How To Repair A Table Lamp or Floor Lamp

We strongly suggest that YOU DO NOT DO THIS ELECTRICAL REPAIR YOURSELF unless you are experienced and qualified. If you are qualified and experienced then no further instructions should be necessary.

There are just too many variables and too much to risk. Today there are many new socket configurations, many electrical cord types and other electrical specifications among other things to take into account. It simply makes more sense to have this type of repair done at a professional lamp shop that specializes in lamp repairs.

All of the lamp repair companies with which we are familiar do repairs at a nominal charge and consider lamp repairs almost as a loss leader service just to get people in their store. You will likely find that a lamp repair shop will do the work for less than what it costs you in travel expenses and for electrical parts.

We sell lamp parts in our brick and mortar store and it is very common to see a customer return 2-3 times to get an additional lamp part that they later determined was necessary to complete their lamp repair. By the time they completed the repair they could have paid us to repair 2 or 3 lamps.

I have read numerous internet articles on lamp and lighting repairs and there is enough misinformation and partial information floating about to get a well intentioned handy man into some serious trouble or at the very least to cost him some real inconvenience.

So, pack up your defective lamp or chandelier and take it to a professional. The cost is nominal and you will sleep so much better!

– Jim Hoyle

Suuden Fury in Kingston

On Saturday, November 13, 1984, highly touted Jaime Garza was scheduled to meet cagey Juan "Kid" Meza in the main event at the Mid Town Neighborhood Center in Kingston, NY. Meza was a distinct 5-1 underdog to the 40-0 heavy puncher from Southern Californian who was being compared to Danny "Little Red" Lopez for his full throttle offensive, porous defense, and ability to come off the canvas and put his opponent out . In fact, Garza won his title some 17 months before before coming off the floor in typical "Little Red" fashion to knock out Bobby Berna in two and take the belt vacated by the legendary Wilfredo Gomez. I was well ensconced in my den in Boston, with friends, beverage and cigars, ready for action as the fight was being aired on CBS with Gil Clancy and Sugar Ray Leonard at the mikes. But as usual, I'm getting ahead of myself.

The referee for this fight was Johnny Lo Bianco. The judges were Carol Castellano, Luis Rivera, and Bernie Freidkin. Everyone felt their work would be brief since both fighters had an astonishing 75 KO's on their combined resumes. Garza, was 40-0, with 38 knockouts (13 in the first round). "Kid" Meza, from Los Angeles, by way of Mexicali, was 49-9, with 37 KO's. Both men scaled 121 l lbs. Knockout was the operative word this night. While Kid Meza had never knocked off his feet, most experts felt the heavy handed Garza would do the trick.

But first, the limited but game Billy Costello, 140, of Kingston defended his WBC super lightweight title against tough but too old Saul Mamby in the co-feature and won a UD. Since this was Billy's home town, there was considerable interest in the card which also included Wilford Scypion. Little did the fans know what was coming.

Garza was handled by John Montes Sr. And Bennie Georgino (who curiously also handled "Little Red" Lopez) and thread lightening fast combinations punctuated with lethal hooks. If hit squarely, most of his opponents would go; In fact, 30 went in less than three. He was undefeated and ready to achieve superstar status.

As for Juan "Kid" Meza (whose trainer was Jimmy Montoya), two years before, the Mexicali native had cooked well before being stopped in the sixth by the legendary Wilfredo Gomez. After losing that fight, he took off for a year. During this time, Gomez left the championship vacant to challenge for the Featherweight crown. Garza won the vacant championship by knocking out the aforementioned Berna. Meanwhile, Meza worked his way back to title contention with wins over Roberto Castillo (KO 8), Pongpan Sorphayathai (20-1) whom he ko 'd in three in Thailand and two 10-round decisions over Javier Barajas. The "Kid" was also a quick starter with 21 of his 31 knockouts ending in less than three rounds.

Earlier in his career, Meza made his first noticeable mark when he knocked out Carlos Ortiz in one in 1977 avenging an earlier loss. He won 29 of his next 31 bouts, learning a following on the West Coast. Included in those 31 fights were a ten-round decision over Carlos Mendoza in 1981as part of the Gomez-Sanchez under card in Las Vegas, and a 9th round knockout over Antonio Guido as part of the Bentize-Duran under card in 1982. He was Then ranked the number one challenger to Wilfredo Gomez's WBC world Super-Bantamweight title. By then, informed boxing people knew that Juan "Kid" Meza was never to be taken lightly. Nor, of course, was Jamie Garza who had 23 straight stoppages coming into this fight. Which brings us to November 13, 1984

As the bell rang, Meza reached out to touch gloves, but Garza was having none of it and kept his hands up ready to fight. Clearly, there was no love lost as there had been an altercation at breakfast between the two.They came out immediately winging and trading hooks. In this case, the old adage "never hook with a hooker" did not apply, for both fighters were seriously with this punch. Incredibly, after a right uppercut missed, a wide hook crashed off Meza's temple and put him on the canvas for the very first time in his 47-fight career. With only only 40 seconds into the fight, Garza had now demonstrated beyond any doubt the power of his blows. One of my friends jumped up and said "do not go to the john." We were all standing and shouting as was the live crowd. This is exactly what we expected and what we wanted.

The Kid looked around and then picked up the count showing remarkable calm for a fighter who had never been floored. Garza charged in for the kill and drove Meza back toward the ropes, but the Kid responded with heavy shots that slowed him down. Garza continued to fire away with his all-offense, no-defense style, and showed little fear of Meza's punches. The Kid's jabs found their mark through Garza's porous defense and the two began exchanging three and four punch flurry's. The fight took on the aura of a cock fight with back and forth winging. One could literally hear the swish sound when they missed and the thump sound when they did not miss. I was up and screaming, "…. end it Jaimie, end it, take him out ……"

"Garza's making the mistake of falling in with his hands down," CBS analyst Sugar Ray Leonard correctly noted as Garza kind of stumbled into the corner after missing a wild hook. When Meza went after him, Garza spun away and landed a cuffing hook that sent Meza to the canvas. Meza quickly anose and pointed his gloves toward the canvas to indicate he had been pushed. Refreee LoBianco agreed and governed it a slip. Garza then landed some jabs, but his speedy combos, launched with the evilist of intentions, missed; Meza's were more accurate marking an ever-so-subtle shift, albeit early, in his favor.

At that point, commentator Gil Clancy pointed out spmething that I had also noted, "The big difference that I see so far is that Garza is much the shorter puncher of the two …… he'll beat Meza to the punch Because Meza is a wide puncher. " Then, a split-second after he said that, it happened. Jaimie began to throw a counter hook after Meza had missed with a short combo. Unfortunatley for him, he kept his right arm low which created an opening. Meanwhile, Meza, by missing with his right dipped and in so doing was in excellent position to trigger his own hook. His blow was launched just before Garza's. So here it was in plain sight ….. hooking with the hooker. We all rose and started screaming because we knew what had just occurred. Ready for a devastating result, we were not dissapointed. Meza had beaten Garza to the punch with shocking effect.

The savage hook stuck Garza on the sweet point of his jaw, snapping his head violently to the side. His body twisted grotesquely and crashed hard to the canvas, his head bouncing dangerously off the canvas. Garza's eyes rolled up into his head. He was in bad shape but made a vailant effort pull himself upright after rolling under the ropes. His effort was too little too late. Referee LoBianco reached the count of ten a split-second before Garza completely regained his feet, but he would have been in no shape to continue even if he had beaten the count. A new and jubilant champion had beem crowned. The ko was named 1984's Knockout of the Year by KO Magazine. Juan Meza became the first challenger in boxing history to be dropped in round one, get up and knock out the world champion in the same first round.

Garza would go to win four uneventful bouts but lost in shocking fashion to Daryl Thigpen (10-4) being stopped in the six after being down four times. After the devastating loss to Meza, Jaime was never the same and would never again win a meaningful fight. He went 2-3 in his final five finishing with a proud record of 48-6 (44 KOs) and an astonishing ko percentage of 81%.

Mezaought seven more times and beat always tough tough Mike Ayala in six rounds, but shockingly dropped his belt to prohibit underdog Lupe Pintor in a thrilling 12-round slugfest. Sixteen months later, he challenged for a world title for the final time against slick Samart Payakaroon in Bangkok, but was stopped by the Thai with just five seconds before the final bell. He was far behind on points so the stoppage was academic. Later, Meza ko'd Lenny Valdez in one but was then stopped in eight by Javier Marquez. Remarkably, nine years later at age 40, he came back to stop Esteban Lozoya in four, but after being stopped in one by Wilfredo Negron, he retired. He ended with a fine record of 45-9 (37 KOs) and a ko percentage of 69%.

