How to Attract Talent With an Effective Employer Brand

Today, recruiters need to really consider their company’s public image to make sure the image communicates the company culture. So, how can you develop a strong employer brand?

Why is it important?

It is highly likely a potential applicant will research your company, whether looking at the careers section of your website or tapping into the experiences of others on social networking sites. So it’s extremely important that the information you provide supports your core messages.

For example, focusing on more than just technical requirements and focusing more on the things that differentiate the position from their current one. Remember, don’t talk poorly of their current job or current company. No one likes it when someone else bad mouths a company.

How it’s done.

There are many different ways you can do this that will work for your brand. Wix, a cloud-based development provider, sets themselves apart by providing a video featuring the company directly on the jobs page of their site.

Including a video on your company and culture causes application rates increase 34 percent. Making sure your career page is mobile friendly is also critical, with up to as many as 80 percent of jobseekers conducting their job searches from mobile devices.

Instead, highlight what makes the position desirable compared to the same position at other companies. This is where employer branding really makes a difference. Keep in mind that office lifestyle is one of the top reasons candidates either take a job or decide to leave a position. Always bring it back to why it’s the best fit for the passive candidate.

A study by CAREEREALISM, shows that some 80 percent of job seekers today will research an employer online before deciding whether to apply to a position there. When candidates don’t find enough information to convince them you’re worth working for, they’ll pass.

Another great way to do this is by implementing Employee Advocates. Your career page is the most important advocate of your brand. It’s a top platform to leverage when searching for and attracting new candidates.

Top Ways to Strengthen Your Employer Brand

  • Social Media rules here. Get to know it.
  • Promote any awards or workplace accreditations
  • Introduce current employees
  • Highlight company wins
  • Promote culture and rewards
  • Tell your company story
  • Utilize employee advocates
  • Have a stellar career page
  • Make sure all employees know the company elevator pitch
  • Use photos and videos to highlight your brand farther

Top 5 Pec Exercises To Make Superman Look Like A Weakling

Many individuals – Weightlifters and Bodybuilders most especially – consider the chest or pectorals among the most important muscles to develop for all round strength and obvious aesthetics. This is why fitness enthusiasts are always searching for the best Pec exercises to strengthen their chest. But, before we go about presenting the best exercises for your pectorals, let us first take a look at how your chest muscles work so that you will know better how to target them for growth.

Anatomy and Functions of the Pectorals

Your chest muscles are composed of the pectoralis major and the pectoralis minor. The pectoralis major is located on the front part of your rib cage and originates from the breastbone in the centre. The fibres of this muscle group fan out across your chest, a structure that allows your humerus to move in a variety of planes across your body. The pectoralis minor can be found underneath the pectoralis major and originates from your middle ribs.

The primary function of your pectoralis major is to move the humerus across your chest, as demonstrated in the flye movement. The pectoralis minor, on the other hand, is used to move the shoulders forward as when you shrug your shoulders forward. Now that you know more about the anatomy and functions of your chest muscles, you are ready to learn about the five best Pec Exercises you can take advantage of.

1. Barbell Bench Press

This is considered as the king of all Pec Exercises and has been the standard for strength building for many years. In fact, even if we limit this list to the top three chest exercises, the barbell bench press would still be in it. Set up for the exercise by lying down on a bench with a 45-lb barbell. Make sure that the soles of your feet are comfortably flat on the floor. Be sure as well that when you remove the barbell from the rack, it will be positioned directly above your chest so that you don’t have to pull it over.

If you are doing a medium-grip bench press, then you’ll have to make sure that your elbows are neither flared out nor tucked in. Instead, they should be positioned about 45 degrees from your body. Once the barbell is unracked, lower it slowly until it touches your nipples. Be very careful not to bounce the weight on your chest. When you raise the weight back up, do it slowly and then hold the position for a few seconds when your elbows are completely straight before lowering it down to your chest again.

There are several variations of the bench press that you can try, among them the wide-grip, narrow-grip, and incline bench presses. You may also want to do board, floor, or pin presses. Among these variations, the incline bench press is considered very effective in targeting the upper pectorals (pectoralis major). While performing bench presses, remember to keep your butt, upper back, and head in contact with the bench at all times.

2. Dumbbell Bench Press

This is considered as one of the core pec exercises and is a very good way of ensuring that you do not have any strength imbalance between the opposing sides of your body. The dumbbell bench press is also advisable because it promotes the natural functions of your pectoral muscles by focusing on moving the weights towards the centre of your body.

The necessary first step is to find a bench that allows you to sit and lie comfortably with both feet touching the floor. Once you’ve found the ideal bench, grab a dumbbell in each hand and then stand about six inches in front of the bench. Slowly move into a sitting position on the bench while letting the flat side of each dumbbell rest on your thighs. Now, lie back slowly and make sure that your butt, upper back, and head touch the bench all throughout the exercise.

Position the dumbbells at shoulder height, just slightly touching your shoulders and then push up until your elbows are straight. Lower the weights slowly back to shoulder height to complete a rep. You can choose to do a flat, incline, or decline dumbbell bench press.

3. Push-ups

No matter how many bench presses you perform, you really can’t do away with the ever-reliable push-ups. This is one of the most effective pec exercises for developing explosive chest, shoulders, and triceps power. To set up for this exercise, you should decide whether to do the push-ups on your knuckles or your palms. Lie on the floor with your body in a straight line, with only your hands and toes actually touching the floor. Female beginners may start by doing push-ups on their knees and then move up to doing push-ups on their toes as their strength increases.

Position your hands about 2-3 inches outside shoulder width. Position a large hardcover book or weight plates on either side of your hands. Make sure that the books or plates are at least an inch thick. You may increase the height of these objects as you get better at this exercise.

Lower your body as near to the ground as possible without actually touching your chin, chest, abdomen, or legs to the floor. Push yourself up off the floor with a force that is intended to propel your body up into the air. The movement should end with your arms straight and hands on top of the books or weight plates. You may then “walk” your hands back to the starting position before lowering yourself for another rep, or immediately drop into the beginning of another rep.

4. Chest Dips

This exercise is similar to a decline bench press, except for the fact that decline presses work more for strengthening the triceps than the pectorals. It is best to skip this exercise if you have a bad shoulder or at least just limit yourself to shallow dipping. Set up for chest dips by grabbing a weighted belt and dumbbells and then finding a dip station.

Start the dips with you arms almost fully extended. Lean slightly forward so that tension is built more on the pectorals rather than your triceps. Dip down slowly until your arms are parallel to the floor. Pause for about half a second at the bottom of the movement and be careful not to bounce. Squeeze your pecs and push yourself back to starting position. Be careful not to lock your elbows at any time during the exercise.

5. Dumbbell Flyes

This may not be as important as the other pec exercises on this list, but it is the perfect complement to the four exercises discussed above. Some people even claim that this is the key to muscle growth and flexibility. To set up, you need to assume a position identical to that of a flat bench press, with one dumbbell in each hand.

Start the exercise by holding the weights straight overhead. Lower the weights slowly to your sides until your arms are parallel to the floor. Pause for about half a second and then bring the dumbbells immediately back up without bending your elbows. Make sure that the entire flye motion is controlled by your chest muscles rather than your triceps.

Instead of performing dumbbell flyes at the end of each chest workout, it is best to do this a day or two after your workouts. It serves as an excellent recovery exercise because it allows you to stimulate your sore muscles with free weights that are considerably lighter than what you used in your workouts. This exercise is also a good way of increasing blood flow to all areas of your chest.

