Choosing the Correct Glass Lamp Shade

There are many styles and sizes of glass shades, many of which are standard. It can be initially confusing trying to figure out the right size and style for your particular fixture or lamp, but here are some guidelines that will assist you in making the right choice.

First tip: Always take measurements from outside edge to outside edge as this is how glass sizes are classified.

Second tip: Remember that glass is undersize. What does this mean? If the glass is classified as a 2 1/4″, or a 7″, the actual measurement of the glass will be slightly less than its stated size.

The first step is to determine how your glass is held in place.

1. Does the glass sit on a table lamp or chandelier that has a round ring or tripod? You probably want a Student shade. Measure the ring, outside edge to outside edge. Standard sizes are 5″, 6″, 7″, 8″, 10″, 12″ and 14″. There is often a place for a chimney to sit within the larger ring. Again, measure that holder, outside edge to outside edge.

2. Is the glass held in place by three screws and does it have a slightly flared neck? If so, measure the cup or holder, outside edge to outside edge.

* If the holder measures just over 2 1/4″, you are looking for 2 1/4″ fitter shades.

* If the holder measures just over 3 1/4″ or 4″, you are looking for 3 1/4″ or 4″ fitter shades. Both sizes come in two styles: either enclosed globes or open shades.

* Glass with 6″, 8″ and 10″ fitters are also available in enclosed globe styles.

3. Do you have a table lamp that has a brass or glass bottom and the glass sits on a ring with no screws? You may be looking for a Gone With The Wind globe. The ring will measure just over 4″ and the globe will have a straight neck that just sits on the ring. There is usually a smaller holder for a Chimney within the larger 4′ ring.

4. Does your glass have a fairly flat opening with no distinct neck? Do you put it on the lamp or fixture around the light bulb socket and then screw a ring around the threaded part of the protruding socket? If so, you are looking for a Neckless shade. Most of these shades have a 1 5/8″ opening.

5. Floor lamps can be very confusing. We have found the most common types to be as follows:

* If your lamp is newer, and you need a glass with a 1 5/8″-1 7/8″ opening, you may need a Neckless shade. The shade is placed on the lamp around the bulb socket, and a ring generally threads around the part of the socket that protrudes.

* Shades on older floor lamps, called Torchieres, have a longish neck that measures 2 3/4″ which fits around an oversize Mogul light bulb socket.

* There is also a very popular floor lamp, dating from the 1950″s, that looks like a torchiere but uses a different type of glass. If your floor lamp has a holder with screws, it will not take the older torchiere style. You need what is called an IES Diffuser glass shade. Often the IES shade supports a fabric shade. IES Diffusers come in three standard sizes: 2 1/4″ fitter with a 6″ top diameter, 2 1/4″ fitter with an 8″ top diameter, and 2 7/8″ fitter with a 10″ top diameter.

6. Chimneys usually sit within several prongs or inside of a round gallery. Again, measure outside edge to outside edge to determine the correct size.

7. Hurricane glass is commonly used on chandeliers and wall sconces. The holder or cup will measure about 1 3/4″ outside edge to outside edge. The glass itself is called a 1 5/8″ fitter, although the actual measurement is closer to 1 1/2″.

Hopefully these tips will help you in determining the proper glass shade for your lamp or fixture. Good luck! Tania Maxwell

Masturbation Games: Initiating Couples Fun

For many couples, intercourse is by far the preferred form of sexual engagement, but it doesn’t have to be the only way in which two people connect sexually. Masturbation is also a big part of a person’s sex life, and sharing that with a partner can be an excellent way to add a new level of intimacy to a relationship. Men masturbate anyway, as a matter of course and as an aid to their penis health, so why not incorporate it into couples play? Of course, some individuals may be a little shy or reticent about masturbating in front of a partner – in which case some simple masturbation games may help to “break the ice.”

What are some masturbation games that a couple might employ to add a new dimension to their sex lives? The possibilities are endless, but here are a few ideas to get started.

Use dice

A pair of dice can come in handy as a masturbation aid. For example, assign odd numbers to the female and evens to the male. Roll the dice. If the total is odd, the woman begins masturbating; if even, the man does. Let’s say “six” is rolled. The man starts stroking and continues stroking as the woman rolls the dice again. If it is even again, the man continues stroking, and does so until the woman rolls an odd number – at which point she masturbates and the man rolls. Play continues in this way until orgasm achieved.

In a variation, one player rolls the dice and the other player must stroke his penis or rub her vagina the number of times that appear on the dice. Players can also decide that instead of masturbating themselves, they masturbate their partner.

Use cards

Playing cards can also be useful for easing into masturbation with a partner. A simple game of strip poker can be used to get the participants naked. After a player has removed all his/her clothes, they can then bet a number of strokes on a poker hand – such as, “I see your four strokes and raise you three.” Whoever loses the hand then strokes or rubs themselves the required number.

Another alternative: assign two suits (say, diamonds and hearts) to the woman and two (spades and clubs) to the man. Turn over the top card of the deck; whoever’s suit is revealed masturbates the number of strokes indicated on the card. So a nine of clubs would mean the man strokes his penis nine times. (Face cards can be designated as 10 each.) Keep turning over until all the cards have been played, then start again – but this time, the number of strokes doubles. So an ace requires two strokes, a two requires four, etc.

Play hide and seek

Traditional rules apply, except the players are naked. The player who is hiding starts masturbating as soon as they are hidden; the seeker as soon as they finish counting.

Adapt a drinking game

Many drinking games involve watching a TV show or movie and taking a drink every time a certain word is said or situation occurs. Try this, except establish rules to masturbate instead of drink. For example:

– Masturbate ten strokes every time the lead character’s name is mentioned.

