Managing Sinus Infections

Infections and allergies may affect the condition of sinuses. Sinuses are usually cavities within the skull. The cavities are situated above the eyes and they connect the nasal cavities. The surfaces of sinuses are characterized by the presence of cilia. The microscopic hairs serve the purpose of cleaning the cavities. In addition, the cilia facilitate the movement of mucus within this space.

When the health and conditions of the sinuses is compromised by the presence of disease causing pathogens, the result may be devastating. Infections and irritations of the lining may lead to poor drainage of these cavities and hence mucus clogs the sinuses. As a result of this, the sinuses swell.

The swelling of the sinuses is caused by different agents. For some, it may be an allergic reaction. For others it may be caused by bacteria or viruses. Irritants are also causes of inflammation of sinuses. The causative agent may determine whether sinusitis is acute or chronic.

Sinusitis affects the different sinus cavities in different ways. The types of cavities include the frontal sinus, the ethmoid sinus, sphenoid and maxillary sinuses. Each of these sinus cavities occur in pairs which are located on the sides of the nose. Infections to these sinuses are different and their symptoms may vary from one infection to another.

The ethmoid sinuses are situated between the sockets of the eye above the nose. Infections to these sinuses result to them inflammation of the lining as well as the blockage of the drainage ducts known as ostia. The resultant ethmoid sinusitis causes mucus build-up and further infections. Congestion of the nasal channels and discharges are some of the symptoms. Other people experience pain in the corners of the eye or there may be pain within the nose.

Frontal sinusitis is also another acute form of sinusitis. The lining of this cavity is usually inflamed. It may lead to much worse conditions if it is not addressed in good time. For example, it may lead to deficiency in immunity since the frontal sinus activities are impaired. Patients may experience nasal congestion, facial pains and even frontal headaches. Sever coughs are also some of the common symptoms of frontal sinusitis.

The sphenoid sinuses are located at the back of the nose. This is specifically at the brain's base. Sphenoid sinusitis may lead to severe and persistent headaches. Individuals suffering from sphenoid sinusitis usually experience problems when they stand for long periods of time or when they stoop.

Maxillary sinusitis occurs when drainage of the maxillary sinuses does not occur properly. It is generally recommended that the problem should be handled in its initial stages before it advances to more complicated stages. It is worth noting that the maxillary sinuses are situated on either sides of the nose just above the teeth and beneath the cheeks. When blockages of drainage channels of this cavity occur, it may lead to severe pains such as toothaches.

These sinus infections can be prevented by avoiding contact with people who have common colds. It is also recommended that individuals get flu vaccinations that would help minimize the risk of infections. Individuals are also encouraged to observe healthy diets rich in vitamins.

AMSOIL Extended Drain Intervals

Most people get their oil changed every few months, or at the worst case, every six months. Some people decide to let it go even further, which can be well over a year. Even though your car has survived during this elongated period of waiting to change your oil, chances are you have done significant damage to your engine with sludge, unless you are using the most modern forms of synthetic oils. AMSOIL puts out many different types of synthetic oils for any application imaginable that will help your car to last longer between oil changes, and this type of oil will stay clean and work properly during the entire down time between changes.

It is proven that synthetic oil is the best type of oil you could possibly use for your car or truck, no matter how many miles you have or how big your performance is. The reason behind this basically revolves around the fact that this oil stays clean and very fluid for extended periods of time. This not only allows you to extend the time between drain intervals, but also instills faith that the oil in your car will never turn into sludge. Engine sludge can slowly break down a motor over time and eventually completely ruin it. If you are going to get your oil changed, be sure to ask for synthetic only, you will not regret it.

AMSOIL has synthetic fluid for your transmission, your clutch, your brake fluid, and everything else you can imagine that needs fluid. For each of these applications, you’re expected to drain and replace the fluid in these components every so often. Most people never change these fluids at the recommended time, which can be okay, or it can be very bad for your car. AMSOIL has a line of synthetic fluids for any application in your car, which can make it okay to go extended periods of time between drain intervals. If you are not using a synthetic fluid, the components of your drivetrain are at a significant risk.

People are typically too busy to have to worry about maintaining their car all the time. This is one of the reasons AMSOIL has developed lubricants and oils that last a very long time. It will help to keep your engine running strong, and will also cut down on the amount of times you have to change out your oil, or transmission fluid, or anything else that requires draining.

The Best Cordless Drills – What To Do First To Decide

The best cordless drills have come a long way from being reserved for high-end users and heavy-duty projects. These days, you can find some of the best rated cordless drills in almost any home – from the construction contractor who uses many of the best cordless drills at the work-site to the DIY Enthusiast who uses their power drill on home improvement projects, there are even artisans who use drills to create some of the most beautiful artwork and jewelry you will ever see.

The drill can be used for so many different things, it can be difficult to decide not only which of the best cordless drills to choose but how to make sure you are getting the best deals on the cordless drills you choose.

But, before you dive in and decide to buy a drill, or even before you begin doing your research on which drill might be a good fit for you – you should take time to think about what you want.

The best way to narrow down the type of drill you should get is to figure out how you intend to use your drill. This will give you a great starting place where you will be able to see which best cordless drills are for YOUR needs – then you can focus on finding the best rated cordless drill by reading reviews and studying where to get the best deals.

