Azure Table Storage

Microsoft Windows Azure table storage is part of the Windows Azure system. Cloud storage is a booming technology and used by a myriad of different services. This article discusses how to leverage Azure table storage for your Azure application's storage requirements.

There are two fundamental options open to you for an Azure application's storage needs: Azure SQL Database (formerly known as SQL Azure) and Azure table storage. Although there is local storage available on each Azure instance, this must be considered transient at best. Local storage is intended only to serve the basic needs of the service running on the Azure instance.

Azure SQL Database is a very capable database solution built Microsoft upon SQL Server. If your application has needs for a complex relational database model, then Azure SQL Database is really the way to go. However if your application's data requirements are simpler then Azure table storage may be sufficient.

The main benefit for using Azure table storage is that it is extremely cheap. The cost per transaction is so cheap as to be virtually unmeasurable for small applications and the cost for storage volume is also very low compared to Azure SQL Database.

The main drawbacks for Azure table storage are that it is non-relational and can only have the one index. Secondary indices are not supported and the primary index is the row key that you assign to each row. In addition, there is no sorting available on the primary index so the rows can only be retrieved in the order that they are stored.

All this aside though, there are solutions to the problems above for some applications. The non-relational aspect is not a massive problem if you are prepared to manage this aspect yourself. For example, a "person" record may be required to have a photograph attached to it. In a SQL Server database you may store this in a related blob table residing on a different partition. Using Azure table storage, the picture can be stored in Azure blob storage with a GUID as the filename. This GUID can then be stored in the person record in the table storage. Deletions would therefore be a manual process of making sure both items of data were removed, but if this is something your application can live with, there are big cost savings to be made.

The lack of secondary indices is not an insurmountable problem. Clever usage of row keys can make sure the data is stored in an order that is least likely to cause performance issues. Also, depending on your application, it could retrieve a small number of columns from all the items in the table at start-up. The row key retrieved with these items can then be used to retrieve the full row as and when it is needed during the application's life cycle.

In summary, before opting for an expensive Azure SQL Database solution, re-examine your application's requirements and see if any of the facilities of Azure table storage can be used instead.

Reinforced Concrete Structures

Concrete is reinforced to give it extra strength – without such reinforcement, many building projects would be impossible. Reinforced concrete can be used for many types of structures and components and can be made into almost any shape or size. The material is developed by incorporating steel reinforcement bars, plates or fibres into the traditional concrete mix.

Concrete reinforcement was first used in the mid 1800s by French building contractor Francois Coignet. His own house, built with reinforced concrete, still stands some 150 years after construction. The invention of reinforced concrete in the 19th century revolutionised the construction industry, and concrete became one of the world's most common and most important building materials.

Typically used for highways, retaining walls, sewerage tanks and concrete foundations, reinforced concrete provides extra tensile strength for heavy duty construction projects. The steel reinforcement gives added strength by taking up the tension stresses, while the concrete takes up the compression stresses; meaning the two materials act together as resisting forces.

The coefficient of thermal expansion of concrete is similar to that of steel, eliminating internal stresses due to differences in thermal expansion or contraction. In concrete reinforcement, the cement paste hardens and adapts to the surface details of the steel, meaning that any stress can be effectively passed between the two materials. Steel bars are often roughened or corrugated to further improve the bond between the concrete and steel. Adding alkaline producing Calcium carbonate causes a passivating film to form on the surface of the steel, making it much more resistant to corrosion than it would be in neutral or acidic conditions.

Flushing and Replacing Engine Coolant

Engine coolant maintenance is critical to the life of your engine. Automotive cooling systems are tasked with dissipating the heat generated by the engine to keep it at its most efficient operating temperature. The cooling system is designed to get the engine up to the correct operating temperature as soon as possible and to keep it at that temperature regardless of the operating conditions.

Proper temperature is important for the life of the engine. The exhaust system takes away much of the heat however parts of the engine, such as the cylinder walls, piston, and cylinder head absorb large amounts of the heat. If the engine gets too hot engine parts could expand causing engine seizure and premature wear due to a thinner oil film which could result in a ruined engine. The opposite, an engine running at too low a temperature, is inefficient, results in dirty oil, deposits, poor fuel mileage, and increased exhaust emissions.

