Should I Buy a Medicare Supplement Plan Or a Medicare Advantage Plan?

Individuals covered by Medicare Parts A (hospital charges) and Part B (medical and physician charges) should not rely on Medicare alone. Medicare has deductibles and only covers 80% of approved expenses after the deductible. A large, catastrophic medical expense could leave you with hefty medical expenses to pay off. There are two options that you can use to limit these large, potential losses. Let’s examine each one in detail:

o Medicare supplements – also known as “medigap” coverage, these plans pay most of the expenses or gaps left unpaid by Medicare. The government standardized Medicare supplement plans years ago so that the benefits would be the same from one insurance company to another. There are currently 10 plans available with the letter designations A-J. The most common plan is F and is offered by practically all Medicare insurers.

Not all insurance companies offer all 10 plans. Plan F covers both the Part A and B deductibles as well as the 20% coinsurance gap left by Medicare. For the individual that would like to have all doctor visits, hospital charges and other medically necessary testing and expenses covered in full, a medigap plan would be the best choice. Most insurers offer plans based on age and medical underwriting is required to be approved for a plan unless you are applying during an open enrollment or guarantee issue period of time.

It is important to note that underwriting is not required if you apply for coverage within 6 months of your 65th birthday or enrollment is Part B of Medicare, whichever comes later. There are also special guaranteed enrollment periods in situations where another coverage is lost at no fault of the insured. Individuals that require more medical attention seem to be better satisfied with a supplement plan although these plans provide little or no coverage for routine dental, vision, hearing or preventative care.

o Medicare Advantage Plans – While these plans are part of Medicare (Part C), they work drastically different than original Medicare paired with a supplement plan. First of all, no claims are submitted directly to Medicare. Medicare Advantage plans are private-fee-for-service plans and you deal directly with the insurance company. The advantage plan is responsible for handling all of your medical claims. These insurers are being subsidized by Medicare since they are paying your medical expenses.

There are some advantages and disadvantages of these types of plans. One advantage is the low premiums. Most plans cost significantly less than a traditional Medicare supplement plan-some even have a $0 premium. There is also no medical underwriting required to purchase one of these plans. Although the plans must cover all medial procedures normally covered by Medicare, most plans provide some additional benefits for dental, vision and hearing screenings as well as preventative check-ups.

These extra benefits vary widely from one insurer to another. The one major disadvantage of these plans are the co-pays and out-of-pocket expenses left for the insured to pay. While the out-of-pocket expenses are limited to a maximum amount, these expenses can be considerable compared to having them covered in full by a traditional supplement plan. Simply put, these pans work best for those individuals in good health and need very little medical attention.

Which plan is best for you? That all depends upon the amount of medical expenses that you incur each year. If the out-of-pocket expenses in a Medicare Advantage plan cost you more than the premium on a traditional supplement plan in a given year, you would have been better off paying for a supplement plan. This is an important decision which deserves valuable consideration and the advice of an experience broker.

Professional Porch Railings by Do-It-Yourselfers

You have big plans to install a porch railing, but even though this is the first time you are attempting such a project, you want it to look professionally done. Like all projects that you want to come out really well, the most important part of the project is the design and planning phase. There are a lot of parts to a railing and you have to make sure you know how to work with each one of them such as the top rail, bottom rail, posts, balusters and finials. All of these can be obtained at your local home improvement center or lumber yard. And of course, today, you can even shop for these items on line.

Proper planning is critical to a project such as this. It is not complicated, but it is necessary. Make sure you know all of the measurements you will need and make sure you have all of the materials and tools you will need.

There are certain features of a railing that are the hallmark of professionalism. A professional is able to add certain features and touches to a railing that will make it special and unique. Today, you can buy woodwork that adds that special touch without being custom made by a professional.

Of course, if a shoddy installation is done, the job will never look professional. If you make sure you have all of the proper materials for a good installation, yours can also look professional. Use finishing nails, a good drill, file and saw, and, if you plan to paint the railing, the right grade paint for it. Proper measurement will also assure a professional look; nothing looks more amateurish than gaps. If you measure properly you will have no errors.

You can do your railing installation in an afternoon as long you have the right equipment. Here are some important hints to make is smoother and easier: Wear safety goggles to avoid injury while sawing and drilling. Double and triple check your measurements. This is most important. Measuring everything carefully will safe you a lot of time and money on wasted mistakes and materials. Measure the total space for the deck as well as the points between the posts and balustrades. Cut your lumber at the top and not at the bottom. You can hide a poor cut under the top rail, although you would be better off if you get pre-cut pieces in the lengths you need. When you have cut the balusters, mark where they will go on the rail with a strip of colored tape.

Your railings can be in any style, so if your home is Victorian, you can have detailed looking ones, and if your home is modern or contemporary, you may want very plain ones.

Once you have completed the railings, make sure you weather proof them against the element so they will continue to look good after all of your hard work.

Different Ideas to the Code on Deck Railing Plans in Various Parts of the Country

The code on deck railings in urban areas was designed to protect homeowners, home purchasers, and visitors to homes from harm. Some examples of general codes on deck railings are the distance from the ground dictating the presence of a railing, the distance between balusters, and the height of the railing.

An example of a code on deck railing is Loudoun County, Virginia. Any structure built in the county must comply with the Virginia Uniform Statewide Building Code, which is accessible for free on the internet. In addition to offering deck regulations, this code spells out the rules for all aspects of building including structural requirements, mechanical issues, plumbing topics, and fire codes. This helps you obey the laws of Virginia. The Department of Building and Development reviews the plans and permits submitted to ensure they comply with the code.

