Stair Treads to Make Your Spiral Stairs Safer

If you are living in a small multiple-story house, then perhaps you have noticed that the staircase you have may take a lot more floor space than it should. Most homeowners in a similar situation try to make do with what they have by decorating it and by maximizing the space underneath it. However, you can now take back a lot of your lost floor space by using spiral stairs instead. Some people are hesitant to use a spiral staircase because they do not think it is safe, but you can be more at ease by installing stair treads.

However, keep in mind that you also need to find stair treads that will fit the actual spiral stairs. The reason is because the wedge-shape of the steps of a spiral staircase is different from the usual rectangular shape of the ordinary stairway. It is then necessary to look for a design made specifically for the type that you have at home. If you cannot find the one you have in mind from your local store, you can try searching for it on the internet. You can also improvise by purchasing the traditional design and cutting or adjusting them down to perfectly fit your own staircase.

Spiral stairs are also excellent for providing access to other areas of the house such as the attic. Even if you have limited space in your home, it would not cause many problems since most of the designs that are currently in the market were created to save space. If you find the steps of your staircase to be a bit slippery, you can install some non skid stair treads to add more traction. There are also designs that have anti-skid backing which is perfect if you are going to put your spiral stairs outside or in an open area of the house.

Another important benefit of using stair rugs for spiral stairways is the fact that they truly enhance their look. Generally having spiral stairways at home means that your room has an extra decorative touch, since not many homeowners have something like that in their own dwellings. And by adding to them decorative treads or rugs that match in color and design, you will increase the value of your home even more.

For example you can easily find decorative wooden stair-rugs that have been often featured in various home decoration magazines as being very modern and classy. You can find braided ones that give any room an extra touch of beauty, even when placed directly on the floor or used on regular stairways. The possibilities are endless and simply by knowing the fact that they are not expensive to buy at all, you can easily add that extra spark to your room any time you want.

Building Codes – Stairway Construction

The stair building code was created for building safety. Before the building code and local city enforcement (Building Inspectors), anyone could build a house. This meant Uncle Earl who had just watched a couple of his friends build a house down the street construct some sort of a dwelling. The next step for Earl would be to help these guys for a day and now he is a professional home builder. You get the point.

Stair Building Codes create the safety needed for one of the most hazardous areas of your home. You might know someone who has fallen down a stairway?

I lived in a house I built for 15 years and I redesigned the stairs from a winder design to a T shaped set of stairs. Both sets of stairs were built using the local stair building code for my city.

Wow I could not believe how many times my family members fell down the stairs. I even fell down once. I was amazed. When I switched from the winder to the T shaped stairway there were less accidents. My point is that even using the stair building codes this is a dangerous part of your house.

Having a professional stair builder install your stairs is great advice. Take it. For example this happened to me on quite a few jobs. I get a set of plans from a architect who has been designing houses for over 40 years. I looked at the stairway to find out that he has designed a stairway that is too small for the length of this part of the home. If I build the stairs using the plans that by the way were approved from the local building department, I could have a problem.

You are probably asking yourself how does this happen. Aren’t these people experienced professionals. Of course they are. They probably have the U.B.C. (Uniform Building Code) in their office somewhere. Everyone makes mistakes here and there but this is one area of the home where safety is a big concern.

Just look at it like this. The stair building code was designed to improve the safety and reduce the number of accidents while using the stairs. Over the years I have seen stairs poorly designed and constructed. These stairs create problems for the owners of the buildings not just the people that use them. Did I mention lawsuits. This is one area where a lawyer will have a field day.

As a building professional I advise you to use the stair building code first for safety and second to avoid lawsuits. Get an idea from some of the pictures I have taken over the years on problems with stair building.

Use common sense while building or remodeling your home. It goes a long way.

Construction Scaffolding

Cape Town, like many other major cities around the globe, is undergoing massive construction, renovation and restoration projects. People are taking notice of how striking the mixture of old and new buildings within a metropolis look, and how valuable and impressive a building's heritage is, especially when it is centuries old.

Scaffolding enables workers, architects and construction engineers to perform their tasks safely and reliably, without danger. New makes of scaffolding allow for extra safety and allow workers to assemble and dismantle the equipment quickly without compromising safety.

With South Africa, and especially Cape Town, establishing itself as one of the world's favorite holiday destinations and a favorite spot to buy property, a lot of restorations are being undertaken.

