3 Simple Summer Energy Saving Tips

Unless you plan an insurance overhaul you are only as good as the insulation between your walls. These three simple tips are the easiest things you can do with the largest energy saving payback to lower your utility cost this summer.

Use Your Blinds & Shades

Believe it or not utilizing the positioning of your blinds and shades during the hot summer months, is an extremely effective way to deal with solar heat gain. It is not a radiant barrier but the difference between not having blinds and shades closed to having them closed during the hottest part of the day is huge. When you want to warm your home for example in the morning, make sure your blinds and shades are open allowing radiant heat to pass right through all the window openings with no thermal break naturally warming the rooms within. When you want to keep the heat out from your living space make sure the blinds and shades are closed.

Use Ceiling Fans & Box Fans

Utilizing fans is an efficient, low cost way to help keep your home cool or cool it down. If you are using air conditioning, using fans to move and blend the air is a great way to feel the cooling benefits sooner resulting in less energy usage. The feeling of slight moving air always goes a long way to make you feel cooler. It is like a gentle breeze. If you do not have air conditioning use box fans in your window openings. Make sure to have the fans pointed in anytime there is cooler air outside that you want to bring in. For daytime applications when heat is rising have the fans point outside to ensure air exchange. Doing this simple trick guarantees some air movement that can make you feel a few degrees cooler.

Weather-strip & Caulk

In order for your insulation system to operate at its best, you must help stop air movement. Heat always flows to cold. This means there will always be an effort for air infiltration in your home. You can drastically minimize this by purchasing some caulk. Caulk is relatively inexpensive. Seal all gaps where air can enter. The largest concern areas are generally around your doors and windows. Check also around trim areas. Window air conditioner units are another major entry area. These units must work much harder when they are not properly insulated. Check the area and insulate and caulk any places there are air gaps.

Utilizing these tips over the course of a summer will not only help you feel cooler, your energy bill will be cooler too. These tips alone can easily add up to over a few hundred dollars in savings.

Decorative Concrete – Stained, Stamped, Scored and Polished

Introduction to Decorative Concrete

Decorative concrete, also commonly referred to as architectural concrete, can most easily be described as any technique that alters what would be plain, grey concrete to be more aesthetically pleasing. Decorative concrete can encompass many different looks and techniques. It can include simple coloring techniques such as acid stains, acrylic stains, concrete dyes, and integral colors (also called integrated colors; mixed into the concrete before it is poured). It can also include special treatments including stamping, scoring, chiseling, and polishing that can change the texture of the surface. Many times, decorative concrete integrates multiple techniques to truly customize the slab.

Stained Concrete

Probably one of the most well-known techniques for transforming plain concrete to be more design-friendly is staining, especially for interior applications. This technique involves taking a cured concrete slab and literally staining it to be a different color (or colors). There are two main types of concrete stain. The most common type of concrete stain is an acid stain. It is known for producing rich color. The acid reacts to the concrete and takes on its own life. The result is a marbleized coloring, much like grainy leather. It is probably one of the most difficult stains to work with; it requires much caution while applying because you are working with acid, after all. This stain does not cover defects in the concrete. On the contrary, it will likely show defects, even those you didn’t see when the concrete was in its natural state. However, this character that the acid stain reveals is part of the allure of the finished product of an acid stain job. Water-based concrete stains and acrylic concrete stains create a much more uniform look than do acid stains. These stains have a thin, milky consistency, allowing them to seep into the concrete’s pores, which differentiates them from any concrete paint, which can flake off because paints simply coat the surface. Because there is no chemical reaction between the stain and the concrete, it applies more like a dye.

It is a better alternative than acid stain for concrete pads that have cosmetic defects because coverage is fairly consistent. However, it is still a semi-translucent stain, so it will not completely disguise soils and other defects in the concrete. Water-based stains are also commonly called concrete dyes. It is often used to accent the work of an acid stain job by giving certain areas of the concrete a different color. Acrylic stains offer a wide variety of deep and bright colors with a much broader selection than acid stain offers. Also, whereas acid stains rely on a reaction with the concrete to produce color, the acrylic stain colors are usually the same in the bottle as they are on the concrete. This makes predicting the outcome much easier. It also allows for easier mixing at the jobsite to match other colors around. After the stain job is complete, it is recommended to put some sort of protective coating on the surface. This will prevent fading and wear. For outdoor applications, a concrete sealer is recommended. A solvent sealer or xylene-based sealer will leave a durable, semi-gloss coat, whereas a water-based sealer will leave a matte finish. For indoor applications, it is generally recommended to apply a wax, much like that which is used on a gym floor. In summary, staining is usually a good option if you have a concrete slab currently that you would like to add color to. Stains do not hide defects in the concrete, nor do they change the texture of the concrete. They simply add a semi-transparent, semi-permanent color. There are many tools and techniques that expand design options when using concrete stain. For example, there are stencils on the market that allow for a color design. Also, scored lines are also commonly used to add a pattern or design into the concrete.

Stain can also be used in conjunction with stamped concrete to add accent coloring. Plus, there are many different ways to apply stain to achieve different looks. advantages of stained concrete. Of course, the greatest advantage of stained concrete is the visual appeal. Staining concrete allows you to turn a functional element into a design element. Plus, with the wide array of colors and designs, staining can be used to compliment almost any design theme. Another advantage of stained concrete is that it is a semi-permanent, durable option. Because you are simply altering the color of concrete without altering its physical strength, your stained concrete will have the life of a boring, white slab (which some concrete is engineered to last more than fifty years!). Also, because the color is actually seeped into the concrete versus a layer on top like paint, it will not flake off like paint tends to. Stain can also be described as a “green” renovation project because you can simply transform what you already have, which means less waste in our landfills caused by starting over. In addition, staining requires no extra material aside from sealer or wax to make the flooring surface ready for use. Stained concrete is just as easy to maintain as a regular concrete slab if not easier because the sealer prevents stains and rinses easily. It may require a new coat of sealer or wax occasionally to maintain the finish. A simple broom or hose will often clean the surface adequately. Finally, another advantage of stained concrete is that it is relatively inexpensive compared to other options while yielding a custom, unique product.

