Considerations for a Successful Apartment Search

Finding the right apartment home has never been easier. With the convenience of the internet and free apartment locating services, apartment seekers today have access to customized listings at a moment's notice. Still, the numerous decisions involved in finding the ideal apartment home can be daunting. In order to get the most personalized apartment recommendations, you first have to know what makes an apartment a fit for you. An experienced local apartment locator can offer significant guidance, but he or she will initially need information about your needs and preferences that only you can provide.

The monthly rent amount is a major determining factor in the apartment selection process for most people. Prior to searching for an apartment, an honest assessment of your financial obligations can give you a good idea of ​​the maximum rent that is feasible for you. Determine how much you can comfortably afford taking into consideration your other regular expenses. Be sure to allow adequate funds for all monthly bills as well as living expenses such as food, vehicle maintenance, entertainment, and the like. Committing to a disproportionate rent payment that soaks up too much of your income can leave you in a stressful financial situation that disrupts your quality of life.

Whether you have pets is another important consideration in an apartment search. Some apartment communities do not allow pets at all, while others allow only certain types and sizes. For properties which do allow pets, be aware that there may be restrictions such as weight limits, maximum number of pets allowed and breed restrictions. Pet deposits (and sometimes pet rent) can be substantial and should be considered in the budgeting process.

Before contacting an apartment community or locator, it is helpful to have an idea of ​​how much space you actually need. While it is necessary to know the number of bedrooms you are seeking, it is also important to have an idea of ​​the amount of space you need to accommodate all of your possessions. Apartment sizes range from one room efficiencies to multiple story, house-sized units. If you own a lot of furniture, take measurements to ensure that the apartment you are considering has sufficient space for each piece. Similarly, consider how you intend to store other large items you may own, such as a bicycle or canoe. Do you need access to a garage or additional storage unit? An apartment home that accommodates both your lifestyle and your possessions will keep you more satisfied in the long run.

Besides determining what particular apartment features meet your needs, you may also want to consider how the amenities offered by the apartment community contribute to your lifestyle. If you are an avid exerciser, for instance, a fitness center may be a valuable amenity to you. If you do not have a washer and dryer, an onsite laundry facility may be a top priority. Amenities vary greatly among different apartment communities, from pet areas to high speed internet to onsite putting greens. In seeking a cost-effective balance between practicality and luxury, bear in mind that the apartment community offering the most amenities may not necessarily have the amenities most relevant to you. In contemplating among several apartment options, consider whether the perks at each community add value not just to the complex as a whole, but to your daily life.

What Is The Best Tourmaline Flat Iron?

Tourmaline is a precious crystal that is ground down into a fine powder and then infused onto the ceramic plates of a flat iron. Tourmaline plates produce a far greater number of negative ions than do ceramic plates. Negative ions straighten your hair for far longer and give it a silkier, shinier look. So, if you’re thinking of buying a flat iron you should only buy a flat iron with plates that have been plated with tourmaline. But which is the best tourmaline flat iron?

Surprisingly, the vast majority of producers still make ceramic only flat irons. However, the market leaders in flat iron design and manufacturing now produce tourmaline flat irons. The following are market leaders in tourmaline flat iron technology, and all make top rated tourmaline flat irons. Which tourmaline flat iron is best depends on your hair type, what function you want and how much you’re willing to spend.

One of the cheapest, top-rated tourmaline flat irons is the Solia Tourmaline Ceramic Ion Flat Iron. The Solia tourmaline flat iron comes in four plate sizes; the 3/4″plate is perfect for bangs and really short hair and is also the perfect size for creating all sorts of curly-haired styles. Plate widths also include the 1″ and 1 ¼” – the latter being the most popular size. These sizes are perfect for medium hair length or hair that isn’t too curly. If you hair is difficult to straighten then you should definitely go for the 1 ¾” plates on the Solia tourmaline flat iron. Solia flat irons come with Dynamic Alignment System to ensure perfect contact between the plates and your hair. The Solia Limited Edition Pink flat iron is a very popular model, however, if you’re looking to buy a pink flat iron, the Corioliss pink flat iron is a better choice; it looks better and heats up quicker than does the Solia but it is a lot more expensive – more about Corioliss in a moment. Finally, Solia claim that their tourmaline flat irons can be used on wet hair – actually damp hair that has been first combed through. This is a real plus point as using wet to dry flat irons avoid having to first use a hair dryer.

Sedu flat irons are about 50% more expensive than Solia flat irons. Sedu flat irons have gained popularity because of their association with Jennifer Aniston. Many want to have the same look and believe that using a Sedu tourmaline flat iron will give them this. Whilst this is true, perfectly straight, shiny, sleek hair can be obtained using other brands of flat iron. But there is no doubt that a tourmaline flat iron from Sedu is a top rated product and delivers on its promise of creating smooth, straight hair. Although the heat up time of the Sedu Ionic Ceramic flat iron is not as quick as some other brands, it is still ready to use in only 25 seconds. The plate widths of Sedu flat irons are either 1 or 1 ½ inches. The body of the Sedu flat iron is made from high-strength composite materials, which makes the Sedu one of the lightest flat irons on the market.

