Crossing the Mangrove by Maryse Conde

“Crossing the Mangrove,” by Maryse Conde is set in 1986 on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. The story is told through the eyes of the many inhabitants of the island who are uncomfortable with the arrival of a strange foreigner who has come to live amongst them. Francisco Alvarez-Sanchez mysterious story invokes themes of past and present Caribbean life and stories from the villagers are combined to connect the fascinating tale. The novel reflects the Creolite diversity of the inhabitants of Guadeloupe.

In “Crossing the Mangrove,” several recurring themes prominent in Caribbean life are evident. Colonization and class perspective are amongst the more dominant themes. Guadeloupe was colonized by France in the 17th century and, like many Caribbean islands, Guadeloupe became a slave trading center. A story told by the strange recluse Xantippe shows how colonization ideals of the past are still present on the island today. As a young man Xantippe was happy go lucky. This gave the French ruled gendarmes (police) reason to interrogate him. They insinuated that he had enemies and burned his cabin down. Xantippe describes how he lost everything and his life was changed for the worse, forever. This activity is reminiscent of Cesaire’s equation: colonization = “thingification.”

Class perspective exists on the island of Guadeloupe but to a lesser extent than in the previous novels. The Ramsaraz and Lameanes families are upscale. They own land for farming and flower nurseries. They have large houses and they drive French built Peugeots. Although a peasant and servant population exists it is not featured prominently in the novel. Instead, something of a middle class society comprises the majority class of the characters. Moise the mailman, Emile Etienne the historian, and Lucien Evarist the writer are amongst a cast of Francis middle class friends. But it is assumed that Francis belongs to the upper class due to his tales of travel and adventure, his ability to purchase the aging Alexis estate, and daily truck deliveries of household appliances such as a TV set, a refrigerator, a stereo set. The inhabitants of Riviere au Sel are envious of this and question his occupation and work ethic as a writer. They ask, “Was a writer a do-nothing, sitting in the shade for hours on his veranda, staring at the ridge of mountains for hours on end while the rest sweated it out under the Good Lords hot sun.” One must get the sense that the class perspective presented in “Crossing the Mangrove,” is a good representation of society in Guadeloupe today.

Strong themes that are current to Guadeloupe society are that in a male dominated society women are forced into the practice of arranged marriages. But many of the women of Riviere au Sel have contempt toward their estranged husband’s and their fathers who make the unusual arrangements. Forced marriages are common and based in tradition in this island society but oddly enough explanations are not provided as to why a parent would want to marry off their young and attractive daughters to older men with dubious intentions. What is the motivation of the parents who take part in this practice? Yes, these men are wealthy and the young women will live in comfort, but are the parents receiving some compensation for their generous contribution to the men? The young women all seem to come from families that are well established. Do the parents take into consideration the trauma and unhappiness their daughters will suffer?

In Riviere au Sel, Dinah’s father arranged for her to marry Loulou. Dinah was in favor of this but later became repulsed by her husband. Dinah said, “It’s been years since Loulou slept in my bed. Once darkness has fallen I lock my door and curl up like a fetus between my sheets.” Rosa, of Indian decent, is forced to marry Sylvester; the practice of arranged marriages is also common in India where a social caste system still exists. In her passage in the novel she wants it to be known that, “When they married me off to Sylvester Ramsaran, nobody asked for my opinion” and “Sylvester hurt me. He tore me.”

Just as her Indian mother before her, Vilma’s marriage was to be arranged. Vilma’s father Sylvester, arranged for her to marry a man named Marins Vindrex. But Vilma revolted by running away from home saying, “Marins Vindrex. But I don’t love him.” In the ultimate act of vengeance against her father she took up with the hated Francis Sanchez. Now in a position to forever poison the appalling marriage to the dreadful Vindrex, she allowed herself to become impregnated by Francis. Sylvester is defenseless to act while the questionable motives of Francis intensify amongst the villagers of Riviere au Sel who are already suspicious of him.

Conde connects the vinettes together in “Crossing the Mangrove,” by establishing the relationship each villager had with Francis Sanchez as the story progresses. Every member has a strong opinion or emotion about Francis. Some of those thoughts are positive and some are negative. Central to the story is the wake of Francis which is held in Riviere au Sel. It rains a lot in Riviere au Sel and on the Thursday afternoon of Francis wake, it was no different. The rain seemed to act on behave of Mother Nature in cleansing the congregation of friends, enemies, and former lovers who gathered to witness Francis swan song.

Moise, the mailman is the first character that Conde provides us with insight into the relationship he had with Francis. Oddly enough there was some speculation in the community that there may be a homosexual relationship involving Moise and the great womanizer Francis Sanchez. “There were wicked sneers. There was something fishy about that friendship and the two men were Makoumeh! (Homosexuals). Adding even more to the oddity is the fact that many considered Moise a “Misgotten freak,” and ‘ugly.’ These allegations aside, the two were friends but the friendship was awkward and unusual. One moment we see Moise cradling Francis in his arms when something upset Francis. The next moment we see Francis accusing Moise of stealing money from his mysterious trunk.

But Francis also had his enemies. Both Loulou Lameaulnes and Sylvester Ramsaran have similar reasons for despising Francis. Francis had sexual affairs with their daughters impregnating both of them. To these two men Francis was a villain for his indiscretions but in both cases it was the young women who approached Francis. Both women hated their fathers and hated the lives they led under their father’s roofs. Perhaps the fathers should have blamed themselves for forcing their daughters out of their arms and into the bed of Francis. Vilma and Mira both shared the same bed with Francis and both attended his wake. They did not speak to each other. Oddly, Loulou and Sylvester were also in attendance and both felt a strong sense that in Francis death justice had been served.

The congregation exited the wake with the sober realization that they had just mourned for a man that they hardly knew. Francis had that ability. People were drawn to him but they didn’t know why. The novel ends with the inhabitants of Riviere au Sel raising the same ironic questions about Francis as when they had first laid eyes on him. “Who was Francis Sanchez? And subsequently, “Who was this man that chooses to die amongst us?

