Transform Your Model Railroad Layout by Weathering

It seems almost savage to spend money on the best railroad stock and scenery and then make it look aged and well used by just making “dirty”. It is no good just doing the locomotives and rolling stock and not the scenery or the other way around because it will not look authentic and after all that is what we are trying to achieve here.

Go to your hobby shop and ask for some Weathering chalk, or you can simply buy colored chalk probably from the same shop. Now comes the fun bit.

You need to create several shades of chalk dust and to do this just get some course sandpaper and make separate piles of dust of a single colour. Then simply mix them together to get the desired color and brush it onto you models as you see fit. Do not use the same colour for everything because it will look contrived. When you are happy with what you have done spray dull-coat onto the chalk dust to anchor it.

You can weather, or age products, but they are not as much fun. They are quicker though and do contain a built in fixer instead of using dull-coat.

One of the advantages of using ready-made aging product is the vast array of colors that will immediately meet your requirements. Colors you’ll use most of, such as black, burnt sienna, and rust are ready to use and actually are quite difficult to mix consistently for yourself.

So there you have it, you have just started the process of making your trains and rolling stock look authentic so now is the time for the aging of the scenery.

So how does it run?

By the time a real train with 30 carriages or trucks have traveled a thousand miles, the locomotive and the rolling stock are going to be dusty at the very least, but they still run well. So don’t get the idea that your locomotive performance it to be compromised. Make sure that all the running gear, like wheels, couplings and pistons are clean.

It is not just the loco and rolling stock that needs attention but the scenery as well and arguably this represents a greater challenge. The same techniques are used but you need to consider the seasons if you intend to keep your layout current.

Scenery also needs to be consider in terms of the direction of the trains because that is the dirty side. Ask yourself when you last saw an event weathered signal box. Next time you see a railroad have a look and see which side of everything is the dirtiest. All this weathering comes under the heading of “system or layout distressing.” This doesn’t sound good but it is what you should be trying to achieve.

Here is a tip on how to distress a building:

Paint the initial base coat of your building with a lighter shade of paint. Let this dry. Then dab on some rubber cement in specific areas. These areas will appear “distressed” and beat up when you’re done. Let the rubber cement dry. Now, without removing the rubber cement, paint your darker, final coat onto your building. That’s right, you’re painting right over that dried rubber cement. Once your second coat has dried, gently peel off the rubber cement. This takes the dark paint with it, and reveals the lighter base coast underneath.

Looking pretty distressed, isn’t it? But you’re not quite done yet. Next, brush the area with a wash made from a mixture of thinned-out India ink and alcohol. Now your building looks distressed!

Don’t forget to add some soot to a few buildings. Soot builds up on smokestacks, over tunnel portals, and on engine houses, giving them a fine dusting of black. Soot is all over the real world railroad, it gets everywhere!

Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Review

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is the latest Android handset to be released by Sony Ericsson. In this review we will be taking a closer look at the handset and seeing how it stacks up against other high end smartphones on the market. Many people sought after the latest and great mobile phone like it is some kind of medical pandemic. Will the Japanese based Sony Ericsson be able to feed this hunger with the new Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc handset or will it fail miserably?

The Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc is a smart phone that runs on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread operating system through a 1-Gigahertz Scorpion processor, an Adreno 205 GPU, and a Qualcomm MSM8255 Snapdragon processor. It has a quad band receiver so you can use it with a range of connectivity options such as 2G GSM 850 /900 /1800 /1900, 3G Networks on HSDPA 900/2100 and HSDPA 850/1900/2100/800.

It also includes an FM radio with RDS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, GPRS and EDGE for fast mobile internet connection. This 8.7-millimeter-thick smart phone has a 4.2-inch TFT capacitive touch screen display that has a resolution of 854 by 480 pixels which features the new Reality display technology taken from Sony Bravia televisions. They have also integrated an 8.1-megapixel Sony Exmor R camera that has a mobile CMOS sensor and a fast shutter.

After going this far in this Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc review, many people would have noticed the astonishing slimness of this smart phone. The thickness of 8.7 millimetres is extremely accurate, and it has a sophisticated design and portability that rivals all of the other smart phones within its range. Aside from its unusually slim thickness, the device has a stunning screen that oozes with quality, crispness, sharpness and brightness, which is further improved by the new Snapdragon processor that could bring the best out of all current mobile games. The camera is also a highlight in this product, which is capable of capturing 720p HD quality videos even when working in low light conditions. The operation and navigation through the phone is surprisingly fast even without the presence of a dual-core processor.

Even with the apparent high-end features that the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc possesses, it does have certain flaws like the relatively uncomfortable screen, which may feel awkward or insensitive for most people especially during text messaging. Another poor feature of this device is its battery life, with only almost a day of normal usage and an equivalent overnight charge however this issue affects most smartphones. The Xperia Arc also has a poor internal storage capacity of only 400 Megabytes, so users would be required to purchase their own storage card to make full use of all the features of this smart phone.

As anyone would have expected, the phone comes at a relatively high price, although a competitive one at that, considering its whole range of features. Even so, with all the high-end functions mentioned in this Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc Review, this smart phone is a nice buy that no smart phone fanatic should miss.