There are many different ideas about the code on railing in various parts of the country

In addition to checking with the building code, it is important to check both zoning requirements for your area and health department requirements before building. You must also apply for and obtain a permit before building your deck. The code on deck railing in this area specifies that decks may only be a single level and only for residential use. Joist overhangs can not be more than two feet. Additionally, decks may not have screened porches, roofs, hot tubs, or gazebos. Moreover, decks can not be detached from the house.

The code on deck railing can be harmful at times. For example, some people do not like the railing on the deck too high because of the obscured view. In most areas, the railing can not be folded down in any way. This leaves the homeowner with a real problem. The code is essentially the law. Going against the code is breaking the law. It means all sorts of consequences including things like court appearances and fines. However, if the homeowner still has a real problem with the code, they must find a way around it. One way around the issue with high deck railing is to go with a cable railing system. While you are still required to have a top rail with this system, the cables disappear from just a few feet away, so the view remains unobscured. The code on deck railing is essential for safety, but can sometimes be a problem for homeowners.

French Riviera Beaches and St Tropez – Glamming it Up

St Tropez is one of the best known towns on the French Riviera, situated between Marseilles and Cannes. Made famous initially by Brigitte Bardot, St Tropez continues to be a favourite destination with the rich and glamorous, know the world over for its beaches, celebrities and ‘beautiful people’.

So if you are heading to the Riviera this summer, what are the best places to visit in and around St Tropez (apart from star gazing)?

The main attraction of St Tropez is – of course – those famous french riviera beaches. Head a few kilometres southeast of the town and you’ll find sandy beaches like Plage de Tahiti and Plage de Pampelonne. There are plenty of beaches around here that are ‘bikini optional’, like La Mouette.

If you need a change from french riviera beaches, pay a visit to the Musée de l’Annonciade, a local museum boasting an excellent collection of modern art by the post-Impressionist masters. Many of the pictures are of the port of St Tropez including a famous work by Paul Signac, as well as Van Dongen’s ‘Women of the Balustrade’, along with many other paintings and sculptures by Matisse, Dufy, Utrillo and Derain.

Cycling is also a great way to explore the area, along with horse riding. The nearby mountains are the perfect place for hang gliding, paragliding and climbing. Canyoning is popular here too, and can involve walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping and even abseiling in the local gorges. The rivers have some great fishing spots; during the winter months skiing is even popular! There are two local ski stations at Greolieres-les-Neiges and at Andon-Thorenc.

Shopping is legendary in this fashion-conscious city. Although there are plenty of fashion boutiques, Choses is considered the best in St Tropez. With a great range of fashion garments, it specializes in clingy T-shirt dresses which are worn all along the Riviera. Galeries Tropeziennes has hundreds of gift items to browse in its extensive shop near Place de Lices. If antiques are your thrill then don’t miss Jacqueline Thienot on Rue Clemenceau. You can find anything from antique wrought iron to farm implements.

After dark things really wake up in St Tropez. There are several hot spots where the yachting crowds hang out and the Café de Paris is one of the best known. Chez Maggi is a popular gay and lesbian bar while Les Caves du Roy in the Hotel Bibes is a raving nightclub. Entrance is free but drink prices tend to have a zero added to regular drink prices elsewhere, but who knows which millionaire you will be rubbing shoulders with at the bar!

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Art Collecting For Fun and Profit

Contemporary art is one kind of art that everyone can afford. The reason is that there are a lot of living artists producing quality work that is very collectible. The buyer of contemporary art only needs to understand that while personal taste makes art collecting fun, it does not always equate with profit.

First of all the buyer must understand that the seller, in this case possibly a living artist, believes in their work. And most artists are serious in their beliefs although not necessarily the Rembrandt of the future. When it comes to profit, that is a call that the buyer must make, otherwise the collector has fun art but no profit.

For the buyer, collector getting to know an artist personally is a big asset for several reasons. The buyer can fully assess the artist’s potential for drive and dedication to his or her art. The collector has more opportunity to choose from the artist’s latest works. As a seller the artist is always happy to show work to potential buyers or repeat collectors.

Their are famous and important living artists if you have an interest, but be prepared to pay more for these artist’s works. you may occasionally see these artist’s works at auctions sponsored by charities or local art groups. The prices may be undervalued, which makes your bid at auction a good thing for both

your pocketbook and the artist’s image in the community.

Even relatively important works by somewhat notable if not famous artists can be undervalued. So you might head to some of the more established auctions for a possible break here or there. Of course following more than one artist or auction helps you to buy art that is a good value for your collection.

Contemporary art cannot immediately produce big profits, it takes time to build reputation and demand. But that’s one of the reasons that the price can be affordable now. Contemporary artists and collectors both know this, so as a seller, the artist can make reasonable negotiations, especially with a personal acquaintance who is also a collector.

Major League Players Expected To Switch Positions In 2017

As teams pack up in anticipation of heading to either Florida or Arizona for Spring Training in a few weeks, some clubs will be monitoring the progress of players who are switching positions in 2017. Oftentimes the transition proves smooth, as evidenced by the half dozen or so players who were asked to switch diamond spots heading into last season.

