Bridge Players Challenge Their Brains and Dementia in Old Age

There was a recent article in the NY Times about a group of women in their nineties who play bridge daily. The card game is their social network, their mental challenge, and their reason for dressed in their good clothes, Bridge is their way of life. These women are part of what is called a super memory club for the one person in 200 among us who live pass 90 without a trace of dementia.

Driven in large part by the baby boomers, contract bridge is experiencing a resurgence. Picking up the card game in college boomers neglected the game to start a career and raise families. Now with the average age of a bridge player at 51, it is evident the boomers are back at the card table. Ask any bridge player and they will tell you that not only does bridge keep you smarter longer, the card game can also make you smarter in the first place.

Other research shows that typical cognitive decline associated with longevity can be fended off, at least to a degree, by a lifestyle that involves social engagement and activities that are mentally challenging. It is often reported that being alone is not only sad but it can lead to earlier dementia, other illnesses and premature death. That is one of the reasons that developers of programs that help seniors stay in their homes emphasize cultural activities as an essential part of healthy aging.

Researchers are also saying that it is important to keep challenging your brain but not all activities are equal. It seems that people who spend long stretches of their days, three hours or more, engrossed with a mental activity such as with cards may be better able to reduce their risk of dementia than 30 minutes of working a puzzle.

Scientists have also learned that after the age of 90 the dementia does not taper off like so many thought. Dementia continues to increase so that if you live to 95 you may be among the 40 percent diagnosed with dementia.

The University of California, Irvine, is researching the gated retirement village of Laguna Woods in southern Orange County. They regularly run genetic tests, test resident memories. Many of the subjects also play bridge on a regular basis.

Playing bridge requires a good memory. It involves 4 players, paired off, and each player has to figure out the strategy of his partner by following what is played. Good players remember every card dealt and their importance to their team. In the Laguna group, when one of the players starts to slip and others can not trust, they stop calling that person for games.Most researchers also agree that social networking is critical. Bridge offers chances for outside contact and memory recall. It also offers a chance to learn new things because very few people master the game and are always going to class to learn more.

Bridge works its magic through complexity. Players much remember the cards played which builds memory skills. Players must plan ahead, make strategy, and use logic, all of which challenge and stimulate the brain. Plus bridge is played in groups and again social interaction helps to decrease intellectual decline.

Primary Assembly Ideas For Christmas

You are probably well aware that everyone has a preferred learning style. It's our preference as to how we interact and process the world around us. Some people are experiential, some process by thinking, some by doing, some in relationship with others etc. The list goes on and can get quite complicated. So let's make it simpler. Terry Clutterham of Scripture Union came up with the idea of ​​hearts, heads and hands.

If you are a heart person you prefer to learning by experience; if you are a heads person you like to think about it; and if you are hands person then you like to do. Roughly speaking, any large group of people will have about a third of each learning type in it. In practice that means that if you do your assembly and it's all thinking, then only one third of the children will 'get it'. Worse than that, the other two thirds may well disengage with what you are doing and start to wriggle and mess. So the guide is to make sure that you include something for everyone.

Hang on, how can you get them involved in your Christmas assembly when they are all sitting on the floor in front of you? Well there are some things that you can do. Firstly if it is a smaller school you can give them anything cheap and reproducible like a photocopy of, say, pictures that tell the Christmas story. So from the front you could tell the story, and then have the children retell the story to one another, using the pictures as a guide.

This will then engage their brains in remembering what to say (heads), talking (hearts), and they are actually doing something (hands). You could take this idea one stage further. Mix up the pictures, or even give groups of children a pack of 6 cards with the pictures, mixed up, that they have to put in what they think is the right order before you say anything. Tell the Christmas story and then get them to check if they got it right or they need to change something.

What if it is a big group of children? Think for a moment, how often do we watch chat shows (stay with me, it will all makes sense)? Have you ever considered the fascination of it, no matter what your learning preference. It's because we catch something of the emotion and interaction of the guest and host on the stage, and lose ourselves in that interaction. We also compare our story, and therefore make sense of who we are, by listening to their story.