Are You "The Hobbyist", " The Artisan", or "The Designer"?

Do you consider yourself an artist? Do you like making things for personal enjoyment, as gifts, or to sell? The best rated cordless drills used by hobbyists and artists usually are not the big industrial kind. These drills are often smaller voltage drills, with smaller sized bits and chucks which allow finer adjustments and slower motor speeds.

From drilling fine holes in models to twirling copper wire for set of earrings, there are drills for you. You might want to look into smaller, portable drills to accommodate your designs. Using smaller cordless drills will also allow you to get in at angles without being obstructed by cables. The adjustable motor speed will also allow you to use the drill without damaging the area around your target.

Are You "The DIY Enthusiast"?

Recent years have shown a tremendously growing popularity in the number of people who are remodeling their homes on their own, without hiring a professional. This saves significant money, while allowing you to get things done the way you want them. From building a crib for an expected baby, to installing shelves for your home library, to fixing up your new house to save money – you will need a drill for all of these projects (and more). The way to go in this case would be with one of the best rated cordless drills. After all, your home projects are going to call for a variety of settings, speeds, and bit sizes, so the best drill for you would be the one that covers all of your bases, and still allows the flexibility that most of the best cordless drills provide.

Are You "The Professional / Contractor" ?

Not everyone is a do-it-yourself person, and would rather rely on someone who knows a bit about construction than taking on a project themselves and potentially making it worse. For those of you in the construction business, you need a durable drill that's going to get the job done right the first time. Luckily, you have a number of options for power drills – from the straight-forward, plug it into a socket and go drills, to rechargeable 18V power drills with adjustable heads for getting at the more awkward angles on the job. In fact, you may notice in reviews and spec sheets that what used to be considered a "luxury" in a power drill is now a standard feature in drills on the market these days.

Now that you have a good handle on what you are going to use your drill for, you can begin to narrow down brands and availability. That sounds like a lot of reading and bookmarking different sites. Certainly one company is only going to tell you about their drills, and not really offer you decent comparison to other brands that may perform better.

Tip: To save time and money, you want to look for a place which has professional, commercial, and personal user reviews, along with ratings of the best cordless drills on the market today.

As you can see, there are many different classifications of drills and the type of user – from the DIY Enthusiast who needs the best 18V cordless drill to the Hobbyist who might want a smaller, more "all-purpose drill" to have around the house "just in case." Which is why you should make sure to consider who you are and how you will use the drill before you get "carried away" by brand or price. It simply does no good to purchase a drill which seems like a good deal and is inexpensive to find out later that it does not do what you need it to do.

On the other hand, you want to make sure when researching the many drills available to find one that has all the features you need, but also stays within your budget. Refer to the Tip above – try to find a place on the internet which will save you time and help you gain the information you seek on the best cordless drills you would consider to be a good fit for who you are along with the projects you will use it for, balanced within your budget.

Trades In Construction – Carpentry And Joinery

Carpentry and joinery is concerned with timber works. The difference between the two is:

· Carpentry is concerned with rough timber works, usually en masse and not in much detail. It is concerned with construction works like formwork construction, roof framing, timber scaffolding, et cetera. These are usually site works and can be either temporary or permanent. Most of the procedures here are cutting, splitting and joining.

· Joinery, on the other hand, is concerned with workshop-type of timber works, usually dealing with processed timber and mainly for cabinetry or such works. Most of the timber here is sawn and treated and the works are almost always permanent in nature. Machining of timber is common here, especially to achieve shapes and joints.

Whether carpentry or joinery, the following tasks are common in this trade.

· Cutting: This involves the reduction of size of timber to a consumable size. It is usually the practice to buy timber in bulk and then split it to give smaller pieces as required. Timber is usually measured in body-foot, with one body foot comprising of one inch height by one inch breadth by one foot length. Timber specification is also done in the same manner, for example, “2 x 2 Long 6”. Depending on the quantity and quality required, this cutting can either be done by power chain saws, table mounted power saws or even hand saws. The cutting of other shapes, for example round shapes, is done using workshop machines like the crosscutter.

· Joining: most timber joints are done using hand tools, although mass production uses machines for the same. Common timber joints include mitre, butt and dowel. Gluing is usually done where extra strength is required. Hoop iron is also used like in the case of butt joints. Bolting and nailing is also common in overlapping joints as well as composite joints like timber to metal.

· Finishing: There are various ways of finishing timber, the most common being planning. This is done using planes, whether hand planes like the jack plane or using workshop machines for mass production. Staining and polishing is also common, mainly to bring out the grains as well tone timber to resemble a particular type. Painting is also a common form of timber finish.

It is important to note at this point that carpentry and joinery is concerned with the following variants of materials.

· Softwood: This refers to timber got from exotic trees. These are usually ‘weaker’, owing to the fact that the trees from where they were cut are usually quick maturing and therefore not compact enough. Softwoods are easily attacked by pests and elements of weather and are therefore not recommended for exposed and long-term works.

· Hardwoods: This is the timber that is got from deciduous type of trees. They are usually very strong and robust. They also offer a good aesthetic finish and are therefore common in furniture and stained panels. Trees offering this timber include mahogany, meru oak and camphor.