Among the best-known veterans who made a change in 2016 were several All-Stars. Boston’s Hanley Ramirez moved from the hot corner to first base for the Red Sox, who were expecting newly acquired Pablo Sandoval to take over at third.

The Cardinals, who had a vacancy at first base, convinced Matt Holliday to leave left field and take over there. Holliday had no trouble manning that new position, but his overall season was marred by injuries.

After signing a one year free agent contract with the Texas Rangers, Ian Desmond was shifted from shortstop to left field. The results proved quite successful, as Desmond put up his career best offensive numbers and helped his new team to finish with the best record in the American League.

This season Desmond will once again be asked to change positions, only this time by a different team. The Colorado Rockies, who over the winter signed him to a multi-year free agent contract, need Desmond to shift from the outfield to first base.

Other players are expected to join Desmond in position changes, including a former Most Valuable Player. Veteran Josh Hamilton, who is now back with the Rangers, is going to try to play first base for Texas.

Competing with Hamilton for time at first base in Texas will be Joey Gallo, who has spent most of his professional career at third base. The former top prospect hopes to finally duplicate his minor league success at the Major League level.

Trea Turner was strictly a shortstop throughout the minors, but in his rookie season with Washington last year he had to fill in at center field. Going in to 2017, Nationals manager Dusty Baker will expect him to return to shortstop to accommodate Washington’s acquisition of Adam Eaton from the Chicago White Sox.

Since his Major League debut for the Toronto Blue Jays in 2011, Eric Thames has played in 158 games. Every one of those appearances came in the outfield, but he is expected to play first base for the Milwaukee Brewers in 2017.

Frontal Lobe Damage Can Make You Lose Your Personality

There is a reason why there are precautionary measures for some sports activities, construction sites and other areas especially for the head because damage to the head could be tragic and sometimes even fatal. That is why a person should always listen to warning signs and wear the necessary protective equipment to keep safe.

Do you know that damage is most done to the frontal lobe during accidents? It is because of where it is situated which is at the frontal area of ​​the brain. When there is an impact, the frontal area of ​​the brain smashes itself in the interior part of the skull. When there is frontal lobe damage there is a drastic change to the personality because it is the control center of each person's emotional and personality. How we react, act to situations, information and to others is primarily because of the frontal lobe. That is why damage to it could be tragic because we might lose who we are.

The truth is diagnosis of frontal lobe damage is not easy. Often the doctors misdiagnose because the symptoms are quite similar to a personality disorder. That is why a person who experiences mild trauma to the head should contact the doctor immediately especially a doctor who specializes in head trauma. You will probably go through several tests such as an MRI, CAT or a PET scan. These tests will provide a detailed picture of the portions of the brain which provides the doctor a better picture.

The University Of Louisville Libraries – A Library of the 21st Century

Whilst in Louisvlle attending a seminar on contemporary American literature and touring various sites of cultural interest the University Library was one of those sites that had a never-fading impression on my mind not only for its unique architectural plan but for other inexpressible qualities that make it an ideal place for quiet and serene study. My first visit was when the Director of our program led us there for an induction into the use of computers and the internet in literature research. The room we were led into for the class was fully equipped with computers in all the over fifty desks for students and a master screen monitor for the instructor. Many other rooms including the state of art auditorium were equally well equipped.

I passed through the library on many other occasions. But the most significant one was when on my way from the University post office the thought occurred to me of recording the beautiful vistas of the campus in pictures as well as in mind and one such was the Ekstrom Library which represented to me the focal point of all the other libraries scattered at various ends of the expansive campus.

I took about two views of this building and I was still gaping in wonder especially at the bewitching splendor of its frontage with readers combining eating and relaxing. I was particularly struck by its inviting, comfortable, and open space teeming with students and bustling with activity, a lovely terrace equipped with outdoor furniture, facing a pleasantly inviting green outdoor space, exploiting the favorably warm climactic conditions here for enjoying nature. Taking advantage of the generally mild Kentucky weather with its ample, inviting green space, students can study or just catch a break at a number of outdoor tables on the terrace. On nice days, there are few better places to study-and certainly it makes for an inviting entry

I found myself wandering in to get a better view. As I wandered through I remembered my mission of seeking support for our resources-starved university libraries in Sierra Leone. My search for the head led me into the office of Mr David Hogarth who instantly became an able facilitator of my mission enabling me within a week to meet the Dean of libraries.

Whilst awaiting my appointment with her I was led on a tour of various parts of the Ekstrom library. This library, I learnt, holds more than 1.1 million and 5,100 journal subscriptions supporting research and curricula in the humanities, social sciences, business and education. It also contains large collections of microforms, government publications, multi-media and current periodicals, the Granville A. Bunton Pan African Collection, the Barbara S.Miller Multiracial Children's literature Collection and the Bingham Poetry Collection.

The Rare Books and Photographic Archives provide rare research sources for scholars and other researchers. African American collections, English, European, and American Literatures collections together with the substantial space given to reference and reserved books make this library a very significant research as well as information disseminating tool. But it is also a repository and exhibitor of many prized manuscripts and other documents like for example the outstanding 1482 first printing of Euclid's Elementia and a copy of the Principia with annotations in Newton's hand. The working collection of Richard M. Kain, and the first editions and manuscripts of James Joyce and WB Yeats preserve much of Irish Literary Renaissance heritage. There is also quite a good collection of Modern English and American writers with noteworthy editions by 1890's authors and books as well as autographed letters from members of the Bloomsbury Group.