Your typical water-cooled engine consists of: a 50/50 mix of antifreeze coolant and water, a thermostat used to bring it up to operating temperature, a water pump to circulate the coolant between the engine block passages and the radiator, radiator cap, cooling fan, hoses, the heater core, and an expansion (overflow) tank. The engine coolant plays a critical role in preventing overheating, and keeping corrosion and sediment from damaging the metal, plastic, and rubber parts that make up the cooling system.

Refer to your owner's manual for coolant change frequency. Typically every two-three years unless your car is equipped with a lifetime coolant.

Parts / Tools needed:

  • Coolant type recommended by your owner's manual
  • Distilled water (makes coolant more stable and less corrosive)
  • Coolant funnel
  • Coolant drain pan
  • Drive socket set
  • Drive-on ramps, or floor-jack and jack stands
  • Owners manual

Note: Skip steps 9, 11, 13, and 14 if your engine does not have a bleed value.

1. Visual inspection – Drive your car to obtain normal operating temperature. Turn off your engine and check for coolant leaks. Check your hoses for any cracks. Squeeze the radiator connector hoses. If they are stiff they will need replacement. Wait until your vehicle cools down before removing the radiator cap and checking for signs of wear and corrosion. Inspect the fan.

2. Raise and support the car using proper safety precautions.

3. Remove under-engine splash shields as applicable.

4. Remove the radiator cap and engine block drain plug and drain into a coolant drain pan.

5. Remove radiator drain plug and drain into the coolant drain pan.

6. Install drain plugs and fill with distilled water (for system flush). Run engine to normal operating temperature with heater set to high.

7. Drain the distilled water (steps 4 & 5)

8. Install drain plugs

9. Remove bleed valve / plug (typically located near top of radiator if your car has one). This helps to evacuate the air from the radiator as you are adding the new coolant.

10. Add fresh coolant to 1/2 of the system capacity and use distilled water for the rest.

11. Replace bleed valve loosely.

12. Start your engine and let it run to operating temperature with the heater on. Add additional water as needed to bring the level up to capacity.

13. Check the bleed valve to see if all the air is out of the system. Tighten the bleed valve if you see a small amount of fluid escaping from the bleed valve.

14. Replace the radiator cap.

15. Fill the overflow tank to the proper level for a warm engine as indicated on the tank.

16. Old coolant disposal – Check with you local recycling / hazardous waste collection service.

Serving your engine coolant along with all other required maintenance will prevent corrosion damage to your cooling system and keep your engine running at the proper temperature. Before starting on any do it yourself project be sure to consult your owner's manual for the proper parts and fluids needed.

How to Pass a Car on the Highway

More head on collisions are caused by improper passing than by any other reason. It is extremely important, therefore, to know the rules of safe passing.

1. Look for signs and road-markings which will indicate whether or not it is safe to pass.

2. Pass another vehicle only when the way is clear ahead as well as behind.

3. Check your mirrors, and over your shoulder.

4. Signal, and sound your horn.

5. Pull out, accelerate, and proceed with caution.

6. Get well ahead of the other car, signal, and get back into the right lane.

Use extra care when passing in bad weather, at night, or under any other unfavorable conditions, because it is difficult to judge speed and distance.

If the vehicle you are passing speeds up, do not race. Turn back into line. Never overtake and pass another vehicle unless you know that you can do so without danger to yourself or to others who are approaching or overtaking you.

If you are being passed by another vehicle, never speed up but, if necessary, slow down to allow the other driver to pass you quickly, so that he can get back safely into the right lane ahead of you.

When Not To Pass

There are numerous occasions when it is dangerous to pass. Here are some of the most important situations where this rule applies.

Do not drive to the left of the center of a highway when approaching a curve or the crest of a hill; within a hundred feet of a bridge, viaduct, or tunnel where the driver's view is obstructed; or within a hundred feet of a rail crossing. These rules do not apply, however, to streets of highways on which one-way traffic only is permitted, or to highways divided into clearly marked lanes where there are more such lanes for traffic in one direction than in the other direction.

If in doubt, do not pass!

Overtaking and Passing at Night

When approaching an oncoming vehicle at night, switch to the low beam of your headlights when you are at least 500 feet away. If the oncoming driver fails to dim his lights, watch the right hand side of the road and keep well over to the right. Avoid looking into the glare of the lights of the oncoming vehicle. Do not switch your own headlights to high beam – two blinded drivers are more dangerous than one.