Now, among other things, being a serious boxing fan means accumualting a memory bank of great -fights …… fights like Castiilo-Corrales, Brooks-Curry, Hagler-Hearns, Ward-Green-Gatti-Burton, Norton- Holmes, Chacon-Limon, Mancini-Kim, and many, many others. But for me, it also means Meza-Garza. Thanks for the memories.

Pajero Sport Test Drive: A Review

The Pajero Sport was earlier marketed by Mitsubishi as Challenger. Now, the Japanese automaker has made the vehicle available as a re-engineered version of the original Pajero. In this article, we will be discussing about the test driving experience offered by this amazing car.

Let us begin by the changes introduced by the automaker. The Sport has an absolutely new rear suspension. Mitsubishi has provided it with a smoother coil-spring set-up, which comes accompanied by a live axle at the vehicle’s rear. This combination offers great off-road results; the sturdy differential of the live axle lifts the Sport seamlessly out of the holes. This never happens in case of independent rear suspensions.

Another excellent feature added to this Mitsubishi creation is the company’s own version of terrain response. This gives people driving the car the opportunity of dialing up different settings for driving comfortably on rocks, gravel, sand, mud, and snow. In short, the vehicle can be described as a pretty brawny off-road performer. Its ground clearance is also pretty good at 250 mm; its wading depth, on the other hand, is 750 mm.

Let us now discuss about the Sport’s on-road performance. In this sector, the Sport beats the Challenger by a big margin. Due to the newly added driving features, the ride offered by the car is comfortable and soft. Turning the SUV is an extremely easy job; you will not need to be a professional to complete steep turns when driving the Sport. The car has a light steering and boasts a significantly impressive turning circle. Both vibration and noise remain suppressed; so, the passengers as well as the driver feel as if they are traveling on a silky road devoid of any potholes and bumpers.

The wheel articulation of this Mitsubishi creation allows it to beat massive obstacles without any difficulty. This quality of the car is enhanced even further with one of its most talked about features, the Super Select 4-WD.

The car’s engine performance will also impress the majority of the users. Some might say that it’s a bit off bit; however, no one would ever be able to call it unsatisfactory. The fuel economy of the Pajero Sport is rated at around 8 liter per 100 kilometers.

From the driver’s point of view, the biggest plus of the Sport is its ability to offer similar driving experience in all terrains. As a driver, you will not need to develop a different skill to take this SUV to a hilly or snowy terrain.

Motivational Theories

Organizational behavior studies and theories of motivation to account for the need to get the most out of workers in industrial or business concerns is very much a twentieth century phenomenon. Following the industrial revolution, large concentrations of workers were needed in mills and factories to mass produce goods on factory sites, which replaced agricultural and craft work hitherto produced in small rural family or communal units. In the early days of industrialization in the West, slave labor, or indented labor including child labor at starvation wages, could be harnessed at the behest of the ruling classes.

After two Word Wars and a radically changed social, economic and political environment, owners of capital could no longer treat labor as a disposable commodity. Trade Unions, Communism, and demand for universal education by the population in Western and Western-style democracies, along with worldwide markets mean that the old methods of almost forced, repetitive labor ('the dark satanic mills') became a thing of the past . New disciplines like psychology, sociology and economics sprang up. Unlike in the natural sciences like physics, chemistry and even biology, theory building in the social sciences, often followed practice, and were uneven and far less cumulative, reliable, or universally valid and applicable (see Gillespie below). Organizational behavior and management science developed alongside advances in the social sciences.

The 'carrot and stick' approach to early theories of management owe to the writings of Frederick Winslow Taylor. He coined the term 'scientific management' to a theory later termed simply 'Taylorism' which advised to break down tasks to their simplest elements so that an assembly line robot could undertake the task without any need for thinking. All brain work was to be removed from the shop floor and handled by managers alone. This is the principle of separating conception from execution. This approach may have worked with early immigrants to the US without much language skills (English), but its effectiveness was short lived. However, in automated plants using very high tech solutions for 24-hour routine work with little or no human input, the principle still applies.

Douglas McGregor called Taylorism and similar top down command and control approaches to management of labor, Theory X, and proposed instead Theory Y giving the employees more autonomy and discretion at work so long as they met the overall organizational objectives. He was appealing to a more skilled and educated workpiece as the workplace technology became ever more renovated with the passage of time. McGregor drew up the work of Elton Mayo in what became known as the Hawthorne Studies conducted between 1927 and 1932 at the Western Electric plant in Cicero, Illinois.

Gillespie made a thorough review of Mayo's Hawthorne plant experiments and questioned the whole ethos of considering such work as objective science, although Mayo's conclusions were widely discussed and accepted in the intervening years. Gillespie believes that there is 'no purely objective scientific methodology' and that what is agreed as 'scientific knowledge is manufactured and not discovered' (ibid). Every type of intervention that Mayo instituted in the factory, including changing the illumination, changing the hours of work, and giving more, or less breaks, all ended with the workers producing more with each intervention by the social scientists. The 'Hawthorne Effect' has been summarized as employees becoming more productive because they know they are being sympathetically observed. In other words by the psychological stimulus of being singled out, involved, and made to feel important '.

Industrial relations have to be based on 'human relations', which was the name adopted by the Theory Y School of motivators. Their concluding were there that there was an informal group life developing among factory workers, and the norms that they develop affect productivity. In short, the workplace is a social system and managers must ignore the fact to their cost. Workers develop among them a sense of responsibility to work well. Such an ethos was adopted by Japanese car makers, and until very recently it worked very well for them when they conquered the world car market.

A very similar type of investigation was undertaken by the Tavistock Institute in London to study the work of coal miners. Researchers found that job simplification and specialization did not work under conditions of uncertainty and non-routine tasks'. They advocated semi-autonomous groups. Meanwhile, there had been extensive work undertaken outside the organizational framework that was to influence motivational theory. This was the seminal work of Abraham Maslow who identified a hierarchy of human needs requiring satisfaction form the lowest level of basic physiological needs going up the scale to creativity and self-actualization. According to Maslow, 'a need once satisfied, no longer motivates. The company relations on monetary rewards and benefits to satisfies employee's lower level needs. Once those needs have been satisfied, the motivation is gone … employees can be most productive when their work goals align with their higher level needs'.

Although McGregor used Maslow's theory to bolster up his Theory Y, Maslow's theory with its much more complex hierarchy has been labeled Theory Z. In brief summary form and visualized as a pyramid with its broad base first:

– Physiological needs (Lowest)
– Safety needs;
– Love / affiliation needs;
– Esteem needs; And
– Self-actualization needs (Highest)

There is one more influential theory of motivation (among many less well-known) which needs to be explored. This is Herzberg's 'two-factor' theory of motivation. 'The theory was first drawn from an examination of events in the lives of engineers and accountants. At least 16 other investigations, using a wide variety of populations, (including some in the Communist countries) have since completed, making the original research one of the most replicated studies in the field of job attitudes' (op. Cit.). He hypothesized that the 'factors involved in producing job satisfaction (and motivation) are separate from the factors that lead to job dissatisfaction … The opposite of job satisfaction is not job dissatisfaction, but, rather, no job satisfaction; And similarly, the opposite of job dissatisfaction is not job satisfaction, but no job dissatisfaction '.

Herzberg's lower level hygiene factors may be listed as security, status, workplace relationships, personal life, salary, supervision, and company practices. His higher order, motivators may be listed as growth, advancement, responsibility, work itself, recognition, and at the very top a sense of achievement, which corresponds to self-actualization in Maslow's hierarchy.

Having explored the changing nature of motivational theory as reflective of the changing nature of the global social, political and economic landscape over the years, this essay also delved into Maslow's more general Theory of the Hierarchy of Needs and Herzberg's work oriented Two-Factor theory of Motivation. Since all social science theorising remains contingent on so many factors, more recent theories such as total quality management (TQM) and business process reengineering (BPR) have evolved to take into account current organizational concerns.

Categorizing UPS Loads and Load Types

Hardly anyone will argue that the need for uninterruptible power supplies (UPS) is on the rise as ancient power supply infrastructures creek under the weight of increasing demand for energy worldwide. But why do power protection load types need to be categorised?

Firstly, business managers must assess what UPS loads are in terms of their criticality to the continuity of operations in the event of a power cut. Usually, uninterruptible power supply loads are categorised as critical, essential and non-essential.

Another crucial assessment at the design stage of a UPS system is how these loads are synergised, i.e., which loads affect other loads?