A famous and ever-growing and rich collection of special materials, archives and photography include:

Roy and Dela White Collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Arthur J. Slavin.Collection of English History.

Hattie Winston Collection of African- American Scripts and Screen Plays.

Irwin Hilliard Archive of Fine Bindings.

Billy Davis 111 Collection of Aerial Photography.

Other special collections include the James Chandler World War Posters and Lafin Allen's Kentucky Maps.

The photographic Archives houses more than 2 million photographs and manuscripts as well as fine art prints. It also offers printing services and a rotating series of exhibits.

The Roy Stryker Papers include photographs and manuscripts from documentary projects directed by Stryker at the Farm Security Administration, Standard Oil Company and Jones and Laughlin Steel. The Cautfield and Shook Royal Photo and Lin Caufield collections consist of photographs from Louisville's past. Whilst the Lean Thomas, Matlack Studio, Arthur Y Ford and Henderson Settlement School collections document life and culture in Appalachia. 2,000 prints by many notable American artists such as Paul Caponegro and Gary Winogrand constitute the library's Fine Print Collection.

The library also serves a much wider community beyond the campus.Through e-mail, phone or in person one could request and receive help or even fix a session with a research librarian here. A Cardinal card enables you to check out up to 99 items at a time and renew books on-line. Visiting academics are entitled to inter-library loans of up to 15 books. A University of Louisville student enjoys the privilege of searching for items reserved for his class on-line. Minerva gives on-line access to catalogues and gateways to many collections. University of Louisville distance learners could access off-campus through their ULINK username and password both library assignments by their professors and electronic databases of library resources for self-directed research from non-University of Louisville internet addresses.

Ekstrom Library houses and lends resources to the Delphi and the Writing Centers. The Delphi Center helps professors use technology in their teaching and prepares them to teach courses online. The writing center assists students, professors and staffs with writing projects and holds workshops on improving writing skills. Through this center an appointment with a writing consultant could be scheduled and important writing resources found.

The University of Louisville libraries a conglomerate of libraries stocking books on few selected disciplines such as music, visual art, health sciences, engineering, physical science and technology at the time of my tour was in the process of moving in to Ekstrom the main library, the over 149,000 volumes constituting the engineering, physical science and technology books and journals.
Besides the William Ekstrom main Library, the University library network consists of: The Kornhauser Health Sciences Library; The Dwight Anderson Music Library; The Margaret M. Bindwell Art Library; and The University Archives and Records Center.

The Kornhauser Health Sciences Library a comprehensive and the most current health sciences information resource center is also a "Regional Resource Library" in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. It represents a significant resource for the entire health sciences community of the Louisville metropolitan area and the western half of Kentucky. It has over 250,000 volumes, 2,700 journal subscriptions, audiovisual materials and a variety of electronic formats. It stocks numerous items relating to health care in Kentucky and the Trans-Appalachian West, including historical collections, the medical school archives, book manuscripts and physical objects.

The Dwight Anderson Music Library providing user-centered services offers seamless access to information resources in all formats and serves as a center for teaching and learning which supports the University of Louisville School of Music curriculum and research. It houses the largest academic music collection in Kentucky including the Gravemeyer Collection of Contemporary Music comprising all submissions to the internationally renowned Music Composition Award as well as a large assortment of sheet music containing thousands of Louisville imprints celebrating the history of music publishing in the city and the "Traipin Woman" collection with its emphasis on American folk song.

The Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library with its more than 80,000 volumes is a gateway to information for teaching, research and scholarship in art, design, art history and architectural history. It subscribes to over 300 domestic and foreign journals and museum bulletins. It has also hundreds of videos and provides access to the major electronic and print indexes. Subjects covered here include painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making, photography, architectural history 45, interior design, graphic design, art education, pottery, fiber arts and decorative arts. It also holds approximately 3,000 rare and scarce volumes and about 150 linear feet of archival materials.

The librarians strive concertedly with academic staff to meet the information literacy and research needs of a diverse population recognizing that libraries are an essential tool in the University's mission to become a premier nationally recognized metropolitan university.

The University of Louisville libraries is guided in all its undertakings by its vision that libraries are the academic heart of the university and a place for discovery and learning outside the classroom and the lab. They therefore seek to participate as active and integral partners in meaningful learning, outstanding teaching and effective research. Users are therefore always being instructed on information availability and use. Services and resources are tailored to suit the varying needs of users. Library staff thus identify, evaluate and select materials of varying formats to develop collections that meet user needs. They also apply technology, research and instructional innovations to enhance services and access to traditional and electronic collections.

Rapid expansion in stocks, rapid technological advancement including the introduction of a robotic retrieval system has enabled more books than could be retained in the library halls being stacked in trays which are accessed by computers on user request. The system gives the library enough space for over three million volumes. The less frequently used volumes will be loaded into the system, and students can still browse titles in open stacks in the old wing of the library. Books stored in the RRS are identified as such in MINERVA, the library's catalog. To request the item, patrons click on a live "request" button onscreen, and then a robotic crane is sent off to find the item, moving among racks of steel bins holding books and journals from which the robotic arm selects, grabs and delivers the appropriate bin to a pickup station where a library attendant pulls the exact item and delivers it to the circulation desk within minutes. The entire process which I witnessed myself takes only minutes and handles numerous simultaneous requests.

