CCTV Camera At Your Office

We have heard about and perhaps seen CCTV cameras. But do we actually know what work it does? A CCTV camera or a closed circuit television camera can be seen at many places these days. These cameras can be of two types mainly, either an analogue still camera or a digital video camera. These cameras are used to transmit pictures to any venue. They are put up in hiding places in shops, malls, metro and railway station, offices, airport, government buildings, lifts and so on. Images and videos get recorded for surveillance purpose. The videotapes can be gone through later on if any urgency strikes.

Safeguarding your home, shop and office from burglars were the major concerns of the people. But nowadays a mishap can occur at any place and time. And not to talk about terrorism! Security is in high demand in this scenario. You will never know what misfortune may befall you but at least you can be alert from beforehand to avoid unnecessary consequences. These cameras will keep constant tracks of the happenings of the respective places and the invigilators will keep an eye glued to the screen. They will immediately alert officials if they suspect anything wrong. Buying and installing a CCTV camera at your office is very essential.

Necessity of a CCTV Camera at the Work Place

Your office is a huge and sprawling one. Your company has hundreds of employees. Now of-course you have security guards placed at the main entrance and also gates with metal detectors, but are they enough to suffice your safety measures? So while you are planning to buy Office Equipment that will adorn the office rooms, let CCTV cameras be on the top of your priority list. This is a vital issue and must not be ignored.

As an Office Equipment these small devices can be set up at all the entrance and exit points, the end of long corridors, lifts, canteen, front of the washrooms and and staircases. There must be a control room from where well experienced staff members can control the angle and aperture of the cameras. They must be an expert in this field to give you an excellent service.

Where to Buy CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras can be purchased from electronic stores. The online sites also display images of various types. The prices will vary with different models and brands. The price of these cameras goes easy on your pockets.

So get hold of a technician as soon as possible to set up these hidden cameras at your office. These will keep a record of the events of the entire day and can be seen later on if required.

After all your own safety is in your own hands.

Defining Home Styles

Home buyers often confuse a style of home for another. When searching for your next home or tying to determine the style that matches your needs, it’s important to know the different styles of homes available and on the market. Below is a break down of the many styles and their descriptions.

Bi-Level: A bi-level style home is typically a one story floor plan that has been raised above ground level where another level of living such as a basement or additional rooms resides. They are often considered ranches or split level homes. In fact, when you enter the front door and have to climb stairs to get to the kitchen or main living space, you’re typically in a bi-level style home.

Bungalow: A bungalow style home is a compact 1-1/2 story house that contains smaller rooms. There will typically be 2 or more bedrooms on the main floor along with a bathroom and living space. Bungalows often have basements that can be finished for additional living space and an attic space that may also be finished for 1 or more bedrooms. Bungalows often have bay windows as an accent and a front porch. Those looking for first floor living with additional options on other levels may be best suited for a bungalow.

Cape Cod: A cape cod style home is similar to a bungalow but will usually have a distinctive peaked roof, central front door, shutters, and will usually have an A frame construction. Cape cods also have first floor bedrooms and often times feature a bit more living space such as a dining room or larger second floor bedrooms with baths optional.

Colonial: Colonial style homes are traditional in America and have a rectangular design. Many have centered front doors and a center entry way to the home. Typical colonials will have all the main living space on the first floor such as living room, dining room, possible den or family room and kitchen. The second floor is usually reserved for the private quarters such as bedrooms and bathrooms. Most will have a basement and an attic that may or may not be finished living space. Colonials are spacious and great homes for those needing privacy or living space.

Duplex: A duplex is two properties that are joined by one common wall. Often mistaken for a double.

High Rise: A high rise apartment or property is any multiple-floor building that has ten or more floors.

Manufactured home: A manufactured home is all or a part of a dwelling unit that is built in one location and placed in another.

Mobile Home: A dwelling unit that is built with wheels attached and can be moved from one location to another.

Ranch: A ranch is a home where all the rooms are on a single floor. One floor living. Ranches are often rectangle or L shaped. Rooms are typically spacious and open and every areas of a ranch is utilized for its space. Ranches may or may not have basements.

Split Level: A split level is designed to effectively and efficiently use all areas and floors. Splits will have three floors of living all tied in with a few stairs leading to each floor. The main living area which consists of the kitchen, living room and dining room will have a few stairs leading up to the bedrooms and baths and a few stairs leading to the lower level, (Rec room, family room, mechanicals, and utility room)

Town House: Town houses or homes generally have two or more floors connected to other units via party walls. Similar to a duplex, town homes are typically a part of a developed community of condominiums, clusters or single family homes in a planned community. Town homes will typically have home owner’s association fees which may include common ground upkeep, recreation areas and amenities.

Tudor: A Tudor style home will look like an old English home. Gables and half timbered exterior walls along with brick or stucco are usually what greet you. Windows are tall and diamond paned. Popular features are arched doorways and windows. Room sizes and lay out will vary widely and character and unique design are common. Bedrooms may be on the first or second floors and many will offer basements or dormers.

Victorian: A Victorian style home is often found in older cities and communities and they will typically offer hard wood, high ceilings, stained glass, dramatic stairways and crown molding, multiple paint colors on the exterior, and an eclectic collaboration of design and architecture. Many modern Victorian homes will have gutted redone kitchens and baths while still holding on to the original elements and character.

Basketball – The Power of Symbolism in Free-Throw Shooting

As a Coach and teacher for some 40 years or so I have learned a few things myself. Learning is a fascinating thing and yet I think some of us take this for granted. “Life” itself is a tremendous journey filled with constant learning, to help us improve our station in life, hopefully make a good respectable living, and survive to the end in every aspect of life. Learning helps us make the decisions that we become accountable for whether right or wrong.

The power to ‘chose’ is probably the greatest power we have in life. Every single thing we do can be traced back to a thought and then a choice which ultimately lead to a destiny. I don’t want to philosophize too much here but ultimately this article is about leaving an impact through visual symbols which will possibly last a lifetime.

Charles Garfield once said, “A key to self-management is the capacity for self-observation. It is important to realize that self-observation is not the same as over criticism, judgmentalism, or paralysis by analysis. It is rather a consistent monitoring of one’s own performance”.