· Manufactures timber: The most common products here are boards like hardboard, plywood and MDF. They are factory manufactured and therefore meant for specific purposes, owing to their quality at manufacture.

Are Mouth Blisters Contagious?

Mouth blisters are more than likely actually canker sores, and canker sores are not contagious, just painful. If however, your blister is actually on your lips and not in your mouth, you may have a cold sore on your mouth, which is very contagious. The cause of cold sores is the herpes simplex 1 virus, and all the herpes viruses are highly contagious.

You can generally tell which type of herpes you have been infected with by the position of the sores on your body. Simplex 1 primarily affects the body above your belt line, while simplex 2 affects the nether region. This is not a tried and true way of determining, because both types have been found in opposite areas than they are normally found in. These are rare occurrences though, and you are pretty safe in assuming that cold sores on your lips are the result of HSV1.When herpes simplex one sees the opportunity to emerge from dormancy it shows what it is made of by planting cold sores on the lip of its host body.

These sores are painful, they are annoying, and frequently people are embarrassed by their presence. There is no reason for embarrassment, you did nothing deliberately that created this problem for you. As a matter of fact your first exposure to herpes was more than likely before the age of seven. That is when the majority of us contract primary herpes stomatitis, and we are from then on plagued by cold sores or fever blisters when we are under un-do stress.

The mouth blisters that are called canker sores are not in any way related to any of the types of herpes. As a matter of fact, you probably have canker sores because you inherited the tendency from one of your parents. They are also brought on by environmental influences like a weakened immune system, but they are primarily an inherited condition.

So you know you can not get rid of the herpes virus once you have caught it, but did you know that you can lessen your chances of having an outbreak? If you think back to the majority of the times you were plagued by one of these awful blisters, then you will recall something going on in your life at the time that had you stressed out.

Maybe it was an emotionally charged event like a break up, or it could possibly have been an illness, or was it sunburn, or did you drink too much alcohol, and leave your body weakened, and dehydrated? Anything that causes you to be fatigued, run down, or ill, can cause an outbreak of cold sores. Remember the sore is a symptom of the disease, and the disease can not emerge unless your immune system is otherwise engaged, or you need to provide it with some recharge time.

The human body requires rest to recharge, much like our batteries in our cell phones do. When you run your system down you leave yourself open to viruses, and other invasions.

Junior Versions of Board Games

There are a great number of board games which are popular with people of all ages. They can be played by people with a decent reading level all the way through the rest of their lives. These games have been around for many decades and that is because they have a universal appeal. However, there is one age range that most of these games are not suited for. This age is the group of children, generally ages 5-8, those who know how to read but do not have a very high reading comprehension yet. These kids can be rather sharp, yet some games are still above them. That doesn’t mean that they should be denied from enjoying these games, though.

This is why many of these games have come out with Junior editions. These take the premise of the game, but gear it more toward children. It puts the entire game into terms that these kids can not only understand, but enjoy better. After all, most children will not understand the appeal of snatching up real estate property and charging rent to other players, as one would try to do in Monopoly. By the same token, solving a bloody murder mystery, as one would do in Clue, is probably not the most appropriate game for a small child to be playing.

Both of these games have faced these issues head on, though, and produced editions which are much more friendly to children of this younger age. Monopoly Jr. is geared for those children in the 5-8 range. Instead of being set in Atlantic City, as traditional Monopoly, this game takes place during a day at the Boardwalk attractions, much like Coney Island. Each player starts with a colored car mover and a certain number of ticket booths, along with a small amount of “Allowance.”

Players race around the board, landing on certain attractions such as the Roller Coaster or Bumper Cars. If the space is unoccupied, they can purchase the ticket booth from the bank and begin collecting admissions from other players who land on that space. Every time that a player passes “Go,” they will collect an additional $2 allowance. In the end, the last player with money available to them is the winner of the game. This game is great for children because it keeps the spirit of Monopoly, but puts the game into more friendly terms which the children can understand.

Clue Jr. on the other hand does away with the ghastly nature of a murder and seeks to help a group of children solve a mystery. A few different editions of this game exist, allowing children to solve a number of different mysteries in different locations. One case allows the players to discover who ate the last piece of chocolate cake, while another version seeks to discover who hid the toys and where they put them. This more friendly version is a great way to teach children the power of deduction without exposing them to anything as violent as murder. Either of these games are a perfect opportunity for younger children to discover all the delight of the favorite games of the adults.

Prairie Style Architecture – DeKalb, Illinois

I have already discussed DeKalb, Illinois’ most obvious example of Prairie style architecture, the oft-mistaken for a Frank Lloyd Wright work A.O. Anderson House. While prominent it isn’t the only example of the style in the city. In fact, there are other examples of the style by architects much more well-known than John S. Van Bergen. Augusta Avenue is a good place to start, within a block of the Anderson House are two examples of architecture by a key Prairie architect.

