RSS Feed Submission Service

Most of the blogs nowadays have RSS feeds setup in them by default. And if you're an advanced level website owner and realize the importance of RSS Feeds, you might have gone over the steps of establishing an RSS Feed on your web site as well. This article will concentrate primarily within the fundamentals of RSS and just how it can help website owners when it comes to SEO. If you already have RSS feed set up on your site, then that's fantastic. However, just setting up the feed on your website or blog is not enough if you're looking at SEO benefits. You have to let the word out to the RSS directories and RSS engines regarding your feed URL so that those engines could view your website and crawl your feed which allows easy syndication of the website content real fast.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. RSS is a tool which has caught on quickly on the web because of its ease, much like its name. RSS aids site owners to find the most recent update and information at their website to get to their visitors and customers straight away and therefore assists the users also to get and be in contact with the web site they obtain the service as all web sites are updated frequently it saves a website owner by conserving his time and energy to submit his every single post update to news sites and directories.

RSS resolves one of the major issues that most website owners face that is traffic and being in contact with their customer.

One of the better reasons to get your RSS feed submitted to RSS directories is for having back links from these RSS directory sites and the great amount of audience your posting will arrive at by means of RSS Feed Submission Service. Bloggers look in RSS directories for news to publish some posts on their blogs. Webmasters look in RSS directories to incorporate content material to their site. Shoppers look in RSS directories for options to add to their news readers. RSS Feed Submission Service helps as Search engine "spiders" crawl RSS directories to determine link popularity.

Getting your RSS feed indexed by RSS search engines and RSS directories by RSS Feed Submission Service can create new ways by which customers or site visitors can discover your web site, services or products. Pushing out your e-newsletter via RSS can promote your products and industry news. RSS is a superb tool for reaching viral marketing campaign goals. Much like press release syndication, RSS could be indexed by countless locations within just hours. If the message is unique enough, visitors might be enormous. RSS is considered as free promotion.

RSS Feed Submissions are one way linked and they provide immediate link popularity. They're also free of charge! If you associate your website with a RSS directory that has a page rank (PR) of 5 or higher, the benefit is huge. You get lots of links back to your web site. Additionally, it signifies increased search engine rank and a bigger visitor amount.

Benefits of Hosting World Cup Soccer

The FIFA World Cup is an amazing international event held every four years. Fans from all over the world descend on the host country bringing with them an outpouring of color, passion, energy, and culture. The world game is a wonderful accolade to the country that plays host plus the event holds much promise to global broadcast, tourism, and injection of millions of dollars into the economy.

FIFA the international governing body for soccer (football) requires the host nation to comply with detailed regulations and specifications including security, transport, accommodation, training facilities, opening and closing ceremonies, marketing, promotions, ticketing, insurance, and other administrative matters.

Are there financial risks worth hosting such an event? Infrastructure issues (like airports, roads, stadiums, and public transport) for hosting such an event are usually among the major complications. When Athens hosted the Olympic Games in 2004, its budget went from US$1.6 billion to US$16 billion: Beijing in 2008 went from US$1.6 billion to around US$40 billion. London’s price tag for the 2012 games has blown out from US$5 billion to around US$20 billion. So far, South Africa is estimated to have spent US$5 billion and FIFA US$1.1 billion on preparations before the kick-off of the 2010 World Cup.

Potentially millions of dollars from tourists are injected into small businesses, hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, tours, and transport from hosting the FIFA tournament. However, the costs associated with a significant influx of visitors is the provision of security to fans and all the teams, counter-terrorist activities, policing racial sensitivities, and purchase and installation of high-tech monitoring equipment.

The revenue from the sale of tickets to the games if not achieved would back fire on the host country as it may take years to recover the outlay for hosting such a global event. History will determine the success of hosting the FIFA tournament. The global exposure of this world event may benefit the host country and its local suppliers/industries in years to come.

The study of a US economist on the historical experience of host nations since 1954 revealed that in 7 of the 13 tournaments since 1954, economic growth has been slower in the World Cup year than in the two years leading up to the event. On the other hand, 9 of the 13 host nations since 1954 has shown faster economic growth in the 2 years following the event.

What the FIFA World Cup does is that it brings the world together through competition fostering cross-cultural interaction and international understanding. In a world plagued by wars, racism, and religious intolerance, the FIFA World Cup contributes to universal brotherhood, whose benefits to humanity is impossible to quantify.

Around 6 billion people watch the Olympics but this is pale in comparison to the 26 billion who is estimated to watch the FIFA World Cup.

South Africa is hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup in June to July. The next FIFA World Cup will be held in June to July 2014 in Brazil, a nation who was crowned the world champions in 1958, 1962, 1970, 1994, and 2002.

Anatomy of an Acoustic Guitar

The acoustic guitar in all its form has been around for about as long as we have. From simple instruments made from gut and turtle shell to the highly ornamental seventeenth century lute and chittara, our love affair with the most portable and still the most lyrical of all acoustic instruments remains undiminished.

Woods

The wood used for body, top and neck of the guitar has an enormous effect on the tone and performance of the instrument. Mahogany has been a traditional material for back and sides as it has strength and tone.

