Hanging Fireplaces Make a Big Hit

The hanging fireplace is making a big hit these days. I'm not sure when they first came out, but people want them more than ever now. The thing is that it is quite expensive to buy one or hire a contractor to build one.

When it comes to contemporary fireplace design, there are so many safe and inexpensive ways to keep up with the Jones's. Plus if you've been following me for years, you know by now that I'm going to want you to do it yourself. So if a hanging fireplace sounds like something you would want in your living room or bedroom, let's take a look at how you might build one for yourself.

Of course, we should first begin by talking about the structural issues that arise with a hanging fireplace. A hanging fireplace can be a great looking contemporary feature in your home. But, it can also be a hazard if it is not secure. Anyone with any logic would understand that a fire hanging in the middle of the room would have to be something dangerous if the structure is not solid.

There are several suggestions I would make so that the fireplace is secure enough that it will never become a fire hazard in your home. The simplest form that I would suggest would be to suspend it with cables from the ceiling. But, you have to make sure that the cables are securely attached to the ceiling. This is one of those critical areas you can not cheat.

Have you ever heard the one about the guy who had a 10,000 pound hitch ball, so he thought it could pull a trailer that weighed a few hundred pounds less than maximum capacity? When he pushed away to start pulling the trailer, his car left out of the parking lot just fine. But, he left the trailer behind along with his bumper and the hitch ball.

That's the kind of mistake you do not want to make when it comes to hanging your fireplace in mid-air. So, make sure you have industrial strength materials. A plant holder and a piece of string are not going to work. If you look in any hardware store, you'll find strong hangers and cables that you can use.

Screw the hangers into ceiling beams that support the structure of your ceiling. Hang a shelf with the cables. Simply drill a hole in each of the corners so that you can run your cable through. The best way I have found to do this is to create an eyelet on one end of the cable by forming a loop at the end and then crimping it with a fastener. Hook that end to your hanger. Then run the cable through one corner of the shelf and through the adjacent corner as well. Form another eyelet on the other end of your cable and run that to the ceiling. Perform those same steps for the other two adjacent corners and you have yourself a sturdy shelf that will securely hold your fireplace.

Of course, there are a few extra steps you are going to have to take. First of all, when you are sure that your shelf is perfectly level both front to back and side to side, you are going to want to secure the cable at each of the corners. Otherwise, your fireplace could have taken a chance on being tipped over onto the floor. You can place fasteners on the bottom of the shelf at each corner that will hold the cable in place. Or you can fasten the cables together where they meet in the middle. Either way works perfectly fine.

Now, all you need are your fireplace inserts, ceramic logs and Sunjel fuel to enjoy a fireplace that is suspended in mid-air. The hanging fireplace is a unique idea that has many solutions if you use your imagination. So, have some fun with it and make sure you keep your home safe at all times.

5 Reasons to Think Seriously About Becoming a Stone Mason

Let’s look into this a bit more closely. There are five significant reasons to be thinking about being a stone mason. Let’s examine them. Let’s go over them to simply make certain that we have not missed anything:

First, learning to be a natural stone builder can be worthwhile because it is a really profitable field. The outlook for masons is considered to be high. Sure, I recognize your argument that it may be difficult because you do not know how to go about it; – there is not a clear cut path to certification like in some fields like nursing.. Yes, that could be a valid argument, think about it this way: if you got into a field with a high demand that is rewarding it would be worth doing a bit of digging (ha ha) to find out the qualifications in your state.

Second, bricklaying is a boon to people who like the arts. The reason behind that’s there is a huge capacity for creativity as putting the rocks together in a certain way can cause tremendously beauty as well as functionality. And you are always creating a one of the kind work. Masonry is a creative profession by anyone’s definition.

Third, masonry appeals to a person’s technical sense. Together with creative capabilities a person will definitely use their skills in math and science! It is important that masons be able to figure out the dimensions of a building or wall. You will definitely be using your left side as well as the right side of your brain to be a bricklayer!

Fourth, masons have a long history of which you can be proud. The pyramids were made by masons, as was Stonehenge. You can travel through England and find many ancient stone walls.

And fifth, you will have the capacity to go into more management jobs if you become a mason. Becoming a bricklayer will provide you with a trade – but if you want to take it further you could also become a manager and run your own crew, or have your own very successful business. When you consider and evaluate all of the reasons, they can make a strong case for anyone to begin to look at how to thinking about becoming a mason. Maybe it’s really not suitable for you. However, just look at the benefits. And perhaps you will not become a mason professionally, but many people learn to be a mason and use in their own homes. Seriously consider learning about masonry or even just seeing what masons have done over time so you can be inspired by this beautiful art that has been so important in history.

Learn the Four Essentials of Modern Home Interior Design

For many homeowners today the choice of modern home interior design has become increasingly popular. The advantages it offers such as its clean and uncluttered feel makes this style one that people tend to love. Other advantages that this style of home décor provides is the wide variety and availability of furnishings and accents that one can make use of. Bear in mind however that before you even begin your quest towards changing the look of your home, there are a few things that you need to consider particularly the addition of four important elements.

Making Use Of Clean Lines

When you think of modern home interior design one the first things that come to mind is the look, it's all about the simple, clean and sleek look of the architectural lines and furnishings found throughout the style. It is rare to find things like ornate pieces or intricate fabric patterns in this style, and instead solid colors, straight lines and geometric shapes are more commonly used. The use of clean lines applies to all furnishings from the couches, mirrors to the tables and chairs. Remember simplicity is the key to an ideal contemporary design.

Making Use Of Wood Tones

The use of wood in modern home interior design is not as common, however as long as the lines created are sleek and the tones match with the rest of the décor then it has it's place. The use of darker wood tones such as mahogany, Nara and walnut are the most ideal for this style, however many prefer to use pale toned wood instead such as teak. Making use of light tones brings out a good contrast between the sleek metal accents and makes the space brighter.