Refrigeration Maintenance, Walk-In Coolers and Freezers

Most refrigerators and walk-ins seem virtually indestructible and problem free, but you’ll get longer life out of yours by following these safety and maintenance tips. Clean the door gaskets and hinges regularly. The door gaskets, made of rubber, can rot more easily if they are caked with food or grime, which weakens their sealing properties. They can be safely cleaned with a solution of baking soda and warm water. Hinges can be rubbed with a bit of petroleum jelly to keep them working well. Dirty coils force the refrigerator to run hotter, which shortens the life of the compressor motor. They should be cleaned every 90 days, preferably with an industrial-strength vacuum cleaner.

Walk-in floors can be damp-mopped but should never be hosed out. Too much water can get into the seals between the floor panels and damage the insulation. A refrigerator only works as well as the air that’s allowed to circulate around its contents. Cramming food containers together so there’s not a spare inch of space around them doesn’t help. Also try to keep containers (especially cardboard ones) from touching the walls of the cabinet. They may freeze and stick to the walls, damaging both product and wall. Use a good rotation system: First in, first out (FIFO) is preferable. Or put colored dots on food packages, a different color for each day of the week, so everyone in your kitchen knows how long each item has been in the fridge.

WALK-IN COOLERS AND FREEZERS

A walk-in cooler is just what its name implies: a cooler big enough to walk into. It can be as small as a closet or as large as a good-size room, but its primary purpose is to provide refrigerated storage for large quantities of food in a central area. Experts suggest that your operation needs a walk-in when its refrigeration needs exceed 80 cubic feet, or if you serve more than 250 meals per day. Once again, you’ll need to determine how much you need to store, what sizes of containers the storage space must accommodate, and the maximum quantity of goods you’ll want to have on hand. The only way to use walk-in space wisely is to equip it with shelves, organized in sections. Exactly how much square footage do you need? The easiest formula is to calculate 1 to 1.5 cubic feet of walk-in storage for every meal you serve per day. Another basic calculation: Take the total number of linear feet of shelving you’ve decided you will need (A), and divide it by the number of shelves (B) you can put in each section.

This will give you the number of linear feet per section (C). To this number (C), add 40 to 50 percent (1.40 or 1.50) to cover “overflow”-volume increases, wasted space, and bulky items or loose product. This will give you an estimate of the total linear footage (D) needed. However, linear footage is not enough. Because shelves are three dimensional, you must calculate square footage. So multiply (D) by the depth of each shelf (E) to obtain the total square footage amount (F). Finally, double the (F) figure, to compensate for aisle space. Roughly half of walk-in cooler space is aisle space. Another popular formula is to calculate that, for every 28 to 30 pounds of food you’ll store, you will need 1 cubic foot of space. When you get that figure, multiply it by 2.5. (The factor 2.5 means only 40 percent of your walk-in will be used as storage space; the other 60 percent is aisles and space between products.)

The result is the size of the refrigerated storage area you will need. For a walk-in freezer, simply divide your walk-in refrigerator space by two. Larger kitchens, which serve more than 400 meals a day, may need as many as three walk-in refrigerators for different temperature needs: one for produce (41 degrees Fahrenheit), one for meats and fish (33 to 38 degrees Fahrenheit), and one for dairy products (32 to 41 degrees Fahrenheit). The walk-in is used most often to store bulk foods. Because this often means wheeling carts or dollies in and out, the floor should be level with the kitchen floor.

This leveling is achieved by the use of strips (called screeds) that are applied to the floor. Coolers don’t come as a single unit; they are constructed on-site. The walls, ceilings, and floors are made of individual panels. Wall panels should be insulated to a rating of R-30, which means a 4-inch thickness. They come in various lengths and widths, with 12-by-12-inch corner panels at 90-degree angles. They can be as short as 71?2 feet or as tall as 131?2 feet. The most common type of insulation inside the panels is polyurethane, and the outside walls of the panels can be made of stainless steel, vinyl, or aluminum. Stainless steel is the most expensive, and aluminum-because it’s the least expensive-is the most popular choice. If the walk-in is an outdoor installation, aluminum is the most weather resistant.

The installer will be sure the unit has interior lighting. The floor panels for walk-ins are similar to the wall panels. Load capacities of 600 pounds per square foot are the norm, but if you plan to store very heavy items (like beer kegs), a reinforced floor can be purchased with a load capacity of up to 1000 pounds per square foot. The refrigeration system of a walk-in is a more complex installation than a standard refrigerator, primarily because it’s so much bigger. Matching the system (and its power requirements) with the dimensions of the walk-in and its projected use is best left to professionals, but it’s important to note that a walk-in accessed frequently throughout the day will require a compressor with greater horsepower to maintain its interior temperature than one that is accessed seldom.

A 9-foot-square walk-in would need at least a 2-horsepower compressor. The condenser unit is located either on top of the walk-in (directly above the evaporator) or up to 25 feet away, with lines connecting it to the walk-in. The latter, for obvious reasons, is known as a remote system, and is necessary for larger-than-normal condensing units with capacities of up to 7.5 horsepower. In a remote system, the refrigerant must be added at the time of installation. For smaller walk-ins, there’s also a plumbing configuration called a quick-couple system, which is shipped from the factory fully charged with refrigerant. This definitely simplifies installation. However, you may need the added power of a remote system if your kitchen has any of these drains on the walk-in’s cooling ability: frequent door opening, glass display doors, multiple doors per compartment, or an ambient kitchen temperature that’s near 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Modern walk-ins sometimes offer a frozen-food section in addition to the regular cooler space. There are pros and cons to this concept. It may ease the load on the freezer, because it’s already located inside a chilled airspace; but it also can’t help but reduce overall usable space, because it requires a separate door. You can also order your walk-in with a separate, reach-in section that has its own door and shelves. Although this may save the cost of purchasing a separate reach-in, some critics claim that a walk-in is not designed to do a reach-in job, such as storing uncovered desserts. Do you really want them in the same environment as cartons of lettuce and other bulk storage items? There may be cleanliness or food quality factors to consider.

The doors should open out, not into the cooler itself. The standard door opening is 34 by 78 inches. Several door features are important for proper walk-in operation. These include: A heavy-duty door closer. Self-closing, cam-lift door hinges. If the door can be opened past a 90-degree angle, the cam will hold it open. A heavy-duty stainless steel threshold. This is installed over the galvanized channel of the door frame. A pull-type door handle, with both a cylinder door lock and room to use a separate padlock if necessary. Pressure-sensitive vents, which prevent vacuum buildup when opening and closing the door. An interior safety release so no one can be (accidentally or otherwise) locked inside the cooler.

Other smart features that can be ordered for walk-ins are: A thermometer (designed for outdoor use, but mounted inside the cooler) with a range of 40 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. A monitoring and recording system that keeps a printout of refrigeration temperature or downloads to a computer. Glass, full-length door panels (like those in supermarkets and convenience stores), sometimes called merchandising doors, either hinged or sliding. Heavy-duty plastic strip curtains inside the door. (One manufacturer claims a 40 percent energy savings with this feature.)

A foot treadle, which enables you to open the door by pressing on a pedal or lever with your foot when both hands are full. Three-way interior lighting, which can be turned on from outside or inside the cooler, with a light-on indicator light outside. Inside, the light itself should be a vapor-proof bulb with an unbreakable globe and shield. When space is at a premium, think about whether it is practical to install an outdoor walk-in unit. This is an economical way to add space without increasing the size of your kitchen, and you can purchase ready-to-use, stand-alone structures with electricity and refrigeration systems in place. They come in standard sizes from 8 to 12 feet wide and up to 50 feet in length, in 1-foot increments.

