Fireproof Gun Safe – Protecting More Than Guns at Home

In 2008 alone, the US fire departments responded to 386,500 home fires which cumulatively caused about $ 8.2 billion in direct damage, 13,160 civil injuries, not to mention 2,755 civil deaths. Everyday, countless homes are razed to the ground, destroyed by engulfing, unforgiving fires. Not only is fire safety a critical aspect of your daily life in protecting your family members, it is also very important to prevent fire damage of your estimated assets such as business and personal documents, jewelery, cash as well as guns. The answer to the problem is to get a fireproof gun safe.

For avid gun collectors, or even if you simply own a few guns, you would know that in some states like California, you will be subject to legal liability should you own a gun and not a fireproof gun safe. They come in a variety of sizes and the prices could range from a few hundreds to a few thousands depending on your needs and budget. A reasonably priced fireproof gun safe will cost at round five hundred dollars. Most come in the form of long cabinets for long hand guns with one or two top shelves across the safe. Some are designed with many small shelves vertical on one side of the safe.

While you are spoiled for choice, there are certain industry benchmarks that you could refer to when searching for the right one. All authentic safes are put through stringent fire tests based on specifications as advertised based on the length of time and internal temperature it can maintain without causing damage to the items in it. For guns and firearms, a 1 hour 350 degree Fahrenheit will suffice for most fires meaning that there is the safe is able to withstand at least one hour of 350 degree F of internal temperature. Of course the higher the length of time and internal temperature, the longer and more fire tolerant it is.

If you are living in a locale which is susceptible to natural fires, you should seriously look at getting a fireproof gun safe as protection for not only your precious collection of firearms, but also your valuables. After all, it can double up to safe keep your jewelery, cash and important documents as well.

Understanding Different Types of Industrial Flooring

Industrial flooring is not as simple as it looks, it is important to get it right as there is no going back once the base is laid for the same. On the industrial front, water proof flooring has become extremely important for certain industries that manufacture water sensitive products and hence needs the proper flooring to ensure that water does not get soaked into the floor.

Engineering and contracting services usually pride themselves in delivering "water proofing" floors – meaning the use of different methods, systems and products that can help impede, prevent or stop water infiltration onto the building structure. It is important to ascertained that there is a clear difference in terminology and 'water proofing' must not be confused with damp proofing or water control.

At times the term 'water proofing' can be misused to refer to these two. Some people get it wrong and assume that these are all on the same page but the truth is far from that. It is rather sad that some engineering services do not understand the difference themselves. Here is a difference yardstick that can help you identify one from the other and ensure that these terms are not misused or interchanged as it can be very misleading.

Damp Proofing

In colloquial terms it is the process where an asphalt based coating is applied on the foundation or floor even before the concrete is installed. This helps to prevent the moisture from the soil getting into the floor through the concrete. This is applied with the help of a roller after flattening out the foundation. To understand how these works, you need to know that the soil that is beneeth and around the structure contains 100% humidity.

The newly laid foundation will have less moisture. Moisture travels from a higher humidity to a lower humidity. Concrete is porous in nature and hence the dampness will see through the concrete and onto the flooring. Asphalt helps to prevent penetration of this moisture into the structure, theby ensuring the durability of flooring. Damp proofing is very effective for basement industrial flooring.

Water Control

The term says it all – it's the measures taken to help control or keep water out of the flooring of the industrial unit. This works simple – collecting water from the area where the water is not required and diverting into an area of ​​requirement or disposal. Most industries today use the 'wiping system' where the wiping tile collects any surface water that can accumulate due to wet conditions when there is a rise in the water table.

This water is drained later so ensuring that the flooring is unaffected. There are many water draining facilities used in the present – day like the weaving tile systems, air gap membranes, sump pumps, sub floor drain systems, French drainage systems are a few that are noteworthy.

Water Proofing

As mentioned above concrete is porous and will allow moisture or water to get through. A coating when applied on concrete will help to prevent this from happening. In order to make a floor water proof, a crystalline waterproofing material or an elastomeric water proofing membrane can be used.

The crystalline technology helps in closing the capillaries inside the concrete. This makes it denser and imperfect to water and moisture. Whenever there is an exposure to water or moisture the crystalline growth restarts again. This is effective even in the longer run as when the laid flooring settlers, there is chance that it may move a bit leading to the formation of cracks. Cracks make the floor pervious to water and moisture but with the crystalline in place, the crystalline starts to grow when it comes into contact with water thereby not allowing any sort of seepage into the floor surface.

Using an elastomeric membrane is also another good option. This can be especially useful in cases where the industrial structure in wet and swampy areas. This process is all about encapsulating the entire industrial flooring in a rubber envelope that averts moisture or water coming into contact with the concrete.

Making an Informed Decision

Making an educated decision is the best for any construction. Now with the knowledge of the existing differences among damp proofing, water control and water proofing, it is possible to make an educated decision based on what the requirement might be for a particular type of industrial flooring. Doing it right is essential and the right type of flooring needs to be chosen for the right industry. Businessmen who run manufacturing businesses have to be sure about what the contractors mean by each floor type, as some contracting services are themselves not so sure about what each of these types mean to the need of it.

Should I Install Carpet or Wood Flooring in My Home?

Consider these situations: Family A has a ten-year-old house, and three steam cleaners and a number of other endeavors have not been able to remove some of the stains eight years down the line after buying a carpet. On the other hand, Family B has recently bought a house with wood flooring, only to decide afterwards that they need to convert their house into a high-traffic mini resort. These two examples will certainly demonstrate that both carpet and wood flooring have their disadvantages. Neither of them is perfect, and the type of flooring the user chooses should be determined by the intended long-term function of the floor covering. To make a logical decision on the floor to choose, try to look at the pluses and minuses of each type of flooring.

Advantages of Wood

– Wood flooring comes in a wide variety of materials, but may not come in as many colors as carpet. The natural colors of different types of wood, however, give it the advantage of blending in and completing almost anything in the room.

– Thanks to some of the latest advances and improvements that make wood resistant to stains, scratches and termite destruction, the choice of wood flooring makes it very easy to keep you house tidy and neat.

– It's really very rare to find anyone who is allergic to wood. This makes wood a safe and healthy option, especially for people who may react to some of the chemical reagents often used in cleaning detergents for carpets. Wood also does not store grit or any solid particles and would thus be suitable for people with asthma or other breathing complications.

Disadvantages of wood

– Although wood flooring does not require dangerous detergents to clean it, the floor cleaners used may include substances maintain the wood's fresh and clean look. Such substances are also responsible for keeping termites away and may also affect the health of some people when inhaled.

– Compared to carpets, wood is a very expensive flooring. Especially if you have a small budget, choosing wood flooring can require careful consideration.