Having the RRS, I was told, also saves the library the cost of a courier service and the additional library staff needed to operate a remote storage facility. The Ekstrom Library's RRS stands out in how artfully it is built into the central design of the new addition. With numerous windows on the system, students can literally stand at the circulation desk, make a request, and actually see the system fill their form watching it work serving almost as a piece of 21st-century art, a book fountain of sorts, whizzing and whirring volumes past the windows. In all, the Ekstrom addition contributes a hefty 42,500 square feet of space to the library

The library's robotic retrieval system (RRS) has freed up significant space for exhibits in the library, like the one by Split Rock Studios, St. Paul; designer, Lisa Friedlander that highlights the year of Kentucky's founding and features a statue of Henry Clay, Kentucky senator from 1806 to 1850. The desk is a replica of the desk Clay used when he was in the Senate-the actual desk is in the office of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who endowed the Ekstrom expansion and the McConnell Center for Political Leadership.

The libraries now seem poised to attain the ambitious goals of the university of becoming a premier metropolitan university that is nationally recognized for advancing intellectual, social and economic development. The library's massive atrium allows light to pour into the building and over the circulation desk.

The libraries' technological resources have developed to state-of-the-art electronic information centers for the campus community with more than 550 computer workstations from which one can borrow laptop computers for use anywhere in the libraries. Advanced wireless technology enables laptop users to access the internet and the libraries' vast electronic resources. Researchers could access 25,000 full-text journals and hundreds of electronic databases.

Two teaching laboratories enable librarians to conduct classes in the library with instant access to the online world. The library's three new, modern instruction labs equipped with wireless technology and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, emphasize the library's continually expanding role in teaching and learning. Instructional Lab 1 and Instructional Lab 2 have become extremely flexible spaces hosting a version of the 3M Road Show for Kentucky librarians.

The university community can access thousands of electronic information resources from hundreds of computer work stations in the libraries and also from anywhere: their offices, classrooms or home. Minerva, the online catalogue indexes and accesses the many items held within the libraries. Through its access to national and regional electronic networks one could search many library catalogs and databases around the nation and even around the world.

The University of Louisville Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the most prestigious and influential library association in North America. Strong financial support from the University administration has propelled it up to national prominence and impetus in strengthening its ties with Metroversity, a consortium of higher education institutions in metro Louisville, Kentucky, Virtual Library and other library consortia in the region and nation thus adding significantly to the materials made available to its students and faculty and to students and faculties from other campuses.

It has established Kentucky's first library chair, the Evelyn J. Schneider Endowed Chair For Scholarly Communication underwritten by the estate of a longtime university librarian and the state's Research Challenge Trust Fund. The first chair holder, Dwayne K. Butler is a highly regarded expert in copyright law, particularly that related to educational and electronic resources.

Overseeing all these developments for the past eleven years has been a charismatic, energetic, ingenious and visionary woman, Prof Hannnelorewery Rader, Dean of Libraries, whom I had the privilege of talking to. Prof Radar brought to Louisville a wealth of experience. For seventeen years she headed the Cleveland and Wisconsin university libraries and held various positions at Eastern Michigan University for almost twelve years. She has written widely in her field and attended many professional conferences. She was eventually named in 1999 Outstanding Academic Research Librarian.

Through Dr Radar's innovative ideas, her drive and direction together with the expanding library collection, upgraded resources, a more inviting environment, helpful and innovative library staff and academics library usage has recorded a 60 percent increase thus exceeding the 2 million per annum mark. One of her striking innovations is the Tulip Coffee Shop in the spacious lobby where readers enjoy tasty sandwiches and other relishing rolls with cups of tea, coffee orange juice or diet coke as they read or scroll through the internet. The Tulip Tree Café has become so popular that it may soon need to add another cash register.

Louisville offers one of the nation's best information literacy programs. Louisville libraries are no longer just places for research, but are now like other libraries today places of active instruction.
According to Prof Radar, her philosophy is to cater for the needs of the mostly non-traditional studentship mostly adults of varying ages and non-residential for increasingly comfortable atmosphere and facilitating the processes of accessing information. This explains her introduction of the snack bar and the constant restructuring and redecorating of the premises.

"We wanted to have a space where students could learn and do research but also socialize. … We wanted to offer a library space for all of those things," for as she stressed "Our students are urban, many are part-time and do not live on campus. We want them to be on campus. " To accomplish that, she says, they completely reimagined their library for the 21st century.

"Space was an issue," Rader says. "We were running out of space for our materials, and that's pretty much a problem for most academic libraries." Today, the library space is more than repository but a place for instruction, to showcase unique holdings and exhibits, and to foster student collaboration and all forms of interaction, both with information sources in all formats as well as with librarians.

With space a key concern, the highlight of the Ekstrom Library expansion is its robotic retrieval system, a unique system made up of more than 7000 steel bins, offering climate-controlled storage for up to 1.2 million volumes. Rader was already familiar with how efficient the system could be, having come from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, one of the first to install such a system. "We never really considered an off-site storage facility," as she said. "We do not want to store the books miles away, send for them when a student needs them, and then wait to have them delivered to campus." For as she notes, the robotic system can retrieve and deliver a book in a matter of minutes while off-site storage can sometimes take days.

