How Guide Dogs Work

For almost all dog lovers, the phrase “work being a dog” does not make really sense. As the standard dog companion undoubtedly offers his master immeasurable joy, it’s clear that he dwells a life of impressive pleasure. Our pets superbly move from the lighthearted times of child years straight to the relaxation of old age, skipping the functional portion of life completely.

However, many dogs gladly execute really challenging tasks for most of their life, applying an entire day’s work much like ordinary people. Guide dogs, one of the acquainted types of working dog, offer a priceless assistance to humans. Each day, they assist their masters go around more securely.

Guide dogs assist sightless or visually weakened individuals go around across the world. In many nations, they’re permitted anyplace that the community is permitted, for them to help their masters be anywhere they may wish to go. To get this done, your guide dog should learn to:

• Obey numerous verbal instructions

• Lie silently once the master is seated

• Bring the master to elevator control keys

• Stop in all rein in until instructed to continue

• Turn right and left, move ahead and stop on order

• Discontinue at the end and the top of stairways till instructed to continue

• Maintain a comfortable speed, to the left and in front of the handler

• Stay on a straight route, disregarding interruptions like smells, other creatures and individuals

• Help the master to get on and navigate around the bus, passageways as well as other kinds of public vehicles

• Recognize and steer clear of obstructions that the master will not be capable to fit through (narrow pathways and very low overheads)

Furthermore, a guide dog should know to contravene any instruction that could put the master at risk. This potential, called discerning disobedience, is probably the most incredible factor regarding guide dogs — that they’ll balance behavior with their personal evaluation of the circumstance.

This ability is very important at crosswalks, in which the master and dog should function very tightly jointly to understand the circumstance securely. If the team gets to the suppress, the dog stops, signaling to the master that they’ve gotten to a crosswalk. Dogs can’t identify the traffic lights color, therefore the master must decide of when it’s safe to continue along the street. The handler concentrates towards the stream of traffic to determine when the light has changed and gives the instruction “forward.” When there is no danger, the dog continues across the highway in a direct line. If there are vehicles getting close to, the dog waits till the peril is disappeared and then goes behind the forward command.

Bumper Plates for Your Garage Gym – Reviewing Competition, Technique and Training Bumper Plates

Time to pick out some Olympic weightlifting plates for your garage gym? What kind do you buy? Rubber bumper plates or steel plates? Where should you get them? Should you buy new plates, or should you seek out used bumper plates? Are they expensive to ship, or should you expect free shipping? I’ve been through all this myself. I’ve done all of the research already for my garage gym but I’m going to do it all over again for this article. So let’s see if I can make purchasing some Olympic plates easier for you guys and gals.

What are Bumper Plates?

Bumper plates (or just bumpers) are Olympic weightlifting plates, typically made of rubber, so that a loaded bar can be safely dropped without damaging either the plates or the lifting platform (or simply the floor in most home and garage gym situations). Bumpers are available in both pounds and kilograms in the same weight variety as normal cast iron or steel weightlifting plates. Competition bumper plates are color coded by weight, while training bumpers are normally just black.

Bumper Plates or Steel Plates?

So do you choose bumper plates or classic steel/cast iron plates? Well that depends. If money is really tight, steel weights might be the way to go. Steel plates are less expensive and much easier to find second-hand. Check craigslist and you’ll be blown away by how many folks are selling their used plates and bars from the local sporting good stores. Often times, the weights are practically new. Prices on new steel plates are already about 60-70% of the price of decent bumpers, so finding used plates can mean major savings. You may also get lucky and find used bumper plates.

Another option for a tight budget is rubber coated plates. The cost is on par with steel, however, don’t think for a second that they are similar to bumpers. They are still just steel plates, only they have a protective coating. Rubber plates are typically what box gyms have these days, probably because they are quieter and look less like old school iron. They are not intended to be dropped from overhead like a bumper plate is, so if Olympic lifts are going to be part of your workout, I would avoid both steel and rubber coated plates as an option.

So why are bumpers better than steel? First of all, they’re safer. Safer as in, they won’t smash through your foundation or crack and chip if you drop them accidentally. Consider that if you cannot safely drop a 45 pound steel plate while just transporting it to and from the bar without having to worry about what it would do to your flooring, you obviously can’t drop it from the top of a press or from shoulder-height on a failed snatch.

With so many folks these days utilizing Olympic lifts in their workouts (even Crossfit uses the clean and the snatch), it makes sense to just go for the bumper plates initially so those lifts are an option for you later, even if you’re fitness level doesn’t necessitate them right away.

There is another reason so many prefer bumper plates over steel. It may seem a little silly, but for those who have worked out with steel (or still do) you will understand. It’s the noise. Steel is crazy loud on the bar. Even on relatively smooth movements, those giant plates banging against each other is definitely loud. When you let that bar down from even a few inches above the ground or rack, it’s loud as hell. Bumpers don’t clang and bang like that. Just something else to consider.

Mix and Match Plates

You don’t have to go with 100% bumpers. I have a combination of steel and bumpers in my garage gym. While my 35′s and 45′s are all bumper plates, I still use smaller steel plates. The steel 25′s and smaller plates never touch the ground so it doesn’t matter what they’re made of. Besides, the standard 10 lb. and 15 lb. bumpers tend to deform (taco) if they’re allowed to take the brunt of a drop too many times. They’re just too thin to take the same abuse as the large 45 lb. plates.