The top of the guitar can be made from spruce, which has a warm sound, maple with a brighter sound or koa wood, which has a similar sound to mahogany but with an enhanced mid-range. Rosewood, alder, poplar, basswood and even bamboo can all be used in the manufacture of a acoustic instruments.

Top

The top of the guitar is usually made of one piece of close grained spruce, split in two and laid in half over the top. This process is called 'bock-matching'. To enhance the appearance of the guitar a rosette may be inlaid around the soundhole or a thin strip of darker wood may sometimes be inlaid along the guitar behind the bridge.

Bridge

Steel string guitars have non-adjustable bridges fixed to the guitar top. The function of the bridge is to transmit the string vibration to the guitar top, which will vibrate in turn and amplify the sound of the guitar. The bridge is often made of rosewood or ebony and is fitted with a bone or plastic saddle. The acoustic guitar bridge does not compensate for intonation.

Bracing

Braces or 'ribs', are thin pieces of wood glued to the top and back of the guitar inside the guitar body. The braces add strength to the guitar and, depending on the number and positioning of the ribs, can greatly affect the guitar tone. The steel string guitar uses the traditional 'X' brace pattern, with the centre of the X just below the soundhole.

Body

The acoustic guitar has a hollow body, usually of mahogany. The body has waisted sides and, depending on the model, may also have a cutaway on the lower bout to enable access to the higher frets. Binding is inlaid around the body at the point where the top and back meet the sides of the guitar. The guitar is finished with polyester, polyurethane or nitro-cellulose lacquer depending on model and maker.

Neck

Necks are traditionally made of the same wood as the guitar's back and sides. The neck has an adjustable truss rod running from the nut to the heel of the guitar where the body meets the neck. Nylon string acoustic guitars are not subject to as much tension as steel string guitars and so do not require a truss rod. Acoustic guitars are built to the same scale as the electric guitar, but the neck normally meets the body at the 14th fret.

Frets and Fingerboard

The rosewood or ebony fingerboard is laid on top of the neck and is flitted with 20 or 21 frets. As with the electronic guitar, position markers are laid into the fingerboard to aid the guitarist. Dots are also laid into the edge of the fingerboard at the same position.

Paintless Dent Removal

Thanks to advanced techniques and the availability of new tools designed to offer precision results, many garages now offer a service called paintless dent removal. Unlike traditional panel beating, paintless dent removal is achieved without damaging the existing paint on the metal, and can offer excellent results at a fraction of the cost of other methods of dent removal.

The secret behind paintless dent repair is that rather than being an aggressive method of straightening out dents in the metal, it is a gradual process more akin to a massage than a piece of traditional metal work.

A panel beater will remove the panel from your car and then use a mallet and a former to bash out any defects. This will involve beating both sides of the metal in order to get it back into its exact original shape. The percussive damage of repeated blows from a mallet will inevitably do damage to the inflexible paint that covers the metal, causing it to chip and flake in the area where the metal has been beaten. This means that the panel will need to be stripped back and then completely repainted, which adds significantly to the cost of the repair. The results of panel beating are generally excellent, and can leave a car looking as good as new.

Like panel beating, paintless dent repair is a highly skilled procedure, and to get the best results it takes a great deal of patience, plenty of experience, and of course the right tools. The actual method of removing dents does not require the removal of the panel from the car, or indeed removal of any trim to allow access to the rear of the metal in order to push out the dent from behind.

The actual technique used for paintless dent removal will vary slightly depending on whereabouts on the car the repair is being carried out, but the essential method remains the same. Basically, the repair man will use special tools on the reverse of the panel to straighten out any dents. This is done by gradually pushing the metal back into place in small sections. It is a slow process, but it can have excellent results when carried out properly. Because the work is done in situ, and the paint is not damaged by the hammering, and all the work is carried out on the rear of the panel, the job is usually carried out on a single day, because no paint needs to dry once the job is done.

Specific paintless dent removal tools are required in order to carry out the work properly. A full set of tools will allow a skilled operator to carry out a repair on any panel on the car. The paintless dent removal tools are designed to offer access into panels from small gaps such as the window slot in the top of a door. They are typically long and flat, in order to slide into place, and very rigid to allow pressure to be applied to the metal without deforming the tool.

The operator will slide the long flat tool into the gap behind the panel and then expertly guide it to the dent. The next stage of the process is to gradually press the metal back into place from behind, slowly massaging the metal into its original shape a little at a time in order to minimize the shock to the panel, and to eliminate any possible damage to the paintwork on the other side of the panel.

The repair will gradually restore the panel to its original shape, and will deliver results almost as good as traditional panel beating, although at a much lower cost, thanks to the fact that no repainting will be needed at the end of the job to repair the damage that is caused when the panel is being straightened out.

For small dents and minor damage to the panels of any car, paintless dent removal is a highly recommended alternative to conventional methods, and thanks to its lower cost, and quick completion it offers excellent value and convenience when carried out by an expert who can provide you with the best results thanks to his extensive experience and training.

Build Your Own Brick Or Stone Mailbox

Have you ever wanted a masonry mailbox? If you have then you’re in the right place to learn how to build your very own brick mailbox or a stone mailbox. I will go over all the materials and tools needed to complete this project and approximate costs.

