Properties and Different Applications of Stainless Steel Wire Mesh

A wire mesh is made up of uniformly crossed wires in regular patterns to form a barrier or screen. The patterns can be large or small, square or polygonal depending upon the purpose or application of the end product. From providing perimeter markings to concrete construction applications, this wire mesh is used in a variety of ways today. The reason of such wide usage is due to certain properties of the product as discussed below.

Properties of Stainless Steel Wire Mesh

This wire mesh or barriers are made from different grades of stainless steel, like 304 or 316, depending on its usage. Some properties that make barriers of this type so popular all over the world are discussed below.

Corrosion Resistant

Being made of stainless steel, with 8% nickel and 18% chromium alloyed, these barriers are highly resistant to corrosion. So, even underwater applications prefer using stainless steel screens as it decays the least. It is also used in areas where there is maximum exposure to the elements, ensuring longer functionality of the barriers.

Low Maintenance

The preceding wire mesh requires low upkeep due to its highly stable non-reactive structure and corrosion resistance properties. These fences also have high reusability value due to this nature. They can be left in areas with high exposure to elements; the stainless steel will ensure maximum functionality for a longer period of time.

Temperature Tolerance

These meshes can also be in extremely hot or cold conditions. With some special treatments, these barriers can be used under high pressure also, like a rectangular holding area for pouring concrete for pillars or slabs. These stainless steel concrete boxes can withstand a high amount of pressure of subsequent constructions. Also, stainless steel meshes are used in physical separating and sieving different-sized particles in many industries.

Different Applications of Stainless Steel Mesh Wires

On the subject of the application, this wire mesh is widely used in the fields described below.

Security

These are very useful as barriers delineating the boundaries of commercial and personal properties. Wire meshes can also be used to keep out animals from a designated area of keep them locked in one. The general sturdiness of the constituent material ensures minimum encroachment on the protected property.

Electrified Fencing for High Security

The preceding fences also find extensive applications in the electrified boundaries. Commonly found around high-security zones like nuclear or research facilities, a thin copper wire is wound through the steel fencing, along with barbed razor wires for additional protection.

Perimeter Fencing

The above mentioned fencing is also preferred in temporary perimeter installations where there is a need of temporary protection for a short period of time. This wire mesh is light and malleable, so it can be removed and re-installed upon short notice.

Children at Risk For Mesothelioma Cancer

In late 2007, the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) found asbestos-tainted toys had reached the shelves of thousands of toy stores across the country. Most notably, the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit, which was made in China, had been found to contain asbestos in its white and glow powder.

While production of the toy has ceased, an article from The New York Times in April 2008 elaborated on the near forgotten incident. The ADAO has filed a lawsuit in the Los Angeles Superior Court against CBS Corporation, Planet Toys Inc. (Manufacturers of the CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit) and several retailers for their involvement in the sale of the asbestos-tainted toy. Families affected by the contaminated toy should also consider developing litigation for the exposure of "substantial quantities of tremolite asbestos."

The ADAO has also continued its testing of other products and found several containing asbestos, including additional children's toys.

ADAO is an organization that utilizes volunteers, some of whom have either been affected directly by asbestos-related illnesses or have watched friends and family suffer from the diseases, including mesothelioma. The ADAO acts as an asbestos watchdog despite the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) effectively regulates the legalities of asbestos violations.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is considered a human carcinogen by the federal Department of Health and Human Services and is a "naturally occurring, fibrous silicate mineral," according to the EPA. Asbestos becomes deadly when microscopic fiber bundles bind and become airborne.

When inhaled, the results can be deadly and severely damage an individual's body through the development of mesothelioma cancer. In addition to mesothelioma, asbestos can cause lung cancer or asbestosis, in which fibrous tissue scars the lungs.

Asbestos that was mined was used in an array of industries, according to the EPA:
* Thermal / acoustic insulator used for fire proofing
* Roofing and siding shingle made with asbestos cement
* Textured paint and patching compounds used on wall and ceiling joints
* Artificial ashes and embers for gas-fired fireplaces
* Stove-top pads
* Vinyl floor tiles, flooring and adhesives
* Asbestos blankets or tape for hot water and steam pipes
* Oil and coal furnaces

Asbestos-Affected Children's Toys

Tracing asbestos can be a difficult process because it is often overlooked, especially since it is not a common ingredient in manufacturing products anymore, though, it was at one time. The ADAO has been testing thousands of products for the contamination of asbestos in toys as well as regular products. Currently, they have determined several toys to have had trace amounts of asbestos including:
* CSI Fingerprint Examination Kit
* Ja-Ru Toy Clay (found among three varieties of the product)
* Art Skills' Clay Bucket (asbestos found in six colors of clay)

Additionally, there are several other products the ADAO found with asbestos passages that are not directly related to children's toys, but could still affect a child's health. Even talc baby powder has been alleged to contain asbestos fibers. Other products that have been found with asbestos contamination, according to the ADAO, include:
* Scotch High Performance and All Weather Duct tapes
* DAP Crack Shot Spackling Paste
* DAP 33 Window Glazing
* Gardner Leak Stopper

The organization also found that hair rollers, hot plates, powdered cleansers and small appliances were at risk for adversely affecting public health with asbestos fibers. The organization noted that these products are all being sold at national retail chains including:
* Walmart
* Costco
* Toys "R" Us
* Home Depot
* Lowe's
* Macy's
* Bed Bath & Beyond
* CVS

Consumer Affairs, a Web-based consumer news and resource center, issued the following tips to assist parents, relatives and friends with purchasing toys for children, in order to better protect children from asbestos exposure. The list includes the following:
* Be a vigilant shopper and read all warnings that may include a toy breaking, containing small parts or fire and choking hazards.
* Read product reviews that are both done by independent panels and consumers.
* Research information on the most recent product recalls.
* Inspect toys; Any toys that are broken should be thrown away.
* Research how, where and when a product was created.

What to do if Your Child is Exposed to Asbestos

If a child is exposed or even may have potentially been exposed to asbestos containing tremolite, it is imperative that medical assistance is thought immediately. Because of the nature of asbestos-induced conditions, if a child is exposed to asbestos and goes untreated as if everything were fine, they could develop mesothelioma cancer years later, which is why immediate medical care is advisable.

Because asbestos exposure along children is considered extremely avoidable, developing a lawsuit for damages incurred may be a necessary step. Victims should located an experienced mesothelioma attorney to learn more about developing a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Copyright (c) 2008 Katie Kelley

Five Tips to Keep Your Car Tires in Good Condition

Driving carefully by not over accelerating, braking hard and sharp corning is the best way to extend the life of your car tires. This article has five other tips to keep your car tires in good condition:

1. Correct Tire Pressure

Regularly check your car tires are not under or over inflated.

Under inflation causes greater flexibility of the rubber, increasing the operating temperature and reducing the tyre's lifespan. The wear on the edge or shoulder of the tire is increased and damage can be caused to the vehicle's suspension when driving over a pothole.

Under inflation also results in poor fuel economy. Increased rolling resistance makes a car engine work harder and uses more fuel.

Over inflation is equally bad by increasing the wear in the center of a car tire's tread; An area important for protecting the ty against impact damage.

To find the recommended tyre pressure check the owner's manual or look for a plaque on the inside of the fuel flap.

2. Balance and Alignment

Whenever your car tires are repaired or replaced make sure they are correctly balanced when remounted on your car. If not this will cause vibrations, increasing tyre wear, damaging suspension and leading to driver fatigue.

Correct alignment is necessary to have the steering, suspension, wheel components and car tires all working in harmony to achieve the optimum performance from your vehicle.