One other option for Olympic plates are Technique Plates. These are one-piece solid plastic plates really meant to be abused. They are mostly available in 5, 10, and 15 pound plates. If you’re new to Olympic lifts, these allow you to get your form down with very little weight added weight, but you still have the feel of plates on the bar. They are not cheap per pound, but you shouldn’t need more than one or two pairs of technique plates.

“I want bumper plates!”

I’ll go over the different types and brands of bumper plates and also go over what I’ve discovered regarding the best places to buy each type based on price, shipping cost, and overall reviews and feedback.

Standard black bumpers. There are a number of manufacturers out there but I’ve narrowed this down to three different -brands: Rogue HG, Troy VTX, and HI-Temp bumper plates.

-Troy VTX bumper plates are probably what you’ll come across more times than not in a sporting goods store or used equipment store. They’re priced reasonably well and the reviews are overall pretty decent. It’s one of the few options in that price range available in color. Look on Amazon for a deal on these. There is a ton of sellers for Troy VTX products.

-Hi-Temp bumpers are solid and the price is great as well. They are on the thicker side of available bumpers, but unless your lifts require over 400 pounds on the bar, I think you’ll be fine with the thickness of the plates. Lots of sites sell Hi-Temp. Rogue has them for cheaper than I could find them anywhere else, and shipping was included in the price. These are the only basic bumpers I know of that are made in the USA. FYI, HI-Temp bumper plates are the most searched for bumper plate by brand.

-Rogue HG Bumpers are my favorite choice for a basic black bumpers. I own some of these plates and I love them. They are slightly less expensive than the Hi-Temps, yet they are a bit thinner and look much cooler. They are warranted for 3 years (25′s and up) and the shipping is included in the price. Read some of the reviews here. These are hands down the best option for getting set up with bumpers.

Competition (& Training) Bumper plates: Competition bumpers like the Eleiko Olympic plates, the Pendlay Elites, or the Rogue Competition plates for Crossfit are thinner, more durable, and significantly more expensive. The “training” versions of these bumpers pretty much means they are the same plate, only not calibrated. So either way, when compared to a standard bumper, they are much more expensive.

I have lifted with competition plates so rarely that I have no business giving a review on them. Eleiko is used in the Olympics, Crossfit uses and abuses Rogue’s Competition plates, and Pendlay Elites are used by SuperFit. The weight deviation tolerances on these are so tight that you know you’re lifting the weight claimed on the plate… unlike the super cheap brands (of any plate, bumper or otherwise) where the tolerances are in the form of a percentage rather than in grams.

If you have the money to spend on bumper plates this nice, I’m sure that regardless of which brand you buy that you’ll be happy with them. Even though I won’t review them, I’ve still looked for the best prices online for all three brands for you to check out in case you are considering one of these options. Just click the links on each name in the previous paragraph. (please research prices yourself as well. These best prices are at the time of writing, and I didn’t dig to page 10 on Google when comparing.)

Pricing Summary

Below is just some pricing to give you an idea of what you will spend to get your hands on some new bumper plates (again, at the time of writing this article).

Cast Iron / Steel Plates: Approx $.90-$1.20 a pound. Definitely look for used.

Rogue HG Bumpers: Approx $1.50-$1.75 a pound. Best deal I could find.

HI-TEMP Bumper Plates: Approx $1.60-$2.00 a pound.

Training Bumpers: Approx $3-$5 a pound.

Competition Bumper Plates: Approx $4-$8+ a pound.

Technique Plates: Approx $14-16 a pound (ouch).

I hope this article has been helpful. I realize there are a ton of other brands and places to buy bumper plates. I looked at a lot of them both online and in local stores, and I’ve been exposed to a number of them in gyms. I wanted to narrow it down a bit. If you want to add your two cents on the type of plates you have and love (or hate), please do. You may also want to check out either my weight bench review or my power rack review, both done in a similar fashion and available at www.garage-gyms.com.

King Bed Linens Why Don’t These Sheets Fit? Picking Out Just the Right Size

So you got a new king bed and now the FUN part, picking out just the right king size bed linens. Whoa! Be careful, not all king beds are the same. You would be advised to carefully measure the mattress length from head to foot, from side to side and especially the depth or thickness from top to bottom.

Most king mattresses measure 76 inches head to foot and 80 inches side to side. It’s the top to bottom or depth that may cause a problem. Older king mattresses were pretty standard at 8 to 12 inches. Because of newer materials and manufacturers’ competition, that has all changed. There are regular mattresses, air beds,water beds, foam top mattresses, and sofa beds. Some of these beds even move. These come in a variety of depths from the original 8 inches up to and including 21 inches.

For the most part, the thickness of the mattress is only relevant for the fitted bottom sheet. Instead of just elastic at the corners, some fitted sheets have elastic all around for a better fit and ease to put on and take off. The top sheets are pretty standard, usually 102 inches by 108 inches. Most other linens such as comforters, duvet covers, bedspreads and blankets are standard too. Wait a minute, my mattress measures 72 inches side to side and 84 inches from head to foot. WHY? You have a California King sized mattress. That needs a different size fitted sheet. Watch the depth size there as well. The other regular king size items will fit the California king mattress. There a few California king top or flat sheets that add a couple extra inches to the length.

There is another sneaky trick the Simmons mattress company came out with in the 1990s, the Olympic Queen. This mattress is 66 inches wide and so could fool you into thinking it is a King. It did not catch on, so not a lot of them are left out there. It is still possible to find bedding sized just for them. You might have to hunt the internet for them though.

