Avail Important Information on Architecture and Construction Via Ebooks

Architecture is the art and science of designing a structure, a process that combines planning, designing and constructing a building. A well designed building is often seen as a symbol of culture and a work of art. People who want to know more about architecture can refer to numerous architecture ebooks available on the Internet. In order to gather more information people can also refer to buildings ebooks.

World Wide Web is flooded with several architecture ebooks, such as On Architecture; Ultimate Horse Barns; The Architect's Brain; and Greene & Greene Furniture. These ebooks have all the important information about architecture, including the concepts involved in architecture and when it started, among other such questions. On Architecture is an interesting book written on the topic by Ada Louise Huxtable. The author has captivated the readers from all over the world in through her well-reasoned beliefs about architecture. With her unmatched intelligence, the author has tried to discuss whether modern architecture is still alive. The book is considered one of the most informative architecture ebooks available on the Internet.

Another famous eBook on architecture is Ultimate Horse Barns by Randy Leffingwell. The book has presented eighteen masterpiece horse barns in very innovative and beautiful manner. All the structures featured in the book reflect the owners' love for horses. Author has selected barns that have exceptional qualities such as health and safety. Ultimate Horse Barns describes the architectural beauty of horse barns and talks about barns used for private purposes, successful breeding or for training purposes.

People can also find reference about buildings ebooks while searching for the information about ebooks on architecture. Walk London: Walks In And Around London; The Essential Titus Burckhardt; Architecture and Authority in Japan; and Innovations In Hospital Architecture are some of the popular buildings ebooks. Innovations In Hospital Architecture is an engrossing book written by Stephen Verderber on this subject. This reference book includes all important developments in the evolving field of sustainable hospital architecture. It describes how architects, nowadays, must provide hospitals with high quality care for patients. The book contains beautiful and extensively illustrated pictures, diagrams and floor plans.

Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic Coast eBook by Paul Eric Johnson is a captivating book full of colourful and beautiful pictures of lighthouses from the past. People having interest in the history and protection of lighthouses can refer to this book. Lighthouses of the Mid-Atlantic Coast eBook tells the history of lighthouses across the world and gives information about their importance. The readers will get to know how lighthouse keepers perform all daily jobs to keep the ships passing through the area safe. The book also informs the important role played by lighthouses at the time of war.

Mobile Scaffolding

Using scaffolding provides an additional efficiency scales will never be enough to produce. Erection of scaffolding on a construction site, whether residential or commercial, has created effective workspace that improves access and mobility of workers on a scale can provide.

When mobility is necessary

Suspended scaffolds are mobile units in themselves because they are attached to the top of a building and are either raised or lowered by a pulley mechanism operated by workers on the suspended platform. However, when holding up high on a scaffold or mobile there are some considerations to observe.

Tip 1: Do not move, a hanging, fixed or mobile scaffolding erected horizontally with people on the platform of work unless, of course, the design allows.

Tip 2: Fix a scaffold that is anchored to a base plate may need to be a complete dismantling or at least removal of the base if the structure can be lifted and repositioned horizontally.

Tip 3: Fixed scaffolding requires a plan to upgrade to allow safe operation. Please keep all gates and the base 2 in 10 blocks of wood when the repositioning of the structure. Scaffolds without wheels, it will take extra time at the structure after it is repositioned.

Tip 4: Never leave tools or materials on platforms where the work of repositioning the structure. Make sure that someone inspects all areas of surface platform before a movement is initiated.

Tip 5: Plan ahead for what and how much structure moves are necessary to complete the project. Preparation of the surface at several predetermined moves can help reduce downtime between movements.

Tip 6: If the scaffolding is based on wheels or roller wheels, leveling screws will be attached. Also, braces or roulette wheel lock must be activated when the structure is in place. Make sure that the leveling screws and locking mechanisms operate freely so that both the repositioning and securing a new position are properly executed. It is important to periodically check these mechanisms during the time the project unfolds. Check your rental center around providing back-up blocking and upgrade equipment and how to properly maintain these.

Tip 7: Cut the need for maintaining a scaffold by repositioning the acquisition of several structures. Many rental stores offer discounts for renting multiple structure. In the long term, using multiple structures may be profitably compared to the time needed to prepare each individual position, if you move the scaffolding.

Tip 8: Check also with your rental center relocation assistance on the scaffolds. These leasing professionals have most likely seen a variety of scenarios on scaffolding repositioning and can advise on the best plan using scaffolding for your project.