Another reason I am writing about symbolism is that the greatest teacher of all Jesus Christ taught in parables and symbols and if these parables and symbols left long lasting impressions in my mind then I hope it will have some effect on you the reader.

Over the many years of teaching I have found that I have used more and more visuals or symbols to help the students to possibly see what I see. Another teaching tool like an overhead projector projecting a picture on a screen. There’s a visual right there. It seems we get on the same page faster.

Here are 4 reasons why I use symbols in my coaching methods.

  1. Symbols create visuals which help recall important concepts.
  2. Symbols can represent and create feelings we can control.
  3. Symbols can teach varying principles according to personal readiness to learn or upgrade.
  4. Symbols can possibly expedite learning by clarifying imaginary visuals or pictures.

As I have said before when it comes to shooting free-throws in a superbly consistent and efficient manner it takes more than just ‘being a human’. You must become a ‘human doing’. Shooters are not born. They are made. So the first key is to find your maximum capacity as a free-throw shooter by learning what your maximum best average is from the line. If the best in the world namely the NBA players average about 72%, you can measure yourself along those numbers which really are very mediocre for a skill that is so simple and repetitive.

William James authored this comment which is perfect for my message. He stated, “A mind once stretched by a great idea or new understanding will never fully return to its original dimensions”. That’s why once you hit 90% from the line you won’t go back to 70% ever again. You will respect the changes you have made to elevate your numbers through cognitive learning.

Since there are about 25 scientific principles that must be respected when shooting a free-throw or a three-pointer I have found that just about every principle carries some symbolism with it. Don’t forget that every principle has some scientific attachment to it and there are few if any shortcuts. Try to defy gravity. Try drinking unleaded gas. These are scientific principles that we all respect whether its through fear or knowledge is irrelevant. The result is the same and that’s what we want, positive reinforcement and instant gratification.

Symbolism for the Shooting mechanism:

1. The ‘life’ of a free throw which is only about a second or so is symbolic to ‘life’ itself. The free-throw takes a second and life on the average is about 75 years depending if you are a male or female. Females are more blessed and average a few years more according to scientific studies. To shoot a perfect free-throw you need a goal. IT is the goal. It takes motivation, desire, dedication, knowledge and never ending practice of perfect principles to achieve the desired result which is perfection.

To lead an almost perfect “life” requires the same process. The goal is Heaven or eternal life. (Apologies to atheists and non believers. My intent is not to hurt any ones feelings). Diligently seeking and gaining the appropriate knowledge, application of learned principles, desire to follow a certain predicted path (which can be good or evil), personal motivation, dedication, practicing and applying principles and values that provide the desired result. You tell me if its tougher to master the one second to shoot a free-throw in the game of basketball or the 75 years to master yourself in the game of life?

2.  Hand-ball relationship. Not only should the hand be placed with the index finger at 90 degrees to the seams (seams are not crucial here but the index finger in the middle of the ball is). Hand should be as wide as possible to get the palm off the ball and it will be easier to maintain a level of consistency with the wide hand.

The symbolism here is that of writing with a pen or pencil. Do you not get your fingers placed the same every single time on the writing utensil and do you not write with the fingers and not the arm and larger muscles of the body? The fingers do the walking. The yellow pages ad may ring a bell.

3. The guide hand. This is the support hand that stabilizes the ball during the pick up or the catch.

The symbolism here is the visual of the space shuttle ready to blast off into space. Just moments after the rockets have fired up and spewed megatons of fire and smoke into the ground and atmosphere you see the supporting metal scaffolding slowly peel away to allow blast off.

Same as the left guide hand which after steadying the ball into the ‘shot pocket’ it peels away a couple inches to allow for the shot to be fired unhindered by it just before pulling the trigger with the right hand. (Opposite for left hand shooters).

4.  The ‘shot pocket’ is the area of the body near where the ball comes to rest briefly after picking the ball up just prior to releasing the ball. Depending on the size and strength of the shooter is where the shot pocket may be. In may be near the belly, or the chest or the right side of the face or even behind the top of the head

The symbolism here is cocked trigger, before pressing the trigger.

If there is no pause before you pull the trigger then the shot can be called a ‘chuck’ or thrust. A shot is disciplined and a ‘chuck’ or thrust isis undisciplined. This pause usually separates males from females simply due to lack of strength.

5. The shooting arm includes the part of the anatomy from the shoulder joint to the wrist joint. When you straighten it or ‘lock’ the elbow during the shot to give the whole arm an appearance of straight, you are actually symbolizing a rifle barrel with the bullet in the chamber just before it is fired.

6. The follow through which is the final stage of the shot and is simply the wide open hand starting in a palms up position facing the ceiling (holding the ball) to finished with the wide open hand with palm down facing the floor.

The symbolism here is like closing the lid (hinged) on a cookie jar as opposed to sticking the whole hand in the cookie jar. The hand stays somewhat curved with no joints bending except the wrist.

7. The wide finger spread before and after the shot Guarantees consistency in the ball delivery because it limits any excess movement by keeping all finger joints in locked mode. The only joint that bends on the hand during a shot is the wrist.

The symbolism here is like a ducks webbed feet which always stay wide for maximum traction while paddling. Imagine rowing a boat with a broom handle instead of an oar. Same principle. No direction or power with a thin follow through.

8. The Shot arc is usually the same as the angle of release which also equals the angle of entry of the ball in the basket.

The symbolism here for the arc is to imagine shooting out of the top of an old red British phone booth. You definitely don’t want your follow through to be level with your forehead or close to your ear.

9. The ‘complete follow through’ is the holding pattern during the shot at least until the ball hits the rim. This is full arm extended with wrist bent and hand parallel to the floor and no joints bent.

The symbolism here is the Statue of Liberty holding the flaming torch proud and high and for quite a long time. (Hold follow through for life of the shot or till it hits the rim).

10.The inside edge of the shooting wrist If you have the perfect shot pocket just a couple inches above the forehead and the inside edge of the shooting wrist will be in line with the front center of the rim.

