Stinky the Garbage Truck Review

Stinky the Garbage truck is an interactive dump truck with over 90 different phrases and sounds to keep your child entertained for hours! With literally the push of a button, it's easy to see how Stinky has moved to the top of every youngster's wish list this season!

This is no ordinary garbage collecting machine! Stinky has five different interactive modes children (and children at heart) can manipulate. Stinky the Garbage Truck can be used manually as a push truck or you can watch him become larger than life as your child interacts with him!

Turn Stinky's head and watch his headlights light up and blink, or pull his smokestack and listen to him belt out a tune the kids will be singing along with in no time! Feed Stinky by dropping small items into his garbage chute and watch as he dumps them out just like a real garbage truck.

Worried you'll be spending a fortune in batteries when the toy is left on? Worry no longer. When not in use Stinky simply goes to sleep, conserving those precious batteries! Wake Stinky up with the push of a button.

Stinky comes with the Matchbox Big Rig Buddies DVD

Stinky never travels alone! The Matchbox Big Rig Buddies DVD is included with Stinky the Garbage truck and features two Big Rig Buddy episodes. Let them watch as Stinky and his Big Rig pals join young Felix on adventures that promote qualities like teamwork, friendship, and excellence.

Mattel has been a front-runner in children's toys and accessories and does not disappoint with Stinky, providing eager parent's with a toy that is not only durable and easy to clean, but also has the ability to keep a young mind engaged and stimulated. Easy to assemble and easier to use!

Afraid your little one may be too young? Stinky is for ages 3+, making him the perfect gift for that special boy or girl on your shopping list.

Let's get down to the numbers – boasting a price tag of under $ 60, this interactive and multifunctional toy is a steal! Prepare to be 'swept' off your feet with Matchbox's Stinky the Garbage Truck this holiday season!

Carbon Cutting Or Carbon Arc Overview

Carbon cutting or air carbon arc cutting uses an electric arc to melt metal. It blows away the melted or molten metal through the use of compressed air that is sent out in a high velocity jet. Instead of being a chemical reaction as in many processes it is a physical one and can be used with most metals.

Generally this type of cutting is used by industries like mines, construction and quarries to remove stainless welds or hard surfaces. They also use this method when they are preparing cast iron or manganese steel for repairs. Other uses for this method are to cut steel plates that may have been embedded into concrete or to cut pilings where you do not want to remove back fill.

This method only needs a regular power source for the cutting with sufficient amperage – between 150 -600 amps depending on the electrode size, and Direct Current Reverse Polarity. Cutting can be made on most metals including iron, steel, stainless steel, copper and nickel alloys and iron; it can also be used with aluminum. The air pressure needed is generally provided by any canister of compressed air that is 80-100 psi for air pressure.

In most cases a heavy duty welding machine will do this cutting and has to have a constant current. Some applications of this cutting do use alternating currents and they must use an AC type of carbon electrode.

Carbon arc cutting is used to cut metal but it is also used to gouge out any defects in a metal, it can remove bad welds and it can prepare grooves that are waiting for welding. This cutting produces a small cut so that the metal that surrounds the area that is being worked on does not go to high temperatures because the metal is removed quickly after it is melted. Also, because this process is quick, it reduces the tendency of the metal to crack or become distorted. The process usually is a manual process rather than an automated one.

Carbon Arc Cutting is not recommended if the welder is going to do weld preparation for the following metals: titanium, stainless steel, zirconium or other types of metals that need cleaning before they are cut. They will have to be cleaned thoroughly through grinding so that any carbonized material next to the cut is completely cleaned away. However, when these materials need to be scraped to remelt them, this process can be used.

There are a few safety precautions that must be taken into consideration when dong carbon arc cutting. Metal deflection plates must be put up if the welder is gouging because the air blast that is used can make molten metal travel over several feet.

It is important to also move any materials that are combustible because the molten metal can become a fire hazard since it travels at such a high level. This is also a very loud process so some type of ear protection should be worn by the person cutting the arc.

Expensive Sports Equipment

I've always been a fan of riding. Like most kids, getting a dragster was such a thrill – the gear lever on the cross bar, funky handle bars and wide tyres. Wow. Even in my later years it has been fun to get a hybrid bike that I can ride around without constantly worrying about flat tyres and bending the rims on gutters.