1908 – Dr. F.N. Rowan House

At 250 Augusta Avenue is the Dr. F.N. Rowan House, a Tudor Revival influenced structure designed by Oak Park, Illinois architect E.E. Roberts, though it is clearly not full-blown Tudor Revival. The curvilinear dormer seen here was a trademark of his Prairie style work. In fact, if you look, you can see other Prairie influences on the house, the broad, flat roof of the large porch, the porch itself, the overhanging eaves, all elements of Prairie style. Hipped roof are not a requirement. The half timbering, though, screams Tudor Revival. Roberts was an important architect who designed hundreds of homes in Oak Park alone. While Roberts is considered a Prairie architect, he never had any working association with his nearby rival Frank Lloyd Wright and always kept to his own vision of Prairie style architecture. The Rowan House was built in 1908.

1904 – Etna J. Wiswall House

Across the street from the Rowan House, but still facing Augusta, is the E.J. Wiswall House. The Wiswall House is another example of Roberts’ work in DeKalb, this one showing more of a Prairie tilt. While Roberts’ credit for the home isn’t a 100 percent certainty it very closely resembles a Roberts designed home in Oak Park and he is generally credited with having won the Wiswall commission. The house is clad entirely in stucco, features a large, pillar-supported porch, and hipped roofs with broad overhanging eaves; all hallmarks of Prairie style architecture. The house is believed to have been constructed in 1904.

Seemelessly blended with nature, the front door just isn’t where you’d think it should be. C. 1895 Rankin House.

Of the early Prairie style works in DeKalb the Rankin House at 200 W. Locust Street was, perhaps, done by the most pre-eminent architect of the group. The stucco clad, two-story Rankin House may well indeed be the work of architect George W. Maher. Maher was a noted Chicago Prairie style architect whose John C. Farson House (better known as Pleasant Home) in Oak Park has been declared a National Historic Landmark. The Rankin House has a front door that just isn’t where you would expect it. The home was built c. 1895.

The door is along the east side, along with a large chimney.

It’s unknown whether the house was designed by Maher for sure, there are other candidates for its design, it is very similar, along with another DeKalb house at 594 W. Lincoln Hwy, to other Maher commissions.

The layout of the chimney and portico is reminiscent of John S. Van Bergen’s work. 1924 – 115 N. First St..

Another DeKalb Prairie style house is found at 115 N. First Street. This is another example of a home without a known architect, more research is needed. The tall rectangular chimney located on the front of the north facade, near the portico (wiki), is found in the same layout in a 1910 John S. Van Bergen designed apartment complex in Oak Park. Possible evidence of his hand? Hard to say.

The main entrance is located along the north facade, not the front (east facade).

The house is a nice Prairie example, broad, overhanging hip roofs, a large, pillar supported front porch, and a main entrance moved to side in lieu of a lot of glass, allowing the natural light to pour into the structure. The building also appears to hug the ground, an appearance that is enhanced by the building being set into a hillside.

Both sides feature porticos and the home has a Prairie-style horizontal emphasis.

Both the north and south facades feature porticos, and the north facade’s (seen two images above) layout reinforces the horizontal emphasis of the home. The Prairie style house on First Street, with the green tile roof, dates from about 1924.

You can get more detail about all of these houses in the articles linked below. The Wikipedia entries that are linked (mostly by me, for you) will give you more information about the architects and other information mentioned in this post. Enjoy.

Online Resources

*F.N. Rowan House: 2004 Daily Chronicle article

*F.N. Rowan House: Old Photo – 1970s photograph

*E.J. Wiswall House: 2005 Daily Chronicle article

*E.J. Wiswall House: Old Photo – 1970s photo

*Rankin House: 2005 Daily Chronicle article, another 2005 article

*Rankin House: Old Photos – Oldest known photo; 1970s – 1, 2

*115 N. First Street: 2005 Daily Chronicle article

*Wikipedia: John S. Van Bergen, E.E. Roberts, John C. Farson House (all by me), George W. Maher (not by me)

A keen eye will spot other examples of Prairie architecture in DeKalb, something we will explore at a later date. Tomorrow, follow me to the tiny village of Esmond, Illinois.

Hiring Home Contractor Painters For Your Home

Hiring somebody to work on the exterior painting can be a big decision for homeowners looking to make improvements to their homes. While they may think they can handle such large, complicated projects themselves, they often find that they are in over their heads. Having a professional come do the work for them is often their best bet at getting the work done properly and in a timely manner.

Finding a good home contractor painting the house will put a smile on any homeowner’s face. Many painters will provide their clients with the very best in home painting and will strive to give the homeowner exactly what they are looking for. Such professionalism goes a long way in ensuring that the project turns out looking its very best. This is welcome news to homeowners worried about the effectiveness of many contractors and their painters.

In reality, contractors are good, reliable individuals with the proper training and skill to provide their clients with the very best in exterior painting. Knowing exactly how to handle problems when they arise and how to come up with viable solutions when necessary make having home contractor painting a special treat for homeowners remodeling their house. The paint job is often one of the most important aspects of a remodel. If the paint job is done in the proper way, then the rest of the remodel will come together nicely. If it is done poorly, then the remodel will not quite look right. This may even be noticeable to the neighbors and nobody likes having the ugly house on the block.