Making Use Of Metal

In the context of modern home interior design, the use of metal is necessary wherever it is a solid steel constructed centerpiece or sleek chrome hardware. Making use of metal frames within the space or use of metal legs on tables and other furniture provides the essence of this design style. Steel sculptures are ideal centerpieces to a room and the addition of metal vases or bowls filled with transparent beads provides good color contrast. If you want to accentuate the use of this design style even further you can place nickel plated lamp stands or chrome bookshelves, and literally as metal as eliminating pieces of furnishings.

Making Use Of Color

It may seem that within the context of modern home interior design [http://www.houseimprovementguide.com/category/interior-design], the use of neutral colors is the norm. However if you infuse small bursts of rich colors at key places within the space then it provides a more creative feel and compliments the style. Adding a crimson red couch with your chrome and glass coffee table or placing a set of deep burgundy blind divider in the middle of a room gives a great effect and provides a point of interest within the seemingly minimalist spaces. Perhaps try putting brightly colored pillows on a leather sofa or even yellow sunflowers in a metal vase on top of a black top table, and this gives some warmth to your space.

The feeling of calm and clean living is what modern home interior design provides and this is what makes it a popular choice of style today. Take a look at this particular style of interior design and decide whether this is one that would suit you.

Christian Relationship Help: Loving Detachment Is the Secret to Dealing With Difficult People

Are you looking for Christian relationship help for your difficult relationships? Then you need to read this article on why loving detachment is the secret to dealing with difficult people. Difficult relationships are complicated. It is easy to lose your life in the midst of the problems by focusing too much on the other person. The solution is to learn how to live your life and let the other people live their lives. The way it is done is by using loving detachment.

Loving detachment is:

Taking responsibility for living your life. You are responsible for your own actions, inactions, feelings, thoughts, and reactions. It is important that you do not blame the other person for how you live your life and even more important that you don’t wait to live your life until the problems are gone. Figure out what is right for you and then do it.

Allowing others to take responsibility for living their lives. It isn’t your responsibility to control what other people choose to do or not do-no matter how closely intertwined their lives are with yours. Their choices and the consequences of those choices belong to them-in this life and in eternity.

Facing the truth about what is happening. Detachment is not numbness, an absence of emotions, or denial. None of those things are healthy ways of responding; instead, you want to see the truth about what is going on and yet make wise, thoughtful, and intentional choices about how to deal with it.

Controlling how you respond. One of the components of a difficult relationship is reactivity. Emotions are strong and it is easy to get caught up in the drama. Detachment allows you to maintain a healthy objectivity about it. You can step back and observe what is happening and then decide how you want to act rather than just reacting.

Loving the person while detaching. It is your responsibility to respond to evil with a blessing which means you choose your response rather than doing what the other person does to you. You can love people while allowing them to own their behavior and choices. God does that with us. He loves us, treats us with kindness, and yet convicts us of our sin and holds us accountable.

Detachment is the secret to being able to live your own life in the midst of difficult relationships. This Christian relationship help will enable you to love while detaching. It will set you free!

Insulating Concrete Forms

This type of exterior wall system is becoming more popular due to the surge in green building construction. The first patent for the application of an ICF was registered in the 1960's. Insulating concrete forms or molds have built-in insulation for accepting reinforced concrete. ICF's are stay-in-place polystyrene forms that have proven to be energy efficient, cast in place reinforced concrete walls. This wall system can be used to create residential or commercial structures. Unlike conventional concrete forms, these stay-in-place after the concrete is placed in the wall cavity of the forms and serve as form, insulation, exterior wall sheathing, and in some cases wall studding. ICF wall systems allow for flexible design, and a wide array of architectural styles and treatments. The wall becomes a high performing wall that is structurally sound, insulated, has a vapor barrier, and is ready to accept final exterior and interior wall finishes.

There are many manufacturer's of this type of stay in place wall system. The wall systems can be grouped into three different systems:

o Panel Systems are the largest units, as big as 4 feet by 8 feet. The panels typically have flat edges and are connected to one another with extra wall fasteners.
o Plank Systems include units of long narrow planks of foam held a constant distance apart by steel or plastic ties. Typically, these planks are 8 foot long and 8 or 12 inches high. The planks have notched, cut, or drilled edges that they tie into. Additionally, the ties connect each course of planks to one above and below.
o Block Systems include units varying in size from standard concrete block sizes and up to much larger 16 inches high by 4 feet long. Along the edges are teeth or grooves and tongues for interlocking. They are able to stack without separate fasteners, in the same manner as children's lego blocks.

The various wall systems types have different cavity shapes – flat, grid, or post and beam. There are structural and architectural advantages for each type cavity.

There are many benefits and advantages of using these wall systems that promote greater comfort and lower energy bills. ICF's have a high R-value. Four inches of ASTM C578 polystyrene foam insulation combined with a five inch concrete wall would typically be rated a R-17. Nothing blows through the reinforced concrete, eliminating drafts, thereby have a very minimal air infiltration into the building envelope. The thermal mass of the exterior wall envelope eliminates temperature peaks and valleys. Energy savings have been estimated to be 25% to 50% for an ICF building versus wood framed or steel framed buildings.

Safety and health benefits include no CFCs, HCFC's, or formaldehydes, and also no wood to rot and mold. Typically the structures provide a two hour fire rating and highly termite and pest resistant. Concrete homes have proven track record to withstand the ravages of nature – hurricanes, tornados, and fires. This safety facet typically refers to reduced insurance premiums. The structures can also eliminate outside noises due to their high sound absorption qualities.

Disadvantages including adding or moving doors, window, or utilities after the building is complete. Concrete cutting tools are needed to perform these tasks. Typically, initial construction costs be anywhere from 55 to 15% more than conventional wood built structures.

Look for a future increase in the use of the ICF wall systems. The durability of the system coupled with the push for a green environment and greater energy efficiency will lead the way. Additionally, there are federal energy tax credits for this type of building system that many times stir the interest for utilization.

