Microscope Illumination Lights the Way For Scientific Discovery

Even the most sophisticated of microscopes will not yield high quality images which are genuinely of value to researchers without adequate microscope illumination. The light sources used in microscopy have advanced considerably since the days of van Leeuwenhoek's sightings of "wee animalcules" in the beginning, the only microscope light source available was natural sunlight or after sunset, candlelight.

Naturally, this was not conducive to capturing truly detailed, in depth viewing, but as the optics involved in the design and manufacture of microscopes improved, so did illumination of samples being viewed. From the lowest of low-technology (or no-technology, really in the case of relying on daylight for microscopy) to modern lighting technologies which provide even, glare-free and bright microscope illumination for optimal viewing of samples.

The development of under slide lighting revolutionized microscopy; a simple, yet effective method which forms the basis of almost every modern type of microscope light source in optical instruments. Because of its long useful life, continuous spectrum lighting and low cost, tungsten halogen lamps are the most commonly preferred type of illumination used. These lamps are most often 50 watt or 100 models, depending on the particular instrument that the lamps are being used in.

In strictly optical (as opposed to electron microscopy instruments) microscopes, the light cast by the lamp used as a source of microscope illumination passes through a collector and then a field lens before going through a condenser underneath the stage where it provides the lighting required by the user of the instrument. Virtually every microscope light source for optical instruments from the most rudimentary models for children and casual hobbyists to far more sophisticated instruments designed for use in the clinical or scientific laboratory environment uses roughly this lighting configuration.

Where a brighter light source is desirable, xenon lamps in 75 or 150 watt varieties may be used – these lamps also provide long product life and an even light output across the visual spectrum. These lamps also have the advantage of not requiring a color filter to provide optimal lighting. For even brighter microscope illumination, tin-halide lamps may be used; and for photomicrography and other fluorescence microscopy applications, mercury lamps in 100 watt or 200 watt configurations are the microscope light source of choice. In facilities where semiconductor wafers are manufactured, these powerful light sources are a vital part of the quality control process, providing personnel with the ability to clearly see manufacturing defects in these incredibly small, mission-critical components.

The field of electron microscopy uses yet other varieties of illumination technology. However, in all forms of optical microscopy, whether light-field or dark field microscopy, lamps utilizing one material or another are the means of providing the microscope illumination needed to allow researchers and physicians a clear view of the microscopic world which surrounds us. The concept of a microscope light source has come a long way since the discovery of electrical power, but its purpose remains the same as in the earliest days of microscopy, where scientists had little choice but to (to borrow a phrase) light a candle or curse the darkness.

Lighting the Bathroom Mirror the Right Way

One of the most important parts of any bathroom is the mirror. When properly lighted, a bathroom mirror can be every woman's best friend. Have you ever wondered why some bathrooms can be so friendly and welcoming while others are harsh and uninviting?

The answer probably lies on proper lighting. Let's admit it; everyone spends a considerable amount of time in front of a mirror. We primp and preen in front of a mirror trying to fix ourselves in as many ways as we can. A mirror is an important tool in providing ourselves proper grooming. The mirror needs to be properly lighted so that spending time in front of it will be an everyday pleasing routine.

It is a challenge to provide good lighting for a mirror. Lighting a mirror properly will eliminate unnecessary shadows and provide good illumination for every user. Frequently, we see only a single ceiling fixture in a bathroom. Instead of providing a friendly illumination, this type of lighting only casts shadows below your eyes and hit your eyebrows, which are definitely unfriendly effects. Cross lighting is the key to good mirror lighting. Cross lighting includes direct light from above, both sides and below. Achieving this can be made possible through a wide range of available lighting fixtures. Glare from frosted bulbs or those fixtures with opaque plastic or glass shields should be avoided.

Decorators suggest that the sink's front edge and countertop should be illuminated with a light on the ceiling above the mirror. This could be a recessed task light that can be a round incandescent ceiling fixture that should be at least 12 inches in diameter with a bulb rating of 100 to 120 watts. You can also choose a fluorescent ceiling fixture above the sink. It is recommended that a fluorescent ceiling fixture above the sink should hold two 24-inch bulbs with 20 watt rating.

In order to complete the cross lighting, you should place light fixtures on both sides of the mirror. It is important to choose a light fixture that casts light in four directions – up, down and both sides. Rows of exposed incandescent bulbs with low wattage are especially designed to light mirrors. Pendants or wall-mounted fixtures are also common choices. These types of fixtures should be placed at eye level and should have at least 60 to 70 watt bulb. Fluorescent tubes are also favored choices because these utilize low electric consumption and last longer. Today, there are a lot of fluorescent tubes that are designed for vanity use and which provide a full spectrum light. A 24 inch 20 watt tube placed on each side of the mirror will create the required illumination. If your bathroom mirror is more than 24 inches wide, you can use a wall mounted light above the mirror and at the same time use the same type of fixture on the sides to complete the cross lighting effect.

Finally, for mirrors larger than 36 inches wide, sidelights may not be enough to provide the desired illumination. However this can be corrected by using powerful overhead light sources, which will be enough to cover even the mid section of the mirror that the side fixtures may fail to illuminate.

Advertising On Crowd Control Barrier Jackets Come Of Age – Wrap It Up To Promote Your Message

Introduction

About 20 years ago, the steel barrier became the dominant crowd control device. Barriers increasingly became a common sight at parades, sports events, festivals, amusement parks, concerts, and conventions. Savvy companies and event management personnel soon came to the conclusion that barriers, being so noticeable (not to mention so physically close) to large crowds, might double as a marketing / communications tool, as well as a safety tool.