Stamped Concrete

Stamped concrete is another common technique of decorative concrete. It literally involves stamping a pattern and/or texture into freshly laid concrete. That being said, stamped concrete requires that new concrete is poured. This isn’t to say that you can’t add a stamped pattern or texture to your existing patio, it just requires a few intermediate steps. If you have an existing concrete pad that you want to add a stamped pattern or texture to, it requires adding a layer of concrete or overlay mixture. Of course, concrete is preferable, as it is one of world’s most durable materials; however, concrete will require a minimum of two inch height increase. There is another product available, often called an overlay mix, that can be applied as little as three-eighths inches thick. However, this plastic-cement polymer does have a shorter life-span than does concrete. There are limitations to capping your patio with concrete or overlaying it. If your patio is cracked or structurally unsound, it is risky to put any coating on it because that coating will likely crack and shift as well. Capping or overlaying your concrete will effectively hide any stains and minor defects in the concrete, though. The process involves pouring concrete much like you would do for ordinary flatwork. The area is framed up, reinforced with rebar, and smoothed out. In order to stamp, the concrete must be dry enough to not be mushy but wet enough to still hold an impression. The timing is perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of stamping. At this point, large rubber stamps are pounded into the concrete, many times with a tool called a tamper. Some sort of release product is used to keep the stamps from sticking. Other special tools, including “flippie” stamps, grout rollers, etc are used to perfect the area. The coloring of stamped concrete can be achieved in many different ways. Some of the coloring materials available for use with stamped concrete include integral/integrated colors, antiquing release colors, color hardeners, and tinted sealers. Integral colors, also called integrated colors, is color that is mixed into the concrete before it is poured. Integral colors come in both liquid and powder form.

The advantage of integral color is that the color is all the way through the concrete, so if the concrete is ever chipped or scarred, the color will be consistent throughout the slab. Antiquing release colors are usually a powder color applied to the surface before stamping occurs. Its functional aspect is that it keeps the stamps from sticking to the concrete. Its aesthetic aspect is that when the excess powder is scrubbed off, it leave behind great accent coloring in the grooves and crevices. Some release colors also come in a liquid form. Color hardeners are applied to the surface of the concrete. They are used to add color to freshly poured concrete. Because they have a cement content and high PSI, we do not recommend their use in climates that change rapidly because color hardeners can cause what we have coined as a “popcorn” effect, where small circles actually pop out of the surface of the concrete. Color hardeners are usually a powder and come in a wide variety of colors. Tinted sealers are just as you would think; they are sealers that have a transparent color tint added in. Some manufacturers make tinted sealers, or you can simply make them yourself, which is usually a good way to go if you are wanting to mix colors or play with transparency. Before you do this though, you need to know what kind of sealer you have and what kind of color product would mix with it. Tinted sealers also come in a wide variety of color options, especially if you will be making it yourself.

Most of the time, contractors will use a variety of coloring techniques to achieve your look. Contractors may also use the technique that is most familiar to them, leaving the others behind. One thing is for sure: make sure that you quiz your contractor about the coloring techniques they use to make sure you are given the information you need to properly pick your colors. Also, make sure he/she isn’t selling you on coloring techniques that may not be suitable for your climate area. advantages of stamped concrete. For the sake of accuracy, this paragraph does not take into account any overlay products because these products do not carry all of the same advantages that concrete does. Stamped concrete, if it is true concrete, often carries with it many advantages. First, it is known for its durability and longevity; after all, it is concrete! Because it is so durable, it can also be described as an environmentally-friendly option because it won’t have to be replaced in the near future, meaning more materials won’t need to be manufactured and less materials will end up in landfills. Also, it is easy to maintain. The sealer allows cleaning to be as easy as rinsing or sweeping. Occasionally, you will need to recoat the surface with sealer, which is an easy spray or roll on process. Finally, stamped concrete is aesthetically pleasing. It is completely customizable with a wide variety of color combinations and stamp patterns. And, considering how long it will last and how easy it is to maintain, it is a low cost in the long run for a beautiful finish.

Scored Concrete

Scored concrete is a great way to give both new pours and existing pour a new look. Scoring concrete is essentially cutting a shallow cut into the concrete. These cuts can be used to create the illusion of tile or stone or to “draw” a custom pattern or logo into the concrete. Because these lines are actually cut into the concrete, they are as permanent as the slab itself unless covered. Scoring is often combined with colored or stained concrete to accentuate the surface pattern. It can also be applied to plain concrete to just add a touch of decorative design to an otherwise humdrum slab. Concrete can be scored with many different tools, but the most common tools are concrete saws and grinders. Many times a diamond blade is used. For a more rustic or rough look, chiseling the lines is a great method, although it can be more labor intensive and tedious. advantages of scored concrete. Because scoring can be a way to add decorative touches to a slab without tearing out the slab and starting over or covering the slab with other products, it is a very economical and eco-friendly approach to decorative concrete. Also, it is as permanent as the slab is, which means there will be little to no upkeep. Maintenance will involve simple cleaning, which is as easy as sweeping or rinsing. If the scored concrete is sealed, it may require resealing periodically. Finally, the biggest advantage of scored concrete is that it is completely custom.

Polished Concrete

Polished concrete is, just as it sounds, a concrete slab that is polished down until a shiny finish is achieved. These smooth, high-luster floors, if done correctly, do not require any wax or sealer, making it a great option for warehouses, retail locations, etc. But, homeowners are quickly learning that this technique can be utilized for a low maintenance interior flooring. The process is similar in theory to sanding wood. You start with a rough pad and grind into the concrete. Then you move to smoother and smoother pads, step by step, until your finished product is a shiny, smooth floor. Usually, there will be exposed aggregate, making it a neat look. Polished concrete can be stained for some extra color. Or, integral color can be used before the pour to add color throughout. Special, and expensive, tools and materials are often necessary to get a polished finish. advantages of polished concrete. Polished concrete is very durable because it is concrete, one of the most durable materials known to man. It is also very low maintenance because wax or sealer may not be necessary. Sometimes, if the floor loses its luster, it may be necessary to re-polish the floor, repeating the last steps of the polishing process. Polished concrete can also be a great design feature because it is unique and customizable. Colors can be added for a different look, and even special aggregates can be added, aggregates that are only exposed because of the polishing process.

Sealing Concrete

All architectural concrete, except polished concrete and interior stained concrete, should be sealed regularly to maintain its beauty and durability. This process can be outsourced to a concrete company, or it can be a great do-it-yourself project. The process is usually very easy, requiring a spray-on or roll-on application. Some sealers are even mop-on. The most important aspect of resealing a patio is knowing what the original coat of sealer is. If you choose the wrong sealer, you can end up with a huge mess that will be time and money demanding to repair. It is best to contact whoever sealed your patio the first time to know what kind of sealer you should use to recoat your decorative concrete. Sealing concrete makes it stain and fade resistant. It is a protective coating that usually gives a bit of a sheen to the surface, bringing out the richness of the colors used in the decorative concrete, no matter which technique. Many times, freshly sealed concrete can be described as making the concrete look wet. Many times an older patio can be resealed to make it look like new again. Plain concrete can also be sealed for a more modern look that is easy to maintain and resistant to being stained. Sealing concrete will not cover any existing flaws in the slab. Stains will likely be accentuated by the sealant, and scratches or cracks will only be covered with a clear coat. Tinted sealers, as discussed above, can be used to add some color to a slab, whether it is plain or decorative.

