Badminton Rules: Getting the Perfect Serve

When it comes to racket based games everyone knows that one of the most crucial offenses is a good defense. That’s why when you are truly trying to win a game- you have to make sure that you do the best when it comes your turn to serve.

A solid serve can help to ensure that you don’t have to end up defending yourself when it comes time to truly play the game. One of the tricks to a good serve is to make sure that you are completely aware of the service rules and can adhere to them. Service errors are costly and in a game like badminton where anything can happen, you want to make sure you are leading during your service and not defending. Here are some of the crucial service rules that you will have to follow in badminton.

1. Don’t delay – The service form in badminton consists of a position where you raise your back foot. The moment your back foot is raised you cannot go back and forth but have to serve immediately. Failure to do so will result in the point being awarded to the other side

2. Positioning – Service in both badminton and tennis involves both players being on the opposite diagonal side of the court. If you serve right in front of your opponent, the point will again be given to your opponent. Positioning is also important in doubles badminton. In the case of doubles badminton you cannot block the view of your opponent to the server. In addition, both feet must be touching the court

3. Racket rules – In badminton it is required that the racket hit the bottom or base of the shuttle cock. It is also important to note that the racket shaft only be pointing downward. This means that the head of the racket must be pointing upward. It is also important to remember that during a service the racket only starts from the back and continues forward. You cannot move the racket back and forth once it starts to move forward.

4. Shuttle cock rules – During service the shuttle cock must always be below the waist of the person serving. In addition, during service, the shuttle cock should never be hit in a downwards motion but always in an upward one to end up on the other side of the court. Missing the shuttlecock during service is considered a point for the other side and a service error for the server

5. Etiquette – The server shall not make an attempt to serve if the opponent isn’t ready. However, should the opponent try to hit the serve, it will be considered a good service.

Service rules are created to ensure that there is always an element of defending your side during the badminton game. Ensuring that you have a solid serve means that just about half the battle of the game is in your favor. Of course, this is also dependent on how good your opponent’s service is and how good their return is.

Words to Say to Attract Him! Here Are the Magic Words Which Will Get Any Man Attracted to You Fast

Hate the idea of saying the wrong thing and putting him off? Well not everyone has the gift of the gab and most often a woman can find herself dumb struck in the company of the guy she’s attracted to. These tips will help you to attract your man by saying the right thing.

Never be negative

If you are negative in your approach and behavior you will never attract any guy. Be positive and confident of yourself. He can’t read your mind so you will have to let him know about how you feel by telling him in words that will please him.

Words can win his heart

Don’t fool yourself into thinking men are not touched to the core by romantic words. Try being romantic and whisper sweet nothings in his ear and before you know it he will be putty in your hands.

Talk sports

This might sound so commonplace but it works! Men adore talking about their favorite sports. They are passionate about it and can actually talk about it for hours. The trouble is that women rarely listen. This is the biggest mistake you can make. Ask him about his favorite sport and he will be attracted to you in a shot.

Flatter him

Compliment him – his style, his looks, his walk – and you have his attention. Discuss his car or bike and you have his heart! Be quick to sense his passion and praise him. Use words appreciating his style and boosting his ego and you will attract him.

Soft spoken words are seductive

Learn to use your voice well and pitch your voice low. Husky whispers can send shivers down his spine. Make him feel really special by singling him out from the crowd and speaking just to him. The fact that you are nearly whispering will get him curious and attracted to you.

A simple hello

Sometimes just a simple hello said at the right time with an accompanying sexy smile will draw his attention to you. Don’t be afraid of being the first one to say hello. Your open and friendly gesture will cause him to automatically respond. Go ahead and try it.

Make your “look” match your “tone”

There is no use making your tone sexy and alluring when you speak if you don’t look as appealing and attractive. The combination of a beautiful and well groomed woman who speaks so seductively will make him sit up and really take notice!

Methods For Advanced Fine Woodworkers

The joinery methods listed below, are some of the most challenging types in fine woodworking, and are not suited for the beginner. These advanced joinery methods include:

Mortise And Tenon Joints

Used extensively by experienced woodworkers, for joining furniture parts. Also used in timber framing. The mortise is a square hole, made by drilling holes in the wood – the hole is finished (made square or rectangular) by use of wood chisels. The tenon part of the joint is the square “peg”, also fashioned by use of wood chisels. An example of this joinery method; a coffee table with mortises set into the table top, would have one (or both) ends of the legs and cross braces fashioned into tenons, allowing the legs and braces to slide into the square hole sockets.