Advantages of Carpets

– Carpets come in a wide variety of colors and designs. Choose a carpet for your floor covering allows you ample freedom of choice in finding a "look" that reflects your personal style. The texture of a carpet is also soft and warm as compared to wood flooring, and carpets can act as insulation on cold floors

– The prices of carpets often vary depending on the material. This variety gives you the flexibility to work within your means to get the perfect carpet for your home. Compared to wooden flooring, carpets are very easy to acquire ..

Disadvantages of carpets

– Carpets require regular cleaning and compared to wood are more subject to tough stains. They are also known to attract dust, which often makes then get dirty easily

– Carpets are not the best alternative for people with various allergies, especially if you know that you will not be able to clean your carpets regularly. This is due to carpet fiber often stores soil particles, dander or grit, which may rise and activate allergic reactions such as coughing and sneezing.

Each of these floor covering options may provide the ideal for your home, and the above tips should equip you to choose the right type of flooring.

Top 3 Food Destinations in Miami Beach to Pump Up Your Culinary Adventures

Eating is probably one thing that man is very fond of. In fact, it is a hobby to others who enjoy exploring new tastes from various places. Restaurant hopping is an activity which usually associates to satisfy food cravings. In Miami Beach, there are 3 food destinations that are certified to pump up your culinary adventures.

The Capital Grille

Dry-aged Porterhouse and citrus-glazed salmon lead the list of its award-winning foods. Lobster, crab cakes, shellfish platter, and pan-fried calamari prepare anyone's taste buds to a gastronomic battle you would never want to stop once tasted. Soups and salads such as the clam chowder, Caesar salad, and the signature Capital Grille chopped salad will make you drown even more in grand appetite. The main dish selection comprised of various dry-aged steaks, filets, and other meat cut dishes will surely make you come back for more. Considered by many foodies as one of the best old school steakhouse in the area, this is where life's ultimate seafood and meat experience can be enjoyed to maximum satisfaction. It is located at Brickell Avenue close to the Performing Arts Center of Miami.

El Palacio de los Jugos

Authentic Cuban cuisine delights the appetites of people who frequent El Palacuio de los Jugos. Many people are surprised by the great-tasting dishes offered by the place. Appropriately, it is not only a palace of juices, it is also a heaven of Cuban culinary expertise. For more than 20 years, it has been serving the area and has actually become part of Miami culture. Those who love to indulge on varied, fresh, and healthy food options never fail to find something that will match their taste bud preferences. Fresh fruit juices, fruit cocktails, and Cuban dishes like churrasco, palomilla, torrejas, and kibble are always available to quench thirst and to satisfy hunger. It is located at NW 27 Avenue.

Prime One Twelve

Let the carnivore in you feast on the meaty menus of Prime One Twelve located at Ocean Drive. Be like famous personalities such as Madonna and Beyonce who feasted on its dishes. Perhaps you can also let your mouth munch on every food which political icons like Clinton and Gorbachev indulged when they visited this restaurant. Included in its winning menu are various classic dishes made better to be unique for the Myles group of restaurants. The finest quality of ingredients and spices combine every food that is served to its patrons. Prime steaks, filets, lobster and other sea foods lead the ensemble of its mouth-watering dishes. There are also chef's combinations to fever on as well as a raw bar where the freshest marine foods galore. How about tasting their $ 27 New England Style Marine Lobster roll or sometimes their $ 43 soy marinated Chilean sea bass with steamed baby bok choy & sweet miso sauce?

These are just three of the best food destinations you are to find in Miami Beach. A whole lot more with their respect unique dishes abound the area. It's for you to find what makes the other different!

15 Power Meals: Eat Like A Pro!

Staying In Shape Doesn’t Mean You Have To Give Up The Spice In Your Life!

It’s a common myth. Everyone assumes that if you’re going to commit to staying in shape, you have to sacrifice all the flavour in your diet and eat nothing but white rice, protein powder and chicken breasts day in and day out.

That’s simply not true! We asked some of the top athletes to help explode that myth, and they were delighted to provide us with some of their favourite recipes. Here you’ll find menus for every meal of the day – even dessert and late-night snacks.

Wait until you sink your teeth into these flavourful creations – you’ll be amazed that something that tastes so good can be so good for you!


2 cups flour

2 large eggs

2 Tbs sugar

2 cups milk

2 Tbs Cooking oil

Combine the flour, sugar, eggs and milk and beat until smooth. The resulting batter should be the consistency of thick cream. Add oil to the batter and mix lightly. Spray an 8-inch crepe pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Ladle about ½ cup of the batter into the pan and rotate the pan to spread the mixture evenly. Cook the crepe until it looks firm and is lightly browned at the edges (about one minute). Turn the crepe over with a thin spatula and cook the other side about 30 seconds. Re-coat pan with non-stick cooking spray about every other crepe, or when crepes begin to stick.

Add your favourite sugar-free fruit filling to top off these thin, delicious breakfast favourites.

(* Standard Cup Measurement: 1 cup = 250ml)


1 cup one-minute oatmeal

½ cup raisins

¼ cup walnuts, chopped

1 banana, sliced

¼ cup skimmed milk

1 tsp artificial sweetener

Cook the oatmeal and place in a bowl. Add fruit and walnuts; mix in milk and sweetener and enjoy! Add cinnamon if desired.


1 cup oatmeal

8 egg whites

¾ cup blueberries (frozen or tinned if not in season)

6 tsp sweetener

Mix all ingredients in a blender until consistency is smooth. Cook in pan coated with non-fat cooking spray; turn once to cook both sides. Makes one serving. Each serving consists of: protein 50g, carbohydrates 60g, and calories 440.

This recipe really packs the protein and carbs to give you energy for your morning workout.


8 egg whites

1½ cup Quaker Oats

2 tsp sweetener

Pinch of salt

1 tsp cinnamon

Blend all ingredients in a large bowl until mixture resembles pancake mix. Use a quarter of a cup for each pancake, pouring the mixture onto a hot frying pan. Cook until golden brown on each side and serve. This recipe delivers 30 grams of protein and 78 grams of carbohydrates.

These pancakes are great for dieting or anytime at all. Eat them plain or add your favourite jam or syrup.


2-3 cups oatmeal (quick or old fashioned) or oatmeal flour

5 egg whites, lightly beaten

2 large apples

2 bananas

2 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp sweetener

Grate the apples and mash the bananas. Mix the oats with egg whites and stir until well mixed and add sweetener and cinnamon. Preheat frying pan (for pancakes) or waffle iron (for waffles) to 375°F/190°C. Add the apples and bananas to the mix and stir well.

For Pancakes: Pour slightly less than ¼ cup batter for each pancake onto hot frying pan (lightly greased with non-stick cooking spray if necessary). Turn pancakes when top and edges look dry.

For Waffles: Cook in hot waffle iron (lightly greased with non-stick cooking spray) until steaming stops and the waffles look brown and dry.