Lamenting Poetic Moods [six Poems]

Advance: in Mr. Siluk's poetry one finds symbolist values, sensuous impressions; verbal magic and even childish jingles; at times the popular 8-syllable verse (ballad metre). Free verse, with lamenting poetic moods, even satire (poems inside-out). Here are a few more of his recently written poems. Rosa Peñaloza.

Lamenting Poetic Moods

(Six Poems)

By Dennis Siluk

Spring Scene: Rain

[Along the Mississippi]

Dusk descends. A mist

shows nothing of kindness.

And now, as the sun falls,

a dead pale gleam, hardly

seen …

covers the city, along the

Mississippi–;

With tarnished spring rain–!

Everything is cold and gray.

No moon at all, just pale drab

rain's …

Bleak rain, all night and day;

Pale-bleak rain, along the

Mississippi–.

Note: # 670 [5/16/05]; inspired by the rain;

in St. Paul, Minnesota; and Juan Ramon Jimenez.

Wariwilca

[Ancient ruins by the Andes of Peru, 700 AD]

Ancient ruins, hidden away

In the Mantaro Valley

Huancayo …

A scent of silence … resides

In the quiet skies

Of Wariwilca! …

A cheerful breeze clashes my knees

As I kneel down

And Drink from its spring …

In the quiet corners of

The ruins, spirits still linger

Unruffled ….

# 671 / 05.16.05

American Society:

Yellow moon-light

We are Christians, but have

Not faith–!

We are ecclesiastical but

Not spiritual–!

We have no roots, but we

Have big feet!

It is a land of everyone

Ruled by everyone

Even mystics–!

We have the mountain and sky

And we all try to fly–!

We love God, with or

Without Him–!

It should be made clear–

We are preoccupied with:

Death, money and beer!

(And most folks hate poetry

At best.)

Our youth and Congress

With long grass and low skies–

Are on a road that leads to lies!

As for me–

Books, New York City, just before

Dawn: yellow moon-light shines through

My empty room ….

Farewell, farewell; next stop

My poems becomes alive

With cosmic crap–!

# 669

White Peril

Weakness rides the humans of life!

Humans against the anguish of Satan!

He feels wronged and thus, suffers

Madly with his blemished soul!

They are many; but they exist, they

… Paint white fences for weak humans.

The poor … the poor! He slaps their face;

Puts them in place; It gives gilt filled destinies.

Weakness rides the humans of life!

Madly with the blemished soul of Satan …:

Crazed eyes, shoulders high, high:

He summons us … to his den nearby! …

# 668

Cesar Vallejo's:

Feasible of Black Roses

Bow down your head ol 'poet–

To face God's grace ahead

There are no more trenches

To dig today …

In the forest of your head,

So–:

Bow down, bow down,

Ol 'barbaric poet!

Death rides the horse ahead

I hear the crackling of a whip

See the crazed eyes of death.

He summons you to his den–

The devil and his wind,

So–:

Bow down, bow down

Your blood stained brows

He will take you to the edge.

Closer, closer, I see you now

With Ah! a moving satanic cloud

I see a festival of black-roses:

Hear a clamor in the crowd;

Bow down, bow down, Ol 'poet

… I hear applause!

Forgive me Lord, I tired

In the afternoon of my life–

But souls are seized by devils

And black-roses at festivals:

On days that 'you are sick! …'

# 666 [15/05/2005]

Evangeline of Lima

Evangelina of Lima,

Awoken in her breasts

Warmth at the request
For her hand in marriage

By the handsome young captain

Don Fernando–!

But obsession to gamble

Woud tare his heart away

As he squandered her fortune

And her diamond solitaire ring.

But fortune would have it so,

She died a solid wife–

To save her husbands honor

In the middle of her life.

Note: Inspired by Ricardo Palma, and his "Peruvian Traditions". Being a licensed counselor for many years, and schooled in psychology, and addictions, this case he writes about, was most interesting to me, and therefore I wrote my poem with it as an example. I do not feel I have taken anything away from his writings, and was careful to observe this.

Concrete Cutting – An Insight To Concrete Core Drills and Concrete Core Drilling

Concrete core drilling is the process of drilling perfectly round holes through concrete walls, floors and other concrete structures. Concrete core drilling is the most commonly recognized use of any diamond concrete cutting tool. Concrete core drills or "core rigs" can be operated in any orientation, vertical, horizontal and even upside down through concrete ceilings. A concrete core drill bit consists of a steel tube with diamond segments brazed or laser welded on the drilling end. The core bits are mounted on the rotating shaft of various types of concrete core drilling machines. Most concrete core drills are connected to a stand that is secured to a wall or floor with a concrete anchor and a bolt but there are also concrete core drills that use vacuum pressure to attach to a floor. There are also many different types of "hand held" core drills. Concrete core drills can be powered by electricity, hydraulic, gasoline or air power sources. Concrete core drill bits can range in diameter from 1/2 inch to 72 inches in diameter and drilling depths are virtually unlimited with the use of extensions. A solid cylindrical slug or "core" of concrete is removed from the hole after the drilling is complete. The applications for concrete core drilling are virtually endless.