I thought that $ 800 was a pretty chunky price and would buy me a good bike, and it did. But boy did I get a shock when I saw what some of the top end bikes cost. Putting aside Lance Armstrong's Trek Madone that sold for $ 500,000 at auction after his last Tour de France, a top carbon fibre bike can easily cost $ 15,000 and standard, high production models anywhere from $ 2,000 to $ 8,000.

Same with kayaks. I did a lot of kayaking when I was younger and was lucky enough to use a borrowed TK1 so never thought about what they cost to buy. They're not as bad as bikes, but with super dooper materials these days like carbon fibre and kevlar, a good kayak can certainly cost up to $ 5,000.

A friends son has started archery. How much for a good bow and arrow set? Try $ 900 just for the bow. Admittedly it's a pretty groovy bow with plenty of pulleys and things and there are certainly good bows for less, but hey, everyone wants the best right.

So next time you buy sports equipment make sure you know what you're buying and do some research on the item being purchase. If you're going to spend these sort of dollars it's the least you can do for yourself. As an example, in researching my latest bike purchase these are the things I considered:

  • Frame; This is pretty fundamental of course. The size, shape, how heavy (rather, how light), how stiff, monocoque, carbon, and of course the right colour.
  • Forks; Weight, tapered, stiff or compliant. Important that they can absorb bumps and shocks as you ride.
  • Derailleurs; Weight and strength, the precision of the action and the number of gears they can support. Test out how well they shift gears when under pedalling pressure.
  • Brakes; Does the bike stop well!
  • The Gears; How many, how easily they shift, how precise, how noisy or quiet they are.
  • Crankset; The material composition and strength to weight ratio so it can transfer your leg power to the wheels.
  • Handlebars; Material (carbon) and shape. Do not forget to test out different riding positions and how comfortable the handlebars are for your most frequent riding style.
  • Grips; You'll be holding these a lot, so make sure they are comfortable and durable. What are they like when they're wet (sweaty).
  • Headset; What size and material are the bearings in both the top and bottom races. Important for stability and precise movement. Also consider the maintenance aspects and how easy they are to work with.
  • Rims and Wheels; Weight, alloy composition
  • Tyres; How wide, the grip and what sort of valves do they use. Check the recommended pressure and make sure you have the means to pump them up to the right figure.
  • : Seat; Weight, durable material, shape of course, and do not forget to ask about the seat post as it also needs to be light but strong.
  • Chain; Clearly needs to be strong. Light would also be nice.

Bikes, kayaks, bows and arrows, even a dartboard. Great fun but make sure you get what you pay for.

Why Is Concrete Polishing So Beneficial?

Concrete polishing is a new trend that has been discovered and widely used among home and business owners all across the country. There are several reasons why concrete polishing is a fantastic choice for new construction, existing property, and renovation projects. So why is concrete polishing do desirable all of a sudden? The answer can be found below. Continue reading to learn the various benefits and some information surrounding concrete polishing and concrete maintenance for residential or commercial properties.

Polishing Concrete

Everyone can picture what a slab of concrete looks like; dim, grey, and dull. With the new technique of concrete polishing, this appearance can be a thing of the past in as little as a few months. Concrete is used as foundation for new construction, residential and commercial; but now, is being used as flooring. Using polished concrete as flooring truly makes for an interesting feature of a home or building. Let's discuss this further.

Concrete is a practical and cheaper option for flooring; especially over carpet, linoleum, tile, or hardwood. Although never considered a potential interior asset, polished concrete is certainly making a comeback. So what does polished concrete look like and why is it such a great option for residential and commercial flooring? The first answer is durability. Concrete is durable; which is why it is used so diversely among new construction and foundation developments. Once it is polished, it appears glossy, shiny, and smooth. It is a luxurious looking floor that costs very little to install, treat, and polish. It does not require extensive care, upkeep, replacement, refinishing, or maintenance; as well as, use of disinfectant chemical treatments, and more. It can also be customized with designs, patterns, gridlines, and anything else. They can even be colored to resemble marble, tile, or polished stone.

This new technology allows general contractors and homeowners to produce shiny and beautiful flooring at a cost anyone can afford. They accomplish this glossy and polished concrete finish by first grinding down the surface of the concrete to eliminate any unevenness and create a smooth finish. They do this with the help of a polishing machine. It is a similar process to sanding wood. These machines are remarkable units of equipment; using blades and discs made from shattered diamonds to grind down solid surfaces! This high-tech sandpaper-like technique is what creates these flawless and smooth polished concrete finishes. Along with concrete polishing, there is a new technique being experimented with called acid-staining. Acid staining is a technique that allows even more intricate designs and colors to be added to concrete flooring.