They range in height from 7.5 to 9.5 feet. Look for a unit with a slanted, weatherproof roof, a weather hood, and a fully insulated floor. Outdoor walk-ins cost about half of the price of installing an indoor kitchen walk-in, so this is a money-saving idea if it works in your location. If your demands for walk-in space are seasonal, consider leasing a refrigerated trailer, available in most metropolitan areas on a weekly or monthly basis. They can provide an instant 2000 cubic feet of additional storage space, which can be kept at any temperature from 40 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. They use basic 60-amp, 230-volt, three-phase electricity. Ask if the lease agreement includes hookup at your site and service if anything goes wrong.

How to Make Solar Panels

One piece of information that many green enthusiasts look for is how to make solar panels. The reality is that with the right knowledge and a few simple parts you can learn how to make solar panels, and you can do so at a cost anyone can afford.

In this article we'll talk about how to make solar panels. More specifically we'll give you a list of the parts you'll need to do make your own solar panels at home, and then give you the steps required to build your solar panels.

How to Make Solar Panels – Parts List

When it comes to making your own solar panels, cheaply, sourcing the parts correctly is everything. The basic components you will need include:

1. Solar Cells – To produce the power.

2. Tabbing Wire – To connect the solar cells together.

3. Solder – To attach the tabbing wire to the solar cells.

4. Bus Wire – To wire everything together in a series when done.

5. Plywood – To use as a backing

6. Framing material (square aluminum tubing or 1 x 2 lumber) – To build a frame on top of the plywood.

7. Plexiglas or Lexan – To seal your assembled unit up, and protect your solar cells.

8. Silicone – To ensure the whole unit is sealed up.

9. Misc Hardware – Screws, etc to put it all together.

The most important component is the solar cells themselves. For most people, a suitable solution is to choose your standard 2Watt Polycrystalline cells. These types of solar cells are less efficient than the current current thin-film cells, but the difference in efficiency is only about 7%. The cost difference is about 400% (in other words thin-film cells are expensive).

By choosing to use your standard cells, available on sites like eBay, you'll enable yourself to build a 100 Watt panel for around $ 125. Some people even opt for chipped, or B-Grade cells, that produce the same amount of power but are defective by the manufacturer's standards (ie chipped corners, etc). With this choice of solar cells a completed 100 Watt panel may cost less than $ 70.

With the parts in hand you are now ready to start putting everything together and making your solar panels.

How to Make Solar Panels – Steps Required

The steps to create solar panels are actually quite easy. If you do need help at this point we suggest buying one of the top guides to DIY solar power. They can help since they include illustration and video to show you exactly what needs to be done. Having said that the steps required really are not that difficult, and anyone is capable of building a solar panel.

Before you start you need to look at how many solar cells you have and then divide them into an even number. For example if you have 50 cells to make a 100 Watt panel, you might choose to make 5 rows of 10 cells.

Step by Step to Make Solar Panels:

1. Tab Your Solar Cells – Cut two pieces of tabbing wire for each cell. These should be double the width of a cell, and then sold those wires to the cells themselves.

2. Wire the Cells in Series – With all of the cells tabbed, beginning wiring the cells in a series. Solder the wires from the top of one cell to the bottom of the next cell (- to +). Continue this until you have the number of rows you decided on before you started.

3. Build a Panel – Using your plywood and your 1 x 2, cut the correct size to house your series of cells out of the plywood and then build a frame around it.

4. Place the Solar Cell Series in the Panel – Place your solar cells in your panel. Before you tack them down using silicone, wire two more tabbing wires to the end of each series (so that you have a + connection off one side of the series and a – connection off the other).

5. Wire it Together – Once you cells are in the panel cut bus wires that can reach across two groups of cells. Wire them together in a series so that you are wiring the positive side of one group to the negative side of the next. Continue this until all of your series are wired together.

6. Attach Your Final Wires – Take some braided copper wire and solder it to the + connection of the first series of cells, and then wire another piece to the – connection of the last series of cells. Run those wires out of the panel.

7. Test and Seal – With the wiring complete all that is left is to test your panel and then close it up. Take it out in the sun to test it. Assuming your voltage is what you expected, close the panel up using your silicon and Plexiglas. At this point you're ready to wire your solar panel into it's final position.

With just a few steps you've now learned how to make solar panels. Move on to your next panel, and start working to convert your whole home to solar energy.

Hiring a Veterinary Locum for Your Holiday Needs

Taking a vacation from your business can be very stressful. Finding a locum vet replacement can seem impossible, and the idea of a stranger stepping into your clinic to be the face and reputation of your business is daunting. Everyone needs a vacation, and it is usually best to keep your doors open. How will the locum fit into the group dynamic with the support staff? Will the clients like the locum? Will the clinic make any money while you are gone? What if the locum is horribly incompetent? Do you find yourself wondering if you really need that vacation after all (answer: Yes you do!)

Here you will find some points to consider, that I have learned as a locum, and through conversations with locums and practice owners. My biggest tip is to have a checklist (contact me for a sample) of things that should be discussed with your locum in advance. Read on to learn questions that you might not even think to ask!

Billing

Your first task with your newly appointed locum is to get a contract. If the locum does not provide you with one you should ask for one. This should outline at a minimum; dates and times of work, arranged payment and any extras like accommodation or on call duties.

Make sure that your billing policies are clear. You may think it obvious that you give a 10% discount to Peter and his Pomeranians, or that you charge extra for a nail trim if it takes three people. The locum should be billing according to your written fee guide. In addition, the locum should not be responsible for determining fees, discounts or payment. Have these in writing, or, if available, delegate this responsibility to a trustworthy senior staff member who knows your client relationships.

A locum is not necessarily going to make you money. If you accept this before your vacation you may be less stressed on your return. Profits should be considered an added bonus to your vacation. Your job is to relax, the locum’s job is to hold down the fort and see the work presented to them. You can’t force your clients to see a locum, and some clients will wait for your return for routine appointments.

Appointments

Scheduling a day for a new locum can be challenging. The locum does not know the clinic, the staff, the clients or the clinic layout. Be honest about how you book your appointments. Locums are also usually very meticulous about records, to avoid miscommunication, which takes some time. Most locums charge a fee for time out of hours.

At all costs, avoid the client surprise! It is crucial that clients know they are seeing a locum. Many clinics are worried that they will lose money on a locum day (see note in Billing). An unfortunate experience for everyone is when the locum walks in the room, and the client exclaims “Where is Dr. X today?!?” with an accompanying horrified expression. Here’s what I suggest; when a client books an appointment, the receptionist will say “Thank you Mrs. Jones, your appointment is on Tuesday at 4pm with Dr. Smith”. In this case, a client who wants to see Dr. X will say that they would prefer to see Dr. X, which can then be arranged if possible. A client who is willing to see a locum will not comment and come to the appointment. Certainly this is a great opportunity to promote the locum, for example; “Dr. Smith is a great veterinarian with 8 years experience, and she cares very much about the animals in her care. Dr X trusts her and other clients are really happy with her”

Technical skills

During the first few days with a locum there will be an adjustment period to find out where the locum’s skill sets fit in with your practice. The locum should be informed whether an AHT is on staff. If there is no AHT then the locum has the right to dictate what procedures are acceptable. Avoid booking a solo new or locum AHT with a solo locum veterinarian, a recipe for potential disaster.

A locum will also likely not know how to use your x-ray machine, so have staff on site that are trained, or have a contingency plan for cases requiring radiology, such as a neighbouring clinic or referral centre.