And then there is the split mattress king bed. These are the Craftmatic or TempurPedic type beds, where each side moves independently. The head moves up and the lower part of the bed bends so the legs and feet are elevated. You need to decide if you need fitted sheets for each bed separately or one king sheet to cover both mattresses. If one person will be using the movement properties and the other won’t, it might be wise to get separate fitted twin size sheets. Again measure to see if you need regular twin or twin XL sheets. From there you decide if you want to make each bed with its own top sheet, blanket, etc. or just use king bed linens to cover both. One more thing to consider, are you planning to add a solid foam or egg crate type topper on the mattress? Be sure to take that into consideration, when determining the thickness for the fitted sheet.

Using these steps to determine just the right king bed linens for your new bed, should ensure a comfortable nights sleep.

What To Do If You Have a Water Main Leak

So you’ve called a Queens plumber to come out and take a look at your leaking water main, but he won’t arrive for several hours at least. What should you do in the mean time, while you’re waiting for the Queens water main repair professionals to come out and fix the leak? Here are some tips for knowing what to do if you have a water main leak.

If you have a leaking pipe inside your home, apartment, or condo in New York City, there are a few things you can do while you’re waiting for the plumber to arrive. Keep cool and calm, even if there is water spurting out inside your home or in your yard. You can minimize damage caused by a broken water main line by locating the main water supply and turning it off. The main water supply might be located in your basement, on your main floor of your apartment. If your home or condo doesn’t have a basement, it’s probably located on the floor somewhere near an outside wall or on a side wall, behind a metal or plastic door. The water shut off valve for your home is located where the water pipe comes into your house.

Once you’ve located the water shut off, turn it off. Now, you can turn your attention to trying to contain the water damage caused by any leaking. Get towels, fans, blankets, or anything else to try and sop up water that is sitting on carpet or wood floors. Linoleum floors usually don’t undergo much damage from having water sitting on them, unless there are cracks in the linoleum (often invisible) where the water can seep in. When your Queens plumber arrives, you will be one step ahead by following these instructions.

Ladders Review: The Youngman Transforma

Whether you’re a homeowner or work in a trade or industrial setting, chances are you’re going to need to use a ladder at one time or another. Depending on the task, to do the job safely, a specialised type of ladder may be required. Which is why more than a few of us have a variety of ladders on hand. From the sectioned extension ladder to the simple step ladder, we often need a specialised ladder when beginning a task or project, whether at home or at work. Wouldn’t it be more efficient, though, to have a ladder that’s capable of multitasking safely and efficiently? Read on to learn about a great ladder from industry leader Youngman, the versatile Transforma.

About the Youngman Transforma Ladder

The Transforma is a durable and well-designed ladder that’s capable of 19 varied working heights and 4 distinct modes of operation. This professional quality ladder will give years, if not decades, of reliable service. It’s priced at about £170.00. The Transforma will function as an extension ladder with 8 different heights, an extending step ladder with 4 different heights, a closed step ladder, and a stairway ladder with 5 different heights. In addition, the ladder can act as a trestle with staging mode and 2 different heights. Do understand, however, that the trestle mode is not EN131 certified, and that the staging must be bought separately. Theladder’s other modes are EN131 compliant, which means that the Transforma is certified for commercial use.

Features of the Youngman Transforma Ladder

With a safe, triple locking hinge mechanism, Transforma ladders can be deployed in the most awkward and challenging locations. The stiles are telescopic, and are locked in position by 4 robust and strong lock tab assemblies. The splayed legs have slip resistant feet for added safety. The Transforma has tip-and-glide wheels that operate smoothly. Both the outer and inner stiles are made from the same type of aluminium that’s used in aircraft. The aluminium also is fully anodised. Anodisation is an electrolytic process that thickens aluminium’s normally thin surface layer of oxide, with the result that the metal is harder and more resistant to corrosion.

A Few Specifications of the Youngman Transforma Ladder

The Transforma is suitable for use indoors and outdoors. It’s compact and easy to store, being only 1.4 metres long x 0.61metres wide x 2 metres deep when closed. The Transforma weighs just 17.5kg. The ladder has 4 sections, each having 4 rungs. It will support a maximum static load of 150kg. According to wisegeek website, maximum static load is the amount of “tension or compression a material can tolerate before yielding or permanently deforming.” It’s important to understand that the maximum static load comprises the total weight of the user, along with any tools and/or materials being transported up or down the ladder. When this value is exceeded, the ladder can develop microscopic fractures that compromise its integrity.

Ladders like the Youngman Transforma help to expedite work at height applications in home, trade and industrial settings.

Goal Setting – Viewing Your Long-Term Goals As a Staircase

“You never finish anything!”, she would say. The words still echo in my head until this day, an unforgiving reminder of all my mistakes and missteps along a path to success that’s been anything but a straight and narrow road. Twisting and turning, dipping and diving, it sometimes looks like an endless maze, complete with cracks, potholes & the traffic-causing construction crews that never seem to fail to schedule road repairs at the times you’re in a rush to get where you’re going.

And, in a way, that is my biggest problem: I’m always in a rush. My mother’s words, as frustrating as they may have been at the time, were right- I wasn’t finishing what I started. Partly due to impatience, and partly because I have quite possibly the worst case of Attention Deficit Disorder I’ve ever come across. My mind knows it’s going to lose interest soon so it looks for the quickest path to success and if it doesn’t find it, chalks it up as another dead-end street on the mental road map that is my mind.

And while rushing nor ADD may be your problem, I find we all share a common one: Our path.