– Any time a number is mentioned, stroke oneself ten times that number.

– When watching a horror movie, start masturbating when eerie music starts and continue until it stops.

Masturbation games can add zest to a long-time relationship – but men want to make sure their members are in good shape for this kind of tournament. Using a superior penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) can help. Look for a crème that includes L-arginine, an amino acid that helps produce the effect that keeps penile blood vessels open and receptive to proper blood flow. The best crème should also include acetyl L carnitine, which protects against the peripheral nerve damage that can occur during rough masturbation and which can diminish sensitivity in the penis. Being prepared makes the games more fun!

How To Go Down On A Woman – 7 Sexy Secrets To Go Down On Her Revealed!

To go down on a woman in a way that leaves her shaking, screaming, curling her toes and arching her back in the throes of ecstasy, is the response you want to get whenever you give her oral sex. That is, if you really wish to keep her satisfied for good.

If you want to learn how to go down on a woman that will give her mind-blowing, EXPLOSIVE full body orgasms, there are some oral sex techniques that you will have to master. That is, if you are ready to take her beyond the little moans and groans.

Just keep in mind that women usually won’t tell you if your oral sex performance is bad, because they don’t want to hurt your feelings and they expect you to be able to drive them wild with excitement, as their lover. If you can’t, rather than confronting you about it, a lot of women will prefer to just move on…

So, practice these 7 Sexy Secrets To Go Down Her and she’ll love you for it!

  1. Tease & Tantalize: Imagine that you are about to enjoy a delicious meal. Don’t just shovel the food hungrily into your mouth. Savor each moment and take your time. So when you go down on a woman, tease her a little. Make her squirm. Gently kiss the inside of her thighs and the top of her pubic bone. Use your tongue to just taste her, while quickly moving away to kiss her someplace else. Make her want your mouth on her so badly, that she’s arching her back and grinding into your face.
  2. Don’t just lick…Suck: Sucking, rather than licking a woman’s clitoris, gives women pleasure that is similar to when a man gets oral sex. If you really want to drive her wild, combine licking and some sucking when you go down on her. Alternate between the two and move to different areas to keep things hot and exciting.
  3. Watch & Learn: You want to watch your woman when you go down on her. Not just because it is arousing for you, but mostly, because you want to watch how she responds to what you are doing. You may move into one area and suddenly, her eyes roll to the back of her head and she gasps with ecstasy. If you’re not paying attention to her body language, you might miss out on the important queues that reveal her favorite pleasure spots.
  4. Talk To Her: Even though you’re busy, tantalizing, sucking and licking, make sure you periodically stop to encourage her to tell you, when she likes something. That way, you won’t have to second guess whether you are doing something right or wrong. She will TELL YOU! Ask her questions like, “Do you like that?”. Tell her to tell you when she loves what you are doing. Communication is very important to great oral sex.
  5. Fingers & Hands: You may want to start by slipping one finger into her vagina, while simultaneously sucking on her clitoris. If she’s really wet, you can try slipping in another and watch how she responds. Alternate from slow and deep penetration, to short and fast, depending on how she enjoys it most. Just ask her.
  6. Raise Her Pelvis: Place a few pillows underneath her to raise her hips. Have her pull her legs back and hold them with her arms. Or you can encourage her to move her hips, as you’re going down on her. When the pelvis is raised and she moves her hips up and down, it stimulates blood flow to her genitals that will give her quicker and more intense orgasms.
  7. Stimulate Her G-Spot: The g-spot is a spongy tissue that’s located about 2 inches from the front wall of the vagina. It’s slightly rougher to the touch and it’s about the size of a quarter. The most common way to stimulate the g-spot when you go down on a woman, is by using the “come hither” motion with your finger(s). A lot of women will have the sensation of having to urinate, when the g-spot is stimulated, because when it is aroused, it fills up with a fluid (similar to prosthetic fluid in men), which can lead to female ejaculation or “squirting” orgasms.

By the way, female ejaculation is very real and with the right techniques you can help a woman achieve it. That is, if you want to take her oral sex experience to the next level. And even though it might take some patience and practice, I promise you that giving a woman g-spot squirting orgasms will be one of the most rewarding sexual experiences not just for her, but you as well.

How to Reverse the Signs of Ageing in the Lower Face

The Signs of Ageing in the Lower Face and Anti-ageing Treatments.

A sagging jawline and the resultant jowls are a common signs of ageing in the lower face and this area is commonly overlooked by standard aesthetic practitioners.

Over 3000 years ago the Egyptians identified the aesthetic importance of the lower face and neck, Queen Nefertiti (1370 BC – 1330 BC) was considered for thousands of years to be the most beautiful women of her time. She was renowned and revered for her long elegant neck and her elegant facial features which tapered down to a well defined sharp jawline and chin.

As cosmetic practitioners it is essential to take into consideration the lower face when we are assessing the ways of maintaining beauty. The lower face is an even more important area when we consider what happens to this area as we age; most of the adult population during middle-age develop laxity of the tissues and skin around the jaw. Sagging and laxity of these tissues causes the face to appear to square off and flatten around the jaw line which then loses its sharpness.

The overhanging dependent skin and tissues droop below the jawline and are commonly known as the ‘jowls’.

Perhaps the reason why the treatment options of the lower face are overlooked are that many aesthetic practitioners in the UK are taught little more than where to put the needle and inject on their 1 day ‘Botox’ training course. These ‘one trick pony’ practitioners focus on Botulinum toxin type A (Botox) treatment in the three most common treatment areas (i.e. the frown, the forehead and around the eyes to treat crow’s feet), which are all in the upper face.

It is still common practice by plastic surgeons to treat the lower face with surgical procedures and ‘surgical’ face lifts are still performed to pull tissues back and up. However at times you have to question if at all a surgical procedure is necessary in the majority of clients.