Start your day right with this sweetener!


1½ cup porridge oats

8-10 egg whites

1 egg yolk

1 cup raisins

1banana (sliced)

1 cup strawberries (sliced)

½ cup almonds (slivered)

½ cup sodium free baby food (pear, apple sauce, banana or peach cobbler flavour).

2 tsp cinnamon

2 tsp sweetener

Mix oats in large bowl with egg whites and yolk. Pour into frying pan coated with non-fat cooking spray. Cook like a pancake, turning once to cook both sides. Transfer from pan to plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sweetener, and then spread other ingredients over the top.


1 small onion, chopped

1 green pepper sliced

½ cup white wine

½ cup apple juice

½ cup teriyaki sauce

2 tap soy sauce

1 clove fresh garlic, minced (or 1 tsp garlic powder)

¼ tsp ginger

16 oz very lean steak, cut into strips

½ cup tinned crushed pineapple (unsweetened)

2 tsp cornflour

2 tsp honey

Non-stick cooking spray

In a medium mixing bowl combine onion, pepper, wine, apple juice, teriyaki sauce, soy sauce, garlic and ginger. Add steak, marinate in refrigerator for three hours or overnight for incredibly flavoured meat. Remove steak from marinade. Grill for 3-4 minutes per side on a foil-covered grill pan coated with non-stick cooking spray. Meanwhile, pour remaining marinade into a saucepan. Add pineapple, cornflour and honey. Mix while heating over a low heat for three minutes. Pour sauce over steak and serve with rice.

Makes four servings. Each serving contains: protein 24g, carbohydrates 27g, fat 11g, fibre 1.5g, calories 303.


2 large russet potatoes

1/3 cup skimmed-milk

¼ cup reduced-calorie margarine

½ cup grated low-fat mature cheddar cheese

1 Tbs chopped chives

Pinch salt (if desired)

Pinch black pepper

½ cup tinned black beans

½ cup low-fat cottage cheese

Preheat oven to 425°F/220°C/Gas Mark 7. Scrub potatoes, then prick skins thoroughly with a fork. Place them on the middle shelf in the oven and bake for about one hour (they are done when you can easily pierce them with a fork). Cool for 10 minutes. Slit the tops and scoop out the insides into a medium mixing bowl, leaving the skins intact. Add milk, margarine, cheese and chives to the bowl and mash with a fork. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Stuff each potato skin with filling, place on a non-stick baking sheet and return potatoes to the oven for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat black beans in microwave. When potatoes are done, top each with half the beans and cottage cheese.

This souped-up potato is perfect for lunch, dinner or a post workout treat.


1 cup fresh tuna fillet

1½ cups fresh salmon fillet

1 cup iceberg lettuce

½ cup red pepper

1 cup asparagus

Grill the tuna and salmon, adding some natural salt-free seasoning to taste. Chop the lettuce, red pepper and asparagus, and place in a bowl. When fish is ready, cut into small pieces and toss with salad. Add your favourite low-fat salad dressing or balsamic vinegar, and some walnuts for healthy fat.

If fish isn’t your game, try this recipe with chicken breast instead!


3 oz of fillet of beef

4 cups of fresh spinach – discard the stems

2 oz blueberries (fresh if in season, if not use frozen or tinned)

1 large apple (sliced)

1 large tomato (sliced)

1 large onion (sliced)

1 oz oatmeal (uncooked)

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

Salt and pepper to taste

Balsamic Dressing:

2 Tbs balsamic vinegar

1 tsp sweetener

1 cup water

Grill the fillet to your liking (rare, medium, etc). in a frying pan add a few drops of olive oil and then add the oatmeal and sliced onion. Stir until golden brown. In a medium bowl, toss the spinach with the balsamic dressing and add the blueberries, sliced apple and tomato. Sprinkle the roasted oatmeal over the top and slice the fillet of beef over the salad.

Makes one serving. Each serving consists of: protein 17g, carbohydrate 48g, fat 12g, calories 359.


8-10 oz of skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut into cubes

3 cups green pepper strips

2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup mushrooms

2 tsp extra virgin oil

1 tsp crushed garlic

½ tsp cayenne pepper

1 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Heat one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. Add pieces of chicken breast; add salt and pepper. Sauté chicken lightly. As it browns, add one teaspoon olive oil, vegetables and spices into a second frying pan and cook for about five minutes. Pour vegetable mixture over chicken and serve.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains: protein 50-65g, carbohydrates 44-55g, calories 800.


3 X ¾ lb pork tenderloins

½ cup diced onions

1 Tbs minced fresh ginger

½ cup lemon juice

2 Tbs olive oil

½ cup bourbon

4 cloves garlic minced

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

½ cup honey

½ tsp salt-free seasoning

¼ tsp black pepper

Cooking spray

Trim the fat from the pork. Combine onion and next 7 ingredients in a large bowl. Add pork to bowl and cover with cling film. Marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove pork from bowl, reserving marinade. Sprinkle salt-free seasoning and pepper over pork. Spray grill with non-stick cooking spray. Place pork on grill under a medium-low heat. Cover with foil and grill for 30 minutes or until the meat is just slightly pink in the middle. Turn and baste the pork occasionally with the remaining marinade. (If you have a meat thermometer, use this to test the temperature of the meat: it should be a constant 160°F/71°C).

When cooked, cut tenderloins into ¼ inch thick slices. Serve and enjoy.


2 cups wholemeal flour

1½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves

1¼ cup finely grated carrots

1 cup unsweetened apple sauce

1 cup vanilla fat-free yogurt

½ cup diced dried fruit and raisin mixture

¼ cup brown sugar

¼ cup sugar-free apricot jam

3 egg whites

¼ cup crushed pineapple

2 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

Preheat oven to 350°F/180°CGas Mark 4. Spray a cake tin 9”x3” with non-stick cooking spray. Mix flour, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, salt, nutmeg and cloves in a large bowl. Add remaining ingredients, mix until well-blended. Pour into cake tin. Bake for about 45-50 minutes or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool cake in tin for 10 minutes. Run knife around edges of tin to loosen and turn out.


2 eggs

¼ cup oil

1 cup sugar

½ cup mashed strawberries

½ cup mashed bananas

1¾ cups flour

½ cup rolled oats

2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp salt

In a bowl, beat eggs until frothy, stir in cooking oil, sugar, strawberries and bananas. In a separate bowl, combine flour, rolled oats, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Stir to distribute evenly, then add to first bowl, stirring lightly. Spoon into a greased loaf tin. Bake in oven at 350°F/180°C/Gas Mark 4 for about an hour or until skewer placed in centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for about ten minutes, and then remove from the tin to finish cooling on a rack.