History

The first attempts to accessorize barriers involved the use of banners, which were tied to the barrier itself. However, banners were very susceptible to flapping or sagging, which detracted from the image that companies or events were trying to project.

Technological advancements made it possible for vinyl jackets to be produced at the same cost, and with the same quality, as banners. In the mid-1980s, the first barrier jackets were produced. Initially, the barrier jackets were simply one solid color.

The now-defunct Marineland theme park in California, and SeaWorld San Diego were among the first sites to use color jackets over their barriers. Solid blue-colored jackets not only appropriately matched the theme of these locations, but the jackets also protected the barriers by resisting the inherent moisture in these environments. Other sites soon began employing barrier covers for the aesthetic benefit of having their crowd control barricades fit into their color scheme

The next step was going beyond a solid color to actually convey a message on the jacket. SeaWorld San Diego was again an early adopter, as were a number of sports facilities or teams. Many of the earliest examples of printed jackets featured a sports team's logo, the name of an event's sponsor (often, in those days, beer companies), or simple directional instructions, such as an arrow and the word "Parking."

Today's Focus

But soon, the buzz word was sophistication – not only in terms of physical characteristics such as fit, color, and material, but in terms of marketing strategy. How barrier jackets would look, what they would say, and where they would be utilized, became an integral part of the marketing planning of sites, events, and sponsors.

Jackets, in effect, became ground-level billboards, and again, technical advancements made it easy – and cost effective – to reproduce high-quality, attractive images on a jacket. When an event received television or news coverage, the barrier jackets became a highly visible means of conveying an image or message.

Barrier Jacket Quality Primer

Through trial and error, a consensus regarding today's "standards" for barrier jackets has evolved. A quality barrier jacket will be designed with professional stitching and hems. It should be custom-fit to follow the crowd control barrier profile, and fit snugly to the corners of the barrier to eliminate any potential flapping. Jackets should have a minimum of three grommets on the bottom, allowing jackets to be locked on the barrier with tie wraps; otherwise, the jacket will flap in windy conditions.

Hook and loop fastener wraps are more secure than tabs or standard strips, and the ability to wrap at both end positions is critical – this eliminates confusion about a "right end" or a "wrong end" when putting jackets on the barriers.

With today's laser printing technology, anything that can be printed on paper can be printed on a barrier jacket. Text or logos can be placed anywhere on the jacket. If jackets are printed using the latest technology and great attention to detail, the end result should be very attractive artwork that puts forth a professional, market-focused imag

Barrier Jackets Marketing Primer

Perhaps most importantly, jackets can turn barriers from an expense to a revenue stream. This can happen directly – companies or sponsors will pay to have their logo / message on a jacket, or indirectly – the advertising / public relations exposure payoff can easily offset the cost of a jacket

Jackets can even have a bottom-line impact when they are used for informational purposes. When jackets provide directions, rules, or other information, it enhances the customers' experience, leading to a favorable impression – and potential repeat business – at your site or event

Widespread Use

The continue to jackets Barrier grow in Popularity, evidenced by vBulletin® high profile was examples . Barrier jackets have been used by venues such as Radio City Music Hall and The Staples Center, sports franchises such as the Chicago Cubs and Washington Redskins, and major companies such as Budweiser and American Express

The Future

Improvements continue to be made in jacket design and printing which will only enhance clients' satisfaction. Jackets which "bleed" beyond the traditional margins, jackets sized to flush with the ground, and reversible jackets are just a few of the recent innovations which have been introduced to customer acclaim

Conclusion

Jackets can add significant value to steel barriers, and add sales and public relations value to any organization which utilizes them. They are a proven attention-getting device, an aesthetically pleasing visual alternative to an un-jacketed barrier, and valuable communications tool.

Structural Fire Hazards in the Home – Siding, Chimneys and Fireplaces

A fire in your home is one of the most dangerous and destructive things that can happen to you. While it is not possible to completely prevent the possibility of a home fire occurring, there are certain steps that can be taken to better safeguard your home against the threat of immolation. You need to be aware not only of the common fire dangers such as dangerous electrical outlets, burning cigarette butts, and cooking disasters, but of the lesser recognized dangers that already come equipped with your house, things you may take for granted as safe but can cause serious problems if left unwatched. It is with an eye towards the holistic protection of your house that you should examine the possibility of fire damage through structural components such as home siding, chimneys, and stoves.

Home Siding: Among potential fire hazards, home siding is the invisible threat. It is by far the most overlooked area of ​​the house in thinking about disaster prevention perhaps because of its innocuous appearance and its tendency to be taken for granted. For the uninitiated reader, vinyl cladding on your house is a fire threat with the potential to cause serious property damage if ever it were to catch on fire. Because of its flammable nature, the large distances that it covers, and the difficulty that one has in surveying its protection, there are only a few options available to fireproofing your the cladding on your house. Firstly, a home with vinyl siding is not like a lit cigarette butt, it is not simply a practice that you can decide to give up once you want to protect your house, because your house absolutely needs siding. The key then is to focus not on eliminating the threat, but minimizing and preventing it. To minimize, make sure that any outdoor, open flames are kept away from the sides of the house. Barbeques, cookouts and campfires should all be held at a minimum of ten feet away from the siding. For prevention techniques, consider purchasing new siding. Currently there are non-flammable alternatives to traditional vinyl siding that provide higher peace of mind. A specific type, James Hardie siding, is one such brand that provides for a more secure house.