Dovetail Joinery

Also used by advanced woodworkers. Dovetail joints are used for making corners in expensive items, like decorative boxes and chests, and drawers in fine furniture, to name a few. Also, dovetails and “HALF DOVETAIL” joints can be found in some log dwelling construction. Dovetail joints are some of the most beautiful types of joints known to the craft of fine woodworking they’re also one of the strongest.

Dowel Joinery

Calls for the use of wooden ‘pegs’, used as a ‘male and female’ type of joinery. The pegs or ‘dowels’ are usually a few inches long – a hole is drilled in the end of one of the boards to be joined, the dowel is inserted into the hole to fit snugly, and usually glued into place. A hole is then marked and drilled into the other piece of wood, glued, and the two pieces of wood are fit together. Furniture built with dowel joinery has good, initial strength and integrity, but doweled sections tend to come loosened over time.

“Biscuit” Joinery

Works sort of like dowel joinery, but uses “biscuits” instead of dowels. These biscuits are actually small, oval pieces of wood, and the method requires the use of a special power tool, called a “biscuit joiner”. This is a relatively new joinery technique, and is becoming a favorite among fine woodworkers who do a lot of joinery. Biscuit joinery has the advantage of being a quick and relatively inexpensive form of joinery. It’s faster than constructing most of the “traditional” joints, like those listed above. The only substantial expense is the initial investment of buying the biscuit joiner tool – the rest of the system only requires the purchase of the “biscuits”, usually sold in boxes of 500 pieces or so, and the yellow wood glue. The glue and the biscuits cost less than $20 – the biscuit joiner runs in the $200 to $250 range.

Everybody’s Talking About the Stack and Tilt Golf Swing But is it Right For You?

There are three things that every golfer strives to do from the complete novice right through to Tiger Woods and that is to drive the ball longer, straighter and more consistently. Most of us are plagued by ugly shots from time to time but what if you could eliminate those fat and thin shots for good? Well there’s a revolution going on and it’s call Stack and Tilt and it just might be the answer to your prayers.

Have you even heard of stack and tilt? You probably have but as you have found this article you’re probably not completely clued up as to what it’s all about. If you haven’t heard of it it’s basically a new type of golf swing which is having a remarkable effect on quite a few tour professionals- Mike Weir, Aaron Baddeley and Charlie Wi, to name a few but so farover 20 professionals have adopted a Stack and Tilt golf swing.

The History of Stack and Tilt? Andy Plummer and Mike Bennett are known as the ‘Golf Whisperers’ because of the number of players they have helped to become winners on the tour. It is these guys who, after 20 years of research, have developed this amazing new swing which completely contradicts the basics being taught about ‘the swing’ today.

The Difference Between The Stack and Tilt Swing and a Traditional Swing Normally when a golfer learns to swing a club he or she is taught to transfer their weight on to their back foot. The problem with this is that what sometimes tends to happen is that the swing bottoms out behind the ball. This then leads to some those terrible shots that make the golf so frustrating. What’s different about the Stack and Tilt swing, however, is that the weight moves forward so the swing bottoms out in front of the ball. This results in a pure, smooth contact that feels totally effortless and not a horrible contact that reverberates up your club into your hands!

The execution of the swing is extremely simple and the benefit is that very quickly you will see that your ball will go further straighter and more consistently than with any other golf swing – it’s really pretty remarkable!

Using Rocks As CO2 Sponges

Researchers studying peridotite rock in the Middle Eastern country of Oman say the material could be an amazing absorber of carbon dioxide.

Peridotite is found in abundance in the Earth's mantle, about 12 miles down and under the Earth's crust. Large chunks of the rock make their way to the surface as the crust moves and shifts. While the scientists making the discovery studied a large field of peridotite in Oman, the material can be found in various places around the globe, including in the US

The study, which will be published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows that peridotite reacts with CO2 at surprisingly high rates. The reaction forms a solid carbonate like limestone or marble. Researchers involved in the study feel that the process can be sped up to even higher rates with drilling and injection of CO2 into the rock.

"This method would afford a low-cost, safe and permanent method to capture and store atmospheric CO2," said geologist Peter Kelemen, lead author of the study. Keleman estimates that the Omani peridotite field, which is about the size of Massachusetts, is naturally absorbing between 10,000 and 100,000 tons of CO2 every year.

