this part of China and is home to the largest vehicle producer of the country, FAW. The city has a pleasant climate and is often referred to as the city, the spring city and the city of automobiles and films. Like all other major cities in China, Changchun also has a well-developed medical service sector. The leading hospitals are provided with the latest facilities and offer the service of eminent doctors at an affordable cost. This is a summary of some of the well known hospitals in Changchun.

China-Japan Union Hospital located at 126 Xiantai Street in Changchun in the Development Zone is a huge, state-owned, modern hospital with 1550 beds. The hospital was founded in 1949. This tertiary level hospital is managed by the Ministry of Health and was the first A-hospital in the province. This advanced hospital has an area of ​​201900 square meters and a construction area of ​​134,400 square meters. The hospital employs 1501 staff members. There are 274 senior medical staff including 80 professors and 156 associate professors. The Japanese government invested 2.6 billion Yen in the venture and this is why it is also referred to as the China-Japan Friendship Hospital. This service-oriented hospital puts great emphasis on the use of modern technology, high levels of quality and is approved as a "Baby Friendly Hospital" by WHO, UNICEF and by the National Drug Clinical Research Center in the Chinese government. The center has full-fledged departments in all major as well as rare specialties including rheumatology, hematology, infectious diseases, honored traditional Chinese medicine, nuclear medicine and electrical diagnosis.

The First Clinical Hospital of Jilin University is another leading hospital in the country and is located at No 71, Xinmin Street in Changchun, near the beautiful Chaoyang Park. The hospital has a 1,100 bed capacity central hospital and 350 bed capacity hospital hospital both of which are managed by the Public Health Ministry. This advanced hospital with a 72,650 m2 area has a glorious history of 61 years. The hospital employs 1855 staff including 113 professors and 232 advisers. It has spacious oustatient department that raises over 1,520,000 people annually. The center has acquired 35 sacrifices of scientific and technological advancement given by the national and provincial governments during the last decade.

LAX Airport – Some Fun and Fascinating Facts

The LAX airport, or the Los Angeles International Airport, was originally named Mines Field and was a general aviation base during World War II. LAX is located in none other that Los Angeles, California. It is ranked as the fifth busiest passenger airport in the entire world. It also is ranked sixth for the world in carrying cargo. Even if you never travel through LAX, (although chances are good that you will) you may find the following facts and information interesting and fun.

Fun And Interesting Facts About The LAX Airport:

1. There are more than 50 million people who travel into or out of LAX every year. But, not only people travel through. An additional 2 million tons of cargo passes through this airport every year as well.

2. The LAX airport employs over 59,000 people to get you and your luggage safely and comfortably to your destination.

3. A U-shaped road with two levels connects the 9 terminals at this airport.

4. The airport has four parallel runways and a 277 foot control tower. The original control tower was only 172 feet tall.

5. LAX has the only Coast Guard Air Station located right on the concessions. They provide 24-hour service to the passengers and employees of the LAX airport.

6. One unusual feature is the Encounters restaurant, which is located in the Central Terminal and is 70 feet above the ground. It is a space-themed restaurant and has an observation deck that is located on the roof of the LAX airport.

7. Worried about parking? The airport has over 21,000 parking spaces at the terminal including long and short term parking and the outdoor economy lots.

8. Transportation to and from the LAX airport and its vicinity is simple with shuttle buses, taxis, rental cars, the airport and public buses and even light rail.

9. While many airports today are located on the outskirts of town LAX is located on 3,425 acres right in the heart of Los Angeles.

10. How many airports do you know that have their own song? LAX airport has a song that was written by Leann Scott and performed by David Frizzel in 1970 called LA International Airport. Then, in 1971 Susan Raye, a famous country singer redid the song and it shot to number 9 on the country charts and 54 on the pop chart. Just recently, in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the LAX airport, it was sung again by Susan Raye and then it was given new lyrics by Leann Scott and sung again by Shirley Myers.

11. The Los Angeles International Airport also supports the public arts programs of the community. Right at the entrance of the airport are 100 foot high pylons and 32 foot high letters that spell out LAX. This is the work of the artist Paul Tzanetopoulos. There is also a program at LAX airport which allows high school students from the area to display their works in the airport in a revolving display. The students not only gain some notoriety and recognition, but they also can get university credit for participating.

12. You can also find all of the typical airport services at LAX. You will find bookshops and restaurants, lost and found, shoe shine stations, baggage storage, banking machines, and first aid stations.

Your trip to (or through) Los Angeles International airport can be enjoyable and relaxing if you know what is available to you. The airport is working to become more easily accessible and passenger friendly. To get you in the mood for your trip, take a listen to the theme song. You can find it online.

The Climates of Europe

The continent of Europe can be conveniently divided into five distinct climatic zones. Each climatic zone has its peculiar feature of temperature and rainfall. The following is a brief description of each of them.