I am going to go over the brick mailbox because it will be easier for you to complete. First you will need your design laid out, the simplest way to build your maibox is a 24 Inch square with a 16inch block pillar in the center. Next you will need to gather all your materials, you will need 3, 80 pound bags of Quickcrete, 16 8 inch block and 12 4 inch block and then roughly 200 brick of your choice. You will also need to pick out a good sturdy steel mailbox and a piece of sandstone that is 26 inches square and 4 inches thick for the top cap. The tools you will need are a good digging shovel, wheelbarrow, hoe, trowel, hammer, striking iron and and masons brush.

Step one, dig down 36 inches and 4 inches bigger than your mailbox base in the above example you would dig a hole that is 32 inches square. If you are on a street with underground utilities running along the street you are only going to be able to dig down no more than 12 inches, you will have to check with your utilities to find this out. Ideally though you should make it 36″ deep to clear the freeze line, especially if you live in the north.

Next prepare your footer by driving a grade stake down into the center of the hole 8″ off of the bottom, this will be the thickness or height of your footer. Now mix your quickcrete thoroughly and pour it into the hole till you just cover the grade stake, try to make footer as level as possible, it may be somewhat difficult especially since you will be reaching 3 feet into the ground. Now let your footer set up and return the next day to build your mailbox.

The next step in the process is to build the center block column our of the 8 inch block and 4 inch block. find the center of your footer, mark it and measure 8 inches each direction, this will be where your main column will set. After you have marked out your square mix your mortar and start laying block. Place two 8 inch side by side and try to make them as level as possible, first course is most important, if you can’t get it level in the first course be sure that you are level and straight by the third, which should place you right at about 4 inches below ground level, now continue to lay your block up 5 more courses, be sure that these are straight and level. After you have laid these you need to install your brick ledge, you do this by using the 4 inch block. Place the block around the base of the column as close to the column as possible up just three courses which should place you at once again 4 inches below grade.

Now that your column and brick ledge are in place its time to install your brick. Run your brick on top of the brick ledge which should work to fit the brick perfectly. Be sure to switch bond every course to make sure you are left with a nice looking brick job. Every course check for level and plum to be sure that your mailbox is not leaning, and then strike your joints every 2 to 3 courses as well, so they dont get two hard on you. If you are installing brick correctly you should have 3 courses of brick to every course of block, so if you laid 4 courses above grade then you should end up with 15 courses of brick. to the top of the block column.

Now it is time to install your mailbox, take your mailbox out of its packaging and place it on top of your column and brick with the face of it facing the road, test open the door to be sure that the brick below is not interfering with the door. Your mailbox door should be resting approximately 1 to 2 inches off the face of the brick. Now continue to lay your brick up and past your mailbox, you will have to make cuts with a saw or with a hammer if you are skilled enough to do it. Be sure to fill mortar in around mailbox to lock it in place.

After you have struck all your joints and brushed your work down it is now time to install the cap, you can do this with brick or buy a piece of sandstone that is 4 inches thick and that is 1 inch bigger on all sides of your masonry column, in the above example the sandstone should be 26 inches square. Run a bead of mortar all the way around your top course, now place the sandstone lightly on top and level it up, remove excess mortar and voila you have yourself a brick mailbox, If you are skilled enough you can do the above project with a stone veneer, but it is only recommended if you are familiar with the masonry trades.

Tips to Help In Your Apartment Search

Searching for the right apartment is not easy. You have to go through the right property listings to find your dream home. There are various websites which provide apartment reviews, apartment ratings and other details about the apartments which you should look into carefully before buying. Make your apartment more specific by choosing the locality before beginning the search. If you are renting for the first time, then the following tips would be useful for you. Renting an apartment must be done keeping several factors in mind. The geographical area, budget, neighborhoods, transportation, dining and other major facilities are the factors that need to be taken into account.

Budget is the biggest factor in renting an apartment. This becomes an even bigger factor when students rent the apartments. Therefore, fix your budget prior to your search. Not more than 40% should be spent on apartment rent ideally. If you wish to rent an expensive apartment, then it is even more vital to plan your budget. You have to cut down on other expenses to be able to rent an expensive apartment. Low income rented apartments are also available. You have to hunt properly. You can ask any of your friends and relatives or check the websites that offer such services.

Credit score is important while renting an apartment. The landlord from whom you will rent the apartment will want to see your credit score. Get your free credit report before you begin the process. Credit report is the evidence on which your landlord will depend in terms of rent payment. If you have a good credit score free of debt issues, then you will be more bankable in the eyes of the landlord. However, if you have a bad credit score, then search for locations where these are not checked before providing the apartment on rent.

Check the locality properly before renting an apartment. The neighborhood must be friendly or else it might be difficult for you to reside in that locality. If you have preference for a particular area, then you can choose that, or else check the area properly. You should also check the proximity of the area to grocery stores, emergency services, schools, restaurants, colleges and other important facilities. Know about the transport of the region. Find out whether it is well connected with the rest of the city. You can get information by asking your soon- to-be neighbors.

Know about the initial payment that you will have to make to lease the apartment for a specific tenure. The initial payment includes the security deposit along with the rental of the first and the last month. You can negotiate about the money even if the landlord might is rigid. Once you have decided on the amount, pay it promptly.