Computer loads, in terms of a retail business for example, may affect other systems that are part of facilities management. This may include security cameras, door entry systems, lifts, escalators, PoS terminals, kiosks, cash machines and so forth. In a warehousing business, computer loads may also have a significant bearing on the ability of the business to handle both in-bound and out-bound goods. All of this needs to be taken into account when assessing the criticality of UPS loads.

UPS loads also need to be categorised in terms of their electrical draw and the effect it has on electrical systems; whether they are capacitive, inductive or resistive. This will have a bearing on the size and type of UPS system to be installed.

Load Categories. Critical loads directly affect the ability of an organisation to operate and must either be kept running when the mains power supply fails or be powered down in an orderly manner to prevent systems crashes, data loss or corruption, and life-shortening hardware damage. Their routine operation can also be interrupted when the mains power supply is polluted.

Essential loads provide secondary support services and may be required for health and safety reasons or to maintain ambient temperature. Whilst requiring a form of back-up in case of mains power supply failure, they do not require uninterruptible power and can be allowed to fail or ride through the time it takes for a generator (or alterative back-up system) to start up. Examples include air-conditioning, heating and emergency lighting.

Non-essential loads are those that an organisation can afford to lose when the mains power supply fails. For example, general lighting and non-essential printing services.

Some critical loads, especially sensitive medical and scientific equipment, require tight voltage and frequency regulation and this is only possible from the continuously running inverter of an on-line UPS. Essential loads do not need the quality of supply provided by a UPS and can be powered directly from a generator. This will allow the overall size of UPS to be reduced. Non-essential loads do not require any power protection at all.

The Effect on the Electrical System of Critical UPS Loads. In terms of type, UPS loads are referred to as either linear or non-linear, depending on how they draw their current from the mains power supply waveform. They will be inductive, capacitive or resistive.

An inductive load is one the waveform of which lags the voltage waveform and has a potentially high in-rush current at start-up. Examples of this type of load are SMPS (the most common form of power supply unit in use today and the type of computer loads most often found behind today’s power-hungry data centres), transformer or motor. This may be tempered by a soft-start facility.

Capacitive loads are those that lead the voltage waveform with potentially high in-rush current at start-up. An example of this is the latest high-end server technology such as Blade of Edge Servers.

A resistive load is one that has no inductance or capacitance, an example being a resistive load test bank heater element where the device typically has no initial switch-on surge and the current drawn rises immediately to a steady running state.

Whether a load is inductive, capacitive or resistive will determine its power factor and this in itself greatly influences the overall size of the UPS and generator (or alternative source of back-up power) to be installed. By convention, an inductive load is defined as a positive reactive power and a capacitive load is defined as a negative reactive power. However, power factor is never shown as positive or negative; rather it is displayed as either lagging or leading.

Assessing load types, how they are synergised, and their effect on electrical current is critical to correctly sizing and designing UPS solutions to get maximum power protection and value for money. Expertise from specialists like Riello UPS, whose business is to fully comprehend UPS loads and load types, cannot be overlooked. More detail can be found in a fantastic book on UPS – The Power Protection Guide.

Seven Serious Barriers to Achieving Your Weight Loss Goals

It does not matter how much you exercise or how strictly you control your caloric intake – if the following seven barriers are not removed from your path, you will constantly fail in pursuing your health, wellness, or performance goals. But if these barriers are removed, your energy levels will soar, your fat-burning efficiency will explode, and you'll probably add years (quality years!) To your life.

1. Neurotransmitter Deficits

The body has several neurotransmitters that are actively involved in control of appetite and mental motivation. Dopamine is your body's pleasure molecule, acting to significantly affect desire for activity, eating satisfaction and food cravings. Inadequate dopamine increases the chances that you will have a reduced drive to exercise and be less effective at regulating your nutritional intake. Serotonin plays a significant role in the regulation of sleep, mood, and appetite. If serotonin levels are too low, one result is carbohydrate and sugar cravings, since these nutrients actually increase productin of serotonin. Another result is sleep loss, since low serotonin results in low melatonin levels, and melatonin is necessary for deep sleep. Low levels of another neuorotransmitter, GABA, can result in mood swings, sleep loss, anxiety, and lack of self-control. So what causes low levels of these key neurotransmitters? Stress, and lack of sleep. This makes for a vicious cycle, as you will see from barriers 2 and 3.

2. Cortisol

Cortisol is a steroid hormone that is secreted in response to repetitive negative stress. Although there are many harmful results from elevated cortisol levels, some of the more common effects include high blood pressure, reduced blood sugar regulation, a suppressed immune system, depression, anxiety, and excess fat around the mid-section. Not only can this subtract significant years from your life, but the high levels of the stress molecules released in conjuncture with cortisol, called catecholamines, can decrease testosterone levels and sex drive. If you are the type of person who has difficulty with breathing throughout the day, has constant hectic deadlines or work projects, feel "spread too thin", and do not have time to relax until the wee evening hours, then you need to re- Evaluate your lifestyle. Is * it * really that important?

3. Lack of Sleep

This is one of the easiest barriers to remove, but most people seem to place more importance on a favorite TV show, website, or unhealthy obsession with excessive exercise. Undercutting your necessary sleep by even one hour per night can decrease insulin sensitivity, decrease leptin levels, and increase ghrelin levels – all of which can severely affect your appetite and metabolism, thus increasing your propensity towards fat storage, diabetes, and obesity, among other Chronic metabolic-related diseases. Furthermore, lack of sleep can increase cortisol levels, decrease key neurotransmitter levels, and give your body inadequate rest and recovery for muscle tissue and organ repair. Not giving your body from 7-9 hours of sleep a night is the equivalent of parking your car in a hailstorm every night. The long term effect is a battered and broken down body.

4. Nutritional Issues

There are two main considerations with nutrition. Lack of fruits and vegetables is the top deficiency I observe in most diets. The resultant mineral and vitamin deficiencies can drastically depress beta-oxidation, which is the body's primary fat burning mechanism. How many servings of fruits and vegetables do you have per day? If you do not know, the answer is probably not enough. The second problem I frequently observes is consumption of foods that cause an allergen response. Depending on the individual, frequent food sensitivities include allergies to dairy, wheat, eggs, and soy. Although you may not have always been sensitive to such foods, a long-term allergenic response by the body causes a consistently increased immune system response, and eventually the body begins to experience noticeable changes, such as chronic inflammation and joint pain, mood swings, Anxiety, depression, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, bloating, and headaches. Simply removing the offending foods from the diet can result in significant positive changes within a one to two week period.

5. Thyroid Function

Hypothryoidism, or low levels of active thyroid hormone, are consistently low in individuals who experience chronic stress, lack of sleep, and poor nutrition. This condition manifests itself with a depressed metabolism, skin problems, depress, chronic fatigue, and irritable bowel. Iodine is a major necessity for production of thyroid hormone, and high levels can be found in seafood. Including fish as a regular part of your diet can assist with hypothyroidism, but caution should be taken to avoid high consumption of seafood, due to consistently dangerous levels of mercury and PCB's. Increasing sleep and decreasing stress would be the best alternative.

6. Toxins

Our bodies are constantly baraged by environmental toxins, primary found in processed and packaged foods, artificial sweeteners, pesticides and herbicides, industrial cleaners and chemicals, and even water. Since your body stores toxins in fat cells, one way the body deals with toxins is to increase fat cell production and storage. Another mechanism is reduced thryoid function, which can slow the metabolism by up to 30%, thus reducing toxin damage. To avoid this "double-whammy" response, invest primarily in organic fruits and vegetables, grass-fed beef, non-chemical sweeteners, natural cleaning solutions, and a good water filter.

7. Sugar

Insulin resistance is probably one of the most serious problems I encounter on a regular basis in my clients. Through constant consumption of refined sugars, processed flours, soda, high fructose corn syrup, energy bars, just plain "too much food" and chronic stress, our body's pancreas is forced to produce huge amounts of insulin, which takes the sugar and forces it Into the cells and liver, where it is either used as energy or converted to fat. Constantly high levels of insulin overstimulates the body's insulin receptors and leads to insulin insensitivity and eventual resistance, resulting in an inability to burn fat cells, low blood sugar, joint and gut inflammation, heart disease, dementia, diabetes, and obesity. One of the most effective changes you can make to defuse this ticking time bomb is to stop your daily consumption of scones, sweet coffee drinks, muffins, soda, bread, pasta, and fast food, while stepping up consumption of lean proteins, nuts, Legumes, beans, fruits and vegetables.

If you found yourself reviewing this list and thinking about making these changes, you fit into the minority. Most people simply laugh, say "Impossible!", And continue in their daily routine of self-destruction. How much better would your life be if you had triple the energy, alertness, mental clarity, and physical performance that you currently have? How would it feel if this included a more toned and lean body? Does that make the decision easier? Remember, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, and expecting different results … e-mail me at if I can help.