It’s not that the goals we create for ourselves are unrealistic. It’s that the path to them is. We set goals as a one step, go from “here” to “there” plan of action, and start off with all engines revving. We’re working hard, moving towards what we want & things are going great. And then we make a mistake.

Unfortunately we’re human, and mistakes will happen. Suddenly we’re like a guy sitting alone on a raft in the middle of the ocean, no land in sight for miles around us in every direction. How far did we come? How far do we have to go?

How do we even know? It’s easy. We apply the staircase technique and learn to use micro and mini goals to accomplish our long term ones. Picture your goal as a staircase. When you look at a staircase, your brain automatically knows it has to individually climb up each of those steps. You wouldn’t try to jump up every stair in one leap, would you?

Some goals may require 5 steps, whereas some may require 50. Becoming a famous actor is probably going to require more steps than losing 30 pounds (unless, of course, your last name is Spielberg). But hardly any goals are going to require just ONE step, or else they probably aren’t even worth recognizing as worthwhile ones in the first place.

When you plan to get in shape, don’t set your goal as: “I want to get in shape”. It’s too broad and undefined a goal, and will lead you 10 different ways to your result before you end upgiving up in frustration at the fact that you really don’t know what you’re doing. Instead, envision it (or even draw it out) as a staircase, and write out the mini-goal of each step. It may look something like this:

Step 1: Clean up eating habits.

Step 2: Join gym.

Step 3: 15 minutes of cardio a day for a week.

Step 4: 30 minutes of cardio next week.

Step 5: Include light weight-lifting routine before cardio.

Step 6: Increase weight-lifting, 60 minutes of cardio a day.

The staircase visualization is good for 2 reasons: Not only does it give you realistic mini-steps towards your long term goals, but when you make a mistake, or lose motivation, you can look back at what step you’re on and see the progress you’ve made thus far. This is majorly important to keep motivation high. If your goal requires lots of hard work over a long period of time, you’re going to lose motivation at some point. It’s only natural. Life happens. You’re going to have a bad day, or your mind is going to be distracted by other things going on in your life, etc. You need this gauge of how far you’ve come, how far you have to go, and how far back you will fall if you give up now.

Think of something you want to accomplish. Now draw out a 5-step staircase of steps you can take to get closer to it. Now see if you can divide those 5 mini goals into 10 micro goals. I honestly feel the smaller the steps, the better, because the feeling of constant pushing forward will keep your motivation revving at it’s highest level.

Always be working towards climbing up that next step. Don’t worry about the top. You can’t get to the last step if you can’t even get to the 3rd. Stay motivated. Because remember, although you can’t jump UP a whole set of stairs in one leap, you certainly can jump DOWN one.

Using the Five Senses to Enhance Your Writing

Sight

This is the one sense that provides most of the detail for our stories. Our words become our readers’ eyes, giving us a blank canvas upon which to paint a picture to tell our story. From the sight of a common fear, such as a spider creeping silently along the floor to the glimpse of a shadow on the stairway… sight is our greatest source of horror inspiration and description. When describing the sight of something terrifying there’s a huge resource at the writer’s disposal, because we can use our other senses to add glorious, gory detail to our descriptions. Here’s an example of how all five of our senses can be used to describe a simple scene:

The apple was bright green, its skin polished and shining as it nestled in the fruit bowl (sight). The scent was fresh, as though the fruit had just been plucked from the tree (smell). She took it from the bowl, her fingers closing around the firm smooth skin (touch) as she lifted it to her lips. The apple crunched loudly (sound) as her teeth cut through the skin into the tart, juicy flesh (taste). As the fresh juice ran down her throat she noticed a small black speck moving slowly in the creamy flesh. Closer inspection revealed that she hadn’t just taken a bite from the apple – she’d bitten through a fat, juicy worm.

Sound

Remember when you were a small child, and your parents put you to bed? Perhaps there was no nightlight, and the TV room was at the other end of the house…

You’re lying in your bed. All alone. Desperately waiting for your eyes to accustom to the dark you hear it – a soft, scratching noise – and it seems to be coming from under the bed. It lasts only a moment before it stops. You wonder if you were hearing things, and you’re so desperate for the darkness to lighten you forget to blink. The blackness seems to swirl around you, cloaking you in a thick, black fog through which no light can penetrate. Suddenly it’s there again, only this time the scratching seems closer. And louder. It seems to last a bit longer this time. So you hold your breath, because that darkness doesn’t seem to be lifting. You’ve lost the sense of sight, so by not breathing you hope to hear the sound more clearly, and identify its location…

The description above relies on the complete absence of the sense of sight. This is where fear comes in and can play a major descriptive role – in this case blind fear. To compensate for loss of sight the sense of hearing becomes more acute, so the writer can introduce other horror-inducing thoughts and impressions. Where is the sound coming from? How close is it? Will I be able to feel it if it decides to climb on the bed? When will my eyes get used to the darkness? Should I start panicking now? If I get out of bed will it jump on top of me?

Touch

This sense conjures up description of things most us will probably try to never touch, like slime, frogs and warty skin. All these items are perfect for the horror/scary genre, but writers can also take the more ordinary touch phobias and use those items to horrific effect. Some people cannot bear to touch velvet, while others are terrified of touching paper. Still others find their skin crawls when they encounter cotton wool…

Opening the wooden box in the hotel bathroom, she recoiled in horror. Nestling quietly in the bottom of the box, white and shining, was a cluster of cotton wall balls. She stepped back, collapsing on the side of the bath. The mere thought of feeling those soft fibres squeaking as the ball pressed against her skin was enough to induce goosebumps. She wrapped her arms around herself in a subconscious effort to protect her body from the fear she’d had her entire life. Just thinking about cotton balls made her skin crawl. She moaned quietly, remembering the silent noise they emitted when squeezed; a noise that seemed to pass right through her skin. Through her panic she wondered if she’d remember to pack her facial sponges…

Descriptions of this particular sense can been embellished with the use of physical reactions to feeling certain items; goosebumps, stepping away from the source of horror, collapsing with fear, subconscious act of defence (hugging the body) and a noise of fear (moaning). All these reactions add to the reader’s imagination, while adding to the picture your words are “painting”.