Let that help you in your Christmas primary assembly. Get one of the kids up to help you, and then interact with that child.Let them experience whatever it is that you want to achieve. Get your message across to this one child and you will find that all the children catch it. Remember to keep the hearts, heads and hands involvement.Let's apply that.

Returning to our original idea, have six children stand at the front of the assembly holding up large pictures on card of the key elements of the Christmas story:

  • Angel (no wings please! They do not have wings) – the annunciation
  • Donkey – Mary and Joseph had to travel 70 miles from Nazareth to Bethlehem
  • Sign saying 'no room'
  • Hay
  • Manger
  • Shepherds – the first visitors

Give the cards out mixed up, and then have another couple of children come and reorganise the cards. Interact with them. Unless you are very experienced do not allow the rest of the children to start shouting out or else it will just get out of hand. Then tell the story. Summarise the story by looking at the work done at the beginning of the assembly to see if they got it right.

Mounting a Rifle Scope

The reason for mounting a scope on a rifle are pretty much for the allowance to see your target quicker and faster. Scope mounting by most peoples opinion is truly challenging, but in all reality is very easy. Lots of marksman scope their rifles and it is pretty much the first accessory a hunter or marksman will buy.

Mounting your scope will call for about four steps to fully mount your scope. The first step is firmly attach the rings around the scope and then around the rifle. The second step calls for the user to position the scope. Step three will be to align the scope's vertical reticle. And last but not least the fourth step calls for you to tighten up the top caps that are holding the scope on.

Mounting a scope to a gun is by no means rocker science and even if you are a novice or beginner to mounting scopes, you will be just fine with a couple of tips and some research. However, making sure you know what kind of accessories or items you will need may be the hardest thing of the whole process.

The perfect mounting system attaches the optical device onto the rifle, and should fit as low as you can possible make it sit and all while using minimal parts. But, no matter now you are opting to mount your scope it needs to be securely fitted to the firearm. This will leave no room for error. Shoddy jobs of rigging a scope to a firearm is a danger or fatality waiting to happen.

Your attention should be find it's centering on how important it is to properly mount a scope to a rifle or firearm. A firearm and a scope is pretty useless until it's brought together by rings and bases that will safely secure them appropriately to one another.

If the scope is not fitted properly to the firearm, then you can be assured that many a shot will be lost and you may end up spending more in purchasing ammunition. This is enough to take the fun right out of Joe Bob's hunting trip or target hooting. No matter which one, he's just not going to be happy if he can never make a shot, due to an ill fitting scope mount.

Also, if your firearm has not been fitted properly with a scope, then it can cause other problems as well. Sometimes the scopes, rifle receivers, and bolts can become damaged and can therefore be harmful to the shooter or others. Checking them on a regular basis can mean the difference in someone staving off an accidental injury. Just remember, your scope is an extension of your eye and you should take no less care or concern with it than you would your actual eye. Treat them equally careful and you will always be on top of safety.

Making sure that all your firearms and hunting equipment are up to standard and are operating and functioning properly should be standard procedure to check often and inspecting the mounting of you firearms scope, should be of no little concern. Making sure the base and rings are tight and solid, but not overly tight will make for a hunting trip well worth remembering. For you know it, you will be ready to sneak our soon and come hunting again.

What Thor Movie Costume Can You Make Yourself?

A Thor movie costume is a very creative choice for a range of different costume occasions. You may choose one of the characters for a Halloween event or you could be planning an reenactment of some of the scenes. Maybe a child has to have a costume for a competition at school. Thor has a selection of costumes for both male and female.

The Son of Odin – Thor

Thor is of course the principal character in the movie. His costume consists of a red cloak that is attached from the shoulders of his suit of armor and flows behind him in classic superhero style. When making the cloak, you might find certain material provides the correct weight to achieve the right effect. The signature hammer of Thor can be recreated from packing foam which may be pinned to a cardboard tube and then painted.