Hiring professionals is a good way to ensure that the house gets the best paint job possible. This will make the homeowner happy, as they can rest easy knowing that the services of the contractor will ensure that their house looks its very best. They can then focus their attention on other areas of the remodel that may not require the professional attention of a contractor. With home contractor painting, homeowners know they are getting their money’s worth. Not only this, but having the extra help will alleviate a good deal of the frustration and headaches that a homeowner may experience while going through such a large project.

The value of home contractor painting often exceeds the cost. Such a great value will put homeowners at ease when considering if they are making the right choice. Many choose to do the project themselves, often leading to many mistakes or mishaps that can prove costly to the project. Some hire amateurs with no formal training and no real experience in exterior painting. This often leads to an unsatisfied homeowner wishing they had opted for the professionalism of a contractor.

When considering hiring a homeowner, it is important to realize how important the job really is to the overall appearance of the house. If the painting is done right, the rest of the house will come together nicely to create a beautiful house the homeowner will be proud of.

Flat Sheet Sizes

Before you start shopping, you will need to get familiar with the flat sheet sizes. This is necessary to avoid confusion with the fitted sizes.

The Flat Sheet Dimensions

The king and California king measures 108 x 102 inches. The queen size is 90 x 102 inches while the full size is 81 x 96 inches. The X-long twin measures 66 x 102 inches. The twin flat sheet measures 66 x 96 inches.

The Fitted Sheet Sizes

To avoid mistakes, you will need to get familiar with these sizes as well. The twin size measures 39 x 75 inches while the X-long twin is 39 x 80 inches. The full size is 54 x 75 inches and the queen size is 60 x 80 inches. The king fitted sheet is 76 x 80 inches while the California king is 72 x 84 inches.

Does Size Matter?

In the case of flat sheets, size is not that critical. For example, you can use the wrong flat sheet size and it will still come out all right. The reason is that the flat cover is just placed on the fitted sheet. That isn’t the case with fitted sheets. The size has to match the sheets because it has to be fitted on the mattress.

Other Factors to Consider

The thread counts are the numbers you read in the product description (i.e., 300, 400 etc.). 80 to 190 thread counts are low and will have a rough feel to it. 200 to 280 thread counts will produce soft sheets.

But for a few dollars more, the 300 to 400 count sheets will provide warmth and comfort. The premium flat covers will have 500 and higher thread counts.

The fabric used is also crucial. The best material is Egyptian cotton. Other good choices are silk, bamboo fiber and polyester. Polyester can be blended with various materials. Flannel is often blended with cotton.

With flannel, ounces of flannel may be indicated. Look for those with at least 4 or 5 oz. These kinds of flannels will be very comfortable


Make it a point to check as many online stores as possible. Many stores sell discounted items; you don’t want to miss out on these stuff. Competition has also forced retail stores to sell at discounted prices.

It is very important that you look at the flat sheet sizes. If you are going to buy the items separately, look at the fitted sheet dimensions also so they match.

Personal Questions – How to Evade Them

What you consider to be a personal question, and what I consider to be a personal question can be two entirely different things. There are some people who seem willing to discuss the most intimate aspects of their lives freely and openly, while there are other people who feel very uncomfortable letting others know of even the smallest personal detail. Most of us fall somewhere in the middle, and it's good practice to keep our private lives private, and only divulge the information that you feel comfortable giving.

There will, however, always be someone who out of curiosity will ask you questions that you find probing. If a person presents to you a question that to them seems like it's not significant, but it is to you, and you'd prefer not to answer (for example "How much did that cost you? Whether the thing they're referring to is a new shirt, car, or boat), a polite but nonetheless evasive answer is still "I do not seem to recall" or "It was a gift."

Either way, there is no need to get indignant or work yourself into a tizzy if someone's nosiness overpowers their sense of tact. If someone comes at you with a question that you feel poses a threat to your privacy, the best solution is to give them an answer, but only a part of the answer. For example, a friend of mine recently came back from a consultation with a divorce attorney.

A well-meaning friend who was unaware of the situation asked her how she maintains such a positive and happy marriage. Rather than break down in tears and let her situation get the best of her, she simply stated that "I think that it is important to be good friends in your marriage." This answer satisfied the question-asker, and she did not have to resort to lying, and she did not give away any of her secrets.

For those instances where you just have a rude jerk or jerk-ette and they are asking you questions trying to antagonize you and get you to react defensively you just have to ask them a question in return. What this will do is throw them off of their game, put them off guard and put them on the defensive. This usually defuses their offensive and makes them think twice about verbally attacking you in the future.

Many times single people are asked why they're not married. Usually they are asked this by married people in a smug manner. This can be countered with a simple "Well, are you proposing to me now?", Or a tad harsher "I am definitely flattered by your interest in my personal standing, but what really makes me wonder is why you're so interested in me? " If someone asks you if you're seeing a shrink ask them if they are recommending theirs. A jerk of a question deserves a jerk of an answer. If you're having trouble thinking of one in the moment you can just answer truthfully or refuse to answer at all as politely as you can.

Chic, Colorful Kitchen Flooring

Chic, colorful kitchen flooring seems to be in endless supply these days. Whatever your lifestyle may be, there is a kitchen floor to best suit your needs. The first thing to consider is what you value most: durability, style, or comfort? Based on your kitchen's design, there is a floor that will integrate beautifully into the room and work for your personal needs.