Cape Town is rich with history, but the CBD and many other areas were starting to look a little dilapidated, until now. Major restorations are occurring all over the city and old architecturally beautiful buildings are being restored to their previous state of glory and aesthetic beauty while retaining their historical identities.

Scaffolds are contracted to help with the restorations, helping the construction teams to perfect every inch of the structures. Sky high or medium rise, scaffolding brings the necessary locations and allows the building and construction workers to reach all the areas necessary with the highest safety standards. Scaffolding systems allow safe and quick assembly to reach every part necessary without risk of injury. Therefore the job can be done quickly and efficiently.

Building and Construction
With the 2010 Football World Cup being hosted by South Africa, the race is to build massive sports stadiums and increase the capacity of existing stadiums in every major city within the set time constraints of the event preparations. New roads are also being constructed to manage the increased traffic in the cities and hotels being being up-sized to cope with the influx of fans needing accommodation.

Construction teams are making use of modern and technologically advanced scaffold and formwork techniques to achieve brilliant results in less time. With these new developments, less labor is needed and projects can be completed is less time than normal. This cuts costs dramatically.

Access Scaffolding
Access scaffolding is scaffolding which is often erect at construction sites for the easy passage of workers and equipment. In most construction sites, the terrain is uneven and littered with obstacles which could prove harmful if a collision of some sort were to occur. For example, steel reinforcements for concrete could cause grievous harm to a person's body if they overbalanced on an uneven surface and fell on the pins.

Equipment such as wheel barrows and heavy tool containers are allowed easier access to a construction site with the use of scaffolding and the safe passage it allows to the most hard-to-reach places of a project.

Scaffolding at a construction site is also a time saving tool. Without having to navigate the dangerous parts of the site and having a short, safe passage to the part of the project where they are working, workers cut a significant amount of time out of their tasks.

At locations where construction is a potential injury hazard to passersby, access scaffolding can be constructed to provide a safe passage over the construction work. For example, if a building is being renovated and the pavement is inaccessible, a ramp can be built above the construction for people to pass over the top of the danger. Scaffolding can also be used as a protective cover above people in the danger zone, protecting them from any objects or dust which could fall from above them.

Scaffolding can be used in many ways to aid construction efforts. Scaffolding provides a way for builders to reach every spot on a building, as well as remain safe. Bystanders are also kept safe and work is completed more reliably and quickly as new scaffolding is easy to assemble. The many benefits of scaffolding keep it a well-used and popular construction aid.

How to Install Laminate Floors

If you do not want to pay someone to install your laminate floor then you can do it yourself. Before you begin you will want to read the "how to install laminate flooring" manual that is offered by the manufacturer of the laminate flooring product that you plan on using. To get an idea of ​​what you will need to do to install your laminate flooring then you can also read this article.

First you will need to measure your floor. Write down these measurements. Determine the area that you will need to cover with laminate floor planks by multiplying the length of the room by its width and then multiply this number by 1.1. This will give you a 10 percent margin for mistakes, damaged planks and matching. Use this final number to order the correct amount of planks.

The next step that most "how to install laminate flooring" instructions will recommend is to prep your floor for the laminate flooring. You will want to remove the old flooring, staples, nails and debris. After the debris has been removed you will want to make sure that your sub floor is level.

The next easy installation step is to lay down the underlayment. You should use the underlayment (s) recommended by your flooringss manufacturer. The underlayment will act as a moisture barrier as well as a shock absorber. Some underlayments offer a two in one product that accomplishes both of these tasks.

Next you will need to start your starter row a little bit away from the wall. This space will allow your laminate floor to expand and settle. If you are using a glue less laminate floor then you will not need to glue the planks together as you assemble them. Instead you will just need to click them together. Continue clicking your planks together until your floor is completely assembled.

The final step is to install your floor boards and transition strips. To do this you will need to use the nail size recommended by the productss manufacturer. After all of your hard work is completed sweep the area clean and make sure that there are not stray nails or tacks on the floor. Now all that is left to do is to enjoy your floor.

Chinese Cinnabar Lacquerware

Lacquerware is any object that has been coated with lacquer, a substance that produces a very hard and durable finish. Lacquer is resistant to water damage, acid and abrasion. The most common type of lacquer comes from a specific type of tree, called the lac or varnish tree. When the tree is the proper size and age, slices are made into the bark and the sap is collected. Great care is taken while doing this, as any contact made between the raw sap and human skin can cause serious skin irritation. The art of lacquerware has been practiced in China and Japan since before the modern era. It has also been practiced in other areas, notably India. Indian lacquer is sometimes made from the secretions of a specific type of insect, rather than the sap of the varnish tree.