Cardboard is a good material from which to create armor. Thor has armor that is formed from shaped panels. You can copy this technique using double wall cardboard which is generally used for packaging appliances like TVs. Once you have cut all your pieces out you can stick them together with a strong adhesive or duct tape and then apply latex paint.

All Seeing Guardian of Asgard – Heimdall

The costume of Heimdall the gate keeper is a favorite choice to recreate simply because of the spectacular nature of it. The solid gold effect of his armor and his great horned head piece are awe inspiring indeed. This costume can be made from combination of polystyrene and cardboard. Canned spray paint that is used for cars should give you the exterior effect you are looking for.

The Frost Giants of Jotunheim

The Frost Giants are good candidates for more sinister looking characters from the movie. You will want to recreate the frozen scaly effect of their skin. By using thick lashings of grey and white stage paint you should be able get the appearance of icy skin. Otherwise, try applying a thick and sticky substance to the skin like stage paste or some food grade substance such as honey. Then stick on top of this small pieces of white tissue paper until the face is covered. This will give the illusion of ice flaked skin. A pair of old sunglasses with the lenses removed and replaced with orange or red plastic should work well in recreation of the eyes.

Alternatively, you could choose to make a Frost Giants head in a mask that can be lifted on and off. This may be a more practical alternative since it can be re-used and also stored as a memento after you have finished with it. A mask can be made from papier mache to achieve the texture. You will then paint it in greyish white.


The more adventurous designer may want to attempt recreating the Destroyer. However this is not a task for the feint hearted and will require hours of painstaking work. However, the finished results should be quite spectacular. For the best outcome pieces of old leather stitched together are highly recommended. Look for scraps at recycling plants or leather repair shops. You will need a cardboard or plywood box for the head with the eye section cut away and filled with colored plastic.

Sif – Warrior Princess

If you are looking for a female Thor movie costume to make then one of the best choices is probably that of Sif. In the movie her costume is mainly robes which are easy enough to recreate with yards of cloth. You can make the armored shoulder pads she wears out of cuts of stiff paper or cardboard and then color them with paint.

Glass Mosaic Tile Art – Tesserae Size and Texture

Making wonderful glass mosaic tile art is easy! Let me show you how. I've found that tesserae size is nearly as important as andamento in creating the desired look and feel of a mosaic. For example, a background done in 1/4-inch opus regulatum looks and feels entirely different than the same pattern done with 3/4-inch tesserae. Typical tesserae sizes are: 3/4-inch x 3/4-inch (eg, square vitreous glass tile); 3/4-inch x 3/8-inch (eg, rectangular smalti); 3/8-inch x 3/8-inch (eg, manufactured 3/8-inch square vitreous glass tile or 3/4-inch vitreous squares hand cut into four equal sized squares); 3/16-inch x 3/16-inch or less (ie, for projects known as "micro mosaic"); free-form shapes in varying sizes cut from sheets of stained glass.

When using squares less than 3/4-inch, I prefer to hand cut them. The resulting irregular sides enhance the feel of the grout lines. Because the hand-cut tesserae have irregular lines, the grout lines are also irregular instead of the precise lines you get when using manufactured vitreous tiles.

Try using stained glass for large pieces of tessera when creating your focal points. For example, suppose your primary focal point is a sunflower 6-inches diameter (including the petals). You could make the 4-inch diameter head using a single piece of stained glass, the individual petals using 1-inch oblong pieces, and individual leaves using 3-inch pieces. Then, when all focal points are in place, complete the mosaic with a background done in vitreous tiles hand cut to 3/8-inch squares in opus regulatum.

As with many things in life, size matters, so put some thought into the tesserae size for focal points, backgrounds, and borders.

Different tessera thicknesses catch and reflect light producing beautiful effects. Create texture and depth by combining different types of tesserae, such as smalti, vitreous glass, marbles, and stones. However, ensure texture works for your piece. For example, if you're doing a tabletop, the surface must be flat so tesserae of varying thicknesses will not work.

Be careful, because it's not easy getting the right combination of tessera types and thicknesses. In the wrong light, varying thicknesses cast shadows that can ruin the mosaic's look. Planning is important. Before choosing your tessera types and thicknesses, think about where you'll display your mosaic and the ambient light conditions. Will it be displayed in direct sunlight or in a dark hallway? Will the light source be directly overhead or from the side or bottom?