When you visit different apartments, carry a camera with you so that you can take pictures of the apartment. Do not rush into a deal, take time and always remember to take down significant contact numbers on spot. Read the lease agreement carefully before putting your signature on it. Nonetheless, you can look for apartment ratings online to get a fair idea and to come across the most desirable properties available in the market.

Flat Stomach Rules – How To Get The Flat Belly You Deserve!

Here are two flat stomach rules to get the flat belly you deserve, both of which are natural and don’t require any pills or other dangerous or expensive solutions. These techniques have been used by Asian Women for years, and I can verify just how well they work from my own experience!

Flat Stomach Rules – Get A Flat Belly

1. Raw food is one of the best ways to reduce stomach fat quickly, it’s one of the key reasons why Asian Women tend to have slim waists without killing themselves working out.

Some of the best raw foods I’ve found that have a strong effect in reducing stomach fat are centered around high-fiber low-calorie fruits and vegetables:

– Avocado

– Cabbage

– Carrots

– Cauliflower

– Pear

– Tomato

– Watercress

In my experience each of these foods tends to attack fatty deposits around the stomach, and fairly quickly. Add them to your diet in any way possible, as long as they are RAW. That’s the secret that Asian Women enforce as a rule, whichever food on the list you’re eating must be raw.

It works because the body has to work harder to break down and digest raw food, and in doing so it works dozens of muscles around the stomach…without you doing a single sit-up. This process also burns calories through the increased effort, which results in a more efficient fat-burning diet!

The benefit of raw foods, specifically the raw foods on this list, can go a tremendous way towards getting the body back that you deserve. Try it!

2. I’ve used a nice drink recipe anytime I want to get a flat belly that I learned about years ago from my Chinese Grandmother (and she probably learned it from HER Grandmother! haha):

Put about eight cups of water into a container along with:

– 1 x teaspoon, grated ginger

– 1 x cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly

– 1 x lemon, thinly sliced

– 10 x small spearmint leaves

Combine all the ingredients and let it stand in fridge overnight. Drink it all over the course of the next day.

It’s surprising I know, but Asian Women are skinny for a lot of reasons and this is one of them. Do it and see if it works for you.

Shark Helmet Review

The Shark helmet brand is relatively new to the US, but they have been dominating the European market for some time. A Shark helmet is worth considering for anyone in the market for a premium helmet. Read on to see how the RSR Shark helmet stacks up against its competitors.

The first thing I liked about this Shark helmet is the comfort. The removable liner is soft, almost chamois-like and the foam density has a contouring quality that allows it to form fit to your head. This is easily one of the most comfortable helmets that I’ve ever worn.

The RSR Shark helmet reportedly meets all major European and US helmet safety standards so no need to worry there.

Where I find flaw in most premium quality helmets is the noise level. Most helmets are a little on the noisy side for the sake of increased airflow. The RSR Shark helmet, however, is fairly quiet. It’s not the quietest helmet, but it fares better than its competitors – while still flowing a good amount of air.

The price tag is the biggest drawback to the RSR Shark helmet. It is expensive, but if you shop around, you can find a good deal. I use MCGearDeals.com. They have a listing of the best deals on Shark helmets, so I don’t have to spend my time searching the web.

This helmet has a unique visor mechanism. Rather than the typical “notch” or “click” adjustments, the RSR Shark helmet has an infinitely adjustable visor. This may sound like a good thing, but I personally prefer the “click” adjustments. The adjustment mechanism takes some time to get used to, as well.

Like all premium helmets, the RSR Shark helmet has good airflow, is light weight, and provides good comfort and safety. The price tag is a little on the high side, but if you consider the cost of other premium helmets, the superior comfort and lower noise levels, make the RSR Shark helmet very attractive. If you can find a good deal on the helmet, it’s a no brainer.

Design Principles for Renewable Energy

In a brand new home, alternate energy design features can reduce your energy uptake by preventing unwanted heat entering the home. Homes that are passively designed take advantage of natural climate to maintain thermal comfort. Passive home design offers an effective energy solution with the capacity to reduce or wipe out heating and cooling bills, as well as reducing greenhouse gas emissions from heating, cooling, mechanical ventilation and lighting.

Even internal shadings reduce summer temperatures, improve comfort and save energy. Direct sun can generate the same heat as a single bar radiator over each square meter of a surface. Shading can block up to 90% of this heat. If used effectively, shading new windows can prevent your home from becoming too hot or too cold. In a typical insulated home, windows can account for more heat gain or loss than any other element in the building. In summer, heat gain through an unshaded window can be 100 times greater than through the same area of ‚Äč‚Äčinsulated wall – acting like an unwanted renewable energy installation! As an alternate energy solution, shading of glass to reduce unwanted heat gain is critical. Unprotected glass is often the greatest source of unwanted heat gain in a home. Radiant heat from the sun passes through glass and is absorbed by building elements and furnishings, which then re-radiate it. The first principle in a warmer climate is to place blinds that reflect solar heat that was transmitted through the window, back out through the window but also to employ Renewable energy design principles.