Tip 9: Always follow all local laws regarding the use of scaffolding. Local laws vary. Some places require specifically designed for scaffolding needs repositioning. Others make suggestions. Again, the professionals in your rental center premises have this information and can best advise you on the proper way to select the correct scaffolding for your project.

Tip 10: The security personnel should always keep in mind repositioning scaffolding for your work project needs.

Find the Best Soccer Ankle Brace to Prevent Ankle Injuries in Soccer

Whether you are looking to support an ankle that is healing from an injury, or you are looking to protect your ankle from an injury altogether, there is a soccer ankle brace that is just right for your needs. When you strap on an ankle brace, you have the opportunity to prevent ankle injuries in soccer games and practices. This means you can play with confidence because you have the peace of mind that comes with your ankle being protected.

Find the Soccer Ankle Brace that Is Right for You

There are many braces available, so be sure to find the one that meets all of your soccer needs.

DonJoy Velocity Ankle Brace

You may never sprain your ankle again if you wear the DonJoy Velocity Ankle Brace. The stability of this brace makes it ideal for preventing ankle injuries that typically occur during soccer.

* Low profile … it will not get in the way of your shin guards or cleats.

* Lightweight

* Prevents abnormal ankle inversion, eversion, and rotation

* Allows for natural and unrestricted dorsi- and plantar-flexion

* Available in extra support and light support … you have the option to choose your level of support based on the activities your are partaking in.

The combination of cushion, hinged foot plate, and calf cuffs provides amazing levels of control, fit, and support.

Aircast A60 Ankle Brace

The Aircast A60 provides an unbeatable combination of support, protection, comfort, and simplified application. This brace was created for athletes and will keep you at the top of your game.

* Sleek stabilizer on either side of the ankle

* Guards against ankle sprains and prevents rollover

* Will keep you comfortably cool and dry

* Fits easily into athletic footwear without additional bulk

* No time-consuming lacing … if you're looking for a brace that is quick and easy to get into, this is the brace for you.

This bulk-free brace will keep you cool and dry while also protecting you from rollovers and ankle sprains.

Aircast Airsport Ankle Brace

One of the most popular ankle braces for athletes, the Aircast Airsport is a great brace for someone who is already suffering from an ankle injury because it offers compression and stability. By incorporating some of the features of the legendary Air-Stirrup ankle brace, like a semi-rigid shell and aircells, with additional compression and stabilization provided by an anterior talofibular cross strap and integral forefoot and shin wraps. Plus it is fast and easy to put on, so you will not waste time lacing.

* Aircell filled with foam to cushion and support the ankle

* Semi-rigid shell to offer Air-Stirrup support

* Durable fabric

* Anterior talofibular cross strap for increased stabilization

* Added support from integral forefoot and shin wraps

* Automatic heel width adjustment

* Easy application

This brace provides superior ankle protection by combining the best technologies to keep your ankle safe as you play your sport.

How to Disassemble a Pool Table

Disassembling a pool table can be rather easy, providing you have the right tools and manpower. The instructions listed here are for a standard wood frame home pool table with a slate bed and leather drop pockets. Coin operated tables and non slate tables have different instructions when disassembling.

Tools Needed: 9/16″ socket, socket wrench, Philips screwdriver. Marked sandwich baggies to place screws and bolts.


Rail Assembly: Contains the wooden rail, the cushion or bumpers to which the apron attaches to.

Bumpers: The rubber part of the rail. They are covered with felt.

Aprons: The wooded segments that attach to the rail assembly. Can be a permanent part of the rail assembly or can be screwed depending on manufacturer of table.

Felt: The cloth that covers the playing surface and the rail bumpers. Usually it is a 75% woolen 25% nylon blend.

Slate: The playing surface of the pool table. Usually comes in (3) pieces. Can either be wood backed or unbacked.

Frame: The base of the pool table which the slate sits on.

  1. First start off by detaching the pockets from the table itself. Usually the straps of the pockets are attached to the table itself with either screws, staples, nails or glue.
  2. Next using your 9/16″ socket and wrench; remove the rail bolts (12) located underneath each rail. Place the rail bolts in a marked baggie for storage.
  3. Take one section of the rail assembly (2 sides and top/bottom) and flip them over onto the covered bed of the pool table. Unscrew the pocket screws.
  4. Remove pockets from rail assembly and place to side.
  5. Place rails to the side. Some tables you will have to remove the aprons at this point.
  6. Remove felt from slate bed. The felt is usually either glued down or stapled to the wood backing of the slate. If it is stapled, remove each staple carefully, as not to rip the felt itself.
  7. Remove the slate screws and place in marked baggie. Sometimes all the slate screws will be filled in with either beeswax, Bondo or spackling putty. Carefully remove the product from each hole.
  8. Pull the slates apart and lift each one and place to the side.These are very heavy so please be careful.
  9. Disassemble the frame. Generally, most of the time if you are just moving the table a short distance all that will be required is removing the legs.
  10. Removed the bolt from each leg. Pick table up and remove legs and place to side.