The main reason I'm not keen on incorporating texture into my mosaics is that grouting is a challenge. Grout spacing is critical when creating texture with tesserae. The grout must have enough room to naturally slope from the higher tesserae to the lower tesserae. Otherwise, the grout job can look dreadfully sloppy.

With proper planning, patience, and attention to detail when grouting, results from incorporating texture can be wonderful. Without them, results can be disastrous.

Remember, making mosaic art is easy. You can do it. Yes, you can!

Small Business Opportunity: The Top 7 Reasons to Start a Painting Business

House painting is a skill that most people can pick up quite easily. It is one of those rare home based business opportunities that actually work and it is very possible to make $ 30- $ 50 an hour without much effort.

Here are the top 7 reasons why anyone with basic painting skills should consider starting a painting business of their own.

1. Residential and Commercial Painting is a 22.5 Billion Dollar a Year Industry!

Every day homeowners across the country (and around the world) spend millions of dollars to have a living room, bedroom, kitchen etc painted. This is an industry that indeed has an unlimited amount of work available.

There is far more work then there are painters. Listed in the top 10 businesses in 2006 and predicted to grow into the foreseeable feature, there has never been a better time to start a painting business then right now.

2. Basic Painting Skills Are Easy to Learn .

It does not take much time at all to develop basic painting skills. Just about anyone can do it. Most painters who learn through "On the job training" pick it up in just a few weeks. All it takes is a little practice.

3. Very Low Start-Up Costs

A painting business is one of the best businesses because it does not require a lot of money to start. For under $ 250.00 (depending on where you live) you can get a painting business up and running and earning money.

With start up costs this low it does not take long to become profitable and if you target small high paying jobs your overhead costs are next to nothing.

4. No Expensive Advertising Needed

Unlike most other business, a painting business does not require a huge monthly advertising budget. In fact it is completely possible to build a profitable painting business without any traditional advertising at all.

Smart painting business owners spend time building relationships with people who "know people" that can refer them jobs.

5. Earn Professional Income Working Part Time Hours .

Many successful painting business owners earn $ 60,000 – $ 100,000 per year working less then 35 hours per week. Once you develop your skills and become proficient, it is not uncommon to make $ $ 300- 500 per day working just 4-6 hours.

It is possible to earn more in one day then most painting employees make working a 40 hour week. Every day painters sell their valuable skills to a boss for a measly $ 12- $ 15 when they could be earning top dollar running their own painting business.

6. Freedom, Lifestyle and Security.

The best thing a house painter can do to secure their future is to start a painting business of their own.

The potential to earn an above average income working part time hours is one of the biggest benefits of owning a successful painting business.

Many painters are making a great living running their own painting business. They drive nice vehicles, live in nice homes and have the time and money to do the things they love.

7. Outstanding Tax Benefits

Running a small painting business out of your home offers many outstanding advantages like high profit potential and low over head. Expenses like gas, tools and your vehicle may be write offs. (Be sure to check with your accountant) But the tax benefits of owning a small business are wonderful.

As you can see the sky is the limit for painters. Unlimited work and top pay draw a lot of people to the painting trade every year.

ITE Circuit Breaker

Are you looking for information about the old ITE circuit breaker? Continue reading to find out the background and basics of these breakers and how to find compatible replacements for out of date products.

The ITE Circuit Breaker Company was named for the innovative oil-dashpot inverse time element on its electro-mechanical circuit breaker trip devices, was founded in the 1890’s in Philadelphia, PA. In the 1960’s, a merger changed the name to the ITE Imperial Company.

ITE was an innovator in the electrical industry creating the first stored energy low and medium voltage circuit breakers. It also was the first to create 5kV air magnetic circuit breakers. ITE co was the manufacture of a complete line of low and medium voltage indoor and outdoor products in addition to high voltage circuit breakers and switches, ITE was known for technical innovation and engineering excellence.

