Hot and Cold Shoes

The camera accessory shoe was an invention of Leica, way back at the beginning of the 20th century (in about 1910). Its purpose was to provide a mounting point for anything that needed to be temporarily attached to a camera. Initially, this would have been an aerial viewfinder for cameras with interchangeable lenses, a rangefinder, or maybe a light meter.

The camera accessory shoe started-out as a small flat metal bracket, where two opposite sides are folded at 90 degrees, and then folded over again to provide a pair of parallel channels: a sort of open-ended slot. Camera accessories had a similarly sized flat plate, or "foot" (as in a foot fits into a shoe), that inserted into this slot, and so connected the two items. By the 1950s (or possibly earlier), most cameras had an accessory shoe.

Some shoes had the modest refinements of small leaf springs in the channels – to grip anything inserted, and a tiny pillar at the front opening – to prevent items from sliding in one side and out the other. Alternately, designers partly inset the accessory shoe into the camera body to achieve a one-way entry.

While an accessory shoe is typically located on the top of the camera body today, in the past many models have incorporated it in a variety of different locations (eg on the base plate, or side of the camera, etc.).

In 1938, the American-made Univex Mercury CC was the first camera to have an accessory shoe specifically for flash: indeed it had two accessory shoes, one of which was for flashbulbs. Although not its original purpose (and nothing to do with the Mercury's innovation), over time the accessory shoe became primarily used for the connection of a flash unit, as integral light meters and rangefinders bigger more common.

Traditionally, flash units had been "connected" (as opposed to mounted) to the camera via a PC terminal (where PC comes from "Prontor-Compur") by means of a cable. By about 1960, the PC socket was almost universal, and most cameras had one. A switch inside the camera closes a circuit between the two conductors of the PC connector just as the shutter opens, which then fires the flash at the right moment.

This change in the use of the accessory shoe sparked the incorporation of an electrical contact – within the shoe – for flash synchronization. In effect, the PC socket was moved to the shoe, which dispensed with the need for a cable. The new "wired" shoe became known as a "hot shoe", and the old unwired shoes were retrosively renamed as cold shoes. There does not appear to be any recorded claim of the first camera with a hot shoe (other than the out-there Mercury), but they were certainly around in the 1950s (the Argus C4 of 1952 had one), and started appearing more routinely In the mid 1960s (for example, the 1965 Canonet QL 19E and the 1966 Minolta Hi-matic 7s both had one).

Hot shoes took a long time to become a standard feature, and new camera models with cold shoes were still being brought to market in the mid 1970s. Indeed, some camera designs made the accessory shoe a removable and optional extra (and inherently "cold"), such as the 1971 Fujica ST701 and the 1973 Pentax SP1000.

In 1977, the common dimensions of an accessory shoe were agreed and rated by the International Organization for Standardization as ISO 518: 1977 (although this specification was superseded in 2006). This standard stipulated the dimensions of a shoe, and specified that these could be changed when the shoe was provided with springs or other means for holding the accessory foot tightly, or maintaining a good electrical contact (provided interchange ability and functions were not affected). By 1977 the hot shoe's function as an electrical contact had been commemorated as a standard.

The hot shoe design, along with other photographic product innovations, changed rapidly through the early 1980s and became ever more sophisticated. It sprouted additional electrical contacts to provide greater information exchange between cameras and flash units. While some manufacturers conformed to the latest ISO standards, other did not, and hot shoe systems diverged.

Today, a dedicated flash can exchange a wealth of information with the camera, and perform a host of functions (such as provision of a focus-assist light). The most fashionable hot shoe available designs 24 different electrical pins. "Dedicated" has become a key word – because differences abound.

Aside from all the electronic advances, the accessory shoe has not lost touch with its beginnings. It can and is still used to fasten microphones, tripod bushes, spirit levels, multiple shoe brackets, plus anything else that traditionally attached to a camera. It's come a long way, and at the same time, it has not!

Wishing for a 2005 Christmas or Am I?

I woke up this morning and checked Facebook like I do every morning. I had a newsfeed filled with Christmas trees, talk of grocery shopping for the big dinner, Latkes recipes and parents sitting on couches with little children in front of their Christmas trees drinking hot chocolate waiting on the big guy. Families are traveling from near and far to be with other family members. I rolled over and looked at my husband, who had already been up for hours working, and I wished it was 2005. I was missing the idea of both my husband and me having a few days off, no work, no emails, no spreadsheets. My two little chickens off of school, no homework, no projects. The only to do list that existed was a list of everyone’s favorite cookies, a gingerbread house in pieces on the counter, just waiting to be put together and a large pot of sauce on the stove. The smell of Christmas wafting all through the house dancing with Amy Grant’s Tennessee Christmas.

Instead, I’m in New York City, in a warehouse in the West Village, with The Rolling Stones Satisfaction on stun playing on a never-ending loop fit only for torture. I’m in New York City, arguably the most Christmasy town around. I have not ventured to see the tree, I have not gone to Radio City Music Hall to see the Nutcracker, I have not gotten a bouche de noel. The only Christmas lights I have seen are in the breakroom where I meet with my staff for 15 minutes every morning. I have to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There will be no big pot of sauce on the stove because I’m living in a hotel. There will be no cookies baking in the oven, and there will be no gingerbread house. There will be no leaving cookies out for Santa and a carrot for Rudolph, but to be honest, Santa and Rudolph have long since taken my house off their list of stops.

I miss the nostalgic Norman Rockwell Christmas that I remember from when I was little. I miss the Christmas mornings when my chickens were little and the look on their faces when they saw that Santa had eaten their cookies, drank the milk and the note Rudolph left for cookies next year instead of that lousy carrot.

My Christmas’s have certainly changed over the years, as they do when chickens grow up and move out of your nest and start building their own. So when I rolled over this morning and saw my husband working away, I looked out the window of the 20th floor of our hotel, and I came to a realization. I might not have the smell of Christmas cookies or the Christmas sounds of Amy Grant, but I have a good job. I have a job that lets me work every day with my husband and Christmas morning I get to wake up next to him, not alone. I’m working in a city 2 hours from where I use to live in Pennsylvania and am lucky that a few friends have made the trek into the city to give me a hug. I have made new friends and thanks to technology I can keep up with old friends. I can log onto Facebook and get my fill of nostalgia through them, and it warms my heart. I can facetime with my chickens, and I know that they are spending Christmas surrounded by love, Christmas music, cookies, and sauce.