A Review of Musicnotes – Digital Sheet Music Dealer

Are you a musician? Can you find the sheet music you want? If you are anything like me, then the answer is no. Although the town I live in is not that small, there still is not a large selection of stores when it comes to music. There is only one small music store that I go to (and only on rare occasions) when I need something immediately, like guitar strings for example.

When I want to buy sheet music though, that little shop is not much help. There is only a small selection of sheet music for the most popular genres and most popular instruments. If you want to play Beethoven piano arrangements then you are fine, but if you want something else then you are out of luck.

I could not find what I wanted in my area, so shopping online was my only alternative. After trying different online sheet music dealers I finally came across one that I really liked-Musicnotes. This website offered instant digital sheet music and I thought it sounded cool, but was not sure how "digital" music works.

I found out that it was really easy to do it though. In order for the digital sheet music to work, you do need to have special sheet music software, but you can download that for free on the Musicnotes website. After downloading the free software I began searching through the music database. It was completely different from my local music store!

This site has thousands of songs to download the sheets for, and in many different genres. The quality of the site is great and I have never had interest in buying from a local store again. It is easy to buy exactly what I want and I do not even have to leave the house. I can find a song, download the sheet music, and learn it right away.

At first I was leery about the musicnotes player software, but now love it! It has many features that help you to learn songs such as being able to transpose, change the tempo, or learn one part of the song at a time.

The only downside I can see with this program is that you have to be on a computer for these features to work. But, if you want you can print off the sheet music like you normally would. Since I use a digital piano, I usually just slide that up next to my computer so I can use the software though, it really is a big help.

Avoiding Bad Investment Firms

The sort of investment firm that you will want to avoid is the one that offers you lots of value. Value can be measured by how well your investment performs as well as how much it costs to obtain the investment. A lousy firm will offer you inferior investment vehicles and charge you an arm or an a leg to utilize them. Most of the problems with investment brokers arise when they pay their representatives commissions on the products they sell. Too many conflicts of interest arise and can make you get less than you would have at a more reputable firm.

Do not be fooled by those that bill themselves as financial planners or financial consultants. It is likely the case that they work on commission and they are just trying to get you to invest as much as you can as many times as you can. This is because the more your investment is worth, and the more transactions you rack up, the more they earn in commission fees. They are in fact investment salespeople. They probably work for a large brokerage firm

All good investments can be bought on a no-load basis which means you do not pay any commission fees. When you are working with a salesperson rather than a proper advisor there is no way you will get unbiased investment advice, unless they are trying to get fired or are your personal friend. A no-load mutual fund is a prime example of an investment that can be bought without paying a commission. Find an advisor that can recommend one of these to you and has no problem performing the transaction for you.

If you find that you're unsure about any investment vehicle that is presented to you, and even if you are sure, you'll want to request a copy of the prospectus. On one of the first pages it will list whether or not the investment involves any sort of commission that's paid. It might be called a load. While the salesperson might be able to use a title and clever phrasing to disguise whether a fee is paid, the prospectus is required to have it stated simply and clearly.

The range of investment commissions varies widely. That's why it's hard to know who you can trust and who you can not when it comes to investment advice. When you go to get advice from brokers, consultants, and financial planners you should have an idea of ​​what they make. If you have $ 20,000 to invest and choose an annuity they'll get around $ 1,400. If you choose to go with a load mutual fund they will get $ 1,200. This gives them a big incentive to put you into these sort of products and not charge by the hour.

Materials For Block Printing

Anyone who can carve his name on a tree can make a block print. Suppose you want to make one now. Instead of using wood, you can use linoleum because it is easier to carve. The materials you need are paper, a pencil, a piece of linoleum about the size of this page and about VA of an inch thick, block-printing ink, some watercolor paint, a stiff-haired brush about Vi inch wide, a heavy board, and a table to work on. First, draw the picture or design you want to print on a piece of paper.