The Magic of Malicious Compliance – Why People Engage in Self Sabotage

If there is such a thing as dark personal magic, then “malicious compliance” is surely one of its best and worst manifestations. Intended as an equalizer and liberator, malicious compliance traps the malicious compiler in a conflicted cycle of self-damaging, self-diminishing vengeance-that-is-supposed-to-heal. In the regular world, the maliciously compliant person seeks to harm another by doing exactly what the other wants. In Marin-style NLP, what I also notice is that the maliciously compliant person is also seeking to heal everyone in their family-their family of origin. More on this part later in the article.

Malicious compliance is a tactic for causing pain and getting even. The Wikipedia entry for malicious compliance describes it well:

Malicious compliance is the behavior of a person who intentionally inflicts harm by strictly following the orders of management or following legal compulsions, knowing that compliance with the orders will cause a loss of some form resulting in damage to the manager’s business or reputation, or a loss to an employee or subordinate. In effect, it is a form of sabotage used to harm leadership or used by leadership to harm subordinates.

When labor unions want to punish management, they have their union members “work to rule.” It is a non-strike way of striking. Wiki puts it this way:

A work-to-rule is malicious compliance utilized as a form of industrial action, wherein rules are deliberately followed to the letter in a deliberate attempt to reduce employee productivity.

As I understand it, the enlisted ranks of the military are a good source for malicious compliance stories. There is one about the sergeant who ordered the privates to get tin pails and mops, and clean up the floor of huge, empty building. The sergeant came back hours later. The men were standing in the supply shed, “waiting for orders,” because the only pails they could find in the shed were made of plastic, not tin. After all, the sergeant has specified “tin pails.”

Here is an excerpt from a current blog. The writer is recounting his experience as an enlisted man in the Air Force, dealing one day with a particularly arrogant major:

As Bernie and I dutifully approached his desk, he reperched his glasses to his nose that allowed him to peer up at us in a most contemptuous way. “Now boys”, he spoke so slowly and deliberately to make sure that even a Neanderthal could understand him. “I want this room painted all white.” To add insult to injury, he ordered me to repeat his order. “You want the room all white”, I repeated back his order mechanically with a special emphasis on the word “all”. The major didn’t pick up on the bitterness in my voice but Bernie did. He was holding his head down grinning from ear to ear…………..Finally we settled on a solution, we would paint the room just as we were order – ALL WHITE! When we hit on this solution, we were inspired………Everything got painted “white”. Ceiling, walls, floors, window panes even the desk, chair and phone were double-coated. Nothing was spared. Electrical switches, doorknobs and overhead light fixtures were not missed…………..The major got his wish! (quotation)

Malicious compliance is a preferred method by which the (apparently) righteously powerless can punish, and perhaps correct, the rude, unfair behavior of the (apparently) villainous and powerful. Children, including very young children, use the technique to try to punish and control their families, especially their parents. A brief tour down anyone’s memory lane will reveal thousands of maliciously compliant moments, some of them actually expressed as external behavior. Most moments of inspired malicious compliance are simply archived in the child’s mind, brilliant ideas and schemes to be pulled out later in case of extreme parental unfairness.

All maliciously compliant schemes begin with the words, “I’ll show you!” Some simple examples:

Parent: “Go to your room, and stay there! I don’t want to see you outside of that room again, do you understand me!?”

Child (in thought only): “Fine. I’ll go to my room, and I’ll never leave, and I’ll pee on the floor, and never go to school, and I’ll starve to death, and smell really bad, and then you’ll be sorry!”

Or…

Parent, during some sort of upset: “I don’t want to hear one more sound out of you, not one sound! Do you understand me! Do you?” Many hours later, at the dinner table, long after the parent has forgotten the upset, the child refuses to speak to anyone. The child’s plan is, “Fine. I’ll never speak again, if that’s what you want…..and then you’ll be sorry!”

Of course, in the usual flow of family give-and-take, these fantasies of compliant revenge are short-lived; they are quickly displaced by the child’s desire to re-engage with parents, family, and life. Few children actually succeed in never leaving their rooms again, or never again speaking, and so forth. But it’s the principle of the thing that counts, and the hope that underlies the principle. The principle is that the world that parents create for their children should not be unfair, capricious or cruel. The child’s hope, the tremendously important part of all of this, is that they can correct perceived parental abuse and incompetence by using “industrial action for children”-by maliciously complying with what the parental authorities claim to want, and with what these authorities improperly assert about those in their power.

As an example: if you, as a parent, continually pound into your kid the message, “You’re worthless and you’ll never amount to anything,” then your child will be tempted to maliciously comply with you-and to punish you-by growing up and not amounting to anything, and then you’ll be sorry. However, your child’s much more profound hope is that when you perceive what you have caused, you will not only be sorry and feel very, very, very bad, but that you will actually change. When you, the parent, change, then things will be better for the child-and everyone else in the family. Thus, in the domain of the child’s powerful, other-than-conscious creativity (the domain of beliefs and decisions), all your child has to do to force you to make things better is to make sure that things stay really, really, really bad-forever, or until you change, whichever comes first. (For a humorous and superbly wince-worthy demonstration of malicious compliance, view the “soap poisoning” sequences in the Gene Sheppard’s movie, A Christmas Story.)

The unconscious, identity-level patterning that blossoms out of this transformation of malicious compliance (“I will punish you by being who you say I am”) into “beatific compliance” (“I will save us all by making you better parents”) is breath-takingly long-lived. A little kid’s identity has no power in painful and abusive situations, except for two things: the child can control the intensity and the duration of their own suffering-nothing else. In desperately in-pain families, children are forced to conclude that they cannot ever be good enough, perfect enough, smart enough, etc., to stop Mom and Dad from making it bad. This then requires the kids to go to their own maliciously/beatifically compliant Plan B: “Dear Mom and Dad, I can’t stop you from making it bad, but you can’t stop me from keeping it bad, and maybe even making it worse, so I am actually in charge of all of this awfulness, not you. I can control how I feel and determine who I am, not you. I will protect you and cover for you. I will make sure that you don’t hurt me. I will hurt me in your stead. And I will never let this change until you have a chance to develop some more and get things right, because that’s how much I love you.” Malicious compliance thus transforms into delicious compliance.