Don’t micromanage! Or worse, delegate a staff member to micromanage for you! A good locum tries to fit in with the practice philosophy but will do things the way they see fit. Locums will not necessarily use your first choice of antibiotic, suture pattern or type, etc. Locums must be given the flexibility to work within their comfort zone. By having a discussion about case management styles, using a checklist, and your very specific requirements in an interview ahead of time, an understanding is possible.

Euthanasia, in my experience, is a source of potential conflict. If you are particular about your euthanasia method, use your checklist to discuss with the locum (i.e. whether an IV catheter is placed, whether the animal is sedated, owners present, whether the locum will agree to “convenience” euthanasia)

We all know vets with different comfort levels with surgery. Get a list of acceptable surgeries from the locum. Do not book a locum a cruciate surgery without confirming that they do this procedure, and their experience – is it their second or seventieth time doing a cruciate? Some locums may not do cosmetic surgeries such as tails, ears, declaws, and debarking, if you expect your locum to do these procedures use your checklist to discuss them.

Be honest about your caseload; use your checklist to review with the locum. Do you see birds sometimes for beak and wing trims? No big deal? A locum might feel completely overwhelmed. Do you book 10 minute or 30 minute appointments? How many surgeries do you perform in a morning? Make sure your locum comes prepared for the pace at your clinic.

Case Management

Most locums enjoy their job because they love learning new things; however the locum should have the flexibility to do things their own way. Your staff may feel like they are protecting your interests by telling the locum how you do things, but this can make a stressful experience for staff and locum if not delivered delicately. Discuss with your staff in advance how they should deal with these situations.

What do you do with emergency cases? A locum might not feel comfortable hospitalizing a patient overnight with no staff in attendance. If a locum stays to see an emergency they will likely charge extra. Use your checklist to discuss! Also, what should the locum do with a referral? Discuss your referral policies with the locum in advance, but respect the locum’s comfort zones.

What are your routine protocols like vaccines? Heartworm and deworming protocols? Do you vaccinate for Feline Leukemia? All cats? Only indoor cats? Do you require a blood test prior? Do you vaccinate with a three year or one year vaccine? Iron out any issues with routine procedures before the locum comes to the clinic. Use your checklist and make sure the locum is getting the correct information directly from you, to avoid confusion during the locum term.

If a checklist sounds like a lot of work, I guarantee it is a lot easier than dealing with a mutiny from your support staff because the locum went horribly wrong (I see you grimacing because we have all been there!). Ask your staff for help designing or editing your checklist. If you have specific policies, some idiosyncrasies, or you like to tap your feet three times before you spay a cat, your support staff certainly know it – probably better than you do!

Summary

1. Get your staff and clients excited about your locum, focus on the locum’s positive attributes and the new ideas they will bring to the practice.

2. Find a locum that makes you think about your vacation and not the practice.

3. Use your checklist to discuss how your practice works.

4. Make sure you have a detailed contract – and verify their license status.

5. Consider any profit a bonus.

6. Hire a locum for a day if possible in advance of a large block of time to iron out any conflicts.

7. Have a checklist of issues to review before you go to minimize any misunderstandings – Did you read the title? I know I said this already – are you getting the picture? You can get a sample by contacting me at info@canadalocum.com or check out http://www.canadalocum.com. Give a copy to the locum, so you both know what you have discussed before you go on vacation. Give a copy to the support staff so they know how to book appointments.

8. Enjoy your time off!

Things to Remember in Picking a Forex Broker

When looking for a forex broker it is essential to make sure you find the right one first time, especially when you are a newbie in the foreign exchange market. With this in mind, we have a number of suggestions and plans of action that you can take in order to pick a forex broker that will be right for you.

If a broker approaches you directly, promising the earth, you should always be very cautious. More often than not, such brokers may be out to take advantage of you and their money-making offers could hurt you in the long run.

We need to discuss the fact that there are a number of unscrupulous forex brokers out there that are standing by to take your money. However, if you’re sensible and do sufficient research up front, you should be able to find the perfect forex broker for your needs.

Research really is imperative. Knowledge is power after all, therefore if you can acquaint yourself with as much information on brokers as you can, you will be able to make a far more informed decision on which one you are going to pick. The internet is crammed full of sites which will provide you with mounds of information and reviews on forex brokers, so carefully sift through these and try to engage an idea of the names of brokers that seem to be coming up with the best reviews, time after time. (This is my forex broker recommendation)

Similarly and very importantly, weed out the names of brokers that consistently receive bad reviews and avoid them like the absolute plague. These reviews and opinions are being expressed for a reason and it is up to you to learn from other people’s mistakes.

Once you feel that you are able to pick a forex broker, there are a number of other factors that you should investigate. Do further research on the broker’s reputation in the forex industry. Find out what official bodies they belong to and how this would protect you against fraudulent use of your account and/or bankruptcy. You have to protect your funds if you end up opening an account with them.

Find out how easy it is dealing with the prospective forex broker. You may wish to research their customer services department to find out how responsive they are to any questions you have posed to them.

Also, find out what the cost will be to you to actually trade with the broker and what are their commissions rates. Look to see if they offer a free trial account. Your demo account will allow you to practice trading and make money through paper trading and sharpen your skills making money.

There are definitely a lot of excellent foreign exchange brokers to choose from. In order to pick a forex broker that is right for you, just go out and pick one. If you follow my ideas you will have a far better chance of getting your decision right the first time.

Want To Avoid Failure? Move To A Log Cabin

Is it possible to fail consistently and achieve ultimate success? Ask anyone who has achieved success, however you choose to define it, and I’ll guarantee the common answer will be – YES.

How is this possible? Well, there are two ways to define failure and there are multiple ways to respond to it. But first – from the sources – definitions:

Failure – something that falls short of what is required or expected. A breakdown or decline in the performance of something, or an occasion when something stops working or stops working adequately.

Success – something that turns out as planned or intended. Somebody who is wealthy, famous, or powerful because of a record of achievement. Agree with this one? Personally, I take issue with this definition as it leaves out so many achievements that may not end with wealth, fame or power.

In my world travels over the years speaking in 25 countries I have never met, to this day anyone who was successful who hadn’t experienced failure in some or even many ways during their life or career.

I believe there is only one way to avoid failure and this is to dig a hole and bury yourself in it.

I can’t tell you how many articles and books I have read by people to espouse the concept of avoiding failure or people who say failure is bad or people who say failure is a sign of weakness – blah – blah – blah. These people are all nuts and I’ll bet any of them who have not failed yet are nowhere near achieving their potential.

It’s simple folks – if you want to succeed you must risk – to take a risk requires that you may make mistakes, make dumb decisions or do stupid things and the result – yes – failure.

The bottom line in all of them is this – you can’t succeed without failure in your past. So, the question remains – do we all define failure the same? I would doubt it. Is there a common definition to it – yes – I gave it to you at the beginning of this article.

So, let me ask you – are you failing at anything right now? If no – what are you waiting for? If yes – what are you learning? Failure is a tool to grow, learn, improve and adapt and adjust. Without it you will tent to stay stuck in the past.

How Does A Firewall Work?

You may have heard the term firewall before but have you ever wondered how does a firewall work and why do I need one? A computer firewall protects your computer by putting up a barrier to keep anyone from accessing your files when you are surfing the Internet.

Once a hacker get access to your files malicious codes spread through your computer retrieving your personal information that the hacker can use to steal your identity or charge items with your credit card numbers. So how does a firewall work?

A firewall not only stops this from happening but keeps the malicious file out of your computer so it can’t spread to your other files. That’s why it’s called a firewall because its job is similar to a firewall that keeps a fire from spreading from one area to the next.