Employing design principles for renewable energy

Renewable energy design encourages the use of external shading devices over openings such as windows or verandas. As with window furnishings, lighter-colored shading devices reflect more heat away from the building. Eaves, plants, trees, awnings can all be used to shade the building, particularly windows, to reduce unwanted glare and heat gain.

With a home facing in the ideal north orientation, sun can be excluded in summer and admitted in winter using simple horizontal devices, including eaves. With renewable energy design energy needs are minimized in terms of air conditioning requirements. With a building facing east or west the low morning and afternoon sun emanating from these directions is more difficult to shade. thus, there is a need for an appropriate shading device such as adjustable shading. Many awnings allow for adjustment and appropriately designed eaves are by and large the simplest and least expensive shading method for northern elevations. Here, all that is required on most single story houses. An awning design needs for example, to offer wind screening (except in situations where home wind energy is required as a renewable energy solution) where needed and / or greater width in hot dry inland areas. This is well understood and an experienced awning supplier should be able to provide alternatives with regard to particular locations.

The Perfect Construction Tool Box

Whether you are a hardcore handy man or just the average tool-user, construction tool boxes are important for keeping your tools safe, clean, and organized. When choosing a tool box for yourself, think about what type would be the best for you. Toolboxes are made of varying materials, including metal, aluminum, and plastic, and come in various styles, such as chests, cabinets, bags, totes, and cabinet combination.

The size of your tool collection will influence what types of construction tool boxes are ideal for your tool organization. Remember that size, shape, depth, and functionality are important factors when considering what type you should purchase.

Standard toolboxes are typically what come to mind when people think of construction tool boxes. They are portable, durable, and come in different sizes. A standard toolbox usually has three drawers, which is enough space for the average user. They will typically run between $ 50 and $ 100.

Perhaps you are not the average tool user and you need more space. Tool carts are also available, and they are often equipped with drawers and shelves, offering a bit more space. Tool carts will usually cost around $ 175.

For even larger storage space you can look into getting a roller tool chest, that offers more space as well as mobility. Roller tool chests are great because they can be moved as needed since they are on wheels. These typically cost between $ 175 and can go all the way up to $ 1,000.

Lastly, another widely used type of tool storage is the workbench. Workbenches usually have shelves, drawers, and hooks to help you be more organized. There are also basic models which provide more work space. Workbenches typically start around $ 200.

Accessories such as extra shelves, bottle holders, side tables, and more are available if you would like to customize your construction tool boxes. Tool belts are also a great option if you only need a few tools and you will be moving around a lot. Tool belts are relatively inexpensive and typically made of canvas, leather, nylon, or polyester.

When you are deciding what type of construction tool boxes are right for you, start by assessing your needs. Think about how many tools you have, if you will be buying more tools in the future, what kind of projects you will be doing, if your construction tool boxes need to be mobile, and where you want to keep your new acquisition. By doing this you can assess what type of storage space you need, as well as whether you need other features and accessories.

Plumber Vs Plumbing Engineer – What’s the Difference?

The phrase “plumbing engineer” might just sound like a fancy five-dollar term to use when “plumber” sounds too pedestrian. Like, if your stodgy old eighth-grade English teacher comes to visit, and the toilet breaks, you might say something like, “Alas! It seems as though it may be time to avail myself of some of my local plumbing engineer’s finest handiwork! Forsooth, and such.”

Luckily, your stodgy eighth-grade English teacher didn’t bring your persnickety eleventh-grade science teacher with her, because you’d be wrong.

You call a plumber to fix a broken toilet, repair a leaky pipe or unclog a stubborn drain. Plumbers are a vital component of the professional engineering community, but a plumber just is not the same as a plumbing engineer.

So what is a plumbing engineer, you ask? The easiest way to make the distinction is to think of the plumbing engineer as the guy who designs the system, and the plumber as the guy who maintains it. You’d call Jack the plumbing engineer to map out the hot and cold water system in the new home you’re building; you’d call Joe the plumber to fix it when a gasket wears out.

Plumbing engineering relies on design, planning, creation and implementation. A plumbing engineer draws up a pipe system for a new building or series of buildings, makes sure every pipe connection is solid and every delivery method is efficient. He chooses the right materials to make sure the system lasts for years with minimal maintenance. If you get a top-notch plumbing engineer, you probably won’t need to call the plumber very often.

The Whole Building Design Guide, an expansive web-based information resource for contractors, designers and architects, provides a good working definition of plumbing engineering:

The Plumbing Engineer is involved with systems that overlap into the mechanical, civil, and chemical engineering disciplines. The Plumbing Engineer is in a key position to influence the water efficiency, sustainable site, energy, fire protection, and pollution systems of a facility.

Plumbing engineers are qualified to oversee a wide array of public and private building projects:

  • When a new shopping center needs a stormwater management system, the engineering firm designing the center would hand the job over to a plumbing engineer.
  • A plumbing engineer might work closely with a fire protection engineer to to make sure a new sprinkler system is in good working order.
  • An entire team of plumbing engineers might design a sewer system for a new housing development.

Q and A With Bestselling Novelist Barry Eisler: Why He Turned Down $ 500,000 to Self-Publish

If you have not heard of bestselling thriller novelist, Barry Eisler, it's time you have. Former CIA operative and technology lawyer, Barry is now the bestselling author of the insanely popular John Rain series of thriller novels.