Only introduced onto the market in 2004, the T3 Duality professional flat iron has gained a strong foothold in the market and is now one of the leading hair straighteners. The first thing you notice about the T3 Tourmaline Medium Duality flat iron is its good looks but the qualities of the T3 flat iron go further than how it looks. T3 tourmaline flat irons use the latest technology to give you perfectly straight hair. There are four models to choose from: the T3 Domed Duality Flat Iron (3/4 inch); the T3 Medium Duality Flat Iron (1 3/8 inch); the T3 Narrow Duality Flat Iron (1 inch); and the T3 Wide Duality Flat Iron (1 3/4 inch). The T3 domed iron is a versatile tool to straighten, curl and even create chic flips to the hair. When curling, the grooves on the outer ends allow for more control, and when locked in between, the hair is actually being heated on the inside, as well as the outside. The T3 Narrow Duality is the one that gives you most control, the T3 Wide Duality is best for long hair, whereas the T3 Medium Duality is the most versatile. Finally, there is also available the T3 Wet to Dry Flat Iron. Just like the Solia model discussed above, the T3 Wet to Dry Tourmaline flat iron can be used on damp hair, so avoiding having to first dry your hair.

The Corioliss Pro Silver flat iron is nearly twice the price of the Solia, making it one of the most expensive tourmaline flat irons you can buy, but it’s worth every penny. Its good looks are consummate with its performance. Heat up time is only 6 seconds! The plate size is 1″ and the plates reach a top temperature of 430F – higher than that of many flat irons. Sedu claim to make one of the lightest flat irons – the Sedu 1″ flat iron weighing in at 0.9lbs – however, the Corioliss Pro Silver 1″ flat iron weighs only 0.72lbs, making it very easy to use, especially when straightening the back of your hair. The iconic Corioliss Limited Edition Pink 1″ flat iron is for those who want something a little special. And if you’re looking for something extra special, take a look at the Corioliss Pro-Hair Purple Flat Iron. Finally, Corioliss flat irons come with dual-voltage as standard so you can use a Corioliss hair straightener anywhere in the world.

If you want to get the best results when straightening your hair, you should only use a tourmaline flat iron. Whether you buy a Sedu, Solia, T3 or Corioliss tourmaline flat iron is your decision, but your first decision should be to purchase a tourmaline flat iron.

Choosing To Buy A Helmet For Riding Safety

Whether you are new to riding motorcycles or have been riding for years one thing every rider needs to do is buy helmets. While riding a motorcycle is considered fun for most riders, it is important to first take the proper safety precautions in order to get the most out of your ride and minimize risk of injury. When you buy helmets and take the time to keep your motorcycle running and yourself safe as well as ready for some great rides on your bike its important to make sure your helmet is DOT approved.

The first thing to do as you prepare to buy helmets is to find a motorcycle store. By shopping in a place that specialized in motorcycle accessories you will be able to tap into the knowledge of the staff and are more likely to buy helmets that best suit your needs. Just as there are several different types of motorcycles, there are also different types of motorcycle helmets. Street motorcycles should be paired with street motorcycle helmets, cruiser helmets go with cruiser style bikes, and so forth. It may be tempting to buy helmets that are in a lower price range than the intended helmet, for example cruiser helmets are generally less expensive than street helmets, but staying protected with the right helmet is worth having the pay a little more.

In addition to finding the right type of helmet, you also will want to buy helmets that are the right size. In order to assure that you buy helmets that are the right size, you will want to measure your head circumference about an inch above your eyebrows. Most brands of motorcycle helmets are sized based on centimeters, so you will need to make sure you make note of this measurement. If you plan on riding with a passenger, or think you might let someone else take your bike for a spin, having a spare helmet that will fit likely riders is also a good precautionary measure.

Of course, there is far more to helmets than motorcycle helmets. You will also want to buy helmets for your ATVs, scooters, dirt bikes, or water riding vehicles. Children involved in these sports should also have helmets that fit both their head and the sport they are taking up. Simply borrowing an adult helmet is not sufficient in these cases because the extra room can cause extra distraction and will not offer the level of protection that it would if the helmet actually fit. It is also important for adults to act as role models and wear their own helmets while on their vehicles.

Of course, just because motorcycle and other helmets can do wonders for helping riders stay safe and are responsible for preventing many injuries and saving lives, it does not mean they can not be just as cool as the motorcycle or other vehicle that they are ridden with. Ideally you should always aim to have helmets on hand for whatever situation might arise, but in a pinch, a certain amount of improvisation is still better than not wearing a helmet at all. And if the riding bug hits they can always head to the motorcycle store and buy helmets of their own.

Power Tool Safety Tips

If you've ever cut yourself with a small paring knife while cutting up fruit, you know that even the smallest tools have the potential to cause some serious damage. No matter what size power tool or your level of expertise, it is important to follow certain safety rules every time they are used. A little bit of carelessness can make the difference between nine and ten fingers, so it is always best to err on the side of caution.