The additional draw back of a surgical face lift is that it can distort your appearance and give you a pinched ‘caught in a wind tunnel’ look.

Non-Surgical Jaw Lift using Botox.

A treatment option to treat jowl formation is a non-surgical jaw lift; this treatment can now be combined with other treatments to augment its effect.

The Non-Surgical Jaw Lift in the right hands is simply a combination of 2 relatively straight forward lower face Botox techniques which relax the underlying facial muscles that pull down the skin and tissues of the lower face.

The platysma muscle is found superficially wrapping around the front of the neck and it depresses the skin and tissues of the lower face and jaw. The platysma is treated by a series of superficial Botox injections to prevent its depressor effect on the facial skin around the mouth and jaw.

In addition the depressor anguli oris is a small triangular muscle found on both sides of the mouth, when this muscle contracts it depresses the corner of the mouth and pulls down the tissue around this area.

In the hands of an experienced practitioner Botox treatment in the lower face is safe and can give excellent results. On a note of caution I would be very wary of a practitioner who does not fully understand the underlying anatomy or disregards the adjacent muscles in the face and larynx that that could be affected by poor injection placement.

Recent advancements have allowed us to combine lower face Botox treatments with other newer treatment options to give even more improved treatment options in the lower face.

My personal preference is to use medical micro-needling therapy to tighten the skin and dermal tissues around the jawline in addition to lower face Botox treatment.

Micro-needling therapy around the jaw.

Micro-needling in the lower face causes tightening of the lax dermal tissues around the jawline the treatment involves an initial application of a topical anaesthetic cream to enable the treatment to be carried out with almost no discomfort at all.

A small amount of redness is generally caused by micro-needling however this fades after a few hours and can be covered up easily with make-up.

A micro-needling procedure causes small micro-channels to be formed in the skin these heal and when they do so they contract and tighten the skin, this healing process also rejuvenates the skin by causing the skin to produce more collagen and other.

Unlike other skin tightening treatments micro-needling relies on the body’s own healing process to rejuvenate and tighten the skin, other skin tightening treatments such as lasers and radio frequency treatments cause contraction of the skin due to thermal damage.

Micro needling is relatively safe whereas the long term effects of lasers and especially microwave treatments are unknown.

Additionally after micro-needling the small channels created in the outer layer of the skin called the epidermis can now allow active cosmeceuticals to penetrate more effectively into the deeper dermal layers of the skin to additionally induce collagen formation and therefore strengthen lax skin.

Experience shows that Botox techniques used to relax the muscles of the lower face typically last for approximately three months; the micro-needling treatments are commonly repeated every 6 weeks after the initial treatment typically 3 micro-needling treatments are needed performed under topical anaesthetic with an appropriate micro-needling device.

A bust of Queen Nefertiti can be seen when you search for her on Wikipedia, this piece of art is over 3000 years old and is considered probably one of the most important pieces of art of its time but despite its age her beauty can be clearly seen.

Short Romantic Sex Story – The Missing Woman

I began walking through the park, slightly anxious yet somewhat at ease. I try not to think too much. It’s just my average walk. Then in my corner-view, I see her. A beautiful piece of work. One that makes your heart drop. I feel anxiety and excitement as I mentally prepare approaching her. I can’t take my eyes off her sweet buttocks, bursting out of her black tights. I want it. I want to feel myself inside it.

I can already feel the excuses piling up in my head – “She looks bitchy”, “She probably won’t like me”. I feel myself backing off, losing my focus of her, a momentary gratification. “No!” I decide, “Damn it, I’m approaching”. My feet start moving towards her, in my mind I already see the entire script. Even before the initial “Hi” I know I’m taking a chance, It feels good.

“Hi there” I said confidently.

The girl turned slowly, her face oddly at ease. The spotlight is on me now.

“Don’t worry, I’m not a rapist. I’m not here to kill you” I said with anxiously with a fake smile.

A short pause in the air. “That’s good..” she said, blankly.


I managed the small talk as usual, “Just be honest and don’t show emotions” I kept repeating in my head.

“What’s your name?” I asked.

“Kasey” she replied, smiling.

“Awesome. My name’s Robby. Let’s take a walk.”

“The way to my house was not very far” I thought. She was not very hesitant either.

We stopped at a small alley halfway through my home, It was oddly romantic as I lit her cigarette and she lit mine. She leaned her back to the empty alley’s wall. She was smaller than I thought, about 5’3. I towered my body over her and pinned her to the wall, emphasizing her small stature next to mine. We stayed like this for a minute. We kept each other warm.

“I don’t do this with everybody” I gently said.

“You know you don’t have to lie right?”

“I.. right”



“There’s something special about the way you smoke” I suggested, intrigued.

She looked unfazed, “What do you mean?”.

“You look so calm, so at ease. Yet when you let the smoke out, it’s if time slows down, I can’t quite put my finger around it. You’re also very relaxed right now. Aren’t you afraid of me?”

Her eyes looked deep into mine. “What do I have to be afraid of?” she giggled.

I felt somewhat unpleasant, slightly unsatisfied. There was something special about her, she’s not your average girl.

Still holding her to the wall. Our faces less than a few centimeters apart, eyes locked, nothing but the sound of cars to fill the silence. I felt drawn to her, her scent is what caught my attention, her lips are what captivated it. I leaned in to kiss her. I felt a slight disappointment as I got the cheek. Never mind, she’ll come around.

“Anything else I should know about you?” I asked with my eyebrow raised in diss-contempt.

“You’re not going to sleep with me tonight.”

“I.. I..”

“Shhh, don’t worry I like you. Let’s keep walking”

“Um, yeah. Right. Anyway let’s head to my home, I want us to share a glass of wine.”.