1. Hot Dry Summers, Warm Wet Winters

This type of climate is also call the Mediterranean type of climate. This is due most of the countries which have this climate lie close to the Mediterranean Sea. The peculiar feature of the climate is that the summers are hot and dry; The winters warm and wet. This climatic zone includes a greater part of Southern Europe ie, Southern Portugal, almost whole of Spain, South of France, a greater part of Italy, Balkan States and Greece. Temperature in the summer is quite high; Mean temperature of the hottest month at Rome is 76 F (24C) at Athens 80 F (27C). The sky is cloudless and the days are beautifully sunny. In winter when most of the Europe is experiencing a harsh winter with bitter cold, these lands enjoy quite warm temperatures. Rome for instance has a temperature of 45 F (7 C) in January, Athens 48 F (9 C) and Palermo in Sicily Island of 51 F (11 C). Compare these figures with those of Berlin 30 F (-1.1 C) and Moscow 14 F (-10 C) in the same months. No wonder that the areas associated with this climatic zone are one of the most popular tourist resorts in the world.

2. Mild Winters, Cool Summers

This type of Climate is also called the British type of Climate. It is found in North Western Europe that includes the British Isles, the greater part of France excluding Southern France, Belgium, the Nederland and South western Norway. This region has rain all the year round. The summers are cool; Typical temperatures are around 60 F (16 C) and the winters are mild. The temperatures of the winter months are usually above 32 F (0 C). Take London for example. It has a temperature of 59 F (15 C) in midsummer and 36 F (2 C) in midwinter. Paris has 65 F (18 C) and 37 F (3 C) respectively in summer and winter. The climate of the region as a whole is mild, however frequent cloudiness makes the weather gloomy especially in winter. The region is under the influence of the winds coming from the Atlantic Ocean all the year round. This is the reason that these areas are spared the extremes of hot and cold.

3. Cold Winters, Warm Summers

This type of climate is found in the heart of Europe in countries like Germany, Poland, Austria, Switzerland etc. The winters are cold with at least one month below 32 F (OC) and summers are quite warm. For instance at both Berlin and Vienna, the hottest month is above 66 F (19 C) and cold below 32 F (OC). The days are warmer in summer and cooler in winter than the British Type because these areas are located at a greater distance from the Atlantic ocean than the cool winter type and its moderating influence does not reach them. These areas also have rain through the years and maximum rain falls in summer but the skies are much clearer than those of the British type and Germany is famous for its warm and beautiful sunny days in summer. Some areas in this region like Switzerland have a tendency of cool summers because of their height but the general pattern of weather demands its inclusion in this type of weather rather than under the British type of climate.

4. Very cold winters and Hot summers

The areas which fall under this category include the countries of Eastern and Eas-Central Europe which includes Southern and Central Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria etc. These areas are located very far away from sea and have a typical continental climate of hot summers and very cold winters. These areas have at least two months below 32 F (0 C) in winter and at least one month above 68 F (20 C) in summer. For instance Belgrade and Bucharest both have three months each below 32 F, Kiev in Ukraine and Moscow both have five. Similarly in Summer Moscow and Kiev both have at least one month touching 68 F (20 C) while Bucharest and Belgrade have two months exceeding 70 F (21 C). This region also has a summer rain maxima but the rain fall is less than that of Central Europe.

5. Very cold most of the year with a very short summer.

The North of Russia, Norway except the south western part, Northern Sweden and Finland etc fall under this category. The winter is very large and long while the summer is short and warm. It is usual to have six to eight months below 32 F in these areas. The rainy is light to moderate which tends to be scanty as we move toward the poles. These areas are covered with snow for most months of the year and during a very brief summer beautiful flowers grow in abundance. This area is the coldest of all the areas described above hence very thinly populated. The extreme winter is due to two reasons; Its high latitudinal position and remoteness from sea. Some of the areas included in this climatic zone have very long days in summer and very short days in winter. Here they are appropriately called Lands of Midnight Sun.

The above description about different climates found in Europe is in no sense perfect but it does give a general idea about what type of weather to expect when traveling to the Continent.

Factors Affecting Marketing Strategy

Marketing strategy:

Marketing strategy consists of some valuable plans that integrate an organization’s marketing goals. The Proper combination of goals, policies, and action sequences makes the marketing strategies effective. The main aim of marketing strategy is to increase the sales and profits of any organization or company.

Marketing strategy is developed by considering the following factors:

Environment analysis and marketing research:

The observation of external factors that promote success or failure of a company is a most important marketing strategy. The external factors include economy, competition, atmosphere, transport system and solicitation of data to resolve special marketing issue.

Market selection:

For better sales of a product, market selection is significant. The amount of sales of a product depends on the location of the market, whether the market is situated in urban or rural areas; whether the market place is easily accessible for people.

Consumer analysis:

The consumer characteristics such as taste, choice and preference affect the product marketing. The consumer characteristic varies from man to man and location to location. So inspection of consumer characteristics, needs and purchase processes is also important.

Product planning (including foods, services, and ideas):

Product planning includes the development of existing product by changing of the composition, packaging system, product positions, brands and deletion of the old products.

