How To Hand Solder a Quad Flat Pack

This article describes how to solder a quad flat pack component to a printed circuit board. The details of the process are covered, including chip placement, bent pin recovery, tacking, the soldering and solder bridge removal.

Get your chip ready by placing the component tray on your bench and opening up the packaging.

There are two things to do before picking up the chip. The first one is to make sure that you are not going to zap your chip with a lightning bolt out of your finger. Discharge yourself of any static charge build-up in your body by either wearing a grounded antistatic wrist strap, or by touching an exposed metal screw on the grounded case of a piece of equipment on your bench. Maybe your soldering iron base or a lab bench power supply.

The second thing to do is to look at where the pin 1 reference on the chip is. Rotate your circuit board so that when the chip is transferred over, it will be in the right position with pin 1 markers lined up.

Next, use the vacuum pickup tool to lift up the chip and transfer it over to the circuit board.

At this stage if you drop or bump the chip, you may have bent one or more of the legs. You can recover from bent pin legs using the following procedure.

Get a hypodermic needle and a fine pair of pliers. Make a small 90 degree bend on the tip of the hypodermic needle. The bend acts as a kind of hook or puller for the bent pin legs.

Next, put on your head magnifiers so that you can see what is going on. Hold down the chip and very carefully pull the bent leg back into position. Do this very slowly to avoid pulling it too far. Do this for all bent legs.

Place the chip down carefully on the board. It does not need to be too accurate at this stage.

Put a finger at opposite corners of the chip and carefully move it around so that the pads on all sides line up with the device legs. This takes some time to do, so be patient. It is important to line it up accurately at this stage.

Next, check all around the chip, by looking from the top, to make sure that all of the pins are nicely lined up with all of the pads. Do not bump the board otherwise the chip will move and you will have to realign again.

Now that the chip is in position, it is ready to be tacked down with a few solder blobs. To tack the chip down, start by putting a little blob of solder onto the chisel tip of your soldering iron.

Then very carefully touch the solder blob onto one of the corner pads. It does not matter if you get 2 or 3 pads at this stage. Do not let the actual soldering iron tip touch the legs – you just want some contact of the molten solder to the leg and the pad.

The objective at this stage is not to make a good solder joint but simply to get some solder onto the leg and pad to hold the chip down to the board.

Carefully rotate the board around and put a little solder blob on each of the other 3 corner pads.

The next step involves applying gel flux, so make sure that you are wearing powder free latex gloves to avoid getting flux on your hands.

Take the gel flux syringe and apply the flux to all the pads, all the way around the chip. Put on a reasonably good amount of flux. The chip is now ready for soldering.

There will be a lot of solder fumes during the soldering, so make sure that you are wearing a face respirator and have good ventilation in your work area.

Put some solder into the reservoir tip of the iron. You do not necessarily need to fill up the reservoir. As long as there is a small amount of solder there, the solder will flow out onto the pins and pads when the tip comes into contact with them.

Next, just run the iron slowly across the feet of the pins. Of course, do not press down too hard – just guide the iron along. It is OK to run the iron back along some of the pins if you feel that there may not have been solder coverage of some of the pads.

I like to wipe the tip of the iron on a damp sponge after every chip edge. This removes the dross or residue that builds up on the iron tip as you go along. Whenever you wipe the tip of the iron, you will need to reload the reservoir tip with some more solder before doing another edge.

If you can see that you have created some solder bridges on some of the pins, wipe the iron tip again. Put a little more flux just on those pins and then bring down the tip of the iron to suck away the excess solder from the joints.

After cleaning the flux residue from the board it is important to check all the way around the chip again for solder bridges. If there are any bridges, apply flux gel just to those pins and use the reservoir tip to suck away the excess solder. Once done, clean and inspect the board again.

That completes the description of the quad flat pack soldering process, including chip placement, bent pin recovery, tacking, the soldering and solder bridge removal.

Success And Survival Tips From The Crocodile Island

Five friends went on a fishing trip down the Zambesi. Their terrifying story was dramatised recently on a UK Channel 4 program.

Arthur Taylor and Alistair Gellatly, two experienced Safari guides, planned the trip. They did not anticipate trouble.

Fay Taylor, Arthur’s English wife, and her parents Clive and Brenda Kelly went with them. Brenda was not keen to go but finally agreed as it was the last day of their visit to Zambia.

It nearly became the last day of their lives.

The Zambesi is an awe inspiring river. It has amazing bird life and a great diversity of animal life including hippos and huge crocodiles.

The atmosphere was very relaxed as they floated down river. Fay commented: “We passed so many schools of hippos and they were all lazing about. They looked so peaceful and placid.”

Brenda caught a fish. The group were planning to go to a shady spot to celebrate when the boat was hit by a hippo. All five went overboard and the boat was overturned.

Fay commented: “My subconscious was saying: ‘This is it; this is the end.'”

They had to face the fact that they were in the water of one of the most crocodile infested rivers in the world.

Fay was frightened: “To think about my bare dangly legs – it sent a chill through me to think that at any moment now one of us could be taken by a crocodile.”

Clive and Alistair clung on to the boat as the others were swept away by the current.

Arthur managed to grab Fay and Brenda as they struggled to keep their heads above water. Luckily, the current took them towards the middle of the river where there was a submerged island.