In this Q & A, Barry discusses his latest title, "The Detachment," the writing life & the three reasons he turned down a $ 500,000 advance from a mainstream publisher, to self-publish.

SO MANY OF US HAVE BEEN EAGER FOR THE RELEASE OF "THE DETACHMENT." CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT IT ?

"The Detachment" marks the return of my half-Japanese, half-American assassin John Rain, who took a little time off to try to get his life together after the sixth book in the Rain series, "Requiem For An Assassin."

His on-again, off-again romance with Mossad agent Delilah did not end happily (find out more in my short story, "Paris Is A Bitch"), and in The Detachment, he finds himself on the wrong side of an attempted american coup, up against rolling terror attacks, presidential hit teams, and a national security state as obsessed with guarding its own secrets as it is with invading the privacy of the populace.

WHAT ASPECTS OF "THE DETACHMENT" ARE YOU PROUDEST OF?

Well, it was a blast bringing together the two series universes I've created – that of the Rain books, and that of black ops soldier Ben Treven, who readers met in "Fault Line" and "Inside Out." Putting together Rain, Dox, Treven and Larison, and forcing them to manage their alpha-male, lone-wolf instincts to survive the forces arrayed against them, was great.

But proudest? Probably the realism and timeliness of the backstory and the plot.

Since the end of the Cold War, there's been much whether the thriller, at least the contemporary version, is still a viable form. Despite then Director of Central Intelligence James Woolsey's admonition that "We have slain a mighty dragon, but now find ourselves in a jungle filled with snakes," villains seemed scarce during the "peace dividend" years of the Clinton administration. Nine-eleven and the explosion of al Qaeda in the popular consciousness, of course, changed all that, and Islamic fundamentalism provided a new treasure trove of contemporary villains and plot lines.

For thriller writers interested in realism, though, the familiar "Islamic Terrorist Villain" plotline has a serious shortcoming: terrorism, of whatever stripe, poses far less danger to America than does America's own overreaction to the fear of terrorism. To put it another way, America has a significantly greater capacity for national suicide than any non-state actor has for national murder. If thrillers are built on large-scale danger, therefore, and if a thriller novelist wants to convincingly portray the largest dangers possible, the novelist has to grapple not so much with the possibility of a terror attack, as with the reality of the massive, unaccountable national security state that has metastasized in response to that possibility.

This is of course a challenge, because unaccountable bureaucracies-what Hannah Arendt called "Rule by Nobody" -make for less obvious villains than do lone, bearded zealots seeking to destroy the Great Satan, etc., etc. The trick, I think, is to create an antagonist who is part of the ruling power structure but who also maintains an outsider's perspective-who personifies and animates an entity that, destructive and oppressive though it is, is itself is too large and cumbersome to ever really be sentient. This is Colonel Horton, probably the most ambiguous villain I've ever created (and therefore probably the most compelling).

And thus, The Detachment: a small team of lone wolf, deniable irregulars, each with ambiguous motives and conflicting loyalties, pitted against the relentless, pervasive, grinding force of an American national security state gone mad. It's real, it's timely, and it's built on an unnervingly possible premise, and I'm exceptionally proud of that.

WHEN WE SPOKE LAST, YOU SAID THAT IT TOOK YOU 4-5 MONTHS TO COMPLETE THE FIRST DRAFT OF A NOVEL. OVER THE YEARS, HAS YOUR DRAFTING PROCESSED CHANGED?

Not that much. Still about a month or two of thinking things through followed by about four months of feverish writing. All, alas, with lots of interruptions, but somehow it all gets done.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO FORGO THE $ 500,000 ADVANCE YOU WERE OFFERED TO INSTEAD STRIKE OUT ON YOUR OWN AND SELF-PUBLISH?

The first reason is the digital split. A legacy publisher offers authors 17.5% of the retail price of a digital title; a self-published author keeps 70%. That's a lot of volume the legacy publisher has to move to make up for the deficit, and I decided that, over time, I could move enough on my own to come out ahead.

The second reason, though I supposed it's really so separate from the first, is control over pricing and timing. The current business imperative of legacy publishing is to preserve the position of paper and retard the growth of digital.

Legacy publishers try to accomplish this objective by charging too much for paper books and by slaving the digital release to the paper. I believe my sweet spot per-unit price (the per-unit price that, multiplied by volume, results in maximum revenues) is around five dollars, and legacy publishers will not price new digital titles that low (in fact, they went to war with Amazon over Amazon's $ 9.99 price point, which they judged too low).

I also want to release the digital version as soon as it's ready and the paper version afterward because a paper book takes longer to get to market (you have to glue it, ship it, etc), and legacy publishers insist on holding back the digital version until the paper version is ready. That costs me money, because until my books are available for sale, they do not earn anything.

Anyway, in short, my second reason was that my philosophy on price and timing is antithetical to the price and timing philosophy of legacy publishers, and theirs to mine.

A third reason, by the way, was control over packaging decisions. I've lost too many sales to lazy, ill-conceived covers, and prefer to be in charge of such matters.