It does not cost much for your local garage or car tire specialist to check the vehicle's balance or alignment. Without it the resulting cost of repair will be far greater.

3. Inspection

A visual inspection once a month does not take long and is important to maintain your car tires in a safe condition.

Check the tread depth. Most tires have a tread wear indicator built into them. Look for a horizontal bar of rubber located between the tread patterns, at a depth of 2mm. When the height of the tread wears down to the height of this bar it is time to replace your car tires.

Check the car tires for any unusual bulges or lumps as these are often a sign of internal damage. Inspect the tread and sidewall rubber for any signs of cracking. If found change the ty as soon as possible as cracking can cause a blow-out.

Remove any stones and other objects stuck in a car tire's tread. If a nail is found embedded in the rubber, do not remove as the tyre will rapidly deflate. Instead take the ty to a specialist who may be able to repair the puncture.

4. Repairs

Do not risk driving on a car tire that is losing pressure. Take it to a specialist who will give the ty a a complete inspection and make the decision wherever it can be repaired or replaced.

Driving on a flat tire for even a short distance will damage it beyond repair.

Never try repairing a car tire yourself. This should be handled by a trained professional.

5. Tire Rotation

The weight of a vehicle is not even distributed on all of the car tires. By regularly rotating the tires their lifespan is extended and uneven car tire wear is avoided.

Visit a car tire specialist for further advice and to check the condition of your current car tires.

Countertop Remodel – Emergency Fix For Outdated Countertops Without Replacing Them

When it comes to kitchen countertops are you a laminate girl in a Granite world? Well, join the rest of us who at one time or another have had to choose between having the hottest new kitchen featured on HGTV or living in the real world where the baby needs new shoes and the mortgage has to be paid.

I came up with a manageable solution a few years back when we wanted to update our kitchen countertop but were a little short on cash with a new baby in the house and we did not really want to get into drinking out the countertop and sink right Away. I figured if we were going to ever change out the countertop anyway I did not have anything to lose if my experiment DID NOT work … but to my delight it worked wonderfully and so well that I ended up not changing the countertop but Changing the color a few years later when I changed the color of my kitchen again when I got ready to sell the house.

I started out with the old Formica countertop – you know, the white with gold thread through it that you sat up on and ate countless Fudgesicles when you were a kid? I bought enough of the textured spray paint to cover the surface I needed to cover – this is called fleckstone, granite, and other names like that and is approved for outdoor use also. Then I purchased the cheapest spraypaint I could find in a coordinating color (I paid $ 1 a can). After I cleaned and washed the countertop I applied the cheap spray paint as a primer. It would probably be a good idea to sand lightly first. I did not but I probably should have. You can decide whether to skip this step or not. Also, make sure to cover your cabinets, floors, sink fixtures and appliances with plastic to protect from overspray. Make sure the room is well ventilated and turn off all pilot lights and open flames and follow manufacturers instructions on the paint.

After the primer coat drawn I applied the textured paint. Be sure to shake well and shake frequently while applying. You can not mess this up. If you miss a spot just go back over it! You can give it one coat or additional coats as needed.

Once the textured paint has dried well, finish with 2-3 coats of clear spray polyurethane. This will protect the surface from normal wear and tear and water. The polyurethane will take a little longer to dry between coats than the paint. You still have to be somewhat careful with scraping things along the surface than with laminate or granite countertops but I had pretty good luck overall with the counters. And you can always touch them up easily!

The first time I used a gray and black fleck with white cabinets with red doors on a black and white checked tile floor for a 50's diner type kitchen. Then I redid the counter tops in a sand color and painted the cabinets off-white and redid the floors in a rich walnut laminate. Awesome results both times.

Note: All advice should be weighed against your own abilities and circumstances and applied accordingly. It is up to the reader to determine if advice is safe and suitable for their own situation. Advice is based solely upon experience of the author and author assumes no responsibility or liability for persons imitating the actions outlined by the author.

Pulmonary Edema

What is this Condition?

In pulmonary edema, fluid builds up in the spaces outside the lung's blood vessels (called extravascular spaces). In one form of this disorder, cardiogenic pulmonary edema, this accumulation is caused by rising pressure in the respiratory veins and tiny blood vessels called capillaries. A common complication of heart disorders, pulmonary edema can become a chronic condition, or it can develop quickly and quickly become fatal.
What Causes it?

Pulmonary edema usually is caused by failure of the left ventricle, the heart's main chamber, due to various types of heart disease. In these diseases, the damaged left ventricle requires increased filling pressures to pump enough blood to all the parts of the body. The increased pressures are transmitted to the heart's other chambers and to veins and capillaries in the lungs. Occasionally, fluid in the blood vessels enter the spaces between the tissues of the lungs. This makes it harder for the lungs to expand and impede the exchange of air and gases between the lungs and blood moving through lung capillaries.

Besides heart disease, other conditions that can predispose a person to pulmonary edema include:

O excessive amounts of intravenous fluids

O certain kidney diseases, excessive burns, liver disease, and nutritional deficiencies

O impaired lymphatic drainage of the lungs, as occurs in Hodgkin's disease

O impaired emptying of the heart's left upper chamber, as occurs in narrowing of the heart's mitral valve

O conditions that cause blockage of the respiratory veins.
What are its Symptoms?

Early symptoms of pulmonary edema reflect poor lung expansion and extravascular fluid buildup. They include:

O shortness of breath on exertion

O sudden attacks of respiratory distress after several hours of sleep

O difficulty breathing except when in an upright position

O coughing.

On examination, the doctor may discover a rapid pulse, rapid breathing, an abnormal breath sound called crackles, an enlarged neck vein, and abnormal heart sounds.

With severe pulmonary edema, early symptoms may worsen as air sacs in the lungs and small respiratory airways fill with fluid. Breathing becomes labored and rapid, and coughing produces frothy, bloody sputum. The pulse quickens and the heart rhythm may become disturbed. The skin is cold, clammy, sweaty, and bluish. As the heart pumps less and less blood, the blood pressure drops and the pulse becomes threshold.
How is it Diagnosed?

The doctor makes a working diagnosis based on the persons symptoms and physical exam results and orders measurements of arterial blood gases, which typically show decreased oxygen with a variable carbon dioxide level. These measurements may also reveal a metabolic disturbance, such as respiratory alkalosis, respiratory acidosis, or metabolic acidosis. Chest X-rays typically reveal diffuse haziness in the lungs and, often, an enlarged heart and abnormal fluid buildup in the lungs.

The person may undergo a diagnostic procedure called pulmonary artery catheterization to help confirm failure of the left ventricle and rule out adult respiratory distress syndrome, which causes similar symptoms.
How is it Treated?

Treatment of pulmonary edema aims to reduce the amount of extravascular lung fluid, to improve gas exchange and heart function and, if possible, to correct underlying disease.

Usually, the person receives high concentrations of oxygen. If an acceptable arterial blood oxygen level still can not be maintained, the person receives mechanical ventilation to improve oxygen delivery to the tissues and to treat acid-base disturbances.

The individual also may receive diuretics (for example, Lasix) to promote fluid elimination through urination, which in turn helps to reduce extravascular fluid.

To treat heart dysfunction, the person may receive a digitalis glycoside or other drugs that improve heart contraction. Some people also receive drugs that dilate the arteries such as Nipride. Morphine may be given to reduce anxiety, ease breathing, and improve blood flow from the pulmonary circulation to the arms and legs.

Selling Tip: Use Social Dynamics to Control Sales Appointments

Many areas of selling that I’ve studied and taught to others are rarely, if ever, known and used in the world of professional selling. One of those is the science of social dynamics – before I ever began learning it myself and including it in my training, I’d never before seen it used in sales.

