Rhodes Lindos – A Tour of the Acropolis

This is the most impressive archaeological site on the island of Rhodes, where the dramatic natural landscape is enhanced by the picturesque quality of the more modern town. The most important archaeological monuments are to be found at the Acropolis, but there are also interesting ruins scattered at various points within the town and just outside it.

A cobbled road leads up to the Acropolis, and for those who wish to avoid the tiring climb there are donkeys for hire at the main entrance to the town. The first ruins you will encounter are the mediaeval walls, built by the Crusaders (early 14th century) on the remains of earlier defenses, both Byzantine and ancient. Along the mediaeval walls are a very small number of towers, which follow the natural contours of the high ground. On the area of level ground where the mediaeval steps begin you will see to your left an ancient triimolia (a kind of ship) carved in the rock circa 180-170 B.C.

On the ship’s prow there once stood a statue of the general Agisandros Mikkion (it has not survived) which, according to the inscription, was the work of Pythokritos, creator of the Nike of Samothrace. The great mediaeval steps lead up to the Governors Palace of the Crusader castle, which consisted of three buildings, of which two have survived. It was first restored in the early 20th century by the Danish Archaeological Mission and then, during the period between the world wars, by the Italian authorities. As you come out of the Governor’s Palace you will see a series of vaulted constructions supporting the “andiro”, a man-made terrace which opens out in front of the Hellenistic stoa. A number of the columns are still standing.

It was built in the shape of the Greek letter fl, in the late 3rd century BC, with protruding wings to the side, each with a frontage of four columns. It was 88 m. long, 9 m. wide and had 42 columns. The terrace was laid out later and two underground cisterns were also constructed to collect rainwater from the roof of the stoa and from the steps of the Propylaea. The scattered plinths with their inscriptions remind us of the time when the whole area was full of statues dedicated to the goddess. Next to the Governor’s Palace stands the church of Agios loannis, built on the inscribed cruciform plan. It is not clear precisely when it was built; some assign it to the late 11th – early 12th century, others to the 13th – 14th century. It was constructed on the remains of an earlier church, judging from the architectural fragments found on the Acropolis and dating from the 6th century AD.

A monumental flight of steps, behind the eight central columns of the Hellenistic stoa, leads up to the Propylaea of the temple of Undia Athena, another stoa structure in the same shape. Only the foundations have survived. At the two ends of the Propylaea there were areas where the votive offerings made to the goddess were stored. The stoa was built of porous stone at the end of the 4th century B.C. At the highest point of the Acropolis, on the edge of the cliff, stands the temple of Lindia Athena. This is an unexpectedly small Doric temple, with a stoa of four columns at each end. There still remain in the interior the votive altar and the plinth of the worshipped statue of the goddess. This building too was of porous stone, with mortar facing, and dates from the end of the 4th century B.C. (Open daily, 8.30am-2.40pm in the winter, 8am-7pm in the summer).

Melenos Hotel Lindos is one of the greatest Rhodes Hotels in Rhodes island.

The Interlace Condo – Living Green in Singapore

The Interlace Condo, Singapore’s latest condominium complex has been touted around the world as the new icon for Architectural and Engineering development. These numerous accolades have been popping up in blogs all around the internet and in design magazines worldwide.

The city-state’s traditional form of boxy and rectangular apartment buildings will see a dramatic redesign for this new landmark. It is composed of 31 apartment buildings built to form a hexagons. This huge scale development is roughly the size of 16 football fields and will be constructed on the southern part of the city. The greenery surrounding Alexandra Road and Ayer Rajah Expressway is the perfect background for this new condo. The 170,000 meter square compound will house to 1,040 units ranging in size from 2 or 3, 3 plus study and 4 bedroom units. Units can be in a townhouse or penthouse style. This eight hectare belt of greenery will stretch from Kent Ridge, Telok Blangah Hill and Mount Faber parks.

This breakthrough design highlights and takes advantage of Singapore’s natural environment. The massive size of the development has allowed designers to incorporate a multitude of greenery to give the complex a tropical feel to the over all effect of the venture. Above ground vehicular circulation has been minimized, freeing large green areas within the condo building itself. The project is more than just a residential development. The designers have integrated environmental sustainability features via a careful calculation, study and analysis of factors such as sun, wind and micro-climate conditions coupled with low-impact passive energy strategies and other energy saving features on site.

Why is this development unique? Because a breakaway from the typical Singaporean building or skyscraper. Buildings in the city-state are typically isolated, vertical apartment buildings, complexes and towers with little or no outstanding features to distinguish one from the other. This new venture takes a different and unique approach to tropical green living as the building complex is composed of interconnected hexagonal buildings designed to highlight Singapore’s natural environment. Identical six storey buildings stacked to form a hexagonal pattern with courtyards and spacious greenery and lawns, making this the perfect style to incorporate swimming pools, hanging balconies, sky gardens, miniature parks and rooftop gardens.