While you draw, try to think about how it would feel to be carving these lines into something hard. That way you will draw only the lines you really need. Remember that in block printing everything comes out backward. If you want to make a print of a person looking to the right, either draw him looking to the left or later, trace the drawing backwards on the block.

To get an idea of how the drawing will look when it is printed, hold it up to the mirror. When you do that, imagine that the pencil lines are white and the white spaces you see will be black or colored. When you are finished with your drawing, you then trace it on the linoleum. Some people make the drawing directly on the block. In either case it is a good idea to paint the block with white watercolor first so that you can follow the black lines easily when you carve.

DIY Ladder Safety Tips

In 2004 The United States department of Labor reported that the number of injuries and fatalities from falls from roofs and ladders had increased. This report focused on occupational injuries that generally occur among trained personnel, which speaks to an even greater safety concern over DIY projects utilizing ladders.

Most accidents occur from incorrect use of the ladder or materials. Before you begin a project make sure that you have gone through safety preparations and are familiar with the tools to be used. As in most DIY projects, the best safety precaution is to think out your task thoroughly before beginning. You should have confidence in both yours and your equipment's ability to complete the project.

Getting Started:

Once you have decided that you need to use a ladder to complete your project, make sure that you have the right type of ladder. There are many types of ladders all with their own advantages and disadvantages, which may include weight and height limits. If you are not sure that your ladder is the best fit for the job, make sure to consult a professional.

Some general things to look for in a ladder are:

How strong is it?

How tall is it?

Is it made primarily for indoor or outdoor use?

What material is it made out of (certain materials can have unique weaknesses or safety concerns)?

Does it have any cracks?

Does it have a coating such as paint that could cover defects?

Are the rungs secured?

Are the footpads secure and dry?

Diving into your Project:

While you may be eager to get started on your project, please take the time to ensure that your ladder is set-up correctly and that you know how to use it safely.

1. Make sure your ladder is steady. Place the ladder on a surface that is strong and level; also make sure that the ladder is not on top of any slippery materials.

2. If using a stepladder, make sure that the spreader arms are in the locked, open position.

3. If you are using a straight or extension ladder, make sure the ladder is resting at the correct angle to the wall or structure it is leaning on. The angle is normally 75-80 degrees. Or for every 4 ft high the ladder is on the wall, make the base 1 ft away from the bottom of the wall.

4. If using a straight or extension ladder, make sure that the top of the ladder is resting against a straight and solid surface.

5. Make sure that you have at least three points of contact with the ladder when working, such as two feet and one hand.

6. Wear flat shows or boots with grip when working on a ladder

7. Do not carry heavy items while climbing the ladder, use some type of hoist or pulley system to retrieve the items instead

8. Do not work on a ladder in strong wind

9. Do not allow children near the ladder

10. Never stand on the top two rungs of the ladder

11. Stay centered and facing the ladder when climbing or working

These ten tips will help keep you safe, however they are not all-inclusive. If you have any questions about your ladder or safety concerns about your project, make sure to consult an expert.

Useful Tips For Homes

Single or Two storey

It depends on one's taste and circumstances (health, age etc) as well as on the size of the plot. In my opinion the plot should be around 3-4 times of that of the ground floor house size in order to have a reasonable garden. So if you have a large plot, go for the single / ground floor. If not, use our formula for the ground floor area only. A two storey house looks more "architecturally impressive" as opposed to a bungalow and it can offer better views from upstairs. For the untidy people (!!), a 2 storey is more convenient in this respect.

Flat or Pitched roof

Both can look as attractive, but most flat roofs in Cyprus are ugly with all sorts of unconcealed equipment and solar heaters etc placed on top. A pitched roof offers the opportunity to cover these, it offers better insulation and it can provide an attic.

Basement V Ground Parking

A basement parking space is better, since it is more secured and it can be used also for other uses eg maid's quarter, wine cellar etc, but it costs 3 times more than a carport. If lack of space (small plot), opt for the basement, but then and in addition to the added cost, one must consider the staircase from the basement. If two storey house and basement, provision for a lift is a must.

Lift Provision

Depending on one's age and health, a lift is becoming more and more popular. If no space / money, opt for an electrical climbing chair to help you out. For this you need a spacious staircase at least 1½ meters width. If not sure, when you are building your own home, make provision for a lift, so that you can install it at a later stage (in addition it is a good selling point in future).

Roof Garden – Views

More and more in use, but this requires a flat roof and with provision of water / sewage / electricity etc. Not a must, unless you have added views. In addition consider the extra staircase. If you want one, make all provisions for eg a bar, wc etc including proper insulation and finishes, pergola, flower pots etc

Glass Verandah Walls

A good alternative, which does not block the views. Proper glass (thick) is a good solution, quite safe and needs less maintenance. A better proposition than railings.