Chimneys and Fireplaces: A more obvious threat, chimneys and fireplaces are useful, albeit dangerous, necessities for many homeowners. Minimize the amount of time you spend worrying about fireplace hazards by keeping flammable materials such as paper and flammable liquids such as alcohol and oil away from the fireplace all together. With a properly screened fireplace there should be no reason that a pleasant log fire would cause damage to the home. Additionally, take the initiative to have your chimney cleaned every year and a half by a specialist who will be able to fully account for the inferno hazards in this area.

With a proactive approach you should be able to successfully fireproof your home and prevent disaster from striking. While you can never completely ensure that your dwelling will be safe from a fire, you can ensure peace of mind by doing everything in your power to prepare and prevent such an event from taking place.

Work it With Wallpaper

With the re-introduction of wallpaper into modern day interior design, creating a "feature wall" or redecorating an entire room has suddenly taken on a whole new meaning. Rather than simply painting a chimney breast a darker shade of chocolate brown paint, we've now been given the perfect excuse to utilize the new trend for brightly colored and elaborately patterned wallpaper to transform our homes from the neutral 90's to the colorful Noughties!

This is our selection of the best wallpapers in town: from designer brands to high street gems – we've sourced it all to show you just how fantastic wallpaper can be whether you want to cover four walls or one:

1. Create your very own trompe 'oeil with wallpaper from Deborah Bowness – perfect for that feature wall. Or how about having fun in the bedroom with her Rose Dress Frock design or convincing your friends you have your very own library with Books – a genuine fake bookshelf? Et voila! The feature wall, reinvented …

2. For a relaxed, feminine look, Jocelyn Warner has just the thing. Her nature-inspired prints are soothing but super stylish. Perfect for a living area or hallway were wallpaper is hung in large quantities.

3. Strong, geometric prints are right on trend and we love this new Cocoa & Gold wallpaper from the new Mode collection at Graham & Brown. Great in the bedroom with elaborate furniture and simple white bedlinen.

4. For the ultimate wow factor we think Welsh wallpaper designer, Michael Angrove deserves a special mention. His floral inspired wall panels and wallpaper is awash with intricate detail and can even be gilded with 24 carat gold or platinum. We love the idea of ​​one of his wall panels as a feature wall in a bedroom or living area.

How to Use Love Quotes to Express Your Romantic Side

Every one has a romantic side deep within themselves. There is one Romeo in every one of us. So if you think being romantic is not your cup of tea, think again. If you car deck is filled with Love Songs CDs, you are romantic. If you are eager to know your partner’s reaction after doing something special for him/her, you are a romantic. If you feel ecstatic seeing the sight of your partner smiling, you are romantic.

So if everyone is so romantic, why do women tend to think their man is clueless in terms of romanticism? It’s Simple, because men do not express their love as much as they should. They find it difficult to let out their romantic side. But it is not that difficult. You can use Love quotes to express our loving and romantic feelings for your sweet heart. Here are few ways to use quotes about love to express your emotions.

1- Put Love Quotes on the mirror

Collect some romantic quotes from the web and put them in the mirror used by your sweet heart. Write it big enough to be easily noticed by her. You can use tooth paste or shaving cream to write. Add some smileys along with quote to further enhance their effectiveness.

Make sure to choose the quote that resonate with you and describes something only you and she could understand. When she wakes up in the morning and sit in front of the mirror to get ready, she’d definitely love it.

2- Make a picture Frame

Took any one of your wedding picture and elaborate it a little bit by putting love quotes along with heart signs on it. Weird as it may sound but it is extremely romantic, Isn’t it?

3- Engrave Love quote on Soap

Wake up little earlier then your better half. Go to restroom. Take soap in your hands and engrave a short beautiful quote into it using needle or similar pointed object.

These are just a few of endless ways of expressing your romantic side using romantic love quotes. Be creative, think out of the box and you can come up with plenty of ways to give your partner the gift of love and romance.

Hydrogen Fuel Cars, Splitting Water Not the Environment

With the raising fuel (Petrol / Gasoline) prices around the $ 100 a barrel for oil, what better time to own a water power car? Hydrogen fuel cars some say could be 20-30 years off but there is growing evidence that regular combustion engines can be converted, either as a supplement or totally. One such example of this is the Stanley Meyers Dune Buggy back in the 1990s. The answer is simple: convert your car to run on water! You may have many questions if you are looking to convert your car to Hydrogen: Why does not everyone know about this? How do you run your car on water? How much does it cost to convert your car run on water? Is a water power car safe? Or I just do not believe it.

Again how does it work? In simple terms the electricity from a cars battery has the capability to separate water into a gas two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen H2O or HHO. HHO burns effectively as well as supplying a lot of energy and the by product is water. HHO possess atomic powers of Hydrogen, which stabilizes the water. The good news is that you only need one litre of water to produce thousands of litres of HHO gas which should provide you enough fuel for a very long time. The water conversion kit is a feasible and proven technology, the concept of splitting water dates back to before cars themselves.

Is it safe? water power car is actually safer than those fueled by traditional fuels. Vehicles running on petrol or LPG have the potential of bursting into flames, especially during tragic automobile accidents. On the other hand, water stored as fuels in vehicles is much safer because it is non-combustible. Denny Klein has also perfected this technique for industrial use of the hydrogen gas itself.