Social dynamics is the science of using nonverbal sub-communication to influence others. What does this include? The primary elements of our nonverbal sub-communication are body language, vocal tone, inflection and volume, eye contact, movement and carriage of the body, and other subtle but important elements.

The consequences of not using proper social dynamics in your sales interactions are severe, and most of us don’t even know we’re doing anything wrong because we haven’t been taught. The situation is much like cold calling – salespeople who cold call only do so because they don’t know any alternatives. However, by not paying attention to our social dynamics, we unknowingly give our power away to prospects, let them have control of sales appointments, create an impression that we are not successful, give prospects the “gut feeling” that they should not buy from us … all unknowingly.

So, that said, what can we do to make sure we don’t short-circuit all of our efforts by using improper social dynamics? Following is a brief and very basic – but highly effective – checklist of things you need to watch out for while selling:

1. Body language. (This isn’t easy to explain without pictures so bear with me!) Be careful not to lean in to prospects when talking with them. Leaning in sub-communicates weakness and submission. Lean back when you are in front of prospects. This sub-communicates that you are the leader, are in control, and will cause prospects to be more willing to follow your lead and buy. In addition, you should never face a prospect more than they are facing you. In other words, if a prospect is not facing you straight-on while sitting or standing, you should be turned away just a degree more than the prospect is turned away from you. It is okay to face a prospect straight-on only after they have fully turned to face you directly. If you face them directly before they do so to you, you are sub-communicating neediness and submission. However, by allowing the prospect to do so first, they are automatically placed in the submissive role and will be much easier to close.

2. If you cannot hear a prospect, never lean in directly when they repeat themselves. Instead, turn sideways, so that your ear is facing the prospect, but your face is turned away. This allows you to hear the prospect better but without taking a weak stance.

3. Your voice. The single most important thing you can do to be a more effective salesperson is to have a powerful, commanding voice. Like a firm handshake, an impressive vocal presence sub-communicates power and leadership and will cause prospects to be much more willing to buy from you. Practice speaking louder in your everyday communications. You don’t want to yell or strain; instead, focus on speaking from your core, your abdomen, which will result in the commanding voice you need to have to be effective.

Imagine a general who speaks powerfully, but without yelling or straining. This is what you should strive for. I achieved this by simply talking that way all the time. An added benefit is that you will automatically become an excellent public speaker by having this talent, which you can then leverage into more sales by volunteering to speak at networking events, chamber of commerce meetings, and other “target-rich” environments. It will also be a necessary skill should you wish to go into sales training or public speaking later in your career, a choice that is available to all successful salespeople.

4. Your presence. This is closely related to body language, but has more to do with posture than with positioning yourself in front of prospects. For example, weak people are afraid of infringing on others’ personal space, so they keep a small presence. Avoid this by standing with your feet at least a foot apart, leaning back slightly, and having your shoulders back and chin up. This is a powerful stance that sub-communicates leadership and confidence. The same rules hold true while sitting – keep your feet flat on the floor (no crossed legs), with your arms spread wide rather than holding them close together. Unless you are sitting with your arms on the desk, lean back in your chair while speaking. Again, you’re demonstrating command of the situation by doing so.

What about pacing the movements of your prospect? Don’t do it. This is one of those “old, right answers” from the old school of selling that is now wrong. Most prospects can pick up on this because it’s been done to them so many times before, and, what’s worse, why would you want to pace your prospects’ mannerisms when you run the risk of reflecting their own weak body language? In addition, it shows a lack of independence, which is the biggest killer of the powerful, confident persona you want to demonstrate in appointments.

Finally, remember that this is not a competition. These suggestions are not given with the intent to rule your prospects. They simply allow you to present yourself as a powerful leader whose advice should be taken, and the end result is that prospects will feel extremely comfortable with entrusting their business to you. Follow these tips, and your close rates will suddenly explode!

Choose Instant Marques For Outdoor Shading

Instant marquees are easy to install canopies that can open up and disband in less than a minute. These marquees are ideal to be used in the events like trade shows, product launches, exhibitions, motor sport shelters, sport events, marketing events, community markets, in hospitals and in schools. With the use of an Instant Marquee, you can provide your company an instant recognition in public.

They are also perfect for open air activities, small parties or when you are planning for a wedding ceremony or a corporate function, the quality instant marquees offer the solution you need.

These can be fixed up at affordable prices, and are the perfect example of flexibility, convenience and value. These are available in various fabric but most favorable are the polyster or the heavy duty PVC.

The marquees for outdoor shading should not be confused with the budget tents which are low in quality and can be bought from any camping store or garden center. Get quality marquees only from trustworthy dealers, who offer high quality but cost-effective shelter that use center peak poles and cross bracing to provide marquees a firm standing by adding extra stability. These have more polished finishing as they are made from commercial grade aluminum.

Choose Instant Marquees because:

– Highly tough and sturdy

– Waterproof

– Made up of commercial grade aluminum frame

– Available in a variety of colors and personalized screen printing available

– Adjustable heights

– Offer protection from weather like hot sun rays, rain or stormy wind

Instant marquees are also available with full range of accessories such as half walls, clear walls and leg weights. The marquees are offered with custom printing service so that you can utilize them for your brand promotion.

Many people select a canopy or marquees, which also goes by the name of instant marquees, when they look for outdoor canopies for promotional events. A marquee is a wonderful option if you do not want to spend a great deal of time on their set up at an outdoor event or promotion. Going for an marquee saves your time which is usually spent in untangling cords, searching for tie downs and setting up poles, which should instead be utilized in reaching out to potential customers.

Choosing marquees are an ideal way to utilize your time at a trade event wisely and not indulging yourself in setting up a complex tent. Moreover, the instant marquees are easy to store, which can be stored in a small space like in vehicles or storage closets.

Power Washers – Get Them for the Residential and Industrial Purposes

Residential and industrial cleaning is a much risky operation as there are some solutions and equipment that can ruin the tiles and even cause them to break and crack. Henceforth, it is highly important for the house owners and managers to hire a professional agency who works with advanced cleaning machines. A reputable agency knows how to take care of the floors and the equipment they used are tested to prove that they are harmless. Nowadays, the machines used are inbuilt with the Eco mode, making it easy for the cleaners to clean the floor as well as the wall tiles.

Which cleaning machine can you use?

The power washers are becoming a very popular choice in the market for both residential and industrial cleaning. They are highly advanced machines that are required for heavy cleaning. Though they are made with a tough and rugged exterior, they are very easy and convenient to operate. With the new Eco mode, the machine starts operating automatically in the most economical temperature range. To get a superior class of cleaning in homes, apartment, factories, warehouse, and store, the power washers might help you in the best way.

From interior to exterior cleaning, this machine can do it all. It comes with the wheels that make it easy for the cleaners to move the heavy weight machine around the house, warehouse, factories and other places. The powerful hose attached to the machines gushes out the water that reaches into the deeper layers of the tiles and pavements. It erases all the chemical wastes and debris from every corner of the factory, making it a hygienic place for the workers to work.

Why choose power washers over the others?

The power washers are one such machine that can resolve the cleaning issues instantly. Cleaning should be done on a periodic basis as it eradicates the germs from the floor. The power washers have the capacity to erase the trapped soil and dirt from the minute pores, leaving the floor fresh and clean. Whether it is an industrial waste or residential debris, the machine can clean whatever comes in their way. It becomes very risky for the cleaners to clean the dangerous chemicals present in the warehouse and factories. Thus, with the help of the power washers, they can scrub every hazardous waste present in the area. Moreover, it saves fuel consumption and is economically helpful for the owners. It leaves no mess around proving to be beneficial for the environment as well.