By the time I arrived to work this morning, I had realized that I still have Christmas; it’s just a different version of Christmas. I’m surrounded by love, warmth, and the occasional Christmas lights. I also don’t have to deal with that chore I hated the most, tearing down the Christmas tree, taking down the lights and washing all those dishes.

So from me to yours, I hope your days are filled with lots of love and an abundance of cookies. The opportunity to reflect however you choose and a sense of peace. I hope all your chickens come home to roost or you at least get to facetime with them for a minute.

See you in 2017.

*Yes that is my gingerbread house*

Kitchen Units – Types and Uses

We all take for granted the work it takes to design and construct a kitchen, as we expect everything to just fit into the space. It actually takes hours of design work to make sure you are getting the best use of your space as we all know how limited floor space is especially in a smaller home. When designing a new kitchen, the main thing that is going to take up space will be your kitchen units, as they will be holding loose object so you aren’t left with a cluttered mess with your new kitchen. These will also contain your appliances as well if you choose to go for a built in kitchen if you desire the sleek flush aesthetic a built in kitchen can give you.

When considering your kitchen design, the main thing you want is to not have any wasted space. You also can’t have too many units crammed into one space as this is going to cause walkway issues, as well as obstructing units that might block each other when they are open. You might think this process of designing might leave gaps in-between cabinets but there are smaller cabinets that can be installed that ensure you get the maximum use of the space.

Below we go through the different units you are going to consider when designing your kitchen.

Single and Double Kitchen Wall Units

The majority of your kitchen units are going to be your single and double wall units as these are going to make up the general units of your kitchen. Single and double units mean just that, singles having one door and doubles have two, giving you more space and a different aesthetic as you are going to have two handles in the middle rather than just on one side.

Kitchen Units Top Boxes

Top boxes can be described as one of the filler units we mentioned earlier, as they are often used above induction hoods to fill the space so you are still getting more storage space than you would without it. This can also complete the join between two units which you usually have since the cooker hoods are always in-between two units to stop any fire hazards against a wall. The size of the top box will depend on the size of the space left above the hood, as it the height of the cooker hood will dictate the size of the box you need.

End Of Kitchen Run Units

End of kitchen units are used for just that, the end of an island or aisle of units if you don’t want an abrupt end to your units. These can be tailored to your liking as you can have a mix of designs, either having a door or even a pull out unit for storage. You could also opt for curved shelving on the end of the units but a corner unit is most recommended for the aesthetic values it brings to your kitchen. This again can also act a “filler” unit as you may not be able to fit another normal sized single or double unit so you can opt for a smaller corner unit which is going to hit two tick boxes in one, making extra storage space where there wouldn’t be, and giving your kitchen a more refined look.

Corner Angled and Curved Kitchen Units

Corner and angled units are great if you want to introduce something new to your kitchen. These will give you some functionality in the form of more storage as well as some interesting mechanism that make corner units open. There are a variety of options you can go for, including inward corner doors, sliding doors or your traditional curved doors for your corner units.

Straight Corner Wall Kitchen Units

Straight corner wall units are meant for the meeting of two aisles of units that leave a corner open. If this is the case in your kitchen then you’ll be able to make use of this unit, giving you more value as well as an interesting aesthetic. This unit will be a bi fold door or a single door opening either direction.

Bi-Folding Wall Kitchen Units

Bi-folding wall units are something you might want to consider if you want something a bit different as these work like garage doors where the door lifts up to reveal the compartment inside. There are also horizontal folding doors, which can give your kitchen great visuals as these can be made of mostly glass.

Open and Microwave Wall Kitchen Units

Whilst units with doors are the norm, you can find some units that are open. If used sparingly it can create a nice aesthetically pleasing kitchen as it can create nice accent units that you can use effectively as some open space can be nice in the right layout. Being creative with these units are the best tip as you could place a nice display piece in the unit like some decorative plates, perhaps a plant or two to act as an accent feature in the kitchen space.

Full Height Pull Out Kitchen Units

Full height units are great if you really want to add a touch of futuristic influence in your design. These units run from the ceiling to the floor give or take a few centimetres for ground clearance and pull out towards you, giving you a side access style of unit that can also be used as a rack for spices, wine and anything else you can put in there. This really does alter the appearance of your kitchen, but some special work may be required to make your space compatible with the styling and overall design of your kitchen, so please speak to a kitchen designer for further advice.

Cactus Diet Plan

Who wants to eat a cactus? Just about everyone in the world wants this particular cactus. You may not have heard about the Cactus diet but most people have heard about Hoodia.

The basis of the Cactus diet is a substance called Hoodia. Several diet pills on the market claim to contain the substance. Hoodia is the name of a rather ugly cactus that grows in the Kalahari region of Africa. The Bushmen that live there use the Hoodia cactus, specifically Hoodia Gordonii, to keep them from getting hungry on long hunting trips.

The native tribes eat the plant and can survive for days on little or nothing to eat while they search for food. The Hoodia cactus suppresses their desire to eat. It fools the brain into thinking that they are already full.

The discovery of this plant sent pharmaceutical companies after the secret to stopping the obsesity epidemic. Taking Hoodia is supposed to suppress the appetite and therefore lead to weight loss. When hunger does start to kick in, Hoodia users can eat healthy foods to fuel the body.

Taking Hoodia and following an exercise plan leads to weight loss according to those who swear by the substance. Natural Hoodia has no side effects and can affect the appetite after the first pieces are eaten. Pharmaceutical companies are trying to synthesize Hoodia for market to the rest of the world.

The cactus diet plan is still not perfected. The Cactus diet involves taking supplements that contain Hoodia. There are many types of Hoodia and you may be buying a pill that claims to suppress the appetite but may not. The amount of Hoodia may not be enough to cause the same effects that the Bushmen experience from eating the actual plant. Since this plant has not been found outside of this desert-like region of Africa, to follow the Cactus diet plan, people have to rely on commercial pills that make boastful claims about their product having the same effects as the original Hoodia plant.