How To Decide On What Type Of Flooring You Should Use

Years ago flooring choices we relatively limited especially when compared to the range of choices available today. Have you walked into a Lowe's or Home Depot lately and just had a look at the flooring choices they have available? So, with all of the choices available, how do you decide on what type of flooring to use in your home?

To help you decide, you should break it down into three areas of consideration which are the type of room, traffic the room gets, and how much money you have available or how much you want to spend on the project. The type of room, in conjunction with the amount of traffic will determine to a large extent what type of flooring you will go with. You do not want to go with wood floors in the kitchen and bathroom in most cases due to the likelihood of water or other liquids being spilled on it.

Hardwood floors are extremely popular these days due to the look of luxury and character that the addition of this type of flooring gives a room. These types of floors can now be installed over nearly any preexisting sub floor and with the increased demand for hardwood floors has come better quality and variety of choices. You can choose from plank, strip, or long strip depending on your preference and also whether or not you want the wood finished or unfinished.

Another very popular choice if you like the look of wood but you are afraid it will not hold up in high traffic or because you do not want to spend the money that real hardwood floors cost, is laminate flooring. Originating in Europe, these floors are easy to clean and highly durable and stain resistant. Even though the majority of laminate floor systems still come from overseas there are some domestic manufacturers beginning to offer the product. The high quality of laminate flooring sometimes has people mistaking it for real wood.

My personal favorite is ceramic tile which is very durable and long lasting as well as being resistant to scratches, fire, and water. It also does not hold in odor and bacteria, like carpet does, which is excellent especially if you have pets. The only downside to me is that it is very slippery so it may not be practical if you have small children or if you are elderly. Overall however, tile is a very good choice and makes for very easy cleaning and maintenance.

Of course your other choice is carpet which is easy of the feet and offers a warmer surface, particularly in the winter time when you may not want to put your feet on a tile floor. My suggestion is to use carpet in bedroom areas that are so highly trafficked and use laminate or tile in the living areas.

Penis Pump Issues – Discover Why Using a Penis Pump Is Not Recommended

Today, it isn’t that difficult to find a penis pump or other enlargement products and procedures. The media are now openly advertising the use of pumps, pills, exercises, weights and surgeries that all claim to effectively increase the girth and length of your penis. However, caution should be practiced if you wish to use a certain method or product.

Be aware that not all that you find over the internet are reliable. Especially when it comes to matters about your wellness and health, you should take the time to learn. Penis pump scams are widespread and ignorance does not excuse you from the injuries that unreliable products might cause.

Common Penis Enlargement Scams:

1. Penis Pumps

These gadgets are often recommended for people with erectile dysfunction. Blood is being drawn into the penis which causes an erection that lasts for only around 30 minutes. If you use a penis pump for a long time, it can cause elastic tissue in the penis to become damaged. This results to weaker erections. Although using a penis pump may really give an illusion of a bigger penis, the effects are not permanent.

2. Stretching the penis using weights

Imagine weights being attached to your flaccid penis and letting your penis carry the dangling weight. Fact is, there is no evidence that this method works.

3. Lotions and creams

These are easy to apply and seem like it won’t cause any serious effect. However, these lotions and creams might be irritating to your skin so make sure you check your sensitivity to the product before you apply it on your sensitive organ.

4. Penis enhancement pills

If a penis pump does not prove to create a lasting enlargement effect, so do penis enhancement pills. If you are taking other medication, you better make sure that the drugs you are taking are compatible with each other so you don’t end up in a hospital bed.

Many companies claim that their products work but before you go ahead and believe the serious advertisements and overflowing testimonials, check if it is FDA-approved. In one article written by the Mayo Clinic staff, it was stated that there is no nonsurgical method approved by the Food and Drug Administration that could give you a bigger penis.

No pump, pill, cream or lotion is supported by scientific research because as of now, only the surgical treatments for penis enlargement are based on studies. Make sure you do not fall prey for these scams.

Lean Manufacturing – Are You Ready For Process Improvement?

"LEAN MANUFACTURING", you hear it everywhere, everyday, you can not escape it, but what is it? We all have our ideas, however, if you have not been formally trained or deeply involved, odds are, you're thinking only of the cost savings side. Think back when ISO became all the rage. The basic understanding was that we would hire a quality engineer, put some standards and checklists in place, and magically, all our problems would be solved. In a short amount of time and with a reasonably small budget; our defects would vanish, our lead times and inventories would shrink, the customers would beat a path to our doors, and our profits would soar. Company after company embraced the concept, and a considerable percentage of those companies soon abandoned it as too costly and time consuming when compared to the immediate financial returns.

Now, as we are deeply entrenched in the lean manufacturing era, most small to medium businesses are of the same mindset. Just as we saw company after company abandon the ISO certification process because it was too time consuming, costly and was not bringing those throngs of customers to our doorsteps, so too are many companies abandoning, or in many cases, taking only a random or unsystematic approach to this concept.

The major stumbling block to achieving a successful lean approach is usually shortsightedness. We mean well, we want to improve, but we really do not have a genuine understanding of what is involved. For lean to work we need to approach it as a long term solution that requires continuous attention, involvement and commitment.