How Facebook Can Rapidly Increase User Base With a Single Policy Change

Some say that Facebook may possibly become the ultimate in corporate bubbles, others like me believe that if the social networking venue can not adapt quickly and forward that it in and of itself will be the largest industry bubbles to ever pop – and we know what Will happen if that occurs – complete and utter chaos online. Well, interestingly enough, Facebook's IPO debut may be one last burst of air to that big balloon bubble. Okay so, let's talk say we?

Facebook's growth curve has been truly remarkable, not in the money it makes, that's still coming, but in the number of participants online, as it is busy cataloging everyone's life and recording all of their friends, likes, needs, and wants for advertisers, Corporations, and government all in the name of a new industry called; Big Data. Some say this nonsensical social media craze has gone a bridge too far, and to that I'd agree. Still, it still begs the question; How will Facebook keep growing to keep its new found valuation on Wall Street after its IPO?

Well, one thing they can do when they run out of humans on the planet to put into their data base is that they can start allowing non-humans to set up profiles, aka; Allowing anonymous profiles. This will allow everyone to put up three or four profiles (albeit fake ones) each, on top of their current profile. Facebook's founder originally was against this, but perhaps now things have changed as he'll be more concerned with holding onto this giant mirage that's been built.

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on April 24, 2012 titled; "Facebook to Shake Off Winter Blues," by Rolfe Winkler which basically told the excuse Facebook may claim for lackluster earnings just prior to their IPO, as the company was still trying to ditch criticism from the Instagram $ 1 Billion purchase. If the social media space is seasonal, which I believe it is, at least the data I am looking at appears to show this, then that's one way to look at it.

Still, obviously investors or speculators in the stock will want consistency, which will become increasingly more difficult to maintain. Yes, I could use the word "sustainability" here, although I do not like the word myself, one could say that Facebook and this whole social media craze may not be sustainable at the current trajectory of this new industry cycle. Would it be wrong for me to predict that this could very well be the largest bubble burst in corporate history? Time will tell, so, I hope you will please consider all this and think on it even if you do get bought up in the IPO road show hype.

Merely the Notion of Self-Defense Is Changing?

Introduction

Professor Zemanek has identified the No. 1 issue of the latest developments in international law. I fully agree with all of his major conclusions. I do not think that any State may "lead" the international community in any respect, and act as a supreme arbiter of right and wrong, derived from its belief in the superiority of its legal order, and human rights standard. I find particularly dangerous the Bush administration's reference to the "legal" conception of preemption. However, I see some change in the perception of self-defense, not necessarily as a consequence of the American behavior. In this paper, I will touch upon merely the interpretation of these two notions: selfdefence and preemption.

The Notion of Self-Defense

The question emerged after 9/11, when the United States had lawfully exercised the right to self-defense against Afghanistan. The first answers were negative. Alain Pellet wrote just some weeks after the terrorist attacks that they can not be considered acts of war. A war presupposes "an armed conflict between adversaries if not identified, at least identifiable … [The attacks] are either an 'aggression' in the legal sense of the word, nor war crimes. One might possibly classify them as crimes against humanity … More troubling, by the [UNSC] Resolution 1368, the Council goes as far as to consider (sic) that the acts of terrorism of 11 September justify the exercise of the 'inherent right of individual or collective self-defense' in Accordance with the Charter ". According to Pellet, this is an "extremely wide interpretation which hardly conforms to the letter of the Charter" A similar view was held by Antonio Cassese. Pierre-Marie Dupuy feared that the reference of the Security Council to the inherent right of self-defense would give the United States "a carte blanche to do, alone, what it likes and when it likes". The same opinion was expressed by the Hungarian international lawyer Boldizsar Nagy. In his chapter, Karl Zemanek also comes to the conclusion that according to "traditional understanding … defensive action is allowed only against an ongoing attack". He denies that the US would have been entitled to "eliminate the source of the attack", ie al Qaeda and the supporting Taliban time in Afghanistan.

Actually, the UN Charter refers to states against which no force can be used. However, the Charter was prepared at the end of World War II, when the founding fathers of the United Nations wanted to address classical, inter-state aggression, which until that point posed the most serious threat to mankind in history. Resolution 3314 of the General Assembly, however, presented a definition of aggression that included, among others, the following act: "The sending by or on behalf of a State armed bands, groups, irregulars or mercenaries, which carry out armed attacks against another State, … or its substantive involvement therein ". According to the Resolution, only acts of "gravity" as "bombardment" of the territory of another State, the "use of any weapons" against it, or attacking its ground, air or naval forces can be considered. Therefore, the question that arose on 11 September was either the State of Afghanistan- or the Taliban- was "substantively involved" in the preparation and perpetration of the terrorist acts.

Today most analysts agree that the Taliban was "substantively involved" in the attacks. It is interesting to note that prior to 9/11 as many as four Security Council resolutions had been passed regarding the Taliban and al Qaeda. No attention has been paid to these resolutions by either international lawyers or political scientists.

The First Resolution, 1193 (1998) was adopted after Taliban soldiers occupied Mazar-e-Sharif, where they stormed the Consulate of Iran and murdered eleven diplomatic and one journalist. In its Resolution, the Security Council condemned these atrocities and expressed its "grave concern at the continued Afghan conflict which has recently sharply escalated due to the Taliban forces' offensive … causing a serious and growing threat to regional and international peace and security, As well as intensive human suffering ". The Resolution demanded that "the Afghan factions … refrain from harboring and training terrorists and their organizations and … halt illegal drug activities." The Second Resolution, 1214 (1998), states that the Security Council remained "deeply disturbed by the continuing use of Afghan territory, especially areas controlled by the Taliban, for the sheltering and training of terrorists and the planning of terrorist acts". The Third Resolution, 1267 (1999), referred to Osama bin Laden by name. It stated that the Taliban continued to provide "sanctuary and training for the international terrorists and their organization" which constitutes a "threat to international peace security". The Security Council demanded that the Taliban turn over bin Laden to either the United States or a third country where he could be brought to justice.

The antecedents of the fourth Resolution, 1333 (2000), reserve special attention. In the late 1990's the Russians realized that "Afghan" mujaheddin were participating in the war in Chechnya. Russian intelligence found a remarkably high number of Arabs among these Afghans and quickly tracked them back to Osama bin Laden's organization. There was a growing interest in Russia to get rid of them. Moscow discussed the matter with Washington. After intensive Russian-American consultations the Security Council adopted Resolution 1333 (2000), which condemned the Taliban for the "sheltering and training of terrorists and planning of terrorist acts" and reaffirmed its "conviction that the suppression of international terrorism is essential for the maintenance Of international peace and security ". The UNSC noticed that the Taliban favored directly for the cultivation of illicit opium by imposing a tax on its production and recognized that "these fundamental resources strengthen the Taliban's capacity to harbor terrorists".

The above resolutions clearly indicated that the members of the Security Council were convinced that the Taliban had been "seriously involved" in providing support for the activities of al Qaeda and, consequently, held the Taliban responsible for events on Afghan soil. This is why, as early as the day after the terrorist attacks, Resolution 1368 (2001) was adopted, in which the Security Council condemned the "horrifying terrorist attacks" in New York and Washington, declaring them a "threat to international peace and security "And recognized" the inherent right of individual or collective self-defense in accordance with the Charter ". Furthermore, the resolution stressed that "those responsible for aid, supporting or harboring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable".