Core holes are used for "utility penetrations" such as electrical, plumbing and heating but are also commonly used for venting furnaces or clothes dryers. Concrete core drilling also allows concrete structures to easily be made ready for sprinkler systems, HVAC ducts, fiber optics, phone lines, computer lines and much more. Core drilling methods are used widely in underground utilities construction, most commonly, manhole taps, underground vault taps, and wherever sewer, water, steam, air or communication lines pass through a concrete or brick structure.

Line drilling or "line coring" is similar to perforating, when core holes are drilled in a series of overlapping holes in a row, allowing for one large piece of concrete to be removed. Line coring is an effective method for cutting and removing small, square or rectangle openings of almost any thickness of concrete where other concrete sawing or cutting methods can not be applied.

Although not recommended, concrete core drilling can be performed by an advanced "do it yourselfer" and the equipment necessary to perform concrete core drilling is readily available at your local tool rental and supply store. Most professional concrete cutting companies have a minimum charge of $ 250 to core a hole for you and it can take a professional as little as 10 minutes to unload his equipment, core the hole, and reload his equipment. Yet, I have seen homeowners rent the equipment and spend an entire weekend trying to core a single hole and then call a professional concrete cutter in to complete the project anyways. Just like with any trade a professional concrete cutter will make his job look easy.

© Copyright 2007 New Hampshire Concrete Cutting, All Rights Reseved.

Painting Cast Iron Radiators

So you have sourced some wonderful reclaimed cast iron radiators, or you want to refurbish your Victorian period radiators, but what is the best way of bringing them back to their former glory?

Below are a few tips to achieving a stunning yet hard-wearing painted finish on cast iron radiators.

1. DON’T power coat!

Some companies offer a powder coating service. This method can produce a fabulous finish, BUT… cast iron radiators are not designed to go through the high oven temperatures and prolonged baking process involved in powder coating. Many experts advise against this option as there is a very real risk that the seals between sections will be damaged during baking which will lead to leaking radiators. For this reason, powder coating will invalidate any manufacturer’s guarantee.

2. DO use cellulose or acrylic based paint

There is no need to use expensive specialist radiator paints. You can achieve a perfect finish using cellulose-based paint or acrylic-based spray paint. For instance, car paint is perfect for radiators as it is designed to cope with extremes of temperature and be tough enough to withstand relatively intense wear and tear. If you like the look of powder coating, then a similar looking end result can be achieved by using products like “Plasti-kote”, a spray paint available from many DIY stores.

3. DON’T use water based paint

If you use water based paint on cast iron you will almost certainly end up with orange “rust blooms”. Some “specialist” paint is water based and even has a picture of a cast iron radiator on the tin but use this at your peril!

4. DO spray paint rather than brush paint

Cast iron’s textured finish is forgiving, so a good paint finish is easily achievable. If you are planning on painting the radiators yourself by hand, then we recommend using spray paint as it is difficult to reach into the middle columns and achieve a consistent finish using a brush.

For more information on this subject, then it is advised you speak to an expert.

Gymnastics Dance – The Importance of Dance in Gymnastics Floor and Beam Routines

Gymnastics and dance are completely different sports, but a working knowledge and ability to perform each of these disciplines are a must to be a great gymnast and dancer. Every gymnastics floor and beam routine includes a vast amount of dance to connect gymnastics skills.

Serious and competitive gymnasts should take dance lessons along side with working out in the gym. Dance is an extremely important part of gymnastics. Gymnastics and dance go hand in hand, for this reason I refer to it as gymnastics dance. Gymnastics dance is crucial to a gymnasts’ success. In every beam and floor routine ever performed, gymnastics dance is weaved throughout the entire piece. You may be a gymnast, not a dancer, but you are going to get judged on the dance you put into your routines. The neatest thing about gymnastics dance is it makes your routine unique and helps it stand out from all other gymnastics routines. Through gymnastics dance you are able to express your personality as an individual and a gymnast. This has a huge weight in your overall score, so make sure you go all out and make every move count. Amazing leaps, high flexible jumps, and perfect turns are a necessity for a high scouring beam and floor routine. Gymnastics dance is used in-between tumbling passes and skills it is the fluidity that ties each part of your routine together making it whole.

Dance lessons will help you master these skills. I cannot express enough how beneficial dance is for gymnastics floor and beam success. It teaches great form, technique, grace, flexibility, fluidity, balance, and posture. Make sure your beam and floor gymnastics routines are choreographed specifically for you and no one else. By incorporating dance, skills, and tumbling passes that show your strengths.

Defeat Diabetes

Four warning signs you should not ignore

Full blown diabetes is easy to spot: frequent, uncontrollable urges to urinate, virtually unquenchable thirst, numbness in your hands and feet. Symptoms leading up to the full blown disease are easier to ignore. But ignorance is not bliss. Here are the top silent alarms.

You feel sleepy right after a meal if your body gets flooded with sugar it can not process. It'll stage a sort of rolling blackout. It will pull energy from other systems to marshal the resources needed to pump out the extra sugar.

Your vision has become a little blurry. When too much sugar crowds into your bloodstream, it can cause the lenses in your eyes to stretch, resulting in blurred vision. Watch for headaches after reading or doing paperwork.

Your blood pressure is higher than usual. It's hard to tell which comes first, the diabetes or the high blood pressure. But it seems that even slightly higher than normal blood pressure levels are related to insulin resistance.