In a typical apartment or condominium complex, privacy can sometimes be compromised. However, at this new development, privacy is balanced with green open spaces for recreation and generous spacing in between units. There are also other amenities residents can enjoy that were integrated into the natural greenery aside from the number of indoor and outdoor recreation areas built for fun and relaxation.

This project situated in residential Gillman Heights has challenged the traditional way apartment buildings and condominium buildings have been designed. The breakaway design does not only have a dramatic external facade, it has also addressed the issue of having green and comfortable internal spaces. The name Interlace itself reinforces the feeling of unity between the community while complimenting the surrounding natural environment.

How To Choose A Home Theater System

When choosing a home theater system one must first consider there budget. In years past a home theater system was for only the rich, but with improvements in technology, home theater system are available for almost any budget. Costs range from $ 299 to $ 30,000 or more, depending on the components chosen and the size of your home theater system.

Components

Most people try to achieve creating a movie theater in there home. Now of days a most theaters have surround sound system. Therefore in a home theater you will want to look for the following components, a large-screen television (usually 32 "or larger), and a speaker system with a subwoofer (a loud speaker designed to reproduce bass frequencies) & front and rear ( usually a minimum of 5 speakers) speakers for quality sound. You will also need an audio / video surround receiver, a DVD player, and a cable or satellite receiver. Most people also add a video recorder and a DVD recorder.

The big screen television

High-definition television (HDTV) is the most popular for Home theater systems. HDTV's digital technologies give a much sharper & crisper picture quality, also an improved video field to bring the audience right into the middle of the action.

One of the things you must consider when you design your theater system is to look to the future. This way your system will stay up to date longer. To do this you will need to consider things like purchasing a high-quality, integrated HDTV monitor with wide screen display, because the conventional full screen movies we have enjoyed for years will someday be replaced with the movie theater style wide screen movies that more and more we are enjoying now. Even cable systems are delivering digital viewing services, which will only continue to develop.

Wide-screen HDTV monitors start at 27 "for a traditional square shape and 30" for a wide-screen, and range up to 82 ".

When considering a televisison for a smaller area you may want to look at direct-view televisions. For larger areas you can consider rear-projection or plasma televisions, Direct-view televisions do not require viewers to sit so far back from the viewing screen.

Surround-sound

Remember when considering your home theater system that sound is a very important part of the experience. You can buy a box system for as little as $ 200. You will want to look at different system and choose the one that best fit your needs and the sound quality that best fit you space and needs.

Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound has been the industry standard for years, says Craig Eggers, director of consumer electronics technology marketing for Dolby Laboratories. Dolby is now the North American audio standard for HDTV. This technology "delivers 5.1 channels of fully discrete surround sound audio to any home theater," Eggers says. This means the soundtracks are recorded with five main channels: left, center, right, left surround and right surround, plus a low-frequency effects bass channel.

Surround sound systems use a minimum of five speakers to bring the listener inside the viewing experience. Instead of watching the picture, you're a participant – just like at a movie theater.

These box systems also include various components such as DVD players or recorders, or am fm stereo, VCR players or recorders, some system may also include iPod or Mp3 technology.

This will complete the basic systems, but do not forget that you may also want to consider a camcorder or digital camera technology for those home videos.

Once you have developed the home theater that best fits your needs the only thing left is to sit back and enjoy and do not forget the popcorn.

How-To Tips

Cables are an integral part of a home theater. Good cables will enhance the performance of your entire system, while poor quality cables can actually reduce quality. Look for the following when cable shopping:

· Look for cables with high-density shielding, gold-plated connectors and durable jackets to provide long-lasting, reliable connections. If you have the choice of using either digital or analog cables, choose digital to eliminate unneeded digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital conversions, which lead to reduced image and sound quality.

· When you're looking for the right cables, make sure you avoid generic cables made with low-grade materials and low-quality construction because they're highly prone to noise and distortion. Watch especially for connectors that fit loose or too tight, with inadequate shielding and unprotected solder joints.

· Be wary of manufacturers that do not provide information concerning the construction of their cables. Quality cable companies, such as Accell or Monster Cable, often will provide a cable cut-away illustration, providing clear visibility of their cables' material and construction.

· Finally, make sure to keep your cable lengths as short as possible to get the best quality sound.

Source: Accell Corporation

5 Unusual Ways to Improve Poor Signal Reception

Poor cell phone signal reception is never appreciated. No one likes those missing signal bars on a phone’s display. You might have suffered from this problem some time in your life.

Such problems have always been there and over the years people have come up with some unique, unusual, and home-made remedies for these problems. 5 such ways these crafty individuals say to improve your signal reception are given below.

An old radio antenna

An old radio antenna might be a solution to your poor reception. They say that all you need is an old radio antenna. This might sound absurd, but there are actually testimonials available on YouTube guaranteeing results from the use of this technique. All that you need to do is place a radio antenna close to your cell phone and connect it to your cell phone’s external antenna using a copper wire.