ITE was purchased by Gould in 1976. At that time the products became known as ITE Gould circuit breakers. Siemens USA purchased the product line from Gould in 1983 and it has been Siemens ever since. Because of the prestige the ITE name carried, Siemens continued to use it on the line of breakers as ITE Siemens, until a few years ago. The old ITE fuse product line was retained by Gould at the Siemens transaction. Master Electricians recommend that you search online for ITE compatible circuit breakers if you are looking for replacements for your panel.

ITE pushmatic circuit breakers should be replaced since there have been problems found with them. It is recommended to replace them as soon as you can. The ITE pushmatic breakers and panels have made it difficult for some people to turn the main power on or off. When they trip they can be difficult to turn back to the on position making them dangerous and outdated.

Before attempting to work with any part of the ITE load center, you need to have training in working with electricity. A catastrophic failure in electrical systems is one which causes a dangerous product failure that can potentially expose the homeowner to a safety risk. Using products which exceed the minimum performance requirements established in the UL product safety standards should the goal.

Some compatible breakers are Siemens residential breakers. These are intended for protection of your home’s wiring from high temperatures caused by excess current higher than the rating for the wire. Westinghouse circuit breakers are designed specifically for use in metal enclosed low-voltage switchgear assemblies used at system voltages up to 600 VAC. They are configured to the customer’s original shop order specifications.

If you are concerned about the wiring of your home, you should have a licensed professional locate the problem. There are different types of wiring. Some of the very first electrical systems in houses and apartments were called Knob and Tube wire. It worked well at the time it was installed, pre 1920’s and into the 1930’s, but it is no longer considered to be safe. Many insurance companies will not insure a home that still is using Knob and Tube wiring. There are many safer types of wiring for your home that a licensed professional will be able to help with.

Keeping up on your homes electrical system is an important part of being a home owner. If you have an out of date ITE circuit breaker in your panel you do have options, find a replacement and get your panel back in order today.

Pontoon Lift – An Essential For Pontoon Owners

The pontoon is a boat or a float with a flat bottom that is commonly used on freshwater lakes. Owning one is actually more cost-effective compared to regular boats but you still need to make sure that it is kept in good shape by keeping it dry when not in use or by keeping it away from murky or dirty waters. A pontoon lift should be able to help you do just that.

Now you can lift up that pontoon

Pontoon lifts are convenient to have because you will not have to rely on ropes and your actual strength to pull or push your pontoon to shore. Basically, the pontoon lift can be operated with a remote control or by electronic means but there are also those that are fully automatic once you settle the pontoon on it.

Electronic or hydraulic?

A pontoon lift can either be hydraulic or electronic. The latter basically runs on electricity but is also supplied by rechargeable or heavy-duty batteries. Electronic pontoon lifts can also be adjusted with built-in controls on the lift that can be found along the frames. On the other hand is the hydraulic lift that works automatically and operated by remote controls that you can install in your pontoon boat. The self-contained power source of hydraulic pontoon lifts are also helpful in preventing electrical hazards just in case it gets in contact with water.

It should support your pontoon

Whichever among the types of pontoon lifts you are planning to buy, make sure that it can support the weight and size of your pontoon with a few inches of clearance from the frame to the boat. Also, make sure that it is durable and can withstand wear and tear from the high humidity of rivers and lakes. Choose one with rustproof and waterproof frames with rigid and thick racks.

Fear of Elevators – How to Overcome Elevators Fears With Hypnosis

The fear of elevators can develop from having been stuck in an elevator in the past or from another phobia such as claustrophobia or being afraid of heights. No matter what the cause of the anxiety about lifts, the effect is the same. People are often so afraid that they have to limit their everyday activities in order to prevent their own panic. Any place that has an elevator or a lift becomes off limits to people with a phobia of elevators unless they can find a cure for their problem, such as hypnosis.

A Previous Bad Experience On An Elevator

The anxiety over riding in lifts can come from a previous bad experience in an elevator. Perhaps you got stuck between floors and had to wait for a long time before the elevator began to move again or perhaps you had to be rescued through the emergency door on the top of the elevator. Some people panic about riding in elevators because they have been attacked in an elevator previously.