Cinnabar lacquerware is a very distinctive type. Lacquer can be applied without pigments added, and results in the piece having a translucent finish. With Cinnabar laquerware, a pigment is added to get the deep red color that is called Cinnabar, or China Red.

The name of this type comes from the mineral called cinnabar. This mineral was ground into a pigment, added to the lacquer and gave the piece a deep red color. Cinnabar is the mineral mercuric sulfide, and was also used in thermometers years ago. As this name implies, the metal mercury is present in the mineral, and when true cinnabar was used as a pigment, there was a real danger of mercury poisoning from just handling the finished lacquerware. Mercury was also released into the air when artisans ground the pigments, and the toxicity of the mineral was known in ancient China, for only slaves and convicts were used to mine it. Antique cinnabar lacquerware in existence usually has been coated with a clear protective coating that prevents mercury from leaching out of it, and handling of it is held to a minimum. These antiques are not on regular display, as they are photosensitive and natural or artificial light can cause the piece to turn brown. While the name is still used, there is no cinnabar in modern cinnabar lacquerware, It has been replaced by non-toxic pigments that emulate (but do not duplicate) the color of the original.

The creation of a cinnabar lacquerware piece begins with application of coats of lacquer onto the foundation of the piece. Up to 500 coats of lacquer are applied, according to the style of the artwork to be carved and the size of the piece. Each coating of lacquer is applied, and allowed to dry before the next is applied. It can literally take years for a piece to receive the needed coats of lacquer.

Once the piece has the desired layers of lacquer, a highly skilled artisan carves the ornate designs into the lacquer that cinnabar lacquerware is noted for. The tools of the artisan must be sharp, and his skills proficient, for the lacquer is very hard. Sometimes layers of different colors of lacquer have been applied, and the artisan has to carve at the required depth to bring out the contrasting colors. While ancient cinnabar consisted of most any type and size of object, modern cinnabar items are usually beads for jewelry, small boxes, plates, trays or other small items.

Tippmann X7 Phenom – Tippmann Blasts the Web With a New Revolutionary Marker

Tippmann's release of the new X7 Phenom may be more than just a new paintball gun on the block. It could be a 'changing of the guard' in terms of how Tippmann sees woodsball paintball. Although at face value the Phenom X7 looks very similar to a standard X7. Dive a little deeper into the internals and you'll discover what all the chatter is about. Inside the Phenom is a completely different valve system than the traditional powertube front and rear bolt set-ups seen in nearly all Tippmanns in use today. Tippmann's new FlexValve uses a forward moving bolt. This new system also allows the X7 to function on 300 psi. That results in a pretty efficient paintball gun with next to no kick.

The Phenom's feeding system appears to be the same cyclone feeder that's been bolted to every X7 and A5 to ever come out of the Tippmann Factory. Looks can be deceiving because this cyclone feed system will consistently load at 20 bps with no after upgrades. I redesigned paddle system and some pressure tweaking has made this system the best cyclone feeder to ever come out of the factory. A Tippmann Cyclone Feed System that can actually work on a gun that runs at 300 psi, now that is amazing.

BT Paintball was really the first to bring the concept of internal air delivery into the forefront of woodsball. They borrowed it from very popular guns such as the Invert Mini and made it a huge selling feature on the BT TM-7 and TM-15. The X7 Phenom has no external airlines as well, definitely yielding a much cleaner look. Less airlines normally means less connections which since leads to less leaks and fewer headaches.

The trigger uses the hall effect technology seen in the previously released X7 and A5 Selector Switch Egrips. This searless mechanism has served Tippmann owners well incorporating five built-in firing modes with faster, smoother activation. One of the best features of the electronic X7 Phenom is that the trigger frame will work with or without a battery. Which is good news for anyone who was stuck in the trenches with a dead battery or a defective electronic board.

Tippmann didnt change everything about the X7. It will still keep its title as one of the most customizable paintball guns on the planet simply because most of the factory X7 upgrades will also fit the Phenom. You can be confident that aftermarket companies everywhere will come up with new parts and upgrades to make the X7 Phenom even better.