Before powering up, you need to dress the part. Always wear goggles, masks, and earplugs when necessary. Clothes should be fitted appropriately and cover your body (that means sandals and shorts are not such a good idea).

Long hair should be tied back and any jewelry removed as it may become tangled or caught in equipment. It is also important that you feel up to the task of completing your project. Do not use power tools if you are sick, on medication that can impair judgment, or under the influence of alcohol.

Any machinery needs to be checked and maintained before use. Never use dull blades or equipment with rust. Inspect the power tools to see that handles and bolts are tightly screwed in and that all parts are in proper working order. If something is loose or appears to be broken, do not attempt to repair it unless you have experience and do not use it until it is properly fixed.

Check that all power cords have no cuts or frays. If required, batteries should also be checked for leaks. All tools should be stored in a safe, dry place and locked away if necessary. Make sure that materials such as oily rags and other flammable objects are stored appropriately as well.

When possible, you should always work in well-ventilated and lit areas. The floor should be dry and free of debris. If you must work outdoors in muddy conditions, avoid using power tools when possible, or ensure that you work on a dry area and do not touch a grounded object. Electrocution is possible, so avoid standing near water and make sure that power cords and your hands remain dry.

If working indoors, make sure that a well-stocked first aid kit is handy and that the workstation is equipped with appropriate safety measures such as working smoke alarms. Do not overload outlets and when using extension cords, be sure to use the correct length rather than connecting several small ones.

While using power tools, focus all of your attention to the task at hand. Do not take your eyes off what you are doing. If you become distracted, turn off the machine when it is safe rather than attempting to finish the job. Keep your hands away from sharp blades.

If you must remove debris from a cutting table, rather than use your hands, utilize a scrap piece of wood to clear the area. Always follow safety instruction manuals and use the proper accessories that are manufactured specifically for that device. It is also important to use the correct tool for the specific job. If you are unsure of which one to use, ask a professional.

How Do You Become A Mechanical Engineer?

Ensuing to the fast paced technological revolution, people are all hooked with the latest technology. Almost anything can be achieved with ease and comfort with the use of these new technological innovations. Education is not an exception. Basically, these days you can earn your diploma and acquire your license through online courses. As amazing as it is, becoming an engineer by studying online is already possible.

Before you actually take up the course it is essential for you to evaluate yourself if you are really qualified to take up the course and not because you just want to become an engineer. You need to ask yourself if you possess the following qualities: expertise in mathematics and science, have the ability to analyze and also particular with details, impressive imagination and creativity, strong communication skills and most of all versatile and flexible. If you have these qualities then you are absolutely an engineer material.

In order to get a degree of engineering online you need to have to choose among the many areas of engineering such as Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Computer Engineering, and Industrial Engineering. Not only that there are also other engineering which needs specialization such as Oceanic Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Robotics Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Environmental Engineering and Aerospace Engineering.

The moment you have chosen what field of engineering you will take up the next thing you need to do is to find a school offering this kind of engineering course. After that you have to make some inquiries such as how much will it cost you to take up that particular engineering course, their pre-requisites, how many years will it take you to earn your diploma and most of all if you can avail this course online.

When you are through with your inquiry it is necessary to know whether that particular school you have chosen is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. You may obtain this information from the department of education in your area. It is necessary for you verify the legality as well as the authenticity of the online school of engineering you chose to ensure that you are not scammed.

The moment you have earned your diploma your next concern is to become a licensed engineer. Your effort in studying and taking up an engineering course online will be useless if you could not become a licensed engineer. Therefore you need to take the licensure exam and need to have a passing grade to be able to get a licensed and render public services.

Sudden Loss of Vision – Various causes

Victor Fernandez was about cross the road at Bangalore. The green signal for pedestrians was about to end. He was in a hurry to get back to his house after a hectic duty at his office. His idea was to cross that important crossing before red signal would appear. When he crossed half of the road, suddenly he felt a sort of blackness in front of his eyes. It was like a black curtain in front of his eye. He did not know what to do at that moment. He was not able to see anything at that moment. Without knowing what to do he was standing at the half-way mark for long time. Meanwhile signals were getting changed frequently – green, red, purple and then once again green–and so on. He was hearing the noisy sounds of speeding vehicles moving on both his sides. He understood that there was something wrong with his eyes. He was slowly getting used to the circumstance. Likewise he had to spend nearly 20 minutes in the middle of the road. Meanwhile a police constable present at that crossing observed Mr. Fernandez. He did not understand why this fellow was not crossing the road even when he was getting the green signal. He came and enquired Mr. Fernandez. Fernandez explained that he had only one eye which was having good vision and that too the same eye had become suddenly blind. That Police person arranged for an ambulance in which Mr. Fernandez was shifted to nearest eye hospital.

There he was examined in detail and the diagnosis of Retinal Detachment was made. This was the cause for the sudden loss of vision for Mr. Fernandez. This is one of the many causes for sudden loss of vision in one eye.