If a concrete floor is recently installed, it will most likely not require any sanding before the polishing process; however, it will require a 30 day wait time before work can begin on it. If the concrete floor has existed, whether bare or beneath carpeting, it will require sanding, de-greasing, cleaning, dusting, and additional preparation. If the concrete flooring is very porous or uneven, it will need resurfacing before it can be polished. The benefits of polished concrete flooring include:

  • Dirt-Resistant
  • Easy to Clean
  • Store-Bought Materials
  • DIY Potential
  • No Coating or Waxing Needed
  • Slip-Resistant
  • Also for Countertops
  • And More!

Electric Storage Heaters: Heating Appliances for Modern Homes

Gone are the days when electric storage heaters were considered the only equipments to keep your home warm. Today a wide range of central heating system is available in the market and you will be delighted to know that the latest heating equipments are more efficient than your storage heaters. The new radiators are convenient to install and easy to operate. The good thing about these radiators is that they consume less energy in comparison to the storage heaters that can make your electric meter run fast. The new radiators are good looking and due to this feature they can add elegance to your well decorated home.

There is a misconception among home owners that since the electric storage heaters builds up store heat over a long period of time; they can keep the home warmer for longer time. This is wrong and those who are still using these equipment in their homes are only paying heavy electricity bills. Built with latest technique, the electric radiators stop consuming electricity once the room temperature is reached. The new technology enables the radiators to maintain the room temperature for up to 40 minutes after which the radiators start consuming electricity. Don’t you find it the most cost effective way to heat your home?

Keeping warm is a necessity that you can fulfill with your electric storage heaters but enjoying warmth at no extra cost is a luxury that you can get only with new radiators. The cost of electricity has gone up considerably in recent years and the rising cost has forced people to use electric appliances that consume less energy. If you are heating your home with this equipment then it’s time to switch to new electric radiator and save your hard earned money. The radiators are in no way inferior to this sort of heating alternative. On the contrary, you will find the radiators more efficient and power saving than these equipment.

Electric storage heaters are no more a viable option because of rising electricity cost and the fashion needs of modern homes. Home owners today like to use appliances and equipments that durable, user-friendly and economical. These equipment don’t have any of these qualities hence they are not suitable for modern homes. However, an electric radiator simply needs to taken out from its packing and plugged in. With electric radiators, there are no worries as you can put them at a suitable place in your room and operate them with remote control.

Car Suspension Types

Believe it or not, the first suspension designs for automobiles were inspired by the horse-drawn carriages which preceded the first automobiles. These were basically beam axles, where a solid beam was attached via leaf springs to the vehicle chassis and the wheels were attached to the ends of the beams. Although solid beam axles worked well enough and are in fact still in use today in commercial and heavy-duty vehicles, ride quality requirements compelled car designers to look into suspension designs that provided improved ride and handling qualities. This is the era where designers used swing axles and trailing arm suspensions in an attempt to give cars improved bump, steering and handling qualities. The Corvair is an example of a car that used swing axle suspension, while the VW Beetle was designed to use a trailing arm suspension.

One of the most significant suspension designs that were developed is the MacPherson strut, which was first used by Ford in the 1950s. It is very popular with manufacturers of mass-produced cars because of its simplicity and compactness. This simplicity also makes the MacPherson strut cheap to manufacture, and its compact design allows a drive axle to pass through the steering knuckle that the strut attaches to. It became a de facto standard for front wheel drive cars in the 70s and is still widely used today. Despite its advantages of being cheap to manufacture and compactness, the MacPherson strut was not well-suited to high-performance cars. Suspension engineers looking for better control and handling developed the double A-arm, or dual wishbone, suspension, which allows a vehicle to generate maximum cornering force.

Up to today, the solid axle is used in the rear for very powerful cars. As with front suspensions, leaf springs were used for rear suspensions, and some mass-production cars used this rear layout until the early 80s. However, leaf springs have fallen out of favour and have been replaced by coil springs or struts. Locating the solid rear axle is accomplished by trailing links and lateral control rods that control the movement of the axle during acceleration and braking. There are other layouts for locating and controlling the so called live axle, but the 4-link is the most common and popular layout in use for cars still using a solid rear axle. However, very few, if any, of today’s cars use a solid axle for the rear. Independent rear suspensions are commonplace nowadays, whether a car is front wheel drive, rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. Front wheel drive cars usually employ a variation of their front suspension, modified for use in the back end of the car. Generally, these are either a McPherson style suspension or an A-arm setup. Rear wheel drive cars, on the other hand, normally use different front and rear suspensions. What is prevalent is the use of multi-link rear suspensions to provide a very comfortable ride without degrading handling quality. With all-wheel drive cars, the prevalent suspensions in use are the McPherson strut or unequal length double A-arm. All-wheel drive cars are generally higher-performance cars and their suspension tuning is favoured toward handling over ride quality.

