Early Christian Art – An Evolutionary Tale of Pagan to Roman Styles

The beginning of Christian Art is slated to the end of the second century or the early third century AD. The Early Christian Period, ranging from the year 100 to 500, witnessed spectacular growth in the development & growth of Christianity. During this phase, almost all Christian Artworks were ‘Symbolic,’ used mostly to educate & instruct the masses. They also served as religious mediums, spreading the words of God. Religion was one of the key forces, influencing most art forms, created after the birth of Christ.

Until the year 200, in Rome, religion was a practice of low class and the strong & mighty did not support it. Therefore, the Early Christian Art was restricted to the decoration of hidden places, like Roman catacombs, where Gods were worshipped secretly. ‘Pagan Iconography’ and ‘Roman Art’ style were in a way the foundation of the Early Christian Art, such as the Catacomb Artwork, “The Good Shepherd.” These cryptic places were fashioned to respect the memory of the dead. Constantine, the great Roman emperor, however, issued his ‘Edict of Milan’ in 313 AD for religious tolerance, and declared Christianity as the Roman Empire’s state religion. Now, the Christians could fearlessly come out from the hiding, without the risk of being persecuted.

Post 313 AD, in the 4th century AD; Constantine built several huge, well-built churches and shrines. Usually five-aisled basilicas, these buildings had a nave in the center, with an aisle on both the sides, while an apse acquired one end of the structure. Together they formed an elevated platform for bishops and priests to sit on. Basilica buildings, concentrating on a round or polygonal shrine, like “Church of the Nativity” in Bethlehem, “St John Lateran,” Rome; “St. Mary Major,” Rome; and “Old St. Peter’s Basilica,” Rome; are some key complexes of this era.

The Early Christian Art employed ‘Symbolism,’ for example the fish, represented Christ; lamb, Jesus’ sacrifice; lambs, Christian sacrifice; cross; Jesus’ crucifixion; anchor, hope & steadfastness; garden, paradise; bird, soul; dove, peace & purity; and so on. The art forms practiced were graffiti, paintings, or carvings, using the same artistic media as that of the ‘Pagans,’ such as frescos, mosaics, sculptures, and manuscript illumination. A carved marble relief, “The Throne of God as a Trinitarian Image,” (c. 400 CE) is an ideal example of this ‘Early Christian Symbolism.’ Later however, the ‘Pictorial Symbolism’ graduated to the ‘Personified’ one, such Jonah in the whale’s abdomen, Orpheus with animals, and Daniel in the lion’s den.

The Christian Art after 313 AD consisted of messages glorifying God, the words of God, the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles. The art was not so much about ‘Realism’ or technique, as much it was about the content, conveyed through the mosaics, which embellished the interiors of the early Christian basilicas, like the “Church of St. Maria Maggiore” in Rome. The paintings also carried the messages from liturgical books and other manuscripts, such as Vienna Genesis, Rossano Gospels, & Cotton Genesis. In addition, the art was even advertised with the help of ornate sarcophagi, elaborated with religious symbols, biblical figures, and narratives, such as “Sarcophagus of Junius Bassus” and “Dogmatic Sarcophagus.”

As the Early Christian Art transitioned to Romanesque and to the great gothic cathedrals, it subtly departed from ‘Naturalism,’ getting more sophisticated until the ‘Renaissance Period.’ During this time, humanity and Christianity came together, bridging the early Christian Gothic sensibilities and the Renaissance, reflecting an interesting perspective about the Early Christians.

Lighting – Tips For Saving Energy and Lighting Your Home

Lighting is hugely important to our living spaces. Proper lighting creates both mood and ambiance, and can also provide benefits to our health. Given the importance that lighting has on our homes and lives, it is important that we choose carefully. There are many ways that we can choose lighting that saves energy, saves the environment, and adds to our general well-being.

The simplest way to save energy is by trading in the old incandescent bulbs to energy saving light bulbs. Although the energy savers cost a few dollars more at the register, you will save drastically when purchasing them in the long run. For example, one 32-watt compact fluorescent light bulb (CFL), when used in place of one 100-watt incandescent bulb, can save as much as thirty dollars in energy bills over the lifespan of that one bulb! Imagine if you outfit your entire home with these little energy savers!

While CFLs are a great alternative to incandescent bulbs, there is no real substitute for natural light. The most effective way to save energy and the environment in terms of lighting is by maximizing the natural lighting of your home. Simply by adding windows, bay windows, and skylights, you could save yourself in energy what you paid to install them. Granted, not all of us own our own homes. But that certainly does not mean we can not do our part. Interior decorating can go a long way in maximizing natural light sources. Light colored walls and minimalist furniture are not only trendy ways to decorate your home; they also provide the illusion of ample space, drawing forth natural light.

As is the case with almost all types of consumer products, there is a booming market in ecologically sound lighting, including light fixtures. Can get pendant You lighting, sconces, chandeliers, flush mounts, and by just amount any type of lighting you can imagine made from recycled and / or recyclable materials.

Why Mosquito Control Is Important For Your Yard

When you’re trying to enjoy a summer meal out on your patio but mosquitoes make an unwelcome appearance, you can very quickly lose your appetite. When the kids go outside to play in the yard, these pests can drive them right back in. Way too often, these annoying winged insects are responsible for disrupting what would otherwise be enjoyable outdoor activities.