Basic Bakery Operation

Everybody loves bread. It is simple and easy to eat even while you are walking on the street or on the the way to your office. Loves eating it does not mean that you know how to make it. We usually get our bread and pastry at bakery or supermarket and it is already baked and ready to eat. But do you know how the bakers made it and what is the basic bakery operation took place?

Bakery operation can be divided into four main section. This section including mixing, shaping, dressing and baking. There are certain tools and machinery needed although there are sometime it just need experience and skill obtained by long years in this fields. Different with other type of food and beverage business, bakery business need more than one staff that work in production kitchen to be more efficient.

Mixing is the most important section in bakery operation. This section will determine how long your production will run each day including washing and cleaning process. The one who responsible in mixing dough for bread, topping and cake mixed need to be accurate, consistent, discipline with high level of concentration to avoid mistake and waste. Not to mention using a lot of energy. Just imagine if someone who work with 20kg to 25kg of sweet dough each session, need to transfer the dough from the mixer to the kneed table to cut and weighted before dividing it to smaller pieces. These tiring process will easily make people forget and made a mistake on following the right recipe.

Transforming a dough into an interesting bread design will require skill and experience. The knowledge in culinary art will help greatly in this artistic process. Imagine a baker with a skillful hand can make more than 30 bread design each day and he need to made it all in a hurry to avoid the earlier made dough get proofed. However, for much easier bread design that does not require additional tools except for roller, a staff with good training can make sure it done. For beginner or rookie baker, task like shaping tart dough or preparing the mold for baking is most likely the best choice.

Dressing a proofed bread does not need much skill or effort. What they need is good memories and faster hand. The one who up for this task need to memorize each shape and names of the bread that are ready to dress with specific ingredients, topping and quantity. For examples, if production order require Tuna bread, so he need to make sure what shape or bread design that use with tuna flakes. This goes for every type of bread that need to be baked. If daily production require more than 30 different bread design and shape, there is nothing more than good memory needed.

The last and finishing section is nothing more than baking. The one who responsible for this task usually known as oven man. Good knowledge and high concentration needed while handling an oven to ovoid over baked or much worst disaster. Every type of bread have a different setting of temperature and time needed to get the best result. Oven man need to concentrate on his job because handling this dangerous machinery can be much trickier when it involves electric or gas. Some small mistakes can lead to profit loss and not to mention life at stakes.

How Bamboo Salt Compares To Table Salt

Natural sea salt, known as "the essence of the sea", which contains a balanced variety of essential minerals was first taken by our ancestors. However, modern civilization has dumped a large amount of industrial wastewater and domestic sewage into the sea therefore "the essence of the sea" has subsequently become dirty and polluted. Due to the circumstance, salt, that is indicative to people, has given us a "worried and hazardous feeling" while consuming it. This is because people know once the heavy metals, like lead, mercury, chromium and cadmium are taken together with salt into a human body, and these heavy metals will be difficult to discharge and become a kind of sediments and form toxins in the body. As a result, the natural sea salt must be processed before being consumed. Thereupon, the table salt is introduced. It has ensured the hygiene profile; however, those essential minerals for human body have also been eliminated during the process. Consequently, the process destroys the nutritional balance found in salt. In other words, table salt may seem clean, but the heavy-metal contamination in the salt, thought as the number one killer in the era of pollution, is still eliminated owing to the insufficiency in the technological process. This has even also highlighted the heavy-metal components due to the filtration of the essential minerals. Strictly speaking, it is more appropriate to consume less table salt in our diet. In order to enhance the standard of salt, there are many industries produce the "table salt fortified with calcium," "table salt fortified with potassium", "table salt fortified with zinc" and "table salt fortified with selenium"; the so called "seasoning salt". Since the addition of some trace elements and minerals, this salt has been referred as "nutritious salt" or "multi-variety of salt". Here, there are two points needed our attention.

First, this kind of salt is not necessarily the true "nutritious salt" although it is only slightly better than the unfortified table salt. Specifically, salt itself must contain more than 60 types of minerals and trace elements. But the "nutritious salt", not only its nutritional content is obviously insufficient, but also shows its deficiency in its types.

Second, the major process of the table salt adopts the method of evaporation. However, in this process, it is difficult to eliminate some part of the contamination, especially heavy metals. From the view of national standard of salt, the standard content of lead limits is not more than 1 mg / kg. (In fact, this aspect has clearly clarified that the table salt that we take still remains a trace amount of heavy metals.) Once these heavy metals enter human body, due to the difficulty in discharging them and they will eventually form toxins in the body . Therefore, it is not a real nutritious salt. In addition, the table salt contains a great deal of impurity, such as the anticaking agents. In the conclusion, the salt with shiny crystal appearance may not exactly be the "clean" salt.

In the late 1980s, Korea first introduced the bamboo salt to the world. In brevity, bamboo salt is made of natural sea salt which is stuffed into bamboo tubes then burned by pinewood fire for several times. In the process, natural sea salt, bamboo tubes, pine wood and pine resin are needed as raw materials. The use of these special mixed substances ensures the toxins in the salt will obtain maximum neutralization and elimination through roasting at high temperature. At the same time, the medicinal properties may also be retained and enhanced maximally. There are many bamboo salt benefits . It is excellent in prevention and treatment towards various modern diseases caused by polluted toxins.

The Causes of Tooth Decay and How to Reverse It

You brush your teeth religiously, eat a reasonably healthy diet, you floss at least some of the time, and you regularly use a mouthwash. You use a fluoride based toothpaste. You are reasonably good at maintaining a regular schedule of dental appointments. In fact, you follow all the mainstream advice on dental care. However, when you get to the dentists, there is always some dental decay, always a filling or cavity that needs attention. When you do get a filling, it often needs a bigger filling, then a really large filling, followed by a crown and root canal. If the root canal fails, then the only thing left is an implant, a large gap in your gums, or some kind of bridge device.