Symbolism here is the inside edge of the shooting wrist compares to the peep sight on the tip of a rifle or shotgun. Thus when you have the perfect line you will have the center front of the rim, the inside edge of your shooting wrist and your eyes form a perfectly straight line just like a long rifle barrel.

A good closing statement for all the above symbolism was given by Frank Andrews when he said “Mindfulness is the practice of aiming your attention, moment to moment, in the direction of your purpose. It is called mindfulness because you have to keep your purpose in mind as you watch your attention. Then, whenever you notice that your aim has drifted off, you calmly realign it”. Absolutely perfect.

Copyright 2009, Ed Palubinskas. All rights reserved.

10 Costly Sound Proofing Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Mistake 1: Hiring an Expensive Acoustical Consultant

Most people should be able to isolate and solve noise problems themselves without ever retaining an acoustical consultant.

If you are considering a consultant, unless you have a big budget, it’s important to do a little homework and learn something about your noise problems and how they might be solved.

A consultant will approach any problem you have in a very scientific and systematic fashion. There is nothing wrong this except that it is time consuming and consultants bill by the hour. Also acoustical consultants are not cheap. So rather than having a highly paid professional sniffing around trying to determine the source of your problem, roll up your sleeves and do some detective work yourself. You can crawl around in a basement or ceiling or meet with your neighbors in an attempt to determine sources of noise pollution without spending a cent. A consultant will charge a lot of money to do these things for you.

If you do decide to bring in a consultant at some stage it will be far more cost effective if you have determined 1) the source of the noise pollution, 2) some of your options for dealing with the noise and 3) the extent to which the various noises bother you. The consultant will not know which noise causes you the most stress. You’ve got to give this careful consideration. The interesting thing about soundproofing is that because noises mask each other, removing one noise often makes another appear louder and more annoying. As you make your home more soundproof it will be quieter but ironically this will mean that you can hear other noises. You need to think carefully about these issues and draw up a noise priority list based. This list should illustrate which noise pollution impacts the most on your quality of life. Always put sleep interference at the top of your list. Noises which interfere with a good night’s sleep can be the most troublesome and stressful and can impact directly on your health.

Mistake 2: Trying to Get Even With Your Noisy Neighbors

A lot of noise pollution is caused by noisy neighbors. It’s normal to assume that any neighbor who makes an annoying noise must be inconsiderate. In reality most neighbors are actually reasonable people and they might be quite unaware that they are creating a noise problem. So as a first step try having a friendly conversation with your neighbor. Use language like: I need your help with something which you are probably not even aware of. Your dog seems like a great pet and friend but sometimes he barks during the early hours of the morning and it wakes me up. I can’t get back to sleep which means I’m very tired during the rest of the day. I know it’s normal for dogs to bark – the solution might be as simple as keeping him inside or in another part of the yard at night. Do you mind if we discuss this some more, perhaps you could come over for a coffee and I’ll show you where my bedroom is and why it affects me so much.

It is important to keep the discussion friendly even though you might feel very annoyed with your neighbor. People with barking dogs are usually aware of the problem and secretly hope that no one will complain. This means that they also expect that one day they will have to do something about the issue.

Under no circumstances should you consider retaliating by making your own noise, this will never solve the problem and could result in the police becoming involved.

Mistake 3: Buying “Any” Soundproofing Material

There are many different types of noise pollution. The type of material and the techniques you need to use to solve your problem will require a good understanding of the exact noise source and problem. The simplest noise variables are how high pitched the sound is (e.g. bird chirping) or how deep it is (e.g. stereo sub-woofer or boom cars). Other important variables are how loud the noise seems, where it is coming from, the sorts of building material that it is passing through (e.g. windows, walls and floors) and whether the noise if continuous or intermittent. These are not difficult things to determine, but you do need to do a little homework and preparation and you certainly need to know these things before you buy any soundproofing materials.

You need to be able to describe your noise problem very clearly, know its source and know what type of solution you are seeking. You also need to know what sorts of solutions you can use e.g. do you lease your apartment and therefore must not make any permanent changes to the structure?

Mistake 4: Listening to “Wives Tales”

Beware that some materials and techniques just do not work despite the endless exposure that they seem to attract. What’s more frightening is that using the wrong material or technique could actually make your problem worse, for example some materials will actually appear to make a noise louder or change it to something even more irritating.

Aside from the obvious myths around egg crates and plastic window film which are essentially useless as soundproofing materials, other materials and techniques to be suspicious of include:

· Old carpet

· Cardboard

· Special paints

· Fibreglass batts e.g. the type used for thermal insulation

· Rubber e.g. old rubber mattresses and floor mats

· Any type of mattress secured to a floor or wall

· Dry cellulose fibre pumped into walls or floors

· Timber sheets (unless they are uncoupled)

· Corrugated or pyramid shaped foam like the type used in recording studios – this does not stop noise passing through walls, it simply dampens noise which is already in the room.

In short you need a credible, unbiased guide to solving your noise problems. The alternative is trying to sift through the science, logic and truth behind each material and technique and then learning how and where to install the material. Even if you had the time to attempt this self education, it is a very frustrating process and there is no way of knowing whether you really have really reached the right conclusion until after you’ve completed the job. You could end up spending more time and lots of money on methods and materials which do not properly solve your problem.

Mistake 5: Coping When you are Exhausted & Annoyed

Noise pollution can drive you to despair and can literally impact on the health and happiness of you and your family. As a matter of urgency you should consider finding an immediate “compromise solution” to your problem. The most rational, cheapest and fastest compromise is a set of high tech ear plugs. People often think that I am joking when I say this. I’m not. These days it is possible to buy very comfortable and very effective high tech ear plugs which are designed to reduce significant noise. You can buy one or more pairs and start catching up on your sleep and thinking time. Once you have reclaimed your sanity you will be in a far better state of mind to embark on manageable longer term solutions to your noise pollution problems.

Mistake 6: Replacing “Float” Glass with “Laminated” Glass

Laminated glass does give some additional benefit but not as much as you might think. In addition laminated glass is expensive. You would actually achieve a much better effect if you left the existing sheet of glass in your window and secured a second slightly thicker piece of normal (float) glass to your window frame with an air cavity of an inch or two between the two panes. A four inch (100mm) separation between the sheets of glass and some moisture absorbing powder in the cavity gives excellent results and can be done on a budget. This technique is definitely easier than replacing existing window glass with a new laminated pane.