Distribution planning:

The delivery system of the product to various markets, shopping malls and restaurants is also considered for marketing strategy. The distance from the production place to whole or retail seller, transportation system, physical distribution, allocation of goods, wholesaling detailing, inventory management and channel relations are reasonable factors for distribution planning.

Price planning:

Price of a product should be kept in tolerable range for all classes of people so that they can easily pay for the product. If the price of the product becomes very high, the consumer will not buy the product.

Communication Planning:

The communication planning may include the advertising about the product through different mass media, such as the television, radio, newspaper. The more a company publishes, the more it sells. At the recent time, online advertising is another media of publicity. By advertising the companies or organizations gets the chance of focusing their product’s good quality and urging the customers to buy their products.

Brand name:

Brand name of a company has a large effect on the consumer to make them buy their product. A company should select a nice and attractive family brand for its better publicity.

Success Lessons From Greek Tycoon Aristotle Onassis's Life

The moment you finished this article, you will be able to learn how you can find whatever the years just ahead are good or bad for you, and how long this season will last, so that you can act accordingly: if there is a storm on The horizon, you will take shelter in time, if sunny days loom ahead, you will take advantage before the opportunity passes, so that you can highly succeed in life.

Before that however, we have first to see what lessons derive from Greek tycoon Aristotle Onassis's life, how the alternatives of his life seasons from good to bad and vice versa radically influenced his successful career. Onassis began his career as a ship owner in 1933, while the Great Depression of 1929 had not ended yet. Because of the crisis, the ships' prices had declined precipitously. A ten-year-old freighter, which had cost $ 1 million to build in 1920, could now be obtained for $ 20,000. Onassis found that a whole fleet of ten such ships was for sale in Saint Lawrence in Canada. He immediately bought six of those ships for $ 20,000 each. And some years later, he expanded his fleet tremendously: he obtained a loan of $ 40 million in 1947 from various American banks and built 18 more ships, tankers included.

But in 1954 he did something that moved him to the brink of destruction. After a series of negotiations, he concluded an agreement with the king of Saudi Arabia that would give him the exclusive rights to use his tankers to transport that country's huge oil output. As soon as the agreement became known, however, a storm of protest broke out against Onassis – not only the big US oil companies, which had the exclusive right to produce the Saudi Arabian oil, but also from the government of the United States itself.

The oil companies protested specifically to Saudi Arabia, and simultaneously made clear to Onassis that each time his ships would arrive in that country's ports to load crude oil, they would not let him have it. US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles warned the Saudis that if they insist on upholding the agreement with Onassis, the American oil companies would stop oil production in that country. In the face of that reaction, the king of Saudi Arabia was forced to cancel the agreement.

At the same time, the US oil companies decided, out of revenge, to discontinue any cooperation with Onassis. Each time a charter contract for any of his ships expired, they would not renew it, giving it instead to other ship owners. At the end of 1955, half of Onassis's tanker fleet was idle. His main source of income was drying up at tremendous speed. That situation continued into 1956 as well. More and more of his ships were becoming idle, and those ships were mortgaged with the huge loans he had borrowed to build them. But Onassis no longer had sufficient income to repay the loans. In despair, he went around to the American banks to which he was engaged, asking them to take over management of his ships. The international shipping community expected him to announce bankruptcy at any moment.

That bankruptcy never happened, however. A new season started in Onassis's life. In October 1956, the Suez Canal closed to shipping because of the crisis between Egypt and Israel. As a result, ships had to circumnavigate Africa, adding considering time to each trip. Too few ships were available to meet the demand, and freight costs skyrocketed to unpackedented heights in 1957. The only ship owner who had ships available was Onassis. Because of the boycott the American oil companies had imposed on him, he had a huge number of ships standing idle in various ports. The results were predictable. Onassis's ships were chartered by desperate merchants, the boycott ended, and the acrimonial relations with the oil companies were forgotten.

Instead of destruction, triumph had arrived. Onassis began to realize dizzying profits: in 1957 alone, he earned $ 70 million – while ten years earlier, he had been head over heels in debt with the $ 40 million loan he had taken out. The profits were unbelievable. Onassis did not know what to do with all this money. His first act was to repay all the loans he owed.

His second act was to commission the building of new ships –among them a 100,000-ton tanker, the largest in the world at that time. His third act was to give a resplendent reception in Monte Carlo to celebrate his improved fortunes. And after some years, Onassis became the wealthiest person on earth.

By 1973, however, Onassis's brilliant season would end abruptly. What followed was a tragic season, the last of Onassis's life. In January 1973, Onassis's son Alexander was killed in a plane crash at the Athens airport at the age of 19. Onassis showed at first that he overcame that event. Immediately after his son's funeral and burial on his private island Skorpios, he started expanding his fleet. While the fleet then associated of more than 100 ships -among them 15 supertankers of 200,000 tons each – Onassis commissioned six more tankers to be built, two of them of 400,000 tons each, the largest tankers in the world.