The University of Louisville being a public institution, open to the general public, it is, according to Rader putting an even greater premium on space and efficiency. So rather than filling the space with immovable objects, such as banks of PCs, it is completely wireless and filled with flexible seating, from stuffed, comfortable chairs and small tables to wooden chairs and large, roomier tables for students to spread out their work. "Students can bring their own or check out laptops at the circulation desk." Meanwhile, 600 traditional workstations remain in the old wing for those who wish to use them.

The Libraries in their entirety, the Dean told me, hold millions of print volumes from many countries, electronic books and databases and thousands of electronic journals, reference materials, other library resources, library guides and services.

In addition to increased room for student collaboration, the library expansion features three new library instruction labs, where formal or informal classes are held, and the charming new 150-seat Elaine Chao auditorium, all handicapped accessible, and equipped with the latest technology, including wireless Internet access and state-of-the-art AV equipment.

With digital resources offering access to information, much of the library's space is freed up for the library's more unique holdings. An ambitious slate of lectures, seminars, conferences, exhibits, and displays, all designed to engage students, faculty, and the community in the library have been laid out as ongoing activities. Chao, who serves as Labor Secretary under President Bush, spoke recently in the auditorium that bears her name.

In addition, the library is home to the McConnell Center for Political Leadership, featuring the papers and exhibits of Kentucky's Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. The bipartisan center sponsors a range of programming, including lectures and seminars. In fact, the Ekstrom expansion owes a great deal to the McConnell Center-the $ 14.2 million project was funded by federal grants earmarked by McConnell.

The Elaine L. Chao auditorium is named for the current US Secretary of Labor and plays host to a full slate of lectures and seminars. The space between the rows is exceptionally wide, preventing cramped knees or contortions to allow people to pass. The acoustics in the auditorium are "perfect," making the space the university president's favorite venue for press conferences presenting a great location for TV cameras, press feeds, etc. Chao herself recently spoke there, as has Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

To Radar though it's still a library storing information, it is also a place for people to hang out, a place for the whole university, a space to be, a space for events, for special teaching and learning sessions. "A 21st-century library. "

Siding Installation – Preparation Tips

Siding installation of the house for someone who is new to the experience may seem like an overwhelming task. Nevertheless, the endeavor is not as difficult as you may think. Here are some tips that you can follow to help in preparing you and your house as you wait for the contractors to come and work on your house siding.

Prepare your yard by clearing out ornaments and lawn equipment that can easily get damaged during the installation process. Though the process does not really use up a lot of space, you may want to create a clear space for contractors to work and place their working materials. Make a notice or visible boundaries around plants, or garden area that you do not want the work crew to step on.

The length of the project typically lasts as long as two to three days, which also depends on the size of your house and the people working on it. Do not worry as the workers are not going to be there long enough to cause any permanent damage your lawn area. There is no need to hassle about indoor preparation as all the work is going to be done outside of your house.

As for noise concerns, you should not worry too much about this, as it will not be as noisy as compared to having a new roof built. A considerate thing to do would be to put up a notice for your neighbors regarding your new siding installation. They will most likely to return the favor the next time they are doing any home renovation.

Communicate with the workers so that they know the right details of what you exactly want. Tell them about the areas that they are allowed to use as a work place and which parts of the lawn that you want to protect. A clear communication can really save a lot of unnecessary trouble.

These are just few tips that you can follow to help prepare your house and yard before the real work of siding installation takes place. Just go about your routine or even leave the contractors to work and come back at the end of the day to greet the new look of your home!

How To Sweat A Copper Fitting

I believe that any plumber would tell you that the key to successfully soldering or "sweating" a copper fitting is properly preparing the pipe and fitting for the soldering process. Cleaning the pipe and fitting is essential to get the solder to flow properly and insure that the pipe and fitting have been soldered together. I just refinished my bathroom and used the existing lines that brought the water up from the main to the bathroom. I replaced all the branches or "feeds" for the shower, toilet, and sink. When using existing pipe and new pipe together, cleaning and preparation are critical to insure good soldered fittings and joints. I'll use my bathroom as an example.

The feed for my bathroom is 1/2 "copper pipe but because my shower and toilet position would be slightly different, I decided to route my hot and cold pipes differently to accommodate the changes. I needed to put a 1/2 'copper tee on the cold feed so I could run the cold water for the shower and toilet. I turned the main off in my basement to stop the flow of water. Once I had the water off, I could sweat the fitting properly. If you are a novice at sweating pipe, you need to know that you will never get your fittings soldered properly as long as there is water in the pipe. Even if there is the sligtest amount, it will be enough to keep the copper from heating up to the right temperature. Using a tube cutter, I cut the existing copper pipe back to its desired length. One thing about tube cutters for beginners, gradually increase the pressure on the blade as you rotate it. Putting too much pressure all at once can cause your pipe to deform during the cut. Once the pipe is cut and clear of all water, it is time to prepare the pipe and fitting for the sweat. Existing pipe will usually have a darkish brown tarnished look where new pipe or fittings will usually be shiny.

Look at the existing pipe and make sure that there are not any burs on the end where the fitting will go. Use a small file to debur the pipe if necessary. Next take a piece of emery paper and work it around the pipe from the end to about an inch in until it is shinyand free from tarnish. I like to take a piece of clean cloth and just wipe the pipe off when I am through with the emery paper. This cleans any dirt or dust off of it. Next, take a 1/2 "pipe brush and run it through the fitting. If you do not have a pipe brush, you can use a piece of emery cloth. Apply flux around the end of the pipe and inside the fitting. Place the fitting on the end of the pipe until it slides all the way on. When sweating a tee, I like to prepare all three pipes and sweat them all so that I do not have to reheat the pipe and disturb the parts of the fitting already finished.