Use your low beam when following another vehicle within 200 feet except when in the act of overtaking and passing. Switch to high beam as you come alongside the vehicle you are overtaking. This applies on all highways, including divided highways.

How to Clean and Remove Stains From Upholstery

Upholstered furniture can be very expensive. If you have a couch, chair, loveseat, or other furnishings that is in good condition but just a little dirty, these upholstery cleaning tips will save you time and money.

Instead of going out looking for new furniture, you can clean an existing piece of furniture and be absolutely amazed at how incredible it looks. Even aged furniture can benefit from a good cleaning.

The main thing with upholstered furniture is choosing the appropriate type of cleaning method. For example, if you have an antique that has hand embroidered upholstery then it would require a different cleaning method than a sofa that was purchased from a store.

Here are a number of cleaning tips to make your job easy and get the dirt and stains out.

Get the Upholstery Stains Out.

Maintaining your furniture is just one aspect of having a clean and happy home. More families are moving away from the dinner table and eating on the sofa dropping bits of food and drinks that leave stains.

Then you have dirty feet and clothes that can leave the upholstery looking dirty and drab. As you will soon see, getting those stains out doesn’t have to be a pain.

When cleaning upholstery, it’s important to take into consideration the fabric. Check the manufacturer’s information if you are unsure. It is also important and we recommend you first try an inconspicuous area to make sure there is no discoloration or damage to the fabric.

Below are some of the more common stains that can be found on upholstery and the methods to clean them.

Butter Stains.

It’s movie night and the family is sitting on the couch eating hot, buttered popcorn. No matter how careful you are, pieces of popcorn can fall and leave a greasy stain.

For butter, the best solution is a dry cleaning solvent. This can be found at a grocery or retail store.

On a clean white cloth, apply a little solvent and blot the stain, don’t rub just blot. Next, mix one tablespoon of a mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water, blot the stain. Using another clean cloth, wipe the solvent and detergent off with clean, warm water and allow the spot to dry.

Oily Cheese Stains.

Cheese is another food product that is frequently spilled on upholstery. Nachos are a favorite snack food but they leave stains.

For these oily cheese stains, mix one teaspoon of mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water. With a clean, white cloth or towel, blot at the stain. Then mix one tablespoon of regular ammonia with one-half cup of water, blot the stain. Finally, with another clean cloth blot the stain with clean water to remove any detergent and ammonia and let area dry.

Ink Stains.

Coming home from school and doing homework on the couch or simply sitting on the couch with a pen in your pocket can leave behind an ink stain.

Ballpoint pens, especially blue, are very common stain makers but with this upholstery cleaning tip, they too will come out. However, the key here is to be patient and persistent. Ink stains can be stubborn. Make sure you only blot and don’t rub. Rubbing can cause the ink stain to worsen.

Here are the options available for ink stains:

* Spray hairspray on a clean, white cloth and dab at the stain. Follow this by blotting with a clean, dry towel.

* On a clean white cloth, apply isopropyl rubbing alcohol. Again, blot the ink stain, followed by a clean, dry towel.

* Again, using a clean, white cloth or towel, apply nail polish remover or acetone. Blot the ink stain from the outside edges toward the center.

* Using a clean, white towel, apply spirits of turpentine. Blot as with the other treatment options.

Coffee Stains.

For some of us, sipping coffee on an upholstered chair or sofa is everyday occurrence. To get rid of a coffee stain, mix one teaspoon of mild, ph-balanced detergent with one cup of warm water. Blot from the outside edge in toward the center.

Follow this with a mixture of one-third cup white vinegar and two-thirds cup water and blot the stain. When finished, use a clean, white towel to absorb any excess, allow the stained area to dry.

Because dust settles on fabric more than hard surfaces, keeping your upholstery clean is important. Regular cleanings will keep it looking and smelling fresh and clean.

As a general rule, we recommend you clean your upholstery furniture once every two months. Using the appropriate attachment from your vacuum makes this an easy chore.

By vacuuming regularly, this helps keep the dust off and will help your furniture last longer. When necessary, use the tips above for removing stains.

What is 3D Architectural Rendering?