Mistake 7: Complaining to Local Authorities about the Noise

I hate to say it, but most things involving complaints to Local Authorities are time consuming, costly, demoralising and often get you no closer to solving your problem. Anyone who has ever locked horns with any type of bureaucracy will tell you that even when you have a valid complaint the bureaucracy will take forever to do anything. In the meantime you still have to put up with the noise problem and you get more and more stressed and feel more and more like you have lost control over your private world.

I’ve heard of people who have been asked by local Council to keep a diary of their noise problem for a whole year! Unfortunately most organisations like local government or even the police do not have the noise measuring equipment or proper understanding of noise and environmental laws to properly enforce them anyway.

So instead, put all of your energy into things that you have control over and look for quick wins which will build your confidence and restore your quality of life. The ear plug advice in Mistake No. 5 is a simple example of a quick and inexpensive win over annoying noise pollution.

Mistake 8: Taking A “Best Guess” on Installation Techniques

Even if you have bought effective soundproofing material, most of the effectiveness of the material will actually come from correct installation.

There are two installation considerations:

1) Correctly securing the soundproofing material.

A common reason why soundproofing material fails is because it is not properly isolated from the surfaces which are transmitting the problem noise. For example many people purchase floating floors in an attempt to reduce noise transmission between levels. This often fails because the floating floor is not adequately isolated from the original floor. Floating floor manufactures usually provide a cheap thin membrane to put down on the existing floor before installing the floating floor. The manufactures usually assure you that you are doing the right thing. Sadly it seems few floating floor retailers know very much about soundproofing. What’s more it seems that few retailers of any of the products commonly used in soundproofing systems really have a good understanding of soundproofing science and the hidden traps.

2) Correctly placing the soundproofing material.

Even if the soundproofing material is correctly installed and secured, unless it is installed in the right place it might not solve the noise problem. For example a product called mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is a very effective soundproofing material. If MLV were used to reduce sound transmission between two levels of a dwelling, it would work very well if secured to the ceiling of the lower dwelling i.e. under the noisy floor but it would have poorer performance if installed on top of the noisy floor.

A great help to domestic soundproofing is reliable do-it-yourself information which is clearly laid out with simply diagrams and unbiased materials reviews.

Mistake 9: Not Following the Right SoundProofing Technique

Again this mistake relates to having reliable unbiased do-it-yourself information which is clearly laid out and which you can carefully follow.

Remember a properly placed piece of soundproofing can fail if you lose your way during the installation process. There is a lot of data to suggest that a small break in any soundproofing “system” can results in profound reduction in its performance.

This is not something you have to worry about if you are patient person and you are prepared to be careful and follow a good set of instructions. Again, more reason enough to ensure that your mind is in the right place, that you are calm and are not rushing desperately and erratically to get rid of the noise pollution. See Mistake 5.

Mistake 10: Thinking Gaps are Bad so Cavities Must be Too.

Many people believe that the secret to solving noise problems is filling or packing spaces.

It’s true that the first step in any soundproofing plan is making things airtight but this is very different to filling spaces in walls, floors or windows. The truth is air in an airtight cavity can be an excellent soundproofing “material” in certain circumstances. To make the most of air cavities their size and number need to be carefully considered.

So as with all the points raised above, be careful not to rush into pumping, pouring or packing any cavities until you are very clear what it is you are trying to achieve – but definitely aim to make all walls, doors, windows and floors airtight.

Three Benefits of Roof Repair

Roof repair is one of the most important forms of home maintenance that you can keep up with each year. After all, the entire system has to work together to stay strong, solid, and functional for all seasons throughout its successful use. It needs to be able to expand, contract, remain sealed, water and pest resistant for the duration of the optimal use of the components. Therefore, depending upon the age of the materials used on your style and age of home, you may require mending to sections, a coat of sealant, or shingle replacement in order to prolong the effective protection that this section of your home provides. Or, you may need to have sectional or full overhaul of several components and layers of your system replaced and/or upgraded in order to enjoy renewed security, comfort, and home restoration with professional roof repair.

Plainly, a few of the benefits of regular inspection and performance of necessary roof repair is to avoid expensive replacements, avoid dangerous sink in or breeches, and to maintain your solid home. If precipitation runs off properly then the inner walls, attic, and even the basement can stay dry. Mold and mildew-free living has immeasurable monetary and respiratory benefit, for you and your entire family. Roof repair is a multistep process that helps your home to see the full 15 or more years of life from your construction materials.

A house is only as strong as the materials it is made out of and the professional maintenance that is performed regularly in order to keep every component and function in optimum condition. The top of your home should be one of the first aspects of home ownership that you should consider keeping up. It takes a pounding from the sun, wind, rain, hail, snow, and airborne debris year round.

Your entire family also depends on it for its participation in your home’s insulation and to protect the rooms and people below from the elements, animals, insects, and all other outdoor conditions that you’d like to rest free of constant exposure. So with all of the protection that these materials provide; their connections, thickness, and sealants can be worn and no longer keep out bugs, water, or provide excellent insulation. Therefore, periodic roof repair becomes a necessity of home ownership in order to maintain all of the duties that you expect your construction materials to provide.

What Spray Paint Should You Use to Paint Your Nerf Gun?

So you really want to paint your Nerf gun? Chances are you became convinced to do so after seeing a couple paint jobs done by friends or online.

The tricky part is, which paint do you use? Just because your friend used that generic can of spray paint, does not mean it was the best option.

When painting a Nerf gun, or any toy dart gun for that matter, its imperative that you take a couple of steps to ensure your paint job will be of utmost quality.

The problem with all of the pictures online of painted Nerf guns is they only show what the blaster looks like right after the job has been done – right at its physical peak.

What they don’t show you is how gunky the blaster gets a couple weeks after normal use. They don’t show how their pristine paint job turned into a flaking, or sometimes even sticky piece of work.

No one wants to see their work go to waste, so I’m here to help you get the most out your painting experience by encouraging you to buy a select type of spray paint for the job.