Perhaps the most popular choice in kitchen flooring is vinyl. Today vinyl flooring is available in every color, and in thousands of patterns. It is a springy material that is comfortable to stand on for long periods of time and is easy to maintain. While laminate is incredibly affordable, it could peel up if not properly installed. The eco-friendly designer would probably not invest in a vinyl floor, as it is constructed of synthetic materials.

If you prefer the look of more natural materials but still want a product that is easy to maintain in the kitchen, laminate flooring may be for you. It has the look of real wood, but is more resistance to spills and stains and holds up well in high traffic areas. Laminate flooring is fade-resistant for up to ten years and comes with a much lower price tag compared to original hardwood flooring.

A classic choice for kitchen floors is linoleum. Linoleum is more long-lasting than vinyl and incredibly hard to dent. Linoleum is also an increasingly popular choice in the 21st century because it is made from all eco-friendly materials, such as cork, canvas, and linseed oil. It is available in both plain and patterned finishes.

Tile flooring is a higher-end finish with many design features. You can select ceramic or porcelain tiles for your space and even have them coordinate with the backsplash on your walls. You can choose either a high-gloss or matte finish. Be sure to select an epoxy grout; it is recommended to help resist staining.

Concrete floors are no longer a cheap finish for the basement any more. Concrete is an affordable option and is popular in modern design. For a sharper look, consider a colored concrete or a painted finish to match the rest of your kitchen. Concrete is a durable product, but it does need to be sealed to prevent the inevitable stains that could occur in a kitchen space.

A natural product for the home that looks great is slate. Slate is naturally stain resistant and extremely durable. It is an impressive material that usually sets the room off and can create an unforgettable kitchen. Darker slabs of slate could be considered a bold design move if the rest of the kitchen space is not up to par with good design; if the rest of your space is updated with fine cabinetry and modern appliances, then slate floors will be the finishing touch to your kitchen.

While all of these materials can be utilized to create a chic space on any budget, consider the pros and cons of each material and decide which will be best for you to work with. If materials like tile and slate seem as though they would be uncomfortable to stand on for long periods of time, consider investing in a strategically placed kitchen mat which will pad the surface areas that you will be working at the most.

You will also want to consider which materials will best suit your lifestyle. Vinyl and linoleum may be better suited for homes with young children and pets; tile and concrete will not be as forgiving to slips and falls. Because of all of the options available on the market today, choosing kitchen flooring which best suits your lifestyle can result in a chic, colorful finish.

Technical Career Ladder Versus Management Career Ladder

Many companies have created a technical ladder career path that parallels their management ladder career path. The purpose of a technical ladder is to provide promotional opportunities for employees who bring great value to the company through their technical expertise and want to focus their careers on that expertise rather than build their careers through entering and rising through the management ranks. These companies have created a career path for these technical employees with titles and rewards that parallel manager, director, and vice president ranks using such titles as “consulting engineer” or “corporate marketing consultant” in lieu of management titles such as “engineering director” or “vice president of marketing.”

In the absence of a technical career ladder, many technically-gifted employees have been forced to move into management in order to attain more senior positions, and the rewards that go with those positions. The result for many has been that they find themselves unhappy in the management role and they yearn to return to their technical specialties, but are reluctant to give up the higher salaries and perks they have attained. When this happens, many have found that the company has lost a competitive technical edge and, at the same time, have some senior manager who are unhappy in their roles and end up leaving the company, voluntarily or involuntarily.

In most companies that use this approach, there are very specific criteria- a different set of competencies-that employees must meet to be promoted on the technical ladder. These criteria typically include the following:

• Contributions to company products or services

• Patents obtained

• Reputation (external to the company) in their field of expertise

• Presentations at industry conferences or technical papers for industry journals

• Mentoring of junior technical staff.

Typically, employees who want to be promoted on a technical ladder must prepare a portfolio that documents their achievements, and that portfolio is reviewed by a panel of senior company officers who pass judgment on each application. The people who run the technical ladder program often criticize the company’s management ladder for not using a similar set of criteria in deciding on promotions to management positions-the establishment of your company’s LDP, including the talent review process, will help counter these complaints.

While technical ladders were started primarily in technology companies, their scope is not limited to technological areas, such as engineering or manufacturing, but are also used in fields such as marketing, sales, and finance. A technical career ladder can help you to retain people with outstanding technical expertise and keep them in roles that add optimum value to the company.

If your company is planning a leadership development program, it is important to focus not just on those employees who will eventually become its business leaders, but also on those who aspire to technical leadership positions.

Guide to Aluminium Fittings

Have you just constructed your dream home? Dreaming of giving it the most unique finishing touches to set it apart? Costs of wrought iron and steel must be driving you crazy in that case. As beautiful as an intricate wrought iron balcony hand railing or a quaint old wooden staircase might look in the movies or on the streets of 17th century Paris, it is not practical to use those designs for your modern home. What the times of today need are fittings and decorations that not only give your home that chic and designer look, but also last a lifetime.