If a hacker tries to invade your computer files to get your passwords and credit card numbers you’ve used for online purchases he simply can’t get access. Computer firewall software will allow good data in but blocks all bad data from entering your computer.

Good data is when you are surfing the Internet, visiting web sites, downloading photos or data files. But bad data, like hacker programs, or anything that spies on your Internet habits without your knowledge is not allowed.

When computer firewall protection is enabled, everything that goes in and out of your computer is monitored. With the amount of malicious programs on the Internet today it’s also a way to prevent spyware and adware from getting into your computer.

Many people think that the anti-virus software that came with their computer protects them from hackers. While it’s important to keep anti-virus software updated for viruses it does nothing to secure your computer against direct hacker attacks.

Whether you have a dial-up, cable, broadband or DSL connection, every minute that your computer is connected to the Internet, it is at risk. Hackers are looking to do you harm and even steal your identity. Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes today.

One of the most effective ways to guard your personal information and keep these criminals away from your sensitive passwords and credit card numbers is the use of computer firewall protection.

You’ll hear the term firewall used a lot in the near future because these problems are growing at an alarming rate on the Internet. You’ll probably also hear other people ask, how does a firewall work and why do I need one? But now you’ll know the answer.

Copyright © 2005 Spyware Information.com All Rights Reserved.

Condensation Problems at Home

Winter is upon us once again bringing not only colder temperatures and snow but many condensation and damp based problems for homeowners.

In order for us to eradicate these problems, we must first establish what causes them in the first place. One consistent problem within a home during the winter period is condensation.

Condensation occurs when moist air comes into contact with a surface of the building fabric which is at a lower temperature.

Air contains water vapor in various quantities. Its capacity to do so is related to its temperature. Warm air holds more moisture than cold air. When the moist air comes into contact with either colder air or a colder surface, the air is unable to retain the same amount of moisture and the water content is then released to form condensation into the air or onto a colder surface.

Condensation is generally visible where it forms on non-porous materials (windows, tiles, plastic ceiling or wall cladding) but it can form on any surface under the right conditions and it may not be noticed until mold growth becomes irrelevant.

The effects of moisture generation are most definitely made worse by insufficient ventilation. Certain areas of a home (such as bathrooms and kitchens) can generate up to a third of a dwellings moisture content. When the moist air then moves to cooler parts of the house, it will condense on any given cold surface.

With the vast improvement of energy conservation methods, buildings have become more airtight and better at retaining moisture and vapor content that is produced by homes inhabitants. This provides ideal conditions for condensation to occur. Ventilation is only effective if it's consistent through the entire building envelope. Condensation is also encouraged by poor air circulation where stale air can not move and forms behind furniture and in cupboard spaces. The first sign of this is often the visual appearance of mold growth.

Mold is a fungi that produces tiny tiny particles called spores. For a person with allergies or breathing difficulties, these tiny spores can trigger asthma, bronchitis and many other respiratory problems. When the spores settle onto a warm moist spot they will begin to germinate. The moisture that is present in a home becomes the perfect breeding ground for the mold to thrive on and grow.

If left unattended mould will continue to spread, damaging both the integrity of the homes building fabric and its occupant's health. Mold requires relative humidity levels from between 65% to 99% at the surface point at which it grows.

The vast majority of extractor fans stocked within the major UK DIY superstores will only operate on either a direct switched input or will have a maximum thirty minute timer overrun facility. If a fan were to run through its specified thirty minute overrun facility the RH% levels within a bathroom area would still remain at a high level suitable for sustained mold growth.

Those without ventilation altogether will simply choose not to leave the window of a wet room open during the colder months. Inhabitants of a home with an extractor fan installed will also very rarely leave the fan switched on for the required time frames to remove the relevant vapor content from within these wet areas.

Three solutions in which an occupant can eradicate this problem are;

1. Calculate the size of your room and the number of air-changes per hour required to achieve adequate airflow extraction rates. Select an extractor fan capable of moving the calculated air content.

2.Select a humidistat controlled extractor fan which will continue to operate until the vapor content from within the room's atmosphere has returned to present safe RH% levels to minimize mould growth.

3.Select an extractor fan that has background ventilation and continuously extracts vapor content from within a room's atmosphere 24/7.

The two most popular rooms to be renovated by homeowners are both the kitchen and the bathroom areas. They're also the two that inhabants will generate the most moisture from.

Financially these rooms are also the most expensive to remodel, so if you're thinking about renovating you may want to think about doing a little bit groundwork to ensure you get your ventilation requirements right first time.

Stopping mold from growing is not only necessary for you to ensure a clean home it is also of paramount importance to ensure its occupant's health.

Interior Flooring – Reasons To Consider A Wool Carpet For Your Home

A Wool carpet will enhance the appearance of any home. Carpets made from wool come in many different shapes and styles, and they provide some very unique attributes. Wool has been used for centuries, and through the years it has been the first material choice of carpet makers. Wool carpets are both artistic and enduring, but they also have many additional qualities that one should consider when making a carpet purchase.

Many people are surprised to learn that wool carpets are by nature highly fire resistant. This is a powerful characterisitc that lowers insurance rates. Wool has a low burn rate which means that it is difficult to ignite and catches on fire. In fact, unless the fire is very hot, it may actually self-extinguish. This is in direct contrast to man-made products that often have high-burn rates. From a safety point of view a wool. A floor covered with a wool carpet is, therefore, at a large advantage when one considers the attribute of fire resistance that wool provides.

As much as it is possible for any material to be strain resistant we find that wool rugs have this quality naturally. To evaluate this statement just think about an old item of clothing that you may have made of wool such as a wool sweater. How many times over the years while owning this sweater was cleaned cleaned required? If, you are like most people in this situation, the answer is reasonably infrequently. Neverheless even without frequent cleaning did not it always manage to look fabulous regardless of spills and the normal wear of day-to-day life? We are confident the answer to this is a positive one. It is beyond question an astounding fiber, and for a floor covering, you have to love this quality of wool.

Wool is a flooring fabric that is easily cleaned. This is one of the attractive attributes of wool, and one that you should consider when selecting a covering covering for your home. No one wants either the hassle, or the expenditure of constantly having a carpet or rug professionally cleaned every other week for it to look good. This is where wool carpets really stand out of the crowd compared to other material. Wool carpets and rugs are genuinely flexible and easy to clean, which is a fact that can be verified through countless happy owners of wool carpets and rugs. We have seen in this article how wool carpets and rugs provides resistances to fire and stains, but now let us consider another highly beneficial strength and justification for picking wool as the floor covering for your home. In plain terms, wool is resistant to soiling. All that it takes to keep a wool carpet or rug looking good is normally just a customary sweeping and vacuuming. Carpet cleaning experts recommend that if the carpet or rug is of a size that will fit, one should periodically take it outside, and hang it over something like a clothes line, so it could be beat out with a broom or some other instrument for that Purpose. Sweeping will keep the carpet looking fabulous, and the sweeping has an added element that brings out the sheen of the material, and the natural beauty of a wool rug. That is really all that is necessary other than dealing with actual spills on the rugs. Stains on a wool rug can be acceptably treated with easily obtainable products such as Woolite. As you can see, cleaning is not a complex issue. Granted, you still may want it clean once or twice a year professionally, but that should normally be optional and dependent on the traffic on your wool rug.