You in turn get more and frustrated. You purchase bigger and more powerful sonic toothbrushes, bigger tubs of mouthwash, and start brushing your teeth after lunch at work. No joy. Nothing seems to work. You talk to your dentist, who just shrugs and says it happens.

What’s going on? Very simply, dental decay and gum disease is an infection, “an invasion by pathogenic microorganisms of a bodily part in which the conditions are favorable for growth, production of toxins, and resulting injury to tissue.” (Webster’s II New Riverside University Dictionary).

What are these microorganisms? Pathogens of bacterial, protozoan, viral or fungal origin have been implicated as causal factors in periodontal disease. One strain in particular has been identified called Streptococcus mutans. Streptococcus mutans, and Streptococcus Sobrinus are the bacteria that cause the majority of tooth decay and gum disease. Streptococcus mutans is a heterotrophic organism which simply means that it must live off of another organism by eating another organism or using them as a host. The human oral cavity is the host of S. mutans.

The bacteria feeds by metabolizing sucrose to lactic acid, causing a change in the p.h. to become acidic, and sticks to the tooth in the form of plaque. The combination of the plaque in an acid environment sticking onto the tooth and below into the gums causes the highly mineralized tooth enamel to break down until a small hole is created. Once the enamel has been penetrated, the Streptococcus mutans really get to work. It subsists on a diverse group of carbohydrates, and once in the cozy warm confines of your nce cozy tooth, starts to party like a rock star to cause the decay. Once plaque builds up under the gum, gum disease can set it causing the gums to loose their healthy pink glow, and causing pockets or gaps between the gum and the teeth.

Once the enamel is penetrated the tooth is wide open to infection. The bacteria can multiply, spread around the mouth, and constantly probe for new weak areas. So now we can begin to see what is happening in more detail.

Your dentists spots the onset of a cavity. The decay is removed and painstakingly drilled out. A perfect filing is placed for you, so well that you can’t even see the filling unless you look very closely. All is good. But of course even the most perfect dental work imaginable won’t stop the tiny bacteria from crawling in and having lunch.

The Streptococcus mutans bacteria are tiny – in fact they are just one 1 micron (one thousandth of a mm in diameter. In perspective, a human hair is 200 microns wide. The bacteria can easily crawl into the gum pockets, get inside your fillings, slip past your crown, and do their dirty work.

So now we now how the process of dental decay works, let’s look at what can we do to prevent it.

Let’s follow what happens with the standard dental advice.

We brush our teeth religiously. This will help reduce the plaque. The stronger the motor or more diligent the brusher the more plaque will be removed. We will hopefully get rid of any food deposits stuck between the teeth and generally make the environment clean and more hostile to the bacteria. But brushing won’t kill the bacteria. It won’t stop the problem.

So if you brushed 5 times a day for 5 minutes you are likely to cause gum problems through sheer friction alone, but you won’t affect your S. Mutans count one jot. Just to be clear here, brushing will help to disrupt the plaque and stop it sticking. An electronic toothbrush such as the SonicCare range may help to dislodge plaque from the gums and will certainly do a good job at breaking down the plaque. But the bacteria still live on to fight another day.

Toothpaste

Of course we don’t just brush, we brush with toothpaste. The toothpaste is bound to include powerful microbial agents that will soon get to grips and destroy the harmful s. mutans bacteria. Well, no, actually. most of the toothpastes don’t have powerful microbial agents that kill off the s. mutans. They do however contain fluoride. Fluoride is the active ingredient in nearly every toothpaste, so fluoride must kill s. mutans. Well, again. Not quite. Fluoride was discovered by dentists who began to actively research the effects of Fluoride on dental decay before the discovery of the S. Mutans bacteria. Fluoride was first added to toothpaste in 1914, and were approved for use in America by the American Dental Association in the 1950s. Scientists did not begin looking at the affects of S. Mutans on dental disease until the 1960s, although S.Mutans was first discovered in 1924.

Some studies do show that fluoride nevertheless does helps to lower the S. Mutans count, which is good. However, other studies show that there are strains of S.Mutans which are completely unharmed by fluoride. If fluoride is so effective, why are you still getting those cavities?

Flossing

Flossing does a good job of removing the plaque, and so it will undoubtedly help. As you scrape away the plaque you will be disrupting the bacteria. Its another great thing to do but again it won’t affect the bacteria count.

Mouthwash

So, the mouthwash has to kill the germs and prevent the S. Mutans from getting out of control right? Well you’d think so, but think again. Most of the large commercial brands of mouthwash on sale contain alcohol, which you guessed it – the bacteria can feed on.

So now we can see how you can religiously follow all the latest dental advice, floss, eat balanced meals, brush twice and day, and still get cavities.

What does work to combat S. Mutans? Back to our biology.

Remember what happens when the bacteria feeds off the sucrose to create lactic acid. S. Mutans needs sugar and loves carbohydrates. S. Mutans needs an acid environment to thrive. So we need lots of bacteria, lot of sugar and the right acidic conditions. For optimal dental health we can take three basic steps.

First, reduce the amount of sugar in our diet, and reduce processed foods. This will stop the s.Mutans from feeding off the sucrose and creating the plaque.

We can also change the p.h of the mouth. particularly just after meals. Short of swishing your mouth with baking soda after every meal, this seems very hard in practice to do.

We can also identify agents which will kill S. Mutans. Although you can never entirely remove all the bacteria, by dramatically reducing the bacteria count and creating a hostile environment you will be able to stop the spread of the bacteria.

There are actually a great many things that you can do to effectively manage S.Mutans. It turns out there are actually lots of options out there for you. Remember that we are eliminating an infection which can re-colonize at any point. Stopping the dental regime will result in the bacteria re-growing. Re-colonization is extremely rapid. That is why dentists often say that they see the best improvement in those patients who have the self discipline and commitment to undertake a daily health care self help program.