Although scientists have long known that peridotite will react with CO2, plans to transport it to power plants where it could be exposed to smokestack gasses proved unwieldy or too expensive. But the extremely high reaction rates occurring naturally means that CO2 could instead be shipped to peridotite sites to be absorbed, and at a much lower cost.

By simply boring into the surface of exposed peridotite and pumping in heated water that is saturated with pressurized CO2, researchers are confident the reaction process can be increased 100,000 times or more. Through this process, scientists predict that the Omani peridotite field alone can absorb about 4 billion tons of CO2 annually, which equates to about 13 percent of the total amount humans send into the atmosphere.

One possible drawback – the cracking and expansion of peridotite deep under the Earth's surface from pressurized CO2 and from the formation of new carbonates could result in micro-earthquakes. But Kelemen said they would be nearly imperceptible.

Dual Arc Bulbs

Growing plants inside requires more than just your ordinary source of light. You need the type of light bulb that produces consistent light, heat and durability. One of the best, most efficient type of light sources that can perform the job is the dual arc bulbs.

Dual arc builds contain the full photosynthesis spectrum that allows plants to absorb all the light needed to help nourish them while they grow. Having the full spectrum of light available is vital for plants to grow properly. Along with adding water and vital nutrients, thanks to the presence of high output MH and HPS burner cores in one lamp body, dual arc bulbs are a vital part of the indoor garden.

What follows are example of dual arc bulbs that provide a powerful amount of the right type of light for your plants.

EYE Hortilux Super Blue 1000 Watt Bulb: You will get an amazing amount of light from this highly powerful bulb that is perfect to help your plants grow, especially if you have a large number of plants that need a constant source of light. The Super HPS and the spectrum of the Hortilux-Blue are perfectly balanced all inside a single bulb. Essentially, your plants will develop faster and will bloom more readily as well. The HPS system is environmentally friendly which means you can safely dispose of it after it has burned out.

Ultra Sun 1000 Watt Arc LU1000MH/DA 110,000: This Lumens ET-25 has an impressive 600 watt HPS and a 400 Watt MH arc tube that you can find all in one bulb. The effect is that this bulb can achieve 3000oK color temperature. This means that this bulb can promote full, flowering growth from your plants. Operating at a standard 1000 Watts, the HPS electronic or magnetic ballast, this particular light is perfect for your indoor garden and depending on the retail store, even comes with a one year warranty.

Ushio Hilux Gro AMX: This 1000 Watt dual core will provide the full spectrum of light for the complete photosynthesis effect. When you consider the high output HPS and MH burner cores are present in a single bulb. This grow light is moderately priced and very effective in allowing plants to reach their full potential.

The hybrid effect created by the combination of metal halide and the high pressure sodium into one tube means that you get the best type of grow lights that are available. What’s even more interesting is that this combination recreates the natural color of sunlight as well, so that the subtle shades, colors and tints of real sunlight are captured within this type of bulb more effectively than with any other known type.

Another advantage is that the straightforward nature of the dual arc bulb means that you can use it to grow plants in your indoor garden as well as flowers. This makes sense when you think about how two seemingly different types of plants still respond the same to natural sunlight.

Dual arc bulbs are easily the best type of artificial light you can use for your indoor plants.

Cello Facts For You

You have decided that learning a musical instrument could be fun. You have heard the cello on a CD and like the sound of it. However before launching ahead to start learning it, you would like to know some facts about it. Here are some cello facts for you.

A Cello is a bowed string instrument. The word cello is derived from the Italian word Violincello. It used to be spelled with an apostrophe ( ‘cello ) to indicate that there were letters missing. However Cello is the accepted name and spelling used today.

A Cello looks like a violin but is much bigger thus having many parts to it. These include a soundbody with two f shaped soundholes, neck, pegbox with the tuning pegs, scroll, bridge,a fingerboard, tailpiece, four strings and a bow. Due to the large size, a cellist sits whilst playing with the main body of the instrument between the knees and the neck of the cello above the left shoulder. Therefore a cello has an endpin to support it on the ground for playing. So just imagine a person ( cellist ) sitting on a chair holding onto their cello, with soundbody between knees and neck above left shoulder. Starting at the bottom you will see an endpin attached to the main soundbody. Attached to the soundbody at the lower end is the tailpiece to which the four strings are attached. The strings are stretched over a supporting bridge to the top of the cello where they are attached to tuning pegs in the pegbox. As you follow the strings from bottom to top, you will see a fingerboard attached over the top end of the soundbody to the carved neck and pegbox. The cellist will hold and use the bow in the left hand.