This last attribute that we will want to discuss of wool carpets and area rugs will very likely be one that you have never previously heard mentioned. Wool has been scientifically proven in both the laboratory and in the market place to minimize indoor air contaminants in a very significant way and to a high degree. It starts to work immediately after being installed in a home or a business, and the effects can be measured and they are astounding. Furthermore, this quality of wool carpets and rugs continues to improving air quality year after year and has demonstrated this ability up to 30 years after being placed in a home. Now that is a pretty amazing feature and a very important fact that should not be ignored by any health conscious person.

Wool carpets and area rugs can be found that will accommodate almost any home decorating theme. They come in a wide and versatile range of shapes and designs. We all like variety in our life and with wool carpets and rugs you have a wide selection of variety and beautiful floor coverings.

Natural Problems With Basements and What You Should Know Before You Finish

Many homeowners, including ones who have lived in their homes for years, claim that they've never "had water. Most of the time this is followed with "well, I've never seen water in my basement."

This leads to a false sense of security and tends to follow with finishing off the basement and then in time, a call to their local waterproofer asking for help astonished that this happened to them.

There are two facts about basements that you must come to terms with if you are planning on remodeling or finishing your foundation off:

1.) All concrete can and will crack.
2.) All basics can and will ever leak or flood.

Grimm news, I know, but it's important for you to know the nature of the basement before spending boat loads of cash to make it exactly the way you like it.

Taking these two facts into consideration we can look at long-term solutions to protect your new basement area from problems.

Concrete cracking happens because of many reasons. Some of these reasons appear during the forming process of the walls. Minor problems with the mixture, wall forms, or too little time allotted for the concrete to dry are all things that can cause cracks in the future. Stress, land shifting, and natural settling of the foundation are more reasons that this can happen. Cracks should be addressed and foundation issues should be addressed before even moving forward.

All basements before they're finished require moisture control, period. A full moisture control system will typically consist of something to address the walls, air circulation, drainage for water / moisture from under the floor, and a sump pump to remove it all from the basement.

Vapor Barriers come in a variety of styles to, not only protect from moisture transfer from the foundation walls, but can also help to increase some of the R-value of the insulation your new walls provide you.

If you're finishing the basement off a pump pump area can be neatly hidden away from view and you'll have to protection of having moisture and water channeled and removed from your basement. This will insure that your things stay dry, comfortable and most importantly in their original condition.

How to Select the "Best" Question on the PMP Exam

I remember the day I took the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam. It was a hot Friday afternoon in San Antonio, Texas, when I walked into the Prometric testing center. My study plan was 30 days, and I hit the books every day leading up to the exam. Even though I committed more than 200 hours to prepare, I still felt there were many gaps that could be exposed on the exam. I was right!

Studying Too Much is a Problem

As a PMP® test prep trainer, I inform my students that 60-to-80 hours is more than sufficient to get ready for the exam. My take is that people who spend more than 100 hours are wasting their time. The point here is that if one uses the right material to prepare, and learns test-taking skills, they can do well with a condensed study schedule.

I also made the huge mistake of taking 200 sample questions on the morning of the exam. I thought this was going to be a smart move because I could review questions and concepts that might arise on the exam. The problem with this approach is that I was wiped out by the time my 12:30 p.m. exam started. It felt like taking two major exams in one day. Today, I recommend that students avoid taking any practice exams 24 hours prior to their test. Instead, this time should be used to ensure one knows the major concepts, such as the 5 process groups, 10 knowledge areas, and 47 processes.

The Exam

The key to doing well on the PMP requires that you have excellent test-taking skills. You are asked to pick the right answer, and not the best answer. There’s a notable difference between the two.

Here’s an example:

The following is responsible for collecting lessons learned:

(a) Project manager

(b) Stakeholder

(c) Vendor

(d) Team member

Here are the right answers: (a) Project manager, (c) Vendor, and (d) Team member. However, the best answer is (b) Stakeholders. Why? Stakeholders includes the rest of the roles noted here. To get this question right, you must know the concepts and terminology in the PMBOK® Guide. The more you are familiar with how PMI words questions, the easier time you will have selecting the correct answer.

Think Before Answering

There are many test-takers who fall in love with an answer before thinking through the remaining options. It’s imperative that you read all the possible answers to determine which ones can be eliminated. The exam writers purposely include at least one item known as the distractor. This is the option that is absolutely wrong, but it might look good. The art of eliminating an option can make a huge difference on your overall score. From my experience, there are generally two answers that you can discard. Make sure to take your team before making the final selection.

Takeaway

The people who pass the PMP exam know that preparation is mandatory. You cannot walk off the street and do well on this test. I know some people who say the following: “I’ve managed projects for 30 years, so this exam will not be a problem for me.” By engaging in this lackadaisical and overconfident attitude, these folks will fail. The PMP® is a standardized exam, which means that we must take a methodological and procedural approach to every question. The technique is easy to learn, but it requires significant practice.

Building Outdoor Bulletin Boards – Ten Simple Features to Include on Your Display

When building outdoor bulletin boards for your school, church, community or homeowner’s association, these ten simple features will make your message center more usable, project a professional image, and most importantly, provide long-lasting, easy maintenance.

Larry Kontny, Secretary Treasurer of the Magnolia Terrace Homeowner Association in Mont Verde, Florida, made the mistake of purchasing poor quality bulletin boards last year.

“The back rotted out of the first bulletin board we purchased”, said Kontny, “and water got inside, and of course, the water and the humidity ruined all the letters.”

Water and humidity is a major concern for folks who live in this community of 130 home sites about 20 miles west of Orlando.

“Anyone who has lived in Florida knows of the heavy thunderstorms during the rainy season. This new one I just installed is much better constructed, and the frame is much stronger than the earlier one we purchased.”

1.Use an anodized aluminum frame that has a moisture barrier backing and silicone sealant.

“The first board we purchased had a particle board backing that sucked the water up like a sieve”, said Kotney. “The letter board warped and became spongy.”

2. Shatter-resistant door windows prevent injury and liability. Vandalism or kicked up stones from a passing truck can cause a cheap window to break.

Do not use glass, safety glass, or acrylic for the door window. Use a polycarbonate brand like Lexan or Makrolon SL.

3. Make sure that your door windows and posting surface have a UV inhibitor which cuts down on the destructive effects from sun rays. Some automotive part stores sell clear UV glass tinting film that can be applied to the window.

“The sun rays caused the enclosed cabinet to heat up like an oven. The board facing the southern exposure faded in months and some of the letters melted and got brittle”, said Kotney. “We’re going to have to replace that one too.”

4. Louvered vent caps should be installed on the cabinet’s sides to dissipate any heat build up or ambient humidity. The vent caps should be screened to prevent insects like spiders or wasps from entering the bulletin board’s cabinet and nesting.

A louvered vent also stops condensation from fogging up the door window by preventing a temperature differential.

5. Lockable doors secure access to the posting surface so postings are official.

“One morning I came out to find some kids had rearranged the letters to spell a profane message.” said Thomas Keane, past president of the Limestone Acres homeowners association in Wilmington, Delaware. “The neighborhood association was not amused.”

6. The door frame should have full length piano hinges to support the weight of the door when opened. Using just a couple of small hinges will wear out quickly and fatigue the aluminum case frame.

7. The door frame should have a rubber gasket seal to prevent vertical rain from seeping through the gap.

A tight door frame is important especially for residents on coastal areas that experience strong vertical winds.

8. The cabinet should be at least 3-1/4″ depth. This allows room to add extra letter panels, chalk boards, dry erase boards or bulletin boards.

These extra types of panels make your community message center very versatile and allows creativity for holidays or different occasions.

9. A name header can be included on the display cabinet or sign pediment. A name header provides identity and recognition for outdoor bulletin boards.