They reached a spot where they could stand with the water up to their knees. However, there was still a good chance of being eaten.

Alistair decided to swim for help and was swept three or four hundred metres down river. He swam into an inlet and his feet touched ground. He stood up and saw a crocodile in the water looking at him from about twenty yards away. It then submerged ominously.

Alistair described his thoughts:

“I didn’t quite know what to do. I decided to go for the croc and maybe chase it. I went under the water to see where the croc was. As I started to go for the croc, it came for me.

“It was going for my legs. I pushed it away with my left hand. It disappeared for a bit and then it latched straight on to my right arm. It was trying to really tear my arm off. I was getting pretty weak.

“I thought it was over but I had one last idea and reached into its mouth with my left arm to reach the flap that keeps water out of its throat. The second I reached in with my left hand it let go.”

The savage attack broke Alistair’s arm in three places and his shoulder joint was ripped from its socket: “I was very weak; I had lost a lot of blood.”

He made a tourniquet to save what was left.

Fay heard him shouting “Oh My God! Oh My God!” and thought he was just exhausted and relieved that he had got to the other side. He then yelled that he had been bitten by a croc.

Arthur said: “We weren’t sure whether he could survive for an hour let alone a day.”

Arthur decided that he, too, must go for help. He set out for the Zimbabwe side of the river. Fay told him that he would not help Alistair if he got himself eaten.

He realised that there were too many crocs on the bank and decided to return.

Meanwhile, Alistair moved away from the river to avoid another attack from the crocodile. He sat down under a tree. The slightest movement was agony.

Clive was still stranded in the middle of the river on the boat which was now beginning to sink. Fay saw the danger:

“My dad had no choice but to swim. If the boat went down in the night he would not have stood a chance.”

He was a poor swimmer and had to fight the current. Fay was terrified that a croc would take him before he reached her. To their enormous relief, he reached the sandbank safely.

Alistair, on shore, was threatened by gangrene. His wound was full of bacteria from the crocodile’s teeth. A friend of his lost his leg after being chewed by a lion even though he reached hospital within eight hours. If the gangrene didn’t get Alistair, the predators would.

Back in the river, any hope of being found before sunset was remote. Arthur thought about swimming towards the Zambian side to see how Alistair was but Fay stopped him:

“I knew I could not bear him to go and that I would not survive without him.”

Eventually, the group decided to head as a whole for the Zambian shore. However, Fay could not follow through with the plan. Now, they faced the prospect of a terrifying night on their submerged island with no hope of rescue.

They just stood shouting “Alistair!” until the sun went down and the hyenas started calling. After that, if he had called back, he would have attracted nearby predators.

Night is the most dangerous time in the African bush and leopards, lions and hyenas can smell the scent of blood from miles away.

Arthur gathered some stones to throw at any predators. I was once out at night in Zakuru, in Kenya, and noticed a pack of dogs not far from me. Like Alistair, I picked up some stones to throw at them if they came after me.

Unlike him I was able to walk fast and get back to a lodging house. I spent the night on the porch with a guard armed with a huge knife on the other side of the porch from me. At least, I could lie down and get some sleep.

Fay described conditions in the river:

“When it got dark the wind picked up and it really got cold. I was absolutely freezing and my teeth were chattering and I just couldn’t get warm.”

Arthur agreed:

“It was extremely cold. You are in extreme danger because there is a good chance a crocodile will come and get you in the night.”

They got in a ring and huddled together. They tried to keep a lookout on all sides.

Fay described their thoughts: “We were straining to see into the water and all the time you are thinking about crocodiles – huge snapping jaws and gaping mouths – it was just a terrifying thought.”

Clumps of floating vegetation looked like crocs. They hit one clump with the paddle until they realised it was just leaves and branches.

Back on shore, Alistair was worried that he had left a blood trail that would attract lions and hyenas. He heard grazing and looked up and saw a buffalo:

“It looked right at me. Buffaloes can be really dangerous and have killed a lot of people. For some reason it came and lay down about ten yards away. I just can’t believe it happened. It was like a little sentry lying there – a big sentry.”

In the river, Fay thought about the reality of the situation:

“The darkness all around us made you realize just how vulnerable you were in that great vastness. You were nothing. Things were just out of your control.”

Arthur, too, realized how vulnerable they were:

“We knew we might not make it till the morning. Fay was worried that she might never see her kids again.”

They heard a crocodile slapping its tail in the water as it came nearer. They could clearly see the jagged edge of its tail. Big panic!

Arthur hit the water with the paddle and the croc veered off into the main stream. They were on tenterhooks after that in case another came by.

Alistair, on shore, knew he should keep awake but could not. He might slip into unconsciousness and be dead by morning. He just could not keep awake.

Back on the submerged island, everyone was suffering. Arthur described their condition:

“Standing for such a long time, you get really tired. Our backs were aching and we were freezing cold.”

Arthur wanted to sit down in the water which was warmer than the air above it.

Fay said: “You can’t sit down because you will get wet and then cold and get hypothermia. We’ve just got to get through this. We have two children to think about and they need us.

“When daylight came, it was a relief because we had made it through the night but we were worried that Alistair had bled to death. Physically and mentally we were just exhausted. “

After almost twenty hours stranded in the water the group were desperate. They were thinking it was another day and somebody had got to come past.

