Top 3 Benefits Of Using Washing Machine Lint Snares

Laundry machines have changed engineering design in that last couple of decades and that design change was to remove lint filters from washing machines. This ‘brilliant’ decision by the appliance engineers has left the appliance users with new problems due to the increased amount of lint that comes out during the rinse cycle. If your washing machine empties into a sink, a safe and easy way to deal with these new problems is to use a lint trap filter to the drainage hose of your washing machine.

1. Lint Traps/Snares/Filters Protect The Septic Drainage System

For those houses that have septic systems and have their drain water flowing into the drain field, it is important that it remain clear enough so that water can pass through the drain field and not get blocked. If the laundry rinse water outflow is full of non biodegradable particles, they can eventually build up to the point of where they will begin to create blockages in the drain field. Households that do a lot of laundry create a lot of lint build up which comes out in the spin cycle. The drainage of this non biodegradable lint will eventually build up in the septic drain field and eventually plug up with solids to the point that water can no longer pass through the drain field, thus rendering the septic system useless. This lint that is filtered out of the drainage water will keep your drain field free of this material that doesn’t decompose. Over time, using lint traps will lengthen the life and keep the efficiency of your septic system.

2. Lint Traps/Filters/Snares Protect the Plumbing

Many homeowners have recounted their experiences of having to call the plumber out to fix their plumbing. These homeowners have had a chance to see what clogged their plumbing and have said that they saw a lot of lint along with other gross things stuck in the pipes.

Most of the time, plumbers have suggested that homeowners can prolong the life of their pipes and cut down on the number clogs by adding a lint filter or lint trap to their exit hose of their washing machine.

3. These Devices Keeps the Sinks Cleaner

The water draining from the laundry machine is full of lint due to the fact that washing machines don’t have lint filters in them. As time goes on, the lint begins to build up in the sink. Some sinks build up lint more quickly than other sinks depending upon the type of sink it is. Lint filters reduce the build up of lint on the sinks thus making them easier to clean over time.

The build up of Lint from washing machines can cause many problems for homeowners that can be quite expensive to fix. The good news is that, there are simple solutions that are very inexpensive and can reduce the problems that lint build up creates. Implementing these solutions is very simple by adding a washing machine lint trap which can be easily obtained online at places like Amazon and other online retailer websites.

Keep Drilling Until You Officially Receive Your IRR Orders

One issue, that many Troop Program Units (TPU) face, is the non-participating soldier. These are soldiers, who are supposed to drill, who aren’t drilling. This list tends to grow until it negatively impacts the unit’s overall readiness and numbers.

While absent, these soldiers’ medical statuses go amber, then red. They end up overdue for the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). These soldiers show delinquency on Structured Self-Development (SSD) and other administrative requirements.

Many of these soldiers think that they are in the IRR. More soldiers join their ranks who also think that they’re in the IRR. Their numbers collectively increase and work against the unit. Now, the Commanding Officer, the Command Sergeant Major (CSM), The First Sergeant (1SG), Retention NCO and unit staff feel “fire” on their necks from higher echelons.

What’s being done to address non-participating soldier caused administrative “carpet bombings”?

This has reached the point to where there is a growing push to purge these soldiers. Although the regulations has an IRR transfer as an option, the fate that awaits these soldiers is worse. These soldiers are looking at automatic reductions to E1 and an “Other Than Honorable” (OT H) discharge.

The above medical, educational, and physical fitness statuses do not get updated. Soldiers requiring status updates think that they are in the IRR. Unfortunately, for many of them, they are still TPU.

This is an issue impacting multiple units across the Army Reserve. More importantly, the non-participating soldiers don’t realize that their lack of participation is turning into something negative that will follow them for the rest of their lives.

The biggest issue is misconception surrounding transfers from the TPU to another status.

Many units tell their IRR packet soldiers that they do not have to drill. The packet gets lost, or isn’t processed due to missing documents. The soldier’s TPU requirement is moved from his/her 6 year mark to the end of his/her Military Service Obligation.

Consequently, the soldiers remain on a unit’s book. As their numbers increase, so do the required administrative tasks for the unit. These problems accumulate as more and more soldiers end up in “limbo” as a result of their IRR packets getting lost.

One obvious solution, to avoid this, is to require transferring soldiers to continue drilling until they receive transfer orders.

So, if a soldier is expecting to transfer to the IRR, the soldier should continue to drill after the IRR packet is submitted. This gives the soldier an incentive to continue following up with the UA to ensure that the packet is created and forwarded.

Also, soldiers waiting approval for their IRR packet are still required to attend mass medical events. They’re still responsible to the unit for their own medical, dental, Structured Self Development (SSD), etc. statuses. If a soldier continues to drill, until receipt of their orders, many of those statuses would be updated.

Soldiers should call medical readiness to get their LHI statuses updated.

One of the biggest benefits for the soldier, that continues to drill, is that he/she accumulates drill pay for drills attended. The soldier also receives retirement points for these drills. This means less correspondence courses needed for the current retirement year.

While in the IRR, the soldier is still responsible for achieving a minimum of 50 retirement points each retirement year.

The requirement to drill until orders are received applies to other types of transfers.

If a soldier is submitting a retirement packet, that soldier should continue to drill until his/her retirement orders are posted. The date on the retirement orders will tell the Soldier when his/her retirement is effective.

If a soldier is submitting a packet to transfer to the Individual Mobilization Augmentee (IMA), that soldier is still required to drill. The soldier continues to drill until the date indicated on the IMA orders as the soldier’s being in the IMA.

Transferring to another location?

If you’re on a TPU contract, the requirement for you to drill still exists even after a move. The unit is supposed to send you a letter authorizing you 90 days to find a local unit to drill with. After those 90 days, you’re required to drill.

Ideally, you should be drilling before those 90 days are over. Without this letter, you’ll need to find a unit to drill with immediately.

Soldiers moving to another area of the country need to “drill” with one of the units at their destination. They should do this until orders officially transfer them to the destination unit.

Prepare a DA 1380 to document the drill that you did with the other unit. Submit this DA 1380 to the unit administrator for the unit that you are transferring from. They need this form to process your pay.

If there are no Army Reserve units within the destination area, or within reasonable driving distance, then a transfer to the IRR might be a solution.


1. Continue drilling until you receive your IRR orders. This is applicable for other types of transfers from the TPU, like transfer to the retired reserve. You’re still a TPU soldier until the date indicated on those orders.

2. Call the Unit Administrator that’s working on your transfer packet at least once a week. A call where you leave a message isn’t sufficient. You have to talk to this Unit Administrator to see if you need to do anything to complete your packet. After your packet is submitted, use these calls to track your packet’s status.

3. If you get wind that you are moving to another part of the country, speak to the career counselors that service your reserve center. They can talk to their counterparts stationed near the area that you are moving to. This can help expedite your transfer process.

4. As long as you are on a TPU contract, you’re still expected to drill every month and to do some annual training. This is applicable even if you transfer to a new area.

5. If your paycheck shows payments for SGLI, you will accumulate a debt to the government for your SGLI premium for the months that you don’t drill. This will continue to accumulate while you are in a TPU status. Continuing to drill, until your orders come in, helps ensure you don’t have to pay this back in the future.

6. Check your medical readiness status. As of this post, the status is available on AKO.

Stairs Made of Wood Versus Concrete Stairs

Wood is one material that has won the hearts of many homeowners when it comes to their interiors and furnishings. Every home is bound to have something that is made out of wood. After all, it’s a very classic material. Wood is timelessly beautiful. Even when it comes to stairs, wood still plays a key role in most homes and to further reinforce this, here are the advantages of a wood staircase versus concrete stairs:

Wood is definitely safer to use. Indeed, it is better to fall on wooden stairs than on concrete stairs. The reason behind this is pretty obvious, wood offers better cushioning in case something lands on it. This is indeed good news for homes with little ones who tend to regularly fall on their butts. Their chances in developing fractures and the like are lessened when using the stairs made of wood.