Smell

Bad smells in the horror/scary genre usually mean something bad is about to happen or has already happened. The smell of rotting or burning flesh is probably the most common description applicable to this genre, and the description of the smell can also be used to indicate how the death occurred. Bad household smells range from two week old pizza languishing in the refrigerator to potatoes burning in a pot on the stove. Adjectives include: smelly, reeking, fetid, malodorous, rank, putrid and noxious.

As she applied the finishing touches to the client’s hair, a sharp smell suddenly assaulted her nostrils. It was a smell she hated and dreaded, because it was an odour so terrible the memory remained burned into the subconscious forever. She froze as the acrid stench filled the air, assaulting her nostrils and her throat with its foul flavour. An instant later her salon filled with gasps and shrieks of horror. She turned towards the three ladies seated underneath the dryers. Mrs Hamilton and Mrs Edgar had managed to wriggle out from underneath their dryers, but poor Mrs Smith was unable to move. One of the pins from her rollers had obviously caught in the dryer, and ignited her hair. Smoke was seeping out of the top of the machine, which had started to spark. Placing her hand over her mouth and nose in a attempt to banish the malodorous scent she started to move towards Mrs Smith, who screamed as flames began flickering out of the dryer…”

Taste

Most, if not all of us, have an aversion to a certain food. We don’t like to eat it and the taste of it makes us feel sick. Perhaps the mere thought of tasting it is enough to induce some horrible thoughts and feelings.

The candlelight caught the designs on the wineglass, casting a dark crimson glow on the table. He lifted the glass to his lips, the rich musky flavour of the cabernet sauvignon still drifting over his taste buds. At the first sip of the wine he almost choked. There was obviously something wrong with this new bottle of wine, for the liquid in his mouth had a bitter, sour taste. Although the consistency was the same as the previous glass, there was an acidic flavour he could not identify… although it seemed vaguely familiar. He swirled the liquid around in his mouth before swallowing it. It seemed to sting his tongue and burn the roof of his mouth, and when he swallowed the acrid liquid his throat tingled. Suppressing the urge to cough he reached for the glass of water next to his plate and took a sip. As the cool water cleansed the tart taste from his palate his hostess lifted the bottle he’d used to fill his wineglass… and poured balsamic vinegar over her plate of salad.

Writers have a magnitude of adjectives at their disposal when describing the horror of tasting unappetising food. These include: pungent, sour, acrid, bitter, fetid, stinking, putrid, decaying, rancid, reek, stale and bad.

Real life can be far more fascinating than fiction, and using our senses in our writing proves this truth. So the next time you sit down in front of your keyboard tap in to those five senses, and see just how they can colour your words!

The Importance Of Scaffolding Training

Scaffolding training makes sense for a number of reasons. First of all, as a construction business owner you want your workers to have adequate scaffolding training to prevent accidents on the job for which you as the business owner will be responsible. Accidents happen unexpectedly as that is their nature and are never a happy event either for the person who has the accident, or for the business owner who may end up facing legal action as a result of using untrained staff to work on scaffolds. It is law in South Africa that construction companies abide by the construction regulations that are part of the Occupational Health and Safety Act of the country and proper training in scaffolding use is part of this. Regardless, no one wants to acquire an injury, let alone die, on duty which is why prevention through proper training is infinitely better than cure!

Experienced construction workers working on scaffolds can make the job look so easy, particularly from down below where the observer has both feet on the ground, but it really isn’t. Workers can be hundreds of metres off the ground, working in windy conditions with only a metal framework between them and the ground. Harnesses are an absolute must, as are helmets and goggles to keep construction dust and grit out the eyes, but what is the correct equipment worth if it’s not being correctly used, or even used at all? Workers may underestimate the importance and value of using their protective clothing and equipment correctly, and not use it correctly, which is a recipe for disaster in the long run.

This is where proper scaffolding training comes in. It not only teaches workers how to construct scaffolding but how to use it correctly to ensure their safety. Trainees learn how to erect scaffolding so that it provides a firm and steady framework at all times, as well as how to stack and store it on the ground. Workers also learn about different types of scaffolding and their load-bearing capacities and should be tested on their knowledge both practically and theoretically, if possible. Ideally, workers should receive proper training during their induction into a company and workers with experience should be sent on refresher courses. Business owners looking to send workers on scaffolding training courses can find companies offering training on the internet but should first make sure that companies offering scaffolding training are accredited by regulatory bodies.

A final word to DIY home construction enthusiasts: just because you’re doing it yourself doesn’t mean you’re exempt from scaffolding training. You may think the job you’re working on isn’t located high enough up to present a danger, but you never know. The husband of a friend of my mother’s fell off a single-storey scaffold while painting gutters and broke his leg. The poor man now walks with a limp and his gutters still aren’t painted because it took months for his leg to heal and now he doesn’t have the heart to climb up that scaffolding again to finish the job.