A cello is typically made of varying types of wood but can be made of carbon fibre or aluminium. The parts are joined with hide glue. The quality and cost of the cello is determined by the type(s) of wood used. The size of a cello can vary to accommodate the varying sizes of people playing from young children to adult. They are all identical in construction.

The strings are made of sheep or goat gut, metal or synthetic material. The open strings are C G D A which is exactly the same as a viola except one octave lower. The cello is tuned to these four open strings. Tuning is done by turning the tuning pegs tighter or looser to match the sound with an external source such as a piano or tuner.

The bow averages around 73cm long and is made of materials such as wood, carbon-fibre, fibre-glass. The bow hair is traditionally horse hair however sometimes synthetic materials of varying colours are used.

Apart from the main cello and bow there are accessories a cellist can have. These include a cello case for instrument protection, rosin applied to the horse hair to aid in sound production, mutes, endpin stops, metronome, tuner, humidifiers and instrument care kit.

A sound on the cello is produced when a cellist presses down on the string (s) with the left hand and moves the bow horizontally across the strings with the right hand somewhere between the bridge and the end of the fingerboard. The pitch of the note is determined by where on the string the finger is pressed on the fingerboard. Sounds get higher as the string gets pressed closer to the bridge because there is less string to vibrate when the bow moves across. The tone and expression of the note is determined by the weight applied to the string, the speed the bow moves across the string and where the bow hair touches the string eg softer, more mellow sounds are produced nearer the fingerboard and brighter, more metallic sounds are produced nearer the bridge. There are other techniques involved to vary the sounds you can produce on the cello which you find out when learning the cello.

These cello facts for you on its name, looks, materials, accessories and sounds are not complete.

Information of Very Rare Blood Diseases

Being diagnosed with one of many very rare blood diseases can be scary and confusing. So much information is put into terms that is difficult to understand, which can leave you feeling lost and alone. But there are web sites that can help you to better understand your condition, and many that offer positive support through the process of treatment and recovery. One such site is mskcc dot org is one such site. Sloan-Kettering was developed to help cancer patients, but also offers valuable information for a variety of very rare blood diseases.

The site describes some rare forms of leukemias that many probably have never heard of. One such disease is Hairy Cell Leukemia, which attacks the cells that help create antibodies to fight infections. Signs of this disease include, abdominal pain, a low blood count, and the possibility of very rare infections, since the immune system is weakened so dramatically. Another rare form of blood cancer the site describes is Myleofibrosis, in which too much scar tissue is formed within the bone marrow. The presence of the tissue causes the red blood cells that pass through to be broken down.

In addition to these very rare blood diseases, information is also offered on eosinophilia, where a high number of eosinophils, which are a form of white blood cells, are present in the blood. Eosinophilia is not particularly a disease, but more a reaction to one. The body creates these extra cells to fight off an allergen, infection, or intrusive parasite, perhaps. When diagnosed with this condition, the underlying cause will be looked into next, to prevent a further complication from the actual disease that may not have shown signs yet.

Another one of the rare blood diseases that was described by Sloan-Kettering was paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinia. This disease starts with the mutation of stem cells in the bone marrow, which then causes red blood cells to break down as they pass through. In addition to this, platelets are not developed at a normal rate. This disease is treated in the same manner as aplastic anemia, but with a more aggressive approach. The disease can also be cured with a bone marrow transplant, which may be risky or appropriate, depending on the age and overall health of the patient.

Other very rare blood diseases include different types of hereditary anemias, idiopathic edema, congenital heart block, hereditary lymph edema, and vitamin B12 deficiency. These are just to name a few on the extensive list that is offered at bloodbook dot com. The site names a wide array of rare diseases and disorders that effect the blood, and gives a link to more information that is available on each disease. This site may be exceptionally helpful to any one who has been diagnosed and is looking for more clear information on a particular disease.

Hydroponics Systems Explained – Part 1 Flood and Drain

There are several diverse hydroponic systems available on the market and it can be challenging to know which one to employ. The core systems that are used are:

• Flood & Drain / Ebb & Flow
• NFT (Nutrient Film Technique)
• Deep Water Culture
• Drip System

This post will supply a summary of each system and describe how it operates and what are the best kinds of fruits and vegetables to grow in it.