Any Improvement Practice MUST:

o be viewed as a major overhaul and not a short term fix

o be forward thinking and take a long term approach

o be driven from the top down

o involve all departments and personnel, especially upper management

o account for processes, procedures and tasks that do not currently exist, but are essential to success

o follow a detailed plan

o be well documented and controlled

o be allowed to grow and adapt to your changing needs

o have a committed, long term, budget and resource pool

o have well defined goals that are reasonable and achievable

o celebrate success, and

o share the wealth

LONG TERM METHODOLOGY

Lean manufacturing is a continuous and living entity. To approach it as a quick fix that will bring increased profits and efficiencies is a guarantee of failure. Although the lean process has been documented in countless papers, lectures, seminars, and accredited training programs, many organizations lack even the basic fundamental processes and tools needed to implement lean manufacturing. Most failures can be attributed to this lack of a solid foundation on which lean will be built, and as a result, we are quickly overwhelmed by the amount of work and capital that must be spent before we can even begin to implement the lean initiatives. In a relatively short time we lose enthusiasm, get increasingly bogged down in seemingly mundane tasks, we eventually succumb to immediate time and budget constraints, and before we realized it, the program has been pushed to the back seat or shelved altogether.

TOTAL COMMITMENT

To be successful, any program which requires us to stray from our normal day to day behavior patterns has to be embraced and driven from the top down. This approach lends credibility to our actions, provides visibility of our endeavors, and assures motivation and direction will be maintained. Anyone who has tackled lean manufacturing will tell you it is a constant uphill struggle that requires leadership with a strong will and an ambitious outlook. The major players need to be forward thinking, self motivated pioneers, who can look at the big picture and effectively break it down into smaller manageable tasks that move the project ahead one step at a time. Team leaders must possess an inherent ability to fully understand the day to day operational procedures of the company and to pull all departments together in a common purpose toward the same goal. Managements' direct participation is essential in providing the support, motivation and cooperation of everyone involved. And make no mistake, everyone must be involved.

GROUNDWORK

Though the fundamental procedures outlined in the lean initiatives seam simple and systematic at first glance, implementation of these principles can be overwhelming. For instance, taking a close look at those processes that are too long or wasting valuable time and improving on those numbers through proven manufacturing methods is in itself somewhat obvious, but exposing those processes often is not. How do you know what processes are questionable? Do you have valid, proven process sequences? Do you even have documented process models? Are these sequences measured against valid cost studies or accurate estimates? Before you can begin to solve problems you will need to put into place all those procedures, time studies, controls, records, documents, etc. Who will perform this work? Are they capable of managing these tasks in addition to the daily workload? This are just a few of a multitude of tasks that will be required before the actual cost saving can begin, and it is precisely at this point that the project begins to lose effectiveness.

You are suddenly faced with mountains of work that drain resources and do not show results on the bottom line. Experienced personnel are reduced to clerks, measuring and documenting data. The forms and documents produced are not universal across all departments. There is no system in place to file, maintain or control the mountains of paper and the endless sea of ​​data collected. More often than not, as the day to day problems continue to pile up, you are forced to commit your resources to keeping the company afloat and lean manufacturing fades into the background.

GOAL DRIVEN

Only by having well defined goals can you hope to succeed. Outlining precisely each and every task that will be required, not just on the improvement side, but in developing the basic infrastructure that will be required to implement those improvements, will put the project in perspective.
Once you have a complete and concise understanding of what is truly involved you can determine reasonable time frames, budget resources accordingly, assign the appropriate personnel, and develop acceptable expectations. Break the processes down into smaller, more manageable tasks that can be scheduled into reasonable time frames. Commit to addressing these tasks on a regular basis. And most importantly, understand that it is going to take time.

Take advantage of the projects you've identified to groom your employees, set long and short term goals, involve your entire organization and truly promote that team approach we all claim to practice. As goals are met, publish your success and reward the participants.

Taking small steps in the early stages has several key advantages. This allows for small successes to be realized which foster a sense of worth in those involved as it provides a means of gaining experience and confidence to take you to the next level. Smaller projects take less time, tie up significantly less capital, and still provide the ability to handle your day to day business. These smaller projects facilitate two major advantages which are often overlooked. First they generate savings that can be used to offset current losses in poor productivity and inaccurate estimates which can defer the costs of overtime, additional equipment and customer dissatisfaction. And secondly, they provide a means to identify and finance your future projects.

ADAPTATION

No matter how accomplished you become in the short term, continued long term success can only be achieved by the realization that the system, complete with all is procedures, documentation and controls is a living entity and it must be allowed to grow and adapt. If you think you will get it right the first time, every time, you are destined to fail. As you improve your processes you will inevitably become aware of opportunities that were previously unforeseen. Changes in company direction or market demands will move you into new territories and you will need to adapt quickly. If something does not work as well as it should, change it. Do not be afraid to admit your shortcomings. Audit your systems, evaluate your controls, assess your needs, and when warranted, adapt your system so it serves your purpose.

DETAILED DOCUMENTATION AND CONTROL

Documentation, documentation, documentation, it can not be said enough. If there is one place that begs to be overlooked it is proper documentation. Record keeping is a mundane and time consuming effort that is most often incomplete or ignored altogether. Documentation should be approached as a tool that provides many advantages: examples of our successes and failures; milestones of our progress; foundations for value stream mapping, process maps and work instructions; quality, safety and process controls; and an excellent means of disseminating information within the organization or publicly.