One of the simplest and certainly cheapest solutions is to use sodium bicarbonate and Hydrogen Peroxide. The Sodium Bicarbonate and Hydrogen Peroxide: The Effect on the Growth of Streptococcus mutans.

The hydrogen peroxide, sodium bicarbonate, and the sodium bicarbonate and hydrogen peroxide combination prevented bacterial growth of S. mutans. The results show that products containing these agents have the ability to stop the growth of S. mutans. Products containing sodium bicarbonate and/or hydrogen peroxide may be useful to caries-prone patients. More studies are needed to confirm these results on patients.

Authors: Silhacek, Kelly J1; Taake, Kristin R1

Source: Journal of Dental Hygiene, Number 4, Fall 1st October 2005, pp. 7-7(1)

Publisher: American Dental Hygienists’ Association

The most effective way to use the mixture is in a dental irrigator. Just mix the hydrogen peroxide and calcium carbonate and drop the mixture into the bowl of the irrigation machine. You will then be squirting a powerful anti-microbial agent and changing the ph of the mouth helping to kill off the bacteria. You can also dip a toothbrush in the mixture and apply it directly. This is particularly helpful at night. Make up the mixture, brush the teeth and leave as much of the mixture on as you can tolerate and go to sleep. This will allow the microbial agents to work all night and change the p.h long enough to kill off lots of bad bacteria. Some people also mix in sea salt whose powerful antiseptic and bactericidal qualities help remove plaque. Make sure you carefully rinse the irrigator after use.

Diet:

The bacteria need sugar and carbohydrates to feed from. Eliminating processed foods and ensuring that you have plenty of Vitamin C will greatly help to improve overall gum health.

Herbal Based Anti Microbial Mouthwashes:

You can also use a herbal agent in the dental irrigator. There are many herbal mouthwashes that are alcohol free that contain herbs like Echinacea, Green Tea and Olive Leaf, essential oils such as Peppermint, Clove, Oregano and Thyme, which are well known for their anti-bacterial properties.

Toothpaste:

You can buy baking soda and herbal pastes that will help to reduce the bacteria. Many people are also using toothsoap or even regular bar soap to brush their teeth. The soap again does a good job killing the bacteria.

Licorice:

Somewhat unexpectedly, licorice has been shown to be extremely good at reducing s. mutants. Only 15 milligrams of licorice powder eliminates 99.9 percent of Streptococcus mutans, according to research at UCLA.

Professional Dental Treatments:

You dentist will use Chlorhexidine or other suitable professional anti-microbial agent to reduce the number of s. mutant prior to and during treatments.

Build a Simple Wood Chair

Chairs should be made of a hard wood that can support a lot of weight and withstand many years of use. Oak, pine and cherry are popular options. You will need a one inch thick piece for building the seat. Cut the seat to your desired dimension. Most kitchen chairs have a seat that measures 18×24 inches.

For the legs, you can use pre-cut spindles, or build your own. Use a 2×2 inch board and cut your front two legs exactly the same length, about 18 inches long is standard. Cut the back two legs 4 feet long. These two legs will also double as support for the back of the chair. You can turn the legs on a lathe to round them out and create decorative variations in the wood before you start to assemble. Alternately, you can purchase a thick hardwood dowel and use it for the legs of the chair if you wish.

Take the seat and attach the front two legs. You can chisel out a slot for each leg on the underside of the seat if you wish. Create a dowel joint to securely hold the legs in place while avoiding the need for screws and nails on the seat surface.

Now you will need to chisel out a slot for the seat on the back legs. Use a hammer and chisel or a router if you have one. Make a slot that goes about one-half inch deep into the legs and that starts at the exact length of the front two legs. Measure and visually test the height of your channel on a flat surface using a level before you cut. Test the seat to make sure it fits securely into the slot. When you assemble the seat and back legs, you may want to create another dowel joint and use wood glue to securely hold the seat in place. A nail gun is also great for nailing the seat to the back legs from behind.

The next step is to brace the legs. Run a 1×4 inch board around the outside or inside of the legs on the underside of the chair seat. Measure, cut, and attach each board connecting all legs together. It's also a good idea to place a diagonal brace piece from each support board to another, creating an octagon appearance. Metal braces are also sturdy, inexpensive options. Glue everything into place after attaching each piece with screws or a nail gun. Allow the wood glue to set before going any further.

Now you're ready to attach a brace across the top of the chair, connecting the two back legs. Work with this piece of wood for a while and test your hand at some planning skills. Plane out about one-half inch of the wood to create a comfortable place for your back to rest. You may want to do the same to several boards for a ladder back chair. If you want to use spindles for the back, simply order a quality wood dowel that matches the rest of your wood. Drill holes in the top board and chair seat, use wood glue, and assemble the chair back.

After everything is dry, your chair should be ready for years of quality use.

Intermodal Containers or How Stuff Gets To Where It's Going To

Shipping goods around the world, or at least what was long known as the 'civilized world', is a practice that was transported out as far back as the time of the Phoenician and Greek empires, if not further.

Indeed the term 'shipping' that is used for moving the goods themselves, can quite obviously be traced back to the practice of moving them over water.

If we go even further back in time, we are sure to find the first instance of the use of a container, unfortunately I am unable to provide an exact, or even approximate date for this.

Whatever the goods were shipped and handled in pots, nets, crates, or in modern day containers, the principle has always been the same. Move the goods from A to B with a minimum of spoilage, cost and do it as quickly and efficiently as is possible.

And so we find ourselves, around three thousand years later, still using very similar techniques for shipping goods around the world.

Ships have changed of course, gone are the wooden, wind and sail powered boats and so are the original containers that held the goods they transported.

In the modern world of huge, in some cases three hundred and sixty metro long, diesel powered container ships, huge gantry cranes and side loaders, non-bulk goods are widely transported in large, intermodal containers.