More Than a Nuisance

As they buzz around you and your loved ones, they are far more than annoying pests. Their bite can cause itchiness, redness, and swelling that lasts anywhere from a few hours to a week. Even worse, these insects can spread dangerous diseases, including malaria, West Nile fever, and Zika fever. In pets, they can transmit heartworm disease and other debilitating conditions.

Measures can be taken to reduce mosquito populations or avoid contact. These include wearing insecticide when going outdoors, wearing long sleeves and long pants when these insects are most active, and removing any standing water from your property to inhibit breeding. But these measures alone may not be enough.

When Professional Mosquito Control Is Called For

Even when precautions are taken, insects can breed. Since standing water is difficult to remove from every possible location – including birdbaths, pool covers, flower pot saucers, and pet water bowls – mosquitoes can appear even when you think you’ve eliminated all of their favorite breeding spots.

That’s where a professional service can help. Available for both residential and commercial properties, this service can:

– Apply a pest-control barrier that lasts three to four weeks.

– If the customer prefers, apply a milder organic repellent that lasts two weeks per application.

– Treat areas throughout the summer or whenever mosquitoes are active.

– Spray areas prior to a special event, such as a wedding or graduation party.

Professional pest control companies know not only what products to use but also how much to apply to an area to ensure that the problem is taken care of. They are also aware of how insecticides might affect individuals with compromised immunities. They can then create tailored solutions based on customers’ needs and special considerations.

Eco-friendly Solutions

All-natural mosquito control sprays are popular among customers who are looking for eco-friendly solutions. These sprays break down more quickly in the environment, resulting in reduced impact. Natural sprays can kill adult insects on contact without using strong chemicals. These formulas continue to protect by serving as a repellent for up to two weeks. Re-application can be done as often as needed until the problem is resolved.

Integrated Pest Management

Both the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advocate a comprehensive approach to protecting humans against diseases spread by mosquitoes. Using an integrated management approach means focusing on pest prevention and reduction, as well as getting rid of conditions that could create pest infestations. A multi-point method to mosquito control has the best chance of minimizing the number of bites. Consult with a professional pest control service to learn more about successful strategies for protecting yourself and your loved ones against these pesky, dangerous insects.

Fireproof File Cabinets – The Ultimate Hardcopy Version of Database Protection

There is no single business which suffers in times of losing its important documents. And of course, there is no business which would not appreciate fireproof file cabinets. If you come to think of it, any document left at your business office or business premises is important to the business, be it your client list, the partnership papers, billing documents or daily operations contact lists. However, of course, there are some that are more important than others and hence must be kept under lock and key, away from prying eyes, hungry menace and conniving business espionage. Using these fire proof file cabinets would help very much in warding off these undesirable activities.

Arrangements for properly storing your office and business documents are critical, in the case of fire, flood and or other natural disasters that are so rampant and unpredictable nowadays. You will need to know where each document is stored, not only for easy excess, but for practicality.

The IT aspects of your business like the software and system, are obviously stored in your servers and computers. And many companies are doing so for the ease and convenience. However, small businesses are often than not run mostly on a paper-based fashion and this makes storage in fireproof file cabinets so much more important. One might think that a simple file cabinet would suffice, think again. Ordinary ones will heat up and since most are made of untreated metal, conduct heat very quickly, thereby burning up the documents within a short span of time. In fact, they are literally the hard copy version of your IT database storage system, so to speak. Hence, investing in them in case of the potential fire or flood which could happen anytime to any office, shows good business sense indeed.

Fireproof filing cabinets are manufactured meticulously, and are specially coated with a liquid chemical which prevents the cabinet from heating. The lead time before the unit heats up is measured by, for example, UL 350 degree 1 hour insulated fire rating. This would mean that the unit is able to withstand 350 degree Fahrenheit within 1 hour of the burning fire. The temperature can range from 350 to 2100 degrees F, depending on the make, brand, and purpose of the unit. Some units are made to put through high impact stress tests with a 30 feet impact drop test. Others are put through explosion hazard tests as well.

While fireproof file cabinets are an expensive investment, it is a one time expenditure which you could write off as business expenses in most states, and this will give you peace of mind, in times of natural disasters or theft, no unlike buying insurance for protecting your business survival.

Why Lyrics Are Important

What makes a good song so appealing to the people who buy CDs and MP3 files? Is it the background beats or the guitar riffs played? Is it the voice of the lead singer or how high he or she can take his vocals to? The truth is that the most important part of most songs, techno possibly being an exception, is the lyrics, or the words of the song. The lyrics are the meat of any song, and are usually the part that is most recognizable from any song. They are an integral part of any music tune and it would be a mistake for any artist to take them lightly.

As mentioned before, the most recognizable part of any song is usually the lyrics. What this means is that when someone is looking for a song they heard on the radio, they will probably remember some key lines from the chorus. They are not, however, likely to remember a well-done guitar solo or something of that sort. While instrumental play is important as well, people usually link songs with the words inside the music. This is because words are not only much easier to remember than instrument music is, they are also easy to translate to someone else. For example, it would be much easier to find a CD if you know the words to a song than if you knew the drum beats from a song.