But from 1974, things began worsening. Perhaps because of his son's death, he began in 1974 to suffer from myasthenia gravis, an incurable disease affecting the eyes and other parts of the body. He could not hold his eyelids open, and had to keep them up with tape. He had also a hard time swallowing food and slurred his words when speaking. Not surprisingly, he was full of complaints: about his life, about himself, about his marriage, about everything.

Next year-1975- was the last in Onassis's life: he became seriously ill from pneumonia. In an awful condition, he entered a hospital in Paris, where he was operated on to no avail. On March 15, 1975, the wealthiest man in the world died -at the age of 69. Only his daughter Christina was at his bedside.

Conclusion

From Onassis' life derives that in 1957, the bad season he experienced till that year (he was faced with bankruptcy, as you can recall) suddenly ended, and a good season started for him, when the Suez Canal closed to shipping and he began becoming The wealthiest person on earth. But in 1974, a reversal of seasons happened in his life: his good season ended that year and a bad one started, when his beloved son Alexander was killed in a plane crash, and Onassis began to suffer from myasthenia gravis that led him finally to Death.

Resembling alternations of seasons, however, derives also from the biographies of many other famous people I have studied. Among them, there are the biographies of Napoleon, Beethoven, Verdi, Churchill, Picasso, Jackie Kennedy Onassis, Queen Elizabeth I of England, Elizabeth Taylor, Margaret Thatcher, Columbus, Mandela, and many others, more than 20 biographies in total.

For example:
— Beethoven's good and bad seasons alternated in 1776, 1792, 1809, and 1825
— Napoleon's alternated in 1776, 1792, and 1809
— Churchill's alternated in 1875, 1892, 1908, 1924, and 1941
— Verdi's alternated in 1825, 1842, 1859, 1875, and 1892
— Picasso's alternated in 1892, 1908, 1925, 1941, and 1957
— Jackie Kennedy Onassis's alternated in 1941, 1957, 1974, and 1990
— Elizabeth Taylor's alternated in 1941, 1958, 1975, and 1990
— Margaret Thatcher's alternated in 1941, 1957, 1975, and 1990
— Mandela's alternated in 1941, 1957, 1974, and 1990
— Queen Elizabeth's I of England alternated in 1545, 1562, 1578 and 1595
— Columbus's alternated in 1479 and 1496.

Comparing these biographies, I arrived at an astonishing discovery: the seasons of all the above people alternating according to a certain pattern. Also, after extensive research, I found that our own lives' seasons alternate according to the same certain pattern. That means, therefore, we can foresee how our life's good and bad seasons will alternate in the future, with amazing accuracy.

So, we can act accordingly. If there is a storm on the horizon, we can take a shelter in time. If sunny days loom ahead, we can take advantage before the opportunity passes. We can thus highly succeed in life by taking contractual decisions regarding our career, marriage, family, relationships, and all other life's issues.

How Socrates Influences Our Lives Today

Socrates (ca. 470-399 BC) is not just another "dead white male" despised by our university elite but a man who philosophical breakthroughs reverberate down through the centuries and significantly affect us today. Athens in the fifth century BC was the age of Pericles. The grandiose construction projects undertaken by Pericles such as the Parthenon were being built during Socrates' lifetime.

Philosophically, Athens was in a time of confusion, flux and disarray. The pre-sociological philosophers, particularly the sophists such as Protagorus, Gorgias and Thrasymachus were teaching moral relativism in their philosophical schools. The term "sophist" means "wise man" and these wise men implicitly regarded their own personal wisdom as the foundation of understanding right behavior.

Protagorus, Gorgias and Thrasymachus were not native to Athens and had traveled extensively. In their travels they had seen that what was hidden in one culture was permitted or even encouraged in another. This led them to the erroneous conclusion that morals are relative and there is there is no foundation of truth or firm way of determining right and wrong.

The term "sophistry" today has negative connotations as well it should. Since the sophists believed morals were relative they descended into philosophical pragmatism which is the idea that the best philosophy is that which is practical or that which "works" regardless of its moral implications.

Pragmatism is very popular in western civilization today. The pragmatist philosophy of the American philosopher William James is a flowering of modernist sophistry. In the West we now have a situation similar to that of ancient Athens. The ancient sophists charged high fees for their courses of instruction and this too was a departure from Athenian tradition which had always maintained that philosophers not charge for their instruction. Socrates was trained by the sophists but could only afford the short course.

The sophists taught rhetoric which is the art of verbal persuasion. Since the sophists made no firm truth claims so they just taught how to persuade. Each man made up his own truth and the more clever could persuade others.

Socrates saw the emptiness of this and feared for his city that the sophists, through their relativism, would destroy the foundation of morals and ever lead to an extinction of ethics and a return to barbarism. Socrates' approach to the situation was to look to the intellect to try to discover the foundation of truth. He looked to the human conscience. Socrates had stumbled onto one of God's ways of giving revelation to man.

The Bible in Romans 2: 14-15 tells us that Gentiles who do not have God's written book, the Bible, do have their consciences which tell them right from wrong.