According to the Hoodia tale, the substance is hard to reproduce with the same efficiency. Those who buy products that contain Hoodia should beware. We all know what they say about something that looks so good to be true. Until further notice, watch what you eat and exercise regularly to lose weight. Set aside the gimmicks.

Audio Recording Computers: How Much Power Do You Need?

So, How Powerful Should My Recording Computer Be?

Well, this depends very much on your needs. I started out in 2001 with a Pentium 3 550Mhz computer running Windows 98. Compared to my modern computer (which is still fairly modest) that computer was like something from the Flinstone's with a little bird running on a treadmill to power it.

What Are Your Needs?

The power of your computer requirements for your recording computer are directly dependent on what you intend to do with it. Are you recording mostly live rock bands? Are you planning producing solo artists using samples to replace the entire band? How much of your work revolves around using VST Instruments?

For well over four years I recorded using Sonic Foundry Vegas 3.0. I used it like a tape machine with a little better editing features. I did not have much reason to switch. I was recording mostly rock and metal bands all in house. I was really quite pleased with Vegas. I could do pretty much everything I wanted to do. It turned out that Vegas was very efficient and never really maxed my computer out. Playing back high track counts in Vegas put most of the load on the hard drive and not so much on the CPU or RAM. I had several mixes that had well over 60 tracks. Vegas had no trouble with those.

I decided that I wanted to get back into midi again. I wanted to take advantage of the powers of samples, VST instruments, and the tremendous editing powers of midi sequencing. I switched to Cubase SX3. Now that I realize just how powerful Cubase SX3 is for a producer (I'm not just engineering anymore), I'm totally blown away. There is no going back to Vegas for me anymore. (Of course, I hear now that the latest version of Vegas has a sequencer, but I've never used it).

Cubase SX3 uses WAY MORE CPU power. WAY MORE! Every track I add, uses a little more CPU power. Most of this has to do with the remarkable direct monitoring capabilities that Steinberg's Cubase SX3 utilizes. It's very common for Cubase SX3 to run out of power and essentially lock up if I'm expecting too much from Cubase with a latency set super low. Cranking up the latency pulls the CPU load down drastically and then I find Cubase SX3 to be very reliable ..

Sonic Foundry Vegas was extremely RAM friendly. I could open up 5 finished mixes at the same time and I probably would not even use 300 MB of RAM. Cubase SX3 is the exact opposite. It uses RAM like I go through coffee on a late night session. When I start firing up samples such as Toontrack's DFH Superior (amazing drum samples), it's clear that I need as much RAM as I can cram into my recording computer. One instance of DFH can provide you with the most natural sounding drums on the planet, but it can also use up 2GB of RAM without thinking about it. OUCH !! Luckily they have a "light" mode which I use when tracking and arranging. When the track is done, I convert the drums to wav files and they become much more computer friendly.

So if you are using samples, you had better 2GB of RAM. Not all applications are as taxing as DFH Superior, but in general samples like to chew through the RAM without a conscience. So if you are producing songs for other people using s multitrack recorder / midi sequencer like Cubase SX3 or Sonar, you should get the most powerful computer you can afford. It will save you time, effort, and a few headaches. This means get the fastest processor you can afford and the most RAM your machine will hold. (Note: There is a point of diminishing return in Windows XP where adding more RAM does not seam to do much good. Generally, 2 GB is considered right by today's standards). You will also want to check out the dual core processors that are out there now.

Powerful Computers Do not Always Mean Better Recordings

There are many factors that make a recording great. A talented artist who happens to deliver a tremendous performance of a great song is what makes a recording great. There is no direct correlation between Ghz and goosebumps. (I consider goosebumps to be the ultimate musical accomplishment. If I get goosebumps, the song is amazing!) Having a more powerful computer means you can render a mixdown a little quicker. A faster computer means you can use more effects or effects that put higher CPU load. However, just keep in mind that it's much more important to work with better artists and better songs.

The computer is just a tool. Just because a carpenter uses a drill that operates at a higher voltage does not mean its construction is going to be any better than the next guy. It just means his drill has operates at a higher voltage. It's important to realize that the computer is just a tool that you use to make recordings. It, in and of itself, has no direect artistic value.

I was attending a funeral a few months ago. One of the very first songs I had ever recorded in my life happened to be played. The power of that song was mind blowing! The entire crowd burst into tears with that one. This song was done on my Pentium 3 550Mhz computer years ago. I wish I could capture that kind of emotion and energy now with my Athlon 64 2800 !!!

Latency, Monitoring, and CPU Power.

I've noticed in Cubase that it's CPU load is directly related to the latency I've set in my M-Audio control panel. With latency on the fastest setting, Cubase SX3 will get tired pretty quickly. However, when I pump the latency up to 384ms, I find that I have much, much more CPU power left.

The only reason I would keep the latency turned down super low would be due to direct monitoring within Cubase. If I was to use an external mixer and split the recorded signal off before it even ran into my soundcard, I would be able to keep the latency set much higher, and therefor reduce my CPU load tremendously.

Conclusion

Most of the top home recording programs with the most intense features typically use the most CPU power and RAM. If you recording methods require fewer features than a program such as Sony Vegas will perform extremely well with a moderate amount of CPU power.

Titanfall Review

Microsoft has to be feeling a little bit nervous right now. The Xbox One is absolutely getting decimated by Sony’s PlayStation 4. In order to stay in the console race with the new generation, Microsoft needs a killer app, or another Halo-like hit. It seems they’ve hit gold with Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall. After playing the retail version obsessively, I can confidently pronounce Titanfall as one of my all-time favorite games.

The first thing you need to know about Titanfall is that there isn’t an offline single player campaign. This is a shame because a world this rich could really benefit from a 6-10 hour immersive experience. What you get with Titanfall is an online only campaign. Basically, you control either the rebel Militia or the Star Wars Empire-like IMC. There are quite a few missions to smash, shoot and vault yourself through. Often there was so much action on screen that it was hard to listen to plot-building dialogue.