Chemical Hazards in Your Chemistry Lab

Before beginning a chemistry lab, many colleges and high schools require that you take an entire course on proper precautions to take in the lab as well as the hazards of certain chemical combinations. Working with chemicals can be a dangerous process that even the experts are incredibly cautious about.

It is absolutely essential to first know what chemicals you’re working with or surrounded by at all times. In chemistry labs, all chemicals should be properly labeled along with a short description of what the chemical can and cannot come in contact with. The chemical hazard you will most frequently come into contact with are flammable chemicals. These can be in the form of any of the following: diethyl ether, acetone, hexanes, ethanol and methanol. If you come in contact with any of these chemicals during a chemistry lab, it’s important that you keep them as far away from flames as possible.

Depending on the flammability rating of the chemical (a number 0-4), you may not even be able to have these chemicals in the room if a fire is burning. For example, diethyl ether has a flammability rating of 4, while acetone, methanol, ethanol and hexanes have a rating of 3. You should never use ether in a lab that has a fire burning, as it can extremely flammable and cause a volatile reaction. The other chemicals mention are more likely to have a combustion type of reaction– something that should also be avoided.

There are also types of chemicals called “corrosives” that present another hazard in a chemistry lab. These types of chemicals include: hydrochloric acid, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid, nitric acid and sodium hydroxide.

Since strong acids and bases are often used in chemistry labs, it’s important to know that these types of chemicals possess a heath rating of 3. This means that even a short exposure to them can cause serious damage and fatal injuries. If any of these chemicals are spilled on the skin, they can cause a chemical burn. These chemicals are also very harmful to your eyes, nasal canal and respiratory passage. Because our bodies are so sensitive to these kinds of chemicals, it’s important to always wear protective gear while in the chemistry lab. This includes goggles, gloves, protective clothing and protective shoes. Be especially careful not to spill or inhale any of these chemicals because of the harm they can cause.

For handling chemicals, it’s important to use protective, glass cases such as graduated cylinders, flasks and other glassware to keep the chemicals safe and free from spillage. Glassware is normally used because it’s transparent, strong and easy to handle. However, glassware also has a high potential for cracking or breaking. It’s important that before you place chemicals into a graduated cylinder or other glassware device, that you examine it carefully for cracks or other ruptures. This is highly important because broken glass can cause chemical leakages that can expose your body to harmful substances.

In the event that a chemical does come in contact with you, it’s important to know ahead of time the proper steps to take. The chemistry laboratory is liable to have sinks and other types of equipment for washing chemicals off of the body in the event of a spillage accident. If you are exposed to a harmful chemical, it’s important to wash whatever part of your body was exposed with cool water and soap and immediately leave the room. Consulting a doctor after the fact may also be a wise decision.

Finally, knowing about the hazards of chemicals in a chemistry lab is important because it can save you from a lot of physical and emotional trauma in the event of a disaster. With all that you’ve learned, you may even be able to help out one of your peers as well.

Business Architecture And Profit Centers

Business Architecture is about using architectural concepts in organizations. It is not only about design, but also about filling the organizational space with constructions; the various forms that you have chosen to implement a functional need in order to serve a certain purpose.

There are many functions in a company. A general function that is not specific to a certain purpose is the organizing activity itself. So besides having the function of Sales, Production, ICT and administration, there is also the function of organizing general activities. This could apply for any type of organizational unit within the company. Competition is a characteristic you could use to design an organization.

Before you design a new organizational structure (the construction to fit the characteristics) you also need to think about the main purpose. For (business) units the purpose is to serve a group of different clients. Profitability measures are needed to analyze the performance of each group. If the market circumstances change, the unit could shift its focus or increase incentives. Increase the competitiveness.

So far so good. The profit center issue is concentrated around other “units” like ICT, finance, Human Resources, etc. In literature you will find objections to convert these organizational parts to profit centers because the profits (more than the costs) can not easily be measured.