Documenting successes provides substantiated evidence of cost saving which can be utilized to bankroll future projects or new equipment and personnel in addition to being a great source of direction in moving the program ahead. If a particular solution to a problem in one area yields impressive results, it only makes sense to adapt this solution to other processes or problems within the company. We are very good and documenting what "went wrong" and trying to prevent it from happening somewhere else, but all too often we overlook the opportunity to take what "went right" and apply it across the board.

No matter how successful the program becomes at improving the processes, without proper documented controls in place, things will inevitably return to their old problematic ways. Controls are our best means of insuring what was put in place remains in place. It also provides an avenue to review our accomplishments from time to time to ensure things have not gone awry. When new problems arise, the first place we look is to the controls. How did this happen? What can we do to prevent it from happening again? Properly developed controls will tie us back to supporting documents which can be a great source of trouble shooting. They give us concrete data to determine if the process itself needs changing or if the process is not being followed. It will illustrate lapses in training, inspection, materials, maintenance, etc., and quickly point us to the root cause. In addition, properly documented procedures will alert us to other areas that might be prone to the same setbacks.

DISSEMINATE AND CELEBRATE

Success is important to the progress of any endeavor and, therefore, should not be ignored. Success should be celebrated, often. The tendency is to wait until a project is complete and all the savings have been tallied before we think of celebrating the accomplishments. This method, however, will usually be seen as too little, too late by many of the individuals involved, and in some cases, invariably tends to overlook some of the participants. Each and every person involved did his or her part, each individual will view their contribution as important, and each participant will consider their input as having come about through hard work and added effort, above and beyond their day to day responsibilities. By celebrating success as it happens, no matter how big or how small, everyone involved will not only feel appreciated and important, but motivated and driven to succeed further. Acknowledgment of a job well done promotes the spirit we all want to see in our employees and co-workers, it instills pride in their work, and it fosters a sense of worth that culminates in a workforce that looks for problems and willingly brings forth solutions . Participation on a team will no longer be viewed as an added burden to an already heavy workload, but an honor and a responsibility. This ethical mindset will bring more to the bottom line and the future success of your business than you can imagine.

SHARE THE WEALTH

Do not stop at simply celebrating your success, share the wealth. The old school approach has always been that since the company footed the bill to complete the projects, purchase the equipment, rearrange the facility, etc. they should reap the rewards. You'll discover that sharing the savings will go much farther and pay higher dividends than pocketing the profits. Sharing the wealth should not be seen as distributing the cash, but reinvesting in the company. Reinvesting in equipment, facilities, personnel, and let's not forget, reinvesting in our customers.

As your success mounts, your business will grow, your profits will increase, and so too will the workload placed on your employees. You've already invested heavily in the training and development of your personnel; you do not want to lose them now. In all actuality, you should be looking to your employees to take on more of management roll than a laborer attitude, to mentor and train your new hires, and to apply their experience in finding and minimizing defects in the system.

Nothing will stop a person dead in their tracks and send them packing than the thought that their hard work was taken for granted. So make sure the raises you give out are commensurate with the employees' worth. Increase your perks and benefits; sick days, flex time, education, team building activities. Promote from within. Make it a given that when a person embraces the responsibilities imposed upon them, that the experience gained has value and that as the company grows so will its' employees. Why would you take a chance hiring an unknown when a perfectly capable leader is already on the premises? It is important to keep this in mind when setting employee goals and determining what training you will provide. Make a commitment to grow your employees just as you have committed to growing your business.

Spend some of that money on improving your equipment. Get that newer, faster, more accurate equipment on the floor; it will increase throughput and productivity, keep you on the leading edge of technology, and open new doors to capabilities and customers you did not have before. Purchase software to reduce the documentation burden, improve the look and conditions of your facility, and hire a higher caliber of employee.

And do not forget about your customers. Passing a significant amount of your savings on to the customer will pay back exponentially. By reducing your costs you demonstrate a commitment to improvement and cost control, you also lend credibility to your organization much more than you might think. When everyone else is raising prices and tacking on surcharges, if you can hold, or better yet, reduce prices, who are your customers going to deal with? You'll not only retain the customers you already have, but you'll attract new ones looking to increase their own bottom line. Additionally, when you inevitably underestimate that one quote, you'll stand a better chance of having your customer accept an adjustment. If you can demonstrate time after time that you are reducing your pricing, when the time comes that you need to raise one, your customers will be much more willing to accept it and still feel confident that overall, they are still getting the best value out there.

So do not shy away from lean manufacturing, embrace it, it is vital to your future. If you approach the concept with an open mind, look to the long term, and strive for a continuous routine of improvement you will be successful. Keep in mind there is no finish line to reach; true success is found in the continued pursuit of improvement.

The Truth About the Full Tilt Rigged Debate

Much debate has centered around the Full Tilt rigged argument, with one side claiming that poker sites are not rigging the game, while others claim constant bad beats in online poker are more than just an anomaly. The truth about the full tilt rigged debate is simply found in the software that poker sites use to execute the game.

In an attempt to curtail the problems of cheating, collusion and other subversive techniques to compromise the integrity of online poker, sites such as Pokerstars and Full Tilt have implemented subroutines and algorithms that prevent this activity. However, the very software programs they use to prevent cheating and collusion in reality has made it possible for a knowledgeable player to win more often.

Online poker sites have to abide by certain security measures to prevent cheating, especially in the recent wake of scandals that rocked several poker sites. Although no poker site wants to be brought under scrutiny for permitting cheating, the full tilt rigged debate rages on because they are using tools (in the form of algorithms and subroutines) that clearly make cheating possible.