10. Make sure the cabinet comes with a one year manufacture’s guarantee. Any problems due to improper materials or assembly are going to happen during the first year’s exposure to the elements.

Kontny says he appreciates his new bulletin board that was supplied by a reputable manufacturer free of charge. “I like it, they didn’t have to do it”, says Kontny of his new bulletin board. “In fact, we will be replacing another one soon, which has been destroyed by the sun’s rays, and I’ll be getting another one just like this because it’s easy to maintain.”

113 Facts About Animal Cruelty

  1. Animals caught in traps can suffer for days before succumbing to exposure, shock, or attacks by predators.
  2. Traps often kill “non-target” animals, including dogs and endangered species.
  3. To cut costs, fur farmers pack animals into small cages, preventing them from taking more than a few steps back and forth.
  4. Crowding and confinement is especially distressing to minks- solitary animals who occupy up to 2,500 acres of wetland in the wild.
  5. The frustration of life in a cage leads minks to self-mutilate- biting their skin, tails, feet- or frantically pace and circle endlessly.
  6. “PETA investigators witnessed rampant cruelty to animals. Workers beat pigs with metal rods and jabbed pins into pigs’ eyes and faces.”
  7. Snakes and lizards are skinned alive because of the belief that live flaying makes leather more supple.
  8. Piglets are separated from their mothers when they are as young as 10 days old.
  9. Once her piglets are gone, the sow is impregnated again, and the cycle continues for three or four years before she is slaughtered.
  10. Approximately 3 to 4 million cats and dogs- many of them healthy, young, and adoptable- must be euthanized in animal shelters every year.
  11. Cows produce milk for the same reason that humans do- to nourish their young – but on dairy farms calves are taken away at 1 day old.
  12. 1 day old calves are fed milk replacements (including cattle blood) so that their mothers’ milk can be sold to humans.
  13. Animals can suffer brain damage or death from heatstroke in just 15 minutes. Beating the heat is extra tough for dogs.
  14. Each year, approximately 10,000 bulls die in bullfights.
  15. Most cows are intensively confined, unable to fulfill their most basic desires, such as nursing their calves, even for a single day.
  16. Cows are fed unnatural, high-protein diets-which include dead chickens, pigs, and other animals.
  17. Overall, factory-farmed animals, including those on dairy farms, produce 1.65 billion tons of manure each year.
  18. Kid goats are boiled alive to make gloves.
  19. The skins of unborn calves and lambs – some aborted, others from slaughtered pregnant cows – are considered “luxurious.”
  20. About 285 million hens are raised for eggs in the US. In tiny spaces so small they cannot move a wing.
  21. The wire mesh of the cages rubs off hens feathers, chafes their skin, and causes their feet to become crippled.
  22. Before 1986, only four states had felony animal cruelty laws.
  23. Glue traps cause terror and agony to any animals who touch them, leaving them to suffer for days.
  24. In one study, 70% of animal abusers also had records for other crimes.
  25. Sealers often hook baby seals in the eye, cheek, or mouth to avoid damaging their fur, then drag them across the ice to skin them.
  26. Arsenic-laced additives are mixed into the feed of about 70 percent of the chickens raised for food.
  27. Every year, nearly a million seals worldwide are subjected to painful and often lingering deaths, largely for the sake of fashion.
  28. Scientists estimate that 100 species go extinct every day! That’s about one species every 15 minutes.
  29. Every year in the US, 50 million male piglets are castrated (usually without being given any painkillers).
  30. More than 15 million warm-blooded animals are used in research every year.
  31. The methods used in fur factory farms are designed to maximize profits, almost always at the expense of the animals.
  32. To test cosmetics, cleaners, and other products, hundreds of thousands of animals are poisoned, blinded, and killed every year.
  33. In extremely crowded conditions, piglets are prone to stress-related behavior such as cannibalism and tail-biting.
  34. Farmers often chop off piglets’ tails and use pliers to break off the ends of their teeth- without giving them any painkillers.
  35. For identification purposes, farmers cut out chunks of young pigs ears.
  36. Animals on fur farms spend their entire lives confined to cramped, filthy wire cages.
  37. For fur, small animals may be crammed into boxes and poisoned with hot, unfiltered engine exhaust from a truck.
  38. Engine exhaust is not always lethal, and some animals wake up while they are being skinned.
  39. Larger animals have clamps attached to or rods forced into their mouth or anus so they can be painfully electrocuted.
  40. Bird poisons attack birds’ nervous systems, causing them to suffer seizures, erratic flight, and tremors for hours before dying.
  41. If you drink milk, you’re subsidizing the veal industry.
  42. Male calves are often taken away from their mothers at 1 day old, chained in tiny stalls for 3-18 weeks, and raised for veal.
  43. After they are taken from their mothers, piglets are confined to pens until they are separated to be raised for breeding or meat.
  44. Although chickens can live for more than a decade, hens raised for their eggs are exhausted and killed by age 2.
  45. More than 100 million “spent” hens are killed in slaughterhouses every year.
  46. Forty-five states currently have felony provisions for animal cruelty. (Those without are AK, ID, MS, ND and SD.)
  47. Dogs used for fighting are chained, taunted, and starved to trigger extreme survival instincts and encourage aggressiveness.
  48. Dogs that lose fights (or refuse) are often abandoned, tortured, set on fire, electrocuted, shot, drowned, or beaten to death.
  49. Cows on average product 16 lbs of milk per day. With hormones, antibiotics, and genetic manipulation? 54 lbs a day.
  50. Humane treatment is not a priority for those who poach and hunt animals to obtain their skin.
  51. Alligators on farms may be beaten with hammers and axes, sometimes remaining conscious and in pain for 2 hours after skinning.
  52. Investigation of animal abuse is often the first point of social services intervention for a family in trouble.
  53. A Canadian Police study found that 70 percent of people arrested for animal cruelty had past records of other violent crimes.
  54. Dog fighting and cock-fighting are illegal in all 50 states.
  55. Hoarding of animals exists in virtually every community. Well-intentioned people overwhelmed by animal overpopulation crisis.
  56. The consequences for hoarders, their human dependents, animals, and the community are extremely serious- and often fatal for animals.
  57. Declawing is a painful mutilation that involves 10 amputations – not just the nails – but the ends of toes (bone and all).
  58. The long-term effects of declawing include skin and bladder problems and the gradual weakening of cats’ legs, shoulders, and back.
  59. Declawing is both painful and traumatic, and it has been outlawed in Germany and other parts of Europe as a form of cruelty.
  60. Kangaroos are slaughtered by the millions every year; their skins are considered prime material for soccer shoes.
  61. Across the US, 6 to 8 million stray and abandoned animals enter animal shelters every year, and about half must be euthanized.
  62. In California, America’s top milk-producing state, manure from dairy farms has poisoned hundreds of square miles of groundwater.
  63. Each of the more than 1 million cows on the state’s dairy farms excrete 18 gallons of manure daily.
  64. Every year, the global leather industry slaughters more than a billion animals and tans their skins and hides.
  65. Elephants who perform in circuses are often kept in chains for as long as 23 hours a day from the time they are babies.
  66. Every year, millions of animals are killed for the clothing industry.
  67. An immeasurable amount of suffering goes into every fur-trimmed jacket, leather belt, and wool sweater.
  68. Neglect and abandonment are the most common forms of companion animal abuse in the United States.
  69. On any given day in the U.S., there are more than 65 million pigs on factory farms, and 112 million are killed for food each year.
  70. Every year, dogs suffer and die when left in a parked car- even for “just a minute” – parked cars are deathtraps for dogs.
  71. Dog owners: On a 78 degree F day, the temperature in a shaded car is 90°F, in the sun it can climb to 160°F in minutes.
  72. 98% of Americans consider pets to be companions or members of the family.
  73. For medical experimentation animals can be burned, shocked, poisoned, isolated, starved, addicted to drugs, and brain-damaged.
  74. Regardless of how trivial or painful animal experiments may be, none are prohibited by law.
  75. When valid non-animal research methods are available, no law requires experimenters to use such methods instead of animals.
  76. On average it takes 1,000 dogs to maintain a mid-sized racetrack operation. There are over 30 tracks in the United States.
  77. Female cows are artificially inseminated shortly after their first birthdays. Happy birthday!
  78. Birds don’t belong in cages. Bored, lonely, denied the opportunity to fly, deprived of companionship…
  79. Many birds become neurotic in cages – pulling out feathers, bobbing their heads incessantly, and repeatedly pecking.
  80. According to industry reports, more than 1 million pigs die en route to slaughter each year.
  81. More than 100 million animals every year suffer and die in cruel chemical, drug, food and cosmetic tests, biology lessons, etc.
  82. Approximately 9 billion chickens are raised and killed for meat each year in the U.S.
  83. The industry refers to chickens as “broilers” and raises them in huge, ammonia-filled, windowless sheds with artificial lighting.
  84. Some chickens spend their entire lives standing on concrete floors.
  85. Some chickens are confined to massive, crowded lots, where they are forced to live amid their own waste.
  86. Neglect/Abandonment is the most prevalent form of animal abuse (approximately 36% of all animal abuse cases.)
  87. Cows are treated like milk-producing machines and are genetically manipulated and pumped full of antibiotics and hormones.
  88. Foie gras is made from the grotesquely enlarged livers of ducks and geese who have been cruelly force-fed.
  89. The best way to save cows from the misery of factory farms is to stop buying milk and other dairy products. Discover soy!
  90. A typical slaughterhouse kills about 1,000 hogs per hour.
  91. The sheer number of animals killed makes it impossible for pigs’ deaths to be humane and painless.
  92. Because of improper stunning, many hogs are alive when they reach the scalding hot water baths.
  93. 13% of intentional animal abuse cases involve domestic violence.
  94. Animal cruelty problems are people problems. When animals are abused, people are at risk.
  95. Instead of improving conditions for animals, the dairy industry is exploring the use of genetically manipulated cattle.
  96. More than half the fur in the US comes from China, where millions of dogs and cats are bludgeoned, hanged, and bled to death.
  97. Millions of pounds of antibiotics are fed to chickens, who metabolize only about 20 percent of the drugs fed to them.
  98. The 3 trillion pounds of waste produced by factory-farmed animals every year is usually used to fertilize crops.
  99. Chaining dogs, while unfortunately legal in most areas, is one of the cruelest punishments imaginable for social animals.
  100. Tens of thousands of horses from the United States are slaughtered every year to be used for horsemeat in Europe and Asia.
  101. Since the last horse slaughter plants in the US were closed in 2007, thousands of horses have been shipped to Canada/Mexico.
  102. Abusers kill, harm, or threaten children’s pets to coerce them into sexual abuse or to force them to remain silent about abuse.
  103. There are no federal laws to regulate the voltage or use of electric prods on pigs.
  104. Forty-one of the 45 state felony animal cruelty laws were enacted in the last two decades.
  105. In the United States, 1.13 million animals were used in experiments in 2009, plus an estimated 100 million mice and rats.
  106. As a result of disease, pesticides, and climate changes, the honeybee population has been nearly decimated.
  107. Many studies have found a link between cruelty to animals and other forms of interpersonal violence.
  108. Cows have a natural lifespan of about 20 years and can produce milk for eight or nine years.
  109. A fur coat is pretty cool- for an animal to wear.
  110. Eighteen red foxes are killed to make one fox-fur coat, 55 minks to make a mink coat.
  111. Fur farmers use the cheapest and cruelest killing methods available: suffocation, electrocution, gassing, and poisoning.
  112. In addition to diarrhea, pneumonia, and lameness, calves raised for veal are terrified and desperate for their mothers.
  113. During Canada’s annual commercial seal slaughter, as many as 300,000 seals are shot or bludgeoned.