She nodded accordingly, I smiled.

I felt ambient anxiety as we approached my home, as if I had a task and I knew what to do. My home is a small apartment where I live alone. I smiled as we passed by a closed nightclub where I would usually pull girls to my home for a night of love, I could swear she caught me smile and smiled right back, as-if she read my mind entirely. I’m not used to reacting emotionally to women I find myself attracted to, something about her is off, but in a way I like. It’s as-if every single aspect about her, from her smell, to the very way she walks is special.

“I’m kind of a loner” I told her, uncaring of her reaction.

“Me too. I believe a person can only be at peace once he is comfortable with his own company”. I was impressed.

I did not know whether she’ll actually agree to enter a stranger’s house. The arousal eclipsed my anxiety. holding her hand, her lingering smell – a sharp perfume mixed with the gentle aroma of her body. It felt good. We stop at stairs of the humble building. There some tension in the air as we wait for the elevator to reach my floor. A feeling of inevitability that encompasses all of my interactions with the opposite sex. I hold myself from my urges, I wanted to ravage her in the elevator. Here and now. But I trust my instincts to wait, for some reason I want to make this one special.

“This is it, home sweet home”. “Home sweet home” she smiled as I opened the door for her, then she stepped right in. “It’s game time”.

We took our sit on the living room couch, she was unimpressed by my apartment which slightly disappointed me, I opened our bottle of wine, we looked deep into each others eyes as I poured the rosé colored liquid onto our cups. I was having a great time, I knew she was too. I tried getting to know her a bit better, but the tension was just too strong to resist. I looked deep into her eyes again, I felt drawn again, this time more so than before, “close your eyes” I whispered.

My hand gently rubbed the back of her head, I clasped her hair deeply onto my closed fist, and pulled her face towards mine. Her lips felt amazing. She’s very tender and receptive, yet at certain points assertive and aggressive. I could not resist such a unique cocktail of animal instincts and feminine caress. I take off her shirt and bra, her breasts were much bigger than I thought, we went to my bedroom and laid next to each other. I started rubbing my crotch against her thin, silky smooth pants. “I want to sleep with you” I whispered in her ear. “Take your pants off” my voice commanded.

“Take them off yourself”. I happily obliged.

I admired her confidence. Her bed skills matched her personality.

The rest is history, I fall in love for the night. It felt good.

How Microbiologists Use Chromogenic Agar Media

Standard growth media in the microbiology laboratory has been advancing in its development over the decades since the late 1800s, when agar was discovered by the use of extracts from red seaweeds, a gelling agent used also in making jellies. Agar is still in use today, and its use has not changed much over the decades. The many things that have changed are the chemicals and infusions used to create specialized growth media that is both selective and identifying: Chromogenic agar media.

Chromogenic agar media is a highly specialized growth medium for microbiologists to aid in the isolation and identification of certain types of pathogenic microorganisms. Many pathogenic organisms are also fastidious, difficult to grow on standard agar plates without enrichment of some sort. The use of broths for the proliferation of certain fastidious organisms is a technique that has not changed much in recent years, as it is a proven method for the enrichment of the organisms prior to agar plate inoculation.

Broths have a certain amount of nutrients to stimulate the propagation of a specific organism so there would be an abundance of living material to work with in the lab. Beef and brain extracts in broths can cause a dramatic escalation of organisms prior to inoculation of chromogenic agar media, so there is no doubt that there will be success after timed incubation.

When the enriched organism is available, inoculation of the chromogenic media follows, in the standard practice using aseptic techniques. After an incubation period of 18-24 hours, the agar plate is analysed for colony growth, colony count, colony morphology, which includes colony colour. This is vital for the positive identification of the specific organism being researched or diagnosed. Selective media like chromogenic agar can be specialized for a variety of fastidious and hard to identify bacteria strains.

There is a diversity of chromogenic agar media available to the microbiologists today. One such important media is MRSA identification media. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus is an organism that has been wreaking havoc in the populations of major countries, as well as undeveloped countries. This organism causes illnesses such as toxic shock syndrome or staph infections of skin, eye, and wounds. It is difficult to identify considering the other organisms that may contaminate or proliferate during the culturing process.

Hospitals and nursing care facilities have been attempting to isolate patients diagnosed with the harmful pathogen, and immediate identification is not only encouraged, but also necessary. Specialized chromogenic agar media is used for this, as it leaves no doubt of the identity of the organism if present. The selective agar has color indicators for easy morphological identification, as well as specialized inhibitors to screen out undesirable normal flora from interfering with the isolation techniques.

Chromogenic agar media is also used in the isolation and identification of gram-negative pathogens like Neisseria spp., which can cause not only meningitis in children, but can also be blamed for the spread of sexually transmitted disease throughout a community. Specialized growth media not only isolates the growth of these highly fastidious organisms, but inhibits the growth of less fastidious organisms as well. The chromogenic action of the agar makes identification more efficient also, as the colonies of Neisseria species have exclusive colour. Chromogenic agar media is the gold standard for the identification and analysis of pathogenic fastidious bacteria.

How to Make an Authentic Cortadito Espresso Drink

Cortadito is a Cuban espresso drink that gives you high levels of caffeine in a sweet shot of creamed espresso. This article will show you how you can make your own cortadito drink in a few simple steps.

To make this drink, you will need the following:

-percolator (stove top espresso maker)

-coffee beans

-coffee grinder


-small bowl and spoon


-coffee cream

1. Fill the espresso maker with water to the fill line for whatever size espresso maker you are using for this drink. Place the filter on top of the water-filled base.