In a sense it may sound contradictory to use programs and subroutines that clearly changes the statistics of the game, in order to prevent cheating. Yet the anti-cheating and anti-collusion algorithms intended to prevent a player from dominating a table or tournament will allow a person to win more often if the person knows those algorithms and how they work. This easily explains why people will claim full tilt rigged the game.

Skeptics will claim that online poker is fair and there is no truth to the full tilt rigged argument, yet those same skeptics are unable to explain the overwhelming evidence of constant bad beats. In addition, the fact that online poker statistics do not concur with real live play brings into question the truth about the whole full tilt rigged debate.

In a recent study conducted by an independent research partnership, it was revealed that a straight, a flush and a full house occurred more frequently (about 20% more often) than it should statistically in live play. When compared against the Monte Carlo method, and true statistics, it was shown that certain middle hands easily dominated in online poker, when they should not. The conclusion was that this is a direct result of the online poker rooms not using the true statistics in their software.

This evidence has led many to believe the full tilt rigged debate has some truth to it, and that the software used by poker sites to prevent cheating is actually allowing inferior hands and less skilled players a huge advantage. According to one source, the solution to the problem of constant bad beats is to learn what it is the software is doing and the inner mechanics of that software.

Simply put, if you understand how the full tilt rigged software works, you can easily beat the software and stop being a victim to the full tilt rigged algorithms and constant bad beats. Since the online poker rooms are not going to change their practice of the way they execute deals and outcomes of hands, it is prudent for any online poker player to learn the software and use it to win.

We Love It! The Boba Organic Baby Carrier Review

Whether you are out traipsing through the woods, wearing your baby around the house, or running errands; outdoor enthusiasts and attachment parents alike will need some form baby carrier to comfortably transport their little one keeping them close without the bulk and heft of a stroller.

The Boba organic baby carrier is a frameless ‘soft carrier’ made out of organic cotton with foam straps and can be used as a front or back pack. The carrier features a detachable (button) hood that can be used to support the childs neck while sleeping, as a sunshade, or privacy barrier for nursing. Foot straps run along the waist belt and can be used to allow your child to somewhat support themselves and push up with their feet although our baby never seems to use them!

The simplicity of the Boba is what makes it such a fantastic baby backpack carrier.

The boba is not technically a full sized carrier that you insert your child into, but rather more of a pouch that allows you to carry your child against your body. Therefore it is extremely lightweight and can be put on easily in a matter of seconds.

To use as a front baby carrier – Clip the sturdy reinforced waist belt around your waist and pull tight in the rear. Toss one shoulder strap on, insert your child between the carrier back and your chest and toss the other strap over your shoulder. Reach overhead behind your back to fasten the shoulder straps conveniently positioned up high, pull to tighten and you are ready to go. Easy for any parent to manage without additional assistance.

To use as a back baby carrier a little extra effort is required and you will potentially need an extra hand to assist in supporting the baby while you buckle the straps.

The main benefit of a carrier like the boba of course is the intimate closeness of contact that you and your child will experience. The baby is carried tight and secure for a bounce free ride. While wearing the carrier we have free range of motion with our hands and arms allowing us to accomplish chores, shop, or point out the enchanted world around us while exploring.

The boba carrier can be worn on the front or the back (once your child meets the weight requirements) and can accommodate a child from 15-40 pounds. It is designed to fit parents between roughly 5 foot and 6’3.

Compared to other carriers I have seen on parents or read in baby carrier reviews the boba appears to support better for both baby and parent positioning baby slightly higher without the ‘drooping’ effect that many front baby carriers seem to exhibit. As far as front baby carriers go the Boba may be a bit more stylish for Dads, although shame on you if you are embarrassed to wear a wrap!

The Boba Organic carrier is our go to baby carrier for hiking, errands, and travel. My wife and I have hiked for miles and miles with our using the Boba. (fair warning! This can lead to serious belly / chest sweat as you hike along with your little heat rock!) When its time for our daughter to get out and run around we simply fold the Boba up and toss it into our daypack and don’t have to worry about carrying it around. Since the carrier is frameless it easily compresses into a bag for travel.

The carrier has held up extremely well so far with near daily use for over a year showing no signs of wear. We can seemingly wear it forever without getting uncomfortable (minus the sweat!) and look forward to a few more years of use! I would not hesitate to recommend this carrier in a heartbeat to anyone in the market. We love it, and it is one of my favorite pieces of baby gear!

Caravan Porch Awnings

Porch caravan awnings are a very popular kind of awning because they are lightweight and relatively simple to set up. Because they are much smaller than full size awnings they are also much easier to carry and store whilst on the move. Most can be packed away in a small bag that weighs less than 10 kilograms. The modern versions are both waterproof and flame retardant, and the materials used to create them are very durable and strong. This is vital in windy and rainy conditions, as strong winds can slowly erode the support poles and the canvas can become weaker.

Setting up a porch awning is simply a case of attaching it to the caravan awning rail that runs along the top edge of the caravan. This rail is a set height, so you need to make sure the awning you buy will fit correctly to it. The measurements are taken from the length and the height of the awning, and every manufacturer uses this in centimetres. Modern caravans will have a user manual that should tell you the rail height, which makes things a lot easier for you. If you buy a second hand awning then you can always visit the manufacturer's web site, and most have older instruction manuals available to download for free.