Tesla Coils

It is an electrical resonant transformer circuit that can help you improve your cell phone reception. All that you need is a little piece of tesla coil and tape. You can tie the tape around your cell phone’s antenna and then use the tape to make sure it stays there. (that is if you can actually find the antenna on your phone… )

Paper Clip

This is one of the easiest methods of improving the reception. A paper clip is available in almost all offices. All that you need to do is to take a paper clip and fix it in your phone’s external antenna. Attention must be paid while doing so as paper clips can cause damage to your cell phone’s display or casing. Duct tape can be used to tie the clip with your cell phone. (This is was presented by they guy with tape on his glasses also)

Empty Cans

Now you’ll never throw away those empty cans as they can recue you from your bad signal reception. This is one of the most absurd ways but it actually works like magic. All that you need is two empty cans, a cutter, some copper wire, and a soldering iron.

The Steps

1. Wash the cans properly so that no residue is left.

2. Cut the end of any one can properly all the way, where there is no opening, and then join both the cans together by soldering them.

3. Make one hole in any of off the cans and put in the copper wire inside and make sure it holds well. Now put the other end of the wire into your cell phone’s external antenna, and you are DONE!

These are the simple steps of utilizing empty cans to improve your signal reception. Many variations of the method are available and some even include the option of making little propellers out of the cans for decorations.

Insulated Wire

This is again one of the cheapest methods. All you need is 20cm of insulated wire. Strip both sides of the wire (about 1cm each) and skew around half the wire to a stick in order to give it those circles. Now that your antenna is ready, you need to place it on your cell phone’s external antenna and then you are done.

Enjoy these cheap and easy methods and say good bye to poor signal reception. Or you can truly increase your weak cell signals with proven signal boosters that are very affordable, much more effective and will do a lot less harm to your expensive wireless devices.

Understanding Motherboard Types: How to Choose the Right One

Knowing different motherboard types is important if you want to assemble your own computer. It is also useful for troubleshooting computer problems easily. Over the years, lots of motherboards have been out in the market and most of the time there are new models released each year. To get familiar with the different types of motherboards especially in choosing one, check the following listed classifications of motherboards:

Based On Dimension:

Baby AT Motherboard

This motherboard is 8.5 inches wide and 10 inches long. Usually, it is easily recognized as the DIN keyboard connector is placed on the top right corner of the motherboard. In general, it is made for classic Pentium processors as it has a socket 7 ZIF slot. It is also called Baby AT since its overall size is just two thirds of a regular AT motherboard.

Full AT Motherboard

This is the very first type of motherboard made and it measures 12 inches wide and 11 inches long. It suffered lots of problems in peripheral installation and troubleshooting as the overall design is not so good. Its accessibility is poor as well since the drive bays are installed above the motherboard. Also, the expansion cards cover the processors leading to poor system ventilation and high risk of overheating.

ATX Motherboard

ATX is 7.5 inches in width and 12 inches in length. It is generally made for Intel processors. Its bus speed is around 100 MHz and it has a soft power support which only means that the operating system can shut it down. The USB ports and I/O ports are also integrated directly. The best thing about it is the way everything is positioned; the Baby AT parts within is rotated in 90 degrees so the cards in the bus architectures will not cover the processor, thus aiding in efficient system ventilation.

Based on the Type of Processor:

Socket A Motherboard

Otherwise known as Socket 464, this motherboard is made for Durons and AMD processors. It is made in Pin Grid Array with 462 pins and the bus speed is around 100 to 200 MHz.

Socket 370 Motherboard

This is made for Celeron, Pentium III, VIA C3 and VIA Cyrix III processors. It is in PGA package with 370 pins and the bus speed runs around 66 to 133 MHz.

Socket 378 Motherboard

Also known as Socket N, this motherboard is made for Pentium 4, Pentium 4EE and Intel Pentium M processors. It is built in PGA package with 478 pins. In average, the bus speed runs around 100 to 200 MHz.

Socket T Motherboard

It is also termed as LGA 775. This motherboard type is made for Intel Xeon, Intel Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 2 Quad and many more similar processors. It is built in PGA with 775 pins. Its bus speed is high as well at 1600 MHz.

Socket 939 Motherboard

This type of motherboard is made for AMD processors. Made in PGA package as well with 939 pins, its bus speed is fast at 200 to 1000 MHz.

Socket AM3 Motherboard

This is made for AMD Athlon II and AMD Phenom II processors. It is also built in PGA with 941 pins and bus speed rate at 200 – 3200 MHz.

Socket H Motherboard

The other term for this is LGA 1156 and it comes in LGA format with 1156 pins. It is initially made to support IntelCore i3, Intel Core i5 and Intel Core i7 processors.

Since there are lots of motherboard classifications and types, it is important to consider these details when repairing computers, especially if one specific part should be replaced, or whenever a new one should be chosen. Pay attention to compatibilities and make sure to know your computer’s motherboard thoroughly upon buying a new unit.

The Advantages and Disadvantage of Opening a Restaurant Franchise

When I talk about running a franchise business, most people automatically assume I’m talking restaurant franchises. That’s because most franchises in the food industry are wildly successful and in turn growing in numbers and popularity. You’ll be hard pressed to find independent restaurants at all anymore due to the success of food franchises.