Another aspect why profit centers do not fit for these TYPE of (inter) organizations is often less attended. A profit center, like a business unit, requires a competitive organization. And supportive types of organizations like ICT, administration and Human resources are not competitive (that’s why they are called supportive).

The rule for a competitive organization is that more resources should help to produce more output. For the same reason, incentives are possible for such kind of organization, where they are not driving the supportive organization.

To give an example: if you would ask four people to lift a car, and they manage, it is of no use to ask another four people to help them. The car is lifted (supporting) and that’s it. More support is of no use.

Implementing a profit center requires a previous analysis. An Architectural view on your business might help solving bottlenecks. Be careful not to change organizational structures too soon.

© 2006 Hans Bool

Choosing Scaffolding Services

Scaffolding is useful in the construction of buildings to enable workers to carry out various functions such as painting, carrying out repairs, cleaning and other functions. They offer safety and flexibility in terms of movement for these workers as they carry out their duties. These scaffolds come in many types and can be customized to fit various types of buildings regardless of the shape and height.

Scaffolding is available in different types such as supported scaffolds that are used for various works on the few floors of the building. They are built from the ground and can be used in processes such as creating walkways and carrying out maintenance on the building. The other type is known as the suspended scaffolding that is meant to be used when working on the top floors of a building. It is designed with pulleys to facilitate the movement of the cradle upwards or downwards to enable the workers carry out the procedures on the top floors.

The independent scaffold also known as the birdcage scaffold is designed with two rows of vertical poles that are connected by horizontal pieces. Other types of scaffold include the single pole scaffold that comes with one row of standards that need the support of the structure it is placed against. With all these types in the market, it is important to consider the pros and cons of each type before selecting the type to use for any construction. The scaffolding services in London are a good source of information on these types of scaffold and they will give adequate advice on which is suitable for which type of building.

While choosing the scaffolding system, there are a number of things to consider. One of them is the ground on which the scaffold will be used. For a location with unstable earth, suspended scaffold is the right choice as it would enable the workers access the various sites without any problem as compared to using the supported scaffold, which would prohibit access to other areas. The users may also select adjustable scaffold on wheel although they come with the downside of difficulty to use especially in uneven terrains. The building design is also another important feature to consider as this will also determine the type of scaffold that will be selected. Suspended scaffolds are ideal for tall buildings as they are easier and safer to use. For buildings that are not square in shape or that contain projections or recesses, it is ideal to select supported scaffolds.

Since there are many Scaffolding services in London, it is important that the owner of the building considers the budget while selecting them. It is important that while planning the budget, the owner should put safety as a first priority. To get the best deal both in terms of safety measures and cost effectiveness, the owner should compare as many scaffolding services in London as possible. This information is available on the company sites or they can check out the yellow pages for the company’s contacts to enable them find out more details from the company itself. The owners should ensure that the companies they select offer the services they need as well as additional services such as advice, replacing parts, delivery to the site.

The company selected should also offer scaffolding that is designed with safety in mind. The owner should ensure that they have inspected the scaffolding before purchasing to ensure that all safety measures such as addition of toe boards to keep tools from falling off the platform, are put in place. They should also ensure that the company comes with many years of experience in the industry and a skilled team to make sure that the scaffolding is not only effective but also safe

Horse Riding Games – 4 Great Games on Horseback!

Are you a riding instructor, looking for fun horse riding games to play with your students after lesson time? Well here are some great ideas to help teach them riding skills while having a fun time together!

1. Boot Game: With 6 riders, place 12 boots on the rail at one end of the ring. Riders can be on teams or individual – If they divide into teams, riders line up at the far end of the ring and trot or canter (depending on their ability) to the end where the boots are placed. They pick the boot up and travel to the center of the arena where a muck bucket is placed. They must drop the boot in the bucket and continue to the end of the ring where they started, tag the next person who then does the same thing. The first team to complete moving the boots is the winner. If the rider misses the bucket, they dismount, pick up the boot, remount, and drop in again. (If they are small or too young, you can skip that part!

The rider learns not to head the horse directly to the boot they want. Rather they learn to ride up along the rail and scoop it up. If the horse is facing the boot, the rider cannot lean over to pick it up. They also learn not to race to bucket quickly and throw in the boot. Rather, they learn to approach the bucket at the walk and drop it in carefully. It really teaches a lot of patience, planning and steering!