The porch awning is mainly used for a bit of protection when entering and leaving the caravan. Extra storage space is another common use, and you can leave dirty boots and other things in them. If you are planning on storing valuable items then look for some privacy curtains to keep them out of sight. A groundsheet is also advisable to keep the damp away, and stop you trampling dirt into the caravan itself. Most caravan owners use these awnings for short breaks and weekend holidays because they are not really designed for prolonged use, although the very latest types are much stronger now.

Most can be set up in under 10 minutes if you follow the instruction manual, and the most difficult part is tying down the structure with the pegging systems. In high winds this can be especially tricky, as is the case with all awnings. When used properly they can give you a simple extension to your caravan, and the best part is that they are inexpensive to buy.

Limestone Paving Techniques To Create The Perfect Finish

Limestone is a material that is known for its earthen beauty when used in structures and pathways. It gives more of a bold look than average rocks, but still is able to maintain its soothing appearance and does not strike one as being gaudy or bright. It is often used to create beautiful outdoor living spaces and around swimming pools. Limestone pavers are commonly used in walkways as stepping stones among smaller pebbles, main rock plates of a walkway, or even one large slice serving as a one-piece walk way. The trade of creating a walkway out of limestone is called limestone paving.

Limestone paving used in ancient empires

The most uncommon form of limestone paving is using it as a one piece walkway. This is often only seen near ancient structures in places like Arabia, or other places that the Turkish Empire has passed through or resided in. The reason why this method of pavement has only been used by ancient empires and is rarely used today is because of the amount of work and money that goes into a job such as this.

First you would need to find land that has large sheer cliffs or giant boulders that consist of limestone. It is very hard to find land in which one is able to harvest this, not because it is uncommon, but most places where this occurs are in land protected by the government such as national parks. In addition, the cost of transportation of a whole piece of limestone cut to fit a walkway is high as it is not in the light weight rock class. The cost of this adds up of course, especially since one needs a rock to be custom cut to fit the borders of their walkway.

Limestone Paving using the stepping stone technique

The “stepping stone” technique is the most common use of limestone. It is a rock of darker colour, and because of this, it contrasts nicely against smaller light coloured pebbles that can make up most of a walkway. It gives a nice effect, as it looks almost like a representation of a small stream with stepping stones.

There are many garden statures made from resin and wood that are meant simply to highlight this representation. An example could be the sea dragon: a three piece statue (the head, the mid section, and the tail) that looks like parts of it are under water. This stone is also often used as actual stepping stones in decorative ponds, as its green colour blends nicely with moss found in a pond.

Using limestone to pave a walkway as the main “rock plates” is also very common. This shows off the earthy and textural qualities of the rock by much easier means than a one piece walkway. It is relatively cheap, and easy to transport, as the materials for it are a series of plates that can be stacked.

How are you going to plate your walkway?

There are a few different ways to go about plating a walkway with this stone. The first is by using concrete, or some other adhesive, and keeping the plates close together so that they almost look like one solid piece of stone. Another way is almost a mix between the plating and stepping stone technique, as it uses smaller pebbles for the space in between the rocks but consists of larger limestone plates that take up the majority of the walkway.

Irrespective of which limestone paving method you choose there is no doubt you’ll be truly happy with the end result as Limestone is such a fantastic style of paver to use. Given the nature of limestone pavers it is always a good idea to consult a professional who understands the nature of the surface and more importantly can recommend the best maintenance products to keep your newly paved area looking fantastic.

Assembling Products at Home Instruction Guide

Assembling products at home is not hard work but an easy one. You assemble the products according to the instruction guide you received from the company. As simple as that, really. You do not have to think how or what or if. Just follow the instructions and you will be sure to receive your pay for the items you have assembled for a particular period.

When the instruction tells you to bend the wire in a rectangular form using a tool for bending wires in rectangular forms, you do not bend the wire in a square form using a tool for bending wires in square forms! You do whatever the instruction guides tell you to do. And you use the right tools that the instruction tells you to use. Assembling products at home is for people who know how to read and follow instructions to the letter.

Assembling products at home is not for people who know how to read and understand good English, but still would want to do the assembly their own way, through short cut procedures, to save on time and effort. Surely, the company will not accept short cut assembly. If they do, they will lose money because nobody will buy the product because of its inferior quality. The instruction guides that the company gives out to their home workers are based on how to assemble the products that can give the product good quality in terms of durability and function ability.

If workers are instructed to double sew parts of stuffed toys in areas needed to be doubled sewn and instead of doubling sewing it as instructed they single sew it instead, these stuffed toys will easily ripped open when hugged and played on by children. So, what happens will be that the company manufacturing subject stuffed toys will be known for inferior workmanship thus nobody will buy their stuffed toy products anymore. Because nobody will buy the products of the company, they will have to close and the people who did not follow instructions will lose their work in assembling products at home.

Thus, you can now see how important it is to follow to the letter the assembly instructions when it comes to assembling products at home. There is really no reason for workers to cheat on their work by not following instructions and doing short cuts since they are working in their homes. Anytime they want to rest, they rest or sleep. They follow their own schedules. For a worker to cut corners on her or his work is not tolerated by assembly companies.

Assembling products at home is considered the most relaxing type of job because workers will be working in the comforts of their own home. And thus, a worker should always follow instruction in her or his assembly work to reap the continuing benefits that assembling products at home workers are now enjoying.