We will begin with a popular method and the first on the list – Flood & Drain

Flood & Drain
This technique uses pumps to flood the crops and their roots with water at specific intervals and for a selected quantity of time. This system is totally programmed. Timers are employed to toggle the pumps on and off at assigned times, and the water used in the flood has diluted nutrients within it. This allows the seedlings to get all the food it needs direct at the roots. The frequency of the flood and drain will vary depending on what variety of crop you are producing and the type of substance you are growing in. For example, clay pebbles drain quickly and as a result will require more floods per day, but a different medium like rockwool will take longer to drain and hence require less flooding per day to keep the roots saturated. When the flooding has finished and the pump turns off, the water empties back into the main reservoir.

Crops can be produced using this technique on specific elevated tray platforms or in an individual pot system. Trays are ideal for growing crops that achieve about a metre in height. For crops growing taller then a flood and drain pot system is a good idea.

Tray Platform
Employing a tray platform enables gravity to be used throughout the drain. Right now we are cultivating strawberries in our display tent of flood and drain. The tray platform system is great for these plants as they will not grow too high and conflict with the light. A grow tent is recommended to put this system in because it holds all the clutter of wires and grow mediums and features a highly reflective layer on the interior.

The trays come in various sizes, but we are using a 1m square tray for the strawberries. The tray is positioned on a stand and the water cistern (containing nutrients) is underneath – this results in a neat, tidy kit. You will find two nozzles at the middle of the tray, one which is connected to a pump which sends water out of the reservoir below into the tray, and the second nozzle drains the water away using gravity.

Timers enable you to set the number of times the systems floods and drains on a daily basis – and that is pretty much it. Flood and Drain trays are straightforward pieces of kit to use and put together. As we are using a tent the grow lamp is fastened to one of the rails above the strawberries and currently we are simply waiting to harvest.

Pot System
The pot system is different to the tray as you may have many pots as you want as long as you ensure you have the right size of reservoir. In a pot system the water tank will generally be in the form of a water butt rather than a deep tray. The pots which are used are made up of an internal and external pot. The plant sits in the internal pot within a medium such as rockwool or clay pellets and this is placed in the outer pot. There will be a bit of space in between the inner and external pot to allow water to flood the roots effectively. There are a couple of differences from the tray method.

1. The addition of a brain pot.
2. The use of gravity and water pumps.

Brain Pot and Flood Cycle
This is an independent pot to the central reservoir and it maintains the flow and drain of water, thus the name "brain".

The timer is attached to the brain pot and the primary electricity source. The times you would like the flood to occur are set on timer and this automatically starts the flood and drain periods. Water is either pumped or passes by gravity into the brain pot from the reservoir when a flood period commences. The brain pot is connected to the individual pots by flexible pipe and as water circulates and floods the brain pot, it likewise fills the pots. As soon as the pots are completely flooded a stop flow switch in the brain pot switches the stream of water from the water tank off, hence the pots do not overspill. This enables the roots of the crops to bathe in the nutrient loaded water. Following a time lapse the timer will instruct the brain to start pumping the water from the brain pot back into the reservoir and consequently draining the water from the pots. On top of removing the water from the pots this course of action enables fresh oxygen to be forced into the pots supplying the roots.

These are ingenious systems and appear in a range of sizes ranging from a 4-pot system to a 48-pot system. The systems do not incorporate the lighting fixtures and if you check out my profile you can easily see the publications I have written on the different lighting used in hydroponics.

Helpful hints for using flood and drain
• Keep an eye on your system as pieces of medium can choke the pump device if they get in the water.
• Keep the reservoir filled and provided with a superior nutrient to keep your plants nourished.
• Typically flooding needs only to be performed when the lights are on.
• Be careful and look for root blockage in the flexible pipe connecting the pot to the brain pot. As roots establish this may be a concern.

Bosch Cordless Drill Review – Learn the Truth About the Bosch Drill Now

A Bosch Cordless Drill is definitely something to consider, as Bosch is one of the most known companies in the industry today. Basically, if you've been looking for a drill for any length of time, this is one you've no doubt come across. Is it as good as advertised?

Fortunately, you do not have to buy it and find out for yourself to learn the answer. The much simpler solution is to read online reviews such as the following.

33618 Brute Tough 18

This is one of the most popular Bosch Drills, so its' the one we will look at for this review.


This one specifically is very strong and lasts quite a long time. The gearbox has 2 speeds, and they are made with 1005 meal to ensure they last the longest amount of time. They possess as much as five hundred inch-pounds of torque and a max of thirteen hundred revolutions per minute at their peak.