Simple Tips on Removing Paper Laminate

Laminating paper is the process where you are creating the plastic film over your original document. Your plastic will be heated and then molded around your document in preserving it from the water damage or even scratching. Most of people usually laminate their important documents, pictures or even memorabilia. But there will be the time when you should remove the laminate. It will be the difficult process and also rarely possible without the damage to your original document. Here is more information for you.

For the first step, you can place your document on a mat. After that, light it brightly with a lamp that is shining directly on your document therefore you may properly see your edges and also seams.

For the second step, you can examine your laminated paper. After that, look for the seam where a laminate plastic will meet the document, and create the air pocket.

For the next step, it is important for you to slice your laminate with your utility knife down the layer. You can use a ruler to correctly line a knife up and also keep it in the place away from your document. Then, slice your plastic lamination away.

After that, do not for get to pry your lamination carefully away from you document. You can use your utility knife if you want to create the space between your lamination and also the document.

For the last step, you need to pull your lamination slowly until it has completely removed. It is also important for you to add heat from the heat gun set on the low to soften the laminate, to make it easier for you to remove.

Danish Oil Vs Sprayed Lacquer

Danish oil is a hard drying oil used in wood finishing. It is made of either Tung oil or Polymerized Linseed oil. It gives a hard, water-resistant finish to wood products by soaking into the wood and hardening. It is used as a finishing product, but can also be used to seal wood or prime it before painting or varnishing.

Spray lacquer is another type of protective finish for wood. It is made with a combination of hardening oil mixed with resin and also a solvent. The solvent evaporates hardening and curing the lacquer to the wood. The ratio of oil to resin will determine drying times and the hardness of the finish.

Spray lacquer can be used as a sealant for wood, much like Danish oil. If you’re only using spray lacquer, the first layer will act as the sealant and primer. There are not a lot of solid components to spray lacquer, so several coats are often needed. Spray lacquer often gives a glossy finish that is desired for some projects. However, it is not as scratch resistant as a Danish oil finish.

Danish oil penetrates into wood, so there is no need to sand your project with a high-grit sandpaper. A little roughness makes it easier for the oil to penetrate. Oil finishes take a little more work to apply than a spray finish. Apply the oil so that it looks very wet and let it soak in for about half an hour. Rubbing it in will also help to keep it even and penetrate more deeply. You’ll have to keep applying to dry looking areas as you go for about half an hour. When the oil starts to feel sticky, you’ll wipe off any excess.

Danish oil finishes are very smooth and give a nice, nearly matte finish. However, you can’t apply Danish oils over stains or lacquers because they need to soak in to work. Tinted versions are available if you don’t want the natural color of the wood to be your finished product.

Wood will push oil out of itself for a few hours after application, so you’ll need to check it and wipe away excess oils every fifteen to twenty minutes over several hours until it stops. Drying your woodworking project in a cool area will help control leaking. Heat makes it worse, so rubbing vigorously will make it bleed more, too.

Spray lacquer finishes are done when they are dry, making them a little less labor intensive than Danish oil finishes. Danish oil finishes are sealed with lemon oil or a type of solvent wax as the last finish. This helps to protect the oil from drying out and also gives it a nice sheen. Oils and wax finishes can be reapplied every couple of years to restore the shine to your project.

Badminton Rackets and Injuries

Badminton is one of the fastest racket sports in the world, and it involves throwing your arm very quickly at the shuttle. As a result of these violent actions, many players develop repetitive shoulder injuries. The more you play, the greater the chance of picking up chronic shoulder problems. Injuries are the bane of sports, they can result in frustration and misery, and slowly take away your enjoyment. So i have decided to find out if a badminton racquet has the potential to cause injury.

I have taken a close look at the research on racquet science, and a few key terms seem to be related to how we acquire injuries directly from playing with certain badminton racquets.

The first term that came up was work. Work is the energy required to produce a certain shuttle speed. It measures the efficiency of the badminton racquet. The more efficient your badminton racket is, the less work you need to put in. So a low work racket is good for you. A high work racquet is bad because you have to put in more work to achieve the same shuttle speed. Think of work as the rackets power.

Another key term is shock, which is the loading of the racquet from a sudden change in kinetic energy. It relates to how much the racket slows down on impact with the shuttlecock. After impact energy is lost, the shuttle gets some of this energy, and the rest is used in bending the frame. If the frame is very stiff, it will not absorb this energy, instead, it will be dumped into your arm. High shock is bad for injuries.

The research has proved that the best type of racquet to use to attain maximum power is one that is heavy with a head light balance. More mass placed close to the handle allows makes it easier to swing. More mass placed at the tip makes it more difficult to swing. Think of how hard it is to swing a sledgehammer, with all that weight placed at one end. Now, if you hold the sledgehammer with the weight placed in your hands, it is much easier to swing.

There are two schools of thought involving weight. Some argue that a light racket will allow you to swing faster, and therefore create more velocity on impact, resulting in faster shuttle speed. The other side of the argument is that a heavy racket will have more mass on impact, despite less swing speed, and this extra weight will create the necessary shuttle speed. However, momentum is what counts in a collision.

The lightweight racket will slow down much quicker after impact, putting more stress on your shoulder. You have to put in more work to get the shuttle speed with light racquets. Faster swing speed means less control. Over time this lightweight racket will demolish your arm compared to a heavier one. The heavy racket will not slow down as much after impact, and so less strain is placed on you.