2. Grind fresh coffee beans of your choice. Darker roast coffee usually has less acidity than lighter roast coffee and also has a taste more similar to espresso. However, if you want a lighter roast coffee for the sake of flavor, then a light roast coffee will work as well. You can also choose flavored coffee beans if you like, but for a more authentic taste, it would be best to use regular coffee flavors. You will want to grind the coffee beans finer rather than coarse so that your coffee flavor will be stronger and give more of an espresso taste. By grinding the coffee fresh, the flavor will be stronger and retain the coffee flavor. You will need to grind enough coffee to fill the filter of the espresso maker. Pack the ground coffee into the filter so that you will have a stronger espresso.

3. Screw the top of the espresso maker onto the base and filter to secure the espresso maker and prepare to brew.

4. Leave the top of the espresso maker opened so that you can see the spout of the espresso maker and place on the stove.

5. Turn the stove on high to heat up the water in the base and begin the brewing process.

6. While the water heats up, quickly put 1/4 -1/2 cups of sugar in the bowl with the spoon easily accessible (you can add more or less sugar depending on how sweet you like your cortadito).

7. Carefully watch the spout of the espresso maker to wait for the first drops to be brewed. It is crucial to catch the first couple drops of espresso. Once the first drops are brewed, immediately remove the espresso maker from the heat.

8. Use the first couple of drops of espresso and pour into the bowl of sugar. You want enough drops to get 2/3 of the sugar wet, using less than you would think. Take your time with this step and after adding a few drops, stir vigorously to ensure desired wetness. By removing the espresso maker from the heat, you give the grounds more time to “bloom” and give a better overall flavor. By using the first couple drops, the sugar will be caramelized to a strong flavor as well.

9. After ensuring the sugar has enough espresso to stir to a paste, place the espresso maker back on the high heat and let the espresso finish brewing completely. Turn off the stove as soon as all the espresso has been brewed.

10. While the espresso finishes brewing, continue to stir the sugar mixture quickly. It is better to over stir this mixture than to not stir enough. The finished mixture should have a gloss and be a very light shade of brown.

11. When the espresso is finished and the sugar has been completely caramelized, pour the espresso on top of the sugar mixture.

12. Gently stir the mixture to ensure no sugar is stuck to the bottom of the bowl. You should notice a cap being formed on the top of the mixture that shows the proper mixture of the sugar and espresso

13. Add the desired amount of cream to the cups and pour the espresso and sugar mixture on top (do not stir). Serve immediately and enjoy!

The Best Rice Cooker – What to Look For Before You Buy

Is rice one of your favorite dishes but you don’t enjoy cooking it because it either burns or sticks or you end up with under or overcooked rice? That can be enough to make anyone swear off making rice at home. But if you enjoy rice and want a better way to make it, rice cookers are available with multiple options in cooking functions and sizes. You can find them from inexpensive with just a few features to boast of or you can find expensive ones with all the bells and whistles.

How do you know which one you should get especially if you’ve never used a rice cooker before? The first step is to decide the size of the rice cooker based on the job you plan for it to do. Obviously, if your purpose is to feed on person, you can select a smaller model. But if it’s to feed a family or large crowds such as for a party or other social event, you’re going to want to choose the larger size. Decide if the cooker is for personal or business use-there are great cookers for sale that can be used commercially.

If you plan to only use the appliance for yourself, that’s fine to get a smaller one but you will limit yourself in the event you do want to use it for larger meals. You can find some that only cook rice without any other options. What are some of the features in a cooker that you don’t want to be without? Not all of the models have the same handy features. Make sure the rice cooker you want has a function to keep the rice warm and you don’t want to be reheating rice to serve in a microwave since that can dry it out.

One feature that should not be optional for any rice cooker is the inner pan that’s nonstick. Rice can stick as hard as glue on the inside of a pan and you don’t want that. You want to be able to rinse or wash it and have it come clean. An option that helps rice to cook evenly without the sticking is a feature that makes the rice heat evenly throughout called Induction Heating Technology. Some of the rice cookers use what’s called Fuzzy Logic which means the appliance can sense when the temperature needs to be changed and will make those adjustments to ensure rice is cooked right each time.

Dog Flaps Advantages and Disadvantages

Are you tired from assisting your dog that has been barking endlessly for you to open the door for him? This is one common problem for pet owners. It’s one reason why pet doors were made.

Pet doors give access to your dog. They can be easily installed to your wall, panel or doors. One version of a pet door is the dog flaps. A dog flap is a great way of giving independence and security to your dog. It can be easily fitted to your wall, panel or door.

Although dog flaps can provide several advantages to pet owners and their pet dogs, several disadvantages have also arises. These disadvantages have been addressed with different types of pet flaps made through the years. A dog flap is a small door that is big enough for your pet dog. These manual dog doors are made of basic metal or plastic flap that can be installed in a wall or a door.

Flexible types of flaps are made of plexiglas and other clear hard plastic. They require a separate panel that slides down to secure the doorway. It is also heavy which will require your pet extra effort to push the flap. There are different types of dog flaps. The basic one can give access to your dog whenever they enter or exit the house. Any animal that can fit through it can open the basic dog flap.

Another type is the “key- operated” dog flaps. These “keys” can be sensors or magnets. These keys are attached to your dog’s collar. It gives signal to the door to open once the animal is near. After the animal passed through, it automatically closes.


Dogs are easily trained on dog flaps. Since these doors are a two-way system, your dog can be easily trained to get in and out of the door by just pushing it.

It provides access to your dog without your assistance. Your dog can have his freedom in entering and exiting his way without your assistance once he learns how to use it. You can continue whatever you’re doing without being a ‘doorman’ to your dog.