Lyrics are often commonly considered to be the single artistic part of music as well. While this is certainly not true from a musicians standpoint, as guitars and drums take a lot of practice and time to master, it doesn’t change the fact that many people feel that a good song must have quality lyrics. Good lyrics will relate to a person’s life and make them feel better about a bad situation. Bad lyrics will focus on trivial parts of life that really don’t matter and will have no deeper meaning to them after the song is over. Artists will find that after a while people tire of hearing the same old stuff about showing off gold chains and shaking behinds. Many music fans are looking for songs that have meanings, and this in turn means that artists need to spend more time on their lyrics.

Remember that before it was stated that lyrics are important because of how they can be recognized. This is double-fold when you consider that good lyrics in one song can sometimes single-handedly assure an artists legacy. Journey is one good example of this, as their biggest hit in “Don’t Stop Believing” is a pop culture hit that has never lost fans throughout the decades since it’s release. On the other hand, artists without a standout lyrical song will often find themselves fade out of the picture as their era in music ends.

All in all, lyrics are an important part of any song and the words are the part fans look to the most for inspiration and meaning. Artists who come up with great lyrics are usually the ones most revered long past their prime, so it is important that they focus on this part of a song!

Why Do You Need To Fireproof Your Cable Trays?

A cable tray is widely used as an alternative to an open-wiring system and protecting it from getting damaged. It is manufactured by incorporating high-quality steel, aluminum, and copper or has a corrosion resistant body, which gives it strength to work even in the challenging situations. But for protecting your wiring system from catching fire, you need to fireproof it. Most of the people take it for granted, which in result a significant loss in your overall wiring system that actually damage man and material of your industry. It is very important for the safety purpose, so, you should pay particular attention to it. These are highly protective and able to give protection against short-circuit in the system.

It may also reduce the risk of fire accident at your worksite. This is essential, especially at the time of its installation, so, that it ensure the safe installation and operation as well. These are available in corrosion resistance material and reduce the chances to come in contact with fire. After fire proofing your cable tray, you can totally rely on them and get rest assured about its working. These are available in different specifications in material, quality, size, and shape, which you should consider before purchasing it. Otherwise, even a little carelessness in wiring system may create a big loss for your business. Furthermore, fireproofing enhances the strength and working life of a cable tray.

It works as an extra layer of security around your open wiring system. These are very space-saving and easily adjust as per the installation requirement. For the protection purpose, you should always use labeled products, which are 100% quality approved and laboratory tested. Cable trays are broadly known for its dependability, adaptability, safety, reliability, low maintenance need, easy installation and long operating life. Numerous of its types available in the market to choose from such as electrical, galvanized, ladder, PVC, perforated, mild steel and stainless steel cable tray, etc. This will help you to make your decision easier as per your industry requires.

What's more, are you waiting for? Do not you want to protect your wiring system? If so, do not need to think a lot. All above points will help you to understand that fireproofing is a must for the protection of your wiring system. So, go and consult your nearest cable tray manufacturers, who are capable enough to understand your needs and deliver you the same product as per your requirements.

Fiber Cement Siding – What You Need to Know

Fiber-Cement Siding is termite resistant, durable, non-combustible, easy to install and finish, moisture resistant, and typically carry 50 year manufacturer’s warranties. Fiber cement siding has the appearance of wood siding but it is lower priced and has lower maintenance costs than wood siding. Fiber cement siding is manufactured by many large building materials manufacturer’s, and is available in a wide variety of colors, styles, textures, patterns, and sizes. Typically, fiber cement siding products cost more than vinyl siding, but costs less than masonry, wood, and stucco cladding.

The concept of fiber cement siding has been in existence for nearly a century. Initially the fiber cement siding had an asbestos admixture. In the last 20 years newer technologies began making the product as we know it today in a different manner. The siding is composed of Portland cement, sand, cellulose or wood fiber material that has been autoclaved, which means it has been cured with pressurized steam to increase its strength and dimensional stability. The fiber content helps make the cement stronger by avoiding and eliminating cracking, which typically occurs with cement as it ages.

The following is a partial list of producers and suppliers of fiber-cement siding:

o Cemplank

o Certainteed

o GAF Materials

o James Hardie

o MaxiTile

o Nichiha USA

It is quite common that many refer to this product as “hardie board”, for the namesake, although there are other large producers of fiber-cement siding. Fiber cement products also include soffit, trim, and flashing materials.

ADVANTAGES

There are many advantages of fiber cement siding with the largest being its durability and characteristics that lend its installation to any geographic region and climate. The product is more versatile than vinyl or wood siding alternatives. The fiber cement products are thicker than vinyl siding and therefore are more resistant to peeling, cracking, chipping, shrinking, swelling, sagging, and bowing. Additionally, it is less prone to wind storm damage and wind borne debris damage. The product functions well in southwest climatic heat conditions and the brutal cold of the New England states. It also is naturally resistant to fungus, mildew, termites, there is not routine maintenance required in order to prevent these problems as is the case with wood siding. The product also has the ability for paint to easily adhere to its surface and resist moisture, which is very helpful in southern regions.