3D Architectural rendering is the art of creating three-dimensional images which shows the attributes of a proposed architectural design. 3D renderings play major role in real estate sales. It also helps to take design related decisions well before the building is actually built. Thus it helps experimenting with building design and its visual aspects before real construction.

3D architectural renderings are available for houses, buildings, and bridges and for small to medium sized construction. Architectural rendering is a dominant and widely accepted tool used in the planning and development of building and interior space design.

3D visualization techniques help your designs to stand out with photo realistic 3D architectural rendering and animation and High end digital computer graphics and virtual images lead 3D architectural rendering into an exciting future. 3D rendering consists of visual presentations for various structural or non-structural schemes such as landscape projects and buildings. A walk through and fly by animation can help your structures for better and more dynamic view of the building.

Architectural Imaging can also be a supportive way to meet the financial planning of architectural rendering. With the help of 3D architectural rendering service, landscaping, neighborhood, required ambience and multiple design options can be investigated and resolved before the construction of actual building begin.

3D architecture rendering and design is the most excellent technique to acquire several ideas about the assets. 3D rendering sequence provides ideal direction to judge any assets. Architecture 3D Visualization of 3d models using CAD software brings simplicity into the design models with more efficiently. The latest technology for photo realistic renderings beyond basic ray tracing, through the stimulation of technology, faster computers and a new birth of talents photo realistic 3D rendering has been used all over the world among artist.

3D rendering and walkthroughs have become a dominant application. They are not only prevailing marketing tools, but also assist in finding design faults before construction work begins.

Understanding the Reliability of Scaffolding Tarps

In the midst of a major construction project? Then chances are that you will need scaffolding to accomplish your goals. Whether it's for painting, the installation of windows, or to otherwise support people and equipment on your construction site, it's important to ensure that your scaffolding is as safe as possible. By investing in scaffolding tarps, you can provide a safe working environment while protecting your equipment. Consider the benefits of a reliable tarp cover below:

• Improve ROI. Investing in equipment such as scaffolding for your construction site consumes a lot of resources. By protecting the equipment with the appropriate tarp cover, you can ensure that your equipment is functional for years to come. This will improve the ROI on your equipment as you work on future projects.

• Safety. Spilt paint and scattered materials can create a hazardous work environment on scaffolding. Furthermore, uncontrollable elements of weather such as the temperature or rain can create an unworkable environment. Scaffolding tarps ensure safety in any condition on your construction site.

• Custom solutions. Instead of random covers, solutions from Tarps fit the exact measurements and specifications of your project. You never have to second-guess usability or worry about whether or not a cover will full fill your needs.

• Convenience. When you think of a tarp cover, chances are that you think of something that's extremely heavy and bulky, especially if it's made of quality material. The reality, though, is that scaffolding tarps are extremely lightweight, flexible, and can easily be handled. Do not let the thinness and lightness of this material fool you, as these covers are composed of incredibly durable material.

• Cleanliness. Scaffolding tarps do more than simply keep equipment clean. They can also protect your construction site by being set up in such a way that they can catch falling debris. This provides safety for your workers but will also ensure that the site is not damaged from an accidental spill or dropped piece of equipment.

• Cost efficiency. When you consider the cost of tarps alongside the benefits that they provide, it becomes clear how incredibly cost efficient this piece of equipment is. From providing safety to enhancing your project, the benefits of a tarp cover easily outweigh the initial cost of investment.

When you order for Tarps and covers, you can feel assured in the fact that all tarps are made and assembled in the United States, assuring the highest quality available.

Horse Riding Lesson – Initially Young Riders Need to Learn Fundamental Seat and Body Position

A lot of anticipation can build up as the first horse riding lesson becomes a reality rather than a long sought after dream, and quickly excitement can turn to nerves as the child contemplates coming face to face with a horse for perhaps the first time. Unsurprisingly parents also feel an equal level of nervous excitement, knowing that their child is about to take control of an animal which typically has a 15-time weight advantage.

This short article takes a look at the objective of the first riding lessons.

It is vital to start with a qualified instructor who will certainly understand these fears and would never place a child on the back of a horse before the child is ready. Early lessons are structured towards teaching beginning riders the basics on how sit properly and guide these marvelous animals.