The engine is eighteen volt, and comes with overload safety to help keep it working well as long as possible. Believe it or not, the company says that this Bosch Cordless Drill is able to stand a fall of as much as one full story.

While this has not been verified, it still shows that it is a high quality drill, and very hard to damage. The chuck is one half inches, and depending on the website or store you purchase it from, it will be sold with 2 batteries, a sixty minute charger and a case to lug it around with.

The chuck does not require the use of a key, meaning you can change bits at a quicker rate,
One of the best things about this Bosch Cordless Drill is that the batteries last two and two fifths amp hours, certainly among the best of its' class. It has a rubber grip to ensure it will not be constantly slipping out of your hands.


The one drawback of this particular model is its' weight; very simply, it is not one of the lighter models around, making carrying it around somewhat of a burdensome task. It's also somewhat difficult to drill with a model this heavy.

On the whole, this is a reliable and powerful drill both for the home and the job site. This Bosch Cordless Drill is a great machine and one I would recommend.

How to Finish Wood – Varnish Or Seal?

Being involved in DIY workshops I am often asked about the difference between whether to varnish or seal a finished project. Both are excellent finishing techniques – when applied in the right circumstances.

Did you know that the internal structure of wood contains thousands of microscopic cells or tubes that run up and down the grain of the timber. These tubes carry nutrients that are essential for tree growth and, once cut and dried, they continue to expand and contract under conditions of high moisture and humidity.

Even after a synthetic finish has been applied to the surface of wood, the wood continues to expand and contract depending upon the external ambient conditions in which it is placed. It is not a process that you are going to notice but there are some obvious indicators that this is happening. In very wet weather you may find that a exterior door, garage door, or even a timber gate, will swell and stick, or you may struggle to open a timber window. This is due to the fact that the wood has swollen (expanded) as a result of excess moisture being absorbed into the wood. The swollen wood will eventually dry out and revert back to its original shape, although sometimes a bit of sanding down may be required.

Taking the above into consideration, when deciding what finish to apply to your wood projects it helps to know a few facts beforehand.

What is varnish?

Varnish is a blend of resins and oils that are applied to the surface of wood to provide a protective layer against damage. Varnish is available in various formulations from gloss and semi-gloss to a matt finish. The most common varnish used today is polyurethane varnish.

Varnish does not penetrate into the wood, rather the first coat of varnish blocks the surface of wood to offer protection from ambient moisture. However, due to the constant expansion and contraction of timber, over time the varnish layer may crack and perish allowing moisture to gain access to the wood and further exacerbating the problem.

What is sealer?

Sealer is combination of resins and oils, but with a lower viscosity than varnish, which means that sealer actually penetrates into the wood itself to nourish and protect from within – rather than on top. It is essential to apply three coats of sealer to wood surfaces, as the first coat penetrates into the wood, the second coat bonds with the first layer to form a seal, and the third and final coat provides a surface that is heat, scratch and water resistant.

Sealer can be applied to almost any timber surface – interior or exterior – and there are various types of varnish specifically designed for interior or exterior conditions. UV stabilisers are added to exterior sealers to protect against sunlight and some even contain mould and fungus inhibitors. Before applying any sealer to your exterior timber be sure to check the label that the sealer meets with all your local climate conditions.

Now we know the difference between varnish and sealer it makes a little bit more sense as to the finish we should apply to a particular project. Sealers are perfect for any surface whilst varnish is better for indoor surfaces where there is little chance of high humidity or moisture. For example in a bathroom, laundry or kitchen.

Here are some tips for when using varnish or sealer:

  1. Do not wipe the paintbrush on the inside of the tin as this adds air bubbles and can spoil the finish of your project
  2. Apply sealer or varnish with the grain of the wood and work away from an edge for a much smoother finish
  3. Never apply too much or too little. If you have never done this before practise on a scrap piece of wood to get the hang of it before you start on your project
  4. Should dirt (or bugs) spoil the surface whilst it is still wet – leave it there. You will only spoil the finish. Wait until the coat is dry and use fine steel wool or 240-grit sandpaper to lightly sand away the blemish
  5. Always wait for the first coat to dry completely before applying the second coat. A tacky first coat will spoil and you will have to sand everything down and start again
  6. For a high gloss finish lightly sand between coats, excluding the final coat

And there you have it. If you follow the guidelines above you will have a perfectly finished project that can take pride of place in your home.

What Are The Symptoms Of Cold Sores?