They saw what looked like a white boat but it was just white birds flying towards them. Their hopes were shattered.

Fay commented: “We just felt helpless – completely helpless.”

Meanwhile Alistair was woken from his sleep by safari ants gnawing viciously at his wounds:

“It was pain like needles all over the place especially on my arm. I realised there were ants biting me.”

Their bites triggered a surge of adrenalin which snapped him out of his unconsciousness and probably saved his life. Alistair forced himself to hobble on. It was not twenty four hours since the crocodile attack.

He thought he heard the sound of a boat and staggered down to the river but could not see anyone. He fell asleep on the bank despite the threat of crocodiles. On the ‘island’ the others were beginning to lose hope.

When Alistair woke he saw a couple and a boat parked on the other side of the river. He was unable to shout and they moved away.

On the river his friends could do nothing but await their fate but suddenly Brenda spotted two canoes. Incredibly some canoeists had ventured this far down the river. Fay and the others were overjoyed.

“They had seen us and thought: ‘What strange people fishing in the middle of the river.’ I can’t tell you how we felt. It was just a sense of relief. We were going to be alright. It was also still worry for Alistair.”

Later the couple with the boat came back and spotted Alistair on the bank. They took him to safety where he was reunited with the others. He lived on and even his arm was saved in hospital.

All five survived. Arthur and Alistair still go fishing on the same stretch of river. Clive and Brenda still visit Africa regularly but won’t go fishing any morel Fay spends most of her weekends in the bush but she rarely goes out on the river:

“I always feel anxious when I get in a boat even after all these years. It was just such a terrible experience but we all survived – all five of us.”

Several success and survival lessons emerge from their story.

Keep clear of lonely and dangerous areas whether on a river or in the city.

Keep aware of everything that is going on around you.

Walk or swim to the safest areas available.

Don’t give up when a crocodile or some other equivalent ‘monster’ grabs you! Keep fighting while you still can. “Do not go gentle into that good night!”

There is safety in numbers! Watch each other’s backs!

Stay alert and aware all night if necessary.

Appreciate being able to have a good night’s sleep whenever you want.

Sometimes waiting for help can be wiser than risky attempts to help yourself.

Perhaps the key lesson is to appreciate just how easy and pleasant our lives are. We can lie down in a comfortable, warm bed whenever we want without worrying about a crocodile coming to eat us!

Success and greater rewards often follow appreciation and gratitude for what we already possess.

I will try to remember the story of crocodile island every day and night so that I can daily enjoy the fact that I am not stuck in the middle of a river with killer crocs all around me!

Trading the Opening Gap – A High Probability Trade to Make Money

The opening gap trade is a high probability way to make money over time. What is this trading strategy and how do you trade it?

Learn more about this excellent trading method in this article.

What is the opening gap?

An opening gap is created by trading activity occurring once the market has closed on one day and before it opens on the next.

High trading volumes and activities are often driven by news events and after hours trading statements by market leading companies.

When after hours trading drives the share prices up, today's open will be above yesterdays close creating a gap up. The same applies if there is a sustained burst of selling after hours, which creates a gap down.

Why the opening gap is a high probability trade

This is a high probability trade because statistically the gap is filled around 70% of the time during that trading day.

This means that when a gap down occurs, there is a 70% chance that buyers will step in and drive the price upwards to meet yesterdays closing price, and often beyond.

The same applies to a gap up. Sellers tend to predominate when the market opens and try and drive the price down to fill the gap.

This price action is called fading that gap and creates an excellent opportunity to make money with a high probability trading method.

Why this is ideal for day trading

With a high probability of gap fill occurring during the trading session, the opening gap strategy is ideal for day traders. Often the gap will be filled within an hour or two of the start of the session so as long as the gap is significantly large, traders can make some good profits early in their day.

How To Drill A Hole – Do It Yourself Guide

Drilling sounds easy and simple and it is for sure if you get the basics right. However, if you go wrong then this thing can go horribly wrong and you can get frustrated easily. As an example if you use the basic steel bit to drill a hole in the concrete, it will never work. Instead you will have damaged the bit and may also endanger yourself by applying the force wrongfully.

The most basic of things that you require to drill a hole are drill to turn the drill bits, a pencil to mark the area or a center punch and a hammer depending if you are working on wood or metal.

The first place to start is the place where you need to drill the hole.If the hole is to be drilled in wood then you would need the pencil to mark the area where you would drill the hole. If you are working with metals you would need to exactly position the center punch there and strike it with hammer to mark the area where the hole will be drilled as well as try it will actually make a small groove so that the drill bit can be accurately placed.

If you are drilling large holes then you need to do things, firstly mark the area with a center punch and make a little marking. This will make sure that drill bit does not drift away once you first start drilling the hole. Drill a pilot hole into the material with a drill bit. Once the pilot hole is done then you can start drilling a bigger hole with a long drill bit.

The word of caution for those who are new to the process that you should always have water as a lubricant because of the extensive heat some kind of drilling can generate and also it provides lubrication. The other important thing to note is that this helps removing the burrs which come out of the drilling process.

Make sure that you wear safety glasses and gloves before you start drilling the hole. Remember safety is important.