DISADVANTAGES

The advantages far outnumber the disadvantages of the product, although here are some drawbacks:

o The siding is heavy and proper handling and care is required prior to installation.

o An ingredient of the products is Silica (SiO 2) which also comprises approximately 75% of the earth’s crust and is a very common ingredient in most products in the tile and masonry industries. When silica is in an intact state it does not pose any silica risk. Although when cut, drilled, or grinded during the installation process, the resulting smaller, silica containing dust can pose a potential health hazard as inhalation of excessive quantities over extended time periods can cause silicosis, lung cancer, or other lung related diseases. Inorder to eliminate any health problems, both OSHA, NIOSH, and the manufacturer’s recommend wearing a properly fitted respirator to protect against any potential health risks.

o The products can be installed by homeowners, although professional installation is recommended to conform to manufacturers recommendations and guidelines. Noncompliance with the installation specifications typically will lead to problems and dissatisfaction.

o Improper installation techniques generally relate to improper nailing, lack of proper flashing methods, improper clearances from other surfaces – i.e. roof and foundation areas, caulking, painting, no moisture resistant barrier beneath the siding installation.

Most manufacturer’s have explicit installation instructions for each product type – lap siding, plank siding, vertical sheets, soffits, trim, shingle siding and etc.. James Hardie, http://www.jameshardie.com, has a very good web site with downloadable instructions, diagrams, estimating tips, and product information.

Fastening the materials to the walls can be accomplished by two different methods.

o Blind Nailing – which is the action of placing a fastener through the top edge of lap siding that will be covered by the next course or lap.

o Face Nailing – which is the action of placing a fastener through the overlap of a plank. The fasteners will be visible.

In conjunction with ICC Evaluation Service, Inc. an extensive technical document was published in 2004 regarding cement fiber products. The report is entitled ICC ES Legacy Report NER-405, which contains test results of wind speeds, nailing techniques, thermal qualities, permeance values, loading, and other extensive technical engineering results and findings. This manual can be found at James Hardie website.

Green Products

These products are considered environmentally friendly since there are no detrimental affects on the environment. Use of these types of products eliminates wide spread clearing of our forests for building purposes. The products are durable with a long life expectancy and do not need to be continually replaced during the typical ownership or life cycle of the building. The raw materials that are used to produce the products are low in toxicity wood pulp, sand, cement, and water and are recycled up to four times. Additionally, Hardie produces a Unique Color Plus manufacturing process that bakes on paint in their factories which delivers a quality consistent finish, eliminating VOC’s during the exterior painting process, with a 15 year finish warranty that ensures reduced needs for repainting.

Suspended Ceilings – Is There Any Need For Them?

The idea of ​​a suspended ceiling is to make your premises appear more professional and well suited to a working environment. If currently, you do not have suspended ceilings and have obscure pipes, wires and ducks from your original ceiling, suspended ceilings will do the job of hiding these mis-fitting obstructions. By hiding these anomalies your ceilings would now appear much more professional and well presented.

The benefits of using suspended ceilings means that they are easy to maintain and look after. They can be demountable, which means the ceilings are incredibly easy to uphold. If in the future you want to change the designs or buy new tiles it will be very easy as you can simply un attach the grids, whereas if they are non – accessible they will be permanently implemented making it harder to change in the future. With demountable tiles you can place lights inside the tiles which hide light bulbs / tubing, making the office of room seem even more professional. With suspended ceilings you are able to have the exact colour and design you wish to choose. With an almost unlimited amount to choose from not including your own designs you can have your ceilings looking the exact part you want.

Suspended ceilings are well suited in providing different features that will benefit all needs and requirements people want. One of these benefits is the power of insulation. Suspended ceilings are made with insulation that helps to prevent heat loss. By creating a gap between the ceiling and the suspended ceiling with insulation placed on top, a cavity if made that traps in warm air. This is very good at a time where energy bills are on the increase. By installing suspended ceilings you undoubtedly save a lot of money in the long term.

By installing suspended ceilings, a touch of professionalism is given that gives you office or room a much better persona through the use of designs, colours and lighting that is used to create the exact look you want. By viewing the extensive range of designs and materials you most certainly find the look you feel best suits your environment.

Further benefits of suspended ceilings are their power of sound proofing and sound reduction. By using acoustic panels you can limit the amount of noise produced in almost any environment. This is why suspended ceilings are often used in my office and school, university environments. By cutting the noise level down offices are appear much more quiet, therefore productivity of work increases, which is a must for all companies.

From this it is possible to see that there is a multitude of different reasons that can entice you to buy and install suspended ceilings. The ceilings can be used to save money on your heating bills and can be customised to your exact needs. These ceilings can also hid obscure attributes such as pipes and wires, which would give off a more professional look to your office. Finally what I feel is the most important factor is the sound reduction suspended ceilings provide. By having a quieter working environment more work can be done which ultimately is what every company desires in their workforce.

Floor Ideas – How to Choose a Floor Covering

The number floor ideas for different types of floor coverings are numerous due to the new materials being brought to the market every day. The choice is remarkable but replacing that old carpet with a new laminate floor or stripping the old floor boards can give your house a brand new look. Floor coverings which are no longer adequately supported or which rest on uneven ground can split or crack under pressure or movement. The moving or dragging of furniture and equipment can cause indentation and deep scratches. Old carpet that is fraying at the edges and with stubborn stains suggests it time for a change. The purpose of this article is to look at the different type of floor ideas.

Let us start with laminate flooring. There are many different types and most have a wood effect finish but there are ones that mimic ceramic, slate or terracotta and even metals such as copper and brushed aluminium. This is usually installed on a thin piece of foam without nails or glue, which makes installation fairly easy but can create a noisy floor. Laminate floor coverings basically have the following layers: core, laminate and protective foil. The flooring is made from lengths of high density fibreboard (HDF) and they tend to be a locking or tongue and groove versions.