Truthfully, I was having so much fun playing the game as a multiplayer shooter that I hardly paid attention anyway. That’s the thing with Titanfall: it combines so many different experiences into one package. If I could compare it to other franchises, I would say it’s a masterful blend of Mechassault, Tribes, Halo, and of course, Call of Duty. It’s a welcome change of pace to have a shooter that isn’t part of the overly cliche military set. Everything just feels right.

When you finally get your boots on the ground, you’ll find a war-torn environment to vault through. That’s why this game reminds me so much of the classic PC game, Tribes. It’s all about movement on the battlefield. Your character is equipped with a jump pack, making him/her a gleefully nimble future soldier. It’s momentum-paced and a talented player could easily traverse the map without letting their feet touch the ground. Titanfall‘s soldiers are like Master Chief with a case of Red Bull injected into his blood stream.

Besides all the jumping around, you of course have the massive mechs called Titans. You earn these massive metal machines by either waiting for the timer to finish building them, or you can shave precious seconds off of the time meter by playing the objectives or killing other soldiers. No matter how skilled you are, you’re going to be able to call these mammoths down before the end of the match. Near the end of the match, you’ll no doubt see numerous Titans battling it out in the field. To say it is thrilling would be underselling the point.

There are three distinctive Titans you can play around with in Titanfall. You have speedy Strider, who’s all about guerrilla like ambushes; the slower Ogre who has a massive pool of health; and Atlas, the best of both worlds. When you start the game for the first time, you’ll only have access to customizing the Atlas but as you finish both sides of the campaign you’ll be able to unlock the other two. It’s a carrot on a stick but when the game is this fun, who cares?

With all the jumping and mech calling you might be wondering about the actual core gameplay: the shooting. Well, you can rest easy- Titanfall has some of the most satisfying gun gameplay ever to be released on PC or on consoles. Whether it’s from the satisfying snap of the two sniper rifles you can unlock, or the shredding capabilities of the shotgun, you’ll feel right at home with these weapons. All of the Pilots have access to anti-Titan weapons as well, so you never feel completely helpless when one of the lumbering iron giants finds its way to you.

With my extensive time with the game, the only thing I was disappointed with was the lack of gameplay modes. I only really seemed to play Attrition and Hard Point, which are essentially Team Deathmatch and Domination from Call of Duty. The other modes are fun but they grew tiring after awhile. Hopefully Respawn Entertainment keeps updating the playlists so we can have a nice change of pace.

Another minor complaint I had with Titanfall was the weapon unlocks. You really only get three very limited scopes and the rest of the attachments are the standard silencers and extended magazines. For a game that’s bursting with creativity, I was hoping for something just a bit more inspired. Also, the customization of the appearance of your Pilot and your weapon is practically nonexistent. Hopefully this will be improved in the sequel.

I want to address one of the biggest concerns people had when they heard about Titanfall: the addition of bots in the multiplayer. The AI never seemed to get in the way and just added more variety and things to shoot at. You can even use them as a viable distraction against other human players as well. Overall, they enhance the gameplay.

Titanfall is one of those rare games that gamers absolutely have to get their hands on. Despite the limited campaign, and customization options, Titanfall‘s other features easily make up for these minuscule shortcomings. I can’t recommend this game enough and truthfully, I feel like this title is enough to warrant a purchase of Microsoft’s new console. Do yourself a favor and experience what’s sure to be one of the best games of the year.

The Inventor of The Outhouse

Defecation was said to be an arbitrary act during the ancient times. Speaking of who invented the outhouse, it began with the fact that feces are excreted anywhere they like, often seen in the forest. Nevertheless, when the realization of privacy hit the minds of most individuals, they began doing it in isolation, such as caves or any close-up areas. Perhaps these are the crudest forms of outhouse, similar to the time when man learned about dressing up.

However, in time, due to the difficult availability of latrine caves, human evolved to digging holes and refilling them with soil for reuse by others. When the hole achieved its maximum usage, they dug another hole and continued the process. Outhouse inventor initially kicked off when humans began living in constructed shelters like wood and stone instead of loitering around. Community ideation propagated and caves no longer served for human defecation’s. That was when men were inspired of having a special space for their private affairs.

It was said that the man who invented the outhouse originated from China as proven by the initial record of the water closet system. As early as 206 B.C., the stone toilet bowl combined with a water system was witnessed there. Therefore, people got to the conclusion that it could likely be a Chinese who came up with the construction of latrine. Outhouses have also been seen in Europe, probably some 500 years ago. In fact, it has also been rumored that a European was the first to invent the outhouse.

It is never easy to pinpoint an exact man as the outhouse inventor but it is certainly a wonder why outhouse was used instead of any other terms. This is because defecation was named an unhygienic affair hence they roofed a special cubicle away from their houses, possibly about seven feet tall and three by five feet in space. It is a closed cubicle with no windows and there lies a hole on the center of the floor to catch waste. Inside the hole was a tin bowl that should be replaced every morning. As such, the figurative name “outhouse” came to be applied.

What is SmartLipo?

No matter how carefully you watch what you eat or how active you are, many of us have those fat bits that just won’t go away, no matter how much you try by diet and exercise. It might be your back, Abdomen, back, Chin, cheek, backs of arms or hips. The solution is Laser Liposuction, using Smart Lipo Technique.

Lipo Laser( Liposmart or Laser Lipolysis) is an revolutionary technique for removal of excess fat from areas of the body that are resistant to dieting and exercise. SmartLipo technology is based on selelctive interaction of SmartLipo laser with adipocytes. Smart Lipo laser melts the fat cells leaving the god healthy cells intact. Fat cells are ransformed into oliy emulsion which is then absorbed and eliminated by body’s natural metabolism.

Smart Lipo is suitable for both Men and Women.

SmartLipo treament is Safe, Permanent, minimal bruising minimal blood loss and no downtime.

SmartLipo / Laser Lipolysis – The New Generation Technique

The main application of the SmartLipo laser system is a laser-assisted liposculpture treatment with a totally revolutionary concept. SmartLipo / Laser lipolysis is an innovative technique designed especially for removing excess fatty tissue thanks to the selective interaction of the laser beam with the adipocytes. This results in the disintegration of the membranes of the lipocytes and the elimination of their contents. SmartLipo is ideal for medical professionals who carry out adiposity therapy with liposuction, liposculpture, and tumescent liposculpture, and who wish to extend their therapeutic offer.