NATO took a similar position. The Permanent Session of the North Atlantic Council concluded that "if it is determined that this attack was directed from abroad against the United States, it shall be considered as an action covered by the Washington Treaty". On 2 October 2001, the North-Atlantic Council discussed the information provided by the United States. Secretary General Robertson announced after the meeting that it had been clearly determined that "the individuals who carried out the terrorist attacks belong to the Afghan terrorist organization headed by Osama bin Laden and protected by the Taliban regime". Therefore the terrorist acts must be regarded as "attacks from abroad". A similar position was also taken by the European Council on 21 September. In their conclusion, the Heads of State and the Governments of the European Union stated that "on the basis of UNSC Resolution 1368 a riposte by the US is legitimate. A week later, on 28 September, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1373 (2001) The document referred again to the right of self-defense and the threat of terrorism to international peace and security. In addition, it determined that terrorism and its support were inconsistent with the purposes of the UN Finally, on 16 January 2002, the Security Council adopted Resolution 1390, which affirmed all its previous resolutions with regard to Osama bin Laden, al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Although in these resolutions the UNSC did not authorize any state to carry out military counter-measures, the fact that three permanent members of the Council (France, Great Britain, and later Russia) opened their airspace for military actions and the fourth (China) Secured the United States of its support provided that a number of significant states recognized that since 11 September, the United States has been in a permanent state of self-defense. Some international lawyers did not come to the same conclusion. Pellet, Dupuy and Nagy stated that:

(A) the behavior of the United States can not be regarded as self-defense because Washington launched the counter-offensive several weeks after the attacks rather than immediately and, moreover, against a state located several thousand kilometers away;

(B) when executing counter-strikes the United States may have used force against terrorists or states harboring them only if the Security Council authorized it to do so.

"The inherent right of self-defense has limits", written Boldizsar Nagy, referring to the Caroline case. "It was the US Secretary of State Webster who put down his immortal words in 1841 that have remained valid even today." During the act, Webster noted that "the party referring to this has to prove the necessity of self-defense, instant overwhelming, leaving no choice of means and no moment for deportation". The same view was expressed by Cassese and Pellet. In the opinion of Pellet, "the use of armed force must be subject to the authorization of the Security Council which has not (yet) been given". According to this view the party concerned has no right to a delayed use of force in response to an armed attack. Cassese insured that the use of force by the victim state should be directed "to repel the armed attack of the aggressor state".

The more than 150 year-old "immortal" words of Webster were, however, applicable only for defense against traditional actions of aggression only under certain conditions. As far as terrorist acts were concerned the Webster thesis is absolutely inapplicable. Moreover, it is the terrorists who could make the best use of it. In the case of a terrorist act the attackers and their supporters remain either unknown or are identified only after some of them are killed during the attack, while the others disappear and hide in remote countries. On the basis of this interpretation action against Osama bin Laden and his organization would have been possible only on 11 September and only if they had been, say, directing the execution of the attack on a mobile phone aboard a yacht in New York City harbor. Otherwise, the US would have had only one recourse; To turn to the UN in order to convene the Security Council, which would either have given a go-ahead for coal war (as before the Gulf War) or not (as in the case of Kosovo).

If one took the position of Karl Zemanek, a number of legally recognized countermeasures should have been deemed illegal, eg the use of force by Great Britain to take back the Falkland Islands from Argentina in 1982. The Argentine forces invaded the Islands on 2 April while The massive British counter-strike was launched only many weeks later, on 21 May. The British needed some time to build up their expeditionary forces and to cover the huge distance between Britain and the theater of war. On the basis of the conditions recommended by Zemanek, all "delayed" selfdefence should have considered illegitimate. However, this does not reflect military and political realities. As far as the "elimination" of the source of the attack is concerned, a number of UNSC resolutions provided that the Taliban should refrain from supporting and harboring terrorist organization like al Qaeda. It is difficult to see any other way to decrease the threat of further terrorist attacks on the part of bin Laden's organization due to its close ties with the Taliban regime. After 9/11 the question was asked, with some irony, whether the Taliban should be eliminated to stop the activity of al Qaeda or vice versa.

Cassese admits in his paper that "the magnitude of the terrorist attack on New York and Washington may possibly warrant the broadening of the notion of selfdefence." I shall leave here in abeyance ", he added," the question of whether one can speak of ' Instant 'custom, that is of the instantaneous formation of a customary rule widening the scope of self-defense as laid down in the corresponding rule customary law. "15 My view is that Is should not have been left here by Cassese. The decisions of the Security Council, the North Atlantic Council and the European Council indicate that the military counter-measures adopted by the US and its allies were accepted by a major part of the international community, including the remaining members of the UNSC and all NATO Members. Moreover, this did not represent a single occurrence, but rather a continuum of unfolding developments relating to Afghanistan that date back to 1998.

The new threat posed by terrorism requires a new interpretation of the notion of self-defense, because it differs in many aspects from the traditional military threat posed on a number of occasions since 1945. It may well be that no new script norm could be formulated Regarding the response of a state suffering terrorist attack. Of course, it would be extremely difficult to describe in written legal norms how a state might respond to such an attack. In any case, my conclusion is that the old interpretation of the notification and scope of self-defense has been extended by the actions of the international community on 12 September 2001 and the following days. It represents an important change in customary international law. This was, however, the only change in international law as a consequence of 9/11. It does not mean, of course, that the nature of international law itself has changed in any way.

The Honda CR-V

One of the most popular and reliable car manufacturers in the automotive industry right now is Honda. They are a popular Japanese car maker that has automotive plants all over the globe, including the US. One of Honda’s most famous models is the Civic. However, Honda has also extended into the production of the sport-utility vehicle or SUV. At present, Honda’s premiere SUV is the CR-V. The CR-V was originally built as a compact station wagon, but as the years have gone by, this vehicle has gradually transformed into a crossover and is currently sold to car finders in markets throughout the globe.

Brief History of the CR-V

The Honda CR-V was introduced to the automotive market in 1995. The CR-V was originally intended to be a niche vehicle. That was due in part because Honda was hesitant in marketing this model on a large scale. Honda was uncertain if the CR-V would be capable of taking the place of the Honda Passport as an entry-level SUV in the U.S.

Honda’s worries were put to rest after entering the CR-V in the 1996 Chicago Auto Show. Car buyers and enthusiasts alike had paid close attention to the CR-V, which was thought to be a good indication of potential sales. In addition to this, Honda also began taking note of the successes Toyota’s RAV4 had achieved when it was released to the market.

Due to these factors, the CR-V was released in the US in 1997, alongside other SUVs, such as the Subaru Forrester. Since then, the CR-V has started building its reputation as an in-demand and reliable SUV. As of present, Honda is about to release their fourth generation Honda CR-V, which has many new exciting features that are being offered.

What does “CR-V” means?

With all its success and popularity, there is still a question that remains uncertain about the Honda CR-V. What does “CR-V” mean? All through the years, Honda has yet to come up with a concrete answer as to what CR-V stands for. In fact there are a lot of interpretations as to what it stands for.

Many car experts have researched the meaning of CR-V. One of the possible answers could be “Civic Recreation Vehicle.” This assumption was based on the notion that the CR-V was built on the Civic platform. Many observers believe that this vehicle was originally produced as an extension of the Civic line to satisfy the needs of Honda car finders who are after Honda-made SUVs. On the other hand, several sales literature’s in the UK consider the CR-Vs acronym to stand for “Compact Recreational Vehicle”, while the official fact book of Honda Japan CR-V states that it is an acronym for “Comfortable Runabout Vehicle”.

Despite the uncertainties connected to its name, the Honda CR-V still enjoys significant increases in demand, as well as new vehicle upgrades that improve its capability of being a great SUV.