IN REGARDS TO SELF-PUBLISHING, WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL SEPARATE THE TRULY TALENTED AUTHORS WITH NOVELS THAT HAVE LEGITIMATE COMMERCIAL APPEAL FROM THE REST OF THE PACK?

Hard work and luck – same as always.

WHEN I SPOKE WITH YOU LAST, YOU DID NOT ADHERE TO A WRITING SCHEDULE. STILL NO WRITING SCHEDULE?

Still trying to find one! So many interruptions. But I think digital will be good to me. I've written two short stories ( "The Lost Coast" and "Paris Is A Bitch") and they're selling well, and the immediate gratification I get from writing a short story and making it available the very day it's done is a huge incentive to avoid distractions.

WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO WHEN YOU 'RE NOT RESEARCHING, WRITING OR PROMOTING?

I write about politics and language at my syndicated blog, Heart of the Matter, and work out, and, when I'm very lucky, get to take a quiet walk at night.

And there's nothing like a good book and a fine single-malt Scotch.

DESCRIBE YOUR WRITING ENVIRONMENT.

A quiet office, good light, Mac 24-inch monitor, and appallingly comfortable sweatpants and a tee-shirt. Ordinarily with green tea; as the deadline approaches, with a pot of coffee.

DESCRIBE A TYPICAL EVENING IN THE LIFE OF BARRY EISLER.

Hah. You're looking at one right now.

A TYPICAL WEEKEND?

Not so different, alas. I work too much.

I JUST FINISHED JOHN LOCKE'S "HOW I SOLD A MILLION EBOOKS IN 5 MONTHS." IT SEEMS AS THOUGH HE SPENDS A MASSIVE AMOUNT OF TIME ON SOCIAL MEDIA. ESPECIALLY ON TWITTER. IN YOUR EXPERIENCE, HOW IMPORTANT IS THE USE OF SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SELLING BOOKS & HOW DO YOU STOP YOURSELF FROM GOING OVERBOARD TIME-WISE? OR, DO YOU?

I'm not sure I do stop myself. Everyone has to answer this one for herself because the answer will depend on how much you like or dislike social media and what you're trying to get out of it.

For commercial purposes, I think a strong online presence is important. I can see that just from how high my short story sales pop when I announce them on Facebook, Twitter, and my blog.

ANY OTHER WORDS OF ADVICE CONCERNING SOCIAL MEDIA ?

The main thing is to use social media to build relationships, not to sell books. If you offer people value – entertainment, information – you'll build relationships, and the sales will follow naturally. If you just try to sell, people will flee screaming in horror.

But I think digital self-publishing has shifted the value of an author's time back to writing. I think the best marketing use of an author's time lies in writing more stories. Not that social media and advertising are not useful; they certainly are. But nothing is as effective in selling a book as writing and publishing a new one.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?

Finding a way to get people to pay you to do what you would pay to do.

IS IT TOO EARLY FOR ME TO ASK WHAT FANS CAN EXPECT NEXT?

Next up is a Dox short story, a Delilah short story, and probably a Rain prequel novel. A lot to look forward to.

What Are Foam Insulation Boards?

Homes and buildings must be equipped with proper insulation to resist external temperature and to prevent heat loss. Having the proper insulation on the walls, roof, ceiling, pipes and even floors has indispensable benefits. Pipe insulation will prevent the water and pipes from freezing during winter. This will save home and business owners hundreds of dollars of repair and replacements costs. Simply put, insulation is important, regardless of the size of the home or building. Because of the constant need for efficient, convenient and cost-worthy insulative materials, there are many kinds of insulation available today depending on the application. Among these are foam insulation boards.

These boards are panels that are available in widths ranging from 1.5″ to 4″. The most common materials used for foam insulation are polyurethane and phenolic foam. Other commonly used materials are polystyerene and polyisocyarunate. Most foam boards are made with CFC but there is a new process involves the use of water in the foaming stage. These boards are best used for insulation in walls, floors, ceilings and roofs.

These boards are not flexible, but the materials used in foam insulators can also be used for pipe insulation lining. Aside from being used in walls and ceilings, they are also used in insulating ducts and air vents because these boards are incredibly lightweight and fire resistant. In order to cover bended surfaces, these boards are often cut and connected with an adhesive. The junctions are also sealed hermetically to ensure that there is very little air leakage. In order to bolster its thermal properties, most foam boards are lined with a thin aluminum layer on both sides. The thickness of the aluminum will depend on the area where the board will be installed.

Installation and Standards

When choosing a board, take note of the R-value. The R-value represents the heat resistance of the insulative material. For some materials, a high R-value may fetch a higher price as well. The price also depends if the boards will be installed in an old or new home. When availing of professional insulation, it is ideal to inquire about air sealing as well. Installation can become futile if there are slits and cracks that allow hot or cold air to seep inside your home.

Insulation boards are used in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC). Therefore, they should preferably be installed by a licensed professional, usually a heating engineer.

Foods For Gout

Food is an essential part of human life. We are what we eat. What we eat reflects a part of ourselves, our lifestyle, and certain illnesses are also from food we eat. Foods for gout may have 2 impacts on the patient. It may either increase or decrease the amount of blood uric acid levels in the body.