If you also talk about the building point of view, stair builders have a divided preference when it comes to the wood vs. concrete debate, although most say concrete is easier to work with. Besides, wood planks are more expensive if you replace them than redoing a concrete mixture.

When it comes to your interior stairs, wood definitely sets a homey ambience to complete a home’s look. Ever notice that welcoming feel you get in a home with lots of wood furnishings? The same goes for stairs made of lumber, nothing spells ‘home’ more than wood. It sets off a cozy tone as opposed to a the hard, condescending aura of concrete. For the offices, concrete spells “corporate” out quite well, but wood can also add a Zen touch, something the office could use to reduce stress in the area.

The wooden alternative will also cause less and will be easier to renovate and change as opposed to the concrete version. Renovating and fixing the stairs will be easier if it is made out of wood. Just in case your wood staircase needs fixing, you can visit your local home depot or a trusted online stair parts supplier to get the quality stair parts you deserve at a reasonable price.

Speaking of price, be it known that wooden stair parts are more expensive and they also cost more money, time and effort to maintain and to keep beautiful.

At the end of the day, it still depends on which attributes of wood or concrete are the ones which you prioritize. Your staircase is your investment. Make it count.

The Owosso Sugar Company – A History

No sooner had Saginaw’s lumber tycoon, Wellington R. Burt, celebrated his 70th birthday on August 26, 1901 than did he set out to employ a portion of his lumber wealth in the awakening beet sugar industry.

The mantra of real estate agents everywhere is “location, location, location.” However, in the business world in general it should be, “timing, timing, timing.” Wellington Burt’s timing so far as his interest in sugar was concerned, was poor.

Like others who had filled their days in the once fast-paced but now moribund lumber industry, he had time on his hands and money in the bank. At first, also as had others, he devoted some years to politics. He had served a term in the state senate (1893-1894) then sought a U.S. Congressional seat but had the ill fortune to run as a Democrat in 1900, the year the Republican star was rising. Ranked as one of America’s wealthiest men, Burt cast about for new investment ideas and then homed in on the sugar industry. His set his eyes on Owosso, Michigan, a village situated some thirty miles southwest of Saginaw where several holdovers from the lumber industry resided in mansions arrayed along Washington Avenue. Among Owosso’s many attributes was the influence of Joseph Kohn, a sugarbeet technologist residing in Bay City, Michigan. Kohn presided over the Michigan Chemical Company which had been put in place to purchase and then process molasses generated by that city’s growing number of sugar beet factories. His success at Michigan Chemical encouraged investors to draw close when he spoke of investing in beet sugar factories.

For Kohn it was simple, the more sugar beet factories the more molasses for Michigan Chemical, which could be distilled into alcohol, a circumstance that built enthusiasm for the construction of another factory. Fat with profits, Michigan Chemical and its parent, Pittsburgh Plate Glass, sought to build a factory in Owosso on its own and didn’t need the interference of another millionaire with time on his hands and money in his pocket. Wellington R. Burt was not invited to join in a venture with Michigan Chemical and his ambitions to go on his own languished behind a curtain of international events

The United States had agreed upon the conclusion of the Spanish-American War to reduce the import duty on Philippine sugar 75 percent of the general rate and to allow the importation of sugar from Puerto Rico, a U.S. possession, entirely free of duty. The Philippines had the additional advantage of shipping up to 300,000 tons duty free and Congress was dithering with proposed legislation that if passed, would approve a treaty of reciprocity with Cuba. The agreement would grant that country a 20 percent tariff preferential.

The nation’s newspapers devoted considerable space to the plan, dampening the spirits of those who had at first shown much excitement about Burt’s proposed factory. He could find few others to join him in a venture in Owosso, although he pledged $200,000 of his personal fortune and claimed others had subscribed another $50,000 in stock. He had convinced farmers to sign up to grow sugarbeets on three thousand acres and contracted with the experienced firm of Fuehrman and Hapke to begin construction when it fell apart because investors had not come forth with the balance of the required investment – about $600,000.

Michigan Chemical Company waited in the wings while additional investors failed to materialize. Elsewhere, excitement for beet sugar factories hardly slowed. Sixteen were built in the United States between 1900 and 1902, eight in Michigan. Burt’s attention turned to Alma, Michigan where he met more success by combining his money and talents with those of Aimee Wright, another Saginaw industrialist.

Owosso, in 1902, was as good a candidate for a beet factory as any town in Michigan, perhaps better. It had rail lines, established industry, a managerial class and trained workers in addition to an excellent farming region. Burt stepped aside, allowing the project to die stillborn. Fuehrman and Hapke went on to construct the Sebewaing factory in the next year, creating one of the most successful beet factories of the era. Michigan Chemical emerged from the shadows and picked up the reins.

Owosso was home to two families with notable achievements in American politics. Both would play various roles in the establishment of a beet sugar factory in Owosso. The Bentley family, headed by Alvin Bentley, whose grandson, also named Alvin, achieved fame at great personal expense in 1954 when as a junior Congressman, he became the most seriously injured of five victims of an armed assault on Congress while it was in session. Four Puerto Rican terrorists discharged thirty rounds from the visitor’s gallery of the U.S. House of Representatives to the floor of that chamber while the Representatives were debating an immigration bill.

The Dewey family had been engaged in Republican politics since the party’s formation in nearby Jackson, Michigan in 1854. In Owosso, in accordance with tradition, a leading representative of the political party then in power held the postmaster’s position. Edmund O. Dewey, uncle to Thomas Edmund Dewey, a future New York governor and twice an unsuccessful candidate for the U.S. presidency, held that position beginning with the presidency of William McKinley and ending with the presidency of Woodrow Wilson. His brother George, the father of Thomas Edmund Dewey, secured the appointment in 1921.

Edmund Dewey, in 1902, revived Wellington Burt’s plan for a beet sugar factory in Owosso. He arranged the purchase of a suitable 40-acre site at the west end of Oliver Street, raised $10,000 and urged the county board of commissioners to pass a bond issue sufficient to meet the cost of the land. The county denied the bond, causing the idea to fail for a second time and for the same reason – a lack of enthusiasm.

Joseph Kohn stepped forward and in doing so introduced into Michigan’s fired up sugar industry one the nation’s wealthiest families, the Pitcairn family of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Pitcairn family controlled the Pittsburg Plate Glass Company (today known as PPG Industries) headquartered in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. The glass company had all but ended America’s dependence on Europe for large sheets of glass suitable for storefronts, display cases and mirrors. During the opening days of the 20th century, the company produced 20-million square feet of glass annually.

In seeking a source of potash for its glassworks, Pittsburgh Plate Glass turned to Kohn who made an effort to extract it from beet sugar molasses and instead found he could earn assured profits by converting molasses into alcohol. He had also served the German-American Sugar Company (later named Monitor Sugar Company) as a consultant and before that held a similar position with Kilby Manufacturing who was much involved in turnkey beet sugar factory construction projects. Kohn’s Bay City distillery, owing to the large volume of molasses emerging from three sugar factories and more promised from the German-American Sugar Company’s factory then under construction, was turning over substantial profits to Pittsburgh Plate Glass.

John Pitcairn saw America’s shores first as five-year old immigrant brought to America by his parents John and Agnes along with two sisters and a brother. Pitcairn accumulated a personal fortune in railroads, coalmines, oil, and in the founding of the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company in partnership with John Ford. He was sixty-years old when Kohn drew his attention to the potential in Owosso and the failed effort of first Wellington Burt, then Edmund Dewey to form a beet sugar company.

Three’s the charm for Owosso. On October 29, 1902, the Owosso Sugar Company came into existence, capitalized at one million dollars. More than 75 percent of the shares were owned by members of the Pitcairn family and friends. John Pitcairn owned 62,500 of the outstanding shares outright. A handful of Owosso residents added their names to the shareholder list, including the aforementioned Alvin Bentley and the brothers Edmund and George Dewey. George Dewey’s son, Tom, the future presidential candidate, would one day spend school vacations working in the new sugar company’s packaging room.