Riding classes often focus on teaching students English style riding. Advanced English style riding includes areas such as dressage, fence jumping and basic riding skills. However, for the first class only simple fundamentals will be the focus. The instructor may choose to lead the horse out from the stable or allow the student to lead. This is simply a matter of holding the reins and walking in front of the horse to where the lesson will begin.

The child will first be instructed on the names of the equipment such as bridle, reins, saddle and stirrup – thus ensuring that when the instructor says, for example, pick up the reins, the young student will understand the instruction. Then it is time for the student to mount up and find proper seat position.

The proper seat and body position are some of the most important aspects for learning to ride a horse. The rider communicates to the horse using body position and legs. A rider improperly leaning forward is communicating to the horse to move faster, for example. Proper position includes sitting with the back straight and legs slightly bent. The feet will be in a straight line with the shoulders. Horseback riding differs from a number of sports because the rider keeps the weight in the heels instead of the balls of the feet. This helps to keep the back straight. The knees always maintain contact with the side of the horse.

Once the child has learned a proper seat, it is time to ask the horse to walk. There will be no trotting or cantering in the first class. The young rider will first need to learn how to properly guide the horse using the reins and legs. Most important, the student need learn the proper command for stop. Sometimes the instructor could choose to guide the horse holding extended reins called lead line.

An approved riding school provides well-trained school horses for novice riders. The younger less-trained horses are reserved for more advanced riders. Parents can confidently observe their child work on developing a good body position and the fundamentals of guiding the horse on a well-behaved animal.

The child will also be in the capable hands of a qualified instructor. Approved schools provide instructors with the essential experience and patience for working with young children. Parents will see their child develop confidence working with large animals while learning an enjoyable new skill.

Manicure Tables

So you have chosen your career- you are a manicurist! One important thing you should have is a manicure table. There's a few different kinds to choose from and a big price range in them. It is important knowing what to look for, where to find them, and about how much you are looking at for the price.

Manicure tables can be simple or more complex. If you are interested in style there are several stylish ones like the aurora lights granite top. The aurora lights granite top lights up with six different colors and has a removable granite top to it. The style is not necessary. The things that you will need your manicure table to have is a padded upholster rest for your clients to rest their arm on when you are doing their nails. Also your table will need a lamp so you can see clearly what you are doing. The suggested wattage is 100 watts. Your table should also have drawers to keep your supplies in. Some things you may consider buying with or for your table is a nail polish tray, a vent system and organizing trays. The tables definitely are not cheap but worth the buy. Like everything else they range in price. Prices range from about $ 200 up to thousands of dollars. There are plenty of places online to find your preferred manicure table or there are also catalogs for manicurists supplies.

Regardless of the style you want with a little work you are sure to find a manicure table you will be happy with. A little research will put your manicurist dreams into action. You may not have the money for the greatest looking tables but you can start off with a cheaper one and work your way up to the more stylish.

Concrete Contractor Makes a Big Mistake Ordering Concrete

This is not going to be the first time that you hear a story like this, and it definitely is not going to be the last. Concrete contractors make mistakes just like everyone else, the only difference between these mistakes and other mistakes, is that they can cost the contractor a small fortune.

Here's a true story and it actually happened to the person writing the story. I was working on a job that required a lot of concrete, during a construction building boom and I could not get concrete from anyone. I finally called one of the ready mixed companies who delivered concrete to jobs like mine and asked them if there was any chance that I could get any concrete, at any time.

The dispatch operator said that he could give me concrete on a specific day at three o'clock in the afternoon. This is not ever a great time to pour concrete, and most concrete professionals know the risks involved in pouring concrete this late in the afternoon.

I ordered 26 yards of concrete and when the first truck came, it had 10 yards of concrete in it. It looked like I had covered more than half of the job with my first truck and was thinking that maybe I ordered too much concrete. The second truck came and it had 9 yards of concrete in it and by the time it was done, I did not think that I was going to have enough concrete.

By the time the third truck came, it was almost 5 o'clock and by the time this truck was finished pouring its concrete, it looked like I was about two yards of concrete short. These are the kind of things that happen, if you work in the construction business, as long as I have.

I could not get any more concrete from the concrete company, because they were closed. I had to go down to the local home improvement center and get 120 bags of concrete to mix on-the-job with me and two other workers. We finished the job at 11 o'clock in the evening.