In Marin-style NLP, we presuppose that all children love their parents, and that all parents love their children. This is not a variable in life. What does vary is how this love will be demonstrated. Some families are fortunate to be able to show love as love. In other families, love will be shown as something twisted, torqued, and ugly. Damaging ourselves our whole lives-by insisting on a reality in which we are unworthy, unloveable, or unsafe, in an unworkable effort to retroactively redeem our parents and correct our family’s story-is a profoundly beautiful expression of truly ugly love.

This is where we come back to “The Worst Belief in the World.” As you may recall from our previous article, the worst belief in the world is, “The most dangerous thing I can do is think that I am not in danger.” In addition to having to deal with being hijacked by their brain’s out-of-date, creature-level safety patterning, everyone with this “worst belief” is also operating from both malicious and delicious compliance. The malicious expression is something like, “I’ll show you! If you are going to make it so scary to be me, then I will stay scared my whole life! And I hope you’re watching while it happens! And then you’ll be sorry!” The loving, delicious version is, “Dear parents, if you can’t do any better than to make it totally scary to be me, then in your honor I will keep it totally scary, until you can do better. I want you to be able to be good parents. It’s not good for you if you’re not good parents.”

Thus, to revise the “worst belief” we have to update our old safety patterning and ease ourselves away from the consolations of our equally old patterning for malicious and (arrogantly, pointlessly) loving compliance. The good news is that both of these transitions and revisions are available. In fact, we all seem to be wired to naturally install these updates as soon as we are ready-as soon as we want to allow the new experiences.

Coming soon: “The Best Update for the Worst Belief”

© 2009 Carl Buchheit and NLP Marin

Asphalt Road Construction

Everyone is aware about the benefits and advantages of a good constructed road. Roads play a very serious role in modern society providing services and goods for modern people. Today a vast majority of roads are constructed using Asphalt. Now question arises in your mind is "What is Asphalt"? Asphalt is the sticky dark brown viscous liquid present in some natural deposits like crude petroleum. It is the name given to technically or natural mixture used in road construction for road surfacing and compact.

We see many roads daily and when we talk about the road construction, all are equally constructed but there is a difference arising in the finishing of the road or the surface material used for finishing. Asphalt, also known as bitumen concrete in engineering language is used to give flexible surface to roads. Asphalt road offers many benefits such as smooth and flexible surface including cost efficiency, improved safety and comfort, durability, recyclability and reduction in noise pollution. Sometimes Asphalt or bitumen are confused with tar. Although they are the same in color, they have distinct chemical properties. Tar was early used in road Asphalt, but now has been replaced by refined bitumen or Asphalt. Today Asphalt is more commonly produced as a byproduct of the refining process in the petroleum industry.

Road construction is not as easy as it looks to be, it includes various steps and it starts with its designing and structure including the traffic volume consideration. Then base layer is done by bulldozers and levelers and after base surface coating has to be done. For giving road a smooth surface with flexibility, Asphalt concrete is used. Asphalt requires an aggregate sub base material layer, and then a base layer to be put into first place. Asphalt road construction is configured to support the heavy traffic load and climatic conditions. It is 100% recyclable and saving non renewable natural resources.

With the advancement of technology, Asphalt technology gives assurance about the good drainage system and with skid resistance it can be used where safety is necessary such as outside the schools. The largest use of Asphalt is for making asphalt concrete for road surfaces. It is widely used in airports around the world due to the sturdiness and ability to be repaired quickly, it is widely used for runways dedicated to aircraft landing and taking off. Asphalt is normally stored and transported at 150'C or 300'F temperature. Over 70% of all highways areaved using Asphalt today, according to the US Department of Transportation.

Ballerina Ring Setting

A ballerina ring setting is one of the classic, beautiful ways to display the gemstones in your ring. Depending on the stones that are used in the ring setting, there are several different ways that a diamond ballerina ring can be designed.

Before we talk specifically about ballerina ring settings, lets take a minute to discuss the important of the ring setting itself. The design of the ring setting has two important aspects:

1. The ring setting is what holds the gemstones in place, so it needs to be designed sturdy and strong so that the diamonds do not fall out.

2. The ring setting creates the over-all look and feel of the ring. The setting arranges the metal and diamonds into beautiful shapes and designs. There are many different styles that can be created with the ring settings.

One popular ring setting is called the ballerina ring setting. This type of setting is characteristic in some of the older vintage and antique ring designs, although it is again gaining popularity in today’s modern ring designs.

A ballerina diamond ring is actually a specific kind of cluster ring. There is usually a main center stone on the ring, which is completely surrounded by smaller stones forming a circle around the main stone. The name “ballerina setting” came from the way that the smaller stones circle the larger stone, they create a tutu around the main diamond– very similar to the look of a ballerina’s tutu.

Many times the smaller diamonds are cut as baguettes, and the way they encircle the main stone makes it appear that the diamonds are flowing and moving around the main stone. Many of the ballerina ring settings specifically place the stones so that they appear to be dancing and moving around the center of the ring.

DIY Brake Pad Replacement – How to Change Pads and Avoid Common Mistakes

Doing your own brake job, if done properly can save a lot of money. But if a brake job is done improperly it could very well cost more than if a professional was paid to do the job to begin with. I’ve done hundreds of brake jobs in the last 25 years as a Master Auto Technician and in this article I’ll outline some of the basics. I also point out some common mistakes that beginners and even pros can make when doing a brake job.

Pulsating?

If the car shakes when the brakes are applied, this means that the brake rotors are warped. Excessive side to side run-out causes the car to shake especially when stopping quickly from highway speeds. The rotors can be machined or resurfaced to make them true again as long as they are thick enough. If there is no pulsation or brake shake, brake pads can be replaced without machining them. In my experience though, if machining or replacing the rotors is not done when doing a brake job, most of the time there will be excessive squeaking noises after a very short time. I recommend taking care of the rotors by having them machined or replaced when doing the brake job.