What are OFNP, OFNR, OFNG and OFCG? Understanding Fiber Optic Cable Fire Ratings

Just like copper cables, NEC (National Electrical Code) requires indoor fiber optic cables be marked with their fire and smoking ratings. NEC requires all indoor fiber cables be marked correctly and installed properly for its intended use.

According to NEC, a building’s inside area is divided into three types of sections: plenums, risers and general purpose areas.

:: What is a Plenum area?

A Plenum area is a building space used for air flow or air distribution system. In most buildings, the area above a drop ceiling or under a raised floor is used as the air return (source of air) for the air conditioning. Those drop ceiling and raised floors are also where fiber cables are often installed. If those cables were burning, they would give off toxic fumes and the fumes would be fed to the rest of the building by the air conditioner. As a result, people could be injured even though they are a long way from the fire.

:: What is a Riser area?

A Riser area is a floor opening, shaft or duct that runs vertically through one or more floors

:: What is General Purpose area?

All other area that is not plenum or riser and on the same floor is a general purpose area.

:: Fiber Optic Cable Fire and Smoking Rating Markings

OFNP Cables:

OFNP stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive Plenum. OFNP cables have fire-resistance and low smoke production characteristics. They can be installed in ducts, plenums and other spaces used for building airflow. This is the highest fire rating fiber cable and no other cable types can be used as substitutes.

OFCP Cables:

OFCP stands for Optical Fiber Conductive Plenum. OFCP cables have the same fire and smoking rating as OFNP cables but they have a conducting armor or central strength member which is usually steel. OFCP cables must be properly grounded at both ends. As a result, OFCP cables can not be installed in the same cable tray or conduit as power cables.

OFNR Cables:

OFNR stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive Riser. OFNR cables are used in Riser areas which are building vertical shafts or runs from one floor to another floor. OFNR cables can not be installed in plenum areas since they do not have the required fire and smoking rating as Plenum rated cables. OFNP plenum cables can be used as substitutes for OFNR cables.

OFCR Cables:

OFCR stands for Optical Fiber Conductive Riser. OFCR cables have the same fire rating characteristics as OFNR cables but they have conducting armor or central strength member which is usually steel. OFCR cables should also be properly grounded at both ends. OFCP cables can be used as substitutes for OFCR cables. OFCR cables can not be installed in the same cable trays or conduits as power cables.

OFNG Cables:

OFNG stands for Optical Fiber Nonconductive General-Purpose. They are typically used in horizontal cabling, single floor applications. OFNG cables can not be used in plenums or risers. OFNP and OFNR cables both can be used as substitutes for OFNG cables.

OFCG Cables:

OFCG stands for Optical Fiber Conductive General-Purpose. They have the same fire characteristics as OFNG cables but they have conducting armor or central strength members which is typically steel. OFCG cables should be properly grounded at both ends. They should not be installed in the same cable tray or conduits as power cables.

Best Practices for Open Houses

As a seller, you wait in anticipation to see if the open house will bring in a potential buyer. According to the National Association of Realtors 2014 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 44 percent of buyers utilized an open house as a resource in their search for a home and the typical open house visitor is a repeat buyer as opposed to a first-time homebuyer. Most open houses are normally held on a weekend day to be able to appeal to the masses that work Monday through Friday and usually last for an average of 2 hours. Below is an outline of best practices for open houses.

Set the Scene

Begin packing items that you may not need before you move, de-cluttering and depersonalizing the home. Knickknacks and family photos can be distracting to buyers as you want them focusing on the home itself and not images of your last vacation to the beach. Closets should be organized and cleaned out as much as possible to show a larger space. Cleaning your home from top to bottom will help it show much better.

Any home maintenance projects that have been on the honey-do-list should be addressed. These items include, but are not limited to roof repairs, plumbing leaks, and touch up paint. Sprucing up the curb appeal of the home is always a good idea as first impressions can be everything. Is the welcome mat old and grungy? Consider replacing it. Make sure that the home’s exterior shows well. Everything from cleaning out gutters to mowing the lawn. Make sure the landscaping and entry to the home are in the best possible shape.

Evaluate the condition of the flooring. If the carpets are dirty, then consider having them cleaned. Should the carpets be beyond help, then either replace the carpet or possibly consider adding in a flooring allowance with the sale of the home so that the buyer can choose new flooring. Ensure that all lights are functioning and no bulbs are burnt out. This will not only help with showings, but also in the photos for marketing the home.

If you have larger furniture, consider arranging it to make the space feel more open. Or, alternatively place it in storage while your home is listed. Stage each space so it is inviting and presents a vision that is perfect for entertaining. Put fresh towels out in the bathroom and ensure that all toilet lids are closed. If you have bathroom or area rugs, then think about removing them to make the room feel more spacious and reveal the bare floors.

Cleanliness and tidiness are of the utmost importance not only when you have your home listed, but especially for the open house. Neutralize any smells in the house. Nobody wants to walk into a space and smell what you had for dinner last night or nasty pet smells lingering in the air.


If you have pets, it’s best to put them away or take them with you to another location while the open house takes place. Some buyers have allergies to pets or are fearful of them. It’s also a good idea to hide pet items that may usually be out. Dog beds, litter boxes, pet food and water, toys, etc. should all be hidden out of plain sight.

Open House Day

The big day is here and the open house is set to begin in a few hours. Getting your home open-house ready ultimately means paying attention to the details. Start by going room by room to make sure that beds are made, clothes are picked up, blinds are open and clutter is off of the counters in the bathrooms and kitchen. Ultimately, you want the prospective buyer to envision their own stuff in the space and picture themselves living in the space.

Before you leave to let your realtor welcome visitors to the open house, you need to put in a few finishing touches. Set the temperature to a comfortable setting as you don’t want open house visitors to be either too hot or too cold. All valuables should be put in a safe place as well as any prescription medications.

Holding an open house is a terrific way to get buyers through the door and ensure that your home is getting exposure in the marketplace. Be prepared as success is not an accident.

How to Breastfeed Any Time

Babies need their daily dose of milk. Their daily dose of milk does so much for their bodies and it is essential for babies not to miss any of it. In the early and initial stages of a baby’s life the breast milk is the most important thing to them. Nursing a baby is no easy task but breast feeding has so many benefits and advantages. For instance breast milk helps them grow, it keeps them healthy, they need it to stay fit, and breast milk protects them for germs and disease. Breast milk has all the relevant and necessary ingredients that are needed by small young babies. Scientists also claim that a baby tends to be more intelligent and smart if he or she is breast feed longer. So breast feeding is highly recommended and they longer it is done the better.

When it comes to breast feeding I would recommend using a breast pump to ensure that your new born baby gets enough of that precious milk. By using a breast pump you and the baby will not have to worry about the breast feeding. The pump is the most convenient and easy way to ensure that they baby gets enough milk on a daily basis. I know one can buy milk supplements but they are not as effective as breast milk and doctors recommending breast feeding if you can. The milk supplements are not as good as breast milk and at times babies tend to react and reject them. So if you are a working mother breast pumps are great when you need to breastfeed your baby and child.

There are numerous benefits to breastfeeding and a breast pump sure does come in handy when you are not able to breast feed your baby but want and need to. Let’s suppose you have to go away on a business trip and the baby needs to breastfeed. What will you do? That is when the breast pump comes in hand. The baby should breast feed at least for about 3 hours. This is essential for the wellbeing, development and growth of the child. At least 3 hours is the minimum time you should spending feeding the child The child should be breastfed as often as possible and this very important.

Also it is important alternate the breast when feeding the child and this simply means that the child should be feed the other breast at certain alternative intervals. The breast area should be kept clean and germ free for the baby’s sake and of course the nursing mother. Always encourage the baby to “breastfeed” as often as possible and when it is most convenient. As nursing mothers there are different times when your breast milk as at different levels and it is best for the baby to nurse when your milk is at it s highest level and peak. Monitor this and know these times. If in any instance you suspect you have an infection or the nipple is swelling or infected it is best to discontinue breast feeding and seek medical advice immediately.

Leadership: Seed or Fruit?

Purpose: Learn immediately if you are fosting leadership or ignoring it. Discover the power of nurturing your people.

It was an intense redwood tree. And due to regulations the forest service had to go to incredible trouble and expense in order to cut it down. The cutting team had to start by climbing to the branches and removing them one at a time from the lowest to the highest. Once at the top they could cut two foot lengths off of the trunk at a time until they reached the ground. It seemed absurd to us that they started with the branches and then disassembled the trunk, a process that took hundreds of thousands of motions instead of just cutting at the base of the trunk, which of course, would have affected the entire tree. Recognizing that the efficiencies of working with the trunk in order to influence the rest of the tree holds true when we wish it to live and thrive, we have the choice to take a different approach – yet, many are trying to grow branches before the trunk .