All people through human history have the inward witness of conscience which regardless of cultural training gives witness to God's will. The Bible also teaches that all people have the witness of nature (Psalm 19: 1-3; Romans 1: 19-20) which reveals things about God. Socrates had no Bible but was not totally without access to revelation of God's will. God has given light to all people including Socrates. Socrates did his best to live by the light he had.

I do not claim to know whether or not Socrates ever came to true repentance and received eternal life. I do believe that he made philosophical breakthroughs that thought about moral reform.

Socrates preferred argumentation over rhetoric. He bought to tease out a solid definition of merit. His form of argumentation is called "dialectic." Dialectic is the practice of examining statements logically through question and answer. Thus arouse the famous "Socratic questioning."

You can imagine how annoyed the older sophist philosophers were by this smart young man asking embarrassing questions. They could not answer his questions and their inadequate answers revealed the logical absurdities of the sophist positions.

Socrates changed the course of philosophy and is a hero to those of us who stand up for principle against persuasive demagogues. Later on Athens lost a war with Sparta and in that turmoil Socrates' enemies were able to level charges against him which resulted in a death sentence. The parallels between Socrates' Athens and contemporary western civilization are inescapable. Universities are currently rife with sophistry. Moral relativism, the idea that there is no real right or wrong, that each person makes up his own morals is taught in the college classroom.

At first glance moral relativism appears to be open minded and tolerant but since it provides no basis for right behavior it threatens the erasure of ethics and a return to barbarism.

There are three worldviews:

1) The modern worldview is the idea that absolute truth exists and that it can be discovered by human reason alone independent of the Bible or any other verbal revelation from God.

2) The postmodern worldview is the idea that no absolute truth exists and that truth is relative, truth is purely subjective and is created by each individual human mind.

3) The Christian worldview is that God has given us absolute truth through his divinely inspired book, the Bible and God has also given absolute truth through the human conscience and also through nature (God's laws are embedded in nature which is the concept of natural law ).

Right now there are millions of young people who see themselves as being in the same position as Socrates. These young people see through the sophistry of the university elite. The difference is that while Socrates had no Bible these young people are born again Christians who know their Bibles and receive from the Bible a clear instruction of God's morality. There is an army of these holy Socrates' going forth, Bible in hand, to give western civilization absolute truth, the same absolute truth on which the West was originally founded. This truth is the Christian Gospel.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came in fulfillment of over 300 prophecies written centuries before His birth. No other figure in all of history can make this claim. The fact that Jesus would come to die for our sins and then be resurrected from the dead is foretold by Old Testament prophecies. These prophecies give Jesus Christ supernatural proof of His authority to give us absolute truth

Ancient Greek Agora

From the moment people began to organize themselves into groups they had to have a place where they could meet and make decisions on matters of common interest. Such places demonstrate the existence of a community life: they were the public squares. We do not know what they were called in pre-historic times; We do know that the Greek word for such a place is agora, from the verb agorevein (speak), which shows clearly its initial function. With the growth of trade and the use of speech in buying and selling, the verb agorevein lent its form to agorazein which acquired the meaning of "purchase", to reflect new needs. Similarly, the movable table for transactions was then called "trapeza", the modern Greek word for bank.

In pre-historic times, when the first settlement was established on the protected southern side of the Acropolis, the northern side was used as a necropolis, or cemetery. In a well from the neolithic period, a statuette representing a headless semi-reclining woman was found dating from the 3rd millennium BC. It is a marvellous example of primitive sculpture with the characteristic abundant flesh indicative of fertility. Many examples of Mycenean pottery were found in the same vicinity as well as a number of large jars (pithoi). Among the general customs of antiquity was that of enclosing the bodies of very young children in such jars, which were then buried; Older children were laid straight in the ground. Only after puberty was the cremation of the body permitted. As the city grew, the graves were moved to the Dipylon area which was the potters' district, Kerameikos, so that very few graves remained in the area around the Areopagus hill after 1000 BC.

That was the Agora and Speech related. Plutarch reports that the Agora first began to function as a meeting place for the residents of the federated territories during the rule of Theseus, when a Prytaneion was established. The altar bearing the sacred fire of this first official building became the symbol of newly constituted state. Other important buildings were the Bouleuterion, the Eleusinion sanctuary and the temple of Aphrodite Pandemos. The latter was a tribute built by the municipalities to the goddess with the great power over human nature. There was a great deal of traffic in the area, making it suitable for the practice of the oldest profession; The women were dedicated to the goddess thereby giving the term "pandemos Aphrodite" its meaning of prostitute. We do not know the precise location of these early sites, although they must have been somewhere in the clearing between the Areopagus and the northwestern corner of the Acropolis.

After the monarchy was abolished and the citizens acquitted the right to express their opinion, a need clearly anose for more public buildings and a larger place in which the citizens could gather. The level ground east of the Areopagus was regarded as being the most suitable location for the Agora which was to have several new sanctuaries and public fountains. While the Acropolis was devoted exclusively to religion, the Agora from the very beginning assumed the function of a civic and administrative center. No trace of these first public buildings has lived up to our time, since they are underneath the present, densely populated district of Plaka.