Other Phobias That Lead to a Fear of Elevators

Sometimes the person's anxiety has very little to do with the elevator itself. The person might be claustrophobic and be afraid of being in a small enclosed space. The person might also be afraid of heights and therefore, not want to get in the lift. For people with these phobias, a helicopter ride might be just as scary as an elevator ride.

The Implications of this Phobia

Think about what your life would be like without the use of lifts. You might not be able to live in the apartment of your choice. Your job choices, especially in the city, would be limited and you might have to refuse the job of your dreams because it is located on high level floor.

How to Stop Being Afraid

Nobody chooses to live with this kind for debilitating panic. Nobody wants to base a decision about where to live or what job to take on the fact that there is an elevator in the building.

Unfortunately, some people believe that because there is no medical treatment available and no drugs to take that they are condemned to life of avoiding elevators. This is simply not true.

Self Hypnosis to Overcome Elevator Anxiety

You will be able to free yourself of the limitations that your panic imposes on you. Self hypnosis will help you relax and enjoy everything that the modern world has to offer no matter what type of building it is in.

Self hypnosis will allow you to believe that an elevator is a reliable, safe and common mode of transportation. You will realize that the risks associated with riding in an elevator are very small and are greatly outweighed by the benefits that you will incur by visiting the destinations available through elevator travel. So, allow yourself to get rid of your fear of elevators and begin to open the doors, on the higher floors, that were once closed to you.

Acrylic Dinner Plates

Among all the crockery items that are found in our homes, none serve a more basic function like the plates. They are the concave-shaped dish ware on which food is served. They are made of different solid materials like porcelain, plastic and even glass. Plates are of different types like we have the saucers, salad plates, bread plates and soup bowls. They also come in varied shapes and sizes and furthermore, they can be personalized and used a gift items or promotional items.

Since most ceramic plates demand a lot of careful handling lest the break, people are nowadays opting to use the acrylic type of plates which are very light but elegant in appearance and easy to use. They come in a number of designs that are presentable and which you will confident presenting to your guests, even in a formal dinner.

One aspect of the acrylic plates that has faced a lot of criticism is the fact that they are made of synthetic and therefore some people claim that this in itself can alter the quality of food and cause allergies. However, we cannot overlook the fact that these plates come in fair prices, they can be decorated in all types of designs and they can be used in the microwave conveniently.

When it comes to personalizing the acrylic plates, there are different ways to go about it. If you want to give them to children as gift items, then you can have pictures of their favorite cartoons painted on them. Companies can also have the company name printed on the plates and give them away to their customers.

Couscous – How to Cook Couscous on the Stove

Many are familiar with the middle eastern-Mediterranean dish called Couscous. It is in fact semolina wheat granules coated with flour, typically wheat flour. The dish is a lot like rice or pasta where it's a side dish usually eaten with a main dish and not alone. It has been around since the 13th century and in fact originated from the Middle East. Until today, many from the Middle East (and other parts of the world!), Still enjoy it as part of a staple diet. It is not only prepared as a side dish, but as a main dish and even desert as well. There are many ways of preparing Couscous mainly because it can be eaten in a variety of ways. Ultimately, the most basic and easy recipe on how to cook couscous on stove is the most well known and the most followed.

First and foremost, fill a pot with enough water to cover the amount of Couscous you'll be putting in later. After that, bring it to the stove and boil the water. Next, add less than a teaspoon of salt for a little taste. After the water has started boiling, quickly add the Couscous and patiently wait for it to cook. As soon as it is done, turn the stove off and permit it to cool down for about five to ten minutes, after cooling down, drain the water from the pot. The cooked Couscous you have at that very moment can be used in many dishes and cooked or prepared in a variety of ways according to one's individual taste.

An example of a Couscous recipe is to boil the Couscous once again, but this time including extra ingredients. Add in a pinch of salt, about half a teaspoon of salt, less than half of ground Cumin. Throw in black beans, onions, garlic, some olives and some lime juice to give it that zesty taste. You can even serve this menu in a salad by adding it into a garden, a Nicoise salad or whatever that comes to mind.