Cold sores are certainly nothing unusual, eight out of ten people show signs of the virus Herpes Simplex, which is the cause of cold sores. The World Health Organization has estimated that 89% of the world’s population are potentially affected, with between 20% and 40% of those going on to develop the symptoms associated with cold sores.

Herpes Simplex symptoms usually develop between 2 and 20 days following contact with the virus, although sometimes it can take longer. There are cases, particularly in women, where the newly infected person may remain asymptomatic (i.e. the condition is present but there are no symptoms) – however that person could still be a carrier of the virus and could potentially infect others. The Herpes Simplex virus is very contagious, especially soon after contraction and the initial symptoms are just starting to show themselves.

Cold sores first appear on the lips and are painful blisters filled with fluid. Soon after, they break, the fluid seeps out and the cold sore then crusts over before the healing process begins. One of the first signs that a cold sore is going to materialize is an itchy or tingling sensation known as the ‘prodrome’.

Apart from cold sores, there are several other symptoms of the Herpes Simples Virus which include cuts and abrasions that heal without leaving a scar. To that we can add areas of blisters in clusters around the body and some skin irritations. However, since these symptoms only occur once, the good news is that the same suffering won’t have to be endured whenever the cold sores re-appear.

On the other hand outbreaks of flu-like symptoms may also occur, although not usually more than four or five times a year. Unfortunately it is normal for the cold sore virus itself to recur. It can be triggered by periods of stress, illness and too much exposure to sunlight or sun beds so it is important to be aware of this.

In general though cold sores rarely last more than two weeks. However, during this time it is vital that certain ground rules are observed. Since they are very contagious, and often passed on from parent to child by kissing, the best advice is to refrain from kissing when cold sores first appear.

Importantly, take great care not to infect the eyes with the cold sore virus. The eyes must never be rubbed after the cold sore has been touched. There have been extreme cases where rubbing the eyes has led to blindness. Therefore it is also vital to keep the hands spotlessly clean and sanitary. An opportunity to wash the hands shouldn’t be missed. Rubbing alcohol is far more effective than just soap and water. Not only will this avoid the risk of infection to others but it will also stop the cold sore further infecting other parts of the body.

Finally, however much the temptation, it is vital, even with clean hands, to avoid scratching the infected area. One proven method of alleviating any itching, is to take some cloth, put ice inside it, and very gently try placing it on the sore.

Children’s Board Games – Are They Boring?

Children today seem obsessed with technology and while I love gadgets and technology myself, with all the advantages that it can bring. I feel we have lost something when our children only play on computer games.

My 3 children each have a ds lite and I frequently see them all sitting on their own, playing on their individual games consoles. You see I am as much to blame as everyone else. When I was growing up, and yes that does make me sound old, I remember very little of my childhood which was not related to games, sitting around at Christmas for example with my family playing cards, trivial pursuits, monopoly etc. I believe playing games is the way for children to learn, they develop life skills by participating and interacting with others.

Turn-taking children’s games are not only fun to play, they’re educational on so many levels, including social and economical.

Kids learn about waiting to take a turn, winning and losing, along with co-operation and economics (with monopoly in mind and handling money), the whole time while they have fun. Games come in and out of fashion, and new games appear, whilst the classics get revamped year after year with new themes and are always popular.

Children’s games are made to stretch the child’s mind and even the parents sometimes, without frustrating the child and turning him or her off the game, thus making learning enjoyable. Most kids games are also quite fun to play with mum or dad, with family games being designed to be entertaining for both children and adults alike.

If you are looking for something to bring a family together, then you can’t go far wrong with any sort of board game. Whilst playing it a family can often get lost inside the game for hours on end.

If you are stuck for what to buy a child as a present then you could do worse than buy a board game. I believe it is one of the best presents you can give, because they bring friends and family together and can provide more hours of fun than any book, DVD, or cd you can find. A board game is a team-building exercise (or team pulling apart exercise if you have been sat around our table on many a heated night) you cannot ignore. It is a way of exercising your mind and social skills are built.

If you sit and examine the rules and the layout of most games, they all have a common feature, you will see they reflect on everyday life. Whether we are playing snap with a game of cards which is teaching us turn taking for example, exercising the mind to keep it alert and helping with learning difficulties, matching numbers and pictures, or trivial pursuits with team building, knowledge learning and strategy development.

Quality educational games are so engaging for most people to play with; children rarely even know they are learning valuable skills, which makes this a fantastic way for them to learn, as information and skills learnt like this, in my opinion, stick in the mind much better than when rules and education is forced.