It provides security to your pets. Your dog flap is installed based from your dog size. If your dog is being bullied or chased by larger animals, he can right through it for his protection. It secures your wall, door and furniture from damages and scratches. Your pet dog doesn’t need to scratch or jump to other opening in your house just to get out or in of the house. With dog flaps, your walls and furniture are safe.


It can give access to other animals and intruders. Other animals like raccoons, squirrels, the neighborhood’s pet, and even snakes can enter the conventional types of pet flaps. Some intruders find their way inside the house with the use of dog flap. It’s one main reason why pet owners are hesitant to install pet doors in their house.

Manual dog flaps are not weatherproof. One problem for it is the access of harsh elements such as snow, rain and strong wind. It is advisable that you provide a lock to your manual dog flap if this type of flap is just the ‘swinging’ type.

However, different types of dog doors were made to address the disadvantages seen from the conventional types. Electronic and automatic dog flaps are specially made for your pets access only.

Also, dog door flaps have sturdy material that can resist rusting and have powerful locks that can control entry of weather elements and unnecessary entrance of other animals and intruders.

Wood Machining

Wood machining refers to the process of converting wooden logs into planks, fabricating them into desired shapes and sizes, and polishing them for use in the final product. Wood machining has acquired great importance in recent years due to the short supply of wood and increasing environmental awareness among users and manufacturers. Wood machining techniques that are in use, stress on the maximum utilization of wooden logs and help in reducing wastage.

Wood can be technically defined as a hygroscopic, orthotropic, biological, and permeable composite material having extreme chemical diversity and physical complexity with structures, that vary extensively in their shape, size, properties and function. All this makes it very difficult to develop a standard machining technique applicable to all types of wood as their response may differ when subjected to a machining process.

Commonly used wood machining processes involve the use of electric powered vertical chain saws or rotary saws that cut wood in the required shape and size. Water is used on a regular basis to cool down the chain saw as well as the wood for allowing smooth and uninterrupted cutting operations. Wooden planks produced during this process are still very rough and cannot be used in manufacturing the final product.

The next step involves the use of sand paper strips mounted on circular rotating disks. Wooden planks are passed under these to give them the required finishing needed for manufacturing the final product. Automatic presses can also be used for bending wooden planks in the required shape or drilling holes in pre-designated places according to product design.

The woodwork industry follows different strategies for achieving optimized wood machining process keeping in mind the mechanism and principles of deformation, crack initiation, and propagation of different types of wood. Other factors are also taken into consideration such as humidity, temperature, static preloads, and vibrations that can affect the wood during machining process.

How to Plan and Deliver a Memorable Eulogy

Even though we’d rather not think about it too much, the inevitable truth is that at some stage we are all going to die. Whether this is sudden or after a prolonged illness the loss of a loved one still weighs heavily on us and is very sad. Much easier to attend the memorial service as a respectful guest and let some other friend or family member deliver the eulogy than have to face this daunting task ourselves. The following story of courage reveals a marvelous little strategy that will give you firm direction and support with your eulogy so your emotions complement the heartfelt things you want to say.

I recently attended a funeral service for a kind and gentle family friend who had died unexpectedly from a heart attack. His sudden death left behind a totally shocked family trying to come to terms with it all. Three days later at his memorial service each member of this saddened family had to find the strength to step forward and deliver their personal tributes. Mustering tremendous courage his grief-stricken wife went first with the support of her son and managed to take us on an interesting journey celebrating her husband’s remarkable life.

Then it was the turn of his 22-year old daughter, but emotion overcame her and she began to cry. Her brother tenderly put his hand on her shoulder to encourage her to go on. What was good here, this young woman did not apologise for her crying and rob us of our own need to share in her grief as well. She waited till she had settled a little and did her best to compose herself. Then between her heart-wrenching sobs she began to speak.

When I first got the news of my dad’s passing I was absolutely heart-broken and felt like my world had come to an end. He meant everything to me. The last thing on my mind was what I would say at his funeral service. That same night my uncle phoned me and said, “I’m going to give you a little task. I want you to sit down and thoughtfully write your dad a letter sharing all the things that are in your heart… all the things you would tell him if he were still here with us.”

At this stage she paused and softly said, “Let me read my letter to you.” We sat enthralled as she poured out her deepest feelings about the things she’d penned in this precious letter to her departed father. She shared with this group of close friends and family just how much she loved her dad and all the sacrifices and wonderful things he had done for her in her life. Her letter ended with the words, “I love you so much dad and will miss you a lot.”

Now our tears were flowing freely too. Our spontaneous applause in acknowledgement of such courage said it all.

So let’s summarise exactly what this brave young woman did so your eulogy can reach out and have such a wonderful effect on your listeners too.

First She started by revisiting her initial feelings of loss and sadness on the death of her father.

Second She then allowed us to ‘eavesdrop’ on her little interaction with her uncle as he inspires her to write her letter. These two elements made a wonderful introduction to her heartfelt letter – the body and conclusion of her talk.

Third Now with her letter all planned and written out all she had to do was read it.

Fourth Note that at no stage did she apologise for crying during her talk. At a time of great loss this is as natural as the air we breathe.

So let this brave young woman’s wonderful little strategy be a practical inspiration to help you feel safe and say the special things you want to say in your eulogy.

What’s Lurking Under Your Fingernails?

In the spring of 1997, I spent a wonderful day with Dr Omar Amin in Phoenix, Arizona. Dr Amin is one of the most respected and sought-after parasitologists in the world and runs the Parasitology Center Inc in Scottsdale, Arizona.

He gave me a copy of his paper ‘Understanding Parasites’ in which there was a sentence that has always stuck in my mind: “A recent inspection of an expensive restaurant in Los Angeles showed that 100% of all employees (not just servers) had fecal matter under their nails”.