I do not really know if I missed figured the concrete or if the concrete company actually shorted me on my concrete, but I do know this, I learned a valuable lesson that day. If you really want to save yourself a lot of frustration, it's always going to be better to order more concrete than you think you will need.

Getting Ready For a Warm Weather Road Trip

With family vacation time right around the corner, the time is right to start preparing your plans and car for long road trips to our beautiful national parks and forests. Whether it is Yosemite, the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone, our national public lands can be far off the beaten path. To ensure safety in such beautiful, but barren landscapes, consider these steps to ensure that your trip is worry free and enjoyable:

Oil Change: A speedy trip to the local lube shop will do the trick. Opt for the upgrade that provides belt and filter inspection.

Replace Windshield Wipers: Any full service mechanic shop or automotive parts store can switch these out for you, or take the initiative and do it yourself! They are really simple to replace and can be purchased at any auto parts store.

Tire Check: Rotating your tires, checking air pressure and making any necessary repairs are vital to a successful trip.

Spare Tire: Having a functional spare tire ready for use with the proper equipment before your road trip is important. Forgetting to check the air in the spare tire prior to your trip could leave you in a lurch. Tools, such as the jack and lug nut wrench, are critical in order to successfully swap out the tire.

Brake Check: Having your brakes inspected twice a year is standard practice to ensure they are working efficiently.

Cooling System Check: Don’t overlook this very important maintenance item when traveling long distances in warm weather. Tip: keep a gallon of water or coolant in your vehicle in case temperatures exceed what your car can handle.

Radiator Check: Leave this one to the pros. Your radiator is an essential part of keeping your car running its best, so special attention is crucial.

Emergency Kit: A smart idea when you’re in a bind. Jumper cables, flashlight, a first aid kit and your vehicle manual are must-haves. All-in-one emergency kits can be found at auto part stores. Also, when you are in need of assistance, a cell phone can be your best asset, so be sure to keep one with you in case of emergencies.

Taking proper care of your vehicle is a proactive way to avoid problems during your trip. After your car inspection is complete, the fun begins. Sit back, belt up, and let the breeze flow through your hair. Safe travels on your journey ahead!

What is Your TV Resolution?

480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i and 1080p what does it all mean?

Standard TV from the days of black and white to the present color images we watch every day on television are made up of a series of still images displayed at 60 frames a second in the US and 50 frames a second in Europe. These still images consist of individual lines of information that move from left to right across the screen followed by more lines moving down the screen. With a Cathode Ray Tube (CRT) that most older TVs’ use for the display, the flat surface that you look at is coated on the inside with phosphor dots or rectangles. A beam of electrons is aimed at the dots or rectangles causing them to glow. With a standard definition TV there are 480 of these lines and 640 sets of dots or rectangles on each line. Each set of dots or rectangles consist of three color dots (Red Blue and Green) and the power or intensity of the electron beam determines how bright each color will be. There are actually three beams moving together across the face of the screen, each changing in intensity as they cross the phosphor dots or rectangles.

Interlaced (i) or Progressive (p)?

In order to reduce the bandwidth, normal TV signals only send 30/25 frames a second to the receiver made up of only 240 lines of information. If that were all we saw on the screen it would look like the old flickering movies. Within the TV set the signal is processed and sent twice to the CRT, the odd numbered lines are scanned and then the even numbered lines are scanned with the same image. This is referred to as an interlaced image and eliminates the flicker. However the true vertical resolution is only 240.

With a progressive image, 60/50 frames a second are sent to the receiver and all of the lines are scanned once for each frame and providing twice the detail as the interlaced image with the same screen. However this requires twice the bandwidth. Keep in mind that non-digital over the air is only 240 lines of original information, you can use a line doubler or scaler to increase the number of lines, but it will never be as sharp as the original image.

Horizontal resolution is much simpler, it is basically just the number of dots, rectangles or pixels across the width of your screen. For example standard definition TV is 640 X 480, the horizontal resolution is 640 for both interlaced and progressive.

Standard Definition DVD Full Screen and Wide screen

With the introduction of DVDs’ the horizontal resolution was increased from 640 to 720 to show the wider images of the original movies. Displays with a resolution of “720 X 480 ” could show these movies using the full screen width, however when viewing standard TV images, the people are slightly fatter.