concrete vs. other flooring options

Tile. Tiles can come in a variety of colors and patterns, but you are limited to what options are presented to you. Concrete offers the flexibility to choose your look, much like mixing paint. Tile requires a stable pad on which to be laid, which means often times you will need concrete anyway. Plus, the concrete, tile, and grout expands and contracts at different rates, making it susceptible to cracking, especially in outdoor conditions. Also, with tile comes grout lines, which means you have to scrub grout lines. Enough said? natural stone/flagtone. Much like tile, flagstone and natural stone usually requires a concrete base and grout for a semi-permanent slab, which means it comes with the same disadvantages as tile. Plus, you are limited to what mother nature makes, versus picking your own colors with concrete. If the concrete base or grout/mortar are not used, you will end up with an uneven nightmare with weeds growing between the stones. That doesn’t sound like fun! brick. Brick carries with it the same issues as natural stone, flagstone, and tile. >linoleum/vinyl. Although cheap and easy to care for, linoleum and vinyl are not as durable as concrete, nor do they have the aesthetic and “rich” look that concrete offers. Wood. Although beautiful, wood is not the easiest to maintain. It can easily scratch or nick, and it often requires revamp after a few years, especially if not maintained properly. Plus, unless it is taken from sustainable forests, can have negative effects on the forest and wildlife therein. Carpet. Carpet’s main disadvantage is that it easily stains. Even stain resistant carpet is much more likely to stain than sealed , waxed, or polished concrete. Plus, the manufacturing process is not always best for the environment, the chemicals it emits into the home can be harmful, and it retains allergens and pollutants, causing issues for those with breathing problems and allergies.

Help From Trane Heat Pump Reviews

Knowing that you want to buy from a particular brand of heat pump does not make the task of choosing the best one for you easier as there are various models available from a single brand. For instance, choosing Trane as the only brand you will trust when it comes to buying the perfect heat pump for you will not make the task easier; Because of this, it is very important that you turn to very reliable Trane heat pump reviews that can be found online.

You might be wondering how these tranne heat pump reviews will be able to help you when you can actually just look from the catalogs that a particular brand is offering to their customers. The answer is very simple – knowing the features and specification of one product is different from knowing the actual experiences of people who have also tested using the products being offered to you by a particular company. In addition, you will not only be tricked into believing that a particular product is flawless because through the help of other users you will also be able to become aware of the different flaws that various models have. Knowing the opinions of other people about some of the models available will just make you feel like you have already used them as well; The best shoppers in the world know that it is to their advantage if they are able to gather as much information as they can about some product models that they are choosing from. Having said this, you will also be given a clear picture about which among the available models are generally better than others, and which amongst these will perfectly suit your needs.

Most importantly, you may even find these reviews beneficial because they can lead you to the different websites that can offer you the same products for a much lower price; Even better, there are individuals who will give other shoppers the benefit of knowing how to be able to get the most recent discounts that are available. Searching for these reviews will only take you a few seconds by just clicking on your computer and typing on your keyboard.

The Sensible Means to Lose Fat and Gain Muscle

There is the famous quote that says: “‘each person is unique”. This quote allows us all to appreciate the person that we truly are. However, there will come a time in life when we wanted someone better, when we crave for a better life than what we have now. During this time, let us not let go of the thought of improving ourselves because this is the best thing that we can do to perk up our self confidence and eventually allow us to become a better person. Now, in case the idea of self improvement means the process to lose fat and gain muscle then you’ve bumped into the right article.

Basically, before you jump into any processes out there which will help trim down fat and develop muscle, it is imperative that you come to know some of the important attitude to gear yourself first with these important traits.

1. Have Patience- do not expect to see the good result right ahead. Keep in mind that it is a process which means that you have to follow the right time and the right pace for you to obtain the most suitable result. If you do not have patience to start with, expect that your lose fat and gain muscle will never become a reality.

2. Get Dedicated- there will come a time when all you want to do is to skip the workout just for you to have some good times with friends or family members. During these moments, remember that you are working to reach your goal and not the other way around.

3. Persevere- the processes that will let you lose fat and gain muscle is never easy thus you need to persevere hard in order to become triumphant in the end. Don’t worry; you are bound to get good result if you do not give up.

4. Hope for the Best- it is only when you have hope when you can competently go with the process well to lose fat and gain muscle in no time. Once you do not have this attitude inside you, there is the chance for you to give up on the process easily because you are not focused on the goal that you wish to obtain at the end of your journey. So it is just important that you always hope for the best all the times so you wont give up.

Teeth Whitening Paint – Smile With Confidence

Say Goodbye To Discoloured Teeth

Do you find yourself avoiding social situations more and more or making excuses when presented with the opportunity to meet new people because you are embarrassed by the look of your teeth? It is a proven fact that self-esteem suffers greatly when we are not happy with our physical appearance. If you have been unable to change the discoloration of your teeth due to cost then you need to take a little time to find out about teeth whitening paint. Most systems that are available are costly and time consuming and require the use of trays or plastic strips and often repeated visits to your dental office. With teeth whitening paint there is no apparatus involved and the whitener is applied directly onto the surface of your teeth using a simple brush. The whitening paint solidifies once it has been painted on thus creating a film that adheres to the teeth.

Since the results are seen right away, it can be used anytime an unexpected social or professional situation arises. People in the media, models and actors in theatre and film use it regularly to give both their private and public image the best smile they can. Go to that important interview that became available at the last minute with confidence knowing that you will be able to focus on the task at hand rather that being worried that the person interviewing you is getting the wrong impression when you smile.

Harmless, Non-Toxic and Safe

Teeth whitening paint produces an instant cosmetic layer over the discolouration of your teeth caused by tobacco stains, aging, gray tooth syndrome, etc., and will give you the appearance of naturally white, healthy teeth. Teeth whitening paint can also be used to brighten crowns, dentures, bridges, veneers and caps; it is harmless, non-toxic and has been analyzed for safety. Reclaim your self-confidence and don’t hide your smile any longer. Soon you will find yourself saying yes to impromptu gatherings and will smile openly whenever someone brings out a camera.

Improve your Appearance Instantly

Take the time to go on line now and order the teeth whitening paint used by professionals and instantly improve your appearance. You take care to look your best by carefully choosing the right outfit for work or leisure activities. You maintain a healthy body by eating right and exercising regularly. While all those things are important they will not overcome the look of yellow and stained teeth. First impressions are instant and long lasting. Don’t let the one thing that people remember about you to be your inability to smile or when you do, see a smile full of yellowing and stained teeth. You will be amazed at the renewed vitality you will feel when you can shake someone’s hand and confidently flash a healthy and white smile. Take the time right now to order your whitening paint and reclaim your self-esteem. Go ahead on a date and dazzle that special someone and enjoy an evening of dining, dancing and lots of smiles. You can enjoy all your special outings once you’ve used your whitening paint!

No Longer Be Self-conscious

One or two teeth that are discoloured can ruin an otherwise bright and pleasant smile. We all know that the person or people we are talking to notice teeth that appear yellow and stained. It makes it difficult for someone to focus on what you have to say or to just simply enjoy your company when they constantly see teeth that are discoloured. For anyone who has had a root canal that has later darkened the tooth, you know how self-conscious it makes you to have people see a single off-coloured tooth. One of the great advantages of teeth whitening paint products is that you are able to change the color of one single tooth. No longer will you find yourself trying to hide your smile or avoiding situations where people will see your teeth.