Your breath constantly smells like nail polish remover. Without enough insulin to turn carbohydrates into energy, your liver will begin to break down fat for fuel. Acetone breath is one by product of fat combustion.

Diabetes is actually an easy disease to understand. Basically, it's an interruption in the body's supply line of food. Here's how it works. Just about everything we eat is digested and turned into glucose, also called blood sugar. The glucose is then carried to the body's cells, where it's burned as fuel. One crucial element makes the entire process possible. Insulin, a hormone secreted by the pancreas, allows glucose to penetrate the cell walls.

There are two types of diabetes. Type 1, also called juvenile diabetes, occurs when a person just stops producing insulin, necessitating insulin injections. Type 2 is a lifestyle and genetic problem brought on by overeating and lack of exercise. The pancreas produces plenty of insulin, but the body is insulin resistant and the insulin can not enter the cell walls. Because people are becoming less active and overeat more, diabetes is becoming a serious threat in our modern society. Diabetes will destroy your heart, kidneys and retinas.

There is no such thing as a diabetic diet. If you look carefully you will see the diet is the same as prescribed to patients with heart disease, cancer or any other terminal illness. A healthy eating plan is what you should strive for and diabetics should keep the following meal planning guidelines in mind.

You are able to eat a variety of ordinary foods that make up a healthy eating plan. You may be asked to prepare some foods differently or change some of the ingredients used in your recipes and eat less or more of some foods. But the basic foods themselves will be those you have always eaten. A healthy eating plan helps to control the blood glucose, blood lipid (fat) levels, reduce weight where necessary and prevent diabetic complications such as heart disease, damage to the kidneys, eyes and nerves. There is also no need for you to eat differently from the rest of the family. There is no such thing as a diabetic diet and buying special diabetic foods is not necessary. They are just expensive and high in fat.

Starchy Foods

These should be eaten at every meal and be the main part of every meal. The following are good sources.

Cereals: Pronutro, weetbix, all bran flakes, oats and oat bran.
Breads: Try heavy breads like seed loaf, rye and linseed bread.
Pasta and rice: Especially wild and basmati rice.
Potatoes: Especially cooked and left overnight (potato salad), new potatoes, baked / boiled rather than roasted or fried.

Fruit and Vegetables

Aim to have five servings per day as they contain anti oxidants (Vitamin C, Beta Carotene, Vitamin E) which may protect against heart disease.

Try not to add butter, margarine, or sugar to vegetables. Rather use lemon juice, low fat / fat free natural yoghurt or oil free salad dressing.

Dried fruit and fruit juices (even those with no added sugar) are concentrated forms of carbohydrates and therefore should be eaten in limited amounts.

Milk and Dairy Products

These good sources of protein and calcium are also high in fat and you therefore need to choose skimmed / low fat milk or dairy products.

Try low fat / fat free yoghurts (check the sugar contents).
Choose low fat / fat free cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, low fat processed cheese or small amounts of strongly flavored cheeses.

Protein

Aim for two to three matchbox size servings per day by making meat or fish the smaller part of your meal.

Choose lean / fat trimmed meat and use skinless poultry.
Try to grill, bake, roast, or braise with no or very little oil.
Legumes (peas, beans, lentils) are excellent protein sources which are naturally low in fat and a good source of fiber.
Fish, especially oily fish (mackerel, sardines, pilchards, herring, salmon) may protect you from heart disease.

Fats and Oils

Diabetes increases your risk of heart disease through building up fatty deposits in arteries. What helps prevent this is eating less fat, especially saturated fat – mainly found in animal products such as butter, lard, full fat milk, cheese and fatty meat.

Rather choose small amounts of unsaturated fats like oily fish, corn oil, sunflower oil, and safflower oil. Better still are mono unsaturated fats like olive oil, canola oil and peanut oil.

Exercise

Regular exercise results in better blood glucose control and the need for less medication. It helps control blood pressure, increase your sense of well being and helps maintain a healthy weight. Snacks may be necessary before strenuous exercise or unexpected exercise. Remember that snacks eaten late at night should include a little protein as it makes the food last longer and will prevent the blood glucose levels from dropping too low at night. Ask your dietician for more information.

Change

Eat at least three regular meals. Try to eat similar amounts of foods, spaced out evenly and eaten at about the same time of day. Aim for a healthy body weight. Eat less fried foods and fats by cutting down on oil, margarine, butter, fatty meat and cheese. Eat lots of high fiber, starchy foods especially unrefined products, legumes (lentils, peas, beans), vegetables and fruit.

Be more active – exercise will help control your diabetes, help you to lose weight and help prevent heart disease.

Blobitecture – Blob Architecture

Blobitecture, also called “blob architecture” or “blobism”, refers to modern buildings with an amorphous, blob-like shape. “Blobitecture” is a term actually coined by New York Times Magazine writer William Safire, who used it to sardonically describe the sudden rise of amoeba-like buildings. Contrary to his intention, architects happily adopted “blobitecture” to describe a new and exciting architectural movement.

Blobitecture is a dynamic form of architecture still widely in use today. Blobitecture is unlike any other architectural form because it completely originates from computer-aided design (CAD). In software architect jobs, architects use CAD to manipulate buildings’ outlines to virtually any shape. While they do this, the software automatically calculates mathematical equations that instill structural soundness into the design. Before CAD’s development, architects adhered to mainstream geographical shapes since they were confident of these shapes’ structural stability. Now, thanks to CAD software, a building’s shape has boundless possibilities.