Gout is a disease that is characterized by an increase in level of uric acid in the body. It is a buildup of urate crystals targeting the joint in the body especially that of the big toe. Its symptoms may include redness and inflammation of the joints. Changing parts of your diet may help you control gout attacks.

Drink plenty of fluids. Water is a natural remedy. It flushes away uric acid from the blood. Avoid too much caffeine or too much alcohol. Alcohol contains substances that are known to increase the level of uric acid in the blood. Lime juice is also helpful. Mix lime juice with a half lime in fresh water.

Remember what your mother always tells you “eat your vegetables”. Yes, eating vegetables is one important food for gout patients. Be sure to clean your veggies first by washing them in running water for at least 2 minutes.

Along with eating vegetables, try combining it with fruits. Fruits or fruit juices are great foods for gout. Just keep in mind to have a balanced diet. A diet of pure fruit or vegetables may put you at risk for certain vitamin deficiency. Put 1/3 cup of ground ginger (buy in bulk to keep the cost down) in a bathtub of water and soak for 30 minutes. This will let you sweat (a good thing) which will help eliminate the uric acid from your tissues. Be sure to rinse thoroughly as ginger could cause skin irritation. Half a kilo (one pound) of wild or black cherries, eaten as fresh fruit or drunk as juice, will help you get over a gout attack. The cherries contain anthocyanocids that dramatically reduces uric acid. Do not use commercially prepared juices as they no longer have anthocyanocids. Do not skip meals because of a loaded schedule. Instead have 4-5 small meals rather than 3 big meals in a day. This will ensure that more food is supplied to the body more frequently.

Eat foods that are low in purine. Purine is an organic substance found in specific types of food. It is known to raise the level of uric acid in the body. Plant based foods are low in purine. Low purine foods include milk and other milk products, cereals and cornbreads, and other fruits and vegetables. Foods moderately high in purines include anchovies, grouse, mutton, veal, bacon, liver, salmon, turkey, kidneys, partridge, trout, goose, haddock, and pheasant. Foods very high in purines include hearts, herring, mussels, yeast, smelt, sardines, sweetbreads. Although protein rich foods are one risk factor for gout, you should take minimal amounts to supplement your diet; to avoid any vitamin deficiency that goes along with certain diets.

Restaurant Dining Review – Bar Stools, Why Are They So Uncomfortable

Hey, Restaurant Guy, we’re your customers. That’s right, we pay your bills – so listen up. Why are your bar stools so uncomfortable? Do you really want us to jump ship and move to another bar where we can adjust our attitude in comfort? Before you defend your bar stools, sit in one for thirty minutes without getting up. Do you feel relieved to get up, or do you want to order another toddy and kick back.

There are thousands of attempts at bar stool design – meaning no bar stool designer has yet gotten it right. Bar stool design is a classic case of function forgotten by form. It is obvious to us, just by inspection (even more so by imperiling our posteriors), that bar stools are designed and selected for appearance – not for our comfort. Somewhere there has to be an annual international competition for “The World’s Most Uncomfortable Bar stool.” Judges would sit designers in their own creations and observe their pained expressions to establish each bar stool’s discomfort index. A perennial winner must to be the grape-pattern cast iron bar stool: cast iron legs, cast iron seat, cast iron arms and cast iron back. It takes two people to move one of these horrors, and the discomfort index is just below “The Iron Maiden” used in the Spanish Inquisition.

Some importance has to be attached to the type of bar you operate. All bars can be lumped into three categories: 1) drinking bars, including those that serve some food; 2) holding-tanks for restaurant diners waiting to be seated; 3) body shops whose denizens prowl for companionship.

Body shop bar stools require the least comfort. Sitting too long in a body shop might be construed negatively and be self defeating in our quest for Mr. or Ms. Goodbar. Hence, we must mingle – not stake a bar claim. An uncomfortable bar stool is a reminder to move out into the melee.

Comfortable bar stools offer commercial opportunity for restaurant holding-tank bars. Given a comfy spot to cozy up to your bar, some of us might migrate to and nest in your operation during happy hour and when there is no restaurant wait. This extra income might pay for comfortable bar stools.

We insist on comfortable bar stools in drinking bars. Without delving into the psychological manifestations, your drinking bar exists so we can escape from whatever is bugging us. We come to you for relief. Whether the relief comes from a bottle, from companionship, or from solitude – escaping reality is impossible when your bar stool keeps hounding our heinies back into real time.

Since designers have yet to produce the perfect bar stool, we will give you a shopping list of features for you as a bar operator to look for when replacing your bar stools.

1) Large, soft padded seat – essential! A real positive for the plentiful posterior.

2) Soft padded back – prevents back pain. Don’t bother with a bar stool back unless it’s comfortable.

3) Swivel seat – prevents neck pain when talking to or ogling the person next to us.

4) Arms – nice, but optional. They take up room and might debilitate another bar patron if we swivel suddenly.

5) Adjustable footrest – prevents leg cramps while dangling in midair.

6) Roller casters – make it easy to pull ourselves up to the bar. Also useful for wheeling overly relaxed patrons out to a cab.

Then of course, there is the one style bar stool as yet not attempted – The Recliner! The first bar with reclining bar stools will become a tourist attraction.

copyright 2006 Bill Stephens