Lifting the Car Safely

Sounds a little too basic doesn’t it? I’ve seen many people under cars without having a jack stand in place for safety. Hydraulic jacks are great, but what if one slips or fails in some way while someones under the car working? I can’t emphasize enough the importance of having the car safely raised with a jack stand in place, just in case the car falls for some reason. A jack stand under the car is very important for anytime work is to be done under the car, like for oil changes, starter replacement or any other job that could crush a person if the jack failed. I once worked with a mechanic that was changing his starter at home. His hydraulic jack had a slow leak and before he realized that the car was lowering gradually onto him, he was pinned under the car and couldn’t get out from under it. The compressing of his chest only allowed him to take very shallow breaths of air, which limited his ability to cry for help! Luckily a friend stopped by, saw what was happening and raised the car for him. If not for luck this could have had a totally different outcome, his mistake could have cost him his life.

Removing Wheels, Calipers and Rotors

After removing the wheels find the caliper bolts and check to see what type of head the bolts have to determine what tools will be needed. Common fasteners will have either regular bolt heads, allen or torx. Typically there will be two bolts holding the caliper and two bolts holding the caliper bracket. Usually just the caliper can be removed if just replacing the brake pads. Suspend the caliper with an elastic cord or something similar to prevent the weight of the caliper from possibly damaging the brake hose. If the rotor is being removed to be machined or replaced most of the time the caliper bracket will need to be removed as well. Rotors will either just slide off or on older style setups will be held on by the wheel bearings. Most cars today will have rotors that slide off. The wheel bearings on this design are not serviceable, meaning they are lifetime greased and can only be replaced when they fail so they are not repacked with grease during a brake job like in the past.

Pushing the Piston

Pushing the brake caliper piston back in is required to install the new brake pads. The piston slowly extends out as the brake pads wear. This is why no brake adjustment is needed for the disc brake system, it’s basically self adjusting. Big channel lock pliers can be used to compress the piston back into the caliper. There are also brake tools that can be used to push the piston back in. A big C-clamp used to be my favorite method for returning the piston back into the caliper. If working on rear disc brakes, a piston wind back tool like the KD 41540 (one of DenLors best sellers) is usually required to push and turn the pistons back in. It is recommended to open the brake bleeder screw when pushing the piston, this allows it to go back in easier and prevents possible damage to the master cylinder and/or ABS (Anti Lock Brakes) pump or valves from forcing old fluid back into the system. Closing the bleeder valve immediately after the caliper piston is pushed back in will insure that bleeding the brakes will not be necessary. If dust boots in the caliper are broken, caliper replacement is necessary. Broken boots will allow moisture and dirt to enter the surrounding area of the piston and will cause it to stick or seize. There are slides on some caliper brackets that can freeze up or seize also that can cause uneven pad wear. The slides should be taken apart and lubricated with silicone gel or disc brake grease. The slides must work freely for the brakes to work properly.

Installing the Brake Pads and Calipers

Take note of any possible differences in left side brake pads and right side brake pads. Also there is sometimes differences in inboard and outboard brake pads. Obviously the friction part of the brake pad goes towards the rotor. My uncle a long time ago, before I ever started working on cars did a brake job on his Cadillac. I remember hearing that he placed the brake pads in backwards! He ruined his brake rotors. It seems like an impossible mistake, but when you’re not familiar with what you’re doing anything is possible. With aftermarket brake pads, most of the time they will come with their own noise insulators that fit onto the back of the pads. Some will have adhesive backs that will have plastic to peel off before installing, others may have tabs built into them. Note that if these are supplied, the OE (Original Equipment) pad insulators will not be re-used. After the pads are in place, be careful not to TWIST the brake caliper hoses when putting the calipers back on. It’s a common mistake to twist them and the hoses can kink on turns.

Pump the Brake Pedal!

After everything is back together, it’s time for a test drive. But first pump the brake pedal before putting the car in gear! The pedal will go to the floor and you may be headed for a crash if you don’t. When the pedal is pumped the pistons are pushed out and the pedal becomes firm. There was an auto technician that I worked with that forgot to pump the brakes after doing a brake job. He backed out of his service bay, when he hit the the brakes the car kept going and he drove into the car that was half way up on the rack behind him. It broke the rear window of the car he was driving, luckily there was no other damage.

There are many types of brake systems but most disc brakes are basically the same. Following the steps I’ve listed here should help in replacing your brake pads. But if you are not completely confident, it’s always a good idea to ask a friend that has some hands on experience to help guide you through your first brake job.

BSE (Bombay Stock Exchange) – Online Trading System

Gone are the days when you needed a broker to help you buy and sell stocks, shares and make stock market investments. Through online investment you can buy and sell shares with just a few clicks of the mouse. The economic and capital market in India cannot exist without a stock exchange; there are two main stock exchanges where transactions take place; the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) and the National Stock Exchange (NSE). While all the major transactions take place here, there are over 20 different stock exchanges located across the country.

Online trading in India has changed the meaning of trading in the country. With no requirement for a broker, trading has become easier, faster and far more convenient than earlier days. Some of the major financial products and services offered through online trading are mutual funds, equities, general insurance, life insurance, share trading, portfolio management, commodities trading and financial planning. In online trading, the investor has to pay less brokerage as compare to offline trading. There is no need for any paperwork through online investing and the need for a middle man is eliminated. All the stock accounts are stored in a Demat account where they can be viewed.

BSE online trading was established in 1995 and is the first exchange to be set up in Asia. It has the largest number of listed companies in the world and currently has 4937 companies listed on the Exchange with over 7,700 traded instruments.

The only thing that an investor requires for online trading through BSE is an online trading account. The trading can then be done within the trading hours from any location in the world. In fact, BSE has replaced the open cry system with automated trading. Open cry system is a common method of communication between the investors at a stock exchange where they shout and use hand gestures to communicate and transfer information about buy and sell orders. It usually takes place on the ‘pit’ area of the trading floor and involves a lot of face to face interaction. However, with the use of electronic trading systems trading is easier, faster and cheaper; and is less prone to manipulation by market makers and brokers/dealers.

The BSE provides an efficient and transparent market for trading in debt instruments, equity and derivatives. This is performed through a system known as BOLT – BSE’s Online Trading System.

In the stock exchange, a key index is used to keep track of the important or the most traded stocks in the exchange. The indice used at the BSE while trading is the SENSEX and is displayed in all major portals, newspapers and magazines. It is India’s first stock market index that enjoys an iconic stature and is tracked worldwide. It is conducted on a free-float methodology and is sensitive to market sentiments and realities.