Leadership is the trunk. Strategic initiatives are the branches. Benefits are the fruit. This is not philosophy; It is a simple statement of the truth.

– Trunk = Leadership

– Branches = Lean Systems, Sustainability, Decentralization, Agility, Customer care, More.

– Fruit = Profit, Market share, Efficiency, Quality, Environment, Innovation, Compliance, Low turnover, Prestige, Influence, More.

Are you starting at the right place?

There is no other place to start. An idea in action means people in action. The very second someone presents their desire for the accomplishment of an objective; The idea is in motion through people. The exposure of the idea is leadership in itself, then the actions of people, whether guided by proper principals or not, is leadership.

There is a misconception that leadership is always positive. It is not. Leadership is setting the example. That example can be good or bad. Either way, that example will be followed. In their book, Built to Last, Jim Collllins and Jerry Porras say, "Top management will have an impact on an organization – in most cases, a significant impact. The question is, will it have the right kind of impact?" A manager sitting in his office all day, not interacting, not supervising, not inspecting, not involved, is setting the example for others. And yet, even if there is a low level use of positive leadership principles, there will still be a certain amount of good fruit.

These results, though limited, will typically follow from the power and validity of the idea, the existing infrastructure and manpower, and the mandate from the boss. The compulsory need to interact with others to accomplish a goal for mutual benefit means that a certain level of leadership capability exists and is needed in every person. "The trunk of your business is leadership. Your company's leadership, with its latent capacity, will piggyback the initiative and produce fruit.

In normal conditions of competition and growth, this present level of leadership is sufficient to produce enough fruit to keep everyone happy and focused on marginal periodic improvements. Due to the fact that the ability to produce quantum leaps in leadership capabilities has escaped corporate America, the incremental improvements created through books, seminaries and tapes have sufficed.

Ignore leadership development at your own peril – Apply common sense

We have settled for the less involved leadership development approach and the nebulous results because we feel the need to do something without spending the resources that would then demand a measure of ROI. In a Society for Organizational Learning supported survey, it was identified that one of the current challenges to leadership is that the "pressure is on for leaders to deliver and sustain measurable results and deliver results through others. (However) Focus of results is ROI, Yet there is no measurement of ROI for leadership. " Although there is ample evidence to support the positive impacts of properly principled leadership, many organizations are unmoved unless they have internal numbers to justify the expense. The cost of getting the numbers, however, is a barrier in itself and leads to an abandonment of a serious program and reliance on the marginal results of "what everyone is doing."

Are you fixed on line items and task lists?

Our concentration, therefore, moves to the power of the ideal. Sustainability and Lean Manufacturing are the way to go, or it is our ability to be responsive to the market that is important, or by decentralizing we will produce the fruit we want. No matter the complexity of the strategic initiative it lends itself to a task list and line items. We can assign a person; Put it in a pert chart and schedule meetings six months in advance. This black and white constituent our corporate comfort zone.

We are darn good at it, and it predictably produces results – though marginal. We are spending time on the branches, squatting at the end waiting to see the fruit. We are lavishing attention on the branches, pruning, watering and talking to them. If a leaf sprouts, we know it. If a leaf falls, we know it. We mark it in black or red and continue to stroke the bark and fluff the leaves. All the while, the trunk is left to nature for its water, sun and soil.

The growth of the trunk is out of our comfort zone. Dean Hohl, the President of Leading Concepts Inc. Explains that, "The objectives associated with leadership, teamwork, and communication, do not lend themselves to task lists and line items." They are almost impossible to quantify and track. It is easy to rest on our experience that the trunk was here when we arrived and it will be here when we leave. We've built hundreds of branches, but never a trunk. We then rely on the latent soft-skills of our people to implement the ideas.

Today we find ourselves in an unanticipated predicament, which is pressing us from several different directions and compromising our viability. Foreign competition, new technologies, and ideas that require a shift in corporate culture all seem hard to keep up with and out of our control.

Acknowledging that we can have minimal impact on our competitors, especially those overseas, and that new technologies are something that are requisite for all to grasp, our greatest opportunity for advantage comes from a superior ability to implement the governing corporate ideals. Many strategic initiatives, particularly sustainable and lean manufacturing, have drawn us in with promises of incredible fruit and their adaptability to black and white. However much these initiatives look like branches, they are actually part of the trunk.

These initiatives necessitate a sea change in corporate culture. Successful implementation requires the buy-in of nearly everyone in the company, which demands a purposeful approach to changing people's values; A soft subject. The objective of changing people's behaviors forces us to enter an arena parallel to that of soft-skill development. Our situation demands that we get out of our comfort zone and figure out how to effectively nurture the trunk.

In order to best control the situation our focus must go back to influencing people's values. Along with helping people understand and value the power of the continuous improvement of lean thinking or the financial impact of sustainability, we have the complimentary opportunity to develop the soft-skills of teamwork, leadership and communication. If we are going to legitimately jump into this arena and do it correctly, not only is leadership complimentary, it is an imperative.

Leadership is the trunk. Implementation of these strategic initiatives can not be successful with the existing level of leadership. We've reached a point of necessity, which compels us to develop the ability to achieve quantum advances in leadership capability. As necessity is the mother of invention, and invention at this level will be dramatically different, prepare for a method that is as different from standard "leadership and teamwork" development as the telephone is from the telegraph.

Jamie Flinchbaugh, an expert in lean manufacturing transformation, questioned, "How is it that such a low percentage of companies that know about lean can turn it into a success?" His answer was, "because the leadership, cultural, organization and implementation challenges are bigger than most people expect." I will reinstate his message by saying that in order to achieve ideal results you have to put ideal resources towards their accomplishment. Do not try to put out a house fire with a garden hose.

We no longer have the latitude to rely on an as-trunk of leadership. We can not expect that branches of revolutionary strategies can be managed and implemented with existing leadership capabilities. Decorating the leaves will not pass for results. We have to purposefully move the values ​​of people, help them change their behaviors, and work together with them to grow the desired fruit.

By altering our concentration from the branches to the trunk, we are enhancing every ability of our organization. A healthier trunk, means the capacity for, and increased health of, our branches, which in turn produces a greater quantity and quality of fruit.

Now that we are focused on the trunk, we can begin to look at the opportunity of taking quantum leaps forward in the soft-skills of our people. The solution lays in immersion leadership training.

Copyright 2005 Brace E. Barber

Things To Consider Before Buying A Recreation Vehicle

It looks like when we purchase an RV we overlook something, forget to check something, or possibly we were not properly informed about something. Whatever the case may be you do not realize it until after you buy it and then it's to late. If you already own an RV you know what I'm talking about and this article will not be of much help. If you do not already own an RV read on and learn some things to consider before you buy.

A good example of this is a couple I once had shopping for a travel trailer. The one thing they were sure of was that they wanted bunk beds for their three young children. I had several floor plans available on the lot, with bunk beds, to choose from. I showed them the first model and a few moments later that they were convinced that this was the trailer for them. The husband liked the pass through storage compartment that could accommodate his fishing gear and the wife fell in love with the interior colors and décor. They purchased the trailer and I saw them at the dealership after they used it for the first time. They told me all about their first trip and how fun it was, but said they wish they would have given more thought to the floor plan before they bought it. The living room was on one end of the trailer, the kitchen was in the middle, and the bunk beds and bathroom were on the other end. She told me the kids were constantly going from one end to the other and she could never get anything done in the kitchen.

This is just one example, but I'm sure you get the picture. Sometimes we get heard up in the excitement and make hasty decisions that we regret later. Purchasing an RV is a major investment, similar to buying a house. It is after all your home away from home and we need to slow down the buying process and make informed decisions.

I'm not really sure where to begin. I guess the best place to start is with the dealership. You need to find a reputable RV dealer that is willing to take care of you after the sale. If at all possible talk to some one that has deal with them before. A reputable dealer wants your business and they want you to return to them for future business. I have been in many dealerships that I would not hesitate to do business with and I have been in others that I could not leave soon enough. Do not be afraid to ask them to give you a tour of the dealership. Look at the service department. Do they have certified technicians? Do they have the capability and facilities to do routine maintenance and warranty work on the units they sell? Look at their Parts and Accessory department. Do they offer a good selection of parts and accessories? Do they have a good selection of RVs to choose from? How long have they been selling certain manufacturer brands?