What type of spray paint should you get? Well, there are actually two brands I know of that work great for the job, and they are:

  • Krylon Fusion – For Plastics
  • Vinyl Dye – For Vinyl and Fabrics

Either or will work great, as both bond very well to plastic, which will ensure you get a long lasting paint job.

Magpie Symbol Meaning in Chinese Culture

In Chinese culture, magpie is a symbol of happiness. The singing of a magpie foretells good luck and happiness. That’s why Chinese people call it ‘Happy Magpie’. The Manchu minority in Northern China even regards this birds as sacred animals. The magpie in Chinese is called ‘xi que’ and the character ‘xi’ means happiness. Two magpies facing each other is used to symbolize double happiness.

Legends concerning magpies are also found in historical records about Manchu. One day, when the goddess from heaven named Fokulon was playing with her two sisters beside the lake, a beautiful magpie flew above them with a red fruit in its mouth. The bird dropped the fruit and Fokulon picked it up and ate it. A few months later, she gave birth to a boy (Bukulirongshun) and he was the forefather of Manchu minority.

The descendants of Bukulirongshun and he himself were all courageous and skilled fighters. They were considered by the neighboring tribes as a potential threat. They decided to form an alliance and wipe out the rising tribe. One lucky boy named Fancha escaped the slaughter and kept running until dusk fell. This little boy was almost caught when a magpie lighted on his head. Luckily, the hunters did mistake him for a tree trunk when Fancha stood motionless in the dim field and the hunters ran on in another direction. The boy was saved by the magpie and he was the only survivor of the tribe in the genocide.

The little boy was so grateful to the bird that brought him good luck and happiness. And because of this, the Manchu people began to consider the bird as a symbol of luck and happiness. A Manchu man became China’s emperor in 1644 and established the Qing dynasty (1644 – 1911).

Jazz Guitar Lessons Review – Play What You Hear by Chris Standring

The Purpose of the Play What You Hear jazz guitar lesson program is to teach the student to, dramatic pause, to play what they hear.

Seriously, the author, Chris Standring, makes a great point that many guitarists learn to master the fretboard through visualizing shapes and patterns. The unfortunate result is that solos improvised in this manner can sound contrived. Chris goes on to say that he believes that many guitarists often have no idea that they do not hear what they play.

About The Author Chris Standring

In the Authors own words, Chris Standring is a contemporary jazz recording artist, after spending 15 years as a touring sideman and studio guitarist in London and Los Angeles. He has recorded for several record labels as an artist including Sonic Images, Instinct Records, Mesa/Bluemoon Recordings and more recently Trippin n Rhythm/V2 records. Chris is successful in the USA as well as the UK, his homeland, and performs there in concert venues annually. His music also appears on many compilation CDs.

Who Will Benefit Most From This Jazz Guitar Program?

Play What You Hear is geared for intermediate guitar players that have at least a basic knowledge of the guitar fretboard as well as some ability to read music.

This instructional course has been designed for enthusiastic bedroom guitarists, college and university music majors as well as working professional musicians who want to refine their jazz skills.

Is This Jazz Guitar Course For Acoustic Or Electric Guitar Players?

Most of the audio examples use an electric guitar but the course is appropriate for acoustic guitars as well.

The Lesson Format

Most lessons contain a written explanation, written music and tabs and audio examples. When appropriate an additional play along version of the audio examples with a back-up band is also included.

Computer Compatibility:

This program, in both the CD and instant internet download versions, will work with all Macintosh or Windows PC operating systems.

The Contents of Play What You Hear

The Physical Parts

  • (1) CD
  • Bonus #1 Jazz Guitar Talk: Great jazz guitarists discuss what it takes to play great.
  • Bonus #2 Chord Finder and Ear Trainer
  • Bonus #3 Guitar Codex – Find any scale or chord in any key and see it displayed on a fretboard diagram along with clickable audio.
  • Bonus #4 Guitar Decoder – Play a series of random notes and the decoder will tell you the name of the chord they form.
  • (2) Printable PDF files of all the lessons for convenient reading away from the computer.

The Lesson Categories

  • Melody
  • Harmony
  • Playing Over Changes
  • Phrase Development
  • And now to the music – example jazz standard sequences

The Negatives:

The Play What You Hear Jazz Guitar Instructional course does not include video. While this is a little disappointing I believe that with intermediate level skills and above this is much less critical.

If you only have a desktop computer then you are bound to practice at that desktop in order to hear the audio portion of the lessons and to use the built in tools. However, included on the CD are printable versions of all the guitar lessons for viewing away from the computer.

The Positives:

The author is a formally educated musician yet is also an in-the-trenches performing and recording guitarist. When I received this course Standring had a Jazz guitar song in the top three on the Jazz charts. In other words, he not only knows this stuff but he lives it too.

While this course is packed with lots of jazz theory lessons it strives to go beyond just learning more stuff. This Chris Standring CD emphasizes playing at a much higher artistic level.

The guitar lessons on CD are extremely well organized and therefore easy to navigate.

There are over 300 well produced audio examples that really bring the written word to life.

Many of the audio examples have an alternate play along version where you play the lead part to a back up band. This nice touch provides a realistic band experience.

The price is especially reasonable considering the significant volume of information included and Chris Standrings experience and standing in the Jazz community.

The Price Analysis:

The CD Version and The Instant Download Version are both priced at $97 USD, as of this writing, and include all of the items mentioned above. The contents of both versions are exactly same.

Play What You Hear by Chris Standring contains the equivalent of 6 months to one year worth of guitar lessons if you were to space them out as if you were taking lessons from a local guitar instructor. A local instructor typically will charge anywhere from $20 to $50 per weekly lesson. Your minimum cost at only $20 per lesson for 6 months would be at least $520.

The choice comes down to:

The Play What You Hear DVD Jazz Guitar Program at $97 or A local instructor at $520 to $1040.


Satisfaction guaranteed or 100% money back including shipping. There is no shipping charge on the instant download version.

The Bottom Line:

This Jazz guitar course offers a way to significantly increase the knowledge and tools at your disposal for improvising solos in almost all situations. But I love the fact that This course does not stop there. There are many guitarists that are technically or rather mechanically developed but few ever cross over into the realm of the artist.