The best part is that despite the growing number of food franchises, buying a restaurant franchise is still one of the few close to being a guarantee opportunity in the world of business today. It’s true that there are number of difficult issues that come with owning a restaurant franchise, but that’s true with any business. Here are both sides of owning a food franchise showing both the advantages and disadvantages of them:

Advantages

  • Built-in demand – For years upon years, people have been hardwired to grab something to eat at a franchise food chain when they are hungry and away from home. This is a major advantage for any start up company. It’s years of marketing already done for you. The only thing you need to consider is the future of your product and will there be a demand for it in your local geographical area.
  • Financing – You can choose a number of different outlets to find financing. When it comes to finding funding for a food operation business, the process is extremely easy and not as complicated. The reason is because banks typically know what is involved with opening a restaurant and feel more comfortable approving the loans. The high revenue generated by some of the food franchises doesn’t hurt, either.
  • Track record of success – Since a typical food franchise has multiple franchisees, it is easy to determine how successful or not they are. You can see if they have a record of success along with where and what demographics are the most successful. With this type of information available, you can make a well-informed decision before making an investment.
  • Prestige – Depending on who you speak to, people often think that all restaurant owners are people of high society that also comes with a touch of glamor. There are a lot of franchise owners that get into the restaurant business for this reason alone.

Disadvantages

  • Labor – I’m sure you’ve noticed that most food businesses need a lot of employees to function properly and smoothly with the majority of those workers being low-paid. That leads to a workforce of unreliable employees with a high turnover rate. Finding and keeping qualified employees is a major challenge for a food franchise.
  • Low margins – The food industry is very price sensitive, more so in the world of fast food chains. This leaves you with a very fine line to walk with cost of goods and labor and making a profit. It’s true that food franchises often see high revenues but the net margins are often overlooked. You are also susceptible to food spoilage and theft along with other issues only found in the food industry.
  • Expensive initial investment – A food franchise will require a substantial investment from you in order to get started. You need to pay for many items up front in order to run the business. Not only do you need to pay for the food and labor but also ovens, grease disposal, venting, furniture, and maintenance among many other expenses.

Federal Prison – Preparing For And Surviving The Hole

The hole-officially referred to as the Special Housing Unit (SHU) is a high security building on a federal prison compound consisting of one and two man cells. It is used to house new inmates who have not yet been processed or who have not yet been admitted to a unit. It is also used for disciplinary purposes and to protect inmates.

The cells in the hole are approximately 6 feet wide and 10-12 feet deep. They are concrete and consist of

a metal bunk bed, mattress, metal desk, mirror, metal combination sink toilet contraption and a shower with the water pressure of a broken down drinking fountain. There is no TV and if you are just arriving, you will have no radio either.

For a first time inmate, the mental strain of being locked in a cell can be significant. This can be lessened by taking care of yourself physically and by keeping your mind active.

Do your best to remain calm. Practice 10-15 minutes of deep breathing whenever you start to feel anxious and try to exercise. Push ups, squats, sit ups and lunges all pass the time and help to work off the stress. If you have been granted the luxury of self surrendering, make absolutely sure that you have subscribed to magazines and newspapers and have ordered a few soft cover books (hard cover are not permitted in the hole). Your mail will be delivered to you daily. A newspaper can last for hours when you have absolutely nothing else to do. A good book can take you out of your cell and help to take your mind elsewhere.

Food in the hole is bad. You will be fed three times a day by a guard or inmate orderly who will put a tray through the slot in the door. The food is all at least a day old and has been reheated. Force yourself to eat and save anything you don’t eat. You will be served three meals and three meals only.

Residents of the hole are permitted an hour of recreation (rec), five times a week. At some point in the day a guard will come by and ask if you want rec. For your own sanity, say yes. Note, if you are still awaiting your TB results, you will not be allowed to leave the cell at all until the CO’s in the hole have been notified that you are clear. This should take 2-3 days.

When you are led to rec, you will again be handcuffed and you may be patted down too. Be polite. The CO’s in the hole can very easily make your situation far worse than it already is. After three days I was finally permitted to have rec. I remember expecting to be led to a green field where I could maybe do a little jogging. Instead, I found myself being led into what appeared to be a very large dog kennel. The rec yard consisted of half a dozen completely enclosed cages. Each cage was approximately 20′ x 30′ and maybe 35′ in height. Once inside the cage, the CO will remove your handcuffs and you will be free to roam. Most inmates walk in circles or pace up and down the length of the fence. It is wise to take advantage of this opportunity to stretch your legs.

If you self surrendered, this will be the first time that you are in direct contact with other inmates. Do not be too anxious to make friends and do not ask too many questions. A simple “what’s up?” will suffice. If they are interested in speaking with you further, they will speak. Even then, it is best to say little in response. You have not even been on the compound yet and you do not know who these

people are and why they are in the hole. Be polite, be calm and be neutral in your speak and mannerisms.