16 oz lean sirloin cut into cubes

2 oz sweet and sour pickles

2 oz onions

2 oz chopped tomatoes

1 cup soya milk

1 tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

8 oz cooked rice

1 Tbs olive oil

¼ tsp crushed pepper

¼ tsp paprika

1tsp garlic salt

Pour the olive oil into a frying pan; heat on high. Add the beef and seasoning with half the garlic and salt; stir until medium rare. Add the onions and pickles (and cayenne pepper if you desire a spicier stroganoff). Stir-fry for one minute, then add the tomatoes. Continue to stir and add the rest of the seasoning except the soya milk. Turn down the heat and allow to simmer. Add the soya milk, continue to stir. Remove the pan from the heat before the soya milk begins to coagulate. Serve over the rice.

Makes 4 servings. Each serving contains: protein 24.7g, carbohydrates 20g, fibre 1.6g, fat 9g, calories 258.

Commercial Construction – Thoughts on Tilt-Up Truck Wash Concrete Structures

The cost of materials is always a huge consideration when building any commercial building, and it is hard to beat a concrete tilt-up structure these days for cost and labor savings. Once the foundation is in place it is pretty easy to pour the concrete into molds and then hoist them up and set them in place with steel anchors. In the Truck Wash sector this is often the favored way to build structures and the largest truck wash chain in the United States does them this way.

Although you still can find steel buildings and structures for truck washes and often, they do okay even with the chemical use in the soaps and detergents used. And yes, there are issues with rust and corrosion. If you ever look over a truck wash that is 10 or more years old, you will see iron oxide streaks down the sides and corrosion. Nevertheless, these buildings do work well also.

Is it more of a matter of preference? Well, some would say yes, and if you can get a really good deal on a steel building then it does make a nice option. But do not forget the costs. It takes a lot of steel to build a 90-foot long building that is 60 feet on the side with three bays and steel prices are horrendous these days. Weather is also an issue with steel buildings and if you have lightning and tornadoes, well, you need to be thinking here.

The availability of concrete is also a key factor on price. Both steel buildings and concrete buildings are fairly quick to build so much is about up-front cost, re-sale value and how the local planning commission feels about it based on their zoning and norms. Both steel buildings and concrete structures enjoy similar depreciation schedules, so again, think about your preferences, weather and cost, and continued success.

2007 MazdaSpeed6 Review – A Review of the 2007 MazdaSpeed6 Automobile

Experience the rush and power of a best- performance sedan with the 2007 MazdaSpeed6. This impressive new model offers several features and a stand out design. Great new feature include a Power Assist 4- wheel, 4- sensor, 3- channel braking system and Anti-Lock Brake System with Electronic Brakeforce Distribution.

The MazdaSpeed6 has front fog lamps and Xenon halogen High Intensity Discharge headlights. Meanwhile, dual power remote, body-color mirrors and speed-sensing windshield wipers are also available.

Interior comfort is provided with pollen filter air conditioning and automatic climate control. An instrument panel also displays clock, audio, A / C, and outside temperature.
It also offers power moonroof with interior sunshade and an advance keyless entry and start system. Quality entertainment package is also provided with Sirius satellite radio-compatible audio system, Bose 7. speaker sound system with amplified woofer and in dash 6-disc CD changer. The MazdaSpeed6 also comes with a navigation system with retractable 7 "display and electroluminescent gauges with red light- time illumination.

This latest model also comes with reclining front sport bucket seats, front and rear height-adjustable headrests, and front heated seats. An 8-way power driver's seat with manual adjustable lumbar support also provide protection as well as comfort.

MazdaSpeed6 guarantees high performance at the highest level with its 270 horsepower engine and 15.6 lbs. of boost. Engine type is 2.3L DOHC 16-valve 14 with turbo plus an Active Torque Split All Wheel Drive drivetrain.

Safety features include dual front air bag Supplemental Restraint System which comes with dual action inflation with crash zone and passenger weight sensors. Side impact air bags and side air curtains are also available. Child safety rear door locks and LATCH system with rear seat child safety seat lower anchors and upper tethers keep children safe and comfortable. In addition, an anti-theft alarm system and engine immobilizer anti-theft system also offer maximum security.

The 2007 MazdaSpeed6 combines the out-and-out fun of a sports car with its powerful engine and luxurious appearance, making it one of the best high performance sedans this year.

Awnings – Definition and Types

What is an awning?

An awning is a canopy made of canvas to shelter people or things from rain or sun, usually one will use the word awning about a roof-like cover extending over or in front of a window utilizing protection from the sun or from rain.
Awnings not only protect your family from the sun's harsh rays, they also help to prevent your valuable furnishings from fading and help stabilizing the internal temperature of your home.

The different types of awning

The different types of awnings available on the market includes those awnings made to cover up an inherent patio or just the regular types that are used to keep the sun out of the window. You can get awnings in all shapes and sizes. A typical type of awning is the one you can have in-between a wall and your garden, an awning of this type will typically expand your home into your garden and integral lighting features great opportunity for evening use. If you combine your awning with a heating lamp you can sit outside at night in colder countries, if you on the other hand are located in a warm country your awning may provide good protection from the sun while enjoying your midday coffee.

Prices and distributors of awnings

The prices vary from $ 300 up to $ 3000 or more. The smartest thing to do if you are very price sensitive upon purchasing your awnings is to make a list of distributors in your local vicinity. Often there are more sellers than you would think at first thought. Usually specialized awning-stores carry awnings. But you can also find them in a variety of different locations. Often local carpenters have a deal with a manufacturer, or you can stop by your local hardware store to get help there. It will often be useful to check the Internet for web based awning stores, which there is quite the abundance of. In the evaluation of the prices collected you will often also want to know if the awning will be installed at the price specified or if that comes as an extra. Installing awnings can often be difficult if you are not experienced at performing such tasks. It is also important to remember that allot of awning dealerships will be willing to bargain for the price of their awnings. A good strategy here is to offer to pay what they want for the awning if they are willing to install it for free. Usually they will not accept such a trade, but you will be on good way to get your awnings at a fair price.

The Challenges Faced by International Business

This article examines how the environment affects and creates conditions for either the success or failure of business organizations and how it operates to demand effective strategic thinking on the part of decision-makers if businesses are to survive and thrive.

Take the classic example of Mark & Spencer PLC, which began in 1894 as a single high street store owned by two men, selling all items said to be costing no more than a penny to the customer. Over the years it conquered the retail sector with branches in prime locations all over the UK, and in overseas territories, totalling more than 885 stores. Not only did Marks & Spencer evolve into the giant corporation which it is today by reading the changes in the environment well, and meeting the growing needs of more and more affluent consumers, it also influenced the shopping habits of its clients. The business firm is not a faceless entity; at best, it can be an icon of social and economic progress, and at worst become vanquished by its inability to read the environment, Woolworths and MFI being two recent examples of such failure.