The company presidency was turned over to Charles W. Brown, the owner of newly minted 5,600 shares of stock. Brown was also the president of Pittsburgh Plate Glass. Day to day financial duties went to 36-year old Edward Pitcairn, one of John Pitcairn’s many nephews. Edward would, by 1910, become treasurer of Pittsburgh Plate Glass, a position he would hold for the balance of his career. Carmen Smith, an attorney with a long association with Charles Brown, stemming from a period when the pair resided in Minneapolis, assumed responsibility for the general management of the new firm. In addition, he assumed the title of Secretary-Treasurer. He had recently moved his wife Isabella and three children, Margaret, Carmen, and Cedric to Bay City where he served as the treasurer of Michigan Chemical Company. Joseph Kohn accepted the role of general factory superintendent.

Educated at the Prague Institute of Technology, Kohn graduated in 1883 with degrees in mechanical and chemical engineering. Following his schooling, he was employed at Breitfeld-Danek of Prague and later gained experience at a sugar factory in Moravia, a region in what is now the Czech Republic but was then a part of the Austrian-Hungary empire, and also worked with the evaporator designer, Hugo Jelenik. In Moravia, he worked with Carl Steffen, the inventor of the molasses desugarization process that carries his name. While employed by Kilby Manufacturing Company, Kohn developed the Kilby standard factory arrangement.

Kilby Manufacturing won contracts to construct two 1,000-ton factories in Michigan; one at Owosso and another at Menominee. The two would hold the record as the largest beet factories built in Michigan until a 1,200-ton factory was built at Mount Pleasant in 1920. In addition to the two 1,000-ton factories, Kilby had an order for a standard 600-ton factory for East Tawas. It would be a busy year for Kilby who had also received orders for three factories in Colorado, one each for Fort Collins, Longmont, and Windsor with Fort Collins gaining the largest factory built by Kilby-1,200 tons a day slicing capacity. The price for the Owosso factory, at $675,000, on a per ton of sugarbeets sliced basis, was low at $675 compared $1,197 at East Tawas and $785 at Menominee. In fact, the Owosso factory cost less per ton of slice than any factory built in Michigan.

The Owosso factory came to life on December 9, 1903 without the usual fanfare assigned to new beet sugar factories which usually included marching bands, parades, and much merriment followed by speaking opportunities for local luminaries and politicians. In a quieter fashion, Charles W. Brown, arrived from Pittsburgh and brought with him as an honored guest, James Wilson, the Secretary of Agriculture. He rose to national prominence when President William McKinley appointed him Secretary of Agriculture in 1897. His stature was such that presidents Roosevelt and Taft retained him as secretary, and it was only when in 1912 in a move to sweep Republican appointees from office, Woodrow Wilson ended his tenure. He had served as Secretary of Agriculture from March 4, 1897 to March 3, 1913, the longest duration served by any American cabinet official.

After a brief ceremony, Secretary Wilson pulled the whistle cord that called forth the beets from the flumes. Unlike many of the beet factories built in Michigan, there was no central local figure that had put his money and reputation on the line for the factory. The majority ownership was far away in Pennsylvania, its officers and guiding management lived elsewhere, Bay City in the case of Joseph Kohn and Carmen Smith and the environs of Pittsburgh for Brown and Pitcairn. It was not unusual for absentee owners to overlook the obvious – input from farmers. When a lack of farmer interest made itself known, it caused no palpitations in the boardroom of Pittsburgh Plate Glass. After all, twenty years earlier John Pitcairn had forged a new American industry out of the rubble of similar but failed efforts when he wrestled the plate glass market away from the Europeans and developed one of the world’s largest and most modern factories of its kind.

Farmer apathy was a mild inconvenience, not a crushing blow to someone who had turned the making of plate glass into a unique American industry. The answer lay near at hand and Carmen Smith, his appointed emissary, had probed the possibilities even as the factory walls reached toward the sky to the amazement of Owossians who had gathered on weekends throughout the summer of 1903 to take in the breadth and dimensions of the industrial goliath growing in their midst. Clearly, the Pittsburgh Plate Glass people thought big. They thought even bigger than the factory’s sidewalk superintendents imagined, bigger than had any beet factory organizer up until that time. Not only were they building a beet factory destined to be twice the size of nearly all the sugar factories in the United States, they were at the same time on the verge of establishing the largest sugarbeet farm in the United States and the largest single farm operation east of the Mississippi River.

South and west of Saginaw, Michigan lay a vast marsh formed during the last ice age. The marsh adjoined the convergence of several large river systems that became the Saginaw River that then and now flows 22 miles northward to Lake Huron. The eighteen thousand acre marsh served as an important stopover point and brooding ground for migrating waterfowl, ducks, geese, swans. It was the largest natural wildlife habitat in the American Midwest. It was protected by characteristics that made it unappealing to farmers – frequent flooding. But that changed when Harlan B. Smith, a Saginaw buggy manufacturer who also speculated in real estate, entered into a partnership with two attorneys Charles H. Camp and George B. Brooks, to acquire and then develop approximately 10,000 acres of the marsh. Their efforts, spanning fifteen years, resulted in a large drainage ditch that extended nearly two miles across the prairie, permitting them to convert hundreds of acres of marsh into farmland.

When Carmen Smith searched for a large tract in which to install a demonstration sugarbeet farm while at the same time assuring the Owosso factory would have all the beets it would want, he quickly targeted the Prairie Farm. Smith completed the purchase on February 22, 1903 and soon, a steam-powered dredge, a monster designed for digging into mucky earth, was soon barged down the Saginaw River to the prairie. It bit into the earth in the front, forming a 20-foot high dike and creating a canal, which it used to transport itself until acre-by acre, it claimed land that had waited a half a million years for the arrival of the mechanical behemoth.

Eventually, Owosso Sugar Company created thirty-six miles of dikes, some of them eighty feet wide at the bottom, forty at the top and twenty feet high. Others were of lesser dimensions but all designed for the same purpose – draining and then keeping the land dry. Roads crowned the tops of the dikes and the sides turned to grass for use as a sheep pasture. Half the land was drained via open ditches and half was drained with the aid of large pumps that sent their burden to the nearby Flint River. Once it was dry, the reclaimed land was laid out much like a giant checkerboard in twelve lines of sixteen forty-acre parcels. Almost overnight, for a capital outlay of $400,000, Smith transformed the Prairie Farm from a losing proposition into the largest beet sugar estate in Michigan, and probably in the United States, if not the world – ten thousand acres. The new factory could now set aside worry about an adequate supply of beets.

Owosso Sugar Company’s First Campaign

The first operating campaign for the Owosso Sugar Company, as was customary with Kilby designed turnkey factories, achieved the guaranteed slice rate of 1,000 tons of sliced beets each twenty-four hours. Construction contracts typically required that a new factory meet its guaranteed rate for a specified period of time, set by negotiation, at between one and ten days and usually occurred under the supervision of Kilby’s engineers some days after the startup. The same engineers would withdraw once the new owner signed the certificate of completion, handing the factory over to the company’s management staff. The slice rate at Owosso declined after the factory reached the guaranteed rate most likely for the same reasons slice rates in most new beet factories declined – inexperienced operators.

Because the Prairie Farm was yet in its infancy, it produced fewer beets than it would in the following years causing the processing period, referred to as a “campaign” by the industry, to last only 48 days, ending on January 26, 1904. During its maiden run the new factory sliced an average of 542 tons, well short of the scheduled 1,000 tons per day. The second campaign was five days shorter but the slice rate nearly doubled, reaching 930 tons per day for 43 days.

While the Owosso factory was under construction, the Lansing beet factory, built by Benjamin Boutell, a major investor in several Michigan beet sugar factories, and others two years earlier, suffered from a lack of managerial oversight. Diagnosed with cancer early in 1902, Boutell’s wife, Amelia died on November 27 at the age of 52 despite his best efforts to discover a cure. Having no heart for his business interests, he sold the Lansing factory to the Owosso Sugar Company.