Hardwood is more expensive than other types of materials because they are organic, can decay if left unattended and need preserving with special care. If treated well, hard wood can last a very long time and provide quality support underfoot for all the family. Hardwood planked tongue and groove is, without doubt, one of the best flooring materials and provides warmth, durability and a beautifully grained surface suitable for all room types. ore than this, natural timbers mature and improve as they age and are easily maintained and refurbished.

Wood and vinyl floor coverings are popular in the office environment. Wood is also widely used for some types of industrial floors, particularly in places like foundries where certain resilience is required. Because of its resilience wood still has no rivals where dance floors and Gymnasia are concerned. Vinyl floors Sheet are On very Economic alternative to wooden or tile floors. Smooth vinyl is the cheapest option while cushioned vinyl is more comfortable for walking on. Linoleum is a floor covering that is definitely regaining its popularity and as an alternative there are vinyl tiles which have a huge range of colours, pattern and price.

Ceramic tends to be more longer lasting and can vary from square or rectangular tiles to handmade tiles of various shapes. These are very popular in hot climates as they keep the house cool. The advantages of tiles are they are long lasting, can be easily cleaned and there is a wide choice floor ideas of differing styles. Floor ideas for your property should not be difficult as there are a wide variety of floors for every part of the house from the kitchen to the bathroom. The only parameters may be your budget and choice of colours and styles.

Easiest Way to Choose the Right Aquarium Chiller

While a chiller may be quite an investment for some aquarium owners, it is a vital piece of equipment that may prevent disaster some the summer months. An appropriate water temperature is vital to keep saltwater fish and coral healthy.

Reef aquariums and often Fish only aquarium setups utilize equipment such as lighting, pumps and powerheads that will raise the water temperature significantly. Without a water chiller to decrease the temperature in your aquarium water temp’s will rise fast which can spell disaster. One of the most important aspects of keeping a saltwater aquarium is to maintain consistent parameters, whether it be temperature, salinity or even pH..consistency is key.

Chances are you will need a chiller if you have a large amount of equipment running on your aquarium or just live in a state where summers can get quite hot. But sizing and installing your chiller is not rocket science. Below you will find some useful tips to pick the right chiller brand, size and feed pumps for your application.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Chiller

While there are many different calculations to determine temperature “Pull Down” vs. Gallons of water, these are very hard to determine what you may actually need to decrease your temperature. The easiest way is go to by manufacturer recommendations and then go from there.

Below I have listed our favorite brands and tank recommendations and what we recommend for intense heat situations.

EcoPlus 1/10hp Chiller

Chilling Capacity: 93 gallons – can chill the water up to 10ºF 35 gallons-can chill the water up to 30ºF

EcoPlus 1/4hp Chiller

Chilling Capacity: 170 gallons – can chill the water up to 10ºF, 100 gal.- can chill the water up to 30ºF (For metal halide users or over 150 gallons we highly recommend at least an EcoPlus 1/2hp Commercial Grade Chiller)

EcoPlus 1/2hp Commercial Grade Chiller

Chilling Capacity: 320 gallons – can chill the water up to 10ºF 220 gallons-can chill the water up to 30ºF (Once again these ratings are not compatible with tanks using intense metal halides or inclosed canopies, we would recommend a 1hp for these situations for anything over 300 gallons.)

EcoPlus 1hp Commercial Grade Chiller Recomended Tank Size: 200-400 gallons Depending on Heat Transfer

EcoPlus 1 1/2hp Commercial Grade Chiller Recomended Tank Size: 300-500 gallons Depending on Heat Transfer

Other good brands to look for with similar ratings or even nano chillers are made by AquaEuro Chillers

Of course we are always here to help you choose the right chiller for you setup. Please don’t hesitate to call 866-872-0195 for support from our staff.

Functional Strength

Ever wonder why you never see an athlete train on a piece of fitness machinery or use workouts techniques which isolate movements to train muscles such as leg extensions, leg curls, bicep curls, calf raises etc? Because they know that this type of training is counter-productive to building functional muscle strength and performance. The body is designed for muscles to work together through inter-muscular coordination. For example when you pick up a bag of mulch do you lift by isolating muscle groups or do you use a coordinated effort of muscle groups such as calves, legs, stomach, back, arms, shoulders and neck to lift and move the bag.? So why would you train your muscles any other way?

Functional strength training uses movements to train the entire body to work as a single coordinated unit as in sports and everyday activities. This improves your balance, stability, strength, power, agility, endurance, speed, range of motion of joints and helps prevent injury to your muscles, tendons, and ligaments; an exercise format that keeps you limber, flexible, and strong and can be practiced well into your seventies? And there is another benefit; the side effect is a lean, defined, muscular, athletic physique because you burn fat while building muscle and you don’t need to be an athlete to perform this type of training.

So why don’t people train this way anymore? Up until the early 1970’s people, whether they were athletes or just the average person, exercised in a manner which gave them functional muscles. This type of training was called Calisthenics and it built strength, power, and endurance. The training produced an extremely strong, lean, powerful physique that had amazing endurance to perform athletic or every day activities. The exercises could be performed in the home with little to no special equipment. In fact, Militaries for centuries have relied on this single type of training to harden their troops into combat shape and still do to this day.