A Clean, Bright, Healthy Smile

It can be very cumbersome using teeth whitening trays, especially when you may only have one or a few teeth that need to be whitened. Products such as bleaching trays or plastic strips can be difficult to keep in place and can cause gum irritation and in some people even excessive salivation. Teeth whitening paint is a great solution for people who need to whiten some or even all of their teeth without the inconvenience of other, often cumbersome whitening products.

If you have been considering whitening your teeth but are not sure how you feel about the process, the perfect place to start is with an inexpensive and easy to use teeth whitening paint. Don’t wait any longer to regain a clean, bright and healthy smile. Purchase your teeth whitening paint right now and regain the confidence you always had smiling and talking with friends, family and co-workers.

Whiten Your Smile With Teeth Whitening

There are many choices in today’s market if you are looking to whiten your teeth. We all know the impact of first impressions and if you have a smile that shows some, all or most of your teeth with stains, it can have a very negative impact on the people you meet. If the price and inconvenience of repeated visits to a cosmetic dentist are not for you, there are still options like teeth whitening paint that many people have taken advantage of over the years. Some advantages are obvious, like being able to administer the procedure at home rather than traveling to a dental office or the large amount of money you will save with a teeth whitening paint product.

If like many people who are considering regaining a bright, healthy smile, you need to only whiten one or a few teeth, teeth whitening paint may be the solution you have been looking for. There are generally a couple of options when you have chosen to use a teeth whitening paint product. It can be applied and left on for 30 minutes or painted on and left overnight. You will also be able to find one that uses carbamide peroxide rather than the more traditional hydrogen peroxide. The advantage of carbamide is that it will not harm your teeth like hydrogen peroxide can and is the recommended choice of bleaching agents by most dentists.

Innocent Words Turned Awry

Due to refusal of admittance, the following “profanity” shall be completely “censored”.

can you remember a time where all normal words were used to explain their true meanings? Why is it that whenever a “bad” word is said it is either censored or regarded as only vulgar, despite the context it is used in? Many of you would probably think that they have never changed, others would argue that the meanings of words have changed over time due to changes in culture. The truth of it is words never change their meaning, people change the meanings of words. People do it for their convenient, and most often times negative, use to please them and select others.

If you doubt that, just think for once of the meanings of previously innocent words changed in modern times. The biggest being various insulting words that have been twisted to relay abuse upon a specified person or act; not to mention vulgar meanings of other words. Now that we have a taste of some commonly used swear and offensive words, let us look at the original and true meanings of the words before they were perversely changed to a different definition of the word:

o *** – to work to exhaustion; toil (v). A flaw in a woven fabric; a drudge (n).

o ****** – a bundle of wood used for fuel; a bundle of metal to be worked into bars by hammering at a high temperature.

o ******* – an afraid, stingy person.

o ***** – a female dog, wolf, fox, etc.

o *** – any animal resembling horses but having a shorter mane.

o ******* – a male donkey.

o *** – joyous and lively; merry; happy; lighthearted.

o ******* – a person born of unmarried parents; an illegitimate child.

o *** – a person whose religion is judaism.

o ******* – a thin, crisp biscuit; a firecracker.

Obviously, a look at these words at another perspective offers no sense of insult, but a simple description of the noun. Then how has it that all these words, and more, have become greater offensive in the eyes of american people? Habit is a big influence; years upon years of use of the specific word for hateful purposes caused the word, no matter the root meaning, to become detested in the eyes of the people. Now what if farmers had started calling slaves laggards instead of ******** and women a sow instead of a *****? You would be hearing stations avoid the use of the words laggard and sow and hear insults ringing out in schools in an entirely different vocabulary than today.

Almost all of the current swear words originate from a hateful intent to insult other people, resulting in some words being more offensive than others from the general public’s point of view. To put it bluntly, the words that had the biggest complaint were exiled leaving all of the other “less” offensive words okay to use in most places. Frankly, true swear words are any words used to curse something which can range from **** (a severe made-up derogatory noun) to something as simple as stupid (a very common belittling adjective). Ironically what should be considered the worst things to possibly say due to laws in numerous religions , saying god’s name in vain, is no longer considered a swear word or even bad to say. Kind of makes one think about the changes society is so willing to allow unabridged.

Yet what about the words that mean the same as they always did? A perfect example of this is calling someone a jew, something that should only be said as a descriptive term as far as religion and origin, not a joke or an insult which has no grounds to be such. In recent times, being called a christian, catholic, muslim, or a jew had come as almost a bad thing to a good amount of people in america. The reasons for why this type of thing would happen is greatly affected by the corruptness of the catholic church, a good portion of christians being hypocrites as well as their dedication even when fate affects them as well as non-christians, some muslims are terrorists, and everybody being use to making fun of and hating jewish people for the world’s problems caused by hateful lies spread throughout the world due to their shocking success in economy and wars.

If people learned to love everyone as humans there would not be a racial/religious/gender/etc. Hate problem that causes so many violent and disturbing problems in the world. Of course the only piece of writing that teaches universal love (not necessarily acceptance) is the new testament in the bible, which is a big problem due to those who hate christians, don’t believe in god, or don’t follow the bible. Many people don’t want their lives to be restricted by a law of an infinitely greater being than themselves; more victims of pride at the sake of a peaceful world.

Many of those who may like the ideas the bible don’t like the idea of preserving all human life (anti-abortion) and natural relations with the opposite gender (homosexuality), both technically legal to a degree and in the progress to become more accepted and open. Although throughout history, laws against such things were made to maintain and protect human morality and well-being. Christians’ main arguments against these topics revolve mostly around natural order and the law of the bible. No matter what way you look at it, the only way a person to naturally like another person of the same gender sexually would be the result of a severe mutation of the person’s endocrine system near birth that would more or less make a “she-male” out of the person (a very obscure statistical amount). Any other reason for being gay is to satisfy a sexual desire due to comfort the feel in their own gender and pushing it to an unnatural level or simply unrestrained feelings of lust that they crave.

As far as abortion goes, the world has grown increasingly desensitized and more selfish in terms of convenience against ethics; in turn fighting for their right to manipulate future life because it’s their’s and should be able to do what they want with it. The ease of destroying life in the womb and a clouded perception of life in the womb as being no life at all sends a very bad picture of moral sanity in the world. There is a universal exception to the allowance of abortion though, if it is needed to save the life of the mother than it is understandable, but is not warrant for any other abortions. All other reasons for killing a child can be solved by adoption centers and cutting down on the producers’ lustful desires (in which some “rapes” are usually used as a surefire excuse for abortion).