2. Musical Horses: This is a horse riding game that works just like Musical Chairs! Place ground poles parallel to each other, about 8 feet apart, in the center of the arena creating horse parking lots, for lack of a better description! The kids ride on the rail to music and must do whatever is asked for – walk – trot – canter – halt – half circle – reverse – circle. When the music stops the riders must continue in the same direction but get to a ground pole parking lot quickly. Because you have created one less parking lot than riders, one rider is left out and must exit. Then, you take away a pole and start the music again, and again until there is a winner. The kids love it!

3. Red Light Green Light: The kids ride in a straight line from one end of the ring to the other and listen for commands. “Red Light” means to walk your horse. “Green Light” means to trot your horse. If rider makes a mistake they have to back 5 steps. The first rider to cross the finish line is the winner. This develops the skills of eye contact and body language while encouraging control and calmness with the horse.

4. Mounting and Dismounting Game – I play this horse riding game with 4 older riders who can mount from the ground and 4 little riders with mounting blocks. One older rider is paired up with a younger rider. The younger riders are in center ring tagged up to the mounting block and keep an eye on their team mate. Commands are asked of the riders on the rail. When the instructor says “halt” the older rider stops on the rail and dismounts while the young rider runs from the center to her horse and partner. The older rider has to get to get the little rider on safely and then race back to the mounting block. The last person in that team is out. Now the little riders start their riding commands. The halt is called for and older rider runs to the little rider who is dismounting. The older rider mounts and little rider runs back to mounting block. By now, it is pretty funny as older riders are riding with no stirrups or in jockey style in little kids stirrups – teams are screaming for one another and it is quite CRAZY!! This continues until one team is left!

For more information about games on horseback, visit Horse Riding Videos.

American Pool Tables Vs English Pool Tables

There are two main types of pool table, upon which are played two quite different versions of the game.

Table Size

English pool tables range in size from 6ft to 8ft, though the official tournament size is 7ft. These sizes refer to the overall length of the table from 'rail to rail'. The playing surface of the competition size table is 6ft by 3ft.

American pool tables are usually 8ft or 9ft, with the official competition size being the 9ft table. Again the size refers to the total length of the table, and the playing surface on the 9ft competition table is 8ft x 4.5ft. In bars and clubs you do sometimes find 7ft American pool tables, referred to as 'bar boxes' because of their small size.

Pool Balls & Pocket Size

The ball sets used on English pool tables comprise 7 red, 7 yellow and 1 black balls. On modern tables the reds and yellows are solid colour, with the black having an '8' in a white circle upon it. The standard size for a 6ft, 7ft or 8ft English pool table is 2 ", with pockets usually being around an inch larger to accommodate the balls.

The ball sets used on American pool tables are numbered 1-15, which are split into 'solids' and' stripes. Numbers 1-7 make up the solids, 8 is the black ball, and 9-15 the stripes. The set as standard is:

1. Yellow
2. Blue
3. Red
4. Purple (pink in some ball sets)
5. Orange
6. Green
7. Brown or burgundy (tan in some ball sets)
8. Black
9. Yellow and white
10. Blue and white
11. Red and white
12. Purple and white (pink and white in some ball sets)
13. Orange and white
14. Green and white
15. Brown (or burgundy) and white (tan and white in some ball sets)

The standard size for American pool balls is 2 "ΒΌ with the pockets finished to a larger size than those on an English pool table.

Both English and American pool ball sets have a white cue ball as standard, which can feature red 'target' spots (though these are more typically seen on practice cue balls). In both English and American pool balls, Aramith (a Belgian manufacturer) are recognised as the industry leader in pool balls.


English pool tables all have napped cloth, and the current official choice is Strachan West of England wool. The cloth is available in various weights which affect the speed of play and ball behaviour.

American pool tables feature 'speedball' worsted cloth, which has not nap. This makes the cloth much faster, and combined with the larger, heavier balls changes the character of the game significantly from English pool.


The difference in table and ball size means that play on an American pool table is much faster, and potentially more technical than English pool. The larger balls mean the use of masse (high speed spin / side shots normally used in Carom billiards) is more prevalent, and in recent years it has become much more popular than the English version.

The popularity of '9 Ball' has contributed here, which is a faster version of pool played with just the balls numbered 1-9. The balls are racked in a diamond in ascending order from baulk to the bottom of the table. The aim of the game is to pot the 9, but the balls must be potted in ascending numerical order. Cannons and trick shots are allowed however, and you could get lucky and have a 'golden break'. This quick version of pool has become extremely popular in bars and clubs.