This avoids the time consuming complexities of break-bulk shipping (shipping items separately in casks, barrels, nets and boxes) and makes the loading and unloading of large container ships a relatively simple operation.

There are over seventeen million freight containers in the world today, and they come in many different sizes, with containers varying from around two and a half meters to over sixteen metres in length.

Intermodal containers are quite simply, rectangular steel boxes with doors at one end, the word 'intermodal' meaning that they can be moved from one form of transport to another without unloading or relating the contents. The fact that they are rectangular is one of their largest strengths, the uniform shape enabling for easy stacking and for maximizing the use of available space on board ship and at port.

But they still need to get from ship to port and vice versa, not to mention onto trains, trailers, trucks and other forms of transport in order to complete their journeys.

At port, containers can be handled by a variety of different machines, including gantry cranes, reach stackers and side loaders.

Gantry cranes, or ship to shore cranes, are normally used in larger ports and have a supporting steel framework that can carry containers the length of the quay at dock. Cranes of one form or another are one of the oldest means of moving cargo from ship to shore and vice versa, and date back to at least the middle ages.

As their name suggests, reach stackers have a long arm, at the end of which the load is picked up, enabling them to reach over obstacles and stack items to a certain height. They are usually used in small to medium sized ports with their ability to reach to a second row of containers proving invaluable and meaning that blocks of stacked containers can be stored four deep.

Side loaders are a variation on the fork lift truck. Unlike the standard fork lift, the side loader carries the load at the side of the vehicle and within the chassis area, meaning that long loads, such as intermodal containers, can be transported lengthways without adversely affecting the balance of the vehicle.

In smaller port areas and docks, as well as in yards and in the loading and unloading of trains, lorries and other overland haulage vehicles, side loaders can prove invaluable as their ability to move containers lengthways means that they are able to travel narrows aisles and move containers through smaller spaces with ease.

The contents of intermodal containers vary a great deal. Almost anything you can imagine will be shipped via container at some point and probably some things you would not. In fact, where you are sat reading this now, it is likely that one or more of the items around you has seen the inside of a container at some point, sometimes even the seat you're sitting on.

It's quite easy to come to the conclusion that intermodal containers are an essential part of modern life and that the world would be a very different place without these unassuming and often plain looking, simple steel boxes.

Smog and Acid Rain

Particularly for large metropolitan cities, smog and poor air quality is a pressing environmental problem. Smog primarily consists of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds chemically interacting with heat from sunlight forming ground level ozone. Smog is that familiar haze most commonly found surrounding large cities, particularly in the summer time. Smog and ground level ozone contribute to all kinds of respiratory problems ranging from temporary discomfort, asthma, to long-lasting, permanent lung damage. The pollutants in smog come from vehicle emissions, smokestack emissions, paints, and solvents – most of which started out as crude oil.

Much of the eastern United States is affected by another environmental problem known as acid rain. Acid rain can damage crops, forests, wildlife populations, and cause respiratory and other illnesses in humans. When sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides react with water vapor and other chemicals in the presence of sunlight, various acidic compounds form in the air and come to the earth as acid rain. The pollutants of acid rain are derived from coal fired power plants. Natural gas emits virtually no sulfur dioxide and up to 80 percent less nitrogen oxides than the combustion of coal. So the increased use of natural gas would provide for fewer acid rain causing emissions.

The source of energy to use for reducing pollution and maintaining a clean and healthy environment is natural gas. Natural gas is also domestically abundant making it a secure source of energy. The environmental benefits of using natural gas over other sources of energy, particularly other fossil fuels are numerous.

Since the use of natural gas emits only low levels of nitrogen oxides and virtually no particulate matter, it can be used to help combat smog formation in those areas where ground level air quality is poor. Electric utilities, motor vehicles, and industrial plants make up the main sources of nitrogen oxides. To combat smog production, especially in urban centers where it is needed the most, increased natural gas use in the electric generation sector, a shift to cleaner natural gas vehicles, and increased industrial natural gas use could all serve to improving the air quality. Summertime, when natural gas demand is at its lowest and smog problems are the greatest, would be a good time for industrial plants and electric generators to use natural gas to fuel their operations instead of using the more polluting fossil fuels. This would effectively reduce smog emissions resulting in clearer, healthier air around the urban centers.

A study conducted in 1995 by the Coalition for Gas-Based Environmental Solutions found that in the Northeast, smog and ozone-causing emissions could be reduced by 50 to 70 percent through the seasonal switching to natural gas.

Particulate emissions such as soot, ash, metals, and other airborne particles also cause the degradation of air quality in the United States. Natural gas emits virtually no particulates into the atmosphere. Emissions of particulates from natural gas combustion are 90 percent lower than from the combustion of oil, and 99 percent lower than burning coal. Increased natural gas use in place of other dirtier hydrocarbons can help to reduce particulate emissions in the United States.

Companies like Triple Diamond Energy Corporation are concerned about the levels of smog and acid rain. They look at increasing their supply of the more environmentally beneficial natural gas and to make it more accessible to the northeastern part of the United States.

Electricity – Ground Fault or Arc Fault

If you were asked, “Who discovered electricity?” What would be your answer? I’m almost positive (a little electric humor) that Benjamin Franklin and his kite flying tale comes to your mind. It wasn’t electricity that Ben discovered in 1752. It was the lightning rod. In 1800, Alessandro Volta constructed the first battery able to deliver a constant electric current. It was Volta, not Franklin, to discover electricity.

Many of the ways we use and deliver electricity today are still the same as in the days of Franklin and Volta. Differences in electrical potential between materials cause current to flow between them. Charges can be produced by rubbing fur or cloth over a non metallic surface. Metal wires are used to transmit electrons over long distances; but one property stands out the most. Electricity can kill!

Today, we have developed many ways to protect ourselves from the harmful effects of exposure to electric current. We use circuit breakers, surge protectors, arch fault, ground fault, and equipment grounding to safely control the flow of electrons from one place to another. Two of these safely systems generate a lot of questions. What is the difference between ground fault and arc fault?