SmartLipo /Laser Lypolysis offers the chance to carry out minimally invasive liposculpture treatments (the cannulas have a diameter of only 1mm), in a decidedly less traumatic manner compared to traditional techniques.

SmartLipo – Technical Data

SmartLipo is a pulsed 1.064 nm Nd:YAG system with very special and specific features:

o Ultra short pulses (one ten-thousandth of a second)

o Extremely high peak powers (up to 1,500 watts).

o The positioning of the cannula is highlighted via trans-illumination from a red guiding beam

SmartLipo / Laser Lypolysis – A Superior Technique

The SmartLipo Nd:YAG laser system is the expression of a new concept that combines all the new generation laser technology with the advantages of compactness and reliability. SmartLipo possesses the outstanding features necessary for exalting its operating performance. This is a laser system that can reach extremely high powers for very brief periods, even several millionths of a second, plus it has electronic control of the emitted power and the laser pulses.

These features also mean that the laser emission can be considered as minimally thermal due to the energy being concentrated in very brief pulses. The tissue treated with the laser beams is able to cool thanks to the fact that the pulse wavelength only represents a tiny percentage of the time elapsing between two consecutive pulses. This highlights the technical capacity of the SamrtLipo system which is able to deliver powerful and instantaneous pulses. SmartLipo also ensures energy savings and greater user-friendliness in managing the operating parameters, while in their simplicity and anatomical design, the handpieces and tips allow for carrying out safe and effective treatments.

SmartLipo / Laser Lypolysis – Efficacy

SmartLipo / Laser Lypolysis represents the new standard in liposculpture. Its technique uses the high peak power of the laser emission to rupture the membrane of the adipocytes. The effect is not only thermal but also thermomechanical, and the rapid and elevated absorption by the adipocytic membrane allows for creating an opening in the membrane itself with the spilling out of the cellular contents. This results in the production of an oily, low-viscosity aggregate which facilitates body modeling.The laser light is conveyed through micro-cannulas (with a diameter of one millimetre) into which an optical fibre of only 300 micrometers is inserted. SamrtLipo / Laser Lypolysis can also be associated with the tumescent technique as the special Nd:YAG laser system radiation at 1,064 nm is not absorbed by this type of solution.

In short, SamrtLipo / Laser Lypolysis is efficacious, minimally invasive, and haemostatic at the same time, ensuring rapid recovery times and reduced constrictive bandaging. The operation can also be performed in the doctor’s rooms.

This is an additional incentive for patients who are not willing to consider day-hospital and would never set foot inside an operating theatre.

SmartLipo / LaserLypolysis – Ergonomics

SamrtLipo / Laser Lypolysis opens new horizons in the treatment of districtual adiposity, doing away with large-section cannulas, and instead using a simple handpiece supporting a micro-cannula with an optical fibre inside that conducts the laser beam emitted by the SmartLipo system. parameter adjustments are simple and immediate thanks to the LCD, and the intuitive, user-friendly software. Simple concepts and simple applications for a far superior and more effective technique.

Smart Lipo : SmartLipo Procedure

Smart Lipo treatment is carried out in a sterile environment. The areas to be treated are marked with a special pencil, and lines are traced outwards from one single point in which the local anaesthetic is injected.

In order to facilitate the insertion of the cannula, a small incision must be made with a micro-scalpel. The optical fibre of the laser is inserted into the incision. The actual treatment begins by slowly moving forwards lengthwise following the lines traced on the skin and constantly maintaining the same speed of movement.

SmartLipo – Cost

SmartLipo cost is based on the number of areas of the body to be treated. Typical cost ranges from £2000 to £4500 for one Area of treatment to 3 Area of treatment. For multiple area of treatment, you have to talk to your doctor during initial consultation. Both outer thighs are treated as one where as upper abdomen and lower abdomen are treated as two separate areas.

Outdoor Lamps – Bringing the Inside Out?

Whatever form of outdoor lamps you decide on, they can add the finishing touches to your outdoor entertaining area or patio. The lighting you choose adds so much to the feel of the area once the sun starts to do down. There are lots of options for lighting your patio from candles to outdoor solar lamps. Whatever kind of lighting you choose be sure to check at all the alternatives first.

Any kind of lighting that can be used inside can also be used outside these days. Table lamps have been modified for exterior use. A lamp for outside can also be a candle lantern, outdoor hurricane lamps or outdoor solar lamps. Lighting can also consist of outdoor lamp posts which can be a strong yard feature as well as provide useful lighting in the dark.

Outdoor Table Lamps

This is an ordinary table lamp design made in weather resistant materials. The base has been weighted for stability; the shade material is designed to withstand the sun and rain as well as mold or mildew. The power cord is grounded to make it safe to use outside. You can have the elegance of your interior lighting outside.

Outdoor Floor Lamps

An outdoor floor lamp can be chosen to match with the table lamp if so desired and this will make a strong theme to the outdoor area. Outdoor floor lighting needs to have weighted bases to be able to withstand any windy weather conditions. They also need to have long grounded power leads. Shades will also be constructed of weather resistant materials and be washable.

Outdoor Solar Lamps

A solar lamp requires no planning, no cabling and no fuss. It can be placed wherever you choose (as long as it gets enough sun!) Solar is growing in popularity and the cost is not as much as you might think.

Outdoor Heat Lamps

These are often called patio heaters and provide heat as well as light to the outdoor area. These heaters are usually fueled by propane or gas, which provides a glow when lighted. The light from these heaters can be impressive in its own right as well as giving off heat when the sun goes down.

Roof Repair Contractors

Gone are the days when getting a damaged roof repaired was a Herculean task, and was sure to give people many a sleep less night. These days however, instead of having to worry about getting the roof repaired, most people find themselves spending many a sleep less night finding the 'right roof repair contractor' for doing the job.