Illumination Engineering and Decorative Lighting

One of the best designed home interiors have the most extensive decorative Lighting to boast. If you can notice the subtle way a light is being used to emphasize a focal point in a room interior, then it can explain the profound effects of Lighting in space.

In some ergonomics rule, lighting is essential for the proper visuals of a place. Proper lighting has just the right amount of luminance on a place of focus with consideration of the luminance source, the distance of the luminance and the surface, and the angle of where the lighting hit a point at a surface. You do not want to go back to Trigonometry so better leave the calculations to the experts.

Basically the point of having an Illumination Engineer check your office, home, or working area is to check that you are getting the right amount of luminance to sustain your activities without straining your eyes. Usually, these specialists measure the amount of Light in an area by a device called luminance meter. They go around the area with lights turned placing the device in their spread palm so they can get a fair measure of the Lighting sources in luminance. With the correct data gathered, standard tables, and the long calculations, an Illumination Engineer can recommend the right luminance at your specified area. They can give you an idea on what bulb or lighting fixture best suit your environment.

With the invention of many LEDs, CFLs, and diode lighting materials, the traditional incandescent bulb is becoming a thing of the past. The newer generation of lighting fixtures have become more brighter and less energy consuming replacing the low luminance and high powered bulbs. If you can not notice the difference in the way these items can produce light, then might as well take a look at how they can change your power utility bills. There is a significant cut of payment of up to 40% in the bill of users of those who have switched from incandescent to CFL or LED Lighting. The switching project has also been observed to help reduce global warming. This is also similar in swapping your wood or charcoal fuel Fire pit into a Propane fire pit that is less messy and more efficient to use. Some of them are being meticulously lighted by interior designers to produce a more dramatic effect since they are usually the center of attention. As they are becoming favorite center pieces, they must be accented with the right luminance to exude their artistic function.

Most interior designers use the expertise of Illumination Engineers and basic ergonomics to make sure that their artistic scheme goes well with the functionality of the space design. They want to achieve a balanced design for the taste and comfort of their clients. There are only a handful of Illumination Engineers in the industry and the need for efficient Lighting has been a pressing need to introduce the practice in the board area of ​​Electrical Engineering so that they can continue to find out better illuminating sources and methods.

Pendant Lighting Layout – How To

Pendant lighting has gained a great deal of popularity for use in kitchens over the last few years. A common place to install them is over an island or peninsula. One of the most frequent questions I see is how high do I hang them and how do I space them out? Both questions can be answered in several ways and as with any home design aspect there is no absolute or right answer. There is however some guidelines to use that can help you make the right decision.

One consideration on the height is with the fixture you choose. If a fixture has an open bottom and it is installed to high, it can become very annoying looking up into the light bulb all the time. By the same token, a fixture that is designed so that the top is not made to be viewed, if installed too low, can be very unappealing. There is an average height you can use as a guide, about 68″ – 72″ off the floor to the very bottom of the fixture. This puts the fixture at about eye level for the average person. The reason there is no correct answer is in a house where everyone is 6′ 4″ and taller this height would most likely be too low.

Over a dining room table this same rule can be applied. A little tip or word to the wise. If your fixture is going to be installed before there is actually a table under it put something there in its place. It could be a large box, bench, folding table or a chair. It will save someone a trip to the hospital for stitches after walking into the fixture or a broken fixture.

Spacing the pendants when there is more than one is a matter of a little mathematics. The most common mistake is to just split the space into even sections but that is not entirely correct and I’ll explain why. Let’s say your island is 60″ long and you have two pendants. A common thought would be to split the space into three sections that are even. This would give you each fixture 20″ off the ends and 20″ between them. A better choice would be 15″ off each end and 30″ between them. Why is that you ask? Well for one thing you’ll see it is more visually appealing. The other reason is the light spread on most pendants is in the shape of a circle. If you can imagine the actual light that falls on the counter area picture two circles of light. To best illuminate the counter we want the edge of the circle to hit the edge of the counter. The other two edges should meet or overlap in the middle.

If you are not sure what it is I am describing take a look at the link below and view the diagrams along with the explanation.

Why Study Abroad?

When I was a sophomore in high school, my parents had an idea that I should go to the U.S. to study. Back then, I could not imagine leaving my friends, family, or my entire life behind. Not only that, but to attend college in an unfamiliar place where people speak a different language, think differently, and most importantly to me – eat different food. Luckily, throughout high school I gave it a lot of thought and eventually I made up my mind that after I graduated high school I would leave my home country to get my bachelor’s degree in the U.S.

Getting to know other cultures

By being an international student in the United States, one learns cultures of the entire world. Every U.S college is filled with people that are coming from all around the world. You meet people from different walks of life every day, they tell you stories about their countries, traditions, values that they recognize, food that they eat, and suddenly you realize that you have been living on “another planet”. On the other hand, there are people from places where the culture sounds very similar to the one that you are from. In these situations, you feel as though you have lived in the same country but it is just located on the other side of the earth. After some time, you decide you want to visit all of these countries because you feel like you don’t know anything about the world.


Whenever you break the language barrier and the fear of unknown, you get more comfortable with yourself and your confidence grows as well. You are not scared to try new things anymore, you try things that you never imagined you would try before, and you are not shy to start conversation with other people, because you now know that they love your accent. All of a sudden you feel like there is nothing that can scare you, and that you will get through everything that ever stands in the way in your life.