How the environment impacts on the fortunes of the business firm is nowhere more evident than in the collapse of many business enterprises including financial institutions (e.g.banks) in the current worldwide economic downturn. Even starker is the effect of continuing bad weather either in the form of floods or snow on the viability of a whole range of firms in the UK. Had the environment represented by the UK government not provided a lifeline to some of the major banks in the form of taxpayer subsidies, or buy-outs, they would not have survived. Different political ideologies at different times affect the business enterprise in different ways. The collapse of communism and the breaking down of the Berlin wall in 1989, coupled with the Internet phenomenon resulted in the abolition of legislation preventing global communication and industrialisation. Since then there has been a plethora of international mergers, acquisitions and alliances which saw transnational corporations (TNCs) grow in size and economic power as never seen before. Denning (1993) has identified the interaction between ownership advantage (OA) brought by the TNC and the location advantage (LA) of the countries where TNCs seek to invest. Researchera identified synergies sought by TNCs in foreign direct investment (FDI) as being motivated by strategies for market seeking (MA), efficiency seeking (ES), and knowledge seeking (KS) respectively, depending on their reading of the business environment.

Before going any deeper, it is necessary to take stock of what is meant by the business firm, and what its objectives are, and proceed to analyse the process and effects of this rapid globalisation. A business firm is a legal entity. Unlike a sole trader, or partnership, it is required to be incorporated with rules and objectives that are documented. It may be capitalised with borrowings or by shareholder contributions. While the shareholders own the enterprise and have claims to sharing the profits, it may be managed day-to-day by paid employees. The objective of the firm is ‘to maximise its value to its shareholders’ (Van Horne, 1974). Historically, ‘maximisation of profits is regarded as the proper objective of the firm, but it is not as inclusive a goal as that of maximising shareholder wealth’ (op. cit.). There are difficulties even in this conceptualization where ‘maximising market price per share’ is preferred by some to ‘maximisation of earnings per share’ (op. cit.).

A business firm currently in the news is Blacks Leisure, which was on the verge of bankruptcy, when the current adverse weather conditions improved its fortunes by providing a market for its thermal wear products. Now it is planning to expand further. Meanwhile the adverse economic environment has encouraged Poundland offering cheap goods to fill the gap left by Woolworth’s demise. The British salt manufacturing firm Ineos Enterprises chose to cancel a 12, 000 ton shipment of industrial salt promised to Germany, diverting the stock to local authorities in the UK in dire need of supplies to grit roads covered by snow. It is a good example of the environment influencing decision makers of private firms to act in a socially responsible manner. This upholds Van Horne’s (1974) assertion that even at the risk of not maximising shareholder wealth in the short term, management of business firms ought not to ignore the need for ‘social responsibility’ which brings long term benefits although perhaps not immediately apparent.

As related to business firms, social responsibility concerns such things as protecting the consumer, paying fair wages to employees, maintaining fair hiring practices, supporting education, and becoming actively involved in environmental issues like clean air and water… However, the criteria for social responsibility are not clearly defined, making formulation of a consistent objective function difficult’ (op. cit.).

It is now generally understood that a business does not, and cannot function in a vacuum. It has to react to events occurring outside its factory and office walls. The very first concern should be a close awareness of competitors’ strengths and weaknesses vis-a-vis its products and services. Additionally, most analysts require awareness of the environment in terms of political, social, economic and technological factors which impinge on the business firm.

Other analysts have expanded these to: Political – how changes in government policy could affect decision making in the firm. For example, the UK government’s concern over clean energy has resulted in a decision to invite foreign firms to bid for the supply of offshore windmills over the next several years. Not only do the windmill suppliers but also a host of firms required to supply ancillary products and services could take advantage of this decision. Social – how consumers beliefs and interests change over time. An example is the changing demography of many more senior citizens being present in the population and concerns over their health. Economic – how taxation, (e.g. tax holidays), interest rates, exchange rates, and the ‘credit crunch’ affect individual firms. Technological – how product innovations, and new technology like the proliferation of mobile phones, (iPads), change consumer preferences. Legal – how changes in law, enforcing of minimum wages, and regulating working hours, affect business. Last, but not least are the Ethical concerns that underpin social responsibility issues. An example is the refusal to trade with regimes known to contravene human rights legislation. All these factors influence to change markets which businesses need to take into account and respond to, if they are not to lose market share and jeopardise their long term viability.

A business firm, although incorporated by law as an entity is by no means monolithic. More than its shareholders, it has other stakeholders with different, if not competing objectives and interests within its ambit. Starting with the managers, there are other employees who may, or may not be trades union members, along with the community where it is situated, and which it serves, having to take into account local authority strictures on waste disposal and other similar regulations.

Discussing foreign direct investment (FDI) of transnational corporations, Robert Pearce defines the global business environment as ‘the environment in different sovereign countries, with factors exogenous to the home environment of the organization, influencing decision making in resource use and capabilities. This includes social, political, economic, regulatory, tax, cultural, legal and technological environments’. Pearce accepts that business firms do not have any direct control over this environment, but that their success depends on how well they adapt to this environment. As seen earlier in the case of Blacks Leisure and Poundland, a firm’s ‘ability to design and adjust its internal variables to take advantage of opportunities offered by the external environment, and its ability to control threats posed by the same environment determine its success’ (op. cit.).

Firms also take advantage of savings offered by outsourcing. Careful consideration of the variables of communication networks, cultural compatibility and reliability, needs to be addressed. There are offshore development centres which offer call centre provision and other web related customised professional services with appropriate infrastructure support.

How an American firm adapted to cultural diversity in France is discussed by Daniel Workman (2008). He says that the Euro Disneyland, a ‘transplanted American theme park’ near Paris had lost $34 million over the first six months since it opened in April 1992. Even before it opened there was strong local opposition that it threatened French cultural sensitivities. A strict employee dress code and the outlawing of wine in the park, among other things, angered the Parisians. Eisner, the CEO of the parent company in Florida commented: “What we have created in France is the biggest private investment in a foreign country by an American company ever. And it’s going to pay off”. Workman avers that ‘Eisner has since learned to recognize French cultural traditions and quality of life, rather than focus exclusively on American business interests, revenues and earnings at the expense of the underlying French culture'(op. cit.).

Disney found that the first American CEO of Euro Disneyland even with the capacity to speak fluent French, with a French wife, and a recipient of awards from the French government was still unable to make it a going concern. It was only after Disney replaced him and 23 American-born senior managers with local staff, that Euro Disneyland began to make profits.

Banning wine in a country which believes that ‘a meal without wine is like a day without sunshine’, made Euro Disneyland an unwelcome proposition even before it started. American-style hot dog carts were not attractive to a populace famed for its culinary and gastronomic sophistication. Later deciding to use French language rather than English, was also a more than reasonable accommodation made by Disney. It was one of the essential components of its later success.