Now, one may wonder, what makes appointing a roof repair contractor such a serious job. Well the answer is simple. Each roof repair contractor has his own skill and style of repairing the roof that sets him apart from the rest. In fact you may say that the number of choices you have while selecting a roof repair contractor, are as varied as the number of choices you have while selecting a roof for you house. Also, since your choice depends much on the nature of the roof that you need to get repaired, selecting an ideal roof repair contractor for yourself can be a Herculean task.

This is particularly true if you need to get your roof repaired immediately. If the damage caused to the roof is an extreme one, for instance a leak, and you wish to get it repaired as soon as possible, then you may have a rather tough time getting your roof repaired. However, in case your roof is not very seriously damaged, you can afford to spend some time doing your research and checking on the potential contractors.

In case your roof needs to be repaired immediately, you better be prepared to find your roof repair contractor charging you a premium for the job. This is understandable, because just like getting any job done quickly, even getting a roof repaired quickly is sure to cost you more. Therefore, it is essential for you to weigh all the pros and cons before hand, and judge carefully if you need to get your roof repaired at an urgent notice, or if you can do without one. Managing your demands with your contractor's schedule can often reduce your costs.

When you are looking for a roof repair contractor, try to find yourself one who has enough experience working with the same material as the material used in the roof that you wish to get repaired. This is because different kinds of roofing material need to be repaired and deal with differently. In fact it is not uncommon to see a roof repair contractors refusing to repair a particular kind of roof, because he is used to repairing a particular type of roof only. For instance, for a roof repair contractor who deals with the repairing of roofs of composite shingles, repairing a roof of tiles or wood shingles can be quite difficult a task. We must remember that different kinds of roofing materials need to be deal with differently, and they often require different adhesives or in fact even a different variety of tools when they are to be installed or repaired.

However, there are times when people find it difficult to get roof repair contractors who could work as per the desired schedule, within a given time span. For example, in case there has been a storm storm or any such weather condition in a particular area that is capable of destroying the roofs of a number of houses, then the excessive demand for roof repair contractors at the same time, make finding a roof Repair contractor difficult for a while. In such situations, it is advisable that you request the contractor to take out some time, and at least install tarps, or any make any such temporary repair so as to stop the leakage problems etc for a while while they are free to make do the Permanent repair job.

Amazingly Simple Home Office Design

When it comes down to it, we all work from home. Whether it is the place where you earn a living or where you keep your life in order, you need space for the computer, paperwork and a few paper clips. Otherwise it is a constant game of Where did that bill go? Egypt Please do not play with my computer! A clearly defined workspace not only creates an area for all the stuff, but it also creates a private space that gains respect from those around you. From closets, to guest rooms, to an entered dedicated room, here is a simple plan to help you create a beautiful, comfortable and productive atmosphere.

Here you go:

1. Know your needs – Assess what currently works and what does not. Clean out the space and make sure your storage is adequate. Beyond file cabinets, consider baskets, bins and shelving.

2. Develop a floor plan – Do not try to crowd too much furniture in the room and consider pieces that can pull double-duty. Ballard Designs has a cool little Home Office Kit to help you plan your space. Or just get out some graph paper, pencil and ruler and design the space yourself

3. Create the Right Environment – Make it a comfortable and supportive environment for your creativity and concentration. Although I encourage you to go with your gut on color, here are some basic color / mood associations that might give you a boost:

  • Blue – calm, orderly, water
  • Green – nature, health, renewal
  • Orange – balance enthusiasm
  • Purple – spirituality, wisdom
  • Red – energy, strength
  • White – pureness, simplicity
  • Yellow – joy, optimism

4. Architectural Elements – If your budget and time allow, then go for the gold with new flooring, molding and lighting. My friend and trusty web developer, Andrew, is redoing his office so I put together these tips with him in mind.

  • Flooring: I recommend hard surfaces with wood topping the list. Carpeting can get dusty and I like to keep the area around the computer equipment super clean.
  • Molding: Be bold with base and crown moldings. Do not look to the original molding for size. Often they are wimpy and small. If you have 9 foot ceilings then anything up to 9? Each for the crown and the base is fair game. I usually make the base a couple of inches less than the crown. Mixing traditional moldings with modern furniture gives the space a designer touch.
  • Lighting: The best lighting for a workspace is a combination of good general lighting (such as recessed lighting) highlighted with some task lighting (lamps).

5. Personalize – Working from home allows you to personalize your space and really make it your own. There are no rules! Highlight the room with your favorite painting or a lamp with a cool shade. Use a cork-board for special mementos or family photos. Just make sure your office ports an air of professionalism if you meet with clients in your home.

It does not take much to turn a simple space into a home office. And the boost to your efficiency and peace of mind will be priceless.

Get Tips for Getting in Shape

People often find themselves standing still due to a lack of inspiration. Sometimes, it is because you are hesitant as to where to start. Other times, it could be because you keep procrastinating, and you think it can wait for another day. If you come up with some ideas that are fun, you will stay motivated to stick with your routine.

While you’re exercising you should blast the volume on your mp3 player. It has been proven that the sounds of music extend your workouts because you aren’t thinking about how tired your body is. Make playlists that pump you up and keep you going. You will begin to move your body along with the beat of the song. This is an effective way to ensure you have a good pace throughout the whole workout. Time will go by faster if you sing along to the music.

If someone close to you has their own weight loss goals, think about teaming up. You can have the fun of a workout buddy and the support of tracking your progress together. In addition, both of you can set up small competitions. Workout with a friend if you want your workout to go faster. This way, you can enjoy the time you are exercising and associate it with good emotions.

Video game workouts are a new way to get exercise but have fun at the same time. Many people who use these games forget they’re exercising at all and simply enjoy their time with the game. It is less likely that you are will get tired or frustrated and stop your routine.

You may feel self-conscious about working out at a gym or other public place. Workout clothes that flatter your body can boost your self-esteem! There are tons of choices to choose from. Pick out something special that will make you feel great every time you put it on. You’ll be more motivated to exercise.

Occasionally change up your exercise regime to avoid becoming bored. To avoid abandoning your exercise program, try new exercises or activities that will keep you interested and motivated. Change up your routine often, and you will stay interested in working out. Never allow yourself to stop because you grow bored. It’s just too hard to get started again.