But in the mid 1970’s a young man named Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced and made popular a very different type of training called body building. Training which focused on building large muscles through isolation movements but had little to do with functional strength for sports or every day activities. The general public became infatuated with this new style of training and started to move away from the benefits of Calisthenics for the look of large muscles.

Over time the fitness niche became a multi-billion dollar industry and this is when the fundamentals of training truly was forgotten and replaced with marketing hype, half truths, and misinformation all in the name of big profits. Every type of magic supplement, miracle pill, bio mechanically designed machines, and every other type of workout and workout equipment came into existence promising to build the perfect body by isolating muscle groups. Gyms became the place to exercise and socialize. This took the general public further away from the true principles and purpose of physical fitness.

Now you see the public spending countless hours running on treadmills or elliptical machines trying to lose fat but in reality are burning less fat and burning precious muscle as well as causing repetitive-use injuries. They spend hours each week using free weights in formats that build little muscle or creates bloated muscle instead of hard, dense, strong muscle. They spend hours performing isolation exercises which train the neuromuscular system to work independently which reduces flexibility, range of motion, agility, strength, and power, coordination as well as increasing chance of injury. They train with the same exercises rarely changing their routine or changing the pace and wonder why they have hit a plateau. They stop losing weight and their muscles don’t become any more tone or defined.

Athletes train in a totally different manner than body builders and the general public. They know the formula for a functional healthy body. They don’t train to build muscle they train for function and performance and the side effect is a strong, lean, muscular, healthy well defined body!

The formula is quite simple. High intensity training using full body compound exercises utilizing interval and circuit training, changing the workout every 3 to 4 Weeks.

But here is the catch. Most people are not willing to put forth the effort on a consistent basis for the 20 to 30 minutes of high intensity training that it takes in order to raise their metabolism to burn fat, and the stress they must put on their muscle and cardiovascular systems in order for the body to adapt and increase its’ capability.

So if you are not willing to put into practice this very simple yet effective formula you will continue to have the same results. Why not take the 20 to 30 minutes to train each day in the privacy of your home to get the results that you always wanted?

Protect Your Car and Pickup Truck in Summer

For nine long months we wait for summer and when finally it is here, it is not always the Summer of our dreams. Long sunny days are a great boon but with Global Warming in full swing, it is just too much of a good thing for our cars and pickup trucks.

Our cars are not just our mode of transportation but also a refuge from the brutal heat when Sun really cranks up its engine. When the car is sitting outside in the sweltering heat the inside temperature keeps rising until it is dangerously hot. The trapped sunlight inside the car can bake the car to 120 degree in 80 degree temperature.

And yes it is true air conditioning breaks more often in Summer just when you need it most. Cars naturally overheat a lot in these months but not just because of the Sun beating down hard. For many it is the radiator that acts up while others suffer when coolant reservoir runs out of antifreeze.

Here are some other tips on keeping your car cool during Summer:

(1) Park in a shady spot and place sunshade

A necessary precaution is the choice of parking spot. Whenever possible, choose a shadier spot to park even if it means walking a few blocks. Your body and your car will thank you when you return to a cooler car. If you cannot find a shady spot then place sunshades in front and rear windows and if the heat is intense then place window visors on the side as well. Crack open the windows slightly to allow cross ventilation.

(2) Install a tint

If you live in a warm country then getting your windows tinted is a great idea. It protects you not only from heat but also from prying eyes. Find out tinting regulations in your country as most countries restrict tinting to a certain percentage. In most countries including the United States the maximum allowed tinting is 30%.

(3) Check and change the coolant

Coolant system is generally the first casualty of the summer so we cannot risk its breakdown due to overheating. Manufacturers recommend that drivers should flush the coolant from the reservoir every two years. Mechanics recommend that antifreeze should be mixed with water half and half. Make sure you check and refurbish the coolant system at the onset of the summer.

(4) Change the oil regularly

Mechanics recommend that oil should be changed every 3000 to 5000 miles. If you are living in a country with dirty fuel, oil and filters should be changed more often. Make it is a habit of checking the oil volume every few weeks. Make sure that the engine has a chance to cool off before you check the oil.

(5) Have A/C serviced regularly

Get your Air Condition serviced before the onset of summer. Most owner’s manual list air condition service schedule and this schedule should be followed.

How to Replace True Divided Light Window Glass

A friend of ours owns an older home that is full of charm and character that only older homes exhibit. Having an older home presents some different maintenance challenges, like to one she asked about last week end. She asked how to go about fixing a broken window pane in the storm door on the rear of her house.

 

Our friend was in luck, she actually has an old wooden storm door, which actually can be repaired without a lot of trouble. The glass in her door is divided into nine pieces, each of these pieces or sections is separated by wooden trim. This style of door is known as a true divide light panel. Not all doors are built this way, some will have one piece of glass that covers the entire window opening and instead of having wooden dividers between each section, the molding is applied over the glass. A duplicate set of applied molding is applied to the other side of the glass giving an appearance of being true divided light.

 

On a door or window that has true divided light panels, the glass for each section can be removed and replaced individually, and here is the process for doing just that. On the inside of the panel the glass is normally held in place with a putty that is known as glazing compound.  On the outside of the glass, the widow trim will hold the glass in place.  The first step to removing the broken piece of glass is to remove the glazing compound. The best tool for this is a heat gun, which looks like a hair dryer on steroids. The heat gun is an industrial version, which has a much higher heat setting than your hair dryer, but the concept is the same. 