4 Generations of Honda CR-Vs

As mentioned earlier, the CR-V is one of Honda’s longest running models. To trace its history, here is a brief summary of the Honda CR-V’s existence.

1. 1st Generation (1995-2001)

The first generation of CR-Vs were introduced in 1995 and production continued until 2001. In early production, the CR-V had only one trim and was powered by a 2.0L straight-4 B20B. That engine was capable of producing a maximum power output of 128 horsepower and 133 lb.-ft. of torque. Honda also used a uni-body chassis when they created their 4-wheel double-wishbone suspension. The interior is quite spacious and the rear seats can be folded to accommodate larger cargoes.

The external aspects of the first generation CR-Vs in the US was dominated by plastics, particularly in its rear and front bumpers, as well as the right and left fenders. After a few years, a new trim was offered for the CR-V and thus the EX trim was introduced. Honda had added some features to the EX trim which was not found on the LX trim. Other features included the anti-lock braking system. In this particular period, buyers were given two drive train options, front-wheel drive and the Real Time 4WD.

Honda has received a lot of criticism particularly on the CR-Vs lack of power to carry its 3,200 lbs. of weight. Due to this, Honda has used the 2.0L B20Z engine with a maximum power output of about 146 horsepower at 6200 rpm and up to 143 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm as a replacement. With this engine, the recorded fuel economy ratings were 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28 miles per gallon on the highway. Despite the change in engine and increased power, the price of the CR-V remained the same, which encouraged more car buyers to purchase this SUV.

In terms of safety, the 1995-2001 CR-V models have only obtained marginal ratings from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). This is because the results of the crash tests conducted by the IIHS revealed that there is a great possibility for the driver and other car occupants to incur left leg injuries. The agency has also noticed that the dummies used, went through the airbags during the collision and this could possibly cause minor concussions. It only earned a good rating in the vehicle’s capability to provide chest protection to its occupants. Due to these not so impressive findings, Honda was encouraged to improve the safety features of future CR-Vs.

2. 2nd Generation (2002-2006)

Based on the negative feedback the first generation CR-V received, Honda introduced the fully refreshed version of the CR-V in 2002. These vehicles were considered as the second generation CR-Vs. These models were based on the platform used by the seventh generation Civic and the former engine was replaced by the K24A1 engine. The new engine produces 160 horsepower and 162 lb.-ft. of torque. Despite the increase in power, this model of the CRV has retained its fuel economy. This was made possible by using the i-VTEC system.

After these improvements, the CR-V was only subjected to minor changes up to 2004. The CR-V has once again received a major face lift in 2005 and the SE trim was added to the two existing trims. The improvements implemented were focused on the vehicle’s wheel size, taillights and headlights, as well as other external changes. There were also revisions made to the CR-V’s interior in 2005. That included the mounting of audio controls on the vehicle’s steering wheel, the stereo was changed, and the rear seat headrests were revised to improve the driver’s view of the rear.

In terms of safety, the second generation CR-Vs sold in the US were equipped with front-seat mounted airbags and side curtain airbags with rollover sensors to protect all of the occupants. Honda had also installed ABS, Traction Control, Vehicle Stability Assist, and the Electronic brake force distribution systems.

3. 3rd Generation (2007-2011)

The third generation CR-V was introduced in 2007. This CR-V model is shorter, lower, and wider, compared to the previous models. The reduction in length was achieved by removing the CR-V’s spare tire from the rear and was transferred underneath the rear cargo area. The moving of the spare tire had also reduced the vehicle’s center of gravity.

Honda had also changed the engine used on the third generation CR-Vs. The earlier model engine was removed and the 2.0L 4-cylinder version was used. This engine produces 166 horsepower and 161 lb.-ft. of torque which is stronger compared to the previous maximum power output. Due to this engine revision, the fuel economy ratings of the CR-V have declined to 20 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.

For CR-Vs sold in the US, Honda had dropped the manual transmission in exchange for the automatic. With this transmission, the CR-V has obtained better shifting and more manageable handling.

Due to these improvements, the Honda CR-V became one of the best-selling SUVs in the US in 2007. In fact, the CR-V has beaten some of its closest competitors, such as the Toyota RAV4, Ford Escape, and Chevrolet Tahoe. It even reached the point that the CR-V became the number one selling vehicle in the US by beating the Ford Explorer in terms of the number of demands. The Ford Explorer has been the best-selling SUV in the US since 1991 only to be beaten by the CR-V in 2007.

4. 4th Generation (2012)

The fourth generation CR-V will be released in the US during the later part of this year. Honda has even released a photo of the upcoming model to tease car buyers. In its newest model, the CR-V has made significant changes to its exterior design. The cars curves and lines were further improved to give the vehicle an upscale and tougher look. This version is also expected to be more fuel-efficient compared to the previous models.

Helping Kids With Autism Survive the School Social Scene

No two of us are alike. We all have likes and dislikes, challenges and strengths. But we are similar in that we are social animals and we live in a social world. Some of us may indeed enjoy making social connections and others may view it as a chore or an intrusion into our world.

As adults we are often able to control how much and when we want to socialize but a child does not have that luxury. Young children are often placed in environments that force them to socialize which can be a good thing. But for a child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder who may be socially challenged, an environment such a school just might be their worst nightmare and largest source of anxiety.

Attending school immerses children into a social milieu that requires them to learn how to stay afloat whenever they want to or not. When you have a child that struggles with developing social relationships or understanding social cues school can be a cold, lonely and anxious place. "Will I fit in and make a friend this year or will everyone ignore me or make fun of me?" Is often a question that can loom in the mind of any child as they begin a new school year.

Children on the Autism spectrum are often more vulnerable to being picked on and more resistant to acquiring and honing essential social skills. Some children with Autism enjoy being in their own little world and need to be drawn out to be social. Many long to be socially accepted yet do not have the social skills necessary to develop friendships. As teachers, parents and professionals we need to teach children to acquire the social skills necessary for making friends but we also need to be sensitive to their needs and challenges.

Many of us could probably tell a story about an awkward or uncomfortable experience with group dynamics in a classroom situation. Remember what your response was when the teacher would say "get into groups"? Did you freeze or feel obligated to befriend someone to join a group so you did not stand out? What about the fear of being the last one picked on a team or actually experiencing it?

Unfortunately, school children on the Autism spectrum often deal with this on a daily basis. So how can we make the process of social interaction in a school setting more pleasant and less stressful for those who find it awkward and uncomfortable to make friends?

We can not sit back and expect that the acquisition of social skills will happen through osmosis. Making friends is not a default setting we are born with. Despite the fact that social learning automatically begins at birth through observation and experience, deliberate instruction and practice in making and keeping friends should begin at a very young age. Here are some basic concepts to start with.

Define a friend – Talk to your child about what makes someone your friend? What does a friend look like, act like, sound like, and make you feel like?

How to choose / make a friend – Discuss the importance of having similar interests and taking an interest in what the other person does. Ways to be kind, courteous and appropriately inquisitive about what they do.

Conversation starters – Explore what to say when you meet someone and want to develop a relationship with them. Give your child points and practice with them at home.

How to keep a friend – Unfortunately, children with autism often lack Theory of Mind which makes it difficult to teach respect, empathy, turn taking and perspective but it is vital maintaining friendships.

Ask "what if" questions whenever the opportunity arises. While watching television or movies with your child, stopping the action and inquiring what he might do in a similar social situation can push him to think socially.