A reputable RV dealer will in most cases have a reputable, professional sales staff to assist you. If you feel comfortable with the dealership and would like to look at some of the RVs on the lot it's time to find a salesperson. This is not difficult because they will usually find you first. It is extremely important that you feel comfortable with the sales person. If you do not, ask to speak to some body else. Do not be afraid to help the sales person help you. What I mean by this is, tell them what your needs are, what you want and how you plan to use it. If you're going to buy a towable RV and you already have the tow vehicle ask them to explain the weights to you and to show you which RVs are in your weight range. A knowledgeable sales person can be a real asset, especially if you are new to RVing. If you prefer to look by yourself ask them for their business card and write down any questions you have so you can ask them later.

I mentioned a moment ago that you should have some idea of ​​what your needs are, what you want, and how you plan to use it. This is extremely important. Review manufacturer brochures and websites for pertinent information that can assist you in making informed buying decisions. Here are a few things to consider before you buy.

  • > What type of RV is best suited for you and your family?
  • What type of floor plan will work best for you and your family?
  • Do you plan to travel cross-country with the RV or is it going to be set up at one location and left there?
  • If you're going to be towing the RV is the tow vehicle capable of handling the weight of the RV and do you have the proper hitch work to safely tow it?
  • How many people will be in the RV and what are the sleeping requirements?
  • Is there enough seating space?
  • Do you need a slide out (s) for additional living space? If you get slide outs how is the RV interior affected when they are in the stored, travel position?
  • Is their enough outside storage, and are the storage compartments large enough to accommodate what you plan to take?
  • Is there sufficient closet, cabinet and drawer space for all of your personal belonging?
  • Are there enough cabinets and drawers in the kitchen? Do not forget about the pots and pans.
  • How much counter space does it have in the kitchen? Is it enough?
  • Where is the dinette table in relation to the range, oven and the refrigerator? Does it make sense?
  • How does the bed feel when you lay down? Is it long enough and wide enough?
  • Can you walk around the entire bed or is it built into the corner of the walls?
  • Are there windows where you want windows?
  • Is the refrigerator large enough?
  • Can you reach the microwave?
  • Is the A / C ducted through the unit? If not will it cool the entire unit?
  • Do you prefer a split bathroom where the bathroom is separate, or a bathroom where everything is together?
  • Can you stand up in the shower?
  • Is the bathroom large enough?
  • Can you sit on the toilet?
  • How much fresh water can you take with you? Is it enough?
  • How large are the gray water and black water holding tanks? Are they large enough for the way you plan to use the RV?
  • How much LP gas does it hold? Is it enough for how you plan to use the RV?
  • Is the RV to big or small to your needs?
  • If you want a motor home drive it before you buy it. If you're towing a vehicle behind the motor home what are the weight limits?
  • What type of electrical service does the RV have, 30 Amp or 50 Amp?
  • Do you need a generator?
  • If equipped with a TV where is it located in relation to the seating arrangements?
  • How many TV outlets do you want?
  • Do you need a phone jack?
  • Does the RV have an awning? If so, where is it located, does it interfere with any storage compartments or windows etc?
  • How long is the warranty on the RV? Do you need extended coverage to protect your investment?
  • How is the RV constructed?
  • If it's a travel trailer / 5 th wheel do you prefer a corrugated aluminum or fiberglass exterior? How hard is it to keep clean?
  • If you're buying a motor home do you want gas or diesel? Which type is more practical for how you plan to use it?

This list is not all-inclusive but it should help you make a more informed decision before you purchase an RV. Another important consideration is the options on the RV. When a dealer orders an RV they order the options that they feel will help sell the RV based on their experience. On the other hand they can limit the options to make the price more appealing, but it may be some options that you really want or need. Sit down with your sales person and review what options are on the RV and what options are available. If you found a floor plan that you really like but it's not equipped the way you want the dealer order one for you. I know that waiting is difficult, but remember slowww down, it will be worth the wait to get the RV you really want.

Copyright 2006 by Mark J. Polk owner of RV Education 101

Urbanization and Population

Cities today are growing and developing faster than ever before. This growth is due to easier transportation methods, immigration, technological advances and people becoming more and more attracted to cities based on their business focus and convenience of facilities. But cities are facing many difficulties that are affecting the life of people that live, work and study in these areas. Cities that have and are experiencing urbanization are also seeing problems such as pollution; they are experiencing climate change which is not working well with the cities’ density and high population, air quality and solid waste troubles. Various problems that cities are facing today will be discussed and a presentation of how these cases are manifested in an urban context will be identified. Following these issues, I will present the downfall of solutions attempted in cities to combat the multiple plagues that our modern cities face.

The first issue that cities are experiencing is s surge in population and a lack of space to accommodate the growth. People all over the world are moving to cities because they are seen to offer more opportunities for employment, access to health care and to education. Cities are efficient places for humans, and attractive to the younger lifestyle. However, as Dr. Bunting states, “Urban space is a scarce resource, it becomes the object of substantial capital investment so its use can be maximized”. Technology has enhanced urban growth and caused cities to become larger. The demand and popularity of urban life has caused this growth based on the high standard of living that city life offers.

Canadian inner cities remain a mainstay of higher-density, high rise condominiums. As Dr. Bunting shows in a research, “based on the trends in the rate of natural population increase and expected levels of immigration, the projection call is a total of thirty six million people in 2026, increasing twenty percent over twenty five years. An example of high density and the maximization of urban space is prominent in Toronto. “Toronto will continue to grow, reaching close to seven million people by 2026. Growth will also occur in Vancouver, Ottawa, Calgary and Edmonton. Downtown Vancouver and Toronto are famous for their high rise condominiums, overpowering neighbourhoods and urban life today. The residential population surged due to these buildings but this has not helped the already dense cities. The condominium surge has created problems for cities. “An increased presence in housing raises issues of incompatibility between downtown land uses that were ignored in the past”. Furthermore, “The presence of high-capacity road systems encourages reliance on the automobile and the truck, and high rates of car and truck use generate a continued demand for improved and expanded roads”. This type of growth is causing another serious problem. It is pushing away and excluding poor people, which violates their rights to use the city and for the very poor, it takes them away from the services that downtown offers, such as shelters, social services, panhandling opportunities and public space.

All of this growth and glamorization of city life is counterproductive to the recent climate changes and environmental issues we are increasingly experiencing. “Urbanization has four main impacts in nature. First, as urban areas grow, they consume landscape, so forests, fields and wetlands, are slowly becoming extinct which results in having less natural systems in the city. For example, Toronto is slowly lacking its lush forests and greenery due to the mass construction of condominiums in the downtown core. “As Calthorpe argues, communities were embedded in nature. Local climate, plants, vistas, etc., defined communities. Now, smog, pavement, toxic soil, receding ecologies and polluted water are destroying neighbourhoods”. Cities have also become central to consumption and where people mostly choose to live. Therefore, cities require large quantities of resources to maintain infrastructure, fuel growth and to support the inhabitants. Due to this trend, many forms of pollution remain unacceptably high, including the presence of toxic substances in air and water. “When summers are hot, residents of large metropolitan regions are reminded by successive smog alerts of environmental consequences of industrialization, power generation, and transportation” (ibid). Cities affected are Toronto, Hamilton and Waterloo to name a few. Smog and pollution are hazardous for humans because this causes an increase in health risks. Air quality and pollution is also dangerous for our crops because it reduces their productivity, and can contribute to climate changes such as tornadoes and thunderstorms. Water is also affected by this pollution and keeping it clean is costing cities. “Automobile by-products, air toxins and pollutants run off into ground water and are increasingly becoming a major source for both ground and surface water pollution”. “The cumulative costs of supplying drinking water, processing wastewater and upgrading infrastructure are a heavy burden to municipal budgets”. Solid waste has also become recurring problems in cities. For example, Toronto ships their garbage to Michigan which is extremely costly and keeping it in Toronto would be extremely toxic due to the fumes it emits.

Transportation is another problem that cities are experiencing. Although most cities have a developed city transit, subway systems, well organized roads and highways, it is still causing some problems. It consumes a lot of land. It is also an “intrusion on some neighbourhoods which can include physical unsightliness, physical barriers within neighbourhoods, noise and a reduction of safety on the streets”. Moreover, it is causing atmospheric pollution. Fossil-fuel based vehicles are a source of many damaging pollutants major cities experience. Buses and roads that enable the usage of vehicles worsen this situation. More toxicities are released into the atmosphere such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide compounds, uncombusted hydrocarbons, etc. Furthermore, transportation is one of the main causes of greenhouse gas emissions. Carbon dioxide is one of the emissions from fossil fuel combustion in road vehicles and it is one of the dominant factors that cause climate change and global warming. Transportation is also a contributor to energy consumption because urban transportation systems are very dependent on fossil fuels (gasoline and diesel fuel).