This course does an excellent job of presenting this concept in an easy to understand format at a very reasonable price for such a specialty instructional course taught by a Jazz leader. It is for these reasons that I can easily recommend the Jazz guitar lessons instructional course called Play What You Hear by Chris Standring.

My Husband Says It’s Too Late For Us – Is It?

It’s not unusual for me to hear from wives who have been told that it’s “too late” to save their marriage. Often, their husbands have decided that the marriage is over and that the time has passed to save it. But rarely do the wives who contact me agree with this. They often tell me that it isn’t over for them. And that they don’t believe that it’s too late either. I often hear comments like: “so he just gets to decide whether it’s over and whether it’s too late? Do I not have any say in this?” Or “he says it’s too late for us, but I don’t believe that it is. If he’d actually try rather than just giving up, I believe that we could make it.”

This is indeed a very frustrating situation. It can feel quite infuriating when you know in your heart that something is true when you can’t convince him of the same. But, he does have a say and he apparently does believe that it’s over and that it’s too late. So where does this leave you? Well, although you can’t change someone’s mind by force, you can set up the situation so that this change is more likely to happen. I will discuss this more in the following article.

Do I Just Have To Accept It If My Husband Says It’s Too Late For Our Marriage?: This is one of the most common questions that I’m asked. No one wants to accept something that they themselves did not chose or don’t believe. With that said though, it’s important to understand that you can’t strong arm someone into changing their mind and expecting a positive long term resolution. This will often cause resentment and additional problems.

And, last ditch efforts that may feel necessary and sound can often backfire also. Arguing, trying to make him feel guilty, pleading, or playing games based upon negative emotions will often only throw more negativity on an already negative situation. You always have to be very aware of how your husband is perceiving the situation. If he only sees more of the same or, worse, changes that are insincere, then he’s not likely to change his mind.

And more than this, often when he sees that you’re trying to change his mind, he might be even more determined not to change it so he actually comes to believe his position even more. While I believe that you don’t have to just blindly accept that it’s too late for your marriage, I also think that it’s sometimes smart to not try to do everything all at once.

Some wives will accept nothing less than their husband proclaiming it’s not too late as early as tomorrow. And while this would be great, it’s not always realistic and if you push for it too early, you’ll often risk making the situation worse and making your job even more difficult.

Changing His Perceptions So That He Begins To Wonder If It’s Really Too Late?: I dialogue with men in this situation fairly regularly. Many of them have the perception that there’s nothing else that can be done because they feel that you’ve tried everything and yet nothing really changes significantly enough to make a real difference. Sure, there may have been some short term changes, but somehow, you always seem to revert back to old patterns and behaviors.

And at some point, many of these husbands realize that this isn’t how they want to live the rest of their lives. They hear you suggest counseling or working on your problems, but the thing is, they don’t believe that any of it is going to work. So, you’ll often have to show than rather than tell them that real change can happen without either of you having to make huge concessions that aren’t all that appealing.

Sometimes, I tell wives that instead of focusing so much on whether it’s too late or if he thinks that time is up, instead focus on how he’s perceiving you and the marriage. You’re often better off it you make small improvements over time rather than pressuring him to define his time frame.

When Does It Really Become Too Late For Your Marriage?: This, of course, is the central question and the answer is going to be individual for each couple. People often tell me that think it’s really over because he’s getting ready to move out or file for divorce. Or, they tell me that one spouse is so angry at the other. None of these things necessary mean it’s too late in my opinion. I believe that as long as there are some feelings (even if they are reading negative right now) then there’s always a change to turn things around.

I’ve seen couples who have actually been nearly or actually divorced decide that there was still time for them. To me, the biggest indicator that it’s really over is BOTH people being indifferent. In other words, they’re both at the point where there’s no anger, animosity or turmoil because both people are able to clearly see that despite their best efforts, they just couldn’t make it work.

This is rarely the scenario that I’m asked about though. Usually, the wife still is very invested in your marriage and into saving it. And in my opinion, as long as one person is still invested and is willing to try things to change those perceptions I talked about, there’s always a chance.

Mobile Cell Phone Review: The Best No Contract No Credit Check Cell Phone Plans

When comparing no contract and no credit check cell phone plans, it is easy to get bogged down because there are so many different variables to consider. Not only are there a few handfuls of different service providers to choose from, there is also a myriad of different wireless plans and cell phones to become familiar with before taking the plunge. When reviewing plans and phones, one should consider monthly rates, data packages, smartphone availability, customer reviews and service map coverage. There is a movement happening in the wireless market, and the big cell phone companies are not the benefactors.

There is a clear trend emerging in the wireless cell phone plan world, people are gravitating toward no contract plans more every day. These plans are able to offer the consumer significant savings over the big three of Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. Many people are moving toward these services to save big money and to have the piece of mind that they can switch their service when they see fit, instead of being locked into a 2 year contract. Take a look below to see 3 of the top prepaid, no contract, no credit check plans.

Here are some of the best no contract, no credit check plans to date:

1. Boost Mobile Android Month to Month Unlimited Plan – Boost offers a no contract wireless plan. With this plan, customers have the option to receive unlimited data, talk and text for around $55 per month. There are smartphones available for use with this wireless service, but they require the use of the android OS. The Samsung line of mobile cell phones work quite well with boost, which are among the top of the line phones. Boost has a decent service coverage map that will allow the use of high speed data networks in broad geographic areas.

2. Straight Talk Unlimited – Straight talk is another great no contract service that starts around $45 per month. This is an individual prepaid wireless plan that also offers unlimited data, talk, and text. One cool thing about straight talk is that you are allowed the luxury of bringing your own device to the service. If you have a sweet new iPhone 5, you can transfer your phone to this service. The coverage area is manageable, and the data networks are plentiful.

3. Flash Wireless – All Communications Networking (ACN) is the largest direct seller of telecommunication services in the world, and they have recently launched their version of a truly unlimited wireless service plan. With no contracts and no credit checks, Flash Wireless leases cell tower service from Verizon and Sprint in order to keep their rates competitive. Starting at $47 per month, customers can take advantage of extremely reliable and unlimited data, talk and text. This company is unique in that they offer customers an avenue to get paid for referring other people to the service, and they also offer a program that will allow customers to get their mobile cell phone service absolutely free!