Once you have your fitting in place, it is time to light your propane torch. Adjust the flame until it is a nice, steady blue flame. Remember that the solder will always flow in the direction of the heat so you neeed to place your torch in a position where the solder will flow evenly around the pipe and fitting and be drawn inward toward the heat. On a tee, you would want to place the torch in the center of the cross bar and heat from the bottom. That way you will heat all three pipes at once and the soldler will be drawn inward toward the heat bonding the pipes to the fitting. In the case of a 90 or 45 degree fitting, place the flame from the bottom on the curved part of the fitting. Once you have the flame on the fitting, you will notice the flux start to bubble. Keep watcching until the flux seems to dry up and the color of the pipe and fitting turn dull. Take your solder and start at the top of the pipe where the end of the fitting is. Touch the solder at this point and when it melts, keep feeding solder as you go around the pipe in one direction and stop at the bottom. Then come back to the top and do the same in the other direction. By placing the heat at the bottom and starting your solder at the top, you will fill in the area where the pipe goes into the fitting because the solder will flow toward the heat. Be sure to do this around all the pipes in the fitting. Once you are done, remove the heat. If you used to much solder, you will have a few seconds where the solder will still be wet. You can take a rag and gently wipe around the pipe and fitting to remove the excess solder and smooth it out. Now let the fitting and pipe cool down without disturbing them. Many solder joints become cracked because they are not allowed to cool properly. I recommend doing some practice in the garage before you attempt the real thing. If you know anyone who has done it before, why not ask them to come over for a beer and share their experience.

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What Are Open Ground Outlets?

An outlet that has an open ground is a three prong outlet that is not properly grounded. The three prongs are the Hot, Neutral, and Ground.

An open ground occurs whenever the ground wire is not correctly attached to the outlet. or the wiring for the house does not have a ground wire. Some older wiring in houses only have two wires, the "hot" and the "neutral", such as knob and tube wiring or some of the older rag romex wiring. If there is no ground wire at the house wiring, then a three prong outlet should not be installed. The only exception would be to install a GFCI outlet and place a sticker that states "NO Equipment Ground". The outlet will still not be grounded but with the GFCI protection, it will be safer than a regular two prong outlet or a three prong outlet with an open ground.

Some might think that if an older outlet is not grounded and an open grounded three prong outlet is not grounded; why not change them all to three prong outlets so you can plug everything into them? The reason is that three prong outlets give a false sense of security. Leaving it ungrounded with three prongs may someday affect you or someone else, who would be under the impression this outlet is grounded. This is the same as removing the ground prong from an appliance or tool so that it will fit into a two prong outlet. I heard about someone using an electric drill which had the ground prong removed to fit an older outlet. He then drilled into the wall and hit a live wire. It's a wonder he is still alive today! Do not do this, it is unsafe and could get you or someone else killed.

The best scenario would be to have all of your outlets three prong and grounded. If you can not have this because of the wiring in your home, then you should add GFCI outlets instead. A qualified electrician can evaluate your home and tell you what would be best for your particular wiring system.

Hole-In-One Golf Gifts

“I get to play golf for a living,” says Tiger Woods with a toothy grin. “What more could you ask for?”

Tiger Woods is golf’s most dashing young icons, and his success has generated renewed interest in golf and golfing all over the world. Golf continues to shed its stigma as a sport only the rich and the bored play. In fact, today, people of all walks of life are practicing their hooks and slices on over 32,000 golf courses throughout the world. In China, for example, the first golf course opened only in the 1980s, but now there are over 200 courses scattered throughout that country. Golf holidays and vacations are the hottest golf trend, allowing people to see the world while playing their favorite sport. With numerous golf products on the market, selecting a golf gift can be as difficult as choosing the right putter for a difficult golf shot. But with some research and discriminating judgment, you can pick a present that scores a hole in one!

Remember the Golfer

Remember the golfer when you choose your golf gift. If he wears t-shirts and jeans 365 days of the year, do not buy him a golf necktie. If eating chocolate makes his skin break out into a rash, then do not get him a bucket of chocolate golf balls. In picking your present, mull over what the golfer’s hobbies and interests are. You know he likes golf, and talks about it as frequently as he does about his ex-wife. But what other things does he like other than golf? You can consolidate the answers to these questions with the golfer’s vehement love for the sport.

Make a Gift Profile

Who says you can’t keep files on your friends like the FBI does? Compile information about your friends’ preferences, so that every time you need to give golf gifts away, you know the scope of your options. Oh, and be sure to tick off the ones you’ve already given. It wouldn’t do to give the same present year after year.

The Gift Profile should include information about the person himself, such as his age, marital status, place of residence, and profession. It should also include information about his interests, such as how he spends his free time, his favorite or least favorite food and drinks, and his fashion style.

Be Practical

Your golf gift should be practical. This means it should be useful, if not at present, then at some future time. Here are some examples of golf gifts that have very high utilitarian value:

o Golf chip and dip platter/ salsa bowl

o Golf wine rack

o Golf magazine rack

o Golf desk lamp

o Golf towel

o Golf barbecue utensil set

o Golf tote bag

Another option is picking goofy golf gifts. These make highly memorable gifts, and your friend could show it off to visitors at his home:

o The Golf Piggy Bank looks like a pig riding in a golf cart.

o Golf Slippers are slippers that look like shoes.

o Funny Golf T-shirts include the prints “how to throw your golf bag” and “how to break your golf clubs”

o Novelty golf balls, including floating golf balls and exploding golf balls

o The Broken Window Golf Ball which, when placed on glass, gives the appearance of a golf ball shattering a window

Ultimately, whether you choose to give a personal, practical or wacky golf gift, pick one that makes you a winner in the game of gift-giving!