Only time will tell if the woodsball world will welcome the Tippmann X7 Phenom with open arms. Phenoms production should be in full swing and out to dealers and retail stores by late November, 2009.

Air Conditioner: Basics of Air Conditioning

The temperatures in the summer months can go up, making life uncomfortable. Here, there is a need for lowering down the room temperature to bearable levels. You do not have any control over the external temperature. Thus, the only option available to you is to regulate the internal temperature of the rooms and the buildings. This is the concept of air conditioning.

Air conditioning:

In simple words, this is the process of altering the temperature and humidity of air to more comfortable conditions with an aim of distributing this air into a building or a room. In fact, you can distribute this cool air to any enclosed area including vehicles. The device used for the purpose is the air conditioner.

Function of the air conditioner:

The main function of this device is to condition the temperature of the air. In case it is cold in the exteriors, the device should heat up the room to a comfortable temperature. In the same way, if it is hot outside, the instrument performs the job of cooling the interiors to a comfortable level. However, in common parlance, we use the word air conditioner as a device for cooling the temperature alone. In the general sense, conditioning of the air includes heating, cooling, ventilation, and cleaning of air.

Working of an air conditioner:

You can do the cooling in many ways. One common method is through a refrigeration cycle. The other common method is through evaporation. The common household contraptions use the method of evaporation and condensation. There are two commonly used types of household devices. One is the window air conditioner and the other is the split air conditioner. Both these devices work similarly using the principles of evaporation and condensation.

Household units:

You normally see the fixing of window units in an open window. A fan blowing over the evaporator cools the interior air. On the exterior side, another fan blows over the condenser to dissipate the hot air into the atmosphere. These systems make use of a coolant liquid or gas that can cool the air on evaporation. In a split unit, you split the device into two separate sub-devices. The 'compressor' and the 'heat switching device' can be far away from each other.

A flexible hose connects the two split devices. These systems make less noise as compared to the window air conditioners and hence are a bit more expensive. Nowadays, people prefer the split variety to the window variety. However, both of them have their respective uses. A third type of air conditioning systems popular today is the centrally air conditioning system. You can cool an entire building in this fashion. The advantage of this system is that it allows for "moderate multitude temperature control capability." One more type of this system making its presence felt in recent times is the portable one. As the name suggests, you can carry this unit with you wherever you go.


We have seen the basic definition of air conditioning and the different types of common household air conditioners in use today.

The 9 Pillars of Gesture for Public Speaking

Gesture, embracing movements of the head, body, arms, hands, legs and feet, is a natural and necessary part of public speaking. Mastering this art and making it appear natural take much practice, but can not be mastered any other way. So here are the top tips to help speed you along your way.

1. The head should be well-poised and not held on one side as if scrutinizing an audience. When held erect it denotes a normal attitude, courage, joy, pride, or authority; when upward it indicates hope or prayer; when downward, shame, modesty, or reflection; when forward, appeal, listening, sympathy or anticipation; when backward, surprise, terror or independence; when shaking, denial, discontent, or emphasis.

Frequent and meaningless movements should be studiously avoided. In bowing, incline the head and upper body together, so as to bring the bend from the waist. It should be done slowly and pleasantly, with the eyes looking down.

2. The face should be trained to promptly and truthfully reflect the emotions of the speaker. Quintilian says: “The face is the dominant power of expression. With this we supplicate; with this we threaten; with this we soothe; with this we mourn; with this we rejoice; with this we triumph; with this we make our submissions; upon this the audience hang; upon this they keep their eyes fixed; this they examine and study even before a word is spoken.”

3. The eyes are wide open in joy, fear and surprise; closed in faintness, half-closed in hate and scrutiny; raised in prayer and supplication; drooped in modesty and veneration; look askance in envy, jealousy, and appreciation.

4. The nostrils are extended in fear and indignation, and elevated in scorn.

5. The lips are closed in repose; partly open in surprise and wonder; wide open in terror; turn upward in pleasure, courtesy and good humor; turn downward in grief and sorrow; pout in discontent; and compress in anger, defiance and determination.

6. The body should move in harmony with the other members as required by the thought. In turning from side to side the movement should be from the waist and not from the neck.

7. The arms move from the shoulder, excepting in conversational gesture. They should rest at the sides without crooking the elbows. Movements may be slow and gentle, slow and intense, swift and light, or swift and strong. The size, length, and velocity of a gesture depend upon the thought. The lines are usually in curves, expressing grace, while straight lines are used when special emphasis is required. The general purpose of gesture is to locate, illustrate, generalize or emphasize.