When one eye, which was alright hitherto, loses vision suddenly, we call this condition – sudden loss of vision. There are many causes for this. When the outer transparent cornea is damaged due to injury one may lose vision. This may happen in cases where the retina loses its light-perceiving capacity due to various reasons. This may also happen in cases where the optic nerve is undergoing several changes. The blood vessels supplying retina may get blocked, the transparent medias like aqueous liquid or vitreous liquid may lose their transparency and cause blindness. Apart from injuries, the causes for sudden loss of vision are:

Retinal Detachment

Narrow angle glaucoma

Acute iridocyclitis

Retinal artery occlusion

Retinal vein thrombosis

Papillitis, infection of the optic nerve

Vitreous hemorrhage

Aluminum Insulation – Reinforcing Your Thermal Envelope

Your home is what is known as a thermal envelope. That envelope is made up of the walls, windows, doors, insulation and ceilings of your home – everything that has to do with temperature regulation. If your attic is unfinished and contains no standard fiberglass or aluminum insulation then it sits outside of your thermal envelope.

The heated air in your home rises and conducts through the un-insulated material of your roof, continuing on into open space – that's just during the winter months. If you have no radiant barrier like aluminum insulation to stop the heat transfer or fiberglass to slow the transfer during the hot summer months, where the sun is at its peak for intensity, your home is going to soak up a great deal of heat.

If you consider the overall energy being used in the home, heating and cooling accounts for approximately 50 to 70%, with variants coming into to play depending on the climate and region. Improper insulation and a lack of aluminum insulation in the attic, coupled with air leakage in other parts of the home, are the leading causes of energy waste for most Americans. Is worse's What That Homeowners : many do not Realize That the problem can be corrected to a great degree by vBulletin® by just doing the minimum and installing aluminum insulation within the attic space.

The thought of any home renovation project can make a wallet snap shut fast, but insulation is an extremely simple home improvement project. Not only is the insulation itself more than affordable, it does not need to be installed all at once. Foil insulation in your attic, for example, can be installed on a rotating basis week by week until the installation is complete.

If you're considering the addition of foil insulation, the fall season is the perfect time to do so. While having the insulating in place during the summer is ideal, temperatures in an attic space can exceed 130 degrees during hotter days. Best to install your foil insulation and supplemental insulation during cooler months so that you're ready for the winter season.

How to Measure Vertical Blinds Stack Height

People buy vertical blinds because they love the look and they are easy to open. Unlike other types of blinds where many people leave them closed, people get vertical blinds to open and close on a regular basis. This is especially true when the blinds cover a sliding glass door.

A Word on “Stacking”

This leads us to the “stacking” space required to open vertical blinds. When they are opened, they gather up on one side of the window or door. How much they gather up and “stack” will depend greatly on how large the window or door is. The bigger the door or window means you need more vanes to cover them. This in turns means a greater “stacking” space on the side of the window or door.

How to Measure Vertical Blinds

The biggest mistake a do it yourselfer will make is not considering the “stack” length before ordering a window treatment. Then the blinds arrive, are installed, and only then does the do it yourselfer realize part of the window or door is blocked by the blinds.

Therefore, when measuring vertical blinds, you need to consider the “stack” width. The size of the stack will vary depending on how large the window or door is being covered. Obviously, the larger the window the more vanes needed, causing more “stacking” on the end.

Measuring for 1 Side Stacking

In traditional one-way draw, all the vanes go to one side of the door or window. Since the draw is contained on one side, the stack will be larger than for the split draw.

Below is a short measuring chart to help you calculate the vanes needed for your vertical blinds. It will also tell you how much “stack” space is needed. For a complete chart, check out the knowledge section of Blind’s Chalet.

Chart for stacking for the standard one way draw.

Number of Vanes 5

Blind Width 16 1/8

Total Stacking Space 4 1/4

Number of Vanes 36

Blind Width 113

Total Stacking Space 17 7/8

Number of Vanes 67

Blind Width 209 7/8

Total Stacking Space 31 1/2

Measuring for Two Way Draw

Also known as a split draw, these blinds open to both sides. Therefore, both the left and right side will have stacking. Use the chart below for measuring blinds with a two way draw.

Number of Vanes, Blind Width, Total Stacking Space

6, 19 1/4, 3 3/8

8, 25 1/2, 3 7/8

10, 31 3/4, 4 14

Lead Exposures To Children

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recently announced a tightening of the lead exposure guidelines for children, especially those children under the age of six. In the past, the limit for child exposure and the trigger for medical monitoring have been 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood. The new guidelines cut that value in half to 5 micrograms per deciliter because some children were showing side effects at 10 micrograms per deciliter of blood or slightly less.


Lead exposure, given sufficient concentrations, can cause severe organ damage or death to anyone. This risk is even greater with babies and toddlers under the age of six and for pregnant women. Exposure to lead and resulting excessive blood lead levels, can cause children to exhibit impaired cognitive function, behavior problems, impaired fetal organ development, reduced intelligence levels, damaged hearing and reduced stature.