As circumstances stand at present and with crime / thefts etc being on the increase, we would recommend to adopt an alarm system, especially if the property is not fully occupied (eg holiday homes). Bear in mind the "maintenance cost" referral to a local resident etc. We could not live with οut this.

Garden + Cost

Avoid grass, it needs a lot of water and maintenance, opt for trees and low vegetation instead, although admittedly grass looks better. Place underground nets and shingles on top of the garden.

Barbeque Structures

Opt for a movable equipment which can be moved on spot of your guests. Lovely new machines nowadays.

Swimming Pool

Lovely to have but it costs in terms of maintenance + – € 150 pm (4 x 8.0 mts.) Invest on a cover. Overflow pool looks much better than skimmer type, but it costs 50% more. Vanishing edge (infinity) pools are better, but more costly and it depends on the views offered.

Wine Cellar

Not really needed to build. Very good low cost wine coolers available in the market. Opt one with trays and glass door. Depending on your requirements, they range from € 500- € 1.500 (home use).

Floor Finishes

Use ceramic tiles (of all sort of quality). Marble looks better but it gets stained. Parquet is an excellent alternative, but more costly and care in use is needed. If in two minds, use parquet in bedrooms.

Shower or Bath

Depends on one's requirements, but with our climate, a spacious shower with the gadgets (jets) is a better alternative and space saving.


Use ordinary satellite etc, but if bad reception use a gable network with all sorts of channels. It costs approximately € 20 pm however, but you save on satellite cost.


Avoid if in apartment. Think always of the neighbors who might not share your love for pets.

Wall Finishes

The local external "sprits" finish is lower cost and needs very little maintenance, but not very good looking. Paint is better but budget for € 500 / year (maintenance every 2-3 years). Stone is expensive but looking better (additional € 30 / sq.m.).

House Size V Large Garden

It depends on your life style and style of living. Opt for a smaller house and larger garden since 70% of our living timing with the local climate is outside.

Architectural details

Opt for one shower / bedroom plus a guest wc If no space, have a master bedroom en suite and one common (2 bathrooms).

For storage explore all available voids from the start. A never ending requirement.

Although we do not want to discourage you from building your own home, we want to end by quoting a Serbian saying "…. Only a moron decides to build his own house …..", but we add, then it can be fun (at times).

A Quick RSS Overview

RSS can be crafted manually by editing an XML file, but it is more commonly generated by a backend script. Blog publishing systems are the most remarkable example of such kind of scripts. Besides generating feeds, scripts deliver automatic "pings," which are remote calls to updating services that continuously scan the webs for updates on any topic.

RSS feeds contribute to generate traffic, but also to reach a target audience. For instance, if your website sells hats, posting short articles about the latest fashion trends on hats will generate a feed accordingly, broadcast by the updating services and driving to your website those visitors expressly interested in hats, which may turn eventually in potential buyers.

Any website on the Internet can deliver RSS feeds to both the news updating services and surfers seeking for relevant information on keywords, topic or niche your site belong in, but integrating syndication into a website may require special knowledge, proper software or the work of an expert web developer.

As a reader, you can also retrieve information from your favorite websites using RSS. Feeds can be retrieved by the so-called aggregators, which strip the XML format to render an easily readable text. RSS updates can be broadcast in either long format or short summary. If you are setting up your own feeds to keep informed your readers, it is advisable opt for summarized content.

An RSS summary preserves the nature of syndication; provide surfers with fast-reading content, which contains a link back to the website where full story resides. Summary feeds also prevents content stealing, since it is very easy display a feed into a website as if it were generated on it.

Adding styles and a copyright notice may prevent the non-authorized distribution of your content, along with clear rules stating if your RSS content can be reproduced in full, partially or it is void. Check news websites such as ABC News, Reuters, Yahoo News, BBC, The New York Times, or CNN to read their policies about syndication and use them as example to write down your own.

Syndication is the best way to reach potential customers, and there are many RSS directories that gather the latest feeds for almost any topic, so it is easier for surfers find the information they are seeking for, as for webmasters to get the results that they want . Try yourself the potential of RSS and you will never regret.

Financing Real Estate Development!

If you are new to financing real estate development you'll have to change your thinking. No doubt you are very familiar the 15 to 30 year mortgage finance tool.