8. The hands should be carefully trained for flexibility and expressiveness. The fingers should be slightly apart and curved. A gesture has three divisions:

– The preparation, made in an opposite direction from that which the gesture is to take.

– The gesture proper, which must be precisely upon the word intended.

– The return, in which the hand should be dropped gently and slowly without slapping the sides of the body.

And here are the most common hand gestures:

– The supine hand, palm upward, is used to express good-humor, frankness and generalization.

– The prone hand, palm downward, shows superposition, or the resting of one thing upon another.

– The vertical hand, palm outward, is used in warding off, putting from, and in repugnant and disagreeable thought.

– The clenched hand is used in anger, defiance and great emphasis.

– The index finger is used to specialize and indicate.

– Both hands are used in appeal and to express intensity, expansiveness and greatness. Usually one hand should slightly lead the other. The hands are clasped in prayer and wrung in grief.

9. The feet. The standing position should be easy, the feet at an angle of forty-five degrees, one foot in advance of the other, the width of the base depending upon the height of the speaker. The knees should be straight, shoulders even and chin level. Avoid rising on the toes and too frequent change of foot position. The most graceful effect is secured when the left foot is forward and the gesture made with the right hand, or vice versa. This combination gives balance, though it is not always possible to use it. The change of foot position will not be so noticeable if done in the act of making a gesture.

If you practice these gestures with each speech, working them in naturally. In due time, this skill will become second nature, and your overall ability and presence as a speaker will improve drastically.

Berber Carpeting Pros and Cons

Berber carpeting is carpet with a continuous loop. Unlike cut pile carpet one carpet yarn will run from one end to the other. Traditionally it was a hand woven wool carpet but today it is machine made and can be made from any material from Olefin to Nylon. It has become a very popular carpet but is right for you.

The benefit of Berber carpet is that it is somewhat resistant to foot traffic. The loop makes it resist crushing and it does not show vacuum marks or foot steps like a cut pile carpet. It is great for those who like a clean look to their flooring. Another benefit of Berber is that it can hide soil very well if you choose a speckled pattern. With this pattern any spots you get on the carpet will tend to blend in with the pattern.

Berber does have many negatives. Because of the loop construction it can be tough to clean and to vacuum. The loop tends to hold dirt and the tight construction makes it hard for vacuums and carpet cleaning strips to clean in between the fibers. If you have pets you have another potential problem. If they pull up a tuft they can cause a run along the hole carpet. This is because the yarn runs the entire length of the carpet. The last drawback is that it is a harder carpet so if you are looking for plush comfort you should stay away from Berber.

Choose your carpet wisely. Whatever purchase you make will be in your home for the next 5 to 10 years. Try to find a carpet retailer who tries to fit a carpet to you and who does not just push the carpet special of the month. Good luck with whatever type you choose.

How Do I Clean My Carpet Without Endangering My Health?

Has piles of dirt and debris piled on your carpet leaving it far from the brand new clean carpet you originally bought? Do you want to clean your carpet but are unsure how to accomplish such a feat, without the use of dangerous chemicals that put your health in danger?

The solution to your dilemma is the HOST dry cleaning carpet system. The HOST system effectively cleans your carpet without doing any harm to your health or the environment. I will highlight some of the key questions that arise when discussing dry carpet cleaning.

First Off, What is HOST Carpet Cleaning Compound? HOST is a non-toxic dry-cleaning extracting carpet cleaner that is capable of effectively cleaning your carpeting while being "Green" at the same time.

Ok, does it use any chemicals that can potentially harm my health? Many carpet cleaners use dangerous chemicals such as perchlorethylene or chlorinated hydrocarbon in order to clean your carpets. These chemicals may help to clean your carpets but harm your health at the same time. HOST does not use such harmful chemicals, helping to protect your health while effectively cleaning your carpets.

What are the dangers of this carpet cleaning system if my pet or child swallows it, will I have to consult a doctor? The HOST carpet cleaning system is non-toxic and therefore not dangerous even if accidentally swallowed. With the HOST carpet-cleaning system, there is no reason to panic if the material is accidentally ingested. Unlike other carpet cleaners, if you accidently ingestion HOST you do not have to be rushed to the doctor. You can rest assured your carpets are NOT cleaned with a cleaner heavily saturated with chemicals and other harmful substances, so you children can roll, crawl and have fun without any need for you to worry.