Being self-contained

Once you left your country and your parents, you took all the responsibility for yourself. Your family can help you, but they are thousands of miles away. So the earlier you realize the reality of having to be independent, the better. Even though the reality might sound nice at first, not after long you learn that being responsible is not fun.

Become humble

And then it comes to you. After a few years of studying abroad you come to conclusion that you know nothing about the world, and that there is so much more to learn about life, the planet, and people. You look at people differently you judge less because only now you see how people are different in different parts of the world. How they are better in many things, and only now you see how much better you can be in school, at a sport you do, but most importantly how much of a better person you can be.

Whole new perspective of life

You have become a new person. Before, the only thing that you were concerned about was money, how to get a well-paid job, get rich, and have nice things. However, after spending some time in a place with so many nationalities and cultures, you realize that money is not everything. It might sound like a cliché, but you learn that you want to explore all the cultures that you didn’t even imagine before. Now you understand that there is not really right and wrong in life, because everyone has their own way to live their life. People from other countries have different values and put importance in different things. This is where you learn to not judge others and accept their opinions even if you do not fully agree with them.

What Is Fireproofing?

In this day and age there is a lot of talk about fireproofing. However, how many people actually know what fireproofing is, or how it is done? First of all, you have to understand that fireproofing is very needed today. Fireproofing something means that you are taking passive fire protection measures to protect a building in case of a fire. Most of the time, fireproofing is done by making certain materials and or structures resistant to fire. Usually this is done by adding certain materials to things that are fire resistant already. The better materials you use, the better fire resistance rating you are going to get. However, it is important to keep in mind the fact that, just because something is fireproofed, does not mean that it will be entirely unaffected by fire. Nothing can ever be entirely immune to fires, but fireproofing them does give you a better chance of having your things protected in case of a fire.

There are many places where you can see fireproofing hard at work. Some places included steel structures to help them stay below 540 degrees. You can also see it used with electrical circuits to keep them below 140 degrees. This helps them stay operational all the time. Other places you may run into fireproofing would be things like pipe bridges at a chemical plant or in the concrete lining of a traffic tunnel. Keeping these things fireproofed is very important for every day living. If you think of the millions of people that use a bridge or a steel building every year, then you will see why fireproofing these things is a must.

There are a few inorganic methods that people use to help fireproof things. A lot of these are designed as a spray that is used to coat things that need to be fireproofed. When you spray on these materials it usually covers the surface kind of like a plaster. There are three very famous fireproofing plasters that are out there. The first one is known as Gypsum plaster. The other two are cementitious plasters and of course, fibrous plasters. Depending on what you are trying to fireproof, will determine the type of plaster that is best suited for you. Once again, just because it is covered in this special type of plaster does not mean that it is going to be completely safe from fires.

Although a lot of people do not think about buildings being fireproofed, they are. A lot of new apartment buildings are being made with fire walls to help protect the people that are living there. This way, if someone living next door to you has a fire, the fire will be stopped by the fire wall. Of course, it is never a sure thing. It is very possible for a fire to come through a fire wall; so this is not something that you can rely on. If your apartment ever catches on fire, you need to get out right away (even if you have fire walls). If the fire walls work, then your stuff will be protected, but if it does not work, then you do not want to go down in flames like the rest of your things.

Wallpaper or Paint? Pros and Cons

Whether you realize it or not, the walls are among the first things we notice when we walk into a room. The color and/or patterns on the walls set the mood of the room, and they affect how we feel in that room. Therefore, deciding what the walls will look like in the rooms of your house is an important decision. You will have guests in those rooms, as well as (perhaps most importantly!) be spending a great deal of time in them yourself. Selecting either wallpaper or paint for your walls isn’t a decision that should be made lightly; it should be well thought-out and researched. Here is a list of pros and cons for both wallpaper and paint to help you make that important decision.



  1. There are thousands of patterns, designs and textures available.
  2. You don’t have to put wallpaper up on the whole wall; you can use it as just a border.
  3. Wallpaper can be used to cover walls that are uneven, or have unsightly cracks.
  4. Wallpaper usually requires less cleaning, because the pattern often hides any dirt or grime that might show up easily on painted walls.


  1. Depending upon the type of wallpaper, it can be difficult to remove if you get tired of looking at the design (which may happen much more quickly than with a solid-colored wall).
  2. If just one spot is torn, you’ll have to replace the whole panel.
  3. Humidity can cause wallpaper to come apart and/or mold to grow behind the paper.
  4. It can be harder to clean and easier to damage with multiple cleanings.
  5. Wallpaper is more expensive than paint.



  1. Painting is easier and can be applied much more quickly.
  2. It is less expensive to buy enough paint to cover a room than to buy enough wallpaper for the same job.
  3. There are a wide variety of colors available, and they can be mixed to make your own unique color.
  4. Painted walls are easier to clean than wallpaper.
  5. It is easy to paint over nicks and marks.


  1. Walls must be smooth before they are painted.
  2. There are no ready-made patterns available.
  3. You may have to clean and re-paint walls more frequently.