Fecal matter and disease (particularly parasites) generally go together. With our cities offering cuisine from increasingly exotic regions of the world, this carries a higher incidence of parasite-borne diseases, especially if these regional foods are undercooked or even raw: Dutch herring, steak tartar, ceviche, sashimi, sushi for example. Tapeworm is high on the list of ‘residents’ in these foods as is the Anisakid Worm.

A food-handler with poor personal hygiene will more than likely increase the exposure and risk of pathogenic organisms spreading. Years ago kitchen staff wore gloves and hairnets when handling food. They don’t seem to do this any longer although regular hand-washing habits may be mandatory nowadays.

University of Gondar, Ethiopia

In 2003, 127 food-handlers working in the cafeterias of the University of Gondar and the Teachers Training College there were fingernail-tested. These café’s were selected because the mass-provision of foods is a likely source of transmitting infections. Fingernail contents of both the hands and stool specimens were collected from all 127 food-handlers. In addition to fecal matter under the fingernails, the following was found:

– Coagulase-negative staphylococci (41.7%) by Staphylococcus aureus (16.5%), Klebisella species (5.5%), Escherichia coli (3.1%), Serratia species (1.58%), Citrobacter species (0.8%), and Enterobacter species (0.8%).

– Shigella species were isolated from stool samples of four food-handlers (3.1%). None of the food-handlers was positive for Salmonella species and Shigella species in respect of their fingernail contents.

Thankfully no intestinal parasites were detected from fingernail contents, but intestinal parasites were detected in their stools:

– Ascaris lumbricoides (18.11%), Strongyloides stercoralis (5.5%) Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (1.6%), Trichuris trichiura (1.6%), hookworm species (0.8%), Gardia lamblia (0.8%), and Schistosoma mansoni (0.8%); 1.6% of the study subjects were positive for each of A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura, hookworm, and Giardia lamblia.

It’s clear from this and many other studies that food-handlers are a potential source of infections. It’s not only food handlers though. To give you an idea of where and how contamination occurs, here are a couple of lists.

The 10 ‘dirtiest’ jobs:

1. Teacher/day-care worker

2. Cashier (bank, post office, supermarket, fast foods etc)

3. Policeman

4. Animal control officer

5. Janitor, plumber

6. Computer repair (using dirty keyboard/mouse)

7. Doctor or nurse

8. Laboratory scientist

9. Rubbish collector

10. Meat packer

Here are some of the dirtiest places you’ll touch in your day:

1. Supermarket trolley handle

2. Office keyboard (not yours) and mouse

3. The button on a public or office drinking fountain

4. Door handles – toilet, refrigerator and microwave at office and home

5. Vending machine buttons

6. The kitchen sink in your home

7. Your toothbrush, if left near to a flushed toilet (always close the toilet lid!) and the toothbrush holder

8. TV remote control (hotels and home)

9. Anywhere around household pets (including sandboxes)

10. Escalator handrails

11. The buttons on ATM’s, lifts, video game controllers

12. Petrol pumps

13. Car steering wheels, especially with multiple drivers

Next time you go out for a drink, think before you dip your fingers into the bowl of peanuts on the bar. Alongside the nuts will be fecal matter and urine residue. Then of course there’s that lemon wedge in your drink:

“I worked in restaurants for years and here is what I saw. The lemons and limes were delivered and put into the walk-in cooler. When the bartender needs a hand full of them he would go grab them by putting them in his apron. He would then slice them up on a cutting board and put them into cups and place them on the bar. Customer # 1 orders a beer and pays for the beer. The bartender stuffs the cash into the register. Customer # 2 orders a vodka and soda with a lemon. Bartender reaches into the ice bin and fills the cup, grabs a lemon and squeezes the lemon into the drink. At no time does any water touch the fruit or his hands and this goes on all day. Money, ice and fruit. Oh, and the occasional trip to the john.”

Men generally have more germs under their fingernails than women but there are more germs found under artificial nails than under real ones.

There is of course hope…

Viruses and bacteria are an integral part of our lives. There are billions of them in and around us. A strong, healthy immune system will generally take care of most of the daily threats we pick up from that dirty supermarket trolley or domestic pet but being conscious about this is also valuable.

Some Nail Facts:

— onychopathy is the study of fingernails and toenails.

— Fingernails are essentially dead cells that are made of a protein called keratin – the same stuff as our hair. We’d get along fine without them but they’re great at help us do fiddly things like gripping things better, text messaging and scratching ourselves. They also absorb some of the stress that the tip of the finger bones would otherwise have to bear.

— Fingernails grow quicker when you’re young, faster on your more active hand and more in summer than winter. They also grow faster on pregnant women.

— Dry nails? Just drink more water.

On a final health note…

Try not to drink straight from aluminium cans. If you buy canned drinks and bring them home, wash the tops as they may carried a virus called Leptospirosis.

There’s much scaremongering on the internet about people dying from drinking out of unwashed cans. I’m not sure about the accuracy of that but if there’s any truth here, it would be because the victim had such a depleted immune system, offering little if any resistance to the invading bacteria.

Tests have shown that some aluminium cans carry dried rat urine containing Leptospira i. Cans are usually stored in rat-infested warehouses and delivered direct to retail stores without cleaning! Just so you know.

Let’s keep the exposure to a minimum.

Tuttnauer Autoclave Repair: What Causes The Add Water Error Code

It seems like it should be pretty easy to repair, right? Your Tuttnauer autoclave is giving you an error code that tells you to add water, so that probably means all you need to do is add some water. But when you take a look, you see the reservoir is already full. Now what?

Your autoclave is one of your most important pieces of equipment in your office and if something goes wrong it’s understandable that you would panic. You’re thinking of all the money it’s going to cost to send it out for repair, the expense of renting a replacement, and you might even have to close your office for a while.