You may even have used a 'Line of Credit' as an alternative way of financing as you increase you cash wealth. Both of these methods are used primarily for financing real estate property acquisitions.

I can hear some of you say, "But I used these for redeveloping a house or a few apartments."

Well that is not what we, in the development world, mean when we say real estate development; we call that a renovation or a refit.

So financing real estate development is financing a completely new development and mortgage financing is not the correct tool for the job.

So How Do They Differ?

The easiest way is to give you a quick comparison between a mortgage financing and financing real estate development.

With a mortgage you essentially are buying property; be it land or a residential house on land, or an apartment … and you are buying it to own for the long term; that is 15 to 30 years.

When financing real estate development you are looking at financing an entire project, of which the land is one tangible part and the other part comprise building Plans.

At completing of the project you plan to sell all of what you have created and repay the financial institution what you borrowed for financing real estate development.

You might ask, "What if I want to keep some of what I have created and not sell everything? Great question.

The answer is simple. All the money you get from the sales of your product is paid back to the financial institution and you then take out a long term mortgage for the product you want to own long term.

Just to be clear on that point

All of the products you sell will include a profit. So by careful calculation and planning you can balance the number of products you retain, so that your profit is left as equity in the investment and the amount of mortgage borrowing is minimal.

Depending on your taxation rules in your country, leaving money in the investment as suggested, is a way of not 'realizing' your profit in a cash form and so attracting tax. But naturally you should check out your local tax laws.

Now back to financing real estate development.

As mentioned earlier, you are not just buying land when financing real estate development. You are asking the financial institution to approve the purchase of the land, as well as the construction of the whole project.

To arrive at the position where you can make a Financing Real Estate Development Application, you will need a set of approved development plans, costings and a Real Estate Development Feasibility Study.

Many people who want to get into the development business, make the mistake of finding and buying land 'first "and borrowing mortgage financing, which is what they are used to doing.

Only to find out later that they will have to discharge the mortgage and borrow the correct funds for financing real estate developments all of which costs money.

This can be taught to you the right way!

Hardwood Flooring Vs Laminate Flooring

Many consumers, when looking for a hardwood flooring look find laminate flooring an attractive option. Generally less expensive, relatively durable and easy to install, laminate flooring is a great choice for many applications.

The basic difference between a laminate floor and a hardwood floor is that a laminate floor will be constructed press-board, a picture of a flooring surface and a wear layer. The "wood" look that you see in a laminate floor is actually a high resolution picture of hardwood. Hardwood flooring will either be a solid piece of real wood, or it will be a section of high quality hardwood (like cherry) glued to a plywood core. In either case, with hardwood flooring, what you are walking on is an actual piece of hardwood, whereas with laminate, what you are walking on (underneath a wear-layer) is a picture of hardwood.

With that said, there are some definite differences to be considered …

First and foremost, re-sale value of your home. When trying to sell a home in today's competitive market, being able to say "Hardwood Floors" in your listing is a big draw. Many home buyers today, in a buyer's market, expect that the home's that they are looking at will have "real" hardwood flooring.

In key selling areas, like the kitchen, home buyers like to see high-end materials. Real granite counter tops, high quality wood cabinets and hardwood or tile on the floors.

Another difference between hardwood and laminate is the feel underfoot. When you walk on a laminate floor there is often a sort of spongy feel, and a dull sound. While you may or may not care about the underfoot feeling of your flooring, this is something to be considered. Many consumers do not enjoy the feel of laminate flooring.

One more consideration is the ability to refinish. While today's pre-finished wear layers are generally very durable, nearly all hardwood choices (including engineered hardwood) can be refinished is necessary. Laminate flooring can not be refinished. If a section if damaged, it must be pulled out and a new section installed. If the entire floor is in need of a new finish, you will be in need of a new floor.

Smart Repair Training Basics

Bumper repair accounts for most of the repair work that is done on car bodies. Car bumpers, while designed to make the car as safe as possible, can not generally handle large impact collisions with other vehicles. The most they can withstand, and still be repairable, are low level collisions with small vehicles, generally two wheelers or minor scrapes and scuffs against other vehicles and barriers and bollards and the like. The general idea of ​​a bumper is to absorb the power of an impact and so they deform very easily by design.

When large impact collisions do occur, most car owners would prefer to just get a simple paint job done on the bumper, to make it look as good as new. This is generally inadvisable, since any further strain could make the crack line much wider and definitely more unsightly than before. At this point, most car owners are left with two choices, buy a new bumper or get it repaired.