What is This New Backside Illumination on the New iPhone?

Recently Apple announced the new iPhone and a number of the hardware changes were targeted at the camera. Thanks to the infamous lost iPhone fiasco we expected the 5 mega-pixel camera and flash, but Jobs announced the camera had backside illumination. That left us puzzled so we did a some research on camera chips.

What is backside illumination?

First stop giggling… OK… I’ll admit I think they could have found a better name. Some of the jokes I saw on Twitter seemed to be especially crude about this feature. Backside illumination is a trick of getting better digital photos by getting more of the available light to where it is measured.

First an overview on digital cameras

The key part of all digital cameras is a chip called the CCD (charge coupled device) which senses the light falling on its surface. The light affects the charge a grid of millions of tiny capacitors created on the silicon when the chip is made (making chips is called fabrication and involves a lot of etching and depositing of thin layers and different materials in precisely controlled ways). For simplicity just think about black and white CCD’s where the array of capacitors corresponds to the array of pixels which make up a digital image (color sometimes uses a lot more tricks). The chip has additional circuitry that measures the charge of all of the capacitors which is basically how the light levels of the image are read. To be able to read all of these capacitors there are minutely thin wires running over the top. They’re not actually wires but a thin layer of aluminum or copper that is effectively sprayed on to the chip and then carefully eaten away using acids to leave connecting traces, which are pretty much metal wires bonded to the chip.

Why backside illumination?

All those wires and other parts of the capacitors sit on top of a square silicon tile (called the die) with the capacitors at the bottom. The circuitry and wires don’t obstruct it too much as it works but it does block some light and scatter some in to surrounding capacitors which reduces the quality of image captured especially with limited lighting. Back to that square silicon tile. Silicon is the main ingredient of regular glass (aka silicon dioxide) but the stuff used in making chips is a super pure silicon crystal and transparent. With backside illumination the issues with traditional CCD’s of the capacitors being on the bottom is quite literally turned upside down and now you shine the image on what was the bottom of the silicon tile and let the light shine through the silicon to the capacitors. This way you avoid all the wires and get more light to the capacitors.

With this new camera chip Apple has shown some beautiful looking pictures but they key performance area will be low lighting. Capturing scenes like the last light of a fading sunset. The earlier iPhones (Original and 3G) had very basic fixed focus 2 mega-pixel cameras which struggled in low lighting. The 3GS brought auto focus and auto white balance that improved performance but still struggled with such scenes, often distorting colors. Now with the new camera chip the iPhone should take vastly improved photos, coupled with the in-built flash to handle low lighting indoors.

Lighting in Interior Design

We are all aware of the fact that lighting is an obvious necessity in everyday life. However, it serves other purposes as well such as to create mood and atmosphere or to draw attention to decorative details. The choice of lighting within interior design can also affect the way that colours appear and like colour can be used to make a room seem larger or smaller. This is dependent on the type of lights chosen and their positioning. Good lighting relaxes us and helps us to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Bad lighting however, creates a strain on our eyes being either too gloomy so making it hard to see, or too bright thereby causing glare. There are many opportunities for lighting to make or break a scheme so it is important that lighting is taken into consideration at the planning stage of a design.

In terms of natural light the quality of this will depend on which direction the room faces and how many windows are in the room. The size of the windows is clearly also of importance. A Georgian townhouse with high ceilings and full length sash windows will obviously be much brighter than a country cottage with inset windows and low ceilings. The result of this is that the same furnishings would look completely different in these two settings. Geographical location is also of importance, with rooms in countries that receive a lot of sunlight being much brighter than those in places such as Britain where we have quite gloomy weather.

Natural daylight shows colours in their true form with no distortion. Therefore, it is always advisable that when comparing colours and choosing between shades it is done in natural daylight. However, it is also important that selected colours are also viewed in the interior setting in which they will be placed, as the amount of natural light available will have an impact on the colour and the way it appears.

Natural light is often neglected by designers because they feel they can have little impact on it with it generally being the responsibility of the architect or builder. However, if working for a client that is planning to undertake building work, there is the opportunity to advise them on the amount of natural light available and ways in which this can be improved. This could include the following.

Wherever possible use the opportunity to install larger windows which could include velux windows or skylights.

Mirrors can be used to reflect light back into a room and therefore gives the illusion of more space.

Glass blocks have become very popular in interior design and can be used to replace solid walls. This allows light to flood into an area creating a more open and spacious feel whilst at the same time maintaining privacy where required.

Consider the type of window treatments you intend to use and choose those that will allow the maximum amount of light to enter the room during the day.

One important point to remember is how the colours you select for a scheme will reflect the light and so make a room appear larger or smaller. As a general rule of thumb strong and particularly dark colours absorb light and therefore require strong lighting to maintain a well lit room. By comparison, soft and light colours reflect the light and therefore will not require as much lighting. But any designer needs to be careful about their choices and should not allow these guidelines to limit them unnecessarily.