Free Piano Sheet Music in the New Age Style

So, you're looking for free piano sheet music. But not just any kind. You want New Age piano sheet music. But it's sadly lacking in both online and offline locations. Until now. You see, I love New Age piano music. Spent most of my adult life creating and playing it.

And to tell you the truth, I'm disappointed in the complete lack of resources for this genre. The classical music world has literally millions of pieces of sheet music. And jazz? You can find thousands of lead sheets, written sheets, and complete pieces for piano available. And New Age? Forget about it.

Of course there is sheet music for New Age piano. Hal Leonard has some as do other music publishers. But it was mostly published back in the 1980's when New Age piano hit it's peak of popularity. Where can you find the new stuff? Unfortunately, there is not much being produced.

My search of the internet revealed a few artists who create New Age piano sheet music but most of them charge for it. Nothing wrong with that. They're trying to make money doing what they love and they should get paid. But what about the beginning pianist who loves New Age piano music and just wants to play a few beginners pieces? Where should they go?

You can the find Now <br> free piano sheet music in the New the Age style . I've created a blog where I'll post fresh sheet music regularly. And best of all … it's free! Why am I doing this? Because I love the genre and I want more people to get interested in it. I know many of you enjoy this style of music but are a little ashamed to say you like New Age piano. I understand. No one I know likes the term "new age" but we're stuck with it. At least it lets us know the kind of music we're playing.

How to Make a Homemade Pizza With Your Kids

It can be a lot of fun to roll up your sleeves and make a homemade pizza with your kids. It can also be pretty economical too. When you are tired of ordering delivery for your pizza or just throwing a frozen one into the oven, then you should try making a pizza using ingredients you'll find around the house. If you want to make a more traditional-looking pizza, you will need a special trip to the grocery store to procure the right ingredients.

There are three major parts of that go into making a pizza so you'll want to focus your attention on these:

Crust – This is the part where you have to think outside the box. One successful at-home idea would be to use the dough from a package of crescent rolls. Another popular option is to make mini-pizzas using English muffins. You can even use ordinary white bread if you do not have any other options. If you're going to make a special trip to the store for the ingredients then you'll want to grab a ready-made at home pizza crust for the best results, and for the least amount of work. Get your kids involved by having them cut the crusts off the bread, or unrolling the crescent roll dough. If you went with a pre-made crust, have them open it and get it ready.

Sauce – You probably have a jar or can of spaghetti sauce, and that will work if you just want to use items you already have in your kitchen. If you are shopping for ingredients then you will want to pick up a jar of pizza sauce that looks good to you. Let your kids be the ones to spread the sauce evenly across your chosen crust. Do not worry if it's not perfect, that just gives it the character of a homemade pie.

Toppings – This is where you get to really shine as far as individuality, creativity, and experimentation go. Feel free to go wild. Try toppings they just do not offer at the local pizzeria. You can make combinations of your favorite foods that only you enjoy on a personal sized pizza. That way if you like broccoli on your pizza but your children do not, you can have as much of it as you want! Wondering what it would be like to have a Turkey pizza? Wonder no more! Do you like having an absurd amount of cheese on your pizza, and they never seem to put enough on? You decide how much extra cheese you will have! The possibilities are really endless here because you can let your kids try different toppings, and if they taste horrible, you can just scrap it and try again.

So as you can see it does not have to be a daunting task to make pizza at home with your kids. You do not have to make everything from scratch. Plus you can actually have fun in the process, instead of just waiting out the 30 minutes for the deliver person to arrive.

4 Types Of Eco Friendly Flooring

Is eco-friendly flooring a must have for your family's health?

What if I told you that studies have proven indoor pollutant levels are from between 2-5 times higher than they are outside and all because of the kind of flooring you use – would you still consider using the same kind of carpets and flooring?

You see installing these kinds of floorings fills the air with hundreds of volatile organic compounds – known commonly as VOCs, and include carcinogens such as formaldehyde and benzene. It can take years for these substances to disappear from the atmosphere inside the house and as if that was not enough – carpets need to be cleaned and treated with toxic chemicals to repel soil and moisture! Carpets are also notorious for trapping toxic lawn chemicals, allergens and VOCs that are tracked in from outside, by means of shoes and pets.

It is for this reason that going for sustainable, eco-friendly flooring options is a must! Not only would this minimize health problems but one can find extremely stylish choices to pick from that are many a time less expensive than traditional floorings. These floorings are made from recycled and eco-friendly materials making your way to decorate your home, a responsible and healthy one.