When you meet a weight loss goal, you should reward yourself. A small reward that you enjoy is a great incentive to keep working out. Choose a reward for yourself that will help motivate you into reaching your goals. For example, you could treat yourself to a film you have been wanting to see or purchase a new pair of jeans.

A workout routine can be a lot of fun. It should not be something that you hate to do. Many workout options exist which can make exercise seem like fun. This article contains some useful advice to help you start to develop an enjoyable exercise regime.

Do it Yourself Medifast

I write a lot about my experiences on Medifast. The other day, someone visited my blog and asked if it was possible to replicate Medifast yourself or to come up with some sort of “do it yourself” alternative. I’ll answer this question in the following article.

What You’d Have To Come Up With If You Wanted A DIY Medifast Plan: In order to replicate this diet, you’d be eating six times daily. For five of those times, you would eat small meals that are low in calories and high in protein. Almost every “meal” in this plan runs about 90 -110 calories and is chock full of decent nutrition.

I’ll use the very popular shakes as an example. They contain 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. In addition, they have 11 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber. They’re very low in sugar at only 8 grams. And, they’re pretty full of vitamins and minerals too. They contain 20% (or more) of your daily serving requirements for vitamins A, C, D, B6, and B12, just to name a few. And, they contain 30% of the iron you need each day, which is important for women.

Considering that you’re going to be consuming 4 more similar meals per day, you’ll be providing your body with more than what it needs nutritionally, but you’re also getting a low amount of calories and a high amount of protein. This works to put your body in a state called ketosis where not only are you not as hungry, but you’ll also begin to burn your own fat.

So obviously, you’ll want to hit this target with any alternative foods that you come up with. And, you’ll need to find five of these alternatives per day.

Once per day with this diet, you’ll prepare a “lean and green meal,” yourself. This meal should contain lean protein and up to three servings of vegetables. This is not too challenging and this can be accomplished at the grocery store or even at a restaurant, so replicating this is no big deal.

Why A Medifast Alternative Probably Would Not Be Cost Effective: Many people who ask about a DIY alternative do so because they are trying to save money. But, let’s think about this. In order to find foods that are as low in calories and sugar and as high in protein and nutrition, you’re likely going to have to go to a health food store. And, you’re going to need to buy enough so that you can eat these small meals five times per day. You’ll also probably want a bit of variety.

A regular monthly package from the company runs $299, but there are always coupon codes and specials running that can make this even more reasonable. Unless you have a very good relationship with your local health food store and can get the foods at cost, it’s going to be really hard to beat that when you have to buy approximately 145 of these applicable meals.

In short, I suppose with a lot of research and hard work, you could find some comparable foods at specialty stores, but they’d probably be a lot more expensive than what you’d pay to get the real thing.

Adirondack Chairs – The Comfortable Seating You've Always Been Looking For

When the weather is warm outside, you want to be able to enjoy it. The thing is, if you do not have relaxing seating in place, it can be quite difficult to have a good time in the sun. For that reason, you should purchase some Adirondack chairs for your outdoor space.

Why are Adirondack chairs such a great buy for your outdoor space? Well, the main reason is because of their comfortable design, which dates back all the way to the early 1900's when a man named Thomas Lee could not find a suitable place to sit while on vacation. So, he came up with his own and that is how this chair was born.

The design Lee invented was a chair that had a roomy, slanting seat, angled backrest, armrests that were oversized, and the whole thing sat lower to the ground, creating the relaxing Adirondack chairs that we have learned to grow and love today.

Adirondack chairs would be a fantastic choice for adding to most outdoor space, creating an oasis
Where you can just go and relax to get away from it all. One lovely place to put a few of them is on your deck. You can simply walk out from your home and take a long, easy rest whenever you want to.

For an awesome way to complete the space, just add a few end tables so you can easily set different things down like drinks, books, or magazines and then add an umbrella for some shade if you feel like getting out of the hot summer sun.

Along with the putting some on your deck, Adirondack chairs would also be a great choice for other outdoor areas as well. Those spaces include putting them on a patio, porch, garden or even lawn area. You could even put a few at the end of the dock on an ocean or river, providing you with a magnetic spot to take in the boats or jet-skiers passing you by.

You can even make your Adirondack chairs even more comfortable than they already are by purchasing cushions for yours. That's right, nothing is better than sitting down on a plush cushion that nicely contours to your body. When getting them, make sure to go with ones of the Sunbrella fabric variety since they are weather resistant and water repellent. They even have colorfast so they will not fade in the sun.

If you want an easy way to purchase your new Adirondack chairs, the thing to do is shopping. You can find exactly what you want in no time at all and it generally will be at a pretty reasonable price. Plus, it will be shipped right to your home so you do not have to worry about how you are planning to get it from here to there.

In the end, if it's comfortable seating that you want, then Adirondack chairs are the perfect outdoor seating option for you. Get yours today so you can enjoy it tomorrow and many years after that.

The Wrong Way To Enter A Zen Monastery! (Part 1)

The spiritual life sometimes begins with illegally candidates, in illegally situations! Not long after Janet and I made our dash out west in 1978, the bill collectors got serious about my wild spending. They repossessed my car, harassed me at the furniture store where I was working, and made my life as miserable as only they know how.

It ended up being a battle of wits, with me stubbornly determined not to pay them a damn nickel, and soon I was looking for a place to disappear for a few years. I also had to find some answers. My shallow Catholic background, steeped in useless "mystery, miracles, and authority" where I was never exposed to Catholicism's deeper aspects, such as the contemplative saints, was failing me.

I had been doing some casual reading about Eastern religions, particularly Buddhism, which appeared to my German heritage because of its rationality, and I was impressed with its clear, concise teachings that stuck a chord in my organized heart. I thought to myself, how could bill collectors ever find me in a Zen Buddhist Monastery? No drivers license to trace, no income tax forms to file. Maybe this is the answer! The perfect hideout!

So one morning after Janet left for her sales job at a Levitz Furniture store, I loaded all my clothes into a couple of huge suitcases and a backpack, wrote a short note that I would be gone for awhile, tipped my hat to our small apartment In Phoenix, and snuck down to the local Greyhound station where I hopped a bus to Shasta Abbey, a Zen Buddhist monastery located in Mt. Shasta, California.