According to some popular opinion, wallpaper is outdated, and paint looks more modern, but in the end the choice is up to you. Some designers are beginning to make unique mixtures of paint and wallpaper, using wallpaper as a top and/or bottom border, or in the middle of the wall to separate complimenting paint colors on the top and bottom of the walls. Additionally, while paint cannot give you the ready-made designs that wallpaper can, stencils and various paint techniques can be used to give your room unique designs tailored to your own tastes. Furthermore, a professional paint job can give your room a very modern and sharp look.

7 Wood Burning Fireplace Safety Tips

Who doesn’t love the warmth of a fireplace on a cold winter’s night? However, enjoying the benefits of a fire also comes with great responsibility. Making sure that your fireplace is safe each year is a great start. Have safe fires all winter with the following fireplace maintenance and safety tips:

Have the chimney inspected every year and have a professional clean it when necessary.

While this may seem like a needless expense, it can be helpful to your insurance rates to have your chimney W.E.T.T. (Wood Energy Technology Transfer) certified. As well, having your chimney cleaned and inspected on a regular basis can prevent costly repairs and fire damage.

Install a chimney cap to help ensure that animals or birds don’t block the chimney.

Chimneys can make the perfect place for raccoons, squirrels and other small animals and birds. Chimney caps with screens can prevent them from entering the chimney and causing an obstruction. As well, a chimney cap can prevent rain from penetrating into the chimney and eating away at the mortar and bricks.

Use a fireplace grate.

Concrete is a very durable surface, but even still, prolonged direct exposed to fire will ruin it. A fireplace grate allows for better protection of the fireplace by saving the floor from direct heat, saving you money on replacement costs and lengthening the fireplace life expectancy.

Have a fire extinguisher nearby and install both smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

Chimney fires are responsible for millions of dollars each year of home and content damage. Having a fire extinguisher nearby and having early detection of problems by a smoke or carbon monoxide detector can help you ensure the safety of your family.

Clean out the ashes after each fire

Give the ashes at least 24 hours to cool down before removing them from the fireplace. Store the ashes in a non-combustible container outside of the house until you can dispose of them properly.

Clear the area around the fireplace of flammable objects and materials.

Everyday objects like plastic toys & plants, papers and liquids like nail polish & removers are extremely flammable should be kept far away from your fireplace. Even a tiny spark can cause these objects to start on fire.

Do not close the damper until the embers have completely burned out.

Embers can remain hot for up to two days after a fire. The damper should stay open, even if there isn’t a fire burning, to prevent carbon monoxide from staying in your house. NEVER LEAVE YOUR FIRE UNATTENDED!

If you follow the above tips, your family can enjoy the crackling and beauty of a wood burning fire, all while feeling safe and protected.

Dropped Ceilings – The Things To Take Into Account When Purchasing

Hanging ceiling are an affordable and useful route to go if you're looking to acquire ceilings for any type of building from homes to workplaces. The good thing about them is that you may find them in nearly any size or shape, you should also try a great deal of control over the way they are implemented because there are lots of variables so that you can adjust and think about to finest meet your needs.

These kind of ceiling have come a long way as they first started being created, they now provide totally enhanced sound attenuation and absorption. Suspended ceilings also provide complete fire resistance and may be particularly tailored to meet the fire protection regulations of almost any building. Furthermore they're able to face plenty of moisture complications, that's the reason it is vital in picking one to make certain they might provide complete structure regardless of whether in really monsoon circumstances. If the building that you are installing hanging ceilings in, is a really hot or wetter location you will have to know whether and ensure that they will resist the humid climate and that they will not damage in these conditions.

Additionally when choosing suspended ceilings you need to take into consideration regardless of whether the ceiling may be getting any damage or impact. It's highly seemingly that in certain areas your ceiling is going to get some sort of impact occasionally and result in tiles falling off etc, you need to think about this if you are deciding upon your ceilings as you want it to be as durable as possible. If you have any worries about it then you need to speak with your supplier and ensure the ceiling will make it through specific effects that you believe are possible, if they are not going to then you need to be sure that your dealer works on this and makes your ceiling up to the impact expectations that you want.

Should you be installing these suspended ceilings in a region where your ceiling may fall under the health and safety needs, for instance locations food is prepared or fibre optics are utilized and computer industry related work takes place then you may need to make sure that your ceiling is going to have an environmentally managed set up. You will need to check this with your provider should you want this as there are a lot of areas that suspended ceilings may be installed where this is a crucial factor and might fall under the health and safety regulations.

When looking for hanging ceilings for your place of work or somewhere else you might need to take into account how much light the ceiling would reflect, you do not want the ceiling to reflect a lot of light since this can be a disruption or simply be usually bothersome. When you're buying be sure that you take a look in advance to installing the system as it could be a significant problem once fitted.

Your complete suspended ceilings tiles will have to be monitored and cleaned regularly or else you might end up receiving needless damage, you are able to clean your ceilings tiles with sponges dipped in water and soap.

Replacing Flooring From The 1970s

When it comes to new floors these days there are far many more options available to you than there were even just three decades ago. One example of this is laminate tiles, it is now in widespread use today, yet could not even have been dreamt of in the 70’s, when the main type of wooden flooring was parquet block flooring that was put down with bitumen. Indeed at this time even solid wooden planking to cover over floorboards was a long way off.

The problem was with this type of wooden block flooring is that it was put down to stay down with the bitumen making it virtually impossible to remove, certainly not without major damage.