There are also indices such as BSE small cap, BSE mid cap and BSE500 to take care of medium and small companies. Furthermore, India index services and Products Limited has indices such as CNX Nifty Junior, S&P CNX Nifty, CNX 100, S&P CNX 500 and CNX Mid cap. The BSE offers 22 indices to suit a multiplicity of needs, inclusive of 12 sectorial indices. For example, the BSE PSU Index tracks the performance of the listed PSY companies and also helps the Central Government to monitor its wealth on the bourses.

The BSE has become a completely ‘corporatised and demutualized stock exchange’ through the use of online exchanges. With partners such as Deutsche Borse (DB) and Singapore Stock Exchange (SGX) it has a global competitive force. BSE has strategic relationships in almost every part of the world- Europe (DB)), Hong Kong (ETF) and Asia (SGX), prominent public sector undertakings such as State Bank of India, Bank of India, Life Insurance Corporation of India and Central Bank of India.

Benefits of BSE trading system in India for share brokers or newbies

There are a number of attractive services to empower investors and facilitate smooth transactions. Some of these include:

1) Investor Services: A range of services are offered to investors. Being the first exchange in the country to provide an amount of INR 1 million towards the investor protection fund, the BSE had launched a nationwide investor awareness program; ‘Safe Investing in the Stock Market’ under which there were 264 programmes which were conducted in over 359 cities in India.

2) BSE has an Online trading BOLT system: the online-Trading system (BOLT) facilitates on-line screen based trading in securities. Currently it operates 25,000 Trader Workstations which are located across 359 cities in the country.

3) The BSE has the world’s first centralized exchange-based Internet trading system – BSEWEBX.com. This system helps the investors anywhere in the world to trade on the BSE platform.

4) The BSE has an online Surveillance system (BOSS) which monitors on a REAL-TIME basis the price movements, the volume positions and members’ positions as well as real time measurement of default risk, generation of cross market alerts and market reconstruction.

5) The BSE has a training institute – known as the Bombay Stock Exchange Training Institute (popularly known as the acronym BTI).The BTI imparts capital market training and certification; in collaboration with a number of reputed management institutes and universities. There are over 40 courses to choose from on different aspects of the capital market and the financial Bombay Stock Exchange market.

Concrete Rot or Concrete Cancer

If you want a lifetime job, it could be painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge – once you finish you probably have to start at the other end again. The painting continues in order to stop the steel from corroding, and steel corrosion is what causes concrete rot, otherwise called concrete cancer or spalling.

How does concrete ‘rot’ ?

Concrete is used in most commercial and residential buildings in a host of applications such as slabs, stairways, post and columns, support beams, balconies and verandahs, walls, pathways and pools. Huge volumes of concrete are involved in structures like bridges, wharves and high-rise towers. The concrete is generally reinforced using steel bars or mesh and in the larger developments significant amounts of steel are required for added strength.

The enemies of reinforced concrete are water and air. If these elements gain access to the steel enclosed within the concrete it can corrode – the steel expands as it breaks down and fractures the surrounding concrete. As the concrete cracks and crumbles, there is even greater opportunity for water and air to contact the reinforcing steel and the process intensifies. There are obvious safety issues as the structural integrity of the concrete is reduced.

How to identify concrete rot

It can be happening unseen within the concrete but as it continues it becomes more evident. You may notice rust marks running down the concrete, or the concrete flaking, cracking or crumbling. In extreme cases, large sections of the concrete will fall away, exposing the rusted reinforcing steel. Remedial treatment can involve substantial and expensive corrective measures.

A professional building inspection can identify the problem or warn of potential for future trouble. It can be water pooling somewhere, small cracks in the concrete or reinforcing too close to the concrete surface. Prevention is certainly better than cure with concrete rot – it may simply be a matter of improving drainage, painting a surface or sealing cracks with some sort of mortar or epoxy filler. If you have any concerns about concrete rot, it pays to get some expert advice.

I do like to be beside the seaside

Well yes, most of us do but it’s here that concrete rot can be even more prevalent as chlorides in the moist, salty air react more aggressively with the reinforcing steel. Concrete rot is an ever-present issue in locations close to the sea and property owners need to be constantly on the lookout for any signs of deterioration and to ensure that protective measures are maintained.

The same can be said for chlorides associated with swimming-pool chlorine or saltwater pools.

Also, there is often moisture close to the ground surface in beachfront blocks and water can soak up into the structure. Large buildings with basement or underground car parks can experience the same problem with groundwater seepage.

In summary, concrete rot is a common problem. It can lead to significant structural damage which may be difficult and expensive to repair. It is not always easy to detect, it can result in serious safety implications and it can be avoided by getting expert advice and using the right materials and appropriate construction guidelines.

Problems With Foundations Constructed on Sandy Loam Soil and How to Identify, Prevent, and Rectify

A soil composition primarily known as “sandy loam” is a mixture of sand, clay, silt, and organic matter. Sandy loam is a very stable soil that shows little change with the increase or decrease of moisture and can easily support a slab foundation. Problems occur if the builder added fill to the substrate that was of a different soil composition. If this added fill consists of a higher clay content then expansive conditions can occur if balanced moisture is not maintained around the foundation

Let us identify some readily apparent observations. If your interior doors are difficult to close and you are observing cracks in the sheetrock, or cracks in exterior siding or perhaps masonry; then you may be experiencing foundation problems. Whether your house was built on pier and beam or on a concrete slab foundation these problems can occur.

The most common cause of these problems is due to the perimeter of your foundation being unequally saturated with moisture. Whenever there is a period of several months with minimal rainfall, you will have a variation of moisture saturation in the soil around the perimeter of your foundation. The out of balance moisture will cause stress and movement and if one part of your house settles more quickly than another then you will have problems.

The older your foundation, say twenty or so years, the more you will need to apply the following simple preventive procedures. By doing so you will get many more years of trouble free enjoyment from your home.

The simplest method of prevention and control of this problem is a timed irrigation system around the perimeter of your home that activates three or four days a week for 15 or 20 minutes each day. A well maintained gutter and down spout system is crucial in order to keep balanced moisture around your foundation.