Today, most architects implement blob architecture for glass-and-steel structures. Rarely is it used for private residential homes, because the glass and steel materials makes “blob buildings” fairly transparent. Rather, it is much more frequently used for tourist attractions, such as museums, theatres, and concert halls. It is also increasingly used for scientific buildings, such as geodesic domes used for weather observatories and greenhouses. Lastly, a greater number of commercial buildings are blob structures, such as London’s City Hall and the Future Systems architectural firm.

Blobitecture arose during the 1990s when CAD systems were first being developed for architects and interior designers. In 1993, the first blobitecture building was erected: the Water Pavilion in the Netherlands, which was completely designed in CAD. Other large-scale projects followed in rapid succession, the most well-known of which is likely the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. This museum, located in Bilbao, Spain, was designed by renowned Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry. Opened to the public in 1997, it consists of various concave and convex curves. Since it is located on a port, it glass and titanium curves reflect the light from both the sky and water. Moreover, its curved silhouette resembles that of a ship. This modern-art museum strongly contributes to making Bilbao a Spanish tourist attraction.

The United States has its own ‘blobitecture’ buildings. Seattle has the Experience Music Project museum, another Gehry-designed building, opened in 2000. Like the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, this museum consists of seemingly random curves made up of sheet-metal. The building’s undulations give it a fluid silhouette, perhaps as a tribute to the museum’s musical exhibits. While the Guggenheim museum’s shape reflects its port vicinity, the Project’s shape can be summarized as “form follows function.”In fact, Gehry directly attributed the building’s shape to that of a smashed Stratocaster electric guitar, made famous by Jimi Hendrix. Unlike the Guggenheim, the Experience Music Project also incorporates more colors into its exterior design, though its metal reflects as much light as the Guggenheim.

Other cities have recognizable examples of blobitecture. England contains blob structures not only in London, but in other cities. For instance, the northeastern city of Gateshead has the Sage Gateshead building, which was designed by the Foster and Partners architectural firm. This building is a performing-arts center and musical institution. This structure has a caterpillar-like shape, made up of multiple spheres that contract and dilate as the building progresses. Its materials include glass and stainless steel, allowing it to shimmer from capturing all angles of sunlight. Its free-flowing shape may be said to reflect this institution’s philosophy that all musical genres are equal.

Berlin, furthermore, has another “form follows function” blobitectural structure. This structure is the Philological Library, designed by English architect Norman Foster. Opened in 2005, the Library is part of the Free University of Berlin campus. In keeping with the university’s intellectual purpose, the Library resembles a human brain. Like many other blobitecture buildings, its principal components are steel and glass.

Architects today rely on numerous CAD software programs to construct blob architecture. Contrary to its appearance, many mathematical calculations go into ‘blobitecture’ designs. Most CAD programs, such as AutoCAD, permit the user to create a basic three-dimensional “sketch” and manipulate those lines in numerous directions. Blob architecture arises when the user makes those lines “wavy” and irregular, and “inflates” the building design. In the later stages of the structure’s design, architects can use CAD to specify the building materials and interior components of the project.

As a measure of blobitecture’s popularity, architectural students may now take college courses in blobitecture. There are also online courses featuring blobitectural study. Many architects who concentrate on urban-planning architecture decide to learn about blobitecture, since blobitecture is mainly prevalent in metropolitan areas. Furthermore, many CAD courses, offered both online and on-site at educational institutions, permit architects to gain hands-on practice with blobitectural design.

As more architects break away from established geometrical forms, blobism will likely become part of more international cityscapes. CAD will generate infinite forms of blobitecture in both exterior and interior design. Many ambitious architects are exploiting blobism to push architecture to its outermost limits. In addition, many entry level architect jobs demand CAD experience; so many architectural students are choosing to use blobitecture to gain fluency in CAD.

Common Types Of Scaffolding And Their Uses

For many decades now, construction workers continue to find support from different types of scaffolding. These are tried and tested tools which aid them in accomplishing work above the ground. Workers love them as they are stable. In fact, one version of it with wheels and rollers allow flexibility for workers. Workers can just glide themselves from one area to another area that they are working on.

This construction tool has three major kinds. It either comes suspended, supported or aerial. Besides the difference in appearance, each kind has different purpose as well. They have one thing in common though. They are generally made of aluminum which is lightweight but solid.

Let us take the first of the types of the scaffolding – the suspended kind. As the term suggests, this scaffolding is suspended by rope from the roof of a house or building. It operates with the use of pulleys, levers and switches. Each of these features, allow the worker to maneuver the total height of the building for easy access of the vertical surface.

The next kind is opposite of the above-mentioned. Its foundation is firmly situated on the ground and is built upon when extra height is needed. On site, you will usually see this kind with frames of lumbers and poles. Because of this, it is labeled supported. Ladders are used by workers to climb up to the middle length where a platform is found. This kind is in demand among of all the versions offered by scaffolding companies. It can be fully mobile and effective in reaching the vertical surfaces of the building with the help of attached wheels.