While getting a bumper repaired is always an easier and more cost effective way of getting the bumper to look as good as new, sometimes when the owner's budget is tight, he or she would like to get the bumper repaired on their own. While repairing the bumper on one's own is definitely a sign of self sustaining capabilities, it is generally not preferred.

Why is that, you might ask. Getting a self- repair bumper kit is quite cheap and easy, the problem is that it is a complicated procedure to actually fix the bumper to an acceptable standard. Fixing the bumper involves drilling holes into the bumper of the car. This step is followed by filling the said holes with a fast acting resin that is supported by a mesh that is placed inside. This step is followed by sanding, priming, painting and lacquering. Finally, the owner must polish the hardened lacquer to finish the repair. Obviously, such techniques require a considerable amount of skill. Thus enters the concept of Smart Repair Training classes.

A plethora of training centers have now sprung up all over the world. The aim of these institutions is to teach the trainee SMART (Small to Medium Area Repair Technology) techniques. These inexpensive courses teach the students not only bumper repair, but a wide range of techniques to look after their car's needs. These courses also include many practice sessions on which the trainees can test their new found skills on actual car bodies. Since the techniques that are taught are quite complicated, these courses are quite rigorous so as to make the trainee skilled in solving almost any car problem.

While it may be less complicated to get it repaired by a smart technician, the self sufficient / cost effective car owner can always learn these techniques to take care of their cars. Since these techniques can always come in handy in the future, more and more car owners are now flocking to such centers to learn smart techniques. An added bonus of course is that a new career in smart repair follows on from this very easily.Repair Training Basics.

An Introduction to Tattoos

Tattoos… Everyone has a different reaction to that word. It always got my attention. I think the first one I saw on a live person, was my cousins. I must have been 7 or 8 years old. He had a funny caricature of a devil on his arm with “born to raise hell” written over it. I was amazed by it and although it wasn’t until my mid 20’s when I christened my skin, I wanted one the second I saw that little devil.

Today, tattooing is far more accepted in society than it was back in the 60’s, still; there are people that frown upon the idea of marking your body with ink….forever. Whether it’s a religious issue, or their own personal preference, they can’t deny that the tattoo is almost as old as civilization itself.

The word tattoo is derived from the Tahitian word “tatu”, meaning to mark or to touch something. The earliest known tattooed person is the infamous “Iceman” found in 1991, in the Otzal Alps, located in Italy. Carbon dating proved that he had lived about 5,300 years ago. Fifty-eight tattoos were noted on his body!! Archaeologists think he was an important figure in his society. The tattoos were charcoal and water based.

Ancient cultures used tattoos to ward off sickness or bad luck. The Egyptians were the first to use needles to tattoo the body. Archaeologists exhuming tombs, have even found children’s dolls decorated with tattoos. Tattooing spread through Greece, and Arabia, and By 2000 BC., the tattoo had arrived in Asia.

The Japanese first used tattoos to identify criminals. Later it was transformed into an art form, producing some of the world’s most beautiful tattoos. The Yakuza (Japanese mafia) use their tattoos to intimidate their rivals. Japanese style of tattooing has influenced hundreds of artists today.

Polynesians have also contributed greatly to the art. Their instruments consist of sharpened pieces of bone, or ivory, tied to a stick. They “chisel” the ink into the skin by hitting the top of the instrument with a mallet type object. The tool might consist of one sharp object, or a whole row of objects, resembling a rake.

Members of certain tribes underwent grueling hours tattooing their bodies as a right of passage. Those tools are still used today, for those same rituals, but it is a dying art form, performed only by those preserving their culture. They also developed a facial tattoo called the “Moko”. This facial tattoo consisted of lines drawn about the face that would tell that persons life story.

Centuries ago in Europe, it was common to have family crests tattooed on the body, but when the Normans invaded in 1066, tattooing disappeared. 600 years later, a sailor named William Dempher, ran into Prince Giolo, known as the Painted Prince. He was brought from Polynesia to London, put on exhibition, and became a sensation.

In the 1700’s, on one of his many trips to the South Pacific, Captain Cook came across Oami,a heavily tattooed man, whom he also brought back to England. The English were amazed, and soon tattooing became a fad amongst the upper class. Still it would be another 100 years before tattooing would have an influence in America.