As prepaid wireless plans continue to trend higher amongst consumers, there will undoubtedly be more and more competition entering the market, and we will surely see the prices plummet and the technology skyrocket. These top 3 wireless providers are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding a great no contract cell phone plan, and there will surely be many more players entering the game in the years to come. The best prepaid mobile cell phone plans are here, and they keep getting better.

Preparation For Traveling With Your Parrot And Other Pet Birds

Prior to traveling with your parrot it is a good idea to associate him/her with the container in which you use to travel with your bird, whether it be a kennel or travel cage. Don’t just shove him/her into it on the day of travel as this can cause quite a lot of stress and fear if you don’t get your bird acquainted with the container in advance. Every bird you own should be acquainted in this way in the event of travel due to a need to evacuate your home like for a hurricane or other natural disaster, you can never be to ready for.

Start by getting a kennel or small travel cage to contain your pet, preferably that can be secured in the vehicle by way of the seat belt or other means of securing it.

In advance take the time to associate your bird with the container by letting him/her explore it, put snacks in it and a toy to make it a positive experience that many parrots actually learn to enjoy and look forward too. The toy should be some what of a foot toy, easily picked up for play and not some large dangly thing that could cause harm or need you to untangle your bird from while traveling, think small but not so small that it can be swallowed, safety is the way to go for your bird and you. While driving you don’t want to be distracted obviously if your parrot becomes tangled up. Make sure a feed cup and water cup are secure in the container. When thinking about water as it can spill and than be gone it is often wiser to place some of your parrots favorite juicy pieces of fruit in it instead of water. This way he/she will not be without moisture for travel, also either bring some of your water from home in a container or bottled water to offer him/her if your travel a great distance and or upon reaching your destination. Bring extra food that the bird is accustom too, now is definitely not the time to introduce a new brand other than what he is use to and will readily consume.

If you plan on a destination such as a hotel or other lodging it is a good idea to bring a mini vacuum and other items to clean up after your parrot. They are much like traveling with children, can make a mess and have needs that you need to be prepared for. It is a good idea to find out in advance if your destination such as a hotel does indeed allow pets.

Other considerations are the fact that you are traveling in an air-conditioned vehicle does not insure that your pet will stay comfortable as direct sun and glare can easily come in through a window even with the window up and the airconditioner on. Just like for a baby it is a good idea to provide a nice shaded area in the vehicle for your bird. A shade screen can be purchased in advance as an item in most stores that carry things for babies and is a wise purchase indeed. As a panting parrot can not cool him/herself off like a cat or dog and even they should have these considerations when traveling with them also.

Another thing to have on hand is a birdie first aid kit that you can put together, it should consist of orange flavored Gatorade (for dehydration), Neosporin Ointment (safe even if eaten), Kwik Stop (for bleeding prevention), a towel (in the event you have to restrain him/her for any reason and or for comfort in a kennel), small scissors (in case he/she becomes tangled up in a thread from the towel or such), a small wire cutter is a good idea also (just in case). You can never be to prepared and usually if you have these items readily available the trip goes smoothly, it’s when you don’t have them and are not prepared for mishaps that they most often happen.

Having a safe trip is of course is always preferred and it can even be fun to take your parrot for a ride as he/she can learn it is enjoyable and always likes to be with you anyway. Many of ours look forward to going bye bye and even know which travel cage and or kennel is theirs.

Closing thoughts: Always clean up after your parrot if you stay at a hotel as the next person with a parrot will be a lot more excepted at a facility if you do. While on the road keep your parrot in his/her container so you are not distracted while driving. Keep it neat and safe for all!

The Advantages Of Using HVAC Filter Media As Your Air Conditioner Filter

About HVAC Filter Media

Air filters have but one common goal which is to maximize functionality of either the heating or air conditioning system, regardless of brands and types, while achieving distinctive indoor air quality.

These filters all help to make the heating or air conditioning system work efficiently, made possible by removing or avoiding accumulation of dust, dirt, and other tiny air particles. Air particles are captured in these air filters therefore clogging is reduced, if not avoided. Consequently, clogging may result for possible damage on the equipment, which can result to work inefficiently, time-consuming, or labor- and cost-intensive repairs.

Replacing or cleaning of filters is significantly emphasized. It is not surprising since having failed to do any of these tasks can result to losing of the equipment?s functional efficacy. HVAC filter media are available in various types depending on the medium used for production. These HVAC filter media include fiberglass filter media, polyester filter media, dog hair filter media, blue/green filter media, charcoal filter media, and others more. Although many are less expensive, most of these are not much efficient.

For instance, most of the designed induct filters specifically for home forced heating and air conditioning systems are completed from sloppily -spun fiberglass. Such filters happen to be come in a range of sizes and densities, are disposable, and less expensive. Unfortunately, filters that are less-dense may allow higher airflow but do not efficiently remove as much dust. In contrast, filters with higher density are able to take out further air particles may be more restraining with airflow. Higher dense filters also can be that instantly loaded with dust and other particles.

However, over time, production and design of these filters were improved making them more efficient requiring low maintenance even at an affordable price.

Some helpful tips

Since keeping the filters is crucial, following tips can be useful in maintaining your HVAC filter media.

* Make sure that relative humidity does not reach dewpoint in the ductwork, otherwise an environment conducive for molds and bacteria growth is created. Change immediately filters when they become wet as this also attracts for microbial growth. Also, replace filters at the sight of slight damage or major one.

* Do not allow dust to accumulate in this ductwork to avoid clogging. Having it unclogged by a technician can be time-consuming as it may require a lot of labor, and therefore, can cost you more from getting the repair or cleaning done.

* Make changing filters an easy task for everyone. You can do this by strategically placing labels that include essential information, especially the type of filters, pressure drop, and date changed. In this way you are making everyone aware resulting to a further strengthened maintenance.

Concluding, HVAC filter media has gone a long way in terms of benefits and improved functionalists. These filters have become more efficient and affordable requiring less amount of effort in maintaining. It doesn?t get any better than this.