When workers need to lift or transfer their scaffolding in another height or location, aerial lifts would come in handy. These are mounted devices which have the aptitude to be carried to the prescribed elevation. There are added materials which must be installed in the aerial lifts so that they can support movement more safely. These are the shackles which are effective in keeping the scaffolding from accidentally dismantling from the hook carrying the lift. Thus, workers riding on it would be free from falling off.

Are you building a house on a lot that you have just bought? If yes, you would need the supported scaffolding that is firmly situated on the ground as it is useful in building the foundation and the walls of your house. Should you need to make it move in the air, use aerial lifts. Perhaps, you are hiring window washers for the regular cleaning of your building. Suspended ones must be your primary consideration.

When purchasing or renting any of the three types of scaffolding, ensure to engage with reliable manufacturers only. With them, you can be assured of the quality of the materials which would be provided to you. What's more, reliable manufacturers follow the standard measurement of the tubes and other parts in order for them to function well. As you contact your prospect manufacturers, search through their websites for customer testimonials.

Ancient Mycenaean Art

Mycenaean Greece refers to the period in ancient Greece approximately spanning the years 1600-1100 BCE, and represents the first advanced civilization in mainland Greece. Many centers of importance arose during this period, the most prominent of which was Mycenae, in Argolid, after which the culture of this time was named.

The Mycenaeans made a great deal of pottery of many different styles, such as kraters, pitchers, stirrup jars, and chalices, which varied considerably in size. Great numbers of pottery items were exported outside of Greece, and these were generally more luxurious than items intended for domestic use, and featured painted decorations. They also made a great number of vessels of bronze and other metals. These vessels were normally in the shape of lamps, tripods, or basins.

The Mycenaens did not produce large sculpture, but they did produce many small terra-cotta figurines. Most of these figurines were female and had either human forms, animal forms, or gods of animal forms. The female sculptures can be separated into three groups: the figures in the earliest group look like the Greek letter phi and their arms give the upper body a rounded shape; the figures in the next group look like the Greek letter psi, and have outstretched upraised arms; the figures in the last group look like the Greek letter tau, and have folded arms at right angles to the body. Most figurines are wearing a large hat that is painted with stripes or zigzags in the same manner as the contemporary pottery. The purpose of these figurines is not known for certain, but many of them were found at religious sites, suggesting that at least some of them were used for religious purposes. Some other larger male, female or bovine terra-cotta figures have also been found in Mycenaean temples and shrines.

Mycenaean painting was greatly influenced by that of the Minoan age. Fragments of wall paintings have been found both in and around palaces, and in domestic contexts. Various themes are represented, such as battle scenes, hunting, processions, and bull leaping. Other frescoes contain the same stylized or geometric motifs that were used on contemporary painted pottery.

Mycenaean military items have also been found, including a complete suit of armor (this is the oldest known form of metal armor). The suit is made of bronze plates sewn to a leather garment and, because of its weight, was most likely worn by a warrior riding in a chariot. Weaponry made of bronze have also been found, and include spears, javelins, an assortment of swords of different sizes, daggers, arrows, and two types of shields made of wood and leather.

Green Picnic Table Options

If you are in the market for a picnic table, times have evolved past the day of the classic wooden picnic tables. Americans have become more concerned with the condition of our planet, and more people are "going green." A result of this trend is a rise in the popularity of recycled plastic picnic tables. Constructed from recycled milk jugs or other similar plastic containers, these tables are an environmentally friendly alternative to wood. Many plastic tables are built with "plastic lumber," which mimics the image of a wooden table, while others are created in brilliant, playful hues.

This plastic lumber is manufactured in several different ways. The most basic lumber is composed entirely of polyethylene. However, it is often combined with other resources to enhance certain attributes of the lumber. For example, when polyethylene is mixed with wood, it creates a better surface.

If filled with glass-fiber, plastic lumber becomes sturdier, while plastic lumber created from recovered thermoplastics is cheaper. Polyethylene can also be combined with rubber, concrete, steel, and many other materials to build recycled plastic picnic tables. As more people jump on the plastic picnic table bandwagon, a larger variety of choices have become available. Recycled plastic tables can now be found in the standard 6 'and 8' rectangles, as well more unusual shapes. These options include oval tables, pedestal tables, hexagonal tables, and round tables. The more demands increase as people discover the advantages of plastic picnic tables, the more designs, colors, and other choices you will find.

The main benefit of recycled tables is environmental. Plastic table manufacturers are recycling plastic containers that would usually be tossed in a landfill, instead of cutting down trees and producing extra lumber waste. The American government is hoping to reduce the amount of recyclable materials in rapidly expanding landfills, and reusing resources is one of the best ways to do accomplish this goal. By creating plastic recycled lumber, manufacturers are redirecting plastic from garbage dumps and using them in a brand new way. Also, recycled plastic picnic tables can be recycled once they are done being used.

Not only do these tables save lumber and recycle plastic, they also have serious economic rewards. Recycled plastic tables need far less attention than wood tables require. Plastic picnic tables do not rot, fracture, or splinter like wood does. Plastic does not require paint, sealants, or other preservatives. They also can handle harsh storms, and are bug-resistant. Plastic lumber bends more easily than actual wooden lumber, and therefore can be shaped in many different ways.

