Phineas Gage Evidence for Dualism

Once you understand the extent of Phineas Gage’s accident, you can begin to see its implications on how we can study the human brain and mind. There are three classical ways to view the situation when using Phineas Gage to address the mind/brain question (whether or not our identity is made up of two components, the mind and brain; or, if the mind is just a construct, or byproduct, of our brain and doesn’t actually exist). The first is dualism, which is the belief that both the mind and brain exist (the mind in the metaphysical realm and the brain in the physical) and the two communicate with each other. The second is a straight mechanical way of looking at the situation. Only the brain exists and each part of the brain conducts, or handles, a single specific function. This is a one to one ratio. Finally the third way of looking at this is a dialect materialistic view point. Dialectical thinkers believe that only the brain exists, but it is not in a one to one ratio, and in fact the brain adapts and changes functions as it grows. Each part is important in how it relates to the whole, or other parts of the brain. For this article we will discuss how this evidence relates to dualism.

Let’s refresh our knowledge on the incident. Phineas Gage was a generally respected foreman working on the railroad lines. By many of his friends and acquaintances he was considered a calm headed, rational man. But then the accident happened. A tapping iron was shot through the frontal lobe of his brain and left a section damaged and unusable. After this, many commented upon his changed emotional state. They referred to him as quick to anger, and said he acted upon impulse. For all intents and purposes his personality made him seem like an entirely different man.

This seems like strong evidence to support the idea of the brain being like a machine, and each part has its very own function. However, it can also be used as evidence for the argument of dualism. Some scholars argue the frontal lobe is how the brain and the mind communicate (as a developed frontal lobe is one of the main differences which separate human brains from other species’ brains). Therefore, if part of this frontal lobe was damaged then the brain couldn’t communicate as effectively with the mind. This could cause misinterpretations and therefore alter Phineas’s responses to his environment.

But others believe that the idea of the frontal lobe being a device which allows the brain and mind to communicate as somewhat simplistic. Rather if we infer that the mind has access to the whole of the brain, there is another way we can interpret the change in Phineas’s behavior. Say we treat the brain as a complex computer, or even a network of computers; and, the mind is the user sitting at the desk. Now, when the frontal lobe of Phineas was damaged in the accident, we assume a part of the computer system was damaged as well. But the computers can still interact with one another; it’s just that one of the machines is performing with less quality or speed. This obscures the collective data which is finally viewed by the “mind” sitting at his desk. Therefore, he would be interpreting the data incorrectly; and hence, react differently than he normally would have.

Or let’s say Phineas does observe the correct data, but when he tries to react and put in the new operation for the computer (brain), the damaged component affects how the information reaches the environment. This instance would conclude that it is the environment which receives the wrong information, rather than the user.

Perhaps this is a little confusing however. Maybe a simpler version would work better. If a graphics card is damaged within your computer, you can still see an image on your screen. However, the color, shading, shapes, or pixels could all have something wrong with them. This distorts the intended image into something new. Since the brain is much more complex than your typical computer however, this distortion could also be a much more drastic alteration. In turn, the distortion could be great enough to change an individual’s response from gentle to hostile.

Embracing the Child Sensitivities Within

I’ve become more aware recently of the child sensitivities within, which are common to us all. It’s easy to see these sensitivities within children – I’ve certainly seen them in my pre-school-aged son, and within the students I work with. But we don’t see the dynamics of sensitivity within ourselves, or perhaps we’re aware we’re oversensitive.

It was when my son fell and injured his arm suddenly that I was reminded of his sensitivity – and of mine. Not only was his sensitivity piqued more than normal, as an experienced father (I’ve been doing it now for quarter of a century!) I still felt all at sea, even if I had the composure to do what needed doing in getting him to hospital. Immediately, I was in a mode of wanting to protect him, and that instinctive drive was, if anything, an overreaction. Call it love in fear for the worst. The more sensitive he is, the more sensitive I am. And that corresponds with the sensitivities-of-response I share with my daughters when they’re vulnerable.

This interaction with our sensitivities sparked the following thought:

There is a continuum of sensitivity based on vulnerability-and-self-protection in the world. The sensitive person who is uncomfortably vulnerable, because they haven’t yet harnessed the protective behaviours they need to offset their vulnerabilities, is especially vulnerable to bullies, who overcapitalise on inappropriate self-protection. Then there’s the response of the person who is well on their way within the journey of integrating appropriate self-protection with their vulnerability. The mature person’s response is a balance between appropriate self-protection with their vulnerability.


Sensitive people become targets of bullies because bullies are uncomfortable with the vulnerability shared. Bullies exist within a bubble of inappropriate self-protection; a façade of veneer-thin strength (really, a house of cards). So, they have less emotional health than a sensitive person with a lack of self-protection through inappropriate levels of self-disclosure. A bully has neither vulnerability nor appropriate self-protection to draw on.

Sensitive people can grow through mastery of appropriate protection, which is knowing when and how to be appropriately vulnerable.