What about steaming is not that an effective way to clean my carpet, what advantages does HOST have over a method such as steaming? Steaming provides non-toxic cleaning but it also uses a great deal of water. If only ten households switched from steaming carpet cleaning to HOST carpet cleaning a staggering 500 gallons of water could be saved, HOST is a much better option for the environment. The HOST cleaning system is committed entirely of renewable resources, so you can be assured that you are both helping the environment and saving on your water bill.

So a major difference is that it is "Green." Are there any other differences? Yes, because HOST is a dry cleaning compound your carpets will not be wet for a long time and your carpet can be used right after using the compound. You will also see less mold and mildew growing in your house because there is no moisture that stays in the carpet to stimulate such growth.

The HOST Dry Cleaning System is much more effective and safer in comparison to other carpet cleaners. With the information provided you should be prepared for exploring the carpet-cleaning world.

How to Clean Mildew From Shower, and Shower Door Tracks

Mildew often lives on shower walls, window sills, shower door tracks, shower curtains, grout near bathtubs and other places where humidity levels are high.

Mold and Mildew is a fungus that grows in moist and warm environments.

Mold and Mildew can be identified by its color.

If you have a problem with high humidity and warm environments, mold or mildew could potentially form. Mold and Mildew will take root mostly where the humidity level is high, along with low circulation of air, poor lighting or low lighting, and damp areas.

If you are experiencing problems with Mold or Mildew in your bathroom showers, or shower tracks. Here is a simple solution to help you tackle those problem areas in your bathroom.

Mix one cup of bleach to a gallon of water, make sure you place this mixture in a spray bottle for easy use.

Now open all windows in your bathroom and turn on the ventilation switch if you have one in your bathroom to create sufficient ventilation while you are cleaning. Put on cleaning gloves and a mask for protection because the chemicals can be harmful to your health, as with most cleaning products that are not natural. Also have an old toothbrush handy for scrubbing Mildew and Mold in your shower tracks and bath tub grout if you have grout around your bath tub.

Now spray the part bleach solution onto the area where the Mold or Mildew growth has been observed, leave onto area at least five to ten minutes then take your toothbrush and scrub the area clean. In most cases the Mold or Mildew will disappear immediately without even scrubbing.

Once you have sprayed and scrubbed the area, take some clean water and wash thoroughly and dry the area with clean rags or towels. Once you have gotten rid of the problem areas, you can clean your shower with a disinfectant solution to finish your shower.

Here are some tips if your shower or shower door has soap scrum that you are unable to clean. Try using vinegar and water solution and this should help you take care of any soap scum problem that you are having.

Percussion Mallets – More Than Just Sticks

When I hear the term "drumstick," I visualize precisely that-a stick that is used to strike a drum (without, of course, I'm hungry, in which case I go another direction altogether). Simple, right? Wrong. A drumstick, or more accurately, a percussion mallet, is any object used to strike a drum or other percussion instrument in order to produce sound. This means that the category of percussion mallets includes items like beaters and brushes as well as the ubiquitous drumstick. Of course, it is fortunately for us that so many different types of mallets do exist, as they make possible the amazing variety of sounds that can be produced from a simple drum.

The basic drumstick, which is usually about 0.5 inches in diameter and 16 inches long, is recognizable to almost everyone. While they do vary in length and material, the shape is usually standard enough that there can be no doubt about the item's name. All drumsticks can be divided into four basic segments: the tip, which is used to beat the drum; the shoulder, which tapers out from the tip to the shaft; the shaft, which is of a regular diameter running from the bottom of the shoulder to the butt; and the butt, or the rounded portion at the bottom of the stick. Major producers of drumsticks include Vic Firth, Malletech, Vater, Regal Tip, Zildjian, Pro-Mark and Ahead among others.

Within the category of drumsticks, there is a subcategory specifically for those used with snare drums. Snare drumsticks are usually made of wood, often hickory, oak or hard maple, but they can also be of aluminum, fiberglass, nylon, acrylic, plastic or carbon fiber. While the tip of a drumstick is traditionally made of the same material as the shoulder, shaft and butt, snare drumsticks sometimes have nylon tips, which prevent fast wearing and produce a brighter sound on cymbals. It should be noted that snare drumsticks may be specifically designed for particular types of performances. Those intended for orchestral playing are often smaller in diameter or balanced farther toward the tip, which allows for fine control and soft dynamics. But snare drumsticks designed for drums in racing bands are usually thick and weighty in order to create as loud a sound as possible.