As these skills are being taught it is important to practice, practice, practice. Giving children ample opportunities to apply friendship-making skills is extremely important and can not be overdone. Experts have proven that it is good for children with special needs to be integrated with normally developing children in various settings. Left to their own devices, a group of children on the Autism spectrum may easily retire into their own little worlds. Children with Autism should be exposed to various social scenes that offer opportunities to interact.

In addition to applying friendship making skills in the school setting it is often less stressful for some children to practice in situations that are less contrived and more relaxed. Exposing children to various options – new activities where social skills need to be practiced such as team sports, art lessons, theater camp, local environmental programs, community service projects, the YMCA or mentorship opportunities are all great choices.

Remember that even though your child may not survive the social scene at school, all is not lost. If you have been persistent in teaching and modeling the basic social skills necessary for creating relationships through his or her school experience your child will have a better chance of social success in adulthood when one can choose the social situations that they are most comfortable with.

How To Decorate With Vases

You can never have too many vases in your home. They are both a useful and decorative item. Vases are more than just vessels to put flowers in.

Vases have traditionally held fresh or silk flower arrangements. Use one as a centerpiece for your dining room table. Choose another for an accent on a foyer or side table. A vase will add interest and elegance to any space.

Vases come in many styles, sizes, shapes and materials. This dictates how the container is to be used. For example, ceramic or pottery vases are great as planters for use inside and outside your home. A sparkly mosaic vase will decorate a table. A crystal vase will give a more formal look to a space.

A vase can also be used as a decorative accent piece in your home. They are available in many shapes and sizes. These range from simple, petite, tapered containers to large rectangular vessels, square planters or free form shaped glass or pottery. A container's shape and size will determine if it will make a statement as a stand-alone piece or be used in a collection. Use a colorful vase as part of a grouping to add interest to a space or to highlight a specific color in a space.

To achieve the best design results, match the style of vase with the style in the space you are going to place it in. A rustic terracotta planter would look out of place in a modern space filled with glass, mirrors and stainless steel. Similarly, a dainty crystal bud vase would look out of place on a large rough-hewn wood table. In addition, a stone vessel would work outside while a mirrored vase would not.

The size of a vase also plays a part in how it is used. A small narrow bud vase is perfect for a single red rose, while a large cut glass vase can accommodate a dozen roses. In addition, a large uneven shaped vase can be used as a focal point on your entry table, while several similar small vases would make a nice collection to display together on a shelf. Add a large planter vase to your living room to bring a plant or small tree to the space or to add some flowers to your front porch.

There are many uses for vases inside and outside your home. Overall, the size, shape and material of a vase will determine the best use for the piece. In short, vases are a wonderful decorating tool to bring color, nature and interest to a space.

Maintenance on Your Log Home

Like every other house exposed to the elements, Log Homes are either maintenance free, nor are they absolute killers to take care of. I do not think it would be an exaggeration to state that the first couple of years demand significantly more work than your standard-issue house – without, of course, you can afford to pay someone to do the work for you! Log preparation and the base coat of stain are critical to the long-term success of your wall protection. But once the initial work is done, the maintenance becomes routine, and I would venture to guess log homes are a little easier to care for than other wood houses. After all, you do not have to strip the stain off between coats.

LOG PREPARATION: Most construction sites become a sea of ​​mud in a short period of time. The soil has been disturbed and there's no grass to hold the dirt together (or absorb the rain). You'll discover that the first few log courses are absolutely pristine, but the higher the walls become, the more the logs get dropped, smudged, or even used as stepping stones to dryer places (like the port-a-potty). Once the house is up, the logs will have to be washed before applying a stain … both inside and out.

Doing the interior cleaning in the right order did not occur to us – especially since the logs were identified in the winter. In our case, the timing was all wrong; You really want to wash the interior walls before the finished floor is laid, and before the basement insulation is installed under the floor decking. We did not make it, and we had to follow our wall-washing with a shop-vac to get rid of all the water … what a mess!

It was recommended that we use a mixture of one part bleach and four parts trisodium phosphate. We scrubbed it on with a brush and rinsed it off. Some people recommend a power washer for the outside walls, but you must use great care, and apply with a fan-tip to avoid damaging the logs. The experts recommend corn cob-blasting, but this is an expense most of us can not afford. If you do use a power-washer, it's a good idea to follow up with a shop-vac and vacuum out the water that will pool inside the checks, so that the logs do not get saturated from water sitting in the cracks. Even so, it will take one or more days to dry completely, depending on the weather.

Once the logs are dry, it is recommended that you apply a borate treatment before applying the stain. This borate is not only an insecticide, it also protects against rot. Usually this comes as a powder, and is mixed with water and sprayed on with an ordinary garden sprayer. Make sure it does not rain between applying the borate and the stain, or the borate will probably wash out.

STAINING: All stains are not created equal. There is a big performance difference between the best and the worst, so make sure you do not try to save money by cutting corners on the stain – you'll pay for it later. A deck sealer just will not work for logs; You should use a product specifically designed for log homes, and you will not find it at your local hardware store. For a good brand, budget around $ 250 per 5-gal pail. Our 2400 sq. Foot house took about 5 pails initially. Most stains need to be applied in two or three coats, so make sure your painter knows this when going for a quote. You will want to stain the exterior as soon as possible after the house is authenticated; It's amazing how quickly the logs will turn gray under normal exposure.

Afterwards, a "maintenance coat" of stain needs to be applied every 2-5 years, depending on the exposure. You usually do not have to restrain the whole house at one time. You'll see the color lighten up as the stain wears thin – for lack of a better word. If you're not sure whether a new coat is required, run a hose on the wall and see if the water beads up. If it does not, you're probably ready for another coat. And no, you do not have to strip off the old stain first, unless it has been neglected and shows sign of flaking and chipping. If your walls have gone 10 years without a second coat, you may have to corn-blast and start over. In this case, consult a specialist.

RAILING SYSTEM: The weak link of every log home is the railing system – especially on an exposed deck. The junctures between the rails and spindles need to be caulked thoroughly, and you'll see many more checks in the little railroads giving the opportunity to let rain in. The railing system needs to be restained every year. Make sure you do not let any water drip on the railings; Gutters are a must.

CAULKING: It is a personal preference wherever or not you caulk the exterior of your log home, but common sense would tell us that it's good policy to lock out the elements. There are caulks specifically designed for log homes that remain supplement and give with normal expansion & contracting. The first couple of years, it is advised to caulk any checks that appear on the upper curve of the log surface, where rain might collect. These caulks will take a stain, so they tend to blend in. After the house has reached equilibrium with its environment, the checking will cease.

INSECTS: You can read more about insects in my article LOG HOMES vs. INSECTS: What to look for. For the most part, there is a visual evidence of any insect problem. Make it a policy to inspect your home in the spring and in the fall, and be sure to keep your walls free of foliage, dead leaves, etc. Bushes should be planed a minimum of 2 feet away from the walls. Do not stack firewood against the wall, or anything else that could provide a home for unwelcome critters, four-legged or six-legged ones.

BOTTOM LINE: Maintenance on your log home should be routine, and the best defense is keeping a careful eye on abnormalities. Discoloration of a corner probably means water is dripping on it. A little pile of sawdust probably means a boring insect. Holes in the log, regardless of how tiny, are a red flag. These are the kinds of things you've looked for with any house. And after you've had your inspection, relax on the deck and enjoy your home … you deserve it.

And Tiny Places

Small spaces offer a range of challenges and come in a variety of shapes.

From the graduate exchanging home for a dorm room (and usually sharing it) to studio and efficiency apartment dwellers, cottage or bungalow inhabitants, growing families who are searching for a method to accommodate the changing needs of their family, anyone attempting to find a space for their home office and anyone who lives in a city where space is at a premium with a price tag to match; all of you share this challenge.