We’re all sensitive. For some it’s obvious, for others a lack of sensitivity is a façade, and for others, again, it’s a journey to appropriately self-protect.

God desires we would all relate appropriately with that which He’s made us sensitive. It’s a journey, however, in becoming appropriately self-aware and socially-aware so we employ appropriate self-protection.

We can think of the true sensitivities within us all as the child growing up and being allowed to be the child again. Adulthood should bear all the advantages of childhood without having to bear with the disadvantages.

Use of the Magnum Tattoo Needle

A magnum is a tattoo needle with two rows, one on top of the other. They are stacked as you would stack soda cans laying on their side, four on the bottom and three on top for a seven magnum. The two rows are spread apart more than a round so the pigment dispersal is a little smoother. It would be like comparing a fine point pen to a magic marker. The little detailed stuff is for the pen while the magic marker is for larger jobs.

The magnums are made by soldering your needles in a row and laid out flat. Solder at the back, next use a single edge razor blade to weave the needles. One on top, one on bottom, then one on top, etc. Then with the razor in place another layer of solder is applied to hold this configuration. A stacked magnum is where they lay four down and solder them, then lay three down and solder those. Then solder the two layers together. This would be make a seven magnum stacked. Because they are closer then they are smaller, so a nine magnum stacked will fit in a seven magnum tube tip.

Proper use of a magnum is at an angle. You want the magnum to lay flat on the skin, but lay it down so it can penetrates at as slight angle. If you try to use a magnum straight on the skin like holding it will pinch the client and stick in the skin causing the needle to jump. If the needle is flat on the skin then you need to elevate the eye loop till you have about a forty degree angle. You should drag a magnum, not push it. What this means is that you should pull the machine away from the tip of the tube, similar to driving a car in reverse. If you push the magnum forward it will have a tendency to go under the skin making it difficult for the needle to retract and move forward again.

Solid coloring with a magnum is very similar to coloring with a lining needle. You want to color in the circular motion but due to the magnum being wider like a paint brush you cover more area faster. Think of using a magnum like using three lining needle side by side to color. If you go slower then you will cause more damage to the skin. Pay attention to the texture of the skin by wiping away all the extra pigment while you tattoo. It takes practice but you can turn a magnum on its side to use the edge needles like a liner. This will make filling in close to the line work a lot quicker.

One way to practice using a magnum needle is to buy one of those large black markers that have the tapered tip. Practice using the marker at a flat angle to make a bold line, and then turn the marker to get a finer line. Just remember to go backward to simulate needle use.

Repairing Your Model Train Transformers

A common issue with model trains over time is the malfunctioning of a transformer. When trains sit for a long period of time without use they will go bad. So what do you do when this happens? You can either pay someone to fix yours or you can spend your hard earned money to buy another one. If neither of these choices appeal to you then maybe you should consider fixing it for yourself. It will only cost you a little bit of money and use a little patience as well. Soon you will be able to say that you are able to fix them yourself.

You will have to get a few supplies together before you get started. You will most likely need each of these in the course of your model railroading hobby anyway so it is a good idea to go ahead and put them aside just for that purpose. You will need some tweezers, a pair of wire strippers, spare wire of different gauges, some oxidation remover, screwdrivers, solder, and a soldering gun.

Once you have your tools you are ready to determine exactly what your transformer needs in the way of repair. Carefully plug in your transformer and see if you hear any noise coming from either it or your model train. If you can hear noise coming from the transformer and not the train then most likely the contacts on the track will need to be cleaned well.

Once you have done this try running your train once again. If it works then you will know that you have successfully solved your issue. SAFETY ISSUE: Do NOT handle the interior of the transformer unless it has been fully discharged. This can lead to sickness or even injury. The next step involves opening the case of your transformer and examining the interior. If you are an adolescent then get your parent to help you with this step.

If the transformer itself appears dead then you will need to unplug it and get inside the case. Take the appropriate screwdriver and carefully open the case being careful not to touch your screwdriver to any parts inside the transformer itself. While you are doing this you must make sure that you are well grounded just in case of accidental discharge.

Check for burnt, loose, frayed or missing wires. Also make sure there is no oxidation on them as well. Corrosion can be a huge factor in malfunctioning electronics. Any that have gone bad will need to be replaced. If any are just loose then you can use your soldering gun to reattach them.

Any oxidized wires can be removed safely with the soldering iron. You also need to make sure that you remove any extra solder from the wires. Once you have done this then you are ready to remove the oxidation. Dip the ends of the wires into your oxidation remover and let it dissolve the oxidation completely. Make sure that you allow them to air dry and then you can safely reattach them with your soldering gun once more.

Close your transformer back up once you have replaced everything and cleaned it up. You are now ready for another test run. Check your AC/DC output and see if you are getting a proper output. If it is low or non-existent then you should try replacing the plug itself. If this still does not work then you will have to buy another transformer for your model train.