Enhanced Definition TV

This format uses progressive scan and an even wider image for “854 X 480” and though is much better than standard TV it still does not come close to High Definition TV. Standard TV usually have a black bar on each side as the people would look weird being so fat.

720p High Definition TV

This format was a big step forward, however when viewing regular TV, you were still stuck back in the old format of “640 X 480”. 720P displays have a resolution of “1280 x 720” and use progressive scan for a very sharp image. Scalers and converters are used to boost the quality of the TV images to match the screen. For Analog signals, Component video equipment and cables are a minimum requirement. Video and S-Video will not work. The TV set may accept Video and S-Video, but will not take advantage of the full resolution, displaying a smaller image or through processing in the TV provide a larger image though not as sharp.

The Government steps in with 720p and 1080i high Definition TV Standards

On February 17, 2009, television stations will stop all analog broadcasts and only broadcast digitally. Older analog TVs will require converter boxes to receive over the air programming. Cable or satellite service will not be affected. There are two formats that will be used by the different stations.

The 720p format makes a picture with 720 vertical lines, each with 1280 pixels horizontally or a resolution of “1280 x 720”. 720p uses progressive scanning, like computers, which sends a complete picture 60 times per second. 720p provides the smoothest possible motion rendition, but it does not have as much resolution as 1080i.

The 1080i format makes a picture with 1080 vertical lines, each with 1920 pixels horizontally or a resolution of “1920 x 1080”. 1080i uses interlaced scanning, like traditional TV, which alternates sending odd lines and even lines and thus sends a complete picture 30 times per second. 1080i provides the highest possible resolution, but has the same motion rendition as traditional TV.

1080p High Definition DVD

Your next DVD player will most likely be able to play 50 Gbyte DVD’s that will use an High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) that will also supply up to 7 channels of high definition audio along with the 1080p image. This is quickly becoming the standard for DVD movies in the same way that DVD replaced VCR tapes a few years ago.

To view these movies you will need an HDTV display with HDMI inputs and a DVD player capable of playing the new format with HDMI output. You will also need special HDMI cables to connect the two. Your cable or satellite provider will also use HDMI connections so you will need at least two HDMI connectors on your display device.

There are some drawbacks to the current models of High Definition DVD players. High- bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), creates a slow down when starting a movie, you may think that you have a problem with your DVD. The player is just talking to the display device to make sure that they are both licenced properly. Unless you are viewing the DVD on a 42 inch or larger screen you will have a hard time telling the difference between 720p and 1080p.

Broadband what does it mean?

You may be using broadband now and not even realize it. How often do you select an online movie from your local cable or dish company? Have you noticed how many high definition features are now being offered? As the selections become larger, watching streaming content will become so common that we will slowly forget about our DVD players. 720p is very common and soon 1080p will also be available. The protection for the movie producers is already there as the high definition boxes use HDMI with HDCP for the high definition outputs.

Organic Light Emitting Diode (OLED) TV’s

Then comes the OLED’s, we are already using them on the new cell phones and laptops. The first OLED television was introduced in 2008. As demand for larger displays increases and the pipeline that is now full of plasma and LCD screen began to empty we will hear more and more about the color quality of the OLED’s. For a few years the resolution of the displays will remain about the same and the sales pitch will be all about the colors. But keep in mind that there is no limit the size of the screen with OLED and it is also flexible. The flexibly will allow for easer handling and installation.

As the size of the screen increases a demand for greater resolution will start all over again. And with the flexibly comes the possibility of 360 degree wrap-a-round screens. Remember that the horizontal resolution is much easer obtain than the vertical so a resolution of 16000(or greater) X 1080p is not out of the question. 360 degree movies are not new, Disney World has had one in operation in Orlando for years. You stand in the center in a large group and turn around to follow the action. A few spinning recliners and the screen raised a few feet and away you go.

The Dangers Of Burning Paraffin Candles

If you burn paraffin candles, you might as well be inhaling diesel fumes. “The fine particulate matter collected from candle emissions was similar to that of diesel engine exhaust in particle size, morphology, elemental carbon content, and absorbed chemical constituents” says David Krause. Krause is an air quality engineer and former employee of the Florida Department of Health. He also adds, “These similarities point to a similar potential for adverse health effects.”