Kohn and Smith now had four major operations: two sugar factories, the Prairie Farm, and Bay City’s Michigan Chemical Company under their control whereas one year earlier they had only the chemical company to occupy their time and thoughts. The Prairie Farm employed 160 workers and 58 teams of draft horses and each of the two beet factories employed hundreds more in addition to workers at the chemical factory and in the Bay City headquarters. The two managers, each 45 years old, were in constant motion, visiting the properties, the corporate office in Pittsburgh, and attending industry conventions in addition to meeting with members of Congress and the Department of Agriculture. In 1910, Joseph Kohn was the first to reckon the cost of such a pace. He suffered a heart attack and died at the age of 52.

In the year preceding Kohn’s death, 8,500 Prairie Farm acres had been diked and equipped with gravity drainage and pumping systems and for the first time, grew a square mile of sugarbeets. Peppermint provided additional revenue (35,000 pounds of peppermint oil in 1909) while cabbage followed in importance behind sugarbeets.

For the six years following Kohn’s death, Carmen Smith continued on as before, shouldering Kohn’s responsibilities in addition to his own, until 1916 when he placed the two sugar factories under the supervision of Charles D. Bell who had served as the factory manager at Alma before joining the Owosso staff in 1907. Bell remained at Owosso for sixteen years, leaving only after Michigan Sugar Company acquired the Owosso and Lansing factories in 1924 whereupon he returned to the family ranch in Los Alamos, California where he promptly discovered oil and retired in wealth.

In 1920, at age 62, Carmen Smith, much like his friend and associate, Joseph Kohn, succumbed suddenly to a heart attack while traveling home by train from Chicago. With Carmen Smith passed a pioneering era. Joseph Kohn in 1910, Joseph Kilby in 1914, John Pitcairn in 1916, and Carmen Smith in 1920 – those who had lived the dream of building one of the world’s largest and most modern beet sugar factories and then topping it with the country’s single largest beet farm, had passed from the scene. Sadly, what they had wrought would not last.

According to Daniel Gutleben’s history of the Michigan beet sugar industry (The Sugar Tramp -1954), Pittsburgh Plate Glass, likely concerned that Michigan’s beet factories, built too small to compete with major refineries designed to process raw sugar imported in quantity, couldn’t compete against the volume of duty-free sugar entering the country. It opted to sell both the Owosso and Lansing factories to Michigan Sugar Company at a price reported in the press at $2,000,000 plus preferred stock. The Prairie Farm remained in the hands of John Pitcairn’s heirs.

Michigan Sugar Company operated Owosso for the next four years until diminishing interest on the part of farmers combined with the flood of imported sugar caused the factory to close in 1928. Michigan Sugar lacked the chief advantage once held by the former owners – the Prairie Farm thus could not command farmers to grow beets when other crops, corn and soybeans attracted favorable prices for less investment and less work. It re-opened again for one year in 1933, then shut down but was kept in hopeful readiness. Hope finally surrendered to reality that the farmers would not return. The factory and buildings were sold in 1948. Proof that the eventual failure of the Owosso Sugar Company did not rest upon the shoulders of management lay in the appointment of Owosso’s secretary, Edward Bostock, to the chairmanship of the board of directors of Michigan Sugar Company.


DENSLOW, William R, and TRUMAN, Harry S., 10,000 Famous Freemasons from A to J Part One (in reference to Charles W. Brown career with Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company)

MILLER, Ed, and BEACH, Jean R.., The Saginaw Hall of Fame, Published by the Saginaw Hall of Fame, 2000. (In reference to Wellington R. Burt)

GUTTLEBEN, Daniel, The Sugar Tramp – 1954 printed by Bay Cities Duplicating Company, San Francisco, California

LE CUREUX, KEITH, Albee Township History, Saginaw, County, Michigan, Chapter V, Prairie Farm.

BETZOLD, Michael, Detroit Free Press Magazine, December 26, 1993, Utopia Revisited – an article describing the history of the Prairie Farm.

Copyright, 2009, Thomas Mahar – All Rights Reserved

About the Author: Thomas Mahar served as Executive Vice President of Monitor Sugar Company between 1984 and 1999 and as President of Gala Food Processing, a sugar packaging company, from 1993-1998. He retired in 1999 and now devotes his free time to writing about the history of the sugar industry. He authored, Sweet Energy, The Story of Monitor Sugar Company in 2001, and Michigan’s Beet Sugar History (Newsbeet, Fall, 2006).Contact: Thomas Mahar E-mail

Using Flannel Boards in Early Childhood Education

What is a flannel board or story board? It is an invaluable and versatile educational tool for preschool teachers and children. The story board has become an integral part of the preschool curriculum. It is basically a story-telling board covered in a flannel or felt material that teachers can use with preschoolers to tell visual stories with pictures, storyboard shapes and a variety of other manipulatives that are made from flannel or felt cut-outs (flannel sticks to flannel). Flannel boards can come in a variety of sizes and can be mounted on a wall or be a smaller table-top style with an easel that easily folds up to put away.

The table-top style is great for small groups of children and encourages more participation and interaction and can easily be stored away. The larger wall-mounted style is more permanent and better for large groups such as in a classroom setting. Flannel boards or story-boards can be purchased commercially but it is very easy to make your own. Some of the commercially bought boards have a magnetic side on the reverse for use with magnetic manipulatives and some may have whiteboards on the reverse.

Story re-telling is an important skill in developing language and memory skills with preschoolers. Pre-literacy is important and even toddlers will benefit from listening and watching as older children play. Younger children always learn by observing and modeling older children. Most preschool settings have a multi-age population and age overlaps for various groups, just as most families do.

Encouraging a child to re-tell a story or a number sequence or identify colors and shapes is a great independent activity as well as partner fun. Re-telling reinforces learning and abstract concepts. Preschoolers will gravitate toward this anyway if the materials are left on the board for their use. They will also make up their own creative stories using the flannel board shapes in a free-play setting. Children enjoy touching and feeling the soft manipulative shapes.

For parents, flannel board play is a great independent activity for quiet times such as waiting at the doctor’s office, long car rides or just before bedtime or nap time. Flannel boards are also fun for rainy day indoor activities for kids. Teachers love to use them for everything from storytelling; abc kids games, themed lesson-plans to teaching songs, rhymes and finger plays.

Flannel board sets are soft, colorful felt cutouts of shapes, alphabet letters (upper and lower case) colors, numbers or story characters and props. Commercial sets can be found for fairy tales, nursery rhymes, popular literature, safety lessons, maps, the seasons, calendars, animals (zoo, jungle, farm, pets, etc.), special holidays, dinosaurs, multi-cultural ideas, Bible characters, games, transportation and many more early childhood themes. They can be purchased pre-cut or teachers and caregivers on a budget can make their own designs from felt.

Flannel board activities are fun for families, pre-school centers, Head Start centers, home daycare providers, home school families, early childhood education settings, Sunday school teachers, special education classrooms, librarians, and school teachers in the lower elementary grades. Even teachers in higher grades may find good use of flannel boards for teaching the States or other geography, maps or math lessons. The usefulness is virtually endless.

Develop A Great Floor Plan For A Log Home

Everybody dreams of their own house at some point of time in their lives. Everyone has their ideal home more or less mapped out in their mind so when the time comes they just put it all down on paper. For log homes a floor plan is essential and your first decision has to be for the basic structure. Cabin style, Ranch style, Cape Cod, Traditional or a Chalet style is the variety available for you to choose from. Once this is decided then you are ready to go to the next level of making a floor plan.

You are already living in a house and there may have been many times when you wished that the layout was something different or that the counter top was placed somewhere and so on and so forth. Put all these thoughts down on paper and make sure you incorporate them in the new floor plan. Your new home is probably going to be a place where you will be living for many years. It has to be as close to perfect as you can get.