Any museum owner or antique collector will inform you about what a tough time they have maintaining their artifacts and their masterpieces. However what they will not tell you is how difficult it is to maintain the 120 years old wooden hand railing and staircase or that suit of armour that needs polishing every month! That is because the age in which these buildings were built did not have the advancement in technology or the practical know-how to do any better.

You however, are living in an age where there are modern designs to choose from and a lot of avenues for you to consult and then make an informed choice. However the best advice is that which is given by the experienced people. Therefore after much research, if you were to choose the perfect metallic fittings and furnishings for your home, the obvious choice is aluminium. Aluminium can be aptly called the 21st century metal. It is a modern designer's delight.

The reason why aluminium is so often recommended these days is because of the amazing variety of designs and variants available in every product range. From aluminium hand railings to aluminium driveway gates to fences, every category has unlimited choice. So if you want to give your living space that classic look, you can opt for a beautiful spiral staircase with ornate work and a lovely aluminium hand railing. Aluminium driveway gates offer an equally large variety. Driveway gates are always the first thing noticed by people when they walk into your home. A beautiful tall aluminium gate in black or chrome would be the perfect welcome! This can be followed by a front porch with a designer aluminium hand railing and a matching staircase. Aluminium can also be used for your garage doors and for your bathroom hand railings as well. So for that perfect metallic finish at very low costs, choose aluminium!

RSS and Web 2.0

The World Wide Web is getting a make over. Finally after a long time we're experiencing an online revolution that's worth talking about. Yes, it's got a new look, new feel and a cooler extension, the Web 2.0 is here. Microsoft's taking it very seriously, while Yahoo! can not stop raving about it. So what is web 2.0 and what has RSS got to do with it?

Web 2.0 is nothing but a newer, faster and a much easier web. The goal is simple, the resurrected version of the web will make the information more personalized, centralized and monetized. And RSS is a major player and contributor to this new beginning.

RSS – The Crucial Element

RSS is still not a very familiar technology and not a household word yet. However, it's already very obvious and extremely clear what role RSS will be playing in the future of the Internet. It's understood that RSS will be an important component in the success of Web 2.0. As it will help in enabling and helping companies give out software as a service. It will not only prove to be a system that gives daily notifications a new meaning, but also gel the many important parts and services of Web 2.0 together, in order to churn out better and easier solutions.

Businesses, which can take advantage of RSS will flourish and reap the rewards it has to offer. RSS is making the Internet audience self-reliant. It is enabling users with self-service without you being the central control. By giving the control to the users, the information gets well organized and it creates a smooth platform for you to give out more useful info.

Connecting the Web

The web has become a sprawling network of different services. RSS is helping the web connect these services in an organized fashion in the new Web 2.0. In the coming few years, RSS will definitely be seen on every website and blog. Any service without RSS would lag behind.

Using RSS, search engines are giving out search results on specific keywords connecting the users with the information they can use. Websites are re-syndicating content from other websites, as the new fad of displaying RSS feeds catches up. Various kinds of mash ups are coming up and unique services are being started out of thin air. New services are able to deliver the freshest news available to their users right on time, as it happens. Truly helping a common man know now, using nothing but really simple syndication.

Not only are the big companies using RSS to get ahead of the competition, smaller firms are also using it to the fullest extent. In short, the web is being connected deeply and strongly.

A More Personalized Web

Since the advent of the Internet, what every web user wished for was a more personalized web. Which now comes in the disguise of Web 2.0. Google made its home more personalized by introducing its new aggregator. RSS feeds can be added, read and tracked right from your favorite search engines home page.

Microsoft's foray into this new market gradually happened, and it started A service which is still in beta, where you can add RSS feeds, drag them around the page, delete them right there. A classic example of Web 2.0 in action, RSS made it possible for such web honchos to tap into a huge market with a bigger potential.

RSS might not be as popular as the new X-Box. But it surely gives us a glimpse of a promising future, a much more personal and targeted web. Web 2.0 is RSS.

Subtle Bodies And Dark Matter

Long before physicists stumbled onto invisible ‘dark matter and energy’, metaphysicists had been experimenting and observing them using the sensory systems of their higher energy bodies. They generally called it ‘subtle matter and energy’ but it went by different names in different places; the most popular being ‘qi’, ‘prana’ and ‘kundalini’. ‘Qi’ is a general term for ‘energy’ in Mandarin; ‘prana’ and ‘kundalini’ are terms that have similar meanings in Hindu metaphysics. This invisible energy has not only been observed by those in the East, it has also been studied in the West. In the West the term ‘L’ energy is sometimes used. This ‘L’ energy or ‘life energy’ has the same general meaning as qi and prana. Science has been unable to measure qi, prana, kundalini or L-energy directly – just as it finds it difficult to measure dark matter or energy directly.

Is dark matter the same as subtle matter?

Obviously both dark matter and subtle matter are invisible to most of us who use the sensory systems of our physical-biomolecular body almost exclusively during this lifetime. However, convince yourself that they are the same by comparing a sample of properties of dark matter with subtle matter, below. (The list is not exhaustive. More and more correlations are cropping-up as we study the subject in greater detail.)