The establishment of colonies, which the orator Isocrates would later refer to as the best possible solution to political problems, and the resultant growth of trade made it absolutely essential to have a more convenient place to do business. Thus, early in the 6th century, Solon selected the most appropriate spot for the Agora, ie the site we know today. The flat ground north of the Areopagus formed a triangle with its apex facing northward and its western side protected by a plateau. On the east was the main road which started at the Dipylon Gate, the entrance to the city, and ascended to the Acropolis. In addition, the roads from the outer townships ended in this lowland near a little creek called the Eridanos.

From the first moment, it proved to be an excellent choice. The plateau was named Agoraios Kolonos, and on its slopes the first public building was erected, very possibly a council chamber. Small temples followed, as did a Bouleuterion (Council House) and a Prytaneion. Solon chose the entrance to the city as the best position for a portico andave orders for the written laws to be kept there. The Agora was beginning to take shape.

In the second half of the 6th century, during the tyranny of Peisistratos, the site was provided with a water supply and drainage system. A monumental fountain and rainwater duct were built. Like all dictators, Peisistratos was not especially keen on the idea of ​​increasing space for meeting andoting; Instead, he filled the city with projects to benefit the public. During the years of his rule, the great road followed by the Panathenaic procession took on its final form. On the south side of the Acropolis, the people's courthouse of the Heliaia was built and, at the northern crossroads, the Altar of the Twelve Gods.

The Persian campaign left much of the city in ruins which began to be cleared away after 460 BC, when Kimon was in power. Many new buildings were put up then, including porticoes with shops, a large Bouleuterion, special places for meetings of military leaders (strategoi) and civic administrators (prytanes), as well as altars and monuments honoring local heroes. On the highest point in the Agora, the temple of Hephaestos, the blacksmith god, was built. This Doric temple preceded the Parthenon, and also housed a statue of Athena, the goddess of wisdom. That was the two gods brought together showing the association between philosophy and art, teaching that intellectuals and artisans can not live one without the other.

During the years that followed, the Agora became the true heart of the city. Although decisions were made in the Council of the Deme and in the neighboring PNyx, the draws to determine who would take part in the administration of the state were held in the Agora. The laws, their enforcement, the penalties imposed on violators, the minting of currency, buying and selling – all had their own particular spot in the Agora. Processions, races, auctions and feasts were all characteristic of this political, civic, cultural, commercial and sometimes religious center. The streets of the growing city may well have been narrow and full of hazardous potholes and the wooden homes may have had but one floor floor room with possibly a wooden addition above. The walls of these houses may have been brick and suspectible to thieves. Cooking fires may have been lit on the road and the lack of proper sewers may have been liable for epidemics. But when the Athenian citizen entered the Agora, he felt that he was participating in and contributing to the miracle of his times. Philosophers, orators, politicians and citizens caused Demosthenes to say, in the 4th century, that the customary greeting between Athenians meeting in the Agora was: What's new? At the end of the Hellenistic period, the Agora was crowded with buildings, including a recent grace portico donated by Attalos of Pergamum. The Romans who followed began competitiveness to build other edifices which caused the Agora to spill out beyond its initial boundaries. Altars, temples, a library and gymnasium, porticoes and colonnades, all of which were open to the public, made Saint Paul say that the Athenian citizens and metoici did nothing but stroll around the Agora discussing politics. Athenaios from Egypt was also highly impressed, and wrote in his Deepnosophists that in the Athens Agora, one could find with equal ease: fruit, false witness, complaints, pap, pedlars, honeycomb with honey, peas, trials, lotteries, roses and irises , Laws, hydraulic clocks, pimps, informers, myrtle branches …

The weakening of the Roman Empire greeted barbarians. In 267 AD, the Agora was sacked by the Herulians who influenced only the temple. A wall was built from the rubble of the buildings, but it could not save the Agora from Alaric's Goths in 396. This total destruction was followed by reconstruction which kept the site functioning until 529. This was the year of the final blow against Athens, When the Byzantine emperor Justinian ordered the closing of the philosophical schools, which the new religion regards with such hostility. The Agora was abandoned, its monuments fell into disuse and then decay, the site was gradually covered over by earth and mud because there was nobody to keep the drainage ducts cleared. During subcenture centuries, homes were built of the plentiful debris. On top of the buried antiquities, the lovely Byzantine church of the Holy Apostles was built in the year 1000. Meantime, the ancient temple of Hephaistos had already been consecuted to St George.

Through the 400 years of Turkish rule (1456-1829), the Athenians lived perched on the north side of the Acropolis, where the heart of the Polis had once beaten most proudly. Many houses were destroyed during the Greek War of Independence, especially during the siege of Athens by Kiutahi Pasha. But with the design of the city as capital of the new Greek state, new homes were soon built on top of the ruins of older ones. The architects Kleanthis and Schubert, who had been assigned to reconstruct the capital, vainly proposed that the new city be built some distance away from the old one so as to leave the ground free for future excavations. Short-sightedness, pettiness and profit, however, proved stronger than reason. The first traces of the ancient Agora were disclosed in 1859, when foundations for houses began being dug. Much later, in 1931, the American School of Classical Studies undertook regular excavations which continued until after 1945, with constant appropriations of property. It is estimated that more than three hundred thousand tons of earth and rubble were moved in order to bring the Agora to light. Today the ancient heart of Athens, spread out as far as permitted by the surrounding modern buildings, reveals its beauty, its eloquent ruins and its rich memories of days past, days of eternal glory.