More focus toward city solutions are needed. There need to be an increase of density for housing, industry and retailing so that more people can live on less land and to efficiently use public transportation, roads, energy and water services. We need design buildings that will disable the wastage of electricity and water. This needs to be done at a municipal and provincial level where by-laws and codes are implemented for newly built buildings and the restoration and renovation of these complexes. Incentives need to also be in place in order for people to feel rewarded or productive and cooperative to the betterment of our cities. Solutions need to also begin at the individual and community level. The city needs to create lanes for bikers, just like they did to encourage car pooling and they need to renovate the cities walkways in order to encourage people to use walkways more often.

It is interesting to note however, the interesting statistics that show that the current mechanism we do have in place to reduce waste, to reuse and to recycle are not effective in some cases either. For example, “64% of the reusable bags tested were contaminated with some level of bacteria and close to 30% had elevated bacterial counts higher than what’s considered safe for drinking water”. Moreover, “40% of the bags had yeast or mold, and some of the bags had an unacceptable presence of coliforms, faecal intestinal bacteria, when there should none”. Other studies also demonstrate that even when decided to stay home in order to consume less, Franklin and Associates completed an energy analysis that compared reusable grocery bags. It turned out that the total energy used by bag, therefore energy to manufacture the bag and energy within the physical materials caused pollutant and found that plastic bags were safer for the environment. Another example are the issues of disposable diapers. Although disposable diapers are the largest part of our garbage problem, there have been studies that demonstrate that the disposable diapers are preferred. Although they produces more solid waste than cloth diapers, cloth diapers use more water volume and produce water borne waste. When looking as commercial dishwasher use, it has been found that the energy used to make reusable cups is less than the energy used to wash the glasses in a dishwasher because a paper cup is never washed. In relation to cars, hybrids are a famous technology that has made us see cars in a greener light but hybrid cars are complex and the manufacturing of these car’s batteries spend energy on petrol container ships and diesel powered trains to have this product shipped back and for the between Canada, Wales and China. To make matters worse, the battery life is rated as poor. All of these examples have been advances used in various aspects within our lifestyles in the name of being environmentally conscious and in being green. However, it seems to me that these processes are moving us backwards instead of forward in our quest for ameliorating the global environment.

In conclusion, it is up to humanity to prepare and think up plans that will minimize and hopefully reduce the disastrous effects that climate change, population growth and urbanization in general have on our environment. In the developed world, standards of living and material lifestyles are common place. However, these demanding lifestyles require a high use of energy based on fossil fuels. All of these violations against the environment need a solution and it has to be done globally. We need to understand the problems we face in cities locally and globally with the help of science and the collaboration of environmental experts in order to find strategies that are rewarding and encouraging for everyone. The positive results would have to be displayed to the public so that further motivation could occur. Then, all of these new environmentally safe and friendly strategies will become our new lifestyle and can be finally passed down from generation to generation. Once we regain the clean and natural conditions of our cities, the future generations can work on its restorations.

How to Use Automation in Music Production

The beauty of digital technology in music production is the simple fact that we can save our work in any condition at any time and recall them in the exact same settings as when we left off (a fact I’m sure many musicians and engineers take for granted). Another benefit is the use of automation: that is we can automate parameters within our music production software. Most of the major software allow full automation of virtually all parameters, therefore placing the limit on our creativity alone.

Automation maybe a feature that many musicians pay little attention too, especially those who are just starting out. At first, automation may seem like a tedious job, and can be a major turn-off since it isn’t the most intuitive thing to do. But proficiency using automation in our music production, whether in the music arrangement stage or the mixing stage, will allow us to explore creative avenues otherwise blocked if we neglect automation.

Using automation in composing and arranging music

This technique may be used more heavily in electronic dance music production than any other style. Listen to the leading contemporary electronic dance tracks, and you can listen to the detailed programming of synthesizers and effects take place to create a stunning soundscape worthy of dance floors all around the globe. Automation is used in EDM production, as a way to manipulate filter controls and other controls that shape the sound of the instruments in the arrangement. It can also be used to bring an instrument in and out of the mix, not only by volume, but also by cut-off frequency and resonance (I’m sure you’ve heard this technique before in EDM). Further use of automation in arranging might be to make effects kick in mid-song, or bring it out during a different part. For example, adding delay to the guitar at the chorus, or increasing the reverb on the snare during the bridge.

Using automation in mixing music

Which leads us to the more subtle use of automation: to mix music. Sometimes, you dial in a perfect EQ for the piano during the verse, but then realize it doesn’t suit the chorus. You could split it up to a different track (which is easier actually), or you could automate the EQ during the chorus. For the vocals, you might add more reverb or switch to a different delay for the coda, to bring it out and add some majesty to the part. The use of automation for mixing is virtually limited only to our creative imagination, as there are a myriad of “weird” effects out there (some of them free too) that can give even weirder sounds when combined with automation.

To your automation discovery,


Pandemonium Revisited

The word pandemonium, according to several online dictionaries, was coined by John Milton in his epic poem Paradise Lost. The word is said to be a mix of the Greek prefix pan-, meaning “across”, Late Latin demon, meaning “evil spirit” and the Latin suffix –um, indicating that the word is a toponym. One meaning once ascribed to the word was “Hell”; in fact, that is the meaning that John Milton clearly ascribed to the word in Paradise Lost. And yet that meaning is not the meaning normally associated with the word today. In most cases, pandemonium refers to chaos. It also is seen as referring specifically to the noise associated with chaos and, in particular, the noise produced by large crowds.

Quite honestly, the name “place of all demons” appears a little strange. The name Demonium, translating as “place of demons”, would appear to be more than sufficient to describe Hell. The addition of “all” or, even more perversely, “across” to the description seems to add virtually nothing to the alleged meaning “Hell”. In fact, given the absolute pointlessness of the pan– prefix, the traditional etymology, on closer examination, begins to sound a bit like a folk etymology. If so, while it may be true that the highly educated John Milton used the word conspicuously as a reference to Hell, the word may actually have had etymological roots stretching much further back in time.

It is also rather curious that no one other than Milton appears to have ever used the word pandemonium as a reference to Hell. In all other cases I am aware of, the word appears to have been used to mean “chaos” or “chaotic noise”. No one today, for example, ever says “You are going straight to Pandemonium!” It is as though the original “Hell” meaning was stripped from Milton’s word and a new, more refined meaning was attached in its place. Could it be that a later writer rightfully regarded Milton to be a second-rate wordsmith and, while finding the name Pandemonium to be inherently alluring, simply rejected the meaning Milton gave the word and instead assigned it one of his or her own choosing, and that it was that subsequently assigned meaning that later users of the word eagerly embraced?

Of course, it is also possible that it was Milton, not some unidentified later writer, who stripped the word of its original meaning and intentionally gave it a novel meaning. Milton was, after all, a poet. That is exactly the kind of thing that poets do. Poets play with words. It is quite conceivable that Milton took a rarely used synonym for chaos and turned it into the proper name of a fictional city.

One must also wonder why a clever and highly educated wordsmith like Milton would have elected to coin what appears to be a poorly conceived toponym like Pandemonium and use it prominently as the name of Lucifer’s city. Clearly Milton must have liked the unusual word for some reason or he would not have used it and would likely have used instead one of the many, well-established names for the underworld. Right?

The fact is that word meanings tend to expand rather than narrow over time. That is because poets and scholars like to use analogies. They take a word with a very specific meaning, such as the word key (i.e., “an object used to unlock a lock”), and use it in a new, analogical way (.e.g., as a reference to something that “unlocks” understanding, as in “key points or ideas”). Consequently, if we want to discover the original meaning of a word, it is often helpful to examine carefully its most narrow meanings.

Ignoring Milton’s poetic use of the word, perhaps one of the most narrow meanings of the word pandemonium is “noise created by a chaotic crowd”. Could that meaning possibly be demonstrated to be the original meaning of the word? The answer, I believe, is that it can.

One word that is very similar to pandemonium is the word pandemic. The word pandemic derives from two Greek words, the pan- prefix, meaning “across”, and the word demos, meaning “the regions”. Our modern meaning for the word pandemic, “a disease that infects people in many areas at the same time”, clearly derives from the original, ancient meanings associated with the word’s root and affixes.