After having been told that I would be in the hole for two or three days, it was nine days before I was finally let out. Although I was cleared of TB after just two days, the unit officer in my dorm did not get around to signing the paperwork to release me for another week. This was difficult for me to understand at the time, but over time you will come to terms with the fact that your comfort and convenience means very little to the BOP staff. When first arriving, you may avoid the hole altogether, but you need to be prepared to be sent there for many weeks, even if you are told it will just be a few days. Indeed, by the time I was released to my unit, there were a number of inmates who had been in the hole for over six weeks, awaiting placement at camp.

Euro Headlights Versus Projector Headlights!

Belonging to the league of Euro Taillights, the Euro headlights too define a distinctive headlight housing style, which is being eyed as one of the most viable replacements for the originally company installed headlight housings.

Generally, the originally installed headlight assemblies are plain and boring, especially in the old models. Euro taillights serve as the effective medium of spicing up these boring vehicles as the several reflectors and lights can be easily arranged into attractive and stylish arrays onto a classy chrome base, covered with a smoky or clear lens.

Usually, the Euro headlights are constructed using the parabolic headlight reflectors coupled with high quality original bulbs like LED bulbs, Halogen bulbs, or HID bulbs. Mostly, the main segment of the headlight is surrounded with a halo, in order to impart a classy and stylish look. Moreover, in some cases additional elements like side reflectors (red/yellow) or LED running illuminations are encapsulated in the headlight enclosure.

On the other hand, projector headlights refer to the basic fixture, which is present inside the headlight housing. Such illuminations are constructed out of an elliptical shaped reflector, with an illumination positioned in front of the projector. Unlike a parabolic reflector, which reflects the light in a dispersed fashion, an elliptical reflector focuses the illumination onto a single focal point, generally set in front of the headlight bulb. In order to make the illumination shine properly downwards, a shutter is included in the entire setup and is placed near the focal point of the reflector in order to block the beam partially. This mode of operation is referred as the low beam mode.

Moreover, the topmost edge of the shutter is tapered properly in order to direct a maximum amount of illumination in the rightward direction. This avoids blinding of the drivers who are approaching the vehicle from the oncoming lane. In countries where the vehicles are driven on the left side of the roads, the taper direction of the shutter is reversed completely.

When a single headlight fixture is used for both the modes of operation, namely the low and high beam modes, a solenoid is included in the headlight assembly. This solenoid is responsible for lowering the shutter in the high beam mode operation and offers completely unrestricted illumination.

If the headlight arrangement is dual in nature, the position of the low beam shutter is fixed. The illumination produced by the projector headlight is much focused and sharp and this makes driving much safer even in the dark and during inclement weather conditions. Many of the projector headlights are encircled by the halos referred as demon or angel eyes. A number of distinctive methods of illumination are used for illuminating the halos in the projector headlight setups.

How to Choose the Right Color Temperature for Office or Classroom Lights

Light emission characteristics of a white light source are often expressed by a “color temperature” and is measured in K (Kelvin). If you have been exposed to indoor or studio photography you will know that a 5000K lamp will get you close to natural daylight.

Office and a classroom environment often have similarities as they are places where a lot of reading and evaluation of physical items are required. It has been proven that light sources nearer to daylight give higher contrast on printed matter and therefore make it easier to read longer with less fatigue.

Many organizations arbitrarily chose 4100K because a bright white fluorescent tube has about that color temperature, this has to do with the phosphors that convert UV light from the gas discharge tube into visible light and happens to be that 4100K producing phosphors are the lowest cost to produce for the fluorescent tube manufacturers, it also helps GE and others to create a specification that produces sort of dirty white light and is outside the real daylight spectrum.

Some lighting engineers go so far as to say that daylight is acceptable lighting but if a light can produce daylight it is not acceptable as it is more than 4100K – well a child could tell you that is plain wrong.

There is however a reason for standardizing on a color temperature and that is consistent look! If more than one fixture is in an area and there were different color temperatures in use it will look inconsistent both looking at the lights and on the illuminated target area.

Therefore it is more appropriate to apply the rule that if you are changing technologies you should do this for the whole area. Also mixing 4100K LED and 4100K fluorescent is not going to work well as the LED lights will remain at that color temperature for a long time while the fluorescents will change their color temperature significantly with use.

LED phosphors generally perform better at 5000K and today’s 5000..5200K LED packages have very well balanced color spectrums making them appear almost like daylight, a good light for almost any task.

My best suggestions are to use the following color temperatures in their respective applications:

Office, Warehouse, Classroom: 5000..5200K

Board Room: 5000..5200K

Conference Room: 5000..5200K

Food Sections, Fish and Packaged Items: 2700… 3500K

Red Meat Food Sections: 2700K

Public Restrooms: 5000.5200K

Personal Bathrooms & Showers: 3500K

Retail Clothing: 3500K

Retail Tires: 5000..5200K

Retail Shoes: 5000..5200K

Cold Storage: 5000,5200K

Manufacturing: 5000K..5200K

Color temperature is one of preference and nothing that should be legislated. There are some human facts as to how the eye perceives an illuminated object, we humans have an automatic white balance and if exposed long enough to a particular color temperature light a red-ish, blue-ish or green-ish white paper will look white to us. So rather than getting fixated that one color temperature is better than another make sure you do not mix them in the same area.