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

4 Massively Effective Pick Up Lines For Bars and Nightclubs – Field Tested With High Success Rates

Though approaching women in bars and nightclubs can be a scary thing, there are many advantages to it that everyday situations just can’t provide. Pick up in a nightclub is like herding hundreds of beautiful women into a room, dulling their senses with loud music and flashing lights, getting them hopped up on saltpeter (substance g-rated for ezine sensibilities), and erasing their memory 10 seconds after you talk to them. It’s like a practice hologram for gaming. You can go in there and pretty much say and do whatever you want. If you can let go of your pride and just have a good time with it, bars and nightclubs are the single best places to practice approaching women.

So here are four field tested pick up lines that have a pretty good success rate in bars and nightclubs, as well as a few tips concerning your initial approach:

1) Settle down-

When you see a group of women having a great time at a club or a bar, walk up to them and say: “Ladies, I’m afraid we’re going to have to ask you to settle down. We’ve had some complaints; you’re making all the other girls in the club look bad…”

2) My ex’s best friend-

This one works well because it communicates that you attract girls everywhere you go. Walk up to a girl and say: “Hey, let me ask you a question. Do you think it’s messed up if I date my ex-girlfriends best friend?”

3) You wouldn’t believe-

This opener is used to approach a set and immediately talk about something crazy that you just saw. For example, you could say that you saw a fight outside where this smaller guy absolutely annihilated a guy like four times his size. I sometimes say: “He was like a cheetah crawling all over his body, and the big fella was too slow to keep up.”

4) It’s hard being so good looking-

This opener is only effective on really attractive women, and only if you are not that good looking yourself. Walk up to her and say: “You know, us good looking people really have it hard, don’t we? We just get praised all day for our amazing looks and height (say this if you’re short), and people never really take us seriously. They never want to get to know our true personality.”

5) Bring the right vibe-

When in bars and nightclubs it’s especially important to have a laid back, fun vibe about you. Standing around looking bored as you scan the room like a hungry lion in the Serengeti is not the right dynamic to bring to a club or a bar. Even if the woman you want to approach is 50 feet away, she’ll already have a feeling about you before you approach her. So have fun with your friends, laugh it up, keep the party where you are, and when you approach; let go of outcome.

How to Put a Hole in a Glass Bottle

Over the years, I have found my self in situations where I have needed to put a hole in glass bottles or just glass. From craft projects for the kids, fixing up the garage, or helping my friend make soda bottle wind chimes we have settled on our top 3 methods! Here is how to put a hole in a glass bottle! Remember all methods will require some patience, so make sure you have set aside some time to complete your project!

Method 1

By far the Diamond drill works best! YOU can purchase these from several different places, we have found eBay to be the cheapest! Make sure you cover the bottom of the bottle in tape and leave a circular shape open in your desired location. Proceed using your drill on a very low speed! Be patient! You can also pick up some drilling oil to help with all the cutting. *water works too!

Method 2

Using a Round Tapered file and Drill. My husband refers to it as the rat tail file. Anyway, you need to get some turpentine and place some into a small oil can that has one of those squirt tops. You will use this to apply applications in between filing. This is a slow process so make sure you use the slowest setting on your drill. Remember to let the friction of the file do the work, don’t try to rush the process by pushing down firmly.

Method 3

Duct tape and lighter! I have not personally tried this, but my friend swears by it. She makes a lot of glass wind chimes and says this is the only way to go. Its easy and nearly costless! First, cover the bottom of your bottle in duct tape. Remove your desired circle, then make sure you wet the surrounding edges of the tape, along with your fingers. *She suggests to keep a glass of water handy, so if your fingers get hot you can just dip them in the glass. Next, use your lighter and heat up the bottom of the bottle, and once it gets super hot place it directly in cold water. Sometimes your circle will not break out all the way, but you can Finnish off with a file, or a ball peen hammer!

All of the above methods, will take some patience! There is no quick way! I have heard of other methods, but these are the safest for your bottle. Any method containing alcohol or acetone combined with lighting will cause major stress points or fractures in your bottle. I hope that you will find this useful and have some new knowledge of how to put a hole in a glass bottle. Remember slow and steady always wins the race!

Tungsten Did the Magic

Man’s main and natural source of light is the sun; the gigantic burning mass which produces illumination to the solar system, the earth inclusive; along with heat and radiation. Our awareness is in no doubt that the sun is central and stationary in the system. Also, the rotations on their own axes and revolutions about the same sun, of the Earth and other planets, would intuitively fluctuate the availability of illumination. Consequently, day and night emerged.


Thousands of years before science became organized, fire was discovered. It did presented “smaller suns” because of the heat and light produced. Fire, however, extinguishes if it means of sustenance drops or exhausts. Without doubt, a big problem with “artificial light” is its sustenance. Starting with many crude and localized materials, man began to find solutions to this problem; “artificial light” should last longer. There will no discussion on fuels here, mind you.