Observe the drainage around your home as improper grading often results in future foundation problems. Grading should always divert water away from your home so as to not allow water to puddle around the foundation. Surface grading needs to be sloped away from the foundation at 5% or greater pitch for the first ten feet from the foundation.

Another worry with sandy loam is erosion, also a good reason you want to make sure you have good drainage around your foundation. Puddling saturates the sand causing it to shift around creating movement which is known as a floating slab.

If your foundation is experiencing excessive settling you must correct this problem as soon as possible because in wet weather the ground will swell and in dry weather it will shrink causing constant stress on the foundation. Over a number of years this recurrent movement will cause extensive damage and will be very costly to repair.

If your house is on pier and beam, a house leveling company merely raises your house, levels it, then makes adjustments to the building blocks it is resting on. If you have a concrete slab you may have to turn to slabjacking to correct damage. The is accomplished by digging footings every 6 to 7 feet under bearing beams and compressing concrete cylinders down to a competent soil layer.

House leveling and stabilizing will need to be completed professionally and inspected by a registered engineer.

After the identification and repairing of the foundation settling problems, hasten to take preventive action as suggested in this article in order to avoid further damage.

Purification of Solids by Recrystallization

Recrystallizations are commonly performed in organic chemistry experiments to purify solids based on their solubility. Solid crystals are dissolved in a solvent. When the solution is cooled, crystals of pure product form and the impurities remain dissolved in the solvent. Multiple recrystallizations may be performed to obtain a purer product:

Steps to Recrystallization:

1. Choose a suitable solvent: Place a small amount of crystals in several test tubes. To each test tube, add a different solvent. Common recrystallization solvents include methanol, ethanol, cyclohexane, benzene, acetone, and water. The solvent should have low solubility at low temperatures and high solubility at high temperatures. The crystals should not dissolve in the solvent at room temperature, but should dissolve upon heating.

2. Transfer the crystals to an Erlenmeyer flask. The use of an Erlenmeyer flask is important because the solution will be heated. The small neck of an Erlenmeyer flask prevents the small amounts of solvent added from evaporating off. The flask size is dependent on the amount of crystals being purified. Choose a flask 2-3 times larger than the amount of solvent you think you will add.

3. Dissolve the crystals: Add a small amount of solvent to the crystals and slowly heat on a hot plate or in a hot water bath. Once the solution is boiling, use a pasteur pippete to add small amounts of solvent incrementally until the crystals are dissolved. Do not dissolve the crystals below the boiling point temperature of the solution or too much solvent will be used. Use as little solvent as possible to dissolve the crystals. Some impurities are insoluble, so do not continue adding solvent to dissolve a few solid particles.

4. Removing solid impurities by gravity filtration: Add 2 mL of recrystallization solvent in a clean Erlenmeyer flask. Place a fluted filter in a short-stemmed funnel and put the funnel in the Erlenmeyer flask. Heat the Erlenmeyer flask and pour the hot recrystallization solution through the funnel. To avoid crystallization, keep the unfiltered solution hot and add it to the funnel in small quantities. If the filtered solution in the Erlenmeyer crystallizes, redissolve the solid and allow it to cool slowly, according to the directions in step 6.

5. Removing color impurities with activated charcoal: If the crude crystals are colorless and the recrystallization solution is a dark color, color impurities can be removed with activated charcoal. Add 50 mg of activated charcoal to the hot solution. Heat the solution to just below the boiling point for a few minutes. Filter out the charcoal according to the gravity filtration instructions in step 4.

6. Cool the solution: The slower the solution is cooled, the slower the crystals will form and the purer they will be. Take the flask off the heat allow it cool to room temperature. Once the solution is room temperature, place it in an ice bath or refrigerator. If no crystals form the solution may be supersaturated. Scratch the inside of the flask just below the surface of the liquid with a glass stirring rod to induce crystallization. Scratching the flask increases the surface area of the glass and provides a rough surface for the crystals to form. Crystallization can also be induced by “seeding”. A small amount of crude crystals is added to the cool solution. If crystals still fail to form, too much solvent may have been added. Boil off excess solvent and cool the solution again.

7. Collect the pure crystals: Chill a washing solvent. If the solvent is not chilled, the crystals may dissolve and decrease the percent yield. Use vacuum filtration. Pour the solution of liquid and crystals into filter. Wash the recrystallization flask with the chilled solvent and pour into the filter. The crystals can be dried by aspiration or air drying.

An Overview of Architecture and Arts in Kyiv

Also known as Kiev, Kyiv is the capital city of Ukraine. It is located on the Dnieper River and has a population of almost 3 million people. This is an important city as an educational, industrial, cultural and scientific center in Eastern Europe. With an extensive transport system, historic landmarks and high tech industries, the city gas been classified as a Beta global city in 2004.

The name Kyiv originated from one of the four founders of the city, Kyi. The city has a history of prominence and obscurity. It suffered a lot during the WWII when different architectural treasures and art were destroyed but the history of the city has been revived after extensive restorations were carried out. The city is now home to different types of modern structures as well as cultural center with a large number of tourists.

Many people wising to visit the capital city of Ukraine will be treated to world renowned and treasured arts and architecture. They can visit the Cathedral of St. Sophia where Kiev’s Princes were crowned. It has a wide collection of frescoes and mosaics from the 11th century. The other church is the Ukrainian Baroque, St. Andrew, which overlooks the old section of the city. Little distance from the city, the tourists can also enjoy viewing the Percherska Larva, known as the Monastery of the caves.

Apart from the architecture, tourists can also enjoy different types of performances in the city. The City’s Opera House has great opera as well as shows of ballet. The other cultural centers include the Kiev Young Theatre, which is very popular and shows plays in Russian or Ukrainian and the Ivan Franko Theatre, which stages different plays, musicals and drama.

Flat Feet: What It Is and How to Effectively Treat and Prevent It

In this article, I will discuss flat feet. I will explain what this condition is and what causes it. Then I will tell you how you can treat it and what steps you can take to prevent it from worsening and occurring in the first place.

What are Flat Feet?

Flat feet, or fallen arches, is a condition whereby the arch of the foot collapses, and as a result the most or the entire arch of the foot comes into contact with the ground, rather than having an original arch in between the heel and ball of the foot.