The modern trend in all racket sports is to have light rackets with a head heavy balance. At first glance it seems this is a good combination to create power. More mass at the top will help the racket to crush through the shuttle on impact. However, more mass at the tip makes it more difficult to swing. Remember the sledgehammer example? It requires more effort on your part, you have to work harder to achieve the same shuttle speed as a heavy, head light racquet. Also, head heavy rackets feel sluggish and slow.

Here is the low down… Head light and heavy is best for performance, and best for avoiding injury.

As an example i have looked at the balance and weight specifications for the most popular badminton manufacturer, Yonex. Not one Yonex model has a head light balance, many of them are head heavy such as the muscle power series, whilst the nanospeed series appears to be slightly head heavy. What makes these rackets even worse for injury is that many of them have stiff frames, which increases vibration.

So, what can you do to make your racket into a powerful, injury preventing weapon?

Add weight to the handle. You can do this by adding extra grip tape. If your the kind of player who buys a racket and then applies large amounts of overgrip on the handle, you will have changed the balance point, probably without even realising. There is also a little gimmick called lead tape, and the idea is to apply this tape to the racket head. This will create a head heavy balance. Many players use this tape as they believe it will give them more power. We now know that all this lead tape will do, is to make it more difficult to swing the bat, and cause the most injury to your shoulder over time. What i would do is buy some of this tape and apply it to the handle, then put the overgrip on top of it.

Next time you buy a new badminton racket make sure you know all the details about it, such as weight and balance. Specify what weight and balance point you want. It might just extend your playing career and help you avoid injury.

What Are the Advantages of Commercial Roof Repair?

The roof is one of the most important parts of an establishment. Unfortunately, it is also one of the most neglected and forgotten as many building owners often overlook small cracks and leaks only to find greater damage in the long run. Here are reasons why you should hire a personal roof inspection and repair company to take care of one of the most important safety features of your property:

• A professional service can provide you with a great variety of services. These experts can and will do so much more than just discover and repair leaks on your roof. They can also offer a wide range of maintenance services, ranging from constructing roof flashing, repairing water damage, and replacing shingles. They can also fix other critical parts of your roofing, ranging from vent pipes and chimneys to skylights and drainage systems. They can also perform interior damage repair caused by leaky roofs to make sure that your property is in good condition from the inside out.

• Commercial roofing contractors also have an extensive supply of high quality materials that ensure reliable repair services. This means any damage repair they carry out are guaranteed to last long. Typical roofing materials available at your local hardware store are often inferior to what these companies are supplied. They often use specially designed roofing materials and finishes such as elastomeric coating, which enhance the durability and quality of roofs.

• Professional leak repair services are also cost-effective. Even when you have commercial-scale repair needs, professional services aren’t as expensive as they may seem. As a matter of fact, you will end up saving a great deal of your hard earned money by seeking the help of professional repairmen in the first place, rather than trying to fix the damage on your own. A professional roofer will not only offer you short-term solutions to your leak problems but provide you with options that will help you prevent damage in the long term. Settling for unprofessional repair work can actually cost you more in the long run, especially when the temporary repair fails and causes more irreversible damage.

• Safety is another major advantage of hiring professional commercial roofing contractors. Trying to repair building leaks can be quite dangerous. Professionals have all the right equipment, tools, and skills to make sure that repairs go well, with the safety of their workers and their clients in mind. They also guarantee protection of your property throughout the duration of the repair project.

The Importance of School Resources for All Ages

School resources seem to become easier to come by as technology advances and the people around the world become more interconnected. Arts and crafts for kids are available all around the world because of the way the global economy works. Teaching resources are becoming more available because of advancements in technology, such as the Internet. A teacher can now grab additional information from the Internet that can be used to go into more depth about a topic that is being taught from the book. Nowadays, students can be shown pictures, videos, and other information related to the learning topic instantly through the use of the Internet. School teachers and parents have had a hard time when it comes to getting children to pay attention in school in the past, but these problems have become much less prevalent as technology has advanced and made learning more enjoyable for everyone involved.

Children cannot resist the interesting aspect on learning created by the Internet, which is why young children are becoming smarter at a younger age these days. While computers can definitely be used to waste time playing video games, they also have their use as a tool for education. A child left on his own would probably just play video games all day, but it is the job of the teacher and parent to make sure they are using technology for learning and not for laziness. A teacher can only do this job with enough available resources to grab the attention of a child and teach him or her about the world. Many resources for teachers are being cut out by advancements in technology these days, but this is actually a good thing. The resources being cut out are those that have been proven to be slower and less effective. A child is much better off using the Internet than an Encyclopaedia, so there is no reason to force outdated resource books to be used by students. New technology is available to help make learning more fun and exciting for both the students and the teachers. This technology should be used since it is likely to help children enjoy learning and strive to learn more each day.

One of the best resources for learning today are games that help children have fun while being taught the facts of the world. These games have become even more entertaining for children with the added use of various pieces of technology. Today, teachers are allowed to interact with the World Wide Web during lessons, which helps them gain more resources to show the children and teach them about the world. Fun activities in the lesson plan of a teacher are always a positive for the learning environment. Kids just care about having fun all of the time, so they have to be having fun while they learn. You cannot just teach by the book because that will leave most of the students bored and uninterested. This is a problem with many school systems around the world. The children simply do not care about paying attention to someone giving them a lecture all day. They will be much more open minded about learning if it is through the use of fun and games.

Learning is impossible without school resources, but learning can be taken to the next level with the use of fun activities for the students to do during the lesson. Arts and crafts for kids are a great method to get them to learn because most children love to colour and paint. This is often used in geography lessons where countries can be learned by colouring in maps with different colours for different sections of the world. Teaching resources are important, but how those resources are used are just as important. If a teacher really wants to get through to their students, they need to let them have fun every now and then. Starting the day with a lesson and note taking is fine, but the students need some kind of hands-on activity to really have the material sink in. The best way to get students to care about learning is to make it as fun as possible.