An example of a Couscous salad is by combining lettuce leaves, onions slices, some alfalfa sprouts, salad dressing and then add the Couscous to make the salad so much more appetizing. Although the recipes are a thousand and one to choose from, the one rule to follow when preparing a Couscous dish is this: Whatever suits your palate at the time of preparation.

It can also be eaten as a side dish with whatever main dish you desire, whether it's steak, salmon, or a casserole, Couscous can be an excellent and most ideal compliment!

It is also common to use Couscous as a stuffing in Turkey's and other types of meat and even fish. The best part about cooking Couscous is this, it is not only easy to cook and delicious to eat, it is also a healthier alternative to pasta, bread or rice. This makes this recipe the most ideal and diverse addition to any meal.

The Many Different Types of Cookers

Cookers are becoming a product that consumers spend more and more time looking into. Instead of spending a few hours comparing cookers from a few home retail stores, consumers are realising that it is a much longer process than this. There are hundreds of different types, models, sizes and they all have different functions, so this is truly a slow and steady process.

One thing that can be said about bigger range cookers in comparison to smaller general purpose cookers is that they can be much more functional. Instead of managing to cook a few things at once, range cookers could quite easily accommodate 3-4 meals worth of cooking at a time. Generally the functionality of the bigger range cookers is connected to commercial operations such as cafes, restaurants and even pubs.

The size of these items can vary a great deal. In some cases they can be as small as 90cm, but generally they are around 1.25-1.5M allowing all the features to be fitted in easily. Essentially, these cookers have the likes of an oven, grill (generally of dual format), a burning stove, griddle and even a rotisserie. This allows almost any kitchen related task or meal to be cooked using this item alone.

Range cookers these days are much more technologically advanced in comparison to what was on the market say 10 years ago. Generally, they will feature two different ovens that can be used at the same time; a small and a large one. The smaller oven will generally possess around 30 litres capacity where as the larger ones tend to be around 60 litres in capacity. This can be directly compared to a normal cooker, which will tend to feature a capacity of roughly 4 litres.

The great thing about normal cookers these days is that they offer so much more than they used to. Cookers used to be something that a consumer needed to know how to use, but nowadays the products actually assist individuals when they are cooking meals. The likes of a thermostat indicator and timers alongside temperature settings all help meals get cooked much more efficiently.

Normal cookers can not really be compared directly to the bigger range cookers, simply because they offer different functions. The range versions are designed for commercial purposes; where as the normal items are designed for basic domestic purposes. Remember, most of the features that can be found on one, can be found on the other, so it is worth shopping around.

Working With Plastic Bathtub and Shower Enclosures

Some of these plastic shower enclosures use extremely thin materials and you will need to be extremely careful when handling them. I've seen them crack, chip and break and when this happens, you need to either return the damaged product, or purchase a new one.

Most home improvement centers have nice displays or nice pictures of plastic shower enclosures in their stores. Their displays, often look great and even the pictures on the boxes that the products are enclosed in, seem to give a look of elegance to most plastic bathtub and shower enclosures.

You go down to your favorite home improvement center and purchase one of these products that looks easy to assemble and requires very few tools. Before you leave the store, make sure that you have purchased the proper adhesives and bathtub or shower enclosure backing.

Most home improvement center representatives or house plumbing supply warehouse workers can help you, all you need to do is ask. I do not recommend purchasing a gypsum based product that is not mold resistant or water resistant, for your backing board. For those of you who do not know what a backing board is, it's the building material that will nail or screw onto your bathroom wall framing. The plastic shower or bath tub enclosure will be attached to this backing.

One last thing I would like to say when working with plastic bathtub or shower enclosure products, would be, to be careful, if you have to cut them. Most of these products will suggest using a razor knife, but I have actually chipped off and cracked sections of these enclosures, when using a sharp utility knife.

I recommend using a pair of scissors, I have had great success and would suggest testing the scissors first, by cutting a section of the plastic enclosure that you will not be using.