Around the same time vinyl flooring was also very popular with changes to production methods meaning that a far wider range of colours and patterns became available, and thus vinyl flooring and tiles became far more popular, however again the problem was that it was put down with glue so strong that it is a mammoth task to remove, often taking far longer to remove the old vinyl than to put down the new floor.

Indeed in many older properties both these types of flooring are so time consuming to remove that they are often covered over with the new flooring be it carpet, laminate or another layer of vinyl.

However if you do want to remove the flooring you will ideally need to call in a specialist to remove it, as if you just prise up the older parquet wooden flooring then you will find that the surface of the floor is covered in irregularly shaped pieces of bitumen that will need the use of solvents or a floor sander to make the surface smooth enough to put down any other form of flooring. Although carpet underlay will remove a lot of imperfections, with any other form of flooring such as vinyl or laminate flooring then anything other than a perfectly smooth surface may cause problems. In particular any remaining lumps of bitumen will begin to show through any vinyl floor laid over them.

In either case you may find it far easier to place the new covering over the old one as it may cost a substantial amount to take the old floor up.

Ironically original 1970’s wooden block flooring is now sought after and considered retro, resulting in wooden flooring manufacturers now making replica flooring which true to the 1970’s original wooden flooring and much like modern solid wood, is very hard wearing.

How To Get Rid of Moobs

Some guys are lucky enough to have big, bulging pectoral muscles. Other guys have… boobs. If you fall into the latter category, there’s good news: Most man boobs are curable, and you can prevent a relapse by following a few easy steps.

Before we begin, let’s differentiate between the two types of moobs or man boobs. The first type results from a medical condition known as gynecomastia, which is caused by a hormone imbalance.

No amount of exercise will cure gynecomastia; it requires a doctor’s care.

The second type of man boob, and by far the more common of the two, is caused by an overabundance of body fat. If you’re overweight, you might be carrying some of that extra fat on your chest. Hence, man boobs.

So how can you shrink your chest fat and reveal the chiseled pecs beneath the boobs? Unfortunately, it’s not possible to lose fat in your chest area only. To get rid of moobs, you’ll need to reduce your weight everywhere.

Moob Buster #1: Your Diet

Do a quick, honest assessment of your diet. How healthy is it? Do you get a lot of sugar and saturated fat? Are you getting 30 grams of fiber each day?

Sugar and fatty foods can cause lots of health problems when eaten in excess. Heart disease, diabetes, and even certain cancers are linked to high levels of glucose and triglycerides (sugar and fat in the blood).

As far as physical appearance goes, we all know what happens when you consume more calories than you burn – you get fat.

If genetics have been unkind to you, some of that extra fat will get stored in your chest area, and man boobs will grow.

Cut the junk from your diet, and add more lean protein and good fats.

Salmon, tuna, chicken breasts, and lean cuts of beef are great protein sources. Eat more fruits, vegetables and nuts instead of candy or other sweet snacks. Low-fat dairy products are also proven fat-burners.

The last step is to find out how many calories you really need. On average, a man will lose weight by consuming 12 to 13 calories per pound of body weight.

Very active men will require more. For more detail, find a BMR calculator online.

Moob Buster #2: Cardio Exercise

Cardio exercise will kick your metabolism into gear and keep it working to burn fat. The best kind of cardio exercise for quick fat loss is interval training.

Interval training can be any form of cardio exercise: cross-trainers, rowing machines, or even plain old running. The trick is to do three minutes of medium- to high-intensity exercise followed by a minute of low-intensity.

This change in pace keeps your body from becoming complacent, and keeps you from hitting the wall too soon.

Keep it up for 20 to 30 minutes each day for the best results.

Moob Buster #3: Strength Training

The final step to lose moobs is strength training. This will build muscle, increase the amount of fat your body burns (even at rest), and give you shapely pecs to show off after the fat is gone.

To build a strong chest, do classic muscle-building exercises like curls, chest presses, and cable crossovers. Do 8 to 12 reps with the highest weight you can manage.

Work your chest and other major muscle groups on alternating days. This will give your muscles a chance to rest and repair themselves, which is how they grow stronger.

Once you’ve lost the man boobs, you can keep them away by continuing your healthy habits. Eat a balanced diet with an appropriate number of calories, stay active, and keep lifting weights. Your new found manly physique will be its own reward.

Full Tilt Poker Review – Benefits and Downsides

When starting out playing online poker, one important decision you will have to make is what poker room to play at. The selection is quite extensive, especially if you are not American. This article will review the benefits and downsides of choosing Full Tilt Poker. All in all, it is a good choice, especially if you are a serious player.

Benefits of Playing at Full Tilt Poker

The benefits of playing at Full Tilt Poker are numerous. As one of the largest poker rooms online, you will always find a large number of games going on, meaning that you will never lack action. From micro stakes games, all the way up to highest of high roller games; you will find it all here.

Americans Allowed

One reason you will always find a game going on, is that Full Tilt Poker allows American players. After the so-called "Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act" was passed in 2006 a number of poker rooms banned American players, but Full Tilt Poker along with a few others, still welcome Americans.

Wide Variety of Ring Games The variety of ring games is quite extensive, in fact, all the popular poker variations can be played, including limit, pot limit and no limit Texas Hold 'em, limit, pot limit, and no limit Omaha Hi / lo, limit Razz, and Limit 7 Card Stud.