Now, along with the word pandemic, another very important word that also can be seen to have derived from the Greek word demos is democracy. The ancient Athenian democracy involved the citizens from all of the demos, or regions, of Attica coming together to discuss important issues. Now, just as today, the discussions that were held in Athens were not always exactly stoic. When there were opposing views concerning important issues, tempers tended, as they often do today, to flare. And if there was a great deal of dissent, it is easy to envision the assembly quickly turning a bit chaotic and, well, noisy. In other words, a previously civil discourse could easily have degenerated at any time into utter pandemonium.

Finally, one should also take a long hard look at the word demon. The word demon today is generally understood to mean “evil spirit”. It is believed, however, that the word in ancient times originally was simply a reference to any spirit, whether good or bad. But, as in the case of so many other words like it, the word demon, I believe, originally referred to something else entirely: the independent and often diverging concerns and desires expressed by the various demos, the regions, that met within the Athenian assembly. In other words, the word originally may have had more to do with attitudes (the spirits) of living people than it did with disembodied ghosts. And I also tend to suspect that the word’s evil or bad connotation likely therefore existed from the very first use of the word demonic.

Given the preceding, it would appear quite possible then that the word pandemonium may have, like the words pandemic and demon, had something to do with the ancient Athenian democracy. If so, then perhaps what Milton did with the word can be seen, not as somewhat questionable logogenesis, but rather as the inspired product of a scholar with more on his mind than merely placating a shallow desire to flaunt his knowledge of Greek and Latin.

The fact is that democracy has not always been so readily embraced as a political panacea as it often is today. Since the days of the Athenian democracy, people have often questioned whether democracy is truly a good form of government. Decisions made by the majority do not, after all, necessarily constitute decisions cautiously crafted out of sophia (Greek for “wisdom”). And participation by members of the uneducated working class, the idiotes, was not always welcome in the Athenian democracy either (hence the reason why calling someone an “idiot” was a huge insult, as it suggested that one was acting as though one was uneducated).

Perhaps Milton, being a man of letters, understood those biases quite well and was cleverly making a political statement of his own when he selected the name Pandemonium for Lucifer’s city. Milton, in addition to being a poet, was, after all, a political philosopher, and he lived during a period of significant upheaval in England’s political history. He, like his contemporary Oliver Cromwell, had no stomach for an absolute monarchy. But Milton did not embrace democracy either. Instead, he embraced the idea of a Platonic oligarchy in which the new republic of England would be governed, not by a monarch or by democracy, but rather by a council of philosopher statesmen, whose membership within the governing council would essentially be permanent.

We should also recognize that it is frequently from the madness of crowds that dictators arise. And that was, I think in Milton’s own view, exactly what had transpired six years before he wrote Paradise Lost, when Charles II, riding a wave of popular sentiment, returned to power. Consequently Milton would have had ample reason to give both the ideas of democracy and monarchy a black eye.

So is it possible that Milton was completely oblivious to the inherent linguistic relationship that existed between the word democracy and the name he proudly offered for Lucifer’s capital? Given what I have just presented, I think one might perhaps have to be an idiot (pardon my Greek) to believe that he was. Thus, while Milton’s use of the word pandemonium may be the first attested use, there is ample reason to suspect that he did not, in fact, coin the word, as is often claimed.

Alcoholism and Drug Addiction in India

We live only once, many of us believe. And therefore some say ‘let us eat, drink and be merry’. Surely we must eat, drink and be merry now that we believe that we live only once, but must live like men and women, free from health hazards, free from unnecessary cares and worries. So, eating and drinking is alright as long as we know what to accept and what to avoid. Unfortunately many of us do not have discrimination. Like the notorious Epicurius, we mistake one for the other and do not know what we do. So we substitute that fluid else and invite provides us so bounteously with some thing else and invite ills unspoken of and live like wrecks, with untold miseries.

The urban elites drink to the health of their friends and fall of their foes. They drink for old times, to old times, to ring out the old year and to ring in the new year. They drink when they set out to negotiate for a bit contract as a good omen, drink during negotiations and drink again when they win it as a token of joy and success; and yet once again, to win more such contracts. When they welcome their friends, or bid them farewell, when in company for the sake of company, when alone to end the monotony of loneliness, before dinner as an appetizer, after it a as digester, it is a must. No time frame, no time schedule, any time is drink time. No prohibitions, no inhibitions.

His counter part in the village, or the slum dweller in the city is not far behind. He may sometimes worry about his next meal, but nothing of the type as far as his drink is concerned. In fact, it is to drive out his worry that he often drinks. But it is the country liquor that he drinks. In the evening, on his way home, he stops on the way to gulp his favorite drink, to drown the fatigue of his day long labour; unfortunately his weak under nourished body cannot tolerate the intake and it rebels. His legs wobble, his mind wanders and his tongue prattles.

There is no escape from the spell of this Bachus’ potion young or old, rich and poor, without exception they wait for their turn to get favorite nectar, like demons and gods ( Rakshasas and Devathas ) – waiting for Amrit. Finally they become addicts; even gods cannot redeem them. Merciful death alone must save them.

Drinking is not a personal problem. The moment a drunken man sits behind the driving wheel, a becomes a problem to the sea of people who are out on the roads, and to the traffic officer and finally when the accident takes place, it becomes a law and order problem, besides creating numerous problems in the families, that of the drunken driver and his innocent victim. If it is a rich man who is an addict, it will not be a strain on his financial status; but if it is a poor man, he will become a thief and robber in his own house; and a regular customer to the pawn shop. He would not hesitate to beat his wife, if she dares to oppose him. He will not only week his health but also his family life.

Alcoholism aside, there is another evil that has become a cult among young men and women, mostly rich and educated. One fine evening the young student suddenly discovers that there is a lot of communication gap between him and his elders; he seeks the company of his friends who are wiser than his elders, and all these fellow travelers take refuge in hallucinations. They get the euphoria they are searching for. They recede to a lonely spot and smoke a joint, inhale a coke or inject a needle. This becomes a regular affair and in course of time they become addicts. Finally they reach a stage from where there is no come back. If they stop, they die for it; if they take they die with it. Either way, death alone must be the way out.

These misguided youths set out to grab the reflection instead of the original. No doubt the world is at cross roads and the gap between the older and the younger generation is widening in every walk of life. Their thoughts differ, their ambitions differ, the paths they pursue and the means they adopt too vary. They are born out of discontent, bred in discontent and breathe discontent – the discontent resulting from the polluted political, economic and social conditions. Even in the most advanced industrial nations, there is unemployment; the most solid political structures are crumbling like mud walls and the moral values that have guided the older generations through thick and thin, are fast vanishing, no wonder if the weak willed seek easy ways to bring down the pressure mounting in their heads. In stead of water pools they go after mirages.

If they are detected at an early state, they can be resurrected; rehabilitation is easy. But when they become despicable addicts, the disease becomes terminal, and not even the surgeon’s scissors can then redeem them.

It is an accepted fact that prevention is always better than cure. But who will bell the car? The parents who are preoccupied with their own problems and predilections find little time to think of their children. Even if they find time, it is too difficult for them to bridge the widening gap that separate the two generations, come down to their level, think like them and think with them. Even if all this is possible, it is again too difficult to inspire and motivate them, in the changing environment. When they say that the end justifies the means how can you convince them that the means are as important as the end? When dishonesty and deceit seem to thrive, how can you prove that honesty is the best policy?

The problem is not so superficial as it appears to be. It is not the problem of the individual parents alone or the erring youth. When your addict friends tell you that you can have the taste of heaven in a puff of a joint, how can you suppress the temptation, innocent as you are? Satan could tempt the first man his wife and make them eat the forbidden fruit, against the command of God Himself. Will anyone be guided by the statutory warning that smoking? So the first culprit is the easy availability of these alluring fruits. The manufacturer, whose only aim is to make money, will produce; the trafficker will open outlets for their sale and the government which is interested in collecting duties and taxes regularizes them. The party that declares prohibition as it s manifesto, opens road side shops to sell sealed packets of half litter nutritious country liquor when it comes to power. Instead of scrapping the wet laws, it auctions toddy shops and regulates its sales.

Kingdoms and countries are involved in the production and distribution of these abominable drugs. For all external appearances, they are people of authority wealth and respect that are involved in this world wide industry. Nobody can suspect that they play a different part in a different world where they have their own rules and code of conduct. But these invisible men have unbelievably great power and influence. They can abduct any one in the world, assassinate ministers and prime ministers and change governments. There is no crime they cannot commit, no act they cannot accomplish.

The solution lies in educating the people. When they realize that it is not heaven that they taste, but hell with all its horrors imperceptible, they will accept their folly and give up their habits. It is the benevolent social worker that should do it. The government which is interested in collecting taxes to balance it budget deficit, may not do much in this regard. We have far to go before we hope to have such a welfare state.