Thomas Edison is often honored for his work on incandescent light. However, books of history have it that he did not actually invent the light bulb, but created the first commercially practical incandescent light. Many great scientists and inventors had worked on incandescent light before him. Edison’s interesting 1000-times trials makes his side of the history of “artificial light” more interesting than others. It was, and still, very motivational.

Sir Humphry Davy invented the “The Electric Arc Lamp”, using a glowing carbon; the light was weak and did not last long enough. That was the first “electric light” to be invented in 1802 with carbon as the filament. In 1840, platinum was used as the filament Warren de la Rue. It worked efficiently. In fact, longevity was improved, because platinum could be operated at high temperatures. But there was a major problem; commercial production was not feasible, because of the high cost of platinum.


There is no argument in this, as getting the right filament was the real problem. The filament is the part of the devices that produces the light. When electric current goes through the filament; it glows. This glow is caused by the heat generated through the filament’s high resistance to the flow of the electric current.

There had to be an element that would fit in nicely by combining both the technical and commercial conditions. Carbon filament could irritatingly blacken tubes and did not last long. Platinum is not economical because of its high cost. Although, it could endure heat, a quality necessary for the production of light, the market price would never be friendly.

Edison and his team even improvised with carbonized bamboo filament that could last over 1200 hours. It was the beginning of commercially manufactured light bulbs and the formation of Thomas Edison’s company; Edison Electric Light Company, in 1880. The company marketed the new product. That was never the end of the story.


This is awkwardly interesting! Edison, himself, knew that tungsten would be good as a filament for incandescent light, but, he had no means of refining the element. Anyway, tungsten did the magic! Another company, General Electric, had one of their scientists, William David Coolidge, worked on tungsten and made it the best filament for incandescent light.

Why tungsten? Tungsten has a very higher melting point of about 3422 degree-Celsius. For a typical incandescent light bulb, the Tungsten filament operates at approximately 2500 degree-Celsius. Its boiling point is around 5555 degree-Celsius. Its density is 19.25 g/cubic-cm. In addition, it does not cost as high as platinum, which makes it commercially relevant.

Although, “artificial light” has moved on from that stage, nonetheless, the element-tungsten did the magic. It solved the problem of light bulb filament!

What Are the Benefits of LED Lighting in the Workplace?

Many of us are already familiar with the numerous benefits that LED lighting has in the home – it is known for economising energy and therefore make an effective green solution whilst saving you money on your bills. Many of us are also very aware that this lighting solution lasts a very long time, needing to be replaced very infrequently.

Aside from these general benefits, LED lighting also has a number of specific advantages when it is used in work environments. Here are some of the main reasons why this is an excellent solution for workplaces as diverse as office spaces, construction sites and even sports fields.

Firstly, it needs to be mentioned that the cost saving benefits of LED bulbs are very important in the workplace. As businesses aim to achieve maximum cost effectiveness, LED is a product that fulfils this need, helping companies makes the most of their budgets.

Yet the benefits do not stop there; the second reason why LED is such a great solution is that it also boasts exceptionally high performance. Whereas other energy saving solutions can take a while to ‘warm up’, LED lamps are bright almost immediately. This is especially useful in environments that require brightly lit spaces for work to be carried out safely and effectively.

It should also be noted that an energy saving alternative, CFL, actually decreases in light quality over time and with frequent use. Although CFL remains a very reliable energy saving lighting solution, it certainly is not as efficient as an GU10 spotlight or LED floodlight with PIR, both of which will remain as bright on the final day of their lifespan as they did at the beginning of their installation.

Specific workplaces that can benefit from this aspect include factories, offices, production lines, studios, workshops and other areas where workers need to see with precise detail. Bulb colour temperatures that render the highest detail are CFLs or LEDs with Daylight or Natural White colour light.

Another major advantage of installing this kind of lighting solution in the workplace is that it is exceptionally flexible. There is a huge range of different LED lights on the market nowadays, ranging from spotlights for lighting offices to the LED floodlight with PIR which can illuminate the largest of spaces with great ease.

There is therefore no need to mix and match lighting solutions when it comes to LED. This one technology can fulfil the needs of virtually all working environments without exception. The best people to advise on which solution is most suitable for your working environment are energy saving lighting specialists, many of whom can be found online.

This type of lighting solution is also very durable, which makes it especially suited to tough working environments. LED lights can withstand varying temperatures and physical shocks, which means they are suited to outdoor workplaces where they may be subjected to knocks and vibrations.

Whereas other lighting solutions may become damaged in these kinds of environments, a floodlight with LED technology is unlikely to become damaged and in operational should it become struck by sports equipment or even machinery.

It is also worth noting that this type of lighting is also resistant to rain, snow and other harsh weather conditions, again making it an excellent choice in outdoor spaces. Coupled with the high performance that it delivers indoors, it really is an all-round excellent solution.

In conclusion, LED lighting is not only great for in the home, but can also bring numerous benefits to various workplaces. A flexible solution, this kind of lighting will perform well in both indoor and outdoor spaces, and even in the toughest working environments. It also allows for precision work to be carried out, with the quality of light remaining excellent throughout the bulb’s lifetime.