Following are some of the eco-friendly options for flooring:


Even though softwood is not the ideal choice of flooring, cork is a good alternative for many reasons. It naturally elastic and hence very comfortable. Moreover, the wood provides thermal and acoustic insulation and the durable feature of the floor ensures that marks are not left from high heels or furniture. Furthermore, the floors are hypo-allergenic and repel dust, fire and insects. As if that was not enough, they are made from the bark of the cork oak tree, which actually grows back every three years. So damage to the environment is minimal, if not completely non-existent.

Tiles and Linoleum

Tiles and Linoleum are a colourful way to light up the room and are preferable for kitchens and bathroom. They are easy to maintain, available in a large variety and for every price range. Moreover Natural linoleum floors are a good eco-friendly flooring solution as they are hypo-allergenic as well as biodegradable!


There is a wide variety of sustainable carpets available nowadays. These are made with natural fibres that have undergone little or no chemical treatment. Another kind is carpets with natural fibre backing that is attached with less-toxic adhesives. Similarly, purchasing natural carpets made of woven wool, jutes, natural sisals and sea grass is another choice. These use minimal levels of natural latex and toxics. Moreover, one should choose carpets that have lightweight padding or padding made of recycled materials. When installing the carpet it is advisable to use water based, low-VOC glues. Another safe alternative is tacking the carpet as this can help eliminate many of the hazardous pollutants that result from using chemical based glues. Lastly, during carpet disposal it is best to send it to a carpet recycle that will reuse the carpet, albeit in a different form.


This is a popular eco-friendly flooring option and is known to last longer than most conventional hardwood floors. This flooring too is naturally resistant to water, mildew and insects and is sustainable due to the fact that bamboo grows back quickly and in large quantities.

Choosing the Best Attic Ladder for Your Needs

Attic space is unused space for most people. It can be made into an excellent storage area, however, just by installing an attic ladder. They can be installed with very little do-it-yourself experience, too, which means that all you have to do is purchase and install them. They come as a preassembled kit and just have to be taken out of the box and installed as directed. Adding an attic ladder can make it simple and easy to get into your attic to store Christmas decorations, old clothing, or anything else. What are some things that you need to consider when choosing an attic ladder?

Room Placement. Where do you want to put your attic ladder? You need to consider the area under the ladder and around the ladder. Will it leave enough space for the ladder to unfold and for you to get onto it? Will it be difficult to get boxes and other items into the space? Where will the bottom of the ladder rest when it is unfolded? All of these factors need to be considered before you determine where you are going to put the ladder and then you have to add in the ceiling placement considerations to find the right location for your needs.

Ceiling Placement. Your attic ladder kit is made to fit between 24-inch on center framing. If you do not have this type of attic floor, you may have to reframe the opening to make the kit fit. Oftentimes, the ladder will easily fit where you want it, but in most cases, some framing will have to be done to make the attic ladder fit snugly, so it will be safe and usable for you. If you are not sure about ceiling placement or whether you will need to frame or how to frame, you will want to consult a professional to ensure that you install it correctly. Another consideration will be the amount of headroom that you will have when you climb up into the attic. If you are on the side or end of the house, you may not have the headroom that you want and need. In the middle of the attic space or near the middle will allow you to have enough room to climb into the attic without banging your head, elbows, or other body parts as you climb.

Length and Weight. You want to measure the distance from the ceiling to the floor to make sure that you get an attic ladder that will reach from your ceiling and rest comfortably on the floor. The differing lengths of the ladders make it possible to install an attic ladder anywhere in your home. You need to also evaluate the weight rating to ensure that you will be safe on the ladder. The rule of thumb is that the more weight that the ladder can hold, the more sturdy that it is, so keep this in mind when choosing your ladder. At the least, you want to consider who will be climbing up and down this ladder to make sure that you get one with a weight rating that is high enough to safely hold them.

What Type? Attic ladders are available in wood, aluminum, and steel. Most people choose the wood or aluminum ladders, simply for their strength and durability. Attic ladders also come in different types, like a fold down ladder or a slide down ladder, as well, which is something else that you need to consider. By doing your research and comparing prices to see which attic ladder will meet your budget and your needs, you will be able to choose the right one for you.

An attic ladder can add square footage onto your home to allow you to put some of those less than used items out of sight and out of the way. By carefully planning where you are going to locate the ladder and whether you can get up and down the ladder safely and easily, in addition to the length, weight rating, material, and type, you will be able to choose the best attic ladder for you and your needs. This will help you to easily convert that unused space into storage that you will use time and time again.