So when a young child is exposed to lead, even innocently, he or she will be severely impacted for the rest of their lives unless they receive the proper medical attention quickly. Medical attention includes regular blood lead level measurements and procedures to reduce elevated concentrations to acceptable levels.


When we think of lead exposure to children, we conjure up images of lead-belching industrial smokestacks. While they play a part, the primary lead source is your home. Most excessive blood lead levels in children are the result of lead-containing paint used in the home. The good news here is that lead was banned in household paint in 1978. But older homes, typically those built or remodeled prior to 1960, are usually the culprits. As the home and the paint age, the paint chips or generated dust which also contain lead. The young, crawling child then contacts the lead-bearing dust and puts it in his mouth.

Once ingested, it will immediately impact major organs and the central nervous system. It will also show up in a blood test even quicker. So, if your living conditions match up with this type of home, encourage your pediatrician to perform a basic blood test. As doctors have become more aware of lead exposures, these blood tests have become much more routine.

The second most common source of lead exposure comes from contact with contaminated soil. But you have no spewing smokestacks next to your home, you exclaim. No doubt that’s true, but what was there before you? Both industrial plants that were allowed to belch lead waste over nearby land, and gasoline-saturated soil near an old gas station site can provide lead-contaminated soil. This is also true for any parks you enjoy, so contact your local authorities for feedback there. Fortunately, both the leaking gasoline tanks and the belching smokestacks are now banned by regulations enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and its state counterparts. Again, all that has to happen is for the child to contact and ingest some of that lead.

There are five other sources that could pop up, depending upon where you live and what the local municipality has done about health standards:

1. The local water supply could have more lead (from natural sources or industrial effluent) in it than the level mandated by the EPA. This is unlikely because these standards have been in effect for several years. Simply contact your local water supplier and ask for a copy of their water quality chemical evaluation and they will provide a full breakdown of all your water’s impurities, including lead.

2. Likewise, the air can carry lead as an impurity. The standards for industrial airborne emissions require low levels of impurities like lead and they have been in place for several years as well. Your state or county government has a department that regulates these levels, and they can tell you what the readings are in your area.

3. Canned goods and pottery imported from other countries, especially third world or undeveloped countries, in the form of lead solder, on cans, or in the glazes used to color the pottery. While leaded glass and glazed pottery look nice, they can both be sources of lead contamination when used with foods. Foods that may be slightly acidic, such as tomatoes or wine, tend to leach minerals out of dishes even more than others.

4. Given the industrial safety regulations that have been enforced by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), this last source is unlikely but shouldn’t be overlooked. If either parent works in a plant where lead is used, such as a battery plant, it is possible (though not likely) that some lead might be carried home on the parent’s clothing. Personal hygiene and changing clothes before coming home from work are critical pieces to check for here. If the employer asks for these and other safeguards, you shouldn’t be carrying anything home to your kids. If such safe practices are not observed at your workplace, then you should wash your work clothes when you come each night, and you should contact OSHA or its state equivalent.

5. Fishing weights used to be 100% lead, but this is changing. Many toys and related items imported from China have been found to contain high levels of lead. Check around your home for such items (if they are lead, they can be scratched with a knife) and properly dispose of them.


· Contact your county health department or a local laboratory that can analyze for lead and obtain a wipe kit or get verbal instructions on how to take samples around your home. It is important to ask the lab how they want the samples collected, however, so that they can process the samples quickly, accurately and with minimum expense. Include a few paint chips as samples, too. It’s possible that the county health department may sample for you, and there are testing firms that will do it for a fee.

· Don’t forget to sample the soil around your house, garden and yard. Check to be sure the lab you have chosen can process soil samples, and determine how they want the samples gathered. Check with local authorities about the soil at your favorite park.

· Once the lab results are in, it’s decision time. If the sample results show no contamination beyond legal limits, then you can breathe easily. If both dust and paint chip samples show no lead issues, then you can go on to other things on your to do list. If, however, they show lead levels that need to be addressed, then it’s time to take action. At that point, you or your landlord (depending upon your housing arrangements) should arrange for a firm licensed to handle lead abatement to thoroughly clean the home and to address lead paint issues. Usually, those painted surfaces must be removed, cleaned or contained, depending upon the conditions.

· Until it is possible to take the action cited above, don’t allow children to crawl around on the floor in the contaminated rooms or on contaminated soil outside. Extra attention to keeping your toddler’s hands clean is difficult but appropriate here.

In short, test for lead, then clean up as needed and avoid contaminated areas until they can be corrected.

The Origins & Process of Arc Welding

This process was apparently developed first in the 1880’s, but it was not perfected until many years later. The parts to be welded are connected to one terminal of an electric circuit, and a rod called an electrode is connected to the other terminal.

The electrode is usually made of metal that has about the same composition as the workpiece and is called filler metal because it melts and fills the joint. An arc is created when the electrode is touched to the workpiece and slightly withdrawn. An arc is like a miniature lightning bolt. It occurs because the two ends of the electrical circuit are close enough for the current to jump the gap.