 

The first thing you will need to do is to put on a pair of good work gloves.  I would recommend leather. Cotton or garden gloves will not protect you from the sharp edges of the glass that you are working on, so spend the extra couple of bucks and get a good pair of leather gloves. The second thing to do and just as important as the work gloves, it’s to put on a good pair of safety glasses. These will protect your eyes from any shards of glass that may fly up.

 

Now with a stiff putty knife in hand, take your heat gun and heat up the glazing compound. It will take a couple of minutes to get the compound soft enough so that you can peel it away from the glass. I like to take one added precaution before I get working on the broken glass pane.  If the glass is just cracked, I like to run painters tape over the glass in a crisscross pattern. Put the tape on both sides of the glass. This will help to keep the glass in one piece until you ready to remove it. If the glass is already broken then remove as many loose pieces before you start working on the glass panel.

  

After removing the glazing compound, it’s time to remove the glazing points. These are small metal triangle shaped pieces of metal that hold the window against the wooden stops. You can use your putty knife to remove these. Once the glazing points are removed, the glass should come out of the opening. This is one place where gloves are a must. Remove all of the broken glass, and then clean up the area under the glass.

 

Obtain a replacement piece of glass for your local DIY store or glass retailer. The traditional method is to simply reinstall the glass in the door and secure it with glazing points and compound, however a lot of home repair experts now recommend that you first run a bead of silicon caulk under the glass to seal it, and this really makes sense to me.   Stop air infiltration any place you can. One trick that I have learned the hard way, cover the area of glass just adjacent to where you are going to use the silicon caulk with painters tape. Silicon is a real pain, excuse the pun, to remove from the glass. The tape will trap any squeeze out.

 

Once the glass and silicon are in place, install new glazing points on the inside of the glass. These are easy to install with the flat face of your putty knife. Put at least two points along each edge of the glass pane. Next it’s time to reinstall the glazing compound. Take some of the compound out of the can it came in, and work it in your hand. Work it until you can form a long, pliable snake of the compound, then place the snake like compound onto the window. After you have the compound on all four sides of the glass, take your putty knife and clean up the appearance of the glazing compound. The best method is to hold the putty knife at a sharp angle with one edge riding on the glass, and pull the knife from one corner to the next. Don’t stop in the middle, it’s really hard to get restarted. Have patience, it takes practice to make the finish look right.

 

And just like that you’re done. Of course if your door is not wooden, then this repair will not work for you. The newer modern doors will have windows that have metal tracks around the windows that are often manufacturer specific in design. Plus most modern glass panel are normally two panes of glass with an inert gas between the panes. This inert gas helps to make the window more energy efficient. Thus the new windows are not normally repairable by the average home owner. You may be able to obtain a new glass panel including the frame from the manufacturer. 

 

But, if like our friend, you have the older true divided light panes, yes you can do the repair. But maybe this would be a good time to consider replacing the entire door with an energy efficient unit.   Depending on your individual situation, the replacement may qualify you for a rax rebate for 2009.

Nasty Spots on the Pavement?

Lets look at the Engine oil first.

Engine Oil After you had an oil change, a few drops here and there are ok, and do not forget an older engine with older seals may constantly leak a little. If that is the case, you might want to get it checked, have some bolts re tightened or seals replaced at the oil pan and on top around the valve cover. The oil filter might get a little loose or the bolts at the oil pan are loose too, causing it to leak. In this case, just check all the bolts, and turn the oil filter a little bit more. Easy steps to do and cheap!

Antifreeze / Engine Coolant Coolant can be either green, yellow or blue depending on the the vehicle manufacturer. Most vehicles have a radiator located just behind the grill. Not enough antifreeze / coolant will cause the engine to overheat. There is usually an "overflow or fill" tank where you can add antifreeze / coolant to your cooling system. If need be add some more fluid to the overflow reservoir, not to the radiator directly, and WARNING; never open any of those caps when the engine is hot … it will splash out like a spewing volcano leaving you with some nasty burns.

Clear Water Most vehicles today are equipped with air conditioning, and what you see dripping even after the engine is hut down, is nothing more than condensation from the air conditioning system. On most vehicles you see this in front of the passenger side on your car, where the air conditioning system is located.

Brake Fluid Brake fluid is clear and oily to the touch with a sweet smell on your hand. The first thing to look at is the cover at the brake cylinder. Many times when you check the fluid in a hurry and do not shut the cap properly, it will leak out. Whenever you depress the brake pedal, you impose a lot of pressure into the system and there are many points where it could leak. If you have a leak somewhere along the line, it will have to be replaced. If you see something on the inside of the tire that looks like water, most probably, it is break fluid leaking from a caliper on the wheel. That too, needs to be replaced. While leakage of the brake system is rare, you'll likely feel a 'soft or spongy' brake pedal feel when depressing the brakes, which can lead to brake failure. A stop to the mechanic is no option. A faulty break system can be deadly!