Especially the Texas Hold 'em and Omaha games can be found with stakes as high as you could ever want, but be careful always to practice responsible gambling, and never put money on the line that you can not afford to lose.

Tournaments Galore

Just as with the ring games, you will be spoiled for choices when it comes to tournaments. From freerolls to tournaments with very buy-ins, you will find it all at Full Tilt. An exciting option, is to play satellites to the major live poker events, such as The World Series of Poker, The World Poker Tour, and The European Poker Tour. When playing satellites you have the chance to win a seat, often worth $ 5000 or even more, for a very low buy-in.

Intuitive, Stable Software

If you are serious about becoming a great poker player, you will have no choice but to spend countless hours playing. When spending all these hours in front of a computer screen, it is important that the software is intuitive and stable. Otherwise, it will drive you bonkers. Full Tilt Poker features well-programmed stable software, designed by players, for players. The features are many and new ones are continuously added. Finally, it is sleek and elegant to look at, which, again, makes it more comfortable when spending so much time looking at it.

Generous Deposit Bonus

A good way to get your feet wet in the world of online poker, without risking too much money, is to take advantage of the generous sign up bonuses on offer. Full Tilt has one of the best, offering to match one hundred percent of your first deposit, up to $ 600. Think about what this means. You could actually deposit $ 600, play for three months "losing" $ 300, and still end up making a $ 300 profit. Not a bad way to start out playing online poker!

Tough Competition

So far, all has been very positive. However, there is one downside to choosing Full Tilt Poker. The competition is quite tough. Now, do not get me wrong, the micro stakes games and tournaments are very beatable, just not as beatable as you can find elsewhere. Why is that? My guess would be because Full Tilt is dedicated solely to poker. Often other places offer not just poker, but also casino games and sports betting. This is why Full Tilt is for serious players. You will be forced to learn how to play right away. The bright side is the fact that it will sharpen your game.

Put in the necessary work and someday you will not only be able to beat the micro stakes games, but also the medium stakes games. Who knows with the right attitude and enough talent in time you might even compete with the big boys, such as Phil Ivey and Patrik Antonius, at the high roller tables!

The "Balm" That Soothes Driving Pain Could Be Your Own Car

In today’s complex world, people tend to overwork. And when the body could not stand the stress and pressure any longer, medications should be had. A simple balm could serve as a stress reduction agent. However, the comforting power of a balm is not limited to scientific medications. The “balm” could be your own car.

Vehicles of today are engineered to offer a different level of comfort and therapeutic use. Automakers are thinking out of the box. They are not only absorbed in manufacturing, safe, fuel-efficient, high-performance and stylish cars. They go beyond the usual auto manufacturing standards to be more appealing to their target markets. The philosophy is not only aimed at integrating Active Brakes Direct to the car system to make its braking functions efficient. It is all that and more.

Critics in the auto industry have communicated their views on current lineups. Several enthusiastic reviews are in favor of the Lexus ES 350. The car, along with the Camry, is the first to use Toyota’s six-speed automatic transmission in a front-wheel drive. It features a 272 horsepower aluminum 3.5 L 2GR-FE V6 engine with variable valve timing. The interior of the ES 350 features walnut wood accents, leather seats, a dual zone climate control with air filter, an MP3 player input, power tilt and a telescoping steering wheel, and eight standard airbags.

The Lexus ES 350’s new features include a three-panel panoramic glass moonroof, power seat cushion extender, a 300-watt, 14-speaker Mark Levinson premium audio system, rain-sensing windshield wipers, radar-based adaptive cruise control, DVD navigation system, power rear sunshade, and Lexus Park Assist, a sonar-based warning system with backup camera. The most striking standard feature so far, is the keyless entry and ignition system called the Lexus SmartAccess. The feature does not require an electronic remote to be taken out of the driver’s pocket.

The car is intended for enthusiasts who do not care much about slalom speeds and acceleration. The plan of Lexus is hit the market – the market that seems not to care about cars. To implement the plan, the automaker manufactured one entry luxury sedan that caters to everybody’s desires. It built the IS 250 and IS 350 for the Bimmer intenders, and the ES 350 and the ES 350 to serve as an alternative to Buick.

The Lexus ES 350 is based on the Toyota Camry’s driving dynamics. According to some owners of the car, the latter is capable of running smoothly and efficiently. It is also given efficient transmission shifts gears. The tires are meticulous designed to run quiet and functional. They are relatively tall to withstand squelch impacts. The interior of the car is similar mirrors its proletarian Toyota sibling. It boasts of its dark, soft-touch dashboard that creates a soothing contrast with the cream seats and walnut highlights. Higher options include power rear sunshade, heated and ventilated seats, and rear-view backup camera.

The base price of the ES 350 is $33,865. But the price does not include the $5,380 Luxury Package. The latter offers — leather interior, rain-sensing wipers, high-intensity headlamps, Bluetooth, heated and ventilated front seats, power rear sunshade, rear side air bags and a few other baubles. The Luxury Package’s rear-seat panorama glass roof is a particularly nice touch.

The Lexus ES 350’s features make every ride comfy and soothing that some enthusiasts would not desire to go back to their old cars. According to a proud owner of the car, “It is a cocoon of tranquillity, and it will probably deliver many years of trouble-free transportation.”