The most impressive monument in the ancient Agora is indisputably the great Doric temple which dominates the site. Built on the top of a plateau, known as the Agoraios Kolonos, this temple is the best-preserved ancient building in Greece, having survived a great number of adventures, threats and changes including the alteration of its original name. For centuries, this temple was known as the Theseion, as it was believed to have been a temple dedicated to Theseus, a conclusion drawn from its sculpted decoration depicting the hero's feats. This restless prince of prehistoric Athens was characterized by the Athenians, as the Attic counterpart of the Doric Hercules. Tales were invented about his birth, his achievements, his wanderings. It is said that he fell in love with the beautiful Helen when she was still a child and he an old man, and that this love pitted him against her brothers the Dioscuri, which forced him to seek refuge on the island of Skyros. There the local king Lykomedes killed him by throwing him off a cliff. After an oracle from Delphi, Kimon went to the island in 469 BC to fetch the bones of the founder of Athens and bury them properly in his ancestral city. A temple was built on Theseus' grave and was called Theseion, which Thucydides mentioned as a place where hoplites would gather. Aristophanes used the mocking name "Theseion-frequenter" to denote people who, having nothing to do, would wander about aimlessly. Plutarch wrote that the Theseion was a refuge for slaves, but its exact location is unknown.

Pausanias reiter explicitly to the large temple in the Agora as being dedicated to Hephaistos and indeed he even described the cult statues there: one of Hephaistos and one of Athena with blue eyes. The celebrated Roman orator Cicero greatly adapted the bronze statues which had been sculpted by Alcamenes just after 421 BC, praising the artist for his skill in introducing the lame Hephaistos standing upright without showing his physical disability. This testimony is the only trace of these statues that remains today.

The temple was built after 449 BC, based on plans by an unknown architect, similar in size to the temple of Poseidon at Sounion and that of Nemesis at Ramnus, near Marathon. It is indeed remarkable that, despite all the disasters that befell the Agora during the years of the barbarian invasions, the temple was left intact. Later, under Byzantine rule, it became a church consecrated to St George. An apse was built on the eastern side, and a door was opened on the west. In about 1300, the original ceiling collapsed and was replaced with the present-day vaulted one, which stands in sharp contrast to the rest of the building. It may even have been due to these changes that the temple escaped destruction, particularly during the years of Ottoman rule. It used to be said that in order to permit services to be held in the church, the Turkish governor would demand the weight of the key to the building in gold. At that time, keys were huge and gold rare, which was why the building only opened once a year. Services were held solely on the stress of St George, a fact which lent the building its picturesque name: St George the Akamatis (Lazybones).

In the early 19th century, during the Revolution against the Ottoman Empire, the temple was called "thirty-two columns"; It was used to chant the Te Deum when King Otto arrived in the capital in 1834, signaling liberty from the Turks. A marvellous painting of the period shows us the young king being welcomed by the awestruck crowd, as he started out unsuspectingly along the road to his destiny. Services were held in the church for the last time in 1934, on the 100th anniversary of the new Athens; Two years later its restoration as an archaeological monument began.

The temple of Hephaistos stands firmly on a foundation of three steps, the bottom of which is poros stone, the other two are Pentelic marble; The columns are of the same material, 13 on each of the long flanks and six on the facades. Outside the columns there are traces of pedestals of votive offerings and statues. On the east side, is a carved representation on the floor near the columns which shows that some lazy people used to spend their time either playing something like modern board games or scratching the marble with the age-old destructive mania of bored people.

Although the external dimensions of the building are typical of the classical age, the interior was an unsuccessful endeavor to achieve the perfect symmetry of the slightly later Parthenon.

The pronaos which once existed had two columns which were removed when the building was converted into a church, and was more spacious than the corresponding opisthodomos on the west side. Another equally unsymmetrical element could be seen inside the temple, where the inner Doric columns, five columns on the flanks and three on the west, were very close to the outer walls, and appeared to diminish the space. In front of the three columns on the west side a base of gray stone shows where statues of the gods had stood. Nothing has remained of the initial marble flooring, since for some centuries now it has been the custom to bury famous citizens here. On the interior wall of the north side one can still see an Englishman's gravestone bearing an epigram by Lord Byron.