Supporting the Oil Industry

Paraffin is the final residue left from refining crude oil. It has become the leading wax for use in cosmetics, food and candle manufacturing because it’s cheap and readily available. And the oil industries make a healthy profit from its use.

Paraffin wax is a non-renewable resource. Once all the crude oil is gone, we will not have any more. Paraffin burns more quickly and hotter than most waxes creating more concern for fire hazards than necessary. Because it is oil-based, paraffin wax spills do not cleanup easily.

Health Concerns

The main concerns cropping up from research deal with high levels of indoor pollutants, particularly soot and lead. This is a major problem considering that air borne soot can penetrate the deepest areas of the lungs and the lower respiratory tract.

Paraffin candle burners may be exposing themselves to inflammatory agents, carcinogens and teratogens. These may lead to increased risk of cancer, neurological and behavioural deficits and acute aggravation of existing respiratory diseases such as asthma.

Emissions in the home are estimated to stick around for up to 10 hours after extinguishing a candle.


Soot from paraffin candles can cover your walls and has resulted in millions of dollars worth of insurance claims in North America. The results from tests with scented paraffin candles seem to be even more dismal.

Paraffin candles cannot be scented with natural essential oils because the petrochemical rich wax will break them down. This has lead the candle industry to create petroleum-based fragrances that are more compatible. When these fragrances are added to the mix, a lot more soot and chemicals are released.

Soot, in high levels, can be seen rising from the offending candle. But, even a visually clean burning candle could still emit significant quantities of lead.


In 1974, the US candle manufacturing industry voluntarily ceased the production of candles with lead wicks. However, with the lack of an official ban, they are still found on store shelves. On average, 30% of candles contain lead. Burning lead wick candles can result in airborne concentrations of lead above EPA recommended thresholds.

Metal core wicks are used to decrease production time – they stand up on their own while the candle is poured. Zinc wicks are a better choice, but still emit undesirable chemicals. Even burning candles in metal containers can increase the amount of airborne pollutants.

More Chemicals

The main focus of this article is on the hazards of soot and lead. I thought I should include this list of chemicals normally found in paraffin candles:

Acrolein, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde exceeding EPA safety thresholds, dibutyl phthalate, diethyl phthalate, bis (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, didecyl phthalate, toluene, styrene, benzene, styrene, toluene, ethyl benzene, naphthalene, benzaldehyde, benzene,ethanol, and 2-butanone (methyl ethyl ketone) and acetone.

With the craze for gel candles you can add in mineral oil, terpene-type chemicals, modified hydrocarbons & viscosity increasing chemicals.

Alternatives – A Breath of Fresh Air

All is not lost. The increasing popularity of vegetable wax candles presents us with a healthy and environmentally friendly alternative. Look for candles made from soy wax [], palm wax and so on. Insist on a wick made from cotton or other natural source fibres.

Most important – never let them fool you with claims of a “natural” candle scented with butter pecan. Butter pecan and a multitude of other creative non-plant scents are chemicals, as are the more expensive scents from nature such as rose. Rose essence (a chemical fragrance) is about $7/oz, rose essential oil (the real thing) is about $200/oz. So, your not likely to get a rose candle scented with the real thing for under $30 (and that’s a small one). When in doubt – ask.

Scaffolding Accidents in the UK

We all know how hazardous shoddy scaffolding can be. Insecure bracing, poor materials, unsafe construction, lack of attention to safety board regulations – all lead to scaffolding accidents all over the UK.

An estimated 2.3 million construction workers, or 65 percent of the construction industry, work on scaffolds frequently. Protecting these workers from scaffold-related accidents may prevent some of the 4,500 injuries and 50 deaths every year, which cost employers £ 90 million in workdays lost. In a recent BLS study, 72 percent of workers injured in scaffold accidents attributed the accident either to the planking or support giving way, or to the employee slipping or being struck by a falling object.

Base plates and mud sills are required on scaffolding. The surface where the mud sills are placed must be capable of keeping the scaffolding in place. Another essential component is the scaffold ties. After the first tie is attached properly, then subsequent ties should be attached safely. The height of these subsequent ties should not be more than twenty-six feet. You must also put ties at horizontal intervals, which does not exceed thirty feet, and all ties should be able to stand up to a push or pull of 2500 pounds of weight. Even with this additional ties may be necessary to ensure your safety on the scaffolding.

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