Keep in mind that all of what you plan may not come through either because of budget constraints or building laws. Invest in a low cost computer which has floor plan software and you will find your work has been made a lot easier. Beside a computer will be able to give you a bird's eye view of what you have designed and how practical or impractical it is.

Once you have the basics in place then think about what kind of rooms you want, what kind of lifestyle you will probably have and who are the people staying with you. For example if you have any elderly person staying then it makes no sense to have bedrooms on the first floor or some place where steps are involved. There is a difference between pre-designed plans and the various suppliers involved so you need to check out all that is available to fit your needs.

Now decide on how big the home is going to be. If you are planning a first floor or even half a story up then your rooms have to be arranged keeping in mind the access to the different rooms. If you plan a basement, again your floors must relate to each other vertically. All plumbing and drainage should be kept to one side of the house.

Plans that are available off the shelf allow you to move the interior walls to get the rooms to your required size. Use your existing room as a guide so you do not end up with too large or too small a room. The number of rooms would of course depend on the number of people living in the house. Think storage space and work out exactly how much you will need as this is something that is frequently found lacking.

If you are planning a loft then work it out in such a way that you get office space, guest room and living room roled into one which will greatly enhance the living space in your home. Then if you are considering a porch or a deck, ensure that it is properly integrated into the plan along with the house and you have additional space which adds to the value and the enjoyment of living.

Ideally you should surf the Internet for ideas and plans, put all your thoughts together and get a builder to see if it can all be fitted to create your perfect floor plan. This way your builder deals with the technical aspects of home building and you get your dream home as per your requirement. Could there be a better solution for the perfect floor plan for your perfect dream house? Maybe! Then again, maybe not!

Spirituality: Enlightening Cinema

“Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know, you can’t explain. But you feel it. You felt it your entire life. That there’s something wrong with the world. You don’t know what it is, but it’s there. Like a splinter in your mind — driving you mad.” -Morpheus, The Matrix

This isn’t a movie review list and it’s not comprehensive. It’s just some notes about a few movies I think are useful for the purposes of awakening and why, or that aren’t and why not. With tools of understanding, bad is often better than good.

Major themes represented on this list seem to be these:

– Heresy

– Captive/Captor

– Teacher/Student

– Nature of self/man

– Death/rebirth

– Cataclysm/epiphany

– Untrustworthiness of mind/memories

The only thing I might advise with regard to movies and books is to raise the material up to the level where it becomes of value to you. Orwell might have been writing an anti-communist manifesto, but Nineteen Eighty-Four is much more interesting viewed as the struggle between man and his confinement. Apocalypse Now is about something more than Viet Nam, How to Get Ahead In Advertising is about something more than rampant commercialism, etc.

::: American Beauty

“I feel like I’ve been in a coma for the past

twenty years. And I’m just now waking up.”

I’ve included American Beauty mainly for what’s wrong with it. Lester’s major death/rebirth transition shows promise, but what does he transition to? Backward to teenage crap, not forward in any sense. A fear-based regression. Stupid car, stupid drugs, stupid vanity, stupid skirt chasing. Not at all redeemed when Lester sees his own folly near the end or by sappy/smarmy dead guy voice-over.

The movie is slightly redeemed by the presence of the quasi-mystical neighbor kid and his video footage of a windblown bag:

“That’s the day I realized that there was this entire life behind things, and this incredibly benevolent force that wanted me to know there was no reason to be afraid, ever.”

::: Apocalypse Now

“In a war there are many moments for compassion and tender action. There are many moments for ruthless action — what is often called ruthless — what may in many circumstances be only clarity, seeing clearly what there is to be done and doing it, directly, quickly, awake, looking at it.”

You’d think that Apocalypse Now Redux, the director’s cut, would be the version to watch, but all the stuff that was rightly cut from the original has been wrongly replaced. (Raising the interesting point that directors and authors often don’t understand the higher applications of the stories they’re telling.) Stick with the original over both Redux and Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.

Apocalypse Now is all about the Horror. A journey of discovery, into the heart of darkness, arriving at this horror. What’s the horror? How do you get there? Why would anyone make such a journey? Should you make such a journey? Why or why not?

Note the powerful epiphanies that drive the film. The first assassin’s letter home, (“Sell the house, sell the car, sell the kids…”), Dennis Hopper’s youthful exuberance, Kurtz’s diamond bullet, Willard’s “…I wasn’t even in their army any more.”

::: Being There

“Spring, summer, autumn, winter… then spring again.”

A lovely film ruined by a foolish walking-on-water stunt tacked on to the end. Without that nonsense the viewer would be free to think, to decide, to wonder. Instead, the movie zips itself up tight with its clever little dumb-it-down twist. Hit the stop button when Chauncey is straightening the sapling, before the ruinous denouement, and it’s a fun, lovely film.

::: Blade Runner

“I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion. I’ve watched c-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate. All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain. Time to die.”

Were you born five minutes ago? Of course not, and you have the memories to prove it. You’d know if they were artificial implants, because, uh…

::: Cast Away

“I couldn’t even kill myself the way I

wanted to. I had power over nothing.”

If a man screams on a deserted island and there’s no one to hear him, does he make a sound? Is it enough that he hears it himself? What if not? What’s left when you take away everything?

Self stripped bare.

This movie raises many intriguing questions about the substance of self, or lack thereof, and includes a very Zen eulogy.

::: Dead Poets Society


::: Harold and Maude

“Vice, virtue. It’s best not to be

too moral… Aim above morality.”

American Zen, master and disciple.

::: Harvey

“For years I was smart… I recommend pleasant.”

Elwood P. Dowd, wisefool. A sweet depiction of a higher order of being misinterpreted as a lower order of being. Would we know the Superior Man when we saw him?

::: How to Get Ahead In Advertising

“Everything I do now makes perfect sense.”

A thwarted bid for freedom. A failed attempt to overthrow Maya. Enjoy the insanity of the epiphany.

::: Joe vs the Volcano

“Nobody knows anything, Joe. We’ll take this leap, and

we’ll see. We’ll jump, and we’ll see. That’s life, right?”

Death and Rebirth. Unlike American Beauty, this is all about moving forward, “away from the things of man.”

::: Man Facing Southeast (Hombre Mirando Al Sudeste)

Watch especially for the visual poem of a man crumbling a human brain into a sink while looking for the soul.

::: The Matrix

“Like everyone else, you were born into bondage, born inside a prison that you cannot smell, taste, or touch. A prison for your mind.”

Plato’s Cave for the people. As allegorically lucid as Joe vs Vocano, Pleasantville and Star Wars.

::: Monty Python’s Life of Brian

“No, no! It is a sign that, like Him, we must think not

of the things of the body, but of the face and head!”

Sacred Cow-tipping at its best.

“Meaning of Life” also belongs on this list.

::: Nineteen Eighty-Four

“If you want a vision of the future, Winston,

imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.”

This movie is unique in the sense that it’s as good as the book, which is an extremely intimate portrait of the captor/captive, Maya/man relationship. Compare this to Moby-Dick or One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest which are superb books but useless movies.

::: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

As with Moby-Dick, Hollywood castrated the book. They stripped it of its archetypal dimensions and reduced it to a meaningless pissing match between McMurphy and Nurse Ratched. Great entertainment, but for meaningful insight, read the book.

::: Pleasantville

“There are some places where the road doesn’t go in a circle. There are some places where it keeps on going.”

A cheerful tale of heresy in which no one is burned at the stake and the new paradigm is, eventually, embraced by all.

::: The Razor’s Edge

“The dead look so terribly dead.”

The razor’s edge is what makes it interesting; seeing Larry shakily balanced on the fine line between what he was and what he’s becoming. He is walking the edge between two lives. The Bill Murray version is a bit unfocused… stick with Tyrone Power or read the book.

Maugham supposedly used Ramana Maharshi as the model for the novel’s holy man.