Explanations need to be made in order to show why different words are treated in different degrees of seriousness. Some words haven’t been changed though, but made up to express a vulgar or perfectly innocent term. Words such as **** and **** have no previous meanings, but were made up to express great insult and vulgarity into the world. Other words like ain’t and whatchamacallit are perfectly innocent and accepted into the english language as new words, as the swear words were also.

Finally we come to the slang of the swear words. I’m not going to get into unnecessary depths of the meanings and reasons for slang terms, i’m just going to give it to you straight. If the word, slang or otherwise, is offensive you can just consider that a curse word even if it’s not in the dictionary. If the intent behind the a if fueled by hate, you can pretty much assume that it’s bad and not to overlook as funny or unoffensive. So remember, a curse/swear word is only bad if used by the producer to mean as such. And who knows, thirty years from now venot may be considered a terrible word because of a jerk deciding there just wasn’t the right offensive word he wanted so he made one up and it got popular.

Curved Staircases Or Personal Elevator?

The staircase is one of the most common components of a home and it is also the most dangerous part of a home for those who are mobility challenged. To help aid in the movement of a person up and down the stairs, a stair lift is one type of mobility aid that can be installed. Another option is a personal elevator.

In cases of a straight stairway, a stair lift can be installed very quickly, easily, and inexpensively, but if the staircase is not straight, then the cost of a staircase lift will increase at least 1000%. Since there is such a large difference between the cost of a straight staircase lift and one that is designed for a curved staircase, a residential elevator becomes a cost effective option for those considering a curved staircase lift.

There are several reasons that a curved stairway lift is so much more expensive than a straight stairway lift. However, the main reason is that the track must be custom built to fit the curve of a stairway. Usually it takes at least 6 weeks for the track to be built and it often takes longer for it to be installed. Once built and installed, a curved stairway lift also looses most of its value, because the track will only work on an identical staircase. This means to re-use it, you would have to find an identical staircase or have a new track built, which would be almost as expensive as purchasing a brand new lift.

There is no uniform standard when it comes to curved staircases and because of the high cost of having the track built, you will need to have to receive an in-house measurement service before you can receive an accurate estimate of the cost of the lift. This usually means that you will be in for a high pressure sales pitch when the measurer comes into your home. It is not possible to receive an accurate cost estimate without having an in home measurement though. Due to the complexity of the installation, you will also have to have a professional installation of a curved stairway lift, which also adds to the cost.

Due to the very high cost of a curved stairway lift, a residential elevator often becomes a good alternative. Price wise, a residential elevator can often be installed for about the same cost as a curved staircase lift and they can usually be installed much quicker. You will also likely need an in-house estimate if you are considering a residential elevator and will need a shaft that allows the elevator to move vertically between floors. Many times a residential elevator can be installed into the space occupied by a hall closet.

In either scenario, you will spend much more money on a curved stair lift or a residential elevator than you would on a straight stairway lift, but since the price of a curved stair lift and a residential elevator is about the same, the elevator is usually The better choice. This is because an elevator offers much more functionality than a stairway lift does.

Creative Thinking Techniques in Action – Forty Uses For a Brick

Creative thinking techniques help us learn to proliferate ideas. When we learn to proliferate ideas we become better at divergent thinking – one of the most powerful tools in a problem solver’s toolbelt.

When someone asks you to come up with ideas to solve a problem, how many do you typically produce? One? Two? Five?

The following example illustrates how we can use a few simple creative thinking techniques to generate tons of useful ideas.

The problem: How many different ways can we use a brick?

Our goal is forty ideas.

Step One – Empty Your Mind

Rapidly list all the ways you can think of, off the top of your head, to use a brick.

  1. Build a wall
  2. Build a mailbox
  3. Side a house
  4. Use it for a desk paperweight
  5. Use it as a melee weapon (whack someone on the head)
  6. Use it as a projectile weapon (throw it at someone)
  7. Use it to pave a sidewalk or patio
  8. Build a deck

Eight, total. Not many.

Step Two – Group the items into common themes

Several of my ideas fell into the category of ‘building material.’ So focusing on that, what other things can be built out of bricks?

  1. Flowerpots
  2. Landscaping
  3. Mailboxes
  4. Barbecues
  5. Smokehouses
  6. Outhouses
  7. Shelving
  8. Outdoor bar

Eight more right there. My running total: 16.

Also, a few of the ideas fell into the category of ‘small, hard, relatively heavy objects.’ What other uses are there for that?

  1. Doorstop
  2. Bug whacker
  3. Ballast
  4. Hold down sheets of cloth, plastic etc.

There’s four more. My running total: 20

Step Three – Consider the common attributes

What are the attributes of bricks?

  • Hard
  • Durable
  • Rectangular
  • Smallish
  • Holds heat well/insulates
  • Compact
  • Come in several earth-tone colors
  • Cheap

“Holds heat well” inspires a new focus for ideas.

  1. Kiln
  2. Lining for a metal grill
  3. Something to protect a vulnerable surface from a hot pot or pan
  4. Mount a metal grill/smoker on a wood deck
  5. Mount a hot water heater on a wood/tile/linoleum floor

Also bricks are “hard.” Do some uses require extra strength or durability?

  1. High explosives/hazardous materials storage buildings
  2. High explosives/hazardous materials handling facilities
  3. Backstop for a shooting range
  4. Firing position
  5. Vault

Ten more there. Running total: 30. We are three quarters of our way to the target, and we’ve kept things pretty basic.

The creative thinking techniques I’ve used so far are fairly linear. To come up with really new and different ideas, we need to get more abstract in our thinking.

The next tool takes us into the abstract arena. It falls under the category of ‘forced connections’ – determining the relationship between two things that are seemingly unrelated.

Step Four: Force Connections

‘Random words’ is a basic tool for forcing connections. I pull out a random words list, close my eyes and point a finger at:

  • nut
  • pet
  • Mass
  • hospital
  • trophy

How could these words possibly help me come up with more uses for a brick?

Simply list the things you associate with each word, and ‘force’ a connection with bricks.

Here are the words and phrases that I associate with each:

  • nut – small, tasty, almond, walnut, squirrel, fiber, pecan, pie, cookie, peanut, sold in bags, baseball games, sold alone or mixed
  • pet – dog, cat, hamster, gerbil, snake, lizard, sold in specialty stores, cute, pet food, fish tank
  • Mass – Catholic, church, service, Eucharist, sanctuary, baptism, wafer, wine, Pope, priest, nun, prayer, forgiveness, collection
  • hospital – emergency, rooms, beds, patients, doctors, nurses, operations, x-ray, MRI, expensive, health care, ambulance, surgery, healing
  • trophy – prize, engraving, given to the winner, valuable, prestige, mantle piece, display case, pride

Forcing connections with the words and phrases I get these ideas:

  1. Pet – dog – Build a doghouse
  2. Nut – squirrel – Build a squirrel/bird feeder
  3. Mass – service – Build a memorial
  4. Mass – service – Build an outdoor altar
  5. Hospital – x-ray – Line an X-ray or radiology room
  6. Mass – baptism – Build a baptismal font
  7. Trophy – mantle piece – Build a fireplace
  8. Trophy – display case – Build a trophy case
  9. Pet – fish tank – Build an aquarium stand or case
  10. Trophy – engraving – Create engraved pavers for fund raising

That’s ten more, bringing my total up to 40. Goal achieved!