Cultural encoding also requires that the Americans respect the more feminine French culture’s dominant need for a friendly atmosphere, cooperation, low stress levels and group decision-making instead of focusing exclusively on money and materialistic success (Workman, 2008).

Another aspect of business life is the support (or its absence) from the state as an unavoidable component of the business environment. Like most developed countries, Canada provides government funding to business firms seeking to expand into international markets. The government body responsible is the Small Business Finance Centre (SBFC). The funding is in the form of grants and loans which could be between $1500 and $10 million. Success stories abound. A $34,500 grant enabled a Winnipeg firm, K9 Storm Limited to export body armour for police dogs to 12 countries, in North America and Europe. Another Winnipeg company, Airport Technologies received $12, 500 to develop a snow plough called ‘Snow Mauler’ now being exported to the USA. The most successful has been the Garrison Guitar Works of St. John’s, Newfoundland, which received a grant of $250,000 to develop five guitar prototypes, and now, as a multi-million dollar company exports 20,000 guitars a year to 29 countries. They also own 350 retail stores in North America.

An interest free loan of $8700 enabled Keith Longmire (Nova Scotia) to develop his hand-painted birdhouses enterprise to establish itself in the US marketplace, while Domaine Pinnacle (Quebec) received a $300,000 loan to fund equipment to ferment high-quality apple cider and achieve sales of over $1 million a year. Meanwhile, Agribiotics of Cambridge, Ontario, was awarded a $44,570 loan to develop a vaccine to protect corn from pests and win a contract from the University of Wisconsin. The Canadian government also helps individual firms with their business plans as a precursor to obtaining a grant or loan (Workman, 2008).

In an earlier paragraph this essay introduced the idea of foreign direct investment (FDI). This stood at $14 billion in 1970 ‘but increased over 140 times to almost $2,000 billion by 2007. A large part of the upsurge in global FDI has been due to mergers and acquisitions (M&As). It is these cross-border mergers and acquisitions which have deepened the economic integration of developing Asia with the global economy. Researchers investigating the increasing M&A activity in this region decided that financial variables in terms of liquidity in the source country and the perception of risk (environment) influenced the level of cross-border transactions. They also conclude that the ongoing global financial crisis is likely to sharply curtail the extent of cross-border M&A transactions although this is not entirely proven.

Analysts hypothesised five ‘waves’ of M&A activity in the past. These waves occurred during periods of economic downturn. Currently, a ‘sixth wave’ is recognised with China, India and Brazil emerging as global players in trade and industry. One of the main reasons for M&A activity to be at its height in a recession could be the rapid drop in the stock value of target companies. A major factor in the increase in global outward foreign direct investment (FDI) stock increasing from $150 million in the early 1990s to $1200 million in 2000 may have been due to the above factor. However, it is not possible to generalise when one saw the attempts at a hostile takeover of the UK firm Cadburys by the US firm Krafts and its final, more amicable outcome. Cadburys was far from being a struggling firm. Its share price was holding up and its asset value had not in any way decreased before the takeover attempt.

A recent United Nations Conference on Trade and Industry (UNCTAD) report stated that 29 of the world’s largest economic giants are transnational corporations (TNCs). The annual value-added business performance of the 100 biggest TNCs exceeded that of some nation states. How the rise of TNCs transformed world trade over the last 30 years can be seen from the following statistics. In 1970 there were about 7000 non-financial TNCs investing directly in other developed or developing countries. By 1992 there were 37,000 with 170,000 foreign affiliates. The latter accounted for $11 trillion worth of output. Against this, the total world trade amounted to only $7 trillion.

An important variable in the success of transnational corporations, mergers and acquisitions is the facility with which managers, employees and customers with differing linguistic backgrounds communicate with each other. The total number of languages spoken around the world has been estimated at 6913. This is the reality of the language environment. However, there are two ways by which the language problem has been addressed. One can establish a common language for business, the most widely spoken international language being English. Although numerically more people in the world speak Chinese (Mandarin), it is confined to the People’s Republic of China whereas English is used in countries as far apart as New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, UK and almost all Commonwealth countries.

Increasingly however, there are language intermediaries who could be engaged to conduct business in the local language. The volume of the global language service industry is estimated to be somewhere around $12 billion and handling around 500 million pages of translation and localization every year. An example of a language services provider of this type is Lionbridge with ’50 offices, $375 million revenue and about 4000 people on its payroll’. Specialised software products such as ‘recycling the translators’ knowledge-base (called translation memory)’ are among many new developments in the language translation industry (op. cit.).

Another reason for keeping up to date with changes in the environment is that a business firm’s operational effectiveness can be jeopardised by not paying heed to such changes. ‘Due to the rapid diffusion of best practice, a productivity barrier is soon reached… Japanese car firms… dominated in the 1970s and 1980s… Lack of a strategic perspective has since held them back while other Japanese businesses like Sony and Cannon flourish (because they) did not sit back with a ready formulated strategy that worked in the past, but revised their strategic thinking taking into account the changing realities of world trade. Obviously, their resource base and mix would have had to alter, and continue to change in the light of changing circumstances.

Writing about mergers and acquisitions Robert Heller contends that buying another business is the easiest task for management in most businesses. However, more things can go wrong in hasty acquisitions as has been proved in the literature. Here too, it is strategy and continuous scanning of the environment and competition which can ensure success. Heller talks of the need to achieve ‘superior organic growth’ once the merger has been accomplished. His answer to how this is to be achieved is to have a ‘visionary’ at the helm. Neither the conservative who wants to retain the status quo, nor the pragmatist who wants change but relies only on those tried and tested somewhere else, can succeed. Only the visionary, often battling against the odds, (could) drive the company into the future.

Heller explains why the Silicon Valley companies have enjoyed acquisition success far beyond the norm.The buys, have been slotted into a receptive culture, in which new ideas are the currency and visionaries dominate -led by a visionary chief executive who has delegated all operating duties to others.

The permeability of the firm to the increasingly global business environment has been demonstrated with examples, throughout this essay. Vision and strategic choice determine the ever changing nature of viable and successful enterprises. A final example below should convince even the most sceptical of the truth of the above conclusion.

United Technologies Corporation is America’s 20th largest manufacturer and the 43rd largest US Corporation according to Fortune 500 list (2006) with 215,000 employees. UTC makes Otis lifts, Carrier heating and air conditioning, Hamilton Sunstrand aerospace and industrial systems, Sikorsky helicopters, Pratt and Whitney jet engines, and Chubb security systems. UTC has thousands of branch offices throughout the world. Internet and IT is the key to UTC’s success. It is obvious that the UTC chief executive’s command over the organization’s resources around the world accounts for its superior productivity and competitive advantage. But it is equally clear that his control over resources is the result of well-thought out strategic decision-making of someone in close touch with the realities of business in the 21st century.