Transform Your Room With Faux Wood Beams

You'd be hard-pressed to tell the difference between real wood ceiling beams and high-quality polyurethane look-alikes. If you want the look of real wood beams without the hard labor of installing and finishing them, faux wood beams are the ticket. You can get them in lots of styles and prefinished colors to suit your taste, from rough and rustic to smooth and shapely.

Faux beams are a fraction of the weight of wood, so one person can easily lift the largest beam, and two people can safely maneuver them during installation. You cut them with ordinary woodworking saws, and they attach to the ceiling with adhesive and a few screws.

Here's how easy it is to install a ceiling beam.

What You Need

  • Beams and matching wood filler, available online for shipment to your door (Google "faux wood beams")
  • Short pieces of 2×4 to use as mounting blocks
  • 3-inch screws or anchors for attaching 2×4 blocks to ceiling
  • 2-inch screws for attaching beam to blocks
  • Construction adhesive such as Liquid Nails Poly or PL Premium Poly

Overview

The ceiling beam has a U cross section, open along the top where it rests against the ceiling. To install the beam, you first cut short wood blocks that fit inside the U and screw these to the ceiling. Then you apply adhesive to the top edges of the beam, slip it over the blocks and screw the beam to them.

Step By Step

After you've planned where the wood beams will go, just follow these simple steps to install each beam:

  1. Measure the inside width of the ceiling beam and cut 2×4 blocks to fit. You need about one block for each 4 feet of beam.
  2. Mark where the beam will go on the ceiling using a pair of chalk lines or strips of painter's tape.
  3. Attach the 2×4 blocks with screws or anchors every 3-6 feet along the lines you've marked. Then you can dust off the chalk line or remove the painter's tape.
  4. Mark the beam for cutting. If the wall and ceiling do not form a right angle, transfer the angle using a sliding T bevel. If the beam extends from wall to wall, mark it about 1/8 inch longer for a snug fit.
  5. Cut the faux wood beam to length. Use a power miter saw, manual miter box or any sharp, fine-tooth woodcutting saw for a smooth cut. Dry-fit the cut beam to make sure the length is right.
  6. Apply construction adhesive along the open top edges of the beam.
  7. With a helper, slip the beam over the blocks, hold it snugly against the ceiling, and screw it to each block on each side. Countersink the screws slowly.
  8. Fill the screw holes with matching wood filler.
  9. Climb down the ladder, sit back in a comfortable chair and admire the new dimension you've just added to your room.

Tips for Great Results

  • If possible, position each 2×4 block on a ceiling joist. Then you can use plain screws to attach them securely and not have to bother with plastic or metal anchors.
  • Cut the ceiling beam slowly long so the ends fit snugly into place against the walls.
  • Apply the bead of adhesive toward the inside of the wood beam so it does not squeeze outside the beam. If some adhesive does squeeze out, carefully wipe it away. Or, to avoid smearing, let the adhesive harden first and then cut it away with a razor or utility knife.

More Dimensions

You can do much more than attach faux wood beams to the surface of the ceiling. You can enclose the open side and ends of the beam for a completely solid look from all angles. You can suspend beams from point to point to simulate ties or trusses. You can use them vertically to simulate support posts. And you can use faux wood beams and accessories outdoors as well, for everything from decorative headers and corbels to freestanding pergolas.