::: Star Wars

“The force will be with you, always.”

The first one, where Luke makes the transition from flesh to spirit.

The Hero’s Journey.

::: The Thin Red Line

“Maybe all men got one big soul everybody’s

a part of, all faces are the same man.”

A sublime inquiry into the spiritual nature of man. More a sad/sweet song than a narrative film.

::: The Thirteenth Floor

“So what’re you saying? You’re saying

that there’s another world on top of this one?”

Layer after layer. Turtles on top of turtles.

::: Vanilla Sky/Abre Los Ojos

“Open your eyes.”

If you like Vanilla Sky, check out the original, the Spanish film Abre Los Ojos (Open Your Eyes). These two films may be the best of the bunch for our purposes; the closest to an enlightenment allegory.

Of course, the interesting thing about enlightenment is getting there, not being there, and that’s what these films are about; awakening from a false reality, opening your eyes. They’re not so much about what’s real as what’s not.

It’s the story of the journey one takes to get to the place where anything, even jumping off a tall building, would be better than continuing to live a lie, even a beautiful, blissful lie.

Note the presence of the true guru, explaining in clear terms why leaping off the building is the best thing to do, and waiting patiently for it to be done.

::: Waking Life

“They say that dreams are only real as long as

they last. Couldn’t you say the same thing about life?”

Wide-ranging philosophical inquiry. Provocative. Amusing. Potentially disruptive.

::: Wings of Desire

“When the child was a child, it was the time of these questions: Why am I me, and why not you? Why am I here, and why not there? When did time begin and where does space end?”

A lovely, intelligent, thought-provoking film. Can the awakened being return to the dreamstate? Would he want to?

::: Others

Some other films that reward thoughtful viewing are The Wizard of Oz, About Schmidt, What Dreams May Come, Total Recall, All the Mornings Of the World (Tous les Matins du Monde), and, of course, many more.

How to Take Care of and Repair Your Kid’s Wetsuit

It is water play time of your kids again. Children love to play in the water and devise all sorts of water games. Whether its spring, summer or fall season, children don’t seem to stop their fascination with water.

In order to protect your children from the cold water temperature, your children need a kids wetsuit. Wetsuits are important for your children’s protection because they are the most vulnerable to illnesses such as colds, cough and fever. Childrens wetsuits are perfect to keep your children safe while they get their fun.

However, accidents can happen. Children’s play and rigorous activities can cause the wetsuit to rip off. This is possibly happening especially at the beach where the wetsuit can encounter small to medium sized rocks and other rough objects and surfaces. Good thing that there is a way to repair kids wetsuit accidents like this that you can do on your own.

The essential material that you need in repairing a wet suit is neoprene cement. The neoprene cement will be used to path the tear or hole together. Neoprene cement is available in surf shops. Just go ahead and ask for it. There are also wetsuits repair kits available. When you buy a wetsuit, it’s probably a good idea that you get a repair kit, too, for emergencies.

What you need to do first, like all patches, is to clean the torn area. Clear the torn area with any particles such as sand or dust. This is to make sure that the area will patch cleanly. After cleaning the area with soap and water, clean it with alcohol and let it dry.

Use a brush to put neoprene cement on surfaces that needs to be patched up. Leave it to dry for 5 minutes. After that, apply neoprene cement again on the torn areas and this time, leave it for 10 minutes. Afterwards, it is time to glue the torn parts together. Press the two parts together by using some kind of weight like a heavy book. Wait more or less for 6 hours. When it’s completely dry, you have successfully repaired your child’s wetsuit! You can make the wetsuit working really well again, enough to protect you from cold water temperatures.

This do-it-yourself technique, however, is only applicable for small holes and rips. If the hole is much bigger or you think that it requires more than just gluing the parts together, you can bring the wetsuit to a repair shop. It may need a new neoprene patch or some heavy duty repair. It’s best to leave it to the experts when that happens.

If the wetsuit is also damaged because of overuse, it is better not to use it anymore. If the color is already too faded or if the neoprene is already getting hard from the water and sun, it’s better to buy a new one. Most kids wetsuits are made to be very durable. Surely by the time it’s overused, your children have already outgrown the suit. It’s time for a newer, cooler one!

Get Info on Flexible Track Lighting Kits in Only 10 Minutes

Track lighting has advanced in a modern direction. The days of unattractive, disenchanting, inflexible track illuminating system is a matter of the yesteryear. Nowadays we have flexible track lighting which are adaptable and curvy. What is more these track lighting systems are more commodious and malleable.

Flexible track lighting systems arrive in assorted frames and sizes. They are more shiny and impressive with distinct colors to blend or jump out with the rest of the room.

Flexible track lighting kits in reality aid the consumer wherever house owners or home constructors because they would cost more to put together all the components by themselves. By buying the kit the consumer can save few dollars especially in the current economy. Additional reward of purchasing kit projects by its nature it ensures that all the parts fit and you do not have to end pain and go insane about inappropriate or mismatching components.

People with an entrepreneurial spirit can make their own e-commerce internet site and attain profit on internet by selling flexible lighting kits, in addition to utilizing them.

You can install the flexible track along a ceiling or wall. Flexible track lighting kits generally come with a few feet of flexible track, power canopy for the junction box, end caps, few fixtures and some light bulbs including halogen bulbs. Because of their graceful nature flexible lighting tracks offer expressive style and assist you in channeling the light where ever you need.

Flexible track lighting systems can be extended. Depending upon the transformer we can add several fixtures. We can mix in fixtures of disimilar electric power to suit the available total wattage. Burnt-out transformers combine one nagging trouble. But if you add together all the wattage of fixtures you are going to use and acquire appropriate transformer, this trouble can be reduced.

Line voltage accommodates low and line voltage. With low voltage consumers can save few dollars. You can add additional fixtures if you have the needed electric power.

Different makers have dissimilar specs and once you plan to broaden your track in house, it would be more beneficial to buy a flexible track lighting kit from same maker.

Also choose the intent of lighting- to accent an antique or for protection purposes to select the correct lighting kit. These kits can be bought from Home Depot and other similar stores. A few can be found for rebate prices on internet stores like Amazon and eBay also by searching for flexible track lighting kits.

Set Your Goals To Get Into Shape And Make Them Happen

Stop dreaming about losing weight, looking better, and making time for great workouts. You can make it a reality by taking action. Through personal training, you will have someone to motivate you, challenge you, and help you to reach your goals. If you have failed in the past on your own, wipe the slate clean and do it with a professional.

Identify Goals

Sit down with them and show your goals. Do you want to lose 50 pounds? Do you want to tone up your body? Do you want to become stronger by helping your core? Do you have areas of your body that make you self-conscious? The more information you give the personal training, the easier it is for them to customise a plan to help you get those results.

Longer goals will be broken down into smaller pieces. Being held accountable weekly, monthly, and for the long-term will help you to see results. As you start to look and feel better, you will stay motivated to continue with it.

Identify Barriers

What is in the way of your goals and reaching them successfully? Talk to the personal training about what holds you back. Is it a lack of time? Lack of motivation? Do you feel that your stamina and your level of fitness aren’t very good now? They can help you to get through those problems.

They can talk to you about carving out time and getting your workouts done early in the day. Then you can feel good all day long that it is done and not stressing you can’t make time for it. No matter what your fitness level is at, your personal training can help you to progress but you have to start somewhere.

If you have medical concerns that hold you back now, that doesn’t mean you can’t exercise at all. Your personal training can help you to create a plan to exercise that is low impact. Then you still get the value from it but you aren’t going to be risking making your health issues worse.

Workout Plan

Once the personal training knows your goals, any limitations, and your dedication level to this, they can create a workout plan for you They will strive to offer you plenty of variety and to keep you challenged. It won’t be easy but it won’t be too hard for you to do either. You have to work hard and listen to their advice.

As your abilities increase, they will make it harder so you don’t get too comfortable with what you are doing. They will also introduce new forms of exercise so you don’t get bored with what is taking place. Variety also prevents your body from hitting a plateau.