Denning, J. (1993) Multinational Enterprises and the Global Economy. Wokingham, Addison-Wesley.

Van Horne J.C. (1974) Financial Management and Policy. Prentice-Hall.

Workman, D. (2008) Disneyland Resort Paris Lessons; American Management Adapts to Cultural Diversity in France.quoted in ‘Boss is the King of Cool’ (The Sunday Times, 18th March 2009).

Timeless Beauty – Antique Bridge Lamps

Back in the day, different types of lamps were a practical household necessity. In 1910 and through to the 1940s, a very popular lamp that was very popular was the antique "bridge" lamp. This lamp is a floor lamp that is unique with its arm that sticks out from the top of the body and base. This arm is referred to as the "bridge" of the lamp. The shade is then attached at the end of the bridge over the light bulb.

The bridge lamp was made specifically for the purpose of being able to direct light EXACTLY where it is supposedly to go and not necessarily to light an entre room. Back when these lamps were created, the homes of many of the people were built to have very high ceilings which caused a great light in the room from the ceiling light, but the light was distributed throughout the whole room which created shadows below it. If you were to sit in a chair to read or sit at a desk in order to do some work, the shadow of the person or anything else near the subject, would make the light very dim and not at all bright enough to help with what task was being performed.

The light of the bridge lamp could be put by a chair or a desk and positioned so that the light would aim directly on the actual work or book that was being used. It was a very popular lamp for this purpose but also the antique bridge lamp was a favorite lamp to decorate the shade. With the shade hanging down, you were able to have a lot more freedom when it came to decorating.

The lamp shades of these lamps took a life of their own and there are so many different designs that have made their mark on this lamp. The most popular design is the tassels and beaded material that the show girls used to wear in the 1940s. They found that these tassels and the beaded fabric made the lamp stand out among anything else in a room. The way the tassels dangled below the shade with the light shining through them created a rather happy feeling to the people who were near them. The people could not help but touch the lamp and play with the hanging tassels on it!

This type of lamp design also allowed its owner to adjust the height of the stand and adjust the brightness of the light by having a three or four turn knob instead of the regular on and off switch. The antique bridge lamp is still a very popular lamp in today's world as well.

The World of Carton Packing Machines

Today's highly competitive trading world pushes business owners from various types of industries and sizes to take their business to a whole new level, forcing them to re-strategize or even revamp their game plans to be able to stay in the market and compete effectively. However, most of these planning parts are right in the drawing board of the marketing and sales department of the business, and if you want your business to keep on running, you need to be able to supply the market with your products. And nothing is more important in this part of the business than being able to manufacture and mass produce products in the most cost-effective way. And this is where the importance of modern technology gets into the picture, as manufacturing equipments like packing machines can make or break the volume of supply of the product in the market.

Most products processing operations today are done with extreme care and attention using the technology of modern machines and equipments, and high-end packing machines are now widely used in various business industries with packing processes.

The cartoner, or better known as the cartoning machine is probably the most common form of packing machine for most assembly lines. The main functions of this machine are to form, fold and fill different cartons and other packaging containers with the products. This machine is widely used in productions plants of beverages, computers, electronic gadgets, cosmetics, confectionery, pharmaceuticals and even sundry goods. They are usually designed and programmed to perform particular tasks. Here are some functions of cartoning machines for manufacturing plants:

To start with, carton packing machines pick up cardboard sheets, fold it into different types of boxes, set it aside, and then load up a variety of products inside the made box. Machine fills the box with the aid of mechanical sleeve or pressurized air. Then it would flap and close the sides of the carton and seal it close. Some cartoning machines even include features like adhesive or glue which secures boxes for a more effective seal. Additionally, some of these boxes include palletizing system for the cardboard box or wrapping the boxes with plastic, which is essential for shipping products.

Types of Carton Packing Machines

Packing machines for cartoning are also available in various scales, sizes and capacities. These machines can also be either fully automatic or semi-automatic. Cartoning machines can be classified into three categories, and these are:

Horizontal packaging equipment – folds cartons so that it can be filled with products from the side.

Vertical packaging equipment – folds boxes so that it can be loaded from the top.

Wrap-around cartoning equipment – forms the carton around the product. This type of carton packing machine also offers a wide range of customization. However, because it's quite meticulous in its operation, it offers quit low production speed.

The most basic function of these cartoning machines is to pack bigger number of items per day. And since they're all automated and computerized nowdays, packing machines offer a significant low chance for error, maximizing every profit and saving businesses from costly human errors. Thus, purchasing this type of machine for your production can definitely push your production to a better level.

Creating Inspiring Mosaic Tile Craft Designs

It is possible to create some inspiring mosaic tile craft that veers away from the traditional mosaics. It is very important that one must be familiar with the proper materials, tools and adhesives so that the projects can be completed successfully. One must be essentially prepared before beginning the project. One must set up the working area, and make sure that it has all the necessities including materials and supplies and review the steps for your project.

One must be able to create a lot of fun when there is everything that you need accessible and do not have to run around looking for the supplies. It is also useful to keep a workbook handy just in case you need some help. Various types of materials are used in order to make the mosaic tile craft and are referred to as tessarae. There is an excellent variety of commercial glass; tile and ceramic tesserae at are available today.

All these materials can be used for making inspiring mosaic tile craft with mixed media elements. One must feel free to experiment with the various types of materials. There are many mosaic tile craft patterns that have been created out of flattened bottle caps and recycled clothing tags. When making mixed media mosaic tile craft designs there are an endless possibility of materials.

In order to assemble the mosaic it is important to attach the tesserae that you select on the base surface. It is important that you make use of the right adhesive and correct preparation for the mosaic tile craft pattern. It is possible to make almost anything possible on a suitable surface of mosaic. A smooth and flat surface is the easiest to work with but little preparation can transform surfaces with various textures into the perfect bases for your mosaics.

It is also essential that you have the correct tools and supplies when making mosaic artwork. Having all the correct tools on hand will only make your life easier and your artwork better. Therefore one must gather all tools and materials before you begin working on the mosaic tile craft, so that they are easily accessible while you are working. You may not want to be stuck in the middle of the project searching for missing tools.

Tile nippers, wheeled tile nippers, ring blade saws, glass scorers, running pliers are some of the tools that supplies that you will need when you begin making your mosaic tile craft. That you do not have lying around in your house can easily found at the local home supply of craft store.