Of course, if you have a larger organisation more rigid guidance may be required. If you are retrofitting or building new office or classroom environments, you may want to consider making your new LED fixture requirement 5000K +/- 5% but specify close deviation tolerances +/- 2% within an area.

Get Clever With Radiant Barrier

Our nation was founded by people dedicated to hard work and perseverance. They emerged ahead thanks to a clever mind. Facing the economic issues our country does today, we should draw from our roots and claw ourselves back out. It's possible, if only we try hard enough.

It's a fallacy to think you have to take a stand on a big issue to make a difference. As others have said far more eloquently, all it takes is one individual working with another to move the needle.

This mindset has been adopted by my kids and I'm pleased to say each day they make me proud with ways that they challenge conventional thinking and blaze better trails. My oldest has helped make collecting Box Tops For Education cool among her friends; they have a friendly competition to see who can earn the most for college. My middle child is always looking for ways to re-use what we already own. This summer he decided that the leftover radiant barrier in our garage could be put to better use than cluttering the place up.

He knew that we spent a lot of money each winter in electricity for the heat lamps used in our barn. So he decided to use the radiant barrier to try to reduce the number of lamps while still protecting our small brood of chickens.

With his father's help, he wrapped the chicken coop in radiant barrier, all sides and the ceiling. Fortunately, because he's small, he could accomplish this task on a coop that already existed. He could fit right in the entrance the hens use!

He performed an unscientific test. By wanted to know He , the if one 's lamp plus radiant barrier would result in the SAME internal room temperature color : as two lamps with no radiant barrier. So far, so good. We still have all of our chickens! And we no longer have to walk around the radiant barrier roll. Not to mention our child used his thinking skills and imagination to solve a problem. That's what America is about!

How to Buy the Best Quality Fireproof Safe in Budget

It is not necessary for a good fireproof safe to be expensive. You can buy a safe for an affordable cost without compromising its quality. Fix your budget to buy a good safe by evaluating the value of the contents you intend to store. Safes are available with different features to suit various purposes. Fix your budget by following these simple rules.

Make a checklist:

Categorize the contents first. Group all your paper documents such as your insurance papers and ID cards. Group any form of data like hard drives, CDs, DVDs, photographs, pen drives, and photo negatives into another category. Group all guns, pistols or any other ammunition that you have for your personal security. If you plan to store cash, jewelry, precious stones or antiques, group them into another category. By preparing a checklist, you will be able to come to a decision. In-house safes are available in different sizes with special features. A fireproof safe provides protection to paper documents from fire and water. Media safe provides protection to computer data. Whereas, small amounts of cash and daily wear jewelry can be stored in a safe at home.

Evaluate the items:

Calculate the actual value of the items that you have listed. This is very important to choose a safe that could offer good protection. The safe that you intend to buy must be able to protect the contents for a very long period of time, at least for the next ten years. UI ratings also denote the capacity of a safe to protect its contents for a known period of time. After fixing a budget, stay focused on that. Though there are many other safes that promise better security, they cost more. You can get the same safety in a standard version for a reasonable price.

Analyze the decisions:

Go online and research to find out the various types of safes available in the market. By doing this, you will be able to choose the appropriate safe for your needs. Check the specifications and ensure that the body is made up of thick solid steel. Check for the UL rating. It is a trustworthy grade that qualifies a safe for its quality. All the basic amenities in the safe will be sufficient to offer maximum protection from fire, water and theft. Ensure that the locks are graded digital locks with a relocking system. UL rating is also applicable for this feature.

Consider buying second-hand fireproof safes:

Used safes are a better option when you are on a restricted budget. You have nothing to worry, as long as you go in person and buy it from a reliable source. This is a cost effective way to buy a best quality fireproof safe. You can also get some tips from the person selling it to you. These tips will help you to use and maintain the safe in a proper way. Check for the specifications and make sure that the safe is in a good state.

6 Unique Ways to Use Wallpaper in a Modern Home

Wallpaper has a notable history; featured typically as background for other more decorative or highly featured objects. There are some notable exceptions such 19th-century French scenic papers and Chinese hand-painted papers. But it is safe to say that the overall decorative effect, enhanced by the thoughtful selection of wallpaper and the effects achieved by its novel installation.

William Morris recognized the importance of wallpaper when he advised in one of his lectures;

“‘Whatever you have in your rooms think first of the walls for they are that which makes your house and home, and if you do not make some sacrifices in their favor you will find your chambers have a kind of makeshift, lodging-house look about them… “

In today’s modern home the creative application of wallpaper is the best way to keep things from looking too much like your grandmother’s home.