Watch a welder at work, and you will see a bright flash pass from the welding tool to the piece of metal that is being joined. (CAUTION! You should never watch a welder without proper protection for your eyes. Otherwise, the bright light from the arc may permanently damage your vision.)

The temperature of the arc has been estimated at about 10,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is more than enough to melt most metals. As the arc is drawn along the joint, the metal melts together with the tip of the electrode and then quickly solidifies. When arc welding was new, the welds were not as smooth and strong as engineers had hoped. They did not know that impurities, gases from the atmosphere, and oxidation affected the welded joint.

The joints were made better by coating the electrode with certain chemicals that partly turned into gas and partly melted in the arc. The melted chemicals are called a flux. The flux forms a protective blanket over the newly formed weld, and the gas acts as a shield to keep out the atmosphere. This process became known as manual shielded metal arc welding, and accounts for most of the welding done today.

By World War II, submerged arc welding had been introduced. In this process the electrode is a coil of wire mechanically fed to the arc. Flux is dropped from a moving hopper just ahead of the arc. This process is very fast.

Another development called gas metal arc welding did away with the flux by substituting protective gases such as argon, helium, and carbon dioxide around the arc and weld.

A process called gas tungsten arc welding is often employed to weld thin parts and metals, such as aluminum, that are not easily welded by other processes. Many of the arc welding processes can be mechanized or made completely automatic.

Repairing Cracks in Concrete

Although this might sound like a tough project in reality it is not as difficult as it might sound. If the cracks are small you can repair them but if they are large or are in the foundation of a building such as your home you should hire concrete contractors to do the repairs. They will also check to see if there is any structural damage that also needs fixing.

These cracks can appear in your sidewalks, patios, and driveways. They can even appear around the home’s foundation. These cracks can be caused by weather conditions and root growth. The most common cause is standing water, which can happen when the water does not drain properly. This water will work its ways between sections of concrete that are weak and as a result a crack will appear. To prevent the crack from reoccurring make sure the water drains properly.

If the cracks are about three millimeters wide you can repair them yourself. You will start by cleaning out the cracks of any debris and then use a screwdriver to chip away any loose concrete or flakes. Using a wire brush, scour the cracks to remove any dirt and rinse the area with the hose. To fill in the cracks you can use either concrete caulk or a concrete patching compound. If the cracks are a little larger than three millimeters you can add a small amount of sand in the cracks before you use the patching compound.

When using the method with sand packing you need to make sure that the concrete patching compound has a latex additive to give it flexibility. First pour in a layer of sand to help fill in the cracks and then using a trowel apply the patching compound on top. Quickly smooth the surface and feather the new area into the existing edges to give it a finished look.

If you choose to use the concrete caulking method you need to use siliconized latex concrete caulk. You can find this type at most hardware and home improvement stores. To force the caulk deep into the cracks you will need to use a caulking gun. Make sure the concrete caulk is deep into the width and length of the crack. It does not need to be too deep as it will expand to fill in the crack. Because of the nature of this type of concrete caulking it allows for the contraction and expansion of the concrete during weather changes so you will not need to do as many repairs in the future. You will not need to smooth it out because it will self-level. With slightly larger cracks you may need apply it multiple times.

Top 5 Reasons Why Your Car Overheats

Are you having trouble with your car overheating? It can be a frustrating problem to deal with and diagnose. This article will go over some of the most common reasons why cars and trucks overheat.

One of the most common reasons for a vehicle overheating is a stuck thermostat. It can stick or freeze in the closed position blocking the flow of coolant to your engine. The easiest way to check if your thermostat is not open is to feel the upper radiator hose. Once the engine warms up it should become warm. If it does not get hot the thermostat is probably not opening.

A second common cause of overheating is a leak in your vehicle’s cooling system. If your vehicle is losing coolant there will not be enough left in the vehicle to keep it cool. This is easy to diagnose as the radiator will be low on fluid and there will probably be a pool of coolant on the floor of your garage. Look for leaks in the most common places like around hoses and around the welds of your radiator. If you can not find the leak you might need to take it to a shop to have the cooling system pressure tested.

The third cause is a faulty water pump. The water pump is a vital part of your cooling system since it is responsible for circulating coolant through your engine. With a faulty water pump your vehicle will not run for more than a few minutes without overheating.

The fourth cause of overheating is a bad cooling fan. There are two types of fans, electric and mechanical. The electric fan should come on automatically once the vehicle reaches operating temperature or when the A/C is turned on. If it doesn’t you should have it replaced. The mechanical fan will run all of the time but has a clutch which makes it turn faster when the engine heats up. With the car turned off the fan should not turn too easily especially when the vehicle is warm. You can also check for signs of leakage from the fan clutch. If you see any problems have it replaced.

The fifth cause of overheating I will talk about is a clogged radiator. Over time the radiator can accumulate deposits of rust and debris. This is especially true if radiator fluid has not been flushed on a regular basis. If you suspect a clogged radiator you should take it to a shop to have it professionally cleaned.