Painting Aluminum Venetian Blinds in a Few Easy Steps

All the Colors of the Rainbow…

Painting aluminum Venetian blinds can be fun and fulfilling, especially when you take a step back and look at what you’ve done. You could add some sunshine, a few colors of the rainbow, and the infinity of the sea and the sky by simply changing the color of your aluminum Venetians in a few easy steps. When you chose this type of window treatment you were probably guided by their durability and easy maintenance. However, as it usually is the case, people tend to get bored of looking at the same window scene over and over again. That is probably the right time to start a remodeling project which includes repainting your aluminum Venetian blinds which is a more cheap option to buying new ones. Since you are probably looking for a budget solution, I herewith offer some tips on painting aluminum Venetian blinds in a few easy steps.

If you have decided to paint your metal Venetian blinds, this is what you should do.

1. The first thing you will need to do is to remove the blinds. Do not worry, it is not as hard as it may seem at first. Simply use a screwdriver to take off the end caps from the bottom of the blinds. Then untie the string connecting the blinds and remove the slats. If you have previously installed your Venetians, this should be a piece of cake for you. On the other hand, if everything looks to complicated or you are simply not that crafty, simply follow the manufacturers instructions that you received when purchasing the blinds or ultimately ask someone to help you.

2. The next step involves cleaning the blinds. Your aluminum Venetians need to be properly cleaned and all the dust, dirt and debris properly removed, since paint should be applied only to clean and smooth surfaces, otherwise your painting job will be hindered and you could face some inconsistencies. Cleaning aluminum blinds is very easy. For a more thorough cleaning, you could soak them into water (bath tub for instance), wash them using some mild soap or detergent and rinse them with shower. You could also use a cloth or a sponge and a bucket of clean, cold water. Simply add some soap to the cloth, apply it to each slat and rinse it with another clean, wet cloth. That is it. Note that your blinds need to be completely dry before adding paint, so use a dry towel to collect the remaining water or better yet leave them outside to dry.

3. Now let’s move on to painting your aluminum Venetian blinds. It is best done outside, since it involves using spray paint which could spray and damage surrounding objects. If you decide to paint the blinds inside, always take some precautions, that is properly protect your floors, walls and furniture. Before adding the paint you will need to add a bonding primer. The primer especially designed for metal will allow the paint to stick to your metal blind surface and also cover any existing stains. Apply the primer on each slat of the blind and make sure to cover entire surface equally. The primer will have to be left to dry (for about an hour) when you can apply it to the other side of the blind.

4. When the primer is completely dry, you can start painting your aluminum Venetian window blinds. Choose spray paint for metal surfaces. You should add the paint in more than one layer in order of getting the color intensity you probably want and preventing the paint from pealing off or fading in time. Add two or three layers of paint to each slat and leave them to dry (again for optimally one hour, but this may depend on the paint). Repeat the process on the other side of the blind. When the paint is dry, you can reassemble and attach your Venetians. Consider your job done.

Always bear in mind that you are not limited by using only one color for the blinds. You could mix colors, make some patterns, paint each slat a different color. It is entirely up to you. However if you think that painting your metal Venetians is a tedious and boring job, you could always get the real deal, that is some colorful, new aluminum blinds in a whole diapason of colors.

The Importance of Crane Safety and the Steps You Should Take

Cranes have come a long way from what they once were. No longer are they the clunky, rickety machines of the past. Technology has most of all improved their speed, strength, and capacity, over the years, at the same time making them lighter and easier to operate. Cranes have become an absolute necessity in several industries. They can make your job easier; however, cranes are more commonly the cause of on-the-job accidents than any other heavy equipment. They account for more than 20% of all deaths associated with construction jobs.

The truth is, many of these fatalities are preventable. With a little more awareness, proper equipment maintenance, and less carelessness on the job, we might just see a drop in the crane-related deaths.

Crane safety is a key issue in jobs requiring such equipment. Job supervisors and crane operators must be knowledgeable about everything that concerns the mechanics and functions of their assigned crane. It is highly advisable that everyone involved in the hands-on use of the crane read the manual and receive thorough instructions prior to using the machine on their own. They also need to be well aware of crane safety and its maintenance. The crane itself must be adequate for the task at hand. If your load exceeds the crane’s weight limit, then you are using the crane in a dangerous manner. This equipment needs to be operated as directed by the manufacturer. Improvisation is not advised.

To ensure crane safety, all overhead obstacles must be removed for adequate clearance. The crane must be set up on a solid and level surface, capable of supporting the equipment and added payload. Crane use and operation requires advanced and careful planning. All tools and equipment at the workplace should be placed in an area that is not prone to causing injuries. These tips should not be neglected nor should it be approached haphazardly.

Crane operation must be closely watched, to ensure that plans and procedures are not being modified nor ignored. An unqualified person should never be allowed to operate the crane. The operator needs to have adequate training and experience to guarantee crane safety. They should be well oriented with the equipment, especially on how to read and use the instruments and charts, and should also have the math skills for calculating the loads. The crane operator needs to have good judgment and an ability to pay attention to detail, since he is the one in charge in deciding when and how to change crane speed and loads based on conditions at the site.

If all these conditions are met, the crane will always remain an important part of the job and will once again prove to be a safe and efficient piece of equipment.