When the sensors indicate that it should be an easy fix – like just adding some more water – and the easy fix doesn’t work, it can be frustrating. But don’t panic yet. Autoclaves only look intimidating. They’re really very simple pieces of equipment. There’s usually a very simple solution and most of the time you can do it yourself.

Check the model number on your autoclave. Tuttnauer’s most popular models are their E Series autoclaves, including the EZ9 and EZ10.

If you have an E Series model, then take a peek inside the water reservoir and you’ll see a float. This float is attached to a water level switch which acts just like a light switch – when you turn it on, the autoclave comes on, and when you turn it off, the autoclave turns off.

When everything’s working properly the water level in the reservoir lifts the float and it turns the switch to the ‘ON’ position, making an electrical connection which allows the power to run to your autoclave. When the water level is too low, the float disconnects with the switch, essentially turning your autoclave ‘OFF’ until you refill the reservoir.

When the water level is too low you’ll see that ‘Add Water’ indicator, or error message, light up on your display and, as a safety precaution, the unit will not come on again until you fill it with water. Which leads us back to the original problem.

In your case, the ‘Add Water’ message is flashing but the reservoir is full. Now what?

If the reservoir is full and the float is moving freely, then your problem is probably a defective water level switch. To be sure, you can run a simple continuity test by removing the wires and putting a probe from your meter (or continuity tester) to each wire.

With the meter set to test continuity:

  • When the float is in the Up position the meter should show continuity.
  • When the float is in the Down position the meter should show an open circuit.

Once you’ve verified that the problem is in the switch you can stop worrying. All you need to do is replace the switch and if you can use a wrench you can do it yourself. After you replace the water level switch in your Tuttnauer autoclave be sure to run a test cycle to make sure everything’s been repaired properly and you’re back in business.

Why Are Adult Coloring Books So Popular?

The coloring books for adults have intricate patterns to color. Some say these are psychologically based patterns to relieve tension. Actually, it’s the coloring we do that causes us to relax and as a result these books are extremely popular.

Years ago, I remember catching my wife coloring away with a quiet yet enthusiastic demeanor when I came home from work early around 4:00pm. She was sitting with our three children (all under 8 years at the time and all quietly coloring) in our den. I went up to give her my usual hello kiss and didn’t get her attention right away as she was totally absorbed coloring.

“Oh you’re home early?” she said continuing to color.

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“We’re just keeping out of trouble… , kids like to color… ” I didn’t think much about her enthusiasm at the time, and was happy she was having a break.

Remember the Wham-O’s Hula Hoop rage where millions found a lot of enjoyment and fun with such a simple hoop. But coloring is different? It’s more individualistic and peaceful to yourself and others around you. Adult coloring now is a rage for adults in the modern world.

I researched adult coloring and read the back and forth movement of the crayon, colored pencil, or marker does in fact have a calming effect since it requires the use of both sides of the brain causing neurons to reinforce their connections between both sides while shutting down the frontal lobe which controls organization. So, a feeling of balance occurs after a stressful day. Coloring gives relief to the daily demands of attention focusing at work, stress of everyday life, information overload, intense competition, intense play, intense everything at times.

Johanna Basford’s, “Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book” seems to have started the adult coloring book rage in 2011. This book may be a collector’s item someday – like an original hula hoop.

Basford, a Scottish commercial artist doing a lot of intricate black and white patterns for wallpapers, beer bottles, wine labels was originally asked to do a children’s coloring book but she convinced her British publisher to have her do an adult coloring book since her clients enjoyed coloring in her patterns. Well, we all know after two million copies were sold, Johanna found a new niche for adults to enjoy worldwide.

Johanna doesn’t use computers to assist her drawings as she believes computer generated works are soulless.

Her success speaks for itself as she does work for Sony, Chipotle, Absolute Vodka and other major clients from her little studio in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Her original book shows signs of the Brodick Castle Gardens on the Isla of Arran where Johanna played as a child.

Pick Up Women Using Negative Compliments (Negs) and Playing on Her Insecurities

Here’s a technique that is extremely effective for breaking though the facade of a woman who is acting like she’s too good for you. Let her know that you’re aware of her secret insecurities and you aren’t afraid to point them out. Now wait a second!! This is not an invitation to insult her. Instead I will show you crafty methods for pointing out her insecurities in ways that will make you seem confident (because no wimp would have the nerve to call her out) and discerning.

Here is an example of what I’m talking about. During conversation, casually say, “I’m trying to picture what you’d look like with longer hair. You should grow your hair out. It would work better with your symmetrical facial structure”. With this one comment, you actually gave a compliment and at the same time played on a major insecurity. Women spend tons of time and money on their hair and for you to say that just showed tremendous guts. You just proved that you’re not some wimp and got her thinking, “wow, this guy just might be in my league. I thought he was drooling all over me but apparently I’m going to have to work at getting and keeping his interest”. You’ve just made yourself ten times more challenging and at the same time given her a compliment and an insult that she can’t even get mad at you about. You have just put yourself on the level of a strong, discerning guy who’s not just going to fall for any hot chick that comes his way. If you just said, “Your hair looks terrible”, you would have alarmed her instant defense mechanisms and just made yourself look like a jerk.

Another one that works well is, “You should wear a little less makeup. Your face is so beautiful. I’d love to see you with a more natural look”. These are quick ways to shift the momentum of the conversation. If you can tell that she feels superior to you and that she’s starting to feel that she’s above your league, this technique is great for leveling the playing field. Instantly you will trigger tons of inner insecurities and keep her on her toes for the rest of the interaction. The key here is not to come across as a jerk when saying these things. Keep it light, playful and smile a lot. The last thing you want to seem is mean and bitter.