A castle does not have to have palatial space to feel like a palace.

Dorm Rooms present a special set of issues. You have one room the size of a typical bedroom that must become the ‘home space’ for two people, include a place to quietly study, relax, enjoy some privacy and provide enough storage for all the ‘stuff’ young people deem as vital to their happiness. (This includes clothes, shoes, computers, TV’s and everything that applies.)

While many dorm rooms come equipped with some basic furniture they rarely work towards creating a home away from home as they imply.

If you are lucky enough to have a good relationship with your room mate, things can get a lot better very affordably.

Shop thrift stores, Craigslist (Under the ‘For Sale’ section of Craigslist you will find a Free section. This has postings for ‘curb alerts’ and will allow you to relieve someone of their goods for the price of your gas to pick it up, and that’s all) and any other options you can locate. This is a temporary living arrangement; keep your cash for the lean times and get creative!

Put out a BOLO (Be on the lookout for) space saving twin pedestal beds. They take up the same space as the cot you are provided with and offer 6 wide drawers below the bed for expanded storage.

Even if the beds have to be pushed against the wall, you can use the unavailable side for seasonal storage and the important ‘stuff’ you acquire.

Look for inexpensive open, short shelving units and place them on the closet floor. These will keep spare books, sweaters and jeans easily accessible and leaves the top rod for hanging clothes. Install inexpensive hanging shoe organizers on the interior of the doors.

Search for used night stands that have three drawers. This is not the time or space for the open look. If you do this you will eliminate the need for dressers and open space for one important piece. A desk armoire provides much needed desk space, built in lighting to study, a place for all of your computer and class book storage and, the all important and must have TV. You can close the door and your room is neat; your area privacy is protected when you’ve finished your work.

Check out the rules on painting your room. If it is permissible, do it! Take a long look at your windows. Adding soft long drapes adds privacy, texture and creates a cozy feeling. They also keep out unwanted natural light when you plan to sleep in! Find complimentary bedding and throw pillows and thick cushy rugs to complete your theme.

Add neutral lamps to the nightstands or opt for wall sconces by the beds to allow each of you the opportunity to sleep without unwanted lights interfering and your tiny, cramped dorm room will become a true haven away from home.

If you have a roommate who is agreeable you will have fun locating these pieces and redecorating. Even the reluctant roommate may have a different attitude when they see your results!

Studio Apartments consist of one room that accommodates the living and sleeping areas and if you are lucky, a full or partial wall separating the kitchen; and one bath.

Take a moment to review the Dorm Room suggestions to make the most of acquiring storage in your apartment.

You may find a ‘Murphy bed’ (a fold out bed that appears as a narrow wall unit when closed) is built into the space. If so, it’s a great way to get rid of the sleeping area when you’re not using it.

If not, you can use the same shopping methods described above to find a used one if you cannot afford a new one.

In lieu of the Murphy bed, a futon is inexpensive, serves as a sofa and folds out to a bed for sleeping. All of these are good space saving options to consider.

Smaller apartment size tables for your living room will allow you to create a spacious feeling in your home. Look for end tables that can double as night stands with three drawers if possible. These will provide storage for clothing and lingerie while serving as end tables during the daytime.

Large, thick wool rugs create a sumptuous and homey feeling in the room and add texture. Look for light, neutral colors to increase the feeling of space. This also adds a visual break point separating your living area from your dining area.

The dining area is probably small, but looking for a way to separate it from your living area will make you feel like it’s a special area and not an intrusion into the living space.

Look for a small buffet or entry table to place against the end wall. This adds storage for dining linens and anything else you may need. Again, look for drawers! More is better.

Hang a mirror, a special picture or something simple and large above the buffet. Mirrors make the space feel larger.

Once you determine your personal style, look for a 36″ table with chairs that slide under the table. This frees up walking space when you are not dining. If you have space for a small tree beside the buffet you will find that it provides a complete separation of the area visually.

Lastly, go to Habitat for Humanity thrift store, consignment stores or any other option where you can locate a gorgeous light to hang above your table. Nothing says an area is special quite so much as the light you grace that space with.

Top your table with a simple and special centerpiece and your eating area is now a dining area that you will love to entertain in.

The kitchen is usually a galley style that has limited floor space. If a microwave is not included in your apartment look for a small one and hang it under a cabinet. Counter space is critical in galley kitchens.

If you have any available space, look for a rolling cart that doubles as a chopping block/prep area and has storage below. You can move it when you’re using it and store it out of the way when you’re not preparing or cooking food. Use substantial size baskets on the shelf below to store vegetables and fruits.

The keep it simple method will make you feel much less cramped in smaller kitchens. Orderly cabinets increase storage space; clean countertops allow you to use the limited space for food preparation.

Your bath area is likely to be compact. If so, look around. Is there an area to hang a decorative cabinet and increase storage? If so, find one! The biggest challenge in a studio apartment is find a place for the things you require to be comfortable.

If you have a Burlington Coat Factory or Tuesday Morning store near you, they are worth checking out for shower curtains and inexpensive and attractive storage and organizing options.

A cloth shower curtain will create a warm and cozy feeling even in a small bath area. Thick towels on the towel bars say ‘this is my home.’ Some things are worth splurging on and I firmly believe these two items are on the top of the list.

Explore the window coverings and paint options described in the Dorm Room section and apply it to your studio apartment if possible.

Efficiency Apartments typically offer a combined living and dining area, a kitchen, separate bedroom and a bath.

Take a moment to review the suggestions in the Dorm Rooms and Studio Apartment sections as they all apply except the sleeping area. You are fortunate to have a completely separate bedroom.

Your bedroom should feel special. You are sharing living and dining spaces; take the time to look for possibilities in your bedroom.

I love to use chandeliers with dimmer switches in bedrooms. You can find really beautiful small chandeliers inexpensively if you shop with the methods we have been discussing in the previous sections.

If that idea does not interest you, look for a really attractive ceiling fan and use the bedside lamps for lighting.

Limit your bed size to a queen unless you have a really large space. Using apartment size furnishings or scaling down the number of pieces in the room will make a dramatic difference in how your room feels.

Paint if possible. Find ‘the’ color and shade that provides the look and feel you want in your private space. Add texture with rugs, window coverings (hang from the top of the wall rather than the top of the window to make the space feel much larger) throw pillows and plants and top it off with bedding that compliments your other selections.

Take a good look at the living room space and the bedroom space and see which best supports a small computer armoire to create your home office.

Your living area will benefit from a TV that hangs on the wall or a narrow media cabinet that increases storage if you do not add the computer armoire.

You may want to explore adding an apartment size sectional sofa. These can create a break from the dining room and living room and still provide an open and spacious feeling while adding seating.

Cottages and Bungalows are actually smaller versions of a typical home. Space planning is more important than ever to achieve a homey, un-cramped feeling.

Eliminate clutter wherever you are able to; clutter is the chief offender of small spaces.

Cottages or Bungalows

Simple, smooth lines will benefit the feeling of spaciousness in your cottage. Sometimes the mere thought of a ‘cottage or bungalow’ conjures a vision of a Victorian space complete with curly cues on the lamps and curtains replacing cabinet doors. Lose that image!

Cottages benefit from the Seaside and Country Cottage designs that combine soft colors, upholstered furnishings with clean lines and double duty tables in the living room and dining areas.

All of the ideas presented in the ‘Dorm Room’ sections apply in small spaces. Visit the Efficiency Apartments section to enhance those ides to cover dining and kitchen solutions.

Most of all enjoy the homey and comfortable atmosphere that is gained from a small space! It makes a large statement if you capture the charm and make it yours.