A mallet is also a sort of stick, but it is comprated of a head connected to a thinner shaft. The head may be wrapped or unwrapped depending on its intended use. Unwrapped mallets are usually used on instruments made of more durable material, where the wrapped mallets are used on softer instruments. The heads can be wrapped in a variety of materials, including nylon, acrylic and yarn. Not surprisingly, different mallets produce different sounds and timbres.

Finally, a brush is a set of bristles shaped like a fan and connected to a handle. The bristles are can be metal or plastic, the handle various materials including wood, aluminum and rubber. Brushes are most often seen in jazz or blues music performances. Thanks to their construction, brushes add texture and create sounds not achievable with a stick or a mallet.

Survival Tips For Chemo and Radiation – Part 1

I can not tell you how many women I speak to that have regrets about going the traditional chemo-radiation route. I have heard tales of finger nails turning black and blue and periodically falling off, mouth and esophageal ulcers, rotting teeth, heart damage, nerve damage, diabetes, hair loss, blistering skin from radiation burns, weight loss, weight gain … and the list goes on. The good news is that your body can repair and heal from these toxic therapies, given specific nutrients.

Let's start with the side effects of Radiation.

I witnessed my own mother receiving radiation burns as a result of radiation therapy for Breast Cancer. Her breast blistered, became red hot and was as hard as a brick. It remained that way for years.

Medical radiation may reduce the tumor load initially, but it is doing nothing to address the circulating stem cells which are responsible for re-seeding and fueling the growth of the tumor. In fact, increased radiation exposure has been shown to increase your Breast Cancer risk.

Clastogenic Factors (CFs) were first described in the blood of persons irradiated accidentally or for therapeutic reasons. These factors are defined as mutagenic, since they break up chromosomes and often lead to the development of cancerous tissues.

But do not despair and think that once you are radiated there is no hope for your body to repair itself. My friend from "down under", Jillian Exton, has compiled a list of supplements based on clinical research that can help you get the side-effects of radiation. Her book, " What's Your Plan " is a must for anyone who has been through the traditional toxic therapies.

Jillian wrote this book after experiencing surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. She was searching for natural ways to manage the side effects of her treatment. Discussions with her medical team on possible supplementation with various nutrients always resolved in the need for clinical studies and evidence, in order to make informed decisions. And so the seed for the book was planted.

Here are a few of the recommendations in her book on managing side effects of radiation:

  • Astragalus is an herb used in traditional Chinese Medicine to support the Immune System. It has anti-tumor effects and decrees organ damage from radiation. It increased survival in mice treated with radiation.
  • Bioflavonoids such as genistein and soy isoflavones have been shown to decrease the side effects of radiation, increase cancer cell death by reducing the cancer cells' ability to self-repair. These bioflavonoids also have anti-tumor properties.
  • Curcumin is one of my favorite anti-inflammatory herbs and has strong anti-tumor properties. It has a very protective affect on radiation.
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acids are essential for reducing inflammation and have well established anti-cancer benefits. A German study conducted in 2011 demonstrated the protective effect on healthy cells but increased the effectiveness of the radiation on cancer cells.
  • Ginko Biloba Extract is an herbal that is high in anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants in this extract reduced the blood markets of radiation exposure in people that were exposed to ionizing radiation because of their occupation.

I will add one of my favorite ways to overcome the effects of radiation … miso. I do not have a specific study on this, as I learned this years ago when I was studying and applying the Macrobiotic Diet by Mishio Kushi. After the horrific events of Hiroshima due to the nuclear bombarding, radiation injuries were rampant. However, doctors noticed that the people that still had access to their daily cup of miso (fermented soy bean paste) had fewer radiation side effects compared to those without the miso soup.

The bacterium in the miso would bind the radiation and expel it form the body at a more rapid pace. More recent studies have shown that miso does have a protective effect from radiation.

If you are on a healing journey or you know someone that is suffering because of conventional cancer treatments, please share this information with them. Applying the principle's in Jillian's book may make their experience less traumatic and a little more pleasant. The next article will be about survival tips for chemotherapy.