The sculpted decoration of the temple has not been well preserved since for centuries it has been exposed to the weather and changes of season. The pediments have suffered most of all: on the east the sculptures have been lost while, while on the west some animal hoofs have remained which might have been part of a representation of the battle with the centaurs, a subject directly related to Theseus. The eastern metopes narrated the labors of Hercules while on the north and south side there are four relief slabs again depicting the feats of Theseus. On the exterior wall of the temple proper, there was a frieze on the facades alone, not on the flanks. On the eastern side Theseus was presented fighting against his kinsmen the Pallantides, who had rejected his hereditary right to the throne of Athens. To portray all these fighting figures, the sculptor used the entire width of the cella facade. By contrast, on the opposite, western side, the classic battle of the Centaurs and Lapiths occupied less less space.

Around the temple there were two rows of shallow pits at regular intervals. Even today, on the south side one can see traces of intense clay jars half-buried in the ground; They were flower pots for the ornamental plants that adorned the site during the Hellenistic and Roman age. In a dry city like Athens, plants have always been welcome; We know that in an earlier age, Kimon himself had taken care to plant myrtle and plane trees in the Agora. There was once an enclosure round the sacred precinct of the temple, but not a trace of it remains. The same is true of the access point from the Agoraios Kolonos plateau to the lower level of the Agora; The grand staircase which used to be there has been completely destroyed.

Just north of the temple, but at a somewhat lower level, traces were found of an intense colonnaded structure which had been almost inevitably hewn out of the natural rock. Archaeologists believe it to have been a 4th-century building that was either related to the Athenian army or, because of the large number of Panathenaic amphoras found there, a storehouse for sacred oil. But the existence of strictly-built walls and a system for collecting rain water in underground cisterns makes it difficult for scholars to identify this strange building and its function. There was another building, too, on the Agoraios Kolonos: the little temple dedicated to Urania Aphrodite, the ruins of which were discovered accidentally in 1890, during the building of the railroad that was to link Athens with Piraeus.

We know that Aphrodite was a very ancient deity. The personification of love and fertility, she began in Babylon where she was worshiped as the all-powerful Ishtar. In addition to temples, the inmates of Babylon with its mythical wealth, had dedicated even the main entrance of this heavily walled city to their powerful protector. This is the gate which we can see restored today in the Museum in Berlin. The same divinity was called Astarte in Phoenician regions while the monotheistic Semites feared her as Ashtaroth: a divine but extremely dangerous woman who made it difficult for them to observe the strict rules in their lives. Herodotus reported, in the third book of his history, that in the land of the Phoenicians the all-powerful goddess had another name as well: Alilat. The Sumerians called her Inanna and the Persians Anahita for who she was protection of the water, which in their dry country was life itself. The influence of this supreme goddess spread through the entire Mediterranean, carried by Phoenician seamen who greeted her as far as the city of Eryce on the western tip of Sicily, where she was worshiped on top of a steep rock. In the other great Phoenician colony, Carthage, she was called Tanit.

This goddess with the many names was worshiped according to the needs of the society in which her sanctuaries were located. Not only were her names different, but so were her rites: orgies, sacred prostitution, even the sacrifications of first-born children, as was the case in Carthage in the worship of the bloodthirsty Tanit. It is worth noting that the symbol of this Carthaginian goddess can be seen in Delos, on the threshold of the house of the dolphins, like a magic charm to keep misfortune away from the householders.

From clay slabs found on the coast of Syria, we learn of the correspondence of an Ugarit chief with his counterpart in Alasia, as prehistoric Cyprus was called. These relationships explain the way in which the Eastern divinity was transported to the island of Cyprus, where as early as the 12th century BC, there was a sanctuary dedicated to her near Paphos. But here the insatiable goddess changed form. She became identified with the sea and was named Pelagic.

In his Cosmogonia, Hesiod wrote some strange things about how this universal heavenly power came to be in the Helladic world. He said that Kronos castrated Uranus and threw the immortal parts of his divine father into the sea somewhere near Kythera. On that spot, a great foam was created out of which emerged the beautiful goddess. This accounts for her name in Greek, as Aphrodite means "arisen out of the foam". The waves embraced her and thought her gently to Cyprus where she acquired yet another name: Cypris.

Associated with humankind's most powerful emotion, Aphrodite was worshiped everywhere with zeal, as her cult conquered one region after the other. She enchanted both gods and mortals, accompanied by a retinue consisting of the mischievous Eros, the Graces, Desire and Lust. She was by her nature a fateful goddess, who could not stand to be spurned; She punished the unloved harshly, as she did Hippolytus, son of Theseus. The proud goddess tormented him and led him to his doom because the rash young man dared to prefer to worship the virginity of Artemis. In Sparta, Aphrodite was worshiped as a martial goddess, in keeping with the paramount local values, and in Athens she was exalted as Urania, heavenly protection of the noblest form of love. There was of course the other sanctuary, in her Pandemos form, but it was as Urania, her refined form, that she was honored on the Agoraios Kolonos, along the temple of her husband Hephaistos who had gone through so much during their married life. Pausanias referred to the sanctuary of the goddess and to its cult statue, a work by Phidias from choice marble, but today only a few stones have been saved on the slope of the hill around the train tracks. In order to build this central communications line, the ruins of the greater part of this ancient building were sacrificed.