Although they are more expensive to purchase, Plastic picnic tables may cost more money at the get-go, but their lack of maintenance requirements and longer durability end up costing less in the long run. Recycled plastic is an important option to consider when purchasing a picnic table, whether for your family or your workplace. Environmentally, recycled plastic picnic tables reuse discarded plastic and prevent overfilling of landfills. They also eliminate unnecessary treated and untreated excess lumber. The benefits of plastic picnic tables are also financial. Although they cost more than wooden ones, if you spend the extra money now, you will eventually save money on maintenance and replacements if you purchase a recycled plastic picnic table in lieu of a standard wood table.

How To Play Piano Without Sheet Music

Looking for tips on how to memorize music? Playing without sheet music is possible. Here are my own challenges and triumphs.

A group of us musicians were asked to play for an outdoor event at an amphitheater right by the ocean. The morning began with a huge downpour and we were frantically drying wet music scores with a hair dryer. Needless to say, it was quite challenging. What did I personally learn from the experience? Memorize your music! Yes, you can insert sheet music in plastic sleeves and that would be one way to succeed. However, it's fun just to go to Guitar Center and play a few memorized tunes in front of anyone who will listen.

1. So, why memorize music?

Playing without sheet music is very liberating.

Of course there's no need to memorize music if you do not want to. As a musician, I choose to memorize to avoid uncomfortable situations like music blowing off my stand when playing outdoors. Especially performing a night gig and the light bulb goes out on your music stand, surrounded by total darkness in the orchestra pit.

If you have been doing your homework during your practice sessions and you are familiar with the set of music, then you're not locked in to reading just the music notes with having to turn pages as well.

You will soon discover new ways of music flowing since you're eager to play without music.

2. Steps to help you memorize music.

If you're playing boogie blues or rock and roll, learn the various left hand patterns in the 12 bar blues form. Notice a couple of phrases and see if the second phrase answers the first.

When I'm reviewing a song, let's say it's a ballad, I first determine the keynote and play around and find the melody in that particular key.

If you're given a lead sheet, remembering chord progressions is the key to memorizing the song that is built on recalling the theory that you understand. Analyze the structure of the piece.

Now memorizing note for note is another ball game. Honestly, it can be more difficult for others than a youngster playing a memorized piece at a recital. In my opinion, the key to memorizing sheet music is through repetition. Also, try to remember if your hands are going in opposite directions or playing separately. Note tricky fingering as well.

I suggest taking small sections of music and repeatedly going over a few lines. We call this chunking and chaining. Please be patient. You may find recording or using flash cards to quiz yourself helps boost confidence in playing licks to a certain measure.

Laying down a rhythm pattern, programming drums, jamming in garage band or just using a metronome for a classical piece can keep you on track with skills to remember a song. Listening to a phrase of music indeed works the brain for short-term memory. Keep at it daily. In the beginning, I would open my music, then close it and try to play what I pictured.

3. Why these steps will help.

Practice, repetition and patience, a win-win formula, but truly there is no magic pill to take in memorizing music. Playing with other musicians for years and having that experience helps in knowing how to play certain songs well without sheet music. I'm thinking the biggest factor of all is choosing to memorize a song that you know and love will make it much easier for you to learn. You're on your way!

Books For Attorneys – Three Resource Books For Every Lawyer

If you are a new lawyer, or you’ve been practicing for some time you’ll want to add the following books to your library, if you haven’t got them already:

Lowering the Bar by Marc Galanter – While there are tons of books available that bash lawyers, this is not one of them. Instead, just like a modern Shakespeare, Galanter takes lawyer jokes and draws similarities to trends of society in America. There are thousands of jokes including cartoons that mock lawyers and the legal system, and he shows how it is all influencing the way relationships are changing between individuals, as well as between citizens and the American government, and also between corporations and their customers. Lawyer jokes remain popular because they’re still out there fighting for the little guy. This is a great read if you’re starting out in the world of law.

The Creative Lawyer by Michael Melcher – This is a book that is written with lawyers in mind. It is also pretty useful if you want to find more satisfaction from your life or career. It is written well, in an articulate and entertaining manner. It provides insight that actual works when attempted in the real world. It will give you a new perspective on how you feel about yourself, and your job. Like many books similar to this one, it is an interesting read, but you’ll find the most benefit by actually trying the suggestions made in it. It’s time to stop thinking about the life you want and get a success coach, a career mentor, or whatever you need to get it to happen!

The Unhappy Lawyer by Monica Parker – The American education system is outdated. Since the 50’s the entire American population has been brainwashed to go to school and when you finish get a job. This is very true in the legal field where it is seen that becoming a lawyer will fulfill all of your goals in life. If you are feeling pigeon-holed after passing the bar, you need to realize that you don’t just have to become a lawyer, you can do anything you want to do. You could be a speaker, a writer, a great thinker, a business man, and you’ll have a leg up since you already know the law. This book will help you explore all of your potential.

Plus one for good measure:

How Lawyers Lose Their Way by Jean Stefancic – Most lawyers don’t have the time to read books outside of all the books they need to read for the job. You should do yourself a favor and find some spare time and read through this book. If you’ve been feeling disenchanted or that you’ve taken the wrong path, this book will get you back. If you feel that your life is governed by formality and materialism, you need to start reevaluating things. This book will help you find new meaning in all the sacrifices you made to get where you are.