Pros and Cons Of Various Types Of Barriers

A head on crash is very severe when compared to other types of highway crashes. It takes just a few seconds for vehicles moving at highway speed to cross the median and collide with the vehicles from the other side of the lane. Median barriers are effective in separating the opposing traffic streams of a road physically. It also helps to stop vehicles moving into the opposite lane accidentally and to avoid pedestrians crossing the road at risky places. In 2006 there were 821 median cross over accidents that resulted in fatalities on U.S National highway system alone.

The factors that influence the selection of a barrier system are the type of the vehicles involved, roadway geometry and the potential severity of any head on crash incident. In most locations a standard barrier capable of redirecting the vehicles to the right area would suffice. However, in locations with complex geometry, adverse environmental conditions, heavy truck traffic and high traffic volumes and speeds, a barrier with high performance is necessary.

There are basically three categories of median barriers. They are detailed below,

Rigid barriers

The most common type of the median barrier in use today is the concrete barriers.


– They are widely used because of their maintenance free characteristics, low life cycle cost and safety performance.

– They are very effective in avoiding vehicle crossover collision on accident prone regions with high traffic volumes and speed.

– They can also be used in areas where the required median widths to install other types of barriers is not available.

– Jersey barrier is a modular concrete barrier that allows the vehicles to collide on its lower slopped face, pivoting it back in its original direction.


– Comparatively the installation cost of rigid barriers is high.

Semi rigid barriers

It is otherwise called as guardrail or guiderail. These rails are made of metals and they are collected in segments supported by posts or blocks.


– Unlike rigid barriers, semi rigid barriers are designed to absorb more energy from the impact and the entire assembly move or deflect during the crash. Hence, lesser damage to the vehicle.

– Installation cost is less.


– They are only suitable in the areas that are not sloppy and have good soil condition.

– The cost of the repair following an impact is high.

Cable barriers

Typically it consists of multiple cables that are connected to each other in a series of posts.


– It is the most versatile and forgiving barrier system in minimizing the median crossover crashes. This absorbs most of the energy of the impact and reduces the forces exerted on the vehicles and its occupants.


– Considerable time and cost must be spent maintaining, endangering motorists and workers during each repair.

The other factors that are considered before deciding the barrier type are road alignment, crash history and the number of lanes.

Nonflammable Thatched Roofs

The potential flammability of the thatched (or any other natural material, e.g. wood shingles) roofing is frequently a reason why the homeowners do not decide to thatch their houses.

They are right – reed is flammable…

and they are wrong – we live now in times when science is able to turn any flammable stuff into a nonflammable (even fire retardant) material (I strongly hope we are just one step away from inventing the nonflammable safety matches).

In the past, the thatchers solved this problem with dipping the thatching straw into the mud. It formed a hard, nonflammable crust over the thatched roofing so it was quite safe when confronted with some smaller fires (fireplace sparks, etc…).

Nowadays you have much more possibilities how to make your thatched roof fireproof as well.

Following methods of fireproofing your thatch roof are worth your consideration:

Fire retardant sprays for thatched roofing

There are some substances available on the market, like e.g. Flame Stop I-DS, which prevent the spread of flames by developing a chemically self extinguishing reaction.

Most of them are available in the form of an aerosole (spray).

Fireproof aluminum foils

As aluminum is perfectly nonflammable material (it is a metal able to last high temperatures) even a thin foil helps to keep your house interriors thermally separated from the roof (this is the method that doesn´t protect the roofing material itself – let it burn, if fire is its destiny, but rather keeps the other parts of the house separated and so safe from the roof in flames).

Fireproof batts (thatch batts) that are usually used for filling the roof framing spaces between the truss beams. Thatch batts actually are the rockwool batts, again, separating the thatched roofing from another parts of the house.

Do you think none of the above mentioned methods would protect your home enough from fire?

Separately maybe they wouldn´t… but why don´t you combine them? You´ll get one really reliable, water- and fireproof, natural, ecological and cool-looking thatching material that last years and is quickly reparable at low cost.

11 Simple House Hacks You Could Do For Your Home

Here are a few ways to do cheap fixes for your home in the most affordable way.

1. Insulation

Fixing your insulation could save you at least 50% of your energy bills. All you need to do is use rubber tubing, fiberglass and cellulose on the spaces between doors, windows and other openings. Using double-glazed windows is also useful for repelling outside temperature. You could lower the value on your thermostat now.

2. Energy Saving Appliances

These expensive appliances could save you more in terms of energy expenses. A great bonus with energy saving appliances is added features. For air conditioners, for example, you could set the time it would activate and it would turn itself off. For washing machines, it would optimize the energy it uses for cleaning clothes as well as the water needed for washing.