To be honest, this was too easy. I could have kept generating idea after idea by using other creative thinking tools.

And just think of what a GROUP of thinkers could come up with – in an innovation workshop, for a group of five I would have set the goal at 100-150 ideas.

“Forty uses for a brick” might have sounded daunting at first, based on the ideas at the top of our heads.

But as I have shown it doesn’t take a lot of thinking to proliferate ideas, as long as you do it systematically, using proven tools and techniques.

Idea generation is the foundation of divergent thinking, which drives business creativity. Learn to proliferate ideas in this manner and you’ll become a better innovator for it.

Painting Business – 13 Point Checklist of Essential Tools Most Needed to Start a Painting Business

If you are considering starting a commercial or residential painting business you will only need some basic low-cost tools to start with. You can buy other tools as more jobs come along and with your down payments. Here is a list of the most essential painting business tools needed to get you started.

1.) Quality Cage Frame – Also known as a paint roller. Wooster and Purdy both have strong, commercial-use cage frames sold at most professional paint stores.

2.) Extension Pole – Get yourself a good medium-size fiberglass extension pole for rolling out walls and ceilings.

3.) Wall-Sander – I always sand walls and ceilings before I roll them out. It cleans up cobwebs and anything else that needs to be knocked down to make the walls and ceilings smooth.

4.) Roller Bucket – I use Wooster’s roller bucket. It is tall, square and has a lid. It is made out of durable plastic and balances a lot better than a paint tray and washes out easy. It’s a must have.

5.) Cut-in Bucket – I like to put some paint in a small plastic bucket for cutting in. There are small 1-gallon buckets of drywall compound that when empty make a great cut-bucket plus they have a lid. They will last for years.

6.) Step Ladder – A regular wooden 5-foot step ladder works perfect for most homes. If I need a 6-foot ladder I have an aluminum one for that. Most of the time all I need is my 5-footer and I am only 5’6″ so there you go.

7.) 16′ Extension Ladder – Great for stairwells or ranch-style exterior jobs. I use my 16-foot extension ladder more than any other size. I also have 20′ and a 24′ extension ladders, but i couldn’t get by without my little 16-footer.8.) Drop Cloths – I like using the runner type the most. They are inexpensive, light to carry and can be moved around the room easily. I also have 9 x 12’s on hand.

9.) Fluorescent Light – Interior painting without a fluorescent light is nearly impossible, especially on a cloudy day. Fluorescent light is a nice white light that is great for painting and shows up the colors in their true form.

10.) Tool Bucket – An empty 5-gallon bucket makes a great tool bucket. I keep my pliers, a hammer, razor-blade knives, a caulk gun, etc., in my tool bucket.

11.) Small Fan – I bought a $30 blower type fan made by Stanley Tools from Walmart. It dries out walls and ceilings quickly so you can get back to work cutting in and moving around the room without it being wet.

12.) Drywall compound – I hate Spackle. It flashes under paint jobs. I use the Sheetrock brand of 90-minute quick-dry drywall compound found at Lowes or other hardware stores for around $11 a bag. It will last me all year long. It is the powder formula and is easy to mix up right on the job with water and a small cut bucket. This way you don’t have to carry a heavy 5-gallon pale around with you that can also freeze during the wintertime and can get lots of chunks in it over time.

13.) Caulk Gun – I use painters caulk all the time to fill small gaps between woodwork, trim and walls. Most paint stores have it on hand. I use the 35-year interior/exterior type.

So there you have it. If you are considering starting your own painting business and want to know how much it will cost to get started this list will help you. I would guess off hand that everything on the list totals around $300. If you already have a step ladder and even a small extension ladder, this will cut the start up cost down considerably.

Liuhe Pagoda (Six Harmonies Tower) of Hangzhou China – History and Information

Liuhe Pagoda or Six Harmonies Tower is a tall multi-storied pagoda in southern Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, China. Located on the Qiantang River, at the foot of Yuelun Hill, the pagoda was built in 970 AD during the northern Song dynasty but destroyed in a war. It was then rebuilt and ruined several more times. The current wood and brick structure dates to 1152.

Being one of the impressive masterpieces of ancient Chinese architectures, Liuhe pagoda attracts thousands of tourists every year. The 196.5 feet tall pagoda has 13 stories outside and 7 stories inside. The six harmonies refers to the 6 directions (heaven, earth, east, west, north and south) as well as the six regulations of Buddhism. A bright lamp installed in the top can also served as a lighthouse.

The pagoda was originally built by the ruler of the Wuyue State (which is an area that now become a part of Zhejiang province). It is also believed that one of the reason for building Liuhe pagoda is to calm the tidal waters of Qiantang River as well as to become a navigational aid. During the night, lanterns were lit almost everywhere in the pagoda so that boats and ships on the Qiantang River could see the building and use it as a navigation tower. You can also see 104 large iron bells hung on its flying eaves as this was done to ward off harmful spirits who responsible for the heavy tides which had caused so much flooding before dykes were finally constructed.

Every story of the pagoda consists of 4 elements; the interior walls, the exterior walls, a zigzagged corridor and a small chamber. This octagonal tower also has a spiral staircase which leads to the top floor. Each of its seven ceilings are carved with painted figures such as birds, flowers, animals and characters. When the pagoda is viewed from the outside, it may appears to be layered-bright on the upper surface but dark underneath. That is harmonious alternation of light and shade.

If you climb to the top of the pagoda, you can see a beautiful and impressive view of the Qiantang River Bridge spanning the surging tides of Qiantang River. There is also an exhibition center near the pagoda that displays many details about other important ancient pagodas in China including all the information about their architectural style. That gallery is also known as the Pagoda Park.

TanTarA Estates Pedestal House

Located at the 25 mm of the Lake of the Ozarks, this Icon of the lake is situated on a 40 x 40-octagon support system in TanTarA Estates. Originally, built in 1972 as a summer home for the Burton Duenke family, the house quickly became a signpost of its own for area boating enthusiasts. For several decades, many generations of Mid-Westerners have used The Pedestal House as a guidepost while traveling and enjoying the lake. The Pedestal House and MM25 have become synonymous. The Duenke family enjoyed the home for many years, eventually transferring the house to the firm of Deloitte and Touche who utilized the property as a corporate, executive retreat supplying fantastic memories to all who had the opportunity to visit. In the late 90’s, The Pedestal was once again transferred to private owners who continued to use the property for friends and family.

Purchased in 2010 by Bob and Carol Zoeller, their Starboard South Group has undertaken a complete interior remodel while enhancing and refurbishing the exterior to insure that this icon of the lake lives on. Bob & Carol who own the adjacent property, The Bluff House, recognized the opportunity that the Pedestal House offered and were quick to purchase the property when available.