Nutritional Information

Your diet plays a role in losing weight, getting fit, and increasing energy levels. They can discuss nutrition with you because changes should be done at that level too. It will help you carry out more in less time. You will also feel better when your body gets the fuel it needs and not empty calories.

You may need to start eating more to keep up with the workout routine that will be implemented for you. However, changing what you eat to a low-fat and higher protein diet can help you get the most from your overall lifestyle changes. When you eat better, you will find you eat less at each meal but stay fuller longer. You don’t have to feel deprived of food!

Glass Shelves Or Wood Shelves – Which Is Better For You?

Since there are so many types of shelves and bookcases available on the market today, a lot of people are unsure which is better, and why. Here we’ll take a look at the advantages and disadvantages of wood shelves and glass shelves, and also when one is better than the other.

Wood Shelves

Almost all wood shelves sold today aren’t actually real wood. Wood shelves today are usually made of a solid core of pressed cheaper wood or plywood (sometimes called “engineered” wood), and then covered with a finish, paint or veneer. These shelves are significantly cheaper than real wood, and often they are lighter and stronger than real wood too. The best of these shelves are covered with a veneer, which is a thin sheet of real wood. The veneer, if applied professionally, will give you the feel of a real wood shelf even though the core is not real wood. Not only are these shelves less expensive, but they are made more and more with recycled materials, so they save trees and protect the environment at the same time.

As good as veneered wood is, it isn’t the same as real wood shelves. If you really want the most beautiful and rich wood colors, then real wood shelves are the only way to go, but be prepared to pay for it!

Glass Shelves

Glass shelves are not all the same. Just like with wood, you need to know which type of glass the shelves are made from in order to know what you’re buying. When looking for glass shelves, you should be concerned with getting shelves that won’t shatter or chip easily. Most glass will break if dropped, but tempered glass is designed not to shatter into a million little shards. Also, it’s less likely to crack or chip if knocked. If the glass is heat strengthened, then it is about twice as strong as regular (annealed) glass.

Thickness also is an important element in determining shelf strength. A thick standard glass shelf could easily be stronger than a thinner tempered glass shelf. Glass shelving units should come with a rating regarding allowable weight on the shelves. Ask about it carefully before you buy.

When one is better than the other

Okay, now that we know a little more about glass vs. wood, when is one better than the other. When deciding between the two ask yourself a few questions:

1. What am I putting on these shelves?

If you are putting heavy or large items on the shelf, or big books, then wood might be the better choice. While there are strong glass shelves available, you don’t want to take a risk, or start to weigh every item that you want on the shelf. With wood, you simply fill up the shelf and sleep well at night knowing that it’ll hold.

If, however, you are displaying a collection of baseballs, vases, golf balls or anything else that’s small, glass shelves highlight the collection, and draw the eye to what’s on the shelf, instead of to the shelf itself.

2. Where are these shelves going to be in my home?

If you want a shelving unit for your kitchen, for example, it’s easier to clean grease off of glass than off of wood. Toxic cleansers won’t affect glass, but they can chew up wood pretty badly. The same with humidity and residue that are in a bathroom.

If you want these shelves in your living room, you might prefer the warmth and inviting feeling that wood gives you over the cold, modern look of glass.

3. Who will have access to these shelves?

Kids are great, but accidents do happen. Not only will a knock damage or even shatter a glass shelf, but it might very well cut the person who knocked into the shelf.

4. What kind of lighting is available for this shelf?

Lighting is important for highlighting the contents of the shelves. If you are putting books on the shelves, then it’s only really important to see the spines. If you have smaller items that you want to display, then with glass shelves you gain a lot more visibility, especially of the things towards the back of the lower shelves.

Glass or wood, you have a lot of options and decisions to make. If you are interested in more info and lots of advice, take a look at The Home Shelving Guide for answers to all of your shelving and storage needs.

Surfacing Of A Playground Can Add Fun to the Play

Managing the risk posed by the playground surfaces is always a huge concern for builders as well as for parents. Builders need to ensure provision of an area that is attractive and feasible for play while parents are worried about the safety of their little ones while they play on outdoor playground equipment. Surfacing playgrounds not only add a layer of security but also protect against several severe fall related injuries. Another advantage of surfacing playgrounds is that it promotes inclusive play by making it easier for kids of all ages and children with special needs to play as well. Safer surfaces also make it easier for parents to let the kids play on their own which is more fun for the little ones and more relaxing for the parents.

Free play is more than just fun. When children are allowed to explore the playground extended beyond the structures and including its surroundings, they get to use their cognitive abilities and put their creative energies to test. They can invent games over and above the commercial playground equipment which provides them with more physical workout as well as good mental exercise. Here are some important points to consider while deliberating the usefulness of surfacing the playgrounds.

It is helpful in promoting mobility

Playground surface allows for elements of fun on its own. Since outdoor playground equipment must be open to and accessible by all, the added layer on the surface allows just that. It not only caters to children and adults of all ages, weights and abilities but also promotes a better sense of community and welfare. A playground is supposed to allow all sorts of abilities to be put to use and explored. When a playground is surfaced, that helps in creative solutions being discovered and the communion of all members of the society in a fun environment.

When the surfacing is resilient, safe and reliable, all types of plays are possible. Children get to play on their own independently or play in teams and learn the value of working together to achieve team goals.

It allows independence of thought and action

Parents are always worried about the safety of their little ones on the commercial playground equipment. While most playgrounds only mean exploring the equipment, with an adult supervisor standing nearby, with a safer surface they get to relax a little and let their kids play on their own. The risk of injury from falling is reduced massively which also makes parents to allow their kids to run around and have fun. Studies have shown that children who regularly have unsupervised play have better developed abilities to decide their own goals and make strategies to achieve them.

It promotes development of creative abilities

Well-designed surfaces do more than just allow for independent play. That also provides the opportunity for kids to use their imagination. A variety of balls, palisades and steppers of different kinds added to the play area can make the little ones invent games of their own and make their own rules. By this sometimes they get to discover new activities and interests which leads them to further their abilities.

Pros And Cons of Using Microfiber Towels

The invention of microfiber brought a revolution in the market few years back. Microfiber towels were successfully launched for cleaning and dusting. Microfiber towels even proved useful to clean oil stains. Right from its inception, this fiber was considered to be far more superior to other fibers available in the market. Microfiber is not only superior in quality but is also quite affordable so it became extremely popular in the cloth industry.

With an excellent cleaning capabilities these towels also became very popular at home for day to day use. This is why people started using such towels for heavy cleaning.

Prior to the invention of microfiber, people preferred to use cotton towels which had an excellent absorption power. But microfiber towels have very high absorbency as compared to cotton towels. Microfiber was an excellent alternative to the old cotton in various products like in microfiber bath towels, sportswear, dusting towels etc. Since these towels have very high absorbency, they are very often used by sports persons and in the gym since they effectively absorb sweat of the person. The average life of microfiber towel is many times more than other conventional towels.

Microfiber brought real change to our lives as it delivered excellent products which replaced other fibers used so far. It is considered to be the best material to wipe out all stains on furniture. If suppose you have spilled some liquid on table or some sauce in kitchen then a microfiber towel can be used to clean them perfectly without leaving a trace of the incident. This kind of towel is not only known for being the best absorbent and it also dries up quite fast.

Microfiber bath towels are extensively used at swimming pools because of its high absorption quality. When swimmers come out of the pool they wipe out their bodies using these. Also, since they are ready to use in very short interval of time as they dry up very quickly, the swimmer can use it again after the wash.

Microfiber bath towels are generally preferred by people living in colder regions where drying your towel daily after bath is not that easy. Even at room temperatures microfiber bath towels dry up much faster as compared to regular cotton bath towels, hence preventing your towel from acquiring mildew odor which initiates due to dampness.