How to Make A Stunning Cosplay Makeup and Hairdo

Cosplaying is not less than any other creative expression and like many others, it demands a level of expertise and experience for proper execution. You might just be the guy who buys a costume and goes to the party just for the fun and the company of likeminded fellows but if you really want to present yourself as a character you admire, or if you want to participate for a competition you would need to go a bit more. We have compiled some tips on how you can do a better makeup to leave a lasting impression.


The first thing you want to do is clean up your face before applying makeup, this will remove all the dust and oil that later disturb the makeup. A clean face is also easy to work on.

Makeup for Photoshoot

If you expect a photoshoot at a convention, which would usually be the scenario, you might want to do a little extra. You also need to know the lighting conditions of the place e.g. is it outside in daylight or at night, is it indoors with colorful lights or with bright lights, is it indoors with grim lights, etc. This is because the types of lights greatly effect how you look on camera.

What you should normally do is:

Moisturize: Moisturize your face especially cheeks, around the nose, and under the eyelids.

Concealer: You should select a concealer that matches perfectly to your skin color. Beauty shops such as Sephora even allow you test. It does not need to be too expensive. Apply it to your scars, acne or any other spots on your face.

Foundation: Use a sponge to apply foundation all over your face. You can use any trusted local foundation that does the work. Try not to overdo it, you need to blend.

Powder: Lastly apply powder which will absorb all the oil and provide a final finish to your face.

The above four steps will give you a perfect face for the camera. After that it is up to you and the type of character what kind of makeup you put on it. Try to put more emphasis on the face as it is the most lively and crucial part of the face. Try to apply bright colors as they reflect perfectly on a camera.


When it comes to hair the products you use will change along with the changing requirements. Following are a few products you can use to color and style your hair for a cosplay.

Hair Spray

A hairspray gives you a vast variety of colors but leaves you with a helmet like head. Every colored hair strand will be in place. But you will not be able to pass your fingers through your hair.


A gel can be used when variety is not that important but washablility is. It comes in limited colors but simultaneously colors and styles your hair. It can easily be washed off with shampoo. Got2b spiking glue, is one of the best in the market, particularly for cosplaying.


One can also use chalk for a pastel-like texture for your hair. It is easy to use. You just need to slide it over your hair and it is easily washable. You can also brush your hair but it may fall on your dress if you don’t apply hairspray over it.


If you want your hair color to last longer you might want to apply Demi-Permanent Dye which will last for over 25 shampoos. Another easy and risk-free solution is using the clip-on hair of your favorite characters.

Eaves, Awnings, and Home Exterior Weather-Resistance

Eaves and awnings with sufficient reach are features I see lacking far too often on homes. Granted, one can argue that it's more often than not a matter of style or design. True, and I do not want this to come across sounding like it's a crime if your house does not have a 1 meter awning on every window. But at times one must choose between fashion or style and durability when designing a structure. Ideally, a skilled architect will achieve an artistic and structural sound balance.

We all at least vaguely understand the functions of eaves and awnings, but perhaps we do not fully comprehend all their benefits. First of all, you should look at eaves and awnings as your first line of defense against rain and sun-induced rot and decay. This is true of all exterior walls of your home, as well as the interior sections of your house that are exposed via your windows and doors.

As tough as your exterior walls can be, they are never imperfect to the power of the sun and rain! In truth, NOTHING you do to the exterior of your home will keep it from ever succumbing to the sun and rain, but there are some things you can do to make it last significantly longer. And when I say significantly, I mean the potential difference between a house lasting 20 years and 100+ years!

I suppose it does not take a genius to deduce that falling rain will first land on your roof, again downward down into your rain gutters and then continue on to your drain system. But the one variable that we must not forget is the wind! Rarely does rain fall at a completely vertical angle. The wind will to varying degrees, drive the rain – or snow – against your house. This is where your eaves and awnings play a large role!

In terms of durability, the further your eaves extend past your exterior walls the better! Obviously, there is a drawback to your eaves protruding too far in that it will block direct sunlight . Plus, once an eave extends past a certain point, it will begin to require vertical support posts, and will then become what is known as a canopy instead of an eave or awning. Aesthetics are another important factor as well.

Skillfully incorporating durable features into your design is tricky, but nothing is more important if you desire a long -going home. For me personally, there is something invitingly "homey" about extended eaves and awnings on a house. Perhaps I'm not alone in this perspective. I do not know, but it just seems to scream warmth, a hot meal, and hospitable hosts.