This condition can arise as a result of fallen arches, caused by years of wear and tear on the foot that weaken the foot tendons to the point that they can no longer support the arch. In children, flat feet may also be caused by failure to develop the arch of the foot during childhood.

Another symptom of this condition is over-pronation, a biomechanical condition that arises when the arches of the foot collapse while standing or walking. This can disrupt our natural walking pattern, causing imbalance, and lead to additional and increasingly painful foot problems with each step we take.

Complications of Flat Feet

While the condition of fallen arches itself normally does not cause pain, if allowed to worsen, this condition can lead to a number of painful foot conditions, including plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, tendonitis, and heel pain.

Therefore, it is not only prudent to take corrective measures to correct flat feet as early as possible following detection of the problem, but it is also a good idea to take steps to ensure that the condition does not occur at all through daily foot therapy. This is especially important for elderly persons and athletes, hikers, walkers, runners and others with active lifestyles who tend to put excessive stress on their feet.

Effective Treatment of Flat Feet

As a treatment for flat feet, there are a number of orthotics on the market that can be placed in your shoes to correct your imbalance while you walk by propping up an artificial arch under your feet. These orthotics can help correct over-pronation while walking and thereby correct imbalances that may lead to further foot complications.

As a daily therapy treatment to exercise and massage the foot tendons and encourage formation and maintanence of the arches of the feet, the Japanese bamboo foot massager is an excellent and highly effective treatment device for flat feet.

This device is actually a small half-cut of bamboo, about a foot in length. The natural hardness and curve of the bamboo is ideally shaped to provide a perfect counter-resistance to the arch of the feet, simply by stepping gently on it.

This counter-resistance from the gentle stepping motion promotes formation of an arch in the foot with each step you take by working against the flatness of the feet to promote a natural foot arch. Therefore, this device is equally effective as a therapy tool for existing flat feet conditions and as a preventive tool to help prevent the condition from deteriorating into more serious foot problems.

Benefits of Using Marble Stone in Construction

Marble stone is a metamorphic rock which varies widely in hardness, veining, and color. It is very rare to find two pieces of marble alike. Marbles vary from location to location. Hence, this stone is exported in large quantity to meet the requirement. This natural stone industry is growing very fast, thereby providing us with various types of stones. Common types of marble stones are Carrara, Paper, Limestone, Green Types of Marble, or Cultured Marble to name a few. Varied color range is also available in this natural stones.

Uses of Natural Stone

Marble provides elegance and beauty to our modern era. It can be used in interior or exterior of the houses or buildings. Apart from creating statues from marbles it is being very popularly used in home construction. This stone can be used in homes for furniture, counterparts, flooring, foyers, bars, tables, showers, windows, fireplaces, and in handicraft items to name few. It is very long lasting natural stone. More and more people are using the marble stone in the homes due to the following benefits of the marble:

. Easy cleaning

. Spectacular look

. Importance of marbles in interior decoration

Benefits:

Marble is a good building material. It has very soft look, and therefore it is very popular with sculptors especially. Various monuments and places have been built using this stones. Ancestors made magnificent architecture which today has become architectural heritage. The best example among the architectural heritage is the Taj Mahal which is one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Let us look into the benefits of marble stone:

. Durable: Marble is one of the durable stone among all the natural stone. It always guarantees the long life of the items build with marble.

. Heat Resistance: The Marble is one of the best heat resistance stone among all the natural stones. This also ensures the uniform temperature within the home.

. Fire Resistance: Marble being fire resistance makes it ideal for home and office construction. In case of any fire accident in the home, marble ensures less damage.

Although, by using marble in the home and office construction you tend to increase the cost of the construction of the home and office, but brings with it lot of advantages.

Marble Care

Marble products enhance the decor of your home. But you need to take care of the marble. Just by taking little care of the same, you can retain the shining of this natural stone forever. Hence, you should regularly clean the furniture, floors, or other items made up of marble. You can use commercial cleaners available in the market to clean the marble products.

Various marble suppliers are available today, who deal in manufacturing as well as supplying of the marble in the market. KushalBagh Marbles Pvt Ltd. established in 1988 is one of the major manufacturer and supplier of the natural stones. They are specialized in supplying the marble stone to approximately 22 countries.

Importance of Character Building

“Good character is when your head, heart, soul and hands agree to do the right thing, in the right way, for the right reasons and the combined effort gets the right results in the midst of the most adverse of conditions” – William Cottringer.

Character building has emerged as a hot topic in schools. Now when I mention schools, I don’t mean that it is limited to them, instead this forms a integral part in marriage counseling, sports settings and work settings as well. In a nutshell, it can be rightly said that it has turned out to be a hot topic in today’s world.

But the question that possibly clicks on everybody’s mind is that “What’s so unique about character building or rather why you think it is so important?” Well, one of the prime reasons behind this growing popularity may be because of the fact that it is the chief purpose of our lives. And you will be surprised to know that character building and success are the two opposite sides of the same coin. I know that the entire thing may sound a bit strange but after taking a look at the explanation included below I guess you’ll agree to what I say.

To begin with, you cannot attain your desired thing in life unless and until you possess a good character. Considering this, it can be rightly said that nothing can be more important than character building. If you want to go for a good character building then make sure you:

  • Follow the right ethical and moral values
  • Help others without expecting anything in return
  • Opt for the challenging jobs as they are sure to help you with positive results in the days to come
  • Avoid saying something negative or derogatory about someone
  • Avoid falling prey into your retaliation or obsessing desires even if you have been abused by your classmates or humiliated by your teachers
  • Face challenges rather than stepping back because of the fear of failure

There are quite a few personal values that help a child to develop a good character. These personal values or rather the building blocks of character formation include:

  1. Compassion
  2. Dependability
  3. Optimism
  4. Cooperation
  5. Diligence
  6. Patience
  7. Commitment
  8. Fairness
  9. Perseverance
  10. Courage
  11. Friendship
  12. Productivity
  13. Courtesy
  14. Generosity
  15. Respect
  16. Cleanliness
  17. Kindness
  18. Tolerance
  19. Creativity
  20. Loyalty
  21. Truthfulness
  22. Citizenship
  23. Moderation
  24. Trustworthiness

You can also draw inspiration from good quotes as well as motivational stories with good morals and values. Good character building is of utmost importance as it helps in all spheres of your life. We all know that the main aim of our lives is to learn, develop as well as enhance in the journey of our life for becoming an ideal person and character building is sure to help us in this venture. With the instructions included in this article, you are only a step away from good character building…implement them in your practical life and see the difference for your own self.