Ground fault circuit interrupt (GFCI) protection has been around for a few decades. It is most commonly seen in areas where water is present. For instance, in modern homes, you will find GFCI protection in the kitchen near the sink, in the bathroom near the water sources, in garages, and any receptacles outside of your home. This type of protection guards against injury by monitoring how much current is flowing through it. If the GFCI detects a difference between the amounts of current leaving as opposed to returning, it shuts off. The missing current has to be going somewhere other than its intended destination. It’s going to ground. A horrible place if you happen to be in the middle of the current as it’s headed to ground.

Arc fault circuit interrupt (AFCI) protection has only been available to consumers for a few years. Like its parent GFCI, AFCI is designed to detect when electricity is not traveling to its intended destination. Unlike GFCI, AFCI is not protecting against the loss of current to ground. It is guarding against a broken conductor. These broken conductors are the primary cause of home fires in America today.

Primarily, AFCI is required in bedrooms. Bedrooms are notorious for having corded appliances, such as computers, alarm clocks, and desk or floor lamps in them. Many times the cords of these appliances are routed under beds, dressers, or carpets. This is not as safe as it seems. Cords are often cut by the items placed on them. Once severed, the broken conductor will arc. This arcing will continue until the metal is burned through or a circuit breaker trips. Often, the time between the initial cutting of the conductor and the tripping of the breaker isn’t quick enough and a fire breaks out. AFCI was designed to detect the initial arc caused by the severed conductor and immediately turn the power off.

In conclusion, electricity is the flow of electrons between items with differing potential. If not properly controlled, this difference can have horrible repercussions, when people or property is in the way. Modern industry has taken great measures to protect us while using one of the most fundamental properties of nature – electricity.

Drains and the Discharge System

Your myriad sinks are drained into the drain or discharge system, which receives the liquid discharge created through the food and beverage preparation region. The first component of the discharge program is on the sink itself: the trap. It is really a curved section of pipe, where the lowest part of the pipe "traps" (or retains) some drinking water.

The trap is known as a P trap when the drain pipes go into the wall; it is known as an S trap when the drain pipes go into the ground. In addition to these traps, it's a great idea to have floor drains located directly below your larger sinks. The drains inside a commercial kitchen area should have a dome strainer (or sediment bucket), much like a perforated sink stopper that traps bits of dirt and food as liquids go down the drain.

For the heaviest-duty jobs, a ground drain having aa lot larger strainer compartment (called a sump) is suggested. The sump is at least eight inches square. Kind 304 stainless steel is the preferred material for drain fabrication, and coved corners make them easier to clean. Drains bought to not be flush using the ground, but recessed slightly (about 1/16 of an inch) to prompt water to flow toward them.

The drain pipe should be three to 4 inches in diameter, and its interior walls must be coated with acrylic or porcelain enamel that's both nonporous and acid resistant. A nonslip ground mat, with slats for drain, bought to be a standard accessory benefit every sink.How many floor drains are you in your kitchen? Let's count the locations in which drains are a must to catch spills, overflow, and dirty drinking water from ground cleaning:

1. Hot line region
2. Prep and pantry region
3. By the pot sinks
4. Dishwashing area
5. Dry storage region
6. Outside the walk-in refrigerator
7. Wait stations / service locations
8. Near steam equipment
9. Through the bar sinks
10. Under the ice maker

The ice maker has an additional unique drainage requirement: a recessed floor. One smart concept is to install multiple drains, inside a trench that's from a single to two feet wide and a number of feet long, covered having a rustproof metal grate. This is really efficient along the length of the hot line area or in the regularly wet dishroom.

When we talk about draining away waste materials, we're not just discussing water. The water often contains grease, and grease disposal is an awful (and messy) problem in foodservice. A grease interceptor is needed by law in most towns and cities. It's commonly recognized as a grease trap, even though the professional plumbing industry discourages the use of this terminology.

Your area's building code will list which kitchen fixtures must be plumbed to the interceptor; typically, the water / waste output of the garbage disposal, dishwasher, and all sinks and ground drains must pass through the interceptor prior to it enters the sewer. Employee restrooms and on-premise laundry appliances generally do not have to become connected to the interceptor.

The role from the grease interceptor would be to prevent grease from leaving the restaurant's drainage program and clogging the city sewer system. Foodservice wastewater is really a large problem for sewers designed primarily for residential waste. Thus, fines and surcharges may be imposed on restaurants if their effluent (outflow) exceeds the local standards for its percentage of fats, oil and grease (FOG, in industry jargon).

As waste materials enter the interceptor, it separates into three layers: The heaviest particles of food and dirt sink towards the bottom; the middle layer is mostly water, with a little bit of suspended solids and grease in it; and the best layer is grease and oil. The interceptor "traps" the top and bottom layers while allowing the middle layer to flow away into the sewer system. Interceptors come in different sizes, and youought to select a single based about the gallons of water that may run via it per minute, the number of appliances connected to it, and its capacity to retain grease.

Cleaning the interceptor regularly is necessary simply because the bottom layer can clog pipes if allowed to build up, and also the top layer can mix with, and pollute, the middle layer too much. Most restaurants hire a trap-cleaning service organization to handle this incompetent task. It is really a cost effective activity, and not without legal ramifications. The support organization should be licensed to haul the grease waste to specially approved treatment areas.

It's not enough anymore for a restaurateur to trust that the grease is taken care of. The smart ones take a proactive approach. Once in a while you'll see news reports about such support businesses that skirt the law by dumping waste materials into creeks or unapproved locations. You would be wise to thoroughly research your area's grease removal requirements and to interview a number of service businesses. Ask for, and contact, their references.