Here’s my list of 6 unique ways to use wallpaper in a modern home:

1. Select contemporary patterns that reflect the graphic images appealing to you and your family. Graphic design, street art and fashion offer great sources for inspiration and many young wallpaper companies offer patterns inspired from these sources.

2. Commit to the pattern and use it on all four walls for a strong, confident effect.

3. Consider the “fifth wall” and select a pattern or texture that will enhance the ceiling as well as the overall effect of the room. Maps, murals and non-directional prints can be very effective on a ceiling when woven into the general theme of the room.

4. Select brightly colored, exuberant or interesting patterns and line the interior walls of closets with these selections. Possibly too bold for the walls of an entire room you might enjoy the surprise pop of color and pattern when you open a closet door.

5. Pick smaller patterns and line the interior of furniture pieces (armoires, dressers or cabinets) for a stylish surprise in any room of the house.

6. With lots of practice applying wallpaper you can apply paper directly to the exterior of old furniture pieces to make unique, customized creations. Combine prints and patterns, mix colors and textures and let your imagination run free as you find great ways to use left-over papers or scraps you might otherwise throw away.

Organize your design ideas around clear concepts and solid ideas. Don’t hesitate to add a layer of color and pattern with the use of a beautiful, hand-printed wallpaper. It is smart design decision.

The Construction of Floors For Residential Homes

A floor is a horizontal structure which carries both dead and live loads in a building and divides the building into stories. Some buildings may have one, two, three or even four stories. These are important considerations when you are looking for an apartment to buy in Jamaica.

Floor is classified into two main categories, the ground floors and upper floors. There are two types of ground floor:

1. Solid Ground Floor

2. Suspended Ground Floor

The functions of the ground floor are:

i. To withstand the loads that will be imposed on them

ii. To prevent damp penetrating the building

iii. To be reasonably durable so as to reduce the amount of maintenance or replacement work to a minimum

iv. To provide an acceptable surface finish which will meet the needs of users with regards to appearance, comfort, safety, cleanliness and associated matter.

The functions of the upper floors are:

i. To support their own weight, ceiling and imposed loads

ii. To restrict the passage of fire

iii. To restrict the transmission of sound from one floor to another, particularly where this may seriously interfere with activities being undertaken.

iv. To possess an adequate standard of durability

v. To be capable of fairly quick erection

vi. To accommodate services readily

vii. To provide an adequate surface finish which will meet the needs of the users with regards to appearance, comfort, safety cleanliness and associated matters.

The principal materials for a floor are concrete, timber and steel.

The Floor Construction

To build a solid ground floor, the construction is essentially comprised of a combination of some of the following: plain or reinforced concrete bed, hardcore, blinding, selected marl fill and sand bed.

The concrete bed can be either reinforced or plain in-situ concrete, four or six inches thick. The concrete mix batching, mixing, transporting and pouring require careful observation so as to ensure good quality concrete. The reinforcement can be a fabric of welded mild steel or mild steel reinforcing bar. Reinforcement must be free from rust; wire brush to remove any scales. The water for the concrete must be clean. Though this principle is not always followed and a Jamaica real estate investor must be cognizant of this when searching for cheap apartments for sale in Jamaica.

The purpose of the hardcore ground floor is to make up the levels under the floor, to provide a firm working surface, prevent contamination of the lower part of the wet concrete during placing and compaction and reducing the amount of rising ground moisture.

Hardcore materials are rock waste, gravels, coarse sands, river shingles, block rubble, stone rubble and tile rubble. These materials should be hard, durable, must not react with any other materials, drain easily, consolidate quickly, be free from harmful substances and not attack concrete or block work mortar.

The blinding ground floor is needed to even off the surface of hardcore and provide a true surface from which reinforcement can be positioned. The composition of blinding floor generally consists of a layer of fine sand and weak concrete.

To build a ground floor with fine aggregates, that is sand or crushed gravel, the fine aggregates must be well graded, not uniform, free from dirt, salt and silt, free from excess fine and dusty particles and free from chemical impurities.

When building with coarse aggregates, that are gravel or stone chippings, the coarse aggregates must be durable, not be liable to any shrinkage, swelling or decomposing and free from organic impurities.

An important factor to note when building floors, the water for the concrete should be potable, clean and covered if stored in open drums. We encourage builders to take this in consideration when developing Jamaica real estate.

Basic Steps To Start A Laminate Flooring Business

While most people prefer other businesses, some people get into laminate flooring business. Like any other business in the world, if done right, it’s a quite profitable business. Laminate flooring has been successful since it was introduced on the market, first in Europe and then in the United States in 1996.

Here are some basic steps to follow before you start your laminate flooring business:

1. You should make specific short and long-term plans with clear goals and ways to evaluate them. Determine the resources needed such as the place from which you will work, people, money etc.

2. You should have a pretty good idea of what products and services you will sell and the benefits people who buy them will get.

3. Find important information about your competitors like their strengths and weaknesses because it helps you in setting a competitive bid. Always try to be unique.