Transmission Fluid This fluid is typically red, when old or overheated, brownish or when contaminated or diluted with foreign liquids it will turn to a 'milky-pink' color. Some transmission fluids of certain vehicles may be clear or amber in color. If you have a front-wheel-drive vehicle, then your transmission is next to the side of your engine underneath the hood. If you have a rear-wheel-drive vehicle, then your transmission is located in the center of your vehicle just under the dash under that 'hump' in the center. Should you have a leak, to refill you need to take the dip stick out, and pour it trough a funnel into the dip stick line.

Power Steering Fluid Some vehicle manufacturers may use a fluid that is almost clear or yellowish / amber. The power steering reservoir is typically mounted at the power steering pump which driven by a belt on the engine. Leaks generally occur within the power steering lines and sometimes also at the "rack". In that case it will have to be replaced.

Windshield Washer Fluid Pink or blue fluid, sometimes a little foaming, would indicate that your windshield washer reservoir is leaking. For the front windshield, this reservoir is under the hood in the engine compartment. For vehicles with rear wipers, it's usually mounted behind a panel in the rear left or right side of SUV's and Vans.

Gasoline Gasoline is a clear fluid with a strong smell and is highly flammable. Stored in the gas tank usually located at the rear of your vehicle. The tank is made out of metal or depending on vehicle manufacturers, heavy plastic. Leaks are mostly detected by a gasoline smell in the cabin. Fuel lines can burst or rupture. Connection points are another point of leakage, rarely however. If there is continues fuel odor in the car, it should be checked out as soon as possible. A broken line in the engine compartment that is spewing fuel on to the hot engine could spell a disaster.

Diesel Fuel Diesel fuel looks like light oil. While not as flammable as gasoline, it can ignite in the right conditions. Just as with gasoline, a leak should be taken care of as soon as possible.

Gear Oil Gear oil is a light tan or black and is considered 'heavy' or thick oil. Leaks can occur in you manual transmissions, differential (rear-end on rear-wheel-drive vehicles) or axle. Since gear oil is used widely among certain components, a gear oil leak may be present at a number of locations underneath a vehicle. Any leaks should be taken care of early; the longer you wait, the more expensive the repairs are going to be.

Battery Acid Is a clear fluid that contains sulfuric acid and will smell like rotten eggs. When dry, it will show an almost salty white appearance. For a leaky battery, there is only one cure; replace immediately! Battery acid is corrosive and might damage your paint and any contact with skin is harmful. Wash your hands with water as soon as possible, do not touch no facial parts with your fingers while dirty!

Shock and Strut Fluid Shock and strut fluid is typically a heavy dark brown oil. Evidence of leakage is by an external stains on the shock or strut housing. On struts and shocks there is nothing to repair or refill, they must be replaced preferably in pairs, mostly starting with the front pair first.

By taking care of drippings from your car, you may ensure a longer life of your car and preserve your nerves for other events of which you might not have control over!

Bicycle Cranksets – The Anatomy of a Typical Crankset Assembly?

The Crankset is the key bicycle part that converts human physical motion into the rotational power you need to get your bicycle moving. Your success and enjoyment will be a function of its performance. To upgrade or maintain you first need to know what goes into making a great crankset; cranks, spiders, chainring, shell, bottom bracket and spindle each have a roll to play. Here’s a bit of terminology to get you going.

Cranks Arms: These are the essential arms connecting the bicycle pedals to the spindle or axle. The left hand bike crank is typically bolted to the end of the spindle. The right crank arm can be attached in a similar fashion, but quite often today is permanently mounted to the drive-side spindle and spider.

Buy cheap if you are a casual road rider but if your passion in life is jumping curbs and bunny hoping up the steps, the impact on reconnecting with the pavement will exert huge forces on the pedal-crank and crank-spindle interface, so invest in quality arms.

Spider: These are the star shaped arms that radiant out from the right crank to hold the front sprockets or “chainring.”

Chainring: A fancy name for the front sprockets. Different manufacturers, just like cars, design them with various bolt patterns so it is essential to identify what specifically will work with your crankarm-spider-spindle combination and front derailleur.

Bottom Bracket Shell: This is the tube welded to the lowest point of your bicycle frame designed to accept a set of bearings and the main spindle (bottom bracket assembly). It is typically threaded to accept the bottom bracket assembly. English, French and Italian bikes are NOT all the same diameter or threaded with the same tpi (teeth per inch) thus it is important to get the right match. It is not really part of the chainset, but you must know its specifications in order to replace any components.

Bottom Bracket Assembly: This bicycle part comes in numerous combinations and configurations, but essential includes the drive spindle, a set of bearings and cups that thread into the shell to hold all of these parts in place. This assembly allows the pedals to freely rotate and put power to the chain.

Spindle: The last piece of the puzzle is the drive axle. It comes in a number of different configurations depending on the attachment link between crank and spindle. It may or may not come independent of the bearing assembly. In two piece cranksets is attached to the right crank arm. The bottom bracket bearings and cups are sold separately to match spindle diameter and length.

Where buying a complete crankset becomes confusing is that these key 7 pieces (2 cranks, spider, chainrings, spindle, retaining cups and bearings) are not always sold in the same way or have one set of sizes.

It is essential to know what specifications are necessary so repairs and upgrades can add speed and reliability to your riding experience. Read further on myWheelsAndMore.com website for information and lots of pictures that will add clarity to this article. Find out what you need to know and why and how bicycle parts suppliers and manufacturers continue to tweak their crankset designs for weight, durability and speed gains.