Commercial Cleaning – How To Strip And Seal A Floor

One of the most time consuming and tricky aspects of commercial cleaning, is the task of stripping and sealing a vinyl floor. there are many problems associated with it and if you don’t know what you are doing, then the results can be anything but impressive. A decent commercial cleaner that’s worth his weight would know how to do a fantastic job when attempting to strip and seal your vinyl or most other types of flooring.

First off, the area needs to be cleared of all furniture and other bits and pieces. Then the area needs to be thoroughly vacuumed as any dust left on the floor will ruin the glass like finish you are hoping to achieve. Most office cleaning companies have all the proper equipment needed to do this properly. Once the are is clean, a mop and bucket should be used to thoroughly wet the area with the stripper in the bucket. the water should always be as hot as possible, not boiling though as that may damage the floor and not to mention the fumes in the steam from the stripper. Once the stripper solution is down, some steel wool should be used around the edges but always wear gloves as the solution can be very caustic. Remove all scuff marks with the steel wool. then run a buffer with the vac off using the correct type of pad depending on how much old polish needs to be removed. Run the buffer length wise and then cross wise to make sure the whole surface area of the floor is covered. Once that’s done, use a wet vac to remove the stripper off the floor followed by a clean mop to clean up any streaks and excess stripper.

You should let it dry before giving it a final buff to seal the floor. Most commercial cleaning companies that I have ever worked with usually leave that last step out for times sake but if you don’t seal the floor before laying down new polish, the finish wont be as good. Once the floor is completely dry, run a vacuum over the area to pick up any loose dust which remains on the floor. Give the floor at least three coats of a suitable polish and wait till the coat is touch dry before applying the next coat. At no time should you buff the polish between coats. Try and allow at least eight to ten hours hardening time before the floor is used. if the polish is too ‘soft’, then any scratches or scuff marks will become permanent when the polish hardens. this hardening usually takes between 24-48 hours depending on the polish itself.

Organic Gardening and Top 5 Soils

Soil remains to be one of the most important aspects of growing your very own organic garden. Its basic structure provides the nourishment necessary for your plants to thrive. Usually, soil consists of clay, sand, silt, limestone, and peat. Here’s an introduction to the benefits and negatives of each soil type.

Silt

Silt is a basic type of soil that suffers, like clay, from major drainage issues. Silt soil is composed of may small particles which causes sticking and packing. If you’re working with silt, you must make sure to avoid walking or standing on the soil, and when cultivating, make sure it’s dry enough to stick to the bottom of your boots. Treat silt like you would clay, and dig it in Autumn. This will help to expose those particles to surface elements. If you’d like to improve silt soil drainage, dig a bucketful or two of grit into it every yard. Do this when you are applying organic matter. What will this do? In the slightest, it will raise your beds, creating a deeper bedding system. This should help your soil to warm up quickly.

Clay

Clay soils often create problems right away for the same reason. It’s not easy to work with such as sand, and at times, it can become an awful, boggy, soggy mess. Sand disallows the free passage of both water and air, and when it dries out, it can become almost like concrete. Clay is notorious for draining badly. However, if you improve the overall structure of the existing soil, clay can be an excellent soil to work with. In fact, clay is capable of producing some of the best-tasting, organic vegetables, but it requires some tender loving care. If you are dealing with clay soils, make sure that you dig during autumn. Also, make sure that the surface of your garden is uneven through the winter months. Why is this important? It’s simple. When the soil is exposed to surface elements, it can break down more rapidly. Just add organic matter to the clay soils, and the particles will be held apart so water will eventually pass through the roots more efficiently.

Sand

Sand is obviously one of the worst water hogs you can find. Sandy soils drain easily, and they can be extremely demanding as far as how much water they need. They also require a hefty amount of extra organic matter and plant food. Since nutrients drain more quickly, they’ll need much larger quantities. Even though sandy soils have obvious drainage problems, there are a few good things to consider when working with these soils. Sandy soils warm quickly, so they’re absolutely perfect for beginning plant growth. Also, the time to cultivate is not as important as other soils, so you can leave them during winter months. Sand is usually composed of larger particles making it simple to cultivate the tilth. If you refrain from walking on the soil when it’s at a stick consistency, you will be ok. If you would like to reduce the amount of drainage in your sandy soil, sprinkle some mulch across it as often as possible.

Alkaline

Alkaline soils are dry, thin, and hungry. Alkaline particles are just as large as sand particles, so water has the tendency to drain from them at a rapid pace. Why is this bad? It causes many plants to lose nutrients that are necessary for healthy growth. To absolve this problem, you’ll need to add fertilizers, organic fertilizers that is, to ensure that they receive the right nutrients. More often than not, alkaline soils are unsuitable for proper plant growth. You can leave this soil to rough over during the winter months. When timing your cultivation, you can also add a layer of topsoil. Eventually, your soil will be on its way to working for you instead of against you.

Peat

Finally, the last soil to consider is peat. If you are lucky enough to get peat as a soil, you’re an organic gardening millionaire. Grow often, grow a lot, and grow as intensively as you possibly can. Peat is very fertile, and peat is extremely easy to work with. Since they contain large amounts of acid however, they can through your pH levels off a bit. It’s necessary that you choose the right plants, and there shouldn’t be too many problems. The best part about peat besides its tendency to produce healthy, abundant plant growth, is that there is no specific time to cultivate with peat. It can be left to rough during winter months, and it’s a most sought-after soil.

Knowing your soils is the first step in producing your very own organic garden. Once you know your soils, you’ll be on your way to producing healthy vegetables that you can enjoy daily. In this day an age, when large pesticide-abusing agribusiness is pushing unhealthy foods onto the shelves and into our health, it’s necessary to take action. If you’ve ever considered growing your own organic garden, now is the time.