The first electric tattoo machine was invented by Samuel O’Rielly in 1891. It evolved from an electric pen that Thomas Edison had invented a few years earlier. This machine is very similar to the one used today. With this invention, it was very easy to obtain a tattoo, so the upper class gradually turned its back on the art, and by the 1900’s the glamour of being tattooed had lost its appeal. Tattoo artists found themselves working the seedy areas of neighborhoods, and tattooing went underground. Only by word of mouth could someone find a tattoo artist, or even see tattoo art. Tattooing became a secret society.

Once again, Samuel O’Rielly to the rescue. He moved from Boston to New York City and opened a tattoo shop in very popular Chatham Square, the Times Square of its day, and the birthplace of American style tattoos. There he met Charlie Wagner.

O’Rielly taught Wagner the art of tattoo until Sam’s death in 1908. Charlie then met Lew Alberts, a wallpaper designer. Alberts incorporated his designs into tattoo art, and started making flash designs. Tattooing flourished in Chatham Square for nearly 20 years, until the depression hit. The soul of tattooing then moved to Coney Island. Shops opened up wherever military bases seemed to be. Mostly sailors would get tattooed, and each tattoo brought a different story from a different place.

After the Second World War, tattoos were less popular. Their association with bikers, and jailbirds had a great impact on the decline of tattooing in American culture. An outbreak of hepatitis in the 1960’s brought tattooing to its knees. Needles weren’t being sterilized, and reports of blood poisoning flooded the newspapers. New York outlawed tattoos and shut down its shops in Coney Island. Tattooing moved to New Jersey, Philadelphia, and all the way to San Francisco.

Today, tattooing is legal again in New York, and just recently made legal in Massachusetts. Artists hold international conventions, where they display work, perform work, and give seminars on tattooing. Many have an art degree. Cleanliness is an unwritten rule in the business these days. Shops would not survive if the proprietors did not keep a clean place of business. Tattooing has once again reached the upper echelon of society. Movie stars, rock stars, and corporate executives now grace their bodies with tattoos. Every tattoo has a special meaning for the one who wears it. Whether it’s a tribute to a lover, or a child, mom or dad, a simple line or a detailed body suit, tattoos have made its mark in the history of the world.


Why a Brick Paved Driveway is a Much Better Option Than Concrete Or Asphalt

Brick pavers for driveways provide for more creativity, a longer, lasting result and less overall maintenance than their concrete and asphalt counterparts. Check out the solutions possible and then think seriously about changing the look and feel of your driveway.

If you are looking for a long-lasting driveway, then think about brick pavers. They come in a wide variety of muted colors and individual pavers can be cut to create seemingly unending patterns and designs. Using brick pavers, it is possible to create a driveway that resembles a brick wall with alternating rows of bricks or a driveway with a radial array of colored patterns. You can also create interesting, free-flowing designs rather than a customary rectangular concrete and asphalt driveway. Comparing these types of options to standard, more boring, concrete or asphalt driveways is really not a competitive event.

Brick pavers, much like those used in the Roman interstate system (some 2000 years ago), last a long time. The same cannot be said for concrete or asphalt. Pavers “float” on a sandy and/or gravelly base and allow water to easily run off and percolate into the sub-strata. This is very environmentally friendly because it helps to build the water table and lessen runoff.

Asphalt and concrete driveways are predicated on having water run off. Through normal use and the pressure of cars driving across it, asphalt develops cracks and concrete often cracks. And when then, when water gets into these cracks, the freeze-thaw cycle, coupled with the movement of cars across it, often leads to increasing degrees of failure. To prevent this from happening in an asphalt driveway, you have to periodically reseal the driveway. In a concrete driveway, repair is the more desired option, rather than viewing an ugly concrete crack sealer.

If a brick paver breaks, lifts or sinks, it is an easy matter to remove it and its neighbors and either address any sand or gravel issues and/or replace the failed paver. For this reason (and because you may to expand the driveway to include a walkway, garden wall, pool deck or patio), it is always a good idea to keep a stash of extra brick pavers from the original driveway installation. This will ensure a color and type match you might not be able to get in a replacement order.

If the concrete or asphalt driveway needs repairs, it involves a larger area and a more extensive and expensive operation. And, the new concrete always looks different that its older neighbors.

Brick pavers also bring with them a more expensive look and may just help command a higher resale price for your home someday.

But, pavers are not without some maintenance. They do need periodic power washings to bring back their more intense colors and, in warmer climes, to remove the moss that tends to grow in the spaces between the brick pavers.

Still, when you weigh the pros and cons, brick pavers for a driveway provide a much better option than concrete or asphalt.

If your budget allows and you feel daring, check out this option. You may just start a neighborhood trend.