Those are some of the most common cause for vehicle overheating. Vehicle overheating can cause a great deal of damage to your vehicle. If you are experiencing trouble be sure to fix your vehicle or take it to a quality mechanic as soon as possible.

Arthur Kantrowitz – Father of Laser Propulsion

Arthur Kantrowitz passed away on November 29, 2008 in New York City. He was 95 years old. A founder of Avco Everett Research Laboratories, inventor of ablative rocket nose cones (reentry protection), champion of Science Court and professor of Dartmouth College, Kantrowitz will be always remembered as a forefront figure of American scientific community of 20th century. However, in this brief note I would like to say few words about one of his greatest contributions to mankind: his key role in development of laser propulsion.

It is rocket science, but forget the silly cliché: the idea of laser propulsion is simple. Modern space rockets are too heavy, inefficient, and dangerous, because they have to carry their fuel and oxidizer onboard. On average they cost us $10,000 per pound of a payload delivered to low earth orbit. If someone could find a way to separate the energy source from a rocket, which will eliminate all fuel-related burden, the gain in rocket efficiency will be enormous.

This can be done using energy transfer with laser beams! This idea was originally formulated in 1924 by Konstantin Tsiolkovsky, who believed that beams of light could serve as a source of external energy for driving space rockets, that removed the burden of fuel onboard and makes rocket much lighter, and hence, more efficient. Tsiolkovsky with his pioneering ideas forerun his time on at least 50 years, Kantrowitz who was 11 years old in 1924, made his pioneering contribution just in time.

In 1972 Kantrowitz published a paper titled “Propulsion to Orbit by Ground Based Lasers”, with a genius idea: to launch light satellites right from the ground to space with high-power laser beams. In this the vehicle will be just “straddling” the tip of the beam. When laser beam is focused on a solid surface, it has enough power to vaporize and ionize almost anything with energy release much higher than hydrogen burning, used in modern space rockets. So, comparing to chemical rockets, laser propulsion uses the same rocket principle, excepting much more energetic exhaust and much lighter vehicle structure: no tanks, fuel lines, etc. leaving a lot of room for a payload.

Laser-propelled rockets will be made of light focusing optics (mirrors), modest amount of ablative solid fuel, and the rest is a payload. No more need for heavy fuel/oxidizer, tanks, lines, chambers, nozzles! Kantrowitz called it 4P Principle: Payload, Propellant and Photons, Period! Scientifically proven (and repeated in different ways for many times) calculations show that with the laser propulsion space delivery price will be reduced to $100 per pound of a payload! It is hundredfold savings!

The paper of Dr. Kantrowitz from 1972 marked the beginning of a new scientific quest. In early seventies Kantrowitz has initiated first research program on laser propulsion at Avco-Everett Research Labs, which for over a decade was the only research program in this field in the world. Later other projects ensued, first laser-propelled vehicles were launched (not into space yet, but high enough to prove the viability of an idea), other countries (Russia, Japan, Germany, China) and hundreds of scientists and engineers joined the quest for laser propulsion (and other forms of beamed-energy propulsion, such as microwave propulsion). However, we should always remember one man who started it all: Arthur Kantrowitz, the father of laser propulsion.

Clean Room Cleaning Supplies

Clean Room Cleaning Supplies are as varied and diverse as their applications. There are wipes, sponges, mops and towels. Also grouped together would be disinfectants, wiping alcohol and acetone. Static clean room cleaning supplies include: tacky mats, tacky rollers and shoe cleaners. There is a category of supplies that falls under the equipment umbrella. For example: auto clave (sterilizer), steam cleaners and vacuum cleaners. A classic application for these cleaning supplies is semiconductor manufacturing. Virtually all semiconductor companies perform their semiconductor process in a clean room environment. The need for cleaning supplies is dependent upon that specific environment itself.

Clean room cleaning supplies are only required because of the ubiquitous deployment of clean rooms. It is therefore necessary to understand and appreciate the technology; at least with an overview. Willis Whitfield is accredited with inventing the modern clean room in 1960. As an employee of Sandia National Laboratories, he designed a facility based on constant flow of filtered air. The constant flow pushes airborne particles out of the facility and brings in air through specialized filters. These filters are now known as High Efficiency Particulate Air or HEPA filters. This technology quickly became an integral part of the semiconductor manufacturing process all across the world and remains so today. Obviously this technology has been refined an improved over the years. One of the fundamental steps in development was that of the classification.

Clean room classifications have enabled the semiconductor manufacturer to create a facility that fits the need at hand. The classification is denoted by the number of particles of a certain size in a cubic meter of space in the room. As an example, ordinary room air has 1,000,000,000 particles that are 0.1 microns or larger per cubic meter whereas, a class ISO 1 classification has only 10 particles that are 0.1 microns or larger per cubic meter. See table below for ISO classifications.