3. Fixing Holes in the Basement

Your home’s foundation could give in due to moist and the natural wear-and-tear of materials. If the foundation-form rod holes are becoming exposed, you might need some cement to patch the holes. Bricklayer mortar or cement and sand should do the trick for such holes. However, you will need to find some personal cement laying equipment.

4. Tile Laying

Laying tiles isn’t easy. Builders make sure the floor is even, the tiles are cut and evenly spaced, and they are laid down carefully or else they could be broken. Tile mastic serve as the strongest adhesive for tile laying projects. They are affordable in most hardware stores too.

5. The Magic That is WD-40

Squeaky windows and doors? A solution spray called WD-40 could work wonders by lubricating the hinges of these annoying home pests. Any household should have a can of this at the ready for any lubricating needs.

6. Talcum Powder

Too-shiny floors are great to look at but annoying to hear. Squeaky floors, a negative side-effect of ultra-house cleaning, are no match to talcum powder. It makes the floor cleaner and less slippery too.

7. Wallpaper Unfurling

Awesome wallpapers having their adhesive grip loose? Don’t fret. Using a knife, spread wallpaper paste on a clean sheet of paper. Attach the paper against the loose area of the wallpaper. Press the wallpaper and writing paper sandwich against the wall and voila! You have a fixed wallpaper!

8. Cleaning an Old Chandelier

Majestic chandeliers could return to their glorious years with good dusting. Unplug your chandelier, wear white cotton gloves damp with glass cleaner. Wipe the chandelier clean and then use another pair of dry gloves to rub the chandelier clean of dust.

9. Sliding Window Problems

WD40 won’t do well for sliding window problems, but a bit of silicone spray lubricant would do great for the skids. Spray the lubricant on a rag then wipe it along the sliding tracks of the windows. Silicone lubricants work well with wood, metal or plastic, so you won’t have to worry about anything.

10. Stubborn Bathroom Decals

Sometimes, debris leave a mark on your house. The WD40 lubricant could help here. By spraying the areas with WD40, you could then use a credit card to scrape the debris away from your bathroom tiles and even your bathtub. Rinse the entire thing with dishwashing soap and you’re done.

11. Clever Light Bulb Removal Trick

Using duct tape, you could instantly remove any hard-to-reach and hard-to-unscrew light bulb. Procure a one foot length of electric tape into the middle of the light bulb. Then, by folding the tape in half, stick it onto itself. Then grip each end between your thumb and index finger then you could instantly loosen up the light bulb.

17 Mile Cave, Idaho – Here There Are Monsters

“The rich,” writes University of Maryland professor Michael Olmert, “have terrific leverage over history.” Where they live and the things they own “dominate what we know about the past simply because the good things outlast the vernacular and the ephermal,” he writes in his book “Milton’s Teeth and Ovid’s Umbrella.”

“Graffiti defeat that at a stroke,” he adds, “hitchhiking on the walls of the good to bring an alternative past to light.”

Nowhere in eastern Idaho is that democratic sentiment more evident than a chilly, dusty, graffiti-filled lava tube buried under a sunburnt field peppered with brown shards of broken beer bottles. Over the past few decades, graffiti artists have layered 17-Mile Cave’s basalt walls with names, dates, pictures, love notes.

And monsters. My son’s favorite.

Colloquially enough, 17-Mile Cave is located just 400 feet to the south of U.S. Highway 20 about 17 miles west of downtown Idaho Falls, ID, at a spot marked by an Idaho historical marker “Elephant Hunters.” Park either at the marker pullout or along the dirt road that circles a dimple in the landscape to the south. In that dimple is the cave’s entrance.

The cave’s location, size and makeup make it an excellent place to pique the interest of would-be speleologists, no matter how young. Michelle and I took our three children – Liam, age 7, Lexie, 5, and Isaac, 2 ½, to the cave for their first spelunking adventure.

Of course, given the nature of children (especially literal-minded five-year-olds who believe their mothers when they say to let Dad go first into the cave, breathing cold air like a massive refrigerator, to check for bears) their first adventure did not arrive without tears. Within a dozen yards of the cave’s entrance, our younger two want out. (My wife Michelle, took them out. They waited for us a half hour in the van. And on the way home, added to our daughter’s literal mind-set with this story: “I told Lexie to put her flashlight on the ground so she could see the rocks as we were walking out,” she said. Instead of pointing the light to the ground, she put the flashlight down and walked away from it. Mom quickly set her straight.)

Liam, however, is game to continue. He and I walk on, he leading the way, his flashlight sending an errant circle of light randomly about the walls, floor and ceiling.

The cave is an easy hiking experience, with the entrance being the most difficult aspect. Adults and tall children have to duck and clamber down a short series of natural lava rock steps – a distance of not more than 12 feet – before the cave opens up enough for standing. From there, it’s a walk of only about a half mile to the cave’s end, with ducking required only in two additional short stretches. As the cave does not branch, there’s no chance of getting lost, though it is absolutely dark inside when out of sight of the entrance.