Why Laboratory Refrigerators Are So Different From the Domestic Version

Many people think that a lab refrigerator is just a larger version of the domestic refrigerator. But there is more to a lab freezer than what a novice knows. Lab refrigerators are specifically designed to store critical materials over extended periods of time. The temperatures of these refrigerators is maintained and kept constant at all times so that the many specimens and samples that are kept in it can be preserved in a stable environment.

There are mainly two types of lab refrigerators. One is called the chest freezer and the other called the upright freezer. The main difference between the two is the footprint space that they take. The upright refrigerator, in comparison to the chest refrigerators, has a far smaller footprint without having to compromise on the storage capacity.

Chest refrigerators are also more effective in cooling and maintaining the temperatures by retaining the cool air in a more efficient manner than the upright refrigerator. These chest refrigerators also have the capacity of recovering and going back to the original regulated temperature even when the door of the freezer is kept open for longer durations. However, the biggest advantage that upright refrigerators have over chest refrigerators is that the samples kept in them are much easier to locate.

Laboratory refrigerators work most efficiently when the temperature of the room in which they are kept is also regulated and maintained. Very high temperatures hamper the performance of the refrigerator, and therefore it is best to keep them in rooms which have a temperature going up to a maximum of 45 degrees C. However, in high room temperatures the pressure on the freezer compressor is higher. Allowing proper air circulation is very important so that the refrigerators keep functioning well.

Cramming the room with too many refrigerators will increase the heat emission from the refrigerators and increase the overall temperature of the room thereby putting pressure on the compressor. Lab refrigerators cannot be auto defrosted because this cycle normally destroys the biological samples as this method thaws and then re freezes the samples.

Laboratory refrigerators are designed bearing in mind that a number of volatile or flammable objects will be stored in them. At times specially designed refrigerators are used just for the purpose of storing these samples. Such refrigerators are CFC free, have compressors that are thematically sealed and have an insulation that is foamed in place. The design of these refrigerators also allows them to tolerate explosions.

Another very important aspect of the lab fridge is the alarm system. Most laboratory refrigerator manufacturing companies install an alarm in the refrigerator that is programmed to go off the moment there is a change in the temperature or if the door to the freezer has been left open. A number of refrigerators are also being manufactured with alarm systems, password protection and temperature graphs that allow 24X7 monitoring. Since the advent of the computer fridges can be specially designed keeping in mind its functionality and requirements, making life in the lab a whole lot easier.

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett Has an Expansive Storyline

Ken Follett has always been well renowned for his well researched and meticulously written books such as Pillars of the Earth and World Without End, therefore the appearance of Fall of Giants and the expansiveness of its story does not come as a surprise to the readers. Fall of Giants is just the first part of the trilogy called The Century and it will cover the story of three families in the 20th century. The author Ken Follett says the historical sweep of the trilogy would be similar to that of Pillars of the Earth and World Without End. With his books, Ken Follett has changed the perspective of the readers about the buildings. The readers have started appreciating buildings and architecture more after reading Pillars.

Hard Work behind Every Book

Ken Follett undertakes elaborate research to write any book, and Fall of Giants or Pillars of the Earth were no different. For example, World without End took him three years, with the first year completely spent on researching only. The story was also planned during the first year itself. In fact, many story ideas came from the actual events that took place at those places. During the research process he makes brief notes, and the notes are converted into vivid and powerful scenes during the actual writing process.

Fascinated With Second World War

One of the main characteristic of many of his books is that they are based around World War II, though numerous other writers also get drawn to that era. According to Ken Follett, the World War II was the most dramatic period in the human history. More people were killed or displaced than ever, and contrary to the World War I, this war was believed to be between the good and evil. Ken Follett also notices most of the time Hollywood movies are more about loners such as James Bond and Bourne, and since his books instead have more to do with families, may be his stories are not so interesting to Hollywood executives.

Time Lag between Two Books

Readers also noticed there was considerable time lag between the Pillars of the Earth and World without End. Ken Follett needed some time to figure out what kind of plot would go into the sequel of Pillars of the Earth. He could not continue the story with the same characters because all the main characters in Pillars of the Earth had grown old or were dead. That’s why he decided to write anther novel about the same place. Finally he thought of Black Death as the theme, which was a horrible plague in which more than one third of the population of Europe was killed. Another point that concerned him was that he didn’t want to disappoint his readers who expected something as grand as Pillars of the Earth from him.

Micropile 101 – How Do Micropiles Work?

Cracks and settlement are facts of life when it comes to construction using concrete foundations. There have been many methods of repairing structures once they have settled, including helical piles, push piers and Micropiles. Each has it’s own uniqueness and applications where they should or should not be used. Helical piles are a simple and cost effective solutions to light weight structural repairs. Push piers are great for lifting heavy structures in a cost effective manner. Now, Micropiles are growing in popularity for reducing the effects of settlement in new and existing structures.

There are many names for Micropiles – minipiles, pin piles and root piles being the most common. These piles are rotary drilled and grout reinforced small diameter piles which can be installed to depths of 200 feet and through very dense layers of soil and rock. Unlike helical piles or push piers, Micropiles are unaffected by cobbles and trash in the soil. Their sacrificial bit is designed to drill through these tough soils and embed themselves in load bearing rock layers, while maintaining a grout column around a structural steel member in the center of the column.

Like helical piles and push piers, Micropiles can be installed in limited access areas with relatively small equipment. This maneuverability makes them ideally suited for foundation repair applications. Portable equipment has been developed to allow for access to basements and other low overhead applications where soils or access is limiting to other more conventional methods of foundation repair.

The process of installing Micropiles begins with drilling into bedrock using a specialized drilling rig. Soil cuttings are expelled with air, water or grout followed by grouting the column that has been created by the sacrificial carbide bit and threaded rod. The Micropile tops are cut to elevation and a sleeve is inserted to adapt to the underpinning bracket system. Load testing can be easily performed on production piles or test piles near the proposed locations.

Micropiles and their inherent advantages have grown in popularity and acceptance by contractors and engineers alike over the past several years. With the advancements in drilling equipment and underpinning brackets, Micropiles are sure to become more popular in the foundation repair industry. For more information about foundation repair visit a site like