There are two kinds of interceptor cleaning: skimming (removing the best layer) and a full pump-out of the tank. For most foodservice operations, skimming is not sufficient. The heavy, lower layer of particles must also be filtrated away. You may decide on a combination of services-frequent skimming, with a full pump-out at normal intervals.

The types of foods you serve and your volume of business should be your guidelines, along with a scientific measurement of the effluent to see how much FOG and / or chemicals it contains. In some cities, the penalties are so strict that restaurateurs include a pretreatment step, adding fat-dissolving chemicals or filtering the waste materials prior to it even gets towards the grease trap. Undercounter units operate using electricity to recover grease for discarding as trash, not sewage.

Outside installation from the grease interceptor is suggested, at a level that is a number of feet below the kitchen area to use gravity in your favor in grease elimination. Constructing inspectors seldom permit an interceptor to become located anywhere inside the construction, but if it happens to be within, itought to be flush using the kitchen floor. Early in the building process, a call to your local plumbing inspector will supply the particulars for your city, and probably save you a lot of trouble.

We should also discuss the "dry" component of the discharge program, which is recognized as the venting system. Its main purpose is to avoid siphoning of water from the traps. Vents (known as "black vents") on both sides of the grease trap equalize the air pressure through the drainage program, circulating sufficient air to decrease pipe corrosion and help remove odors. Vent pipes extend up and via the roof, for kitchens and restrooms.

Hardwoods and Softwoods – A Guide

When looking at furniture, one often hears the expression “hardwood and softwood.” Many people do not understand the difference. This article will help you to understand about timber choices which will help you gain more confidence when you next buy furniture.

What is hardwood?

Hardwoods come from trees which bear fruit. Nuts are also a type of fruit. Some examples are cherry, hazel, apple and beech trees. Some them are deciduous which means that they are broad-leaved and lose their leaves in winter, for example oak and ash. Others are grown in tropical regions where there are no winters, therefore they do not tend to have a leaf-fall as temperatures remain fairly constant throughout the dry and wet seasons. Some hardwoods from these hot regions are mahogany, teak and sapele.

Hardwoods are often, but not always, harder than softwoods. It is important to note that hardness is not the defining factor though. This means that balsawood, favoured by model-makers and so easily damaged with a fingernail, is a hardwood. Other examples of hardwoods are iroko, ebony, maple and walnut.

What is softwood?

Softwoods come from trees which bear cones – in other words, conifers. They usually have needle-like leaves and grow in the cooler temperate zones of the world such as Scotland, the Alps and Scandinavia. Examples are the ubiquitous pine, spruce – which is often referred to a “whitewood” – red deal and scots pine.

Many have been introduced into parts of England instead of the native broad-leaved woodland. Softwoods also used are yew, larch, hemlock, redwood and cedar.

Are there any other differences?

One big aspect is the length of time it takes to grow to a full-sized tree which is ready to cut down to make into furniture. Softwoods can achieve full size in as little as 30 years. Deciduous hardwoods will take around 100 years to get to the same maturity – that is over three times as long. That explains why that lovely oak sideboard is so much more expensive than the same design in pine. Another aspect that affects the cost is how easy or difficult it is to “work” the material. Harder timber takes more effort. I mentioned earlier that the hardness is not necessarily a reliable indicator and cited balsa as a very soft hardwood. One very hard softwood is parana pine. It is often found in Victorian and Edwardian homes in solid wooden doors and is harder than many hardwoods.

Armed with the knowledge in this article, you will now be able to understand why certain types of timber cost more than others.

Acupuncture Tracts Lumbar Herniated Disc

Spinal disc herniation can happen on your neck, upper and lower back. The most common spinal levels for disc herniation are the L4 and L5, which is level between the 4th and 5th lumbar and L5, S1, which is level between the 5th lumbar and the 1st sacrum bone.

The lumbar herniated disc or disc protrusion causes back pain and leg pain. The human spinal column consists of a series of vertebral bones. Disc is a cartilage consisting of an outer ligament layer called the annulus fibrous and a soft, jelly like substance in the middle surrounded by the annulus fibrous called the nucleus pulposis. The spinal disc functions as a shock absorbber between each of the vertebral bones. The spinal disc protects the spinal cord from the stress of our daily activities such as heavy lifting. It also helps to maintain flexibility of the spine.

A disc protrusion / lumbar herniated disc could have been caused by trauma or acute injury. It can be an age-related degenerated change due to the loss of the water content inside the nucleus pulposis. Each of these may lead to the tear of the outer annulus fibrous allowing the jelly like nucleus pulposis to shift out, pinch the spinal nerve near nearby, produce pain, numbness tingling and muscle weakness of the low back and lower extremities. Common signs and symptoms of disc protrusion or lumbar herniated disc include:

• Mild to severe pain in the low back

• Numbness, radiated pain and weakness of buttock, legs and feet

• Shooting pain when coughing or sneezing

• Back muscle spasms

Acupuncture treatment for herniated disc

Acupuncture is based on the principle of the "pattern of disharmony". Has been practiced for more than 2000 years in China. It's one of the components belonging to the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM). According to TCM theory, one of the important etiologies of herniated disc is kidney and liver deficiency, which means deficiency based on the energetic level of the meridian / energy pathway that relates to the kidney and liver organs. The TCM define the 14 meridian / energy channels flow around human body. The kidney and the liver meridian channels are flowing through the lower leg and the abdomen. They start from the feet and closely relate to the lower back and leg regions. Acupuncture treatment is to improve the flow of the energy along the pathway, and maintain the balance of your body and the mind. To solve the problems of the deficiency of kidney and liver, several acupuncture problems will be inserted to the selected acupuncture points (the strategic points) along two sides of the lower back region. The goal of the treatment is to reinforce and balance the kidney energy called Qi (pronounced chee) reduce pain and inflammation, and promote the absorption of the herniated disc back to the normal position.

Acupuncture has been practiced in China for thousands of years. It has been popularly used in the United States since President Richard Nixon's delegation to China in 1972 when the press reported its use in China.