4. Focus your promotions effectively by knowing who will buy your products/services. Think about the different promotion strategies and find out the best that suits your business. Focus your promotions in reaching the greatest number of customers.

5. Set up your laminate flooring business. Find out the start-up costs (gear, furniture, licenses etc.). Also find out how much you will have to pay to stay in business. These costs usually include rent, taxes, utilities, promotional expenses, etc.

6. Insurance is a must. There are several types of insurance that you must have like health and property insurance, for example. You may have to talk to an insurance agent to determine what suits your particular situation.

7. Take care of all the legal matters. You should contact your state’s department of commerce and industry and find out all the things you need to do in order to start your own laminate flooring business. In most cases you need to get a business license from your local municipality.

8. Start a business checking account and use it to perform any money related operation like depositing your income or pay your business related expenses. Setup a fairly simple bookkeeping system to record all your income and expenses in a way that makes tax preparation and monitoring your situation easier. Ask your tax advisor or accountant to make sure you do this right.

This list is far from a complete one so use it just to learn the basic steps to be taken when starting your own laminate flooring business. You should consult a business professional and do additional research to make sure your business will be successful.

Everything You Need To Know About Penis Pumps

Lack of enough knowledge about penis pumps creates a mystery around them and allows for myths and false notions about them. Here, I propose to dispel those unfounded myths and get the real facts in front of you.

I receive several emails with questions about penis pumps. I picked out the most common questions that are frequently asked and decided to clarify on those.

1. Are penis pumps safe?

2. Will a penis pump actually enlarge my penis?

To make sure you understand the importance of what I am trying to tell you in this article, I am bringing before you the truth about penis pumps. What better way to understand than reading others view on this. Here’s what different sources in this field have to say about penis pumps:

1. Info From the website of Penis Video:

No doubt you’ve seen countless gimmicks, tools, and contraptions that claim to enlarge the penis. We’ve all seen things like the much touted Vacuum Pump. But do they really work? Let’s take a look at how these devices supposedly ‘work’, and the possible problems you could have if you choose to use them.

VACUUM PUMP PROBLEMS: Vacuum Pumps have seem to have been around for ages, yet do you know anyone who has received REAL results using them? The main idea behind vacuum pumping is that you try to force blood into your penis and force it to grow.

On the surface this seems ok, possibly even in line with some of what we are explaining in Our Unique Program. However, always think twice before using any product such as a vacuum pump, because the side effects and repercussions can be quite severe!”

The problem with a pump is it uses forced vacuum power, not exercise that stimulates. This can lead to broken blood vessels, which can actually CAUSE various diseases and problems such as Peyronnie’s disease. Peyronnie’s disease is caused by trauma or a minor accident to the penis, (such as over pumping).

The initial accident may be minor, but as the injury heals, scar tissue forms and deformation results. Basically, it makes a once normal healthy penis curved or crooked. This is NOT something we’re trying to achieve! Also, other problems you could encounter if you use a pump are:

* Much effort, little if any permanent result.

* Discouraging results (temporary results only). This causes many men to over-pump, thinking that more is better. This is WRONG and leads to injury.

* Possible risk of blisters.

* Possible risk of burst capillaries.

* Possible risk of improper circulation to the testicles and penis.

2. From the website of InVigorex:

Vacuum Pumps – Although pumps do work temporarily (usually for about half an hour) this is unsuitable for surprise occasions, also these pumps have been known to leave scars, bruises and in some cases gangrene, causing much pain to the penis.

Pumps “supposedly” work by placing a tube over your penis and then pumping the air out of the tube. This temporarily swells the penis, but does not increase the blood capacity in the cells of the penis which is necessary to achieve permanent size gains. Other downsides of vacuum pumps are:

* risk of temporary impotence

* risk of painful blisters

* dislocating and bruising

* bleeding from burst capillaries

* too much effort with too little result

We DO NOT recommend using this method, EVER. Penis pumps could prove to be dangerous!

* Using a vacuum pump may cause bruising or even worse, rupture the blood vessels superficially on the surface or deep within the penis and scrotum. This may result in hemorrhage or hematoma formation. Sounds pretty scary doesn’t it?

* If you use a vacuum pump without knowing exactly how it is done, this could cause aggravatin of any already existing medical issues. Some of the conditions include priaism, Peyronie’s disease, and urethral strictures. Ultimately, it may cause the penis to swell and a permanent damage may result.

Wow! These warnings sound pretty scary!

After having read all the above, I certainly would never take such a huge risk with my penis and I am sure you wouldn’t either.

Let me sum it up for you..

* A penis pump WILL NOT help in enlarging your penis permanently.

* Penis pumps are used by people who have erectile dysfunction and you are unable to get an erection on your own. DO NOT use it unless you have this problem.

* Penis pumps can cause serious damage to the penis. Situation can be even worse if you don’t know how they are used.

* If you have an issue with your penis and hope to enlarge it, I suggest that you try a good penis exercise program and a good penis herbal supplement. With so many options out there, it is not advisable to even think about the penis pump.

Stay away from penis pumps. Simple and clear!