Microfiber bath towel need special care while washing. An extra effort is required from your end to maintain such towels. You can easily wash cotton bath towels with hot water and soap in your washing machine, but washing these towels is a bit more elaborate. While washing a microfiber bath towel you need to follow the wash instructions given on your towel. By following these simple wash instructions you can enjoy using the microfiber towel for a very long time.

Exercises and Workouts – 5 Signs You Are Not Getting Enough Activity

When it comes to fitness and health, it is important to remember you do not have to be in the gym to stay in shape. Sometimes the best workouts happen outside of the gym. Not to mention, by adding more overall activity to your day, you can dramatically improve your well-being.

One thing many people do not take the time to realize, however, is how much is enough. What are the signs you are getting enough activity – or more importantly, too little?

Let us look at five signs signifying you may need a bit more activity built into your day…

1. You Are Tired And Sluggish. Most people would think too little exercise would equate to having stacks of energy, but often this is not the case. If you are not moving enough, you may find yourself feeling sluggish, and when you do attempt to exercise, it seems to take a colossal amount of effort.

As the saying goes: “a body in motion stays in motion.” If you can focus on moving more, you will find exercise after that becomes easier.

2. You Are Making Little Gym Progress. Another sign you are not getting enough exercise is if you are not making progress at the gym. When was the last time you became stronger? If it has been a while, consider you may need to hit the gym more frequently.

For best results with your strength training program, you need to do at least three workouts each week, if not four or five.

3. You Ache All Over. Do you have tight and stiff muscles? Does it hurt to bend over? Are you constantly dreaming of having a massage?

If your muscles are constantly tight and tense, a little activity can help loosen them as it improves blood flow to the impacted areas. Try for ten minutes a day at the minimum and see what a difference it makes.

While too much exercise can cause you to ache all over; too little exercise can do the same.

4. You Are Not Sleeping Well. Sleep can also be influenced by your exercise schedule. If you are not sleeping well at night, consider adding more workouts. Moving more will help you not only to fall asleep faster but to sleep deeper.

Do note though you do not want to exercise too close to bedtime. Working out close to when you plan to sleep can have the opposite effect and make you feel wide awake and restless. Schedule your workout sessions at least three to four hours before bedtime.

5. You Are Not Controlling Your Body Weight. Finally, physical activity and diet go hand in hand regarding controlling body weight. If you are not getting enough sleep, your daily calorie burn may be exceptionally small, which makes it tough to manage your body weight.

The more you move, the more you burn calories. It is that simple, so focus on exercising more, and you will see better results.

There you have five signs showing you may need more exercise. Are you demonstrating any of these?

Beyond Vietnam – A Time to Break Silence – Analysis!

Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence was delivered by Martin Luther King Jr., on April 4, 1967, at a meeting of concerned clergy and laity at Riverside Church in New York City, New York. The essence of the speech focused on the war in Vietnam. The belief of the clergy took the theme of silence is betrayal. The conclusion was reached that they must speak out against the war over the objection that peace and civil right do not mix. King viewed such comments as a tragic misunderstanding of the world. He emphasized that he was not at the meeting to speak to China, Russia, the National Liberation Front, and/or Hanoi. He was there to speak to his fellow Americans who have the responsibility of ending the conflict that has extracted a heavy price on Vietnam and America.

Regarding the importance of getting involved in the Vietnam War, King enumerated seven major reasons to bring the war to an end based on moral vision. He stated that Vietnam is connected to the struggle he and others have been fighting in America for the poor. However, the buildup of the war has broken the program by society going mad over the war. As a result, the war is as an enemy of the poor, which has taken away vital resources from programs for the poor. He has also considered the dilemma the sons of poor Americans who are fighting and dying in extraordinary high numbers in Southeast Asia are facing as tragic, especially when they were not even able to attend the same school in America, or live on the same block, which he referred to as manipulation of the poor.

He believed that change would come to America through nonviolent action. Therefore, he must raise his voice against the violence inflicted on the oppressed for the sake of America and cannot remain silent. He affirmed the motto of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference is “To save the soul of America,” which cannot be saved if it is destroying the souls of people across the world. Additionally, as a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, his belief is that this commission require him to work harder than ever for “the brotherhood of man,” thus, his calling extend beyond national allegiances.

He declared that he share with all men the calling to be a son of the living God; that God is concerned with the suffering of helpless and outcast children; that ministers are called to speak for the weak, the voiceless, victims of our nation, and its enemy; that Vietnam has been living under the madness of war for three continuous decades; and there will be no solution until we hear the broken voices of Americans and Vietnamese.

He mentioned that the Vietnamese must be looking at Americans as strange liberators while pondering America’s madness of the war. Since Vietnam had its independence in 1945 from the French and Japanese, America has supported the French in trying to take back its former colony by funding practically the entire cost of the war for the French. He proclaimed that America is a victim of Western arrogance for rejecting the revolutionary government seeking self-determination in Vietnam. As a result, our planes are dropping bombs on Vietnamese villages, women and children; poisoning their water; killing their crops; destroying their trees; leaving them homeless; begging for food; and selling their sisters and mothers to our soldiers. In this regard, we must speak for them because they are also our brothers in our struggle.

He specified that Hanoi has consider the presence of American troops in support of the Diem regime in Vietnam as a breach of the Geneva Convention, and that our president did not state there was an overture for peace made before by the parties. He notified the audience how Ho Chi Ming has watched the buildup of American forces as America spoke about peace; that Ming has been listening to the international rumors of a invasion of the north; and that Ming has watched the pre-invasion strategies of the most powerful nation on earth, which include dropping of bombs as an aggressor on the poor and the weak thousands of miles away from its own shores.

King made known that he is deeply concerned about the safety of our troops; that we are adding cynicism to the process of death; and that none of the things we are fighting for are really involved. He further added that our troops must know that our government sent them into Vietnam for the sophisticated and the wealthy, while we are creating hell for the poor; therefore, we must give a voice to the voiceless people of Vietnam. In this regard, he asserted that there will be no meaningful solution until we have heard their broken cries and have made some meaningful solution to hear their plea.

King communicated that the madness of war must cease. Additionally, in the name of God, we must stop the destruction of Vietnamese’ homes and their culture. He mentioned that he is speaking to the leaders of his country as an American and for the people of the world who are shocked by the path America has taken. He then quoted the words of a great Buddhist leader who stated:

Each day the war goes on the hatred increase in the hearts of the Vietnamese and in the hearts of those of humanitarian instinct… Americans are forcing their friends to become their enemies… America is incurring deep psychological and political defeat…America will never again be the image of revolution, freedom and democracy but the image of violence and militarism.

In this light, he indicated that continuing the war would show the world we have no honorable intentions in Vietnam, and our hope is to drag China into a war so we would be able to bomb its nuclear installations. He stated the world has demanded a greater sense of maturity from America

He enumerated the following actions for America’s atonement of sins: an end to all bombing in Vietnam; unilateral cease fire; prevention of battle grounds in Southeast Asia; recognition of the National Liberation Front; a set date from removal of all foreign forces from Vietnam in accordance with the 1954 Geneva Convention; granting of asylum to Vietnamese suffering persecution; and the payment of reparations for harm done.

With respect to continuing protest of the war, he requested the churches and synagogues to continue urging America to disengage from Vietnam and encouraged the ministers to seek conscious objector’s status. He brought up that America is on the wrong side of the world’s revolution, because we now consider property and material things more important than people; thus, we are approaching spiritual death.

On the issue of the importance of people, he revealed that all over the world men are revolting against the old system of exploitation and oppression, and new systems of justice and equality are being born. As a result, we should desire love to be the ultimate force and saving grace of life and not death and evil. Additionally, he reinforced that powers without compassion; might without morality; and strength without sight, will drag America down the corridor of shame; therefore, we must rededicate ourselves to a beautiful world, which is the calling of the sons of God.

He ended his message with an eloquent poem written by James Russell Lowell, addressing the issues of love not war; good not evil; light not darkness; and how God is keeping watch over His people.