French Neoclassical Painter – Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres

A French 'Neoclassical' painter and a vanguard of 'Modern Art,' Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres was born on August 29, 1780 in Montauban, Tarn-et-Garonne. His unsuccessful painter and sculptor father, Jean-Marie-Joseph Ingres, although could never carve out a niche for himself, neverless, became Jean's early inspiration for music and drawing. The inspired artist came up with his first drawing in as early as 1789. From 1786, Jean Auguste began his education from a local school, but had to drop out when it was shut down in 1791, during The French Revolution. The same year, he enrolled at the Académie Royale de Peinture, Sculpture et Architecture, in Toulouse. Here, sculptor Jean-Pierre Vigan, landscape artist Jean Briant, and painter Joseph Roques, tutored him. At the age of thirteen, the painter learned to play violin from Lejeune.

In 1797, Jean Auguste Ingres moved to Paris and worked as an apprentice for four years under the renowned European painter, Jacques-Louis David. He got admission at École des Beaux-Arts in October 1799, and won the coveted Grand Prix de Rome scholarship in the year 1801, for his painting titled, "Achilles Receiving the Envoys from Agamemnon (1801)." The artist was a firm believer of the fact that drawing was the key to a good artwork. Jean Auguste's drawings had firm contours, perfected to the minest of details. His colors were a mix of light and half tones.

After his debut at the Salon of 1802, with his "Portrait of a Woman," Jean along with four other artists was entrusted with the task of painting the full-length portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte. In 1806, the artist got engaged to painter & musician, Marie-Anne-Julie Forestier, and migrated to Rome. The same year, the display of Ingres' paintings, "Self-Portrait (1804)" and "Napoleon I on his Imperial Throne (1806)," in the Salon attracted mass criticism for being 'archaic' and 'Gothic'. Hurt, Jean decided to keep away from the Salons and Paris, both, which led to the break-up of his engagement. During his fourteen years stay in Rome, the artist mastered the techniques of drawing and paintings to become one of the most venerated drafts men of his times. Most of his nude paintings, such as "Oedipus and the Sphinx (1808)," however, received poor response from the public.

In the year 1813, he married Madeleine Chapelle. To augment his career, Jean along with his wife, moved to Florence in 1820, for four years, on the insistence of his old sculptor friend, Bartolini. Jean Ingres returned to Paris in 1824. It was a grand homecoming for the artist. His painting, "The Vow of Louis XIII (1824)," was greatly appreciated at the Salon of 1824 and earned him the much deserved success after years of struggle. His favorite, "Martyrdom of Saint Symphorien," created in 1834, however, was hugely criticized at the Salon exhibition the same year. Enraged, Ingres accepted his appointment as the Director of the French Academy, Rome, and decided not to paint for public anymore. His "The Stratonice (1840)," restored his honor when he visited Paris in 1841. He was felicitated with the rank of the Commander of the Legion of Honor, in 1845, and with a gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of Paris, in the year 1855. The death of his wife in July 1849 left Jean distraught. In 1851, the artist resigned from École des Beaux-Arts and in 1852, married forty-three old, Delphine Ramel.

In 1862, Jean created sensuous portraits of female nudes, including "The Turkish Bath," his work. Ingres died of pneumonia on January 14, 1867, in Paris, leaving behind a legacy of great works, such as Marie-Clothilde-Inés de Foucauld (1851), Madame Moitessier (1840), and Seated (1856) , "to name a few.

Ways to Install Your Crystal Chandeliers

Crystal chandeliers are perfect home decorations. They easily complete the empty space in a home. If your house is bare and you want to add some perfect decoration to it, choosing a crystal chandelier may be the best option for you.

If you worry about the installation of crystal chandeliers, there is actually no need for you to ponder too much about it. Because there are several ways to install chandeliers – no matter how big they are – you can be certain that the chandelier you bought can be hung in your ceilings in no time.

Ask The Manufacturer

The best way to install your crystal chandeliers is to ask the manufacturer if they have free installation packages for you. Most companies offer free installation especially if the chandelier you bought is big and intricate enough.

If they do not offer such free services, you may hire an electrician from the same shop to ensure that chandelier will be kept safe during the installation process. Make sure that you avail of the benefits once you buy the chandelier so you can reduce the costs of the installation.

Hire A Good Electrician

If the manufacturer does not really offer installation services, then you might want to hire an electrician who is expert enough on the field. Your chandelier will be kept safe and the electrical system will also be taken care of since the electrician knows what to do with your lighting fixture.

Electricians can easily be seen over the web or through recommendations from several people. You have to ascertained the reliability of the electrician to ensure that you chandelier and the electrical system in your homes is kept safe.

Hang It Yourself

If you are on a tight budget and you want to install the chandelier yourself, then you can definitely do so. By simply reading the manual and following instructions, you can certainly do the installation job yourself. It would be better to ask help from a family member or relative to make sure that you are doing the right thing.

Aside from convenience, you've also got to save a lot by installing the chandelier yourself. Since you do not need to pay a middleman or hire some electrician, you can definitely save more on the expenses.

Include It While The Home's Getting Built

If possible, you can have the chandeliers installed while your home is being built. Because electricians during the home building get paid for such kind of job, you can ask them to install the chandelier for you. So if it is still possible, it is best to have these chandeliers installed while the house is still under construction. – Crystal Chandelier

Spaying Pregnant Dogs

Spaying of pregnant dogs is a topic that has been under discussion for years, but many of the question marks are still there. Some people are against spaying of pets, especially of spaying pregnant dogs or cats. When you see stray dogs walking around and dogs in the dog pound that are homeless, one concludes that may be it would be a better idea to spay a dog.

Many people still do not find it good enough to spay a dog when she is pregnant, but the benefits of this act are unlimited. The population of dogs that are steadily increasing and human beings need take all possible means to keep a check on that.

Spaying pregnant dogs is not that difficult. Every surgery has its own complications and so does spaying a dog during pregnancy. Only a vet can tell if the surgery is going to harm the puppies or not. It is dependent on the health of the animal as well as the amount of time the dog has before giving birth. In case of very last few days, it may be dangerous for the puppies and the dog.

Ideally, spaying should be done before the dog becomes pregnant. Some say that dogs should have at least one litter before they can be spayed. But that is not true, the younger the dog is, the better chance that no complications will occur during surgery or after.

Like many dog ​​surgeries, spaying can be expensive. When you think about the puppies you would have had to feed and immunize, you can bet that you will have saved yourself tons of money. The surgery is not as costly as other surgeries though, so the costs should not be a problem. Spaying is not painful for your dogs. They are anesthetized during surgery, and after surgery they have medication to manage the pain. But within days, they will be as good as new. Because they no longer have the urge to stray and mate, they tend to become calmer and relax.

Your dog's metabolism may decrease after spaying, so make sure to provide enough exercise and feed them the right amount of food every time. This can prevent your dogs from becoming overweight and unhealthy. It is a misconception that dogs become overweight due to spaying alone. And spay your dogs at an early age to ensure that their surgery is free of any complications, even puppies as young as three months old can be spayed. As long as you spay your pregnant dog safely and within doctor's orders, no harm will be done to your pet.