Maximum Number of Particles / cubic meter

Class => 0.1 um – 0.2 um – 0.3 um – 0.5 um – 1 um – 5 um

ISO 1 10 – 2.37 – 1.02 – 0.35 – 0.083 – 0.0029

ISO 2 100 – 23.7 – 10.2 – 3.5 – 0.83 – 0.029

ISO 3 1,000 – 237 – 102 – 35 – 8.3 – 0.29

ISO 4 10,000 – 2,370 – 1,020 – 352 – 83 – 2.9

ISO 5 100,000 – 23,700 – 10,200 – 3,520 – 832 29

ISO 6 1,000,000 – 237,000 – 102,000 – 35,200 – 8,320 – 293

ISO 7 10,000,000 – 2,370,000 – 1,020,000 – 352,000 – 83,200 – 2,930

ISO 8 1 E8 – 2.37 E7 – 1.02 E7 – 3,520,000 – 832,000 – 29,300

ISO 9 1 E9 – 2.37 E8 – 1.02 E8 – 3.52 E7 – 8.32 E6 – 293,000

Clean room cleaning supplies are selected based on their ability to perform at the ISO classification required. To this end, the most important characteristic of clean room cleaning supplies is the property of not generating particles, or, that is, generating particles appropriate for the classification at hand. This specific characteristic leads to the selection of the base material used in the manufacture of the cleaning product.

Materials used in the manufacture of clean room cleaning supplies cover a range from organics to synthetics. If we take a look at a specific group of cleaning products, say wipes and sponges, we find a well focused list of materials. These include: paper, cotton, polyester, nylon, cellulose polyester blend, micro fiber and more recently, molded plastics. Paper and cotton products generate most particulates and therefore best suited to less stringent conditions. Next are the nylon, polyester and polyester blended products. These are well suited to the mid range application. For the most stringent of clean room cleaning supplies requirement, the products based on micro fibers and molded plastics are typically preferred.

Another important characteristic of these clean room cleaning supplies is the ability to absorb water and similar fluids. Typical activities that depend upon this property are: mopping up spills, removal of contaminants from critical surfaces and cleaning maintenance of semiconductor process equipment. These activities are performed on a scheduled, or as needed basis. Absorbency is a function of the base material of the: sponge, wipe, mop or towel. The least absorbent of materials are paper and cotton. Also some of these products are one time use only. Next most effective for absorbency are the products based on: nylon, polyester and polyester blends. For the most demanding of tasks, products based on micro fibers and molded plastics are the most superior. In fact some of these products are reported as being able to retain 600% of water by weight.

When considering the specification of clean room cleaning supplies, it is critical to understand the particular environment in which they will be used. This article includes a reference table of classifications that should be consulted as a matter of course. For wipes and sponges, absorbency, cleanliness (lack of particulate generation) and longevity are all important factors that need to be taken into account. There are many other categories of clean room cleaning supplies not detailed here. However, cleanliness (lack of particulate generation), longevity and the intended environment are critical for all.

The Importance of Architectural Design

Architecture has a great impact on its surroundings. When it comes to raising a new structure, not only the safety measures and durability issues are important, but also the design and aesthetic appeal, which has the ability to leave a sense of wonder behind and revive the community. Architectural design of the highest quality will impress and amaze its audience with its distinctiveness and style. People should always live in homes and cities that energize and give them hope. It is depressing to live in a grey world, which would only further kill your creativity and imagination. The most famous architects in history are the ones that tried to blend architecture with art and create something that will inspire others every day. Just like artistic creations have the power to impart new emotions, architectural design has the power to move people and give them warmth.

People have always been attracted to beauty and good taste, and you can clearly see that in the frenzy with which architectural wonders of the past and present are being visited. Striking manmade structures all over the world are considered tourist attractions, some for their splendid beauty or size, others for their ability to blend local history and architectural traditions. While the most compelling structures of today impress with their innovative approach and cutting edge technology, not to mention style and spirit, the architectural miracles of the past impress through their grandeur and ability to pass the test of time. However, the creative spirit prevails and all world renowned structures are one of a kind. They are a celebration of uniqueness and ingenuity in other words.

Architecture has the power to inspire and there are plenty examples of structures and buildings across the globe that have this power. Whether we talk about museums, educational institutions, corporate headquarters, condominium towers or houses, evidence of the beauty of architectural design is everywhere. You can even see it when visiting your local mall or when you are attending an event. In order to make their store more attractive in the eyes of their customers, businesses pay architects and interior designers to add a touch of creativity to their stores. Visual merchandising and set design have become really popular in the past few years, because of the benefits they offer.

We live in a world where simply making something is not enough; it has to be inspirational and unique as well. This is probably why trends change so fast. The constant search for originality and advanced technology has allowed architects of today reach new heights. Many famous structures of today would have seemed impossible achievements a few decades ago, but they stand exceptionally elegant as evidence of our architectural adventure over the years. Irrespective of the style and magnitude of a project, its age or origin we will come to appreciate a beautiful architectural design. You do not have to love the gothic style to appreciate the gothic architectural wonders of the past and you will fall in love with the minimalist modernist style despite its sense of restraint.