Basement Flooring Options and Considerations

One of the challenges faced when turning the house's basement into a living space is the basement's flooring. Bare concrete is usually tough, and does not lead to creating a warm and welcoming space. Fortunately, there are several ways to install the basement flooring, which will be practical and appealing, without the need to make major structural changes. Here are some ideas that will help you to choose comfortable and welcoming basement floors.

In most basements, moisture is a common problem. When it comes to installing the floor, there is a need to solve this problem before any type of flooring is settled. The easiest way to reduce moisture in the basement is to apply a sealing layer of insulation in walls and floor. In some locations, installation of pumps that will help drain support of the infiltrations surrounding excess soil moisture may also be required. Only once the moisture problem is under control, you should proceed with the installation of a floor over the existing concrete basement floor.

After the sealing of concrete and moisture control, it's still often a good idea to lay down a layer of a certain type of waterproof membrane on the floor. That is if you decide on wood or carpet. A floating wood floor is especially nice because it's warmer, quieter and easier on your feet. Floating floors are called floating because they are not anchored in to the existing floor. They are a snap together system that lay on top of a finished or treated underlayment.

With the floor properly prepared, it is time to take into account various basement floor options. You have durable tile flooring as an option. Tile can be chosen from all different sizes, layouts, textures and colors. Tile is impervious to any water that might come in contact with it making it easy to clean. As opposed to wood that will have to sometimes be replaced if water contacts it for too long. Best of all, it is possible to replace dirty or damaged tile with relative ease. This makes tile a good fit for the basement area where there is a lot of traffic.

Together with tiles, a wood laminate floor is also a viable option. Laminate is also somewhat resistant to moisture and will also work well with a combination of insulation and plywood. Many types of laminate flooring have a design that includes a simple configuration. Sections snap together easily and make it possible to install the basement's floor quickly. As a bonus, laminate flooring requires nothing more than a routine cleaning to look fresh for many years.

Linoleum basement flooring is another way to go. Large rolls of linoleum can be rolled out and easily installed by qualified flooring contractors. Although not as durable as tile, linoleum is often a less expensive option for basement floors. If the basement has a some what limited traffic, linoleum will last for a while equitably.

Finally, there is the option to cover the basement with carpet. In control climates where humidity is relatively easy carpet often works very well. However, if the humidity is a constant problem, it's just a matter of time before it starts to bloom underneath the carpet. The end result will be a constant smell that will remind everyone of a wet dog in the house. Only go with carpet if you are sure that the moisture can be controlled in a consistent manner and that an accumulation of mold and moisture under the carpet is not likely.

Quality Ladders: Titan Model CLA25D Ladder Review

Regardless of whether you’re a DIYer or a professional tradesman, when you need a ladder, it has to be well-built, reliable and reasonably priced. While step ladders are adequate for some tasks, there’s bound to be a time when you need something more robust. Here’s some information about a real stand out in the world of multi-purpose ladders, the Titan Classic double trade and light industrial ladder, model CLA25D.

About the Titan Classic Double Trade and Light Industrial Ladder Model CLA25D

This is a durable British-made aluminium ladder in a 2-section, push-up style that gives plenty of height and versatility for both trade and domestic applications. The CLA25D model stands 2.5 metres high when closed and 4.1 metres high when extended, a good height for most general trade, DIY work and medium industrial applications. The stiles are boxed and each section of the ladder has 9 sturdy D-shaped rungs with flat tops for both comfort and safety. The rungs are spaced in 250mm (10 inches) apart to accommodate most users. Titan’s product literature notes that other ladders space their rungs as much as 12 inches apart, which makes them less comfortable and more difficult to climb. The entire ladder weighs just 10kg (22lbs).

More Ladder Features

This Titan Classic model CLA25D ladder is kitemarked to BS EN131. This is the latest European-wide standard for ladders of this class. When the ladder’s exceptional strength is combined with its light weight, the result is a superior product. The CLA25D will support a maximum load of 150kg (23.5st). Remember to include the weight of any tools or materials you’re transporting up or down the ladder when calculating the maximum load. The CLA25D ladder also has a unique feature called “SUPAGRIP” articulated safety feet included at no extra cost. Read on to learn more.

About SUPAGRIP Articulated Safety Feet

This Titan ladder is an exceptional value because it is fitted with swivel safety feet at no extra cost, a value worth 30. SUPAGRIP feet are made from articulated solid rubber and have been designed exclusively for these Titan ladders. SUPAGRIP feet prevent the ladder from slipping and keep it secure. Slipped feet are the leading cause of ladder accidents. The swivel feature automatically pivots to keep maximum surface contact between the ground and the ladder. Deep grooved treads on the underside of the feet give them a large, stable footprint that helps to keep the ladder from sinking into soft ground. The unprecedented stability of the CLA25D’s feet make this ladder exceptionally useful in all conditions, indoors and outdoors. The feet also have been designed to be extremely durable. SUPAGRIP feet are available only on Titan ladders and cannot be retrofitted to other brands of ladders.

For a good all-around medium-duty ladder, the Titan CLA25D is an exceptional value when compared to other ladders of the same class.