A natural rock fall followed by the cave’s single major twist quickly conceals the entrance and the light that enters the cave. For the most part, the cave is about a dozen yards wide and easily ten feet tall, though there is one chamber where the cave widens to at least twenty yards wide and easily thirty feet tall – enough room for an impromptu football game, if you’ve brought enough light.

A cave teaches a seven-year-old about quiet. Halfway in, I shushed Liam’s chatter, told him to tell me what he could hear:

Far away, a drip. . .drip. . .drip. . .

“Someone left the faucet running, Dad.”

Sure, son.

A little closer: “Errrrr, rerrrr, rerrrr, rerrrrrrrr.”

“Is that a monster?”

“Don’t think so, son. Somebody else in the cave has a flashlight like us.” I crank the handle on our rechargeable light, and it makes the same noise. “Do you hear your echo?”

“HELLO!” he yells into the darkness, shining his flashlight all about as if trying to follow his shout as it echoes.

Then we see lights ahead.

“Hello! Who’s that! What’s your name? Did you see any monsters,” he yells, echoes smashing into each other like bumper cars.

No monsters. Just a family heading out, tailed by their curious, friendly black lab.

We walk on, with the understanding that while a cave can teach about quiet, that lesson doesn’t necessarily get to be heard over they typical youngster’s barrage of questions.

Is there still lava in the cave, Dad? (On the way to the cave, I talked about how, thousands of years ago, the cave was formed as a river of lava flowed underground, then ebbed, leaving the cave behind.)

No, no lava, son.

How long is it?

Long enough, son.

Is the cave going to fall in on us?

It better not. Your Mom would get mad at me if it did.

What happens if we turn off our flashlights?

Try it.

He does. For about two seconds, we’re enveloped in darkness so utter no tent built of blankets and bits of wood by a seven-year-old hoping to sleep under the stars will ever match it.

He turns his light on again, shines it on me. “I thought I lost my Dad,” he said. “But there you are.”

Are there monsters, Dad? In addition to the bears, I joke the cave is home to the wookalar, my favorite movie monster.

“Let’s find out,” I tell him.

Just past the Echo Chamber – my name for the cave’s largest room; I’m not sure, in twenty-five years of visiting this cave, if any of the features have official names – the ceiling on the left dips again to within three feet of the floor. Long ago, some vivid imagination saw a monster mouth and eyes – somewhat resembling a brontosaurus – gaping out of that formation. So they painted the rock to add a little definition to their imagination.

“Monster face!” my son shout-whispers, as I shine the light on the monster’s neon-painted features. (Some dedicated souls re-touch the paint every year, ensuring the monster’s vivid leer is there for future cave-goers.)

He holds his own light up, blinding the monster in case it decided to come to life. The fog from his breath catches in the beam. “Monster smoke!” he whispers. (The monster smoke, at least this time around, is pretty thick, puffing around in underground clouds whether we’re breathing or not. It shows up in pictures, giving the sparkling rock, flashlit-faces and luminous paint an even more eerie feel as we clamber around underground with the monsters watching us with their yellow eyes.)

The monster is the least of the cave’s graffiti, all surprisingly G-rated, to the uninitiated at least. Scrawled on the walls are messages from previous cave-dwellers, ranging from the mundane – “Stop Graffiti,” “EXIT” (with arrows pointing in opposite directions) and “Dyslexicz of Idaho Untie!” — to the amusing — “Abandon Hope Ye Who Enter Here” — to the artfully cryptic – “Being the Adventures of One Uther Smith,” accompanied by a drawing of a pale, somber, goateed youth. Uther is, of course, up-to-date. He comes with his own URL: He’s a freshly-printed comic book hero, introduced to the world in the spring of 2007 at the San Francisco Center for the Book.

“The story is deeply rooted in that region of Idaho,” said Brandon Mise, a former Idaho Falls resident who penned the comic with illustrator John Murphy and colorist Nye Wright. “I wanted folks from there to know that they are soon to have a local hero they can root for.” The comic -though set in Pocatello – relies heavily on easily-recognizable Idaho Falls locales.

While researching locations for the comic – set partially on Mise’s uncle’s local potato farm, the trio found out about the cave “and went back the next day, armed with a backpack full of spray paint,” Mise said.

So everyone enjoys 17-Mile Cave. Except my youngest son and daughter, of course, but they’re young yet. This place gets attention — even from some North Carolina-based authors indulging in a bit of literal underground advertising in a freaking cold cave on the edge of the Lost River desert. What future historians may make of that is anyone’s guess.

A note for would-be graffiti artists:

I want it noted here I do not advocate graffiti, certainly not in this cave. Those who go to this cave need to know it’s on private property and that the property owner has been very kind over the years to allow people to clamber into his natural basement, paint cans in hand or no. But since the walls are covered in graffiti, I write about it. In penance, whenever I go there, I take a garbage bag and clean up some of the debris other cave-dwellers leave behind.