The entire interior of the house has been refurbished, remodeled and redecorated. With 3,100 sq feet, the home offered lots of potential. The kitchen features new cherry cabinets, icemaker, wine coolers and new seating which enhance the ability to accommodate large families and groups of friends. The three bedrooms boast five king size beds. The two lower bedrooms are enhances with two king beds each, microwaves, small refrigerators and outdoor decks overlooking the water. Each bedroom in the home has a private bath. The main floor master bedroom has one king bed with two large sliding glass doors allowing guests to enjoy being over the lake while in the privacy of their room. Bob adds you could probably fish from your bed!

The main room has two distinct spaces; the lower seating area features two 12 x 14 “picture windows” which face the main channel. The windows flank a new Piccolo gas fireplace. The other space includes seating for eight with a 50″ flat screen. Both areas feature new hard wood flooring. The entire main room was furnished in late 2010.

As most locals know, there is a large roof deck offering 360-degree panoramic views including the main channel. Additionally, a new dock was added in September with provisions for Jet Skis and is connected to a large Martini deck. This new dock and deck area provides entertainment and comfort for 20 – 25 people lakeside.

Bob & Carol purchased all of the furnishings locally as well as hired only the local workforce to help bring the Pedestal House back to one of the most recognized and cared for homes in TanTarA Estates. They like to point out that the Pedestal House sits over the lake, not on it.

Although the Pedestal had never been rented, it is available now. Estates Sales and Property Management handles the rentals for Starboard South. Obviously the home has created a lot of interest by people who have always wondered “what does it look like inside”. The home is also attached by stairway to the adjacent “Bluff House” allowing two additional bedrooms during the summer months. At certain times, both homes are available, allowing rental groups of up to 18 people including the addition of a hot tub and additional decking. Carol’s vision has been to join both houses for family reunions, corporate retreats and especially a destination where friends can re-acquaint. For the Starboard Group it has been quite an undertaking but both homes are now available and Bob & Carol are proud to make the Icon of the lake available to all.

Arbortecture – Ultimate in Building Green, Live Trees Grown Into Useful Items

Arbortecture is like architecture but with living trees. Trees have unique redeeming ecological uses. Because of that fact a group of young architect have focused on developing a living tree-house at the University of Stuttgart in Germany. The students have a test site is located on the grounds of University at the Institute of Basics in Modern Architectural Design; the experiment is run by, Ferdinand Ludwig, Oliver Storz and Hannes Schwertfeger. The team attached year-old willows to the scaffolding, bending them into shape. More trees are then grafted on, they grow together. After several years, the growing trees take over as load-bearing supports. Finally, the supports can be removed and the entire rig can be moved to its final destination, where the floors can then be slotted into place.

The Fab Tree Hab this design was developed at MIT by Mitchell Joachim, Ph.D. Lara Greden, Ph.D. Javier Arbona, M.S. the team envisions the this house that contributes to the environment is grown with kitchen compost, circulates water, and provides for shelter.

The living bridges of Cherrapunji, India are grown using the living roots of the Ficus elastica tree. The native peoples for as long as five hundred years have guided the growth of the roots to create these amazing bridges. The bridges are growing and gaining strength as they age.

Marcel Kalberer from Germany, has made a career of planting large bundles of willow to create structures of amazing detail. These bundles sprout and cover the structures with green leaves. The Museum of Outdoor Art in Englewood, Colorado, presents “Weidenblume” a living willow sculpture by German artists Marcel Kalberer and Sanfte Strukturen. Their first work preformed in the US will be installed in June of 2010.

Arborsculpture is the art of shaping young trees into useful or artistic shapes, furniture, bridges even a ladder has been grown with living tree trunk. Pioneered by Axel Erlandson who opened a roadside attraction in 1947 featuring his unique trees. Today this garden art is sprouting up among master gardeners, landscapers and home hobbyist around the world. Anyone with room for trees can play with bending and grafting and even grow their own living garden chair.

All You Wanted to Know About a Whiteboard

A whiteboard is also known as a dry wipe board, a marker board or a dry erase have grown in popularity over the years and today it has replaced the traditional chalkboards in schools, colleges, offices and meeting rooms. In fact in most of the offices these days, the whiteboards have become a useful permanent fixture that people cannot do without. So where did the journey of this permanent fixture in most of the offices and schools start? Let’s find out!

This ingenious product was invented by Martin Heit, a Korean War veteran and a photographer and this idea was originally developed by Martin to help him take down notes while he was on the phone. The early whiteboards had a glassy finish on them that could be found on the film negatives. Martin Heit prepared his prototype and sold his idea to Dry Mark who in turn began introducing the whiteboard into the educational sector.

Whiteboards became very popular all across in various sectors especially the educational sector, in 1990s, that too when the likely health risks that chalk dust posed was a major cause for concern. Once it was introduced in the market, there was no turning back and the rest as they say is history as the whiteboards have come a long way from being an expensive product with melamine surface to porcelain steel dry erase surface that is magnetic which is the best quality board available in the market. The white boards, over a period of time have also become affordable and are common even in hospitals apart from schools, offices and universities

The whiteboards available in the market can be differentiated based on the different surfaces used on these boards and there are four popular options available in the market, namely melamine, painted aluminum or steel, hardcoat laminate and porcelain enamel on steel.

Melamine

In this type of whiteboard, a paper that is resin infused is used over the surface which could either be a medium density fiber board or a particle board. These boards are available in different qualities, with some of them retaining the residue of the erased marking leading to a phenomenon that is called as ghosting and some others that do not exhibit the ghosting phenomenon for a longer duration. The melamine board is one of the cheapest types of whiteboards available in the market and is usually used in a number of non commercial applications.

Painted aluminum or steel

The next type of whiteboard that is available in the market is the painted aluminum or steel board. Since the surface is painted, the surface is smoother and is also easy to erase. The surface on the painted aluminum or steel whiteboard has different layers of coatings. The base coat is usually white in color and the other coating which is the dry erase component, is known as the clear performance coating. Some of the high quality painted aluminum or steel whiteboards have excellent dry erase properties with some of the best quality boards permitting the user to even clear content that has been written using permanent markers. However since the surface is coated, extreme caution and care has to be taken while using the board and maintaining it, as it is likely to get scratches easily. While the painted steel surface is magnetic in nature, the painted aluminum surface is very expensive as well as these surfaces are non magnetic in nature and hence are very rarely used. Usually the painted aluminum or steel whiteboards are used as patient information boards, training boards, or even tracking boards.

Hardcoat laminate

The hardcoat laminate whiteboard is another type of board that offers varied performance, which is dependent on the quantity of resin on the board. Based on the quality of the material uses, some of these boards are extremely resistant to stains and they are less porous too.