Today, children’s games are well thought out, they are fun and compete well with the lure of the solitary video game, if only we give them the chance.

Great Sunroom Decorating Ideas

Once you have your sunroom completed, then the hard part of the job starts the decorating. You may have some sunroom decorating ideas in mind but once you start looking in magazines for sample colors and types of furniture, you will realize that the decisions are not as easy as you first thought. If you do not put a lot of thought into your decorating you may not be able to achieve the exact effect you want the sunroom to have.

If the sunroom is straight across the back or the front of the house, then you can make it look like a patio in the way you choose the decorations. A sunroom with an interior done in wood is well suited to rattan furniture or even wicker so that it gives the room an outdoorsy look. You can choose vintage cushions and pillows to give your sunroom a rustic or country feel. Showpieces placed on shelves, plants in standing and hanging planters and colourful mats on the floor will all add to the ambiance of the sunroom being a place where you can relax.

There is a range of designs in wall coverings that will really enhance the sunroom as well. You can have the interior done totally in wood with pine walls and ceilings or you can have drywall that you paint in bright colors. Wallpaper in floral or other designs will give a nice cozy feel to the room. You may like the paintable wallpaper which shows out a design through the color you choose or one that has mosaics or tiles on the wall.

The way in which you decorate the sunroom also depends on the way in which you intend to use the room. You may want to have small tables and chairs where you can sit and enjoy your coffee in the morning with the newspaper or it may be a place where you want to have comfortable soft chairs for entertaining guests. It may even be a place where you want to work out and so you will need a place for your exercise equipment.

Soft light colors in the sunroom will give it a relaxed atmosphere. Large windows to let the sun in should also have appropriate window coverings so that the UV rays will not cause your furniture or pillow coverings to fade. These lighter colors will give the room the appearance of being larger than it actually is. Coordinate the colors of the blinds and the cushions with that of the walls and the floor mats. If the sunroom is attached to the house, you should also think about coordinating the decor with that of the rest of your house so that all the rooms seem to have the same background.

Whether you have a small or large sunroom, you need to place the furniture so that there is plenty of room to move about. If the door to your home is in the middle of the room arrange the furniture at both ends so that you will not block the access to this door. Make sure that when you are seated you will not have to stand to let someone else in or out.

Insulation Contractor – Top Reasons to Hire One

When owning a home, you want to be able to feel comfortable inside. That's why it's a good idea to hire an insulation contractor.

Whether your home is brand-new or decades old, you want to have it properly insulated. An insulation contractor can come out to your home and make sure everything is installed as it should be. Explore a number of other reasons why hiring an expert like this is a great idea.

Save Money on Cooling

During the summer months, you want to feel good in your environment. That means you want to be free from heat so that means your air-conditioner should work properly. However, even if you have a great air-conditioning system, still want to make sure that the home is protected from heat in the correct manner. You should consider having a good insulation contractor come out to your home. This person is skilled in installing the right material as well as making sure that your home stays cool during the hot, summer months. Best of all, you'll be able to save more money since you will not have to worry about the good air-conditioning escaping from the inside of your home. That's what's so great about having a specialist come out and make sure everything is working in the best possible manner.

Save Money on Heating

In addition to the summer months, it's also a good idea to keep your house as warm as possible in the winter. This means it's essential that you do not let heat escape through the cracks in the windows or drafty doors. An insulation contractor can assess your home and install the proper material to make sure that your home stays as warm and cozy as possible, especially during the winter. Some people will go throughout the fall and winter months without worrying about any type of special treatment or material to make sure their home is as energy efficient as possible. Yet, you can keep a lot more money in your pocket if your home is not letting heat get out unnecessarily.

Reduce Allergies

If you're someone who is extremely sensitive to dust and other air particles, it's a good idea to contact an insulation contractor to come out to your home. That's because this person can assess the situation, and let you know if you need to have fresh material installed. This way, you can minimize all the extra particles and dust that can really annoy you each day. This is especially helpful for people who struggle with allergy season and also those who may have asthma.

Have Peace of Mind

Although some people feel like they're really handy around the house, you do not want to deal with applying any type of insulation on your own. That's because this material is very itchy and can be very irritating to the skin. If you have an insulation contractor come out, you'll feel good knowing that your home is being taken care of by an expert and you do not have to worry about being uncomfortable during the winter as well as minimizing dust in your home.