It was hot; The kind of a 114-degree day in the Valley where you've thought twice before picking up a silver dollar from the scaling pavement, and the bus was crowded. Busses have a distinct smell about them; Diesel mixed with. . . Something. . . Humanity? And I never sat in the back; Strange people ride back there! I always sat forward, directly behind the driver to keep him awake and talking in the middle of the night when his head would invariably begin to nod. These guys were good, only sleeping a few seconds before jerking their head up to drive a few miles more. Scary!

A lot of stops and a long time later, the old dog dropped around a curve on a mountain highway somewhere out of Redding, and there it was, truly surreal, its majestic snow-capped peaks floating on a purple haze. I felt something deep in the pit of my stomach, the same feeling when I left my family, and I knew the legends had it right; Mt. Shasta was enchanted.

The bus spit me out at the end of a beautiful afternoon. There were no cabs in sight, there was nothing in sight, so I had no choice but to hoof it from the bus stop up the five-mile hill to the monastery – it could not be that far! So off I trudged, immersed in a blissful ignorance with my two bulging suitcases, a backpack, and wearing designer jeans coordinated with an expensive leather sport coat and handmade cowboy boots, and having no idea what I would find when I got there. I bought enough clothes along to start a Goodwill store, right there in the middle of Mt. Shasta.

It was fun hiking up the old asphalt road, at least for the first mile. It was quiet, not a car or truck disturbing the setting. The topography was strange, like nothing I had ever seen before. The volcanic activity of the past left its footprints everywhere, with lava spouts and weird mounds where there should not be anything, back dropped against that magnificent snowcapped mountain. The whole area was odd, in a moon-like beautiful way, forlorn, an aura of suspense and eerie silence, dotted with a million pine trees.

It was a relief from the broiling concrete that was Phoenix, and the cool mountain air was heavenly, but it was uphill. . . And I was carrying a lot of stuff. . . And the second mile was a lot more challenging. The sun sets earlier in the mountains than it does in the flat valleys of Arizona, and for a moment I panicked. Was I on the right road? I never was a whiz at directions. It was pretty deserted, and when night fell, it would be dark as hell. Neverheless, I had no choice now. I was way past the point of no return and could never make it back to town before dark.

The sun had now gone down and the trees were slowly losing their color, and I was still walking. Then, suddenly. . . There it was. I found myself staring through the cyclone fence of a Zen monastery. It looked quiet, deadly quiet. Only the lonely tinkling of wind chimes, somewhere off in the distance, disturbed the silence so characteristic of this hushed pine forest. Nobody was around except for the trees, and the ever-present pinecones. Big ones.

I dropped the leather clapper on the old bell at the gate. The clang broke the pristine stillness. . . But no response. I rang again, louder. . . Nothing. It was getting dark. Ah, then I spotted a light in the trees not far away. I walked over to a small building and enthusiastically knocked on the door. I knew I would have to sell myself and was extremely confident that I could. I was a great salesman.

The door opened slowly, and standing on the other side was a smallish person who could best be described as Yoda, in a black robe, with a swastika hanging on a cord around her neck!
A swastika! Whoa, I was not quite ready for this.

"Can I help you?" It said, or she said, or whatever it was, said, in an unemotional tone, her eyes and face as expressionless as a professional poker player.

"Yes, I finally made it!" I said, smiling broadly, trying to brighten up the conversation and overcome her obvious lack of personality. A good salesman could talk his way into any situation, right?

"And who are you?" She replied, as pokerfaced as ever.

"Why … I'm Ed Rock!" I said, out of breath a little, setting my bags down on the porch and dusting myself off.

She walked away, unimpressed, and returned with a list that she was carefully perusing.

"Nooope, I do not seem to have you on my list," she said, seemingly relieved, and shot me a look of "Gotcha!" With her eyes. "When did you contact us?"

My smile melted away along with the remaining light of evening, and a funny feeling in the pit of my stomach. . . Again. "Well, I have not actually … contacted anyone … but here I am, and I'm here to stay! You see, I …"

"No you're not," she interrupted me, and attempted to smile politely. "You may call us in three days, if you wish. We will then discuss whether or not you may visit."

And with that, she firmly closed the door, and locked it. . . Loudly.

I just stand there, staring at the door a few inches from my face. Then, I turned around and tried to see down the mountain that I had just scaled. Man, it was dark. Okay, no problem, what the hell, it would be easier going downhill. Right?

I grabbed my bags and stumbled off the porch, headed down the pitch-black hill, but this time I got lucky. After a mile or so, a pickup truck gave me a lift to a local motel in town.

Three days later, I squeezed into the phone booth outside my room and dialed the monastery as instructed (my first taste of Zen discipline). The phone rang an interminable number of times, as I silently practiced my pitch.

"Shasta Abbey," someone answered.

"Hello! Is this the monastery?"

"Yes, this is Shasta Abbey."

"Well, … hello! It's that person in town, you know, that was up there a few nights ago? Can I come back up now?"

"Just a moment please."

I held my breath. If they said no, I would really be on the run, and as usual, I had little money and no plan B. I heard some muted conversation in the background and finally somebody came to the phone. I recognized the voice. . . Oh no! It was Yoda.

"May I help you?"

Things had not changed.

"It's me," I said, my usual exuberant confidence draining from my voice. "You know, the guy who was there a few nights ago? I had a lot of bags. Remember? I apologize for barging in like that. I just had to make arrangements … Uh, is There any way that I can come up for a visit … maybe?

"Yes, I remember you, and you may come for a short visit."

"I can?" I said in disbelief.

"Yes."

"Wow! Right on! I'm on my way … I mean, thank you Sister, thank you!"

I hung up the phone. Yes! . . . I made it one more day.

So back up the mountain I went. But this time, I had unloaded some of the junk. All I needed, as far as I could reckon, was a black robe and a swastika! Man, I would look so cool. I would have to take some pictures. (It was only months later that I learned about the swastikas that were not swastikas at all, but Manjis, or the seal of the Buddha's heart.