Top Five Types of Flooring

A new floor can give any home or office a fresh look. There are several different types of materials, which can make it difficult to decide which one works best. To help narrow the options, here’s a look at five types of bases and how to best take care of them.


The rustic look has become a popular choice in many homes today. Hardwood is a great way to create a country ambiance. This type of flooring complements areas like hallways, foyers, dining rooms, and dens by giving them a soft, yet elegant style. For commercial space, hardwood can be ideal for reception areas and private offices, as it aids in creating an inviting atmosphere.

Keeping hardwood clean is simple with regular sweeping and gentle cleaners specific to the type of wood. Area rugs are perfect for hardwood and can be used to compliment the tone of the wood, while also protecting them and adding a dramatic flourish to the room.


High-quality carpet can brighten a room and create an inviting atmosphere. This can be perfect for bedrooms, living rooms, and other gathering spaces. Depending on the environment, commercial carpeting can work for both offices and restaurants. When choosing a carpet, consider things such as color and the types of fibers. The lighter the carpet, the more important it is to consistently vacuum, shampoo, and steam clean the carpet. Regular care and attention will help eliminate stains and avoid deterioration.


Live in a warmer climate? Consider installing tile. Compared to other types of flooring, tile helps to increase air circulation and can keep a room cool. Tile is also great for bathrooms and kitchens and is easy to clean. Utilizing area rugs on tile is also a great way to keep tile in good condition.


Stone can give any commercial space or house a majestic feel. With a variety of stone types available in a multitude of colors, a homeowner has nearly limitless options. Stone can work well in places like hallways, bathrooms, common areas, or kitchens and is simple to care for and does not absorb moisture the way some other materials do.


Vinyl is perfect for high-traffic areas in a home with young children and pets. It has changed over the years and has been designed to have a contemporary, modern look with lots of patterns from which to choose. Vinyl is also one of the easiest types of materials to clean. Regular sweeping and mopping will keep the vinyl in pristine condition. Use cleaning solutions that don’t have harsh chemicals and avoid exposure to too much direct sunlight.

Whether a homeowner is building or remodeling, floors should speak to their individual style and personal taste. When homeowners are in doubt, consulting with a reputable flooring company can be a prudent decision.

The Penis Enlargement Penis Pump – Really, Is it Safe?

A penis enlargement penis pump is actually the first of all penis enlargement devices invented by man, since hanging weights from your penis cannot truly be called operating a device. Male Enhancement Pumps have been around for some time and their popularity really doesn’t seem to be on the decline. However, before you press the order button or whip out your credit card there are some things you will want to consider. Our goal is not to convince you to go for a certain product, although we do endeavor to put forward a friendly suggestion, but to make people see why certain products might be a hazard to them. Many men, too many men actually, are perfectly willing to throw common sense overboard and rush to the first flashy website or shop that promises a quick gratification of everybody’s desires. Unfortunately, life is not that simple.

For those who have never seen a penis pump, the pump is a cylinder that fits very tightly over the penis. No air can get inside the pump and what little air that is trapped inside the cylinder is removed by the device. This resulting vacuum pressure that’s caused by the vacuum penis enlargement system stretches the sponge-like tissues that make up the penis. The tissues fill with more blood than normal and the man’s erection seems to grow. The penis also seems to expand in length and girth and many men feel permanent enlargement is reached. The truth is a little different though. Subjecting any body part to pressure under vacuum conditions is a good way to rupture the blood vessels. No one needs to read an article to know that internal bleeding really isn’t good for you. Although the bleeding in this case is confined to the penis and the blood vessels eventually heal, the prolonged use of penis vacuum systems is very likely to cause long term damage.

The positive effects of any vacuum penis enlargement system are temporary. Erections gained with the help of such a device last only a short time, as any man suffering from diabetes or poor circulation can tell you. The powerful suction does fill the penis chambers to the absolute maximum, but the blood will start leaving the penis as soon as the pump goes off. What’s worse is that the temporary benefits of stronger erections and increased size come with a heavy cost. Preventing the blood from circulating for extended periods of time is risky because cells depending on blood for oxygen will start dying. The penis pump also tends to desensitize the penis, because the vacuum does not discriminate between cells that make up the tissues and those that are part of the nerves.

This problem is compounded by the fact that the safe pressure varies from one man to another and the recommended pressure is not always safe. You have probably heard the horror stories of impotence or curved penises told by people whose friends were maimed by male enhancement pumps. Or the not at all common stories about people who thought they knew how to handle a penis enlargement pump until the day they get their balls sucked into the cylinder. To say that having your balls crushed inside a pressure cylinder is painful would be a huge understatement.

So our advise to any man looking for a safe penis enhancement devise is not to be fooled into buying something that’s hazardous. There are a lot of ways to increase size without damaging your penis. A safe way to start is a good exercise system. Exercises use some of the same principles as the pump…but a “hands on” system is much safe since you’ll have control over the pressure on the penis. So, Please take some friendly advise and look for techniques and plans that are safe and effective without causing any penis damage.