Stranded Bamboo Flooring – A New Weave in Flooring

Bamboo flooring can be made using either a plank type method where the bamboo pieces are laminated together into planks for flooring or it can be woven together to make stranded bamboo natural flooring.

Homeowners trying to decide which kind of bamboo floor to choose might be confused as to what the differences in each one are and why they should choose stranded bamboo.

Bamboo planks are made by using thin strips of bamboo that are pressed together the either glued or laminated to make the flooring planks. These are strong and durable and an excellent flooring choice.

Stranded bamboo natural flooring is made from the excess pieces left over from making the plank flooring. These pieces of bamboo are woven tightly together, coated with an adhesive and then tightly compressed and allowed to set up. The resulting material is then cut into planks to be used as flooring.

Stranded flooring is stronger than plank bamboo flooring due in part to the adhesive coating and compression period. However, its main strength comes from the weaving process. As basket weavers can attest, weaving materials together creates a tightly locked bond that is superior in strength to unwoven materials of the same kind.

Coloring stranded bamboo flooring is the same as it is with standard plank bamboo flooring. It can be left natural and light, which is beautiful in itself or it can be colored.

Colorization of stranded bamboo can be done using carbonization or stains. Carbonizing the bamboo produces a deeper color but is still natural. On the other hand, staining bamboo flooring can produce any color desired. As with any wood flooring, the bamboo will have variations in it due to its natural grain being different throughout the wood.

Things to Consider

There are a few important details to take into consideration before deciding on stranded bamboo flooring. The main considerations concern the installation process.

Using nails to install the flooring can be very difficult and hard to do. The weaving process creates a very thick, strong flooring that can crack and tear during the process of installing. This is why gluing the flooring is the preferred method of laying the flooring.

Professional installations are the preferred method as they are not only skilled at the process but they are typically liable if they damage any planks and will have to replace them, a small but possibly money saving tip to remember.

Bamboo can be used in virtually any room in the house with the exception of the bathroom or any room that is exposed to high amounts of moisture. Even though bamboo is naturally moisture resistant, long term exposure to water can cause the boards to warp.

Regardless of which type of flooring is chosen, plank flooring or stranded bamboo natural flooring, the final product will be long lasting, and the envy of the neighborhood.

Calorie Shifting Diet Plan – A New Weight Loss Program

Working out in the gym may be a novelty as you embark on a weight reducing plan. You might be too tired or busy or unmotivated to make your way to the gym for those workouts to keep your weight loss consistent. It is hard to be consistent in any weight loss program that gives quick results in a short period. Most diet plans require you to count your calories and make a diary of what you eat so you can track what goes into your body.

Calorie Shifting Diet

Another weight loss program is in town. A calorie shifting diet may be the weight loss program that has eluded you for losing weight consistently all this while; this diet program does not require you to keep count of every morsel you put into your mouth or body, and allows you to enjoy some of your favorite dishes.

Though this diet plan does not insist on a gym workout, exercises are never excluded from a healthy program. Exercises only serve to maximize the diet’s effect when implemented in conjunction with the diet plan. You are at liberty to consume as much as you want and still get rid of some pounds.

Weight loss

You will be able to get rid of about 9 calories in the first 11 days of your program startup, which is a great achievement that not many diet programs can offer. The bottom line is that you will lose more pounds if you stay on the program longer.

Cause and Effect

When your body takes in food with different calorie intakes, it adjusts its metabolism to digest these foods, unlike starvation programs in which the scarce food intake causes the body’s metabolism to become lower.


One great benefit of embarking on this Calorie Shifting program is that your food requirements in the food plan are easily available in your home. Traditional dieting requires the dieter to watch every piece he or she eats, but calorie shifting gives way to easy management of the meals as you do not need to plan and stress yourself over the menu.

This weight loss program is gaining such popularity that there are many resources available about it in books and on the Internet. You only need to adapt slightly to enjoy this program with little stress and effort. Check your weight now and in eleven days to note the remarkable difference. You’d be pleased.