Porcelain enamel on steel

The porcelain enamel on steel surface whiteboard is very durable and the best quality whiteboard that is available in the market. These boards are very much in demand these days as they are highly durable and are not susceptible to scratches easily. The porcelain enamel on steel surface is magnetic and it does not absorb ink from a permanent marker or the whiteboard marker ink. Cleaning this surface is also very easy and all you need to use is a nonabrasive cleaner. Most of the porcelain enamel on steel surface whiteboards have a lifetime warranty on them which makes them the most sensible option for schools, colleges and offices.

Now that we know all about the different types of surfaces used on whiteboards, let’s look at some of the uses of these whiteboards. Whiteboards are being predominantly used in schools and colleges. Not only do these whiteboards make excellent learning medium but they can also be used to play a number of interesting games in the class. The whiteboards allows children to write or draw without you having to worry about wasting too much of paper. So the games that you can play with your children can range from a wide variety of word games such as Hangman where the children need to guess the letters to form the right word, that requires the children to write on the whiteboard to barrios drawing games, such as Picture What, where the child has to guess the picture that has been drawn on the whiteboard.

So apart from the fact that these boards are easy to use and easy to maintain, another fact that has made these boards very popular is that the whiteboards requires minimal hardware for it to be operational. In case you need the whiteboard to be fastened onto the wall all you need are some screws, and in case you need the board to be mobile then all you need to purchase is a white board easel that is also easily available online and that too at affordable rates. However when you place your board in front of the audience make sure that the board is kept at the right height so that your audience is able to read what is written on the board easily.

Cleaning Procedures for Different Wooden Home Furniture

Wood furniture can be painted, polished or oiled. How you clean your furniture depends on the variety of wood it is made up of. For example, some types of wood are lightly lacquered and do not absorb oil, while others like rosewood and teak do not have any finish and can be handled with annual oil application.

Let us see how you can clean different types of wood home furniture be it wooden beds, almirah, sofa set or cabinets:

Painted Wood

Excessive rubbing and cleaning can damage the decor, colour and finish of furniture. If your wooden beds and other furniture pieces are of painted wood, least care and maintenance is needed for them round the year. You can clean your painted wooden almirah and other furniture regularly with the help of a brush. Wiping occasionally with sponge can help in removing finger marks and smudges. If you feel the need of wax, use of hard paste wax once in a year can serve the purpose.

Oiled Wood

Oiled wood furniture has a soft, warm glow which requires only occasional oil application. For example, if you oil your wooden sofa set once in a year, it will retain the shine for a long time to come. It is important to note that you should never wax an oiled wooden surface. Wax can block the pores making the wood dry and brittle. If there are white spots on your oiled wooden furniture, rub them with tooth paste spread on a soft cloth. You can also use oil and a mild abrasive to rub those white spots. Such abrasives may be pumice, baking soda, salt or ash. The oils that you can use may be cooking oil, olive oil and petroleum jelly.

Polished Wood

Polished wooden furniture pieces are usually finished with wax, lacquer or varnish. Any wood polish can clean a wooden surface quickly. You have to choose the one which is appropriate for the kind of finish done on your wooden furniture. For example, wax in paste form gives a long lasting finish to the furniture, as compared to liquid or spray polish. This kind of finishing is usually recommended for antique wooden pieces.

Always wear cotton gloves while waxing the furniture, as this will not leave any fingerprints on the surface. Sprinkle some corn starch on the recently polished wood surface, and rub it for better gloss. Corn starch absorbs the excess wax or oil from the surface, leaving a glistening wooden surface free from any fingerprints. If there are white spots or rings on your wooden sofa set, you can apply mayonnaise, allow it to sit for around 60 minutes, wipe it off with a cloth and then polish. All these are terrific techniques to keep your wooden furniture glowing like new.

Specialty Wood

Specialty woods can be bamboo, rush, cane, rattan, wicker etc. These woods have natural finish, but some of them may have shellac or varnish coating. You need to vacuum them regularly with a brush attachment.

With all these steps, you can keep your home furniture as shiny as new.

LPS 1175 High Security Doors

What is LPS 1175?

LPS 1175 is a Loss Prevention Standard overseen by the Loss Prevention Certification Board (LPCB). The LPCB is accredited by UKAS (the United Kingdom Accreditation Service).

The LPCB sets a series of standards which are used to describe the level of security that a door, grille, shutter or other equipment, will provide to the consumer.

Basically, cutting through the jargon, the LPCB use LPS 1175 to assess the effectiveness of security equipment. This is done by testing the equipment in a laboratory. Various tools are used in an effort to breach the equipment by trained safety personnel. The effectiveness of the door is then rated on an eight point scale, known as a security rating. This is best explained by looking at the different levels of LPS 1175.

Under LPS 1175, doors that can be breached by opportunists using category A tools such as pliers, knives or screwdrivers, are classified as Security Rating (SR) 1. SR1 doors will resist such attacks for at least one minute.

SR2 doors can be breached by determined opportunists using category B tools, in addition to category A ones. Such tools include drills, hammers and bolt cutters. SR2 doors will resist attacks of this nature for at least three minutes.

SR3 rated doors are not considered able to withstand deliberate and prolonged forced entry using category C tools, as well as category B equipment, which include gas torches, crowbars, chisels and short axes. They will resist attacks of this nature for at least five minutes.

It takes category D tools to get through an SR4 rated door, including jigsaws, disc grinders, steel wedges, sledgehammers and felling axes. SR4 doors will resist tools such as this for a minimum of ten minutes.

SR5 doors can only be breached using top-end battery-powered tools of the kind used by the Fire Service and by other professional rescue teams. For example, the extremely powerful 750W reciprocating saw, fitted with specialist blades. SR5 is a massive jump in security from SR4 and state-of-the-art tools are required to breach it. SR5 rated doors will resist even these awesome machines for a minimum of ten minutes. Having said that, there are no restrictions on who can buy such tools so if the intent is there, even SR5 doors can be overcome.

SR6 and SR7 doors will resist mains-powered industrial cutting tools for at least ten minutes. While SR8 rated doors will provide 20 minutes of resistance to the same tools. SR6 and above doors are serious pieces of equipment and are also extremely expensive.

SR1 and SR2 doors tend to be used in domestic and commercial applications. SR3, SR4, SR5 and SR6 tend to be found in commercial situations with SR6 doors usually protecting very high-value stock. SR7 and SR8 rated doors are usually found in situations where security is absolutely vital, for example, in government buildings and bank vaults.

LPS 1175 allows doors, and other building equipment, which are made by a range of different manufacturers, to be directly compared. For example, SR3 rated doors may differ in their design, or in what they are made from, but they will all provide identical levels of security.

From time to time, the LPCB will alter the standard slightly, in response to new technologies or a change in other, related standards. LPS 1175 Doors are currently on its seventh version.

As well as providing comparability, the LPS 1175 standard is also recognised by insurance companies. The insurance premium for a building protected by SR3 doors is likely to be significantly lower in price than for the same building fitted with SR1 doors.