1. There is Mutual Affinity between Dark/Subtle and Ordinary Matter

According to science reporter Robert Britt, studies show that on large cosmic scales dark matter and ordinary matter in galaxies trace out the same shapes and structures. “They become sculpted into nearly identical sheets and filaments, with vast expanses of near-nothingness in between.” According to metaphysicist Charles Leadbeater there is an affinity between “astral” matter (a form of subtle matter) and physical matter He says that astral matter is attracted to physical matter and moulds into its shape as the physical-biomolecular body grows. Astral matter follows its every change, 99% of which is compressed within the periphery of the physical-biomolecular body. Conversely, there are also observations which confirm that ordinary matter falls under dark matter’s influence. There is, in fact, a mutual affinity between dark/subtle matter and ordinary matter.

2. Dark/Subtle Matter provides the Invisible Scaffolding, Mould or Template for Ordinary Matter

Physicist Chung Pei-Ma, an associate professor of astronomy at UC Berkeley, concludes that “the ghost universe of dark matter is a template for the visible universe”. According to Richard Massey, a dark matter researcher at the California Institute of Technology, dark matter condensed first. The gravity of dark matter then pulled ordinary matter into it. “The normal matter flows gravitationally into this sort of dark matter scaffolding,” Massey says “and is constructed within that into the galaxy and the stars we see today.” According to scientists, dark matter and its gravity shaped bright matter in a manner similar to how the texture of the ground shapes puddles of rainwater. This basically means dark matter acts as a mould for ordinary matter to accumulate and be shaped. Dark matter has been regarded by scientists as something that gives structure to ordinary matter. This means it allows ordinary matter to maintain its form.

Barbara Brennan, former NASA engineer and now world-renowned energy healer, says that the “human energy field” has an organizing effect on matter and builds forms; any changes in the material world are preceded by a change in this field. Metaphysicists, such as Brennan, have been insisting for years that these invisible fields form the templates for the formation of the biomolecular body. Metaphysicist Leonard Ravitz says that the invisible electric fields serve as an electronic matrix to keep the corporeal form in shape. In other words they provide the structure to our physical-biomolecular body to maintain its form.

Brennan observes through her “higher sense perception” that an “energy field matrix” in the shape of a leaf is projected by a plant prior to the growth of a leaf, and then the leaf grows into that already existing form. In other words, the energy field acts as a mould for the growth of the visible leaf. In Raymond Burr’s experiments with plant seedlings, he discovered electrical fields which resembled the eventual adult plant. He also discovered that salamanders possessed an energy field shaped like an adult salamander, and that this blueprint even existed in an unfertilized egg. Young salamanders were surrounded by an electrical field of the same size as an adult salamander. He also found that electrical fields surrounding sprouts did not correspond to the form of the seeds but to the form of the grown plant. According to Leadbeater, the (invisible) “etheric double” is actually built in advance of the human fetus. “Clairvoyants sometimes see this doll-like little figure hovering about, and afterwards within the body of the mother”, he says.

3. Dark/Subtle Matter generates Superficial Forms

Physicists Chung-Pei Ma and Edmund Bertschinger of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) say, based on computer models of how dark matter would move under the force of gravity, that dark matter should form smaller clumps that look superficially like the galaxies and globular clusters we see in our luminous (ordinarily visible) universe.

Metaphysicists, such as Leadbeater, say that the etheric and astral bodies look superficially like the biomolecular body but they operate differently, being based on electromagnetic rather than largely biochemical processes as in the biomolecular body.

4. Dark/Subtle Matter Astronomical Objects Outnumber Ordinary Objects

Ma and Bertschinger of MIT say that computer simulations of the evolution of dark matter predict far more clumps of dark matter than ordinarily visible luminous matter in a specified region. According to Ma, “Our galaxy, the Milky Way, has about a dozen satellites, but in simulations we see thousands of satellites of dark matter.”

Mystic Paramahansa Yogananda said in 1946 that “just as many physical suns and stars roam in space, so there are also countless astral suns and moons.” In 1957 metaphysicist Norman Pearson noted that so far (in Science) we have only considered physical planets; but there are also planets composed of ‘super-physical’ matter. In fact, he says, “The super-physical planets form the greater part of the planetary population of the Solar System.”

5. Dark/Subtle Matter Particles Can Pass through You

Compare the description of dark matter particles, called WIMPs, by a physicist with the globules of L-energy, described by metaphysicist Paul Pearsall:

“If there are as many WIMPs [i.e. dark matter particles] as would be required to explain the motions of galaxies, large numbers are whizzing through the room you are sitting in, and through your own body, without you noticing” – John Gribbin, Physicist.

“It [i.e. globules of subtle L-energy] passes unchanged through any known substance and nothing shields or deflects it” – Paul Pearsall, Metaphysicist

“We don’t know what the remaining 90% of matter is, but this ‘dark matter’ differs from ordinary matter in being able to pass right through both ordinary matter and other dark matter, just like ghosts are supposed to pass through stone walls.” – Theoretical Astrophysics Group, University of Oxford

Ron Cowen says, “Evidence indicates that when speeding fragments of dark matter meet, they don’t collide as other matter do but pass right through each other, ghostlike.” Observations by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory suggest that if dark matter particles do collide, they do so relatively weakly. In other words, they will not be appreciably affected on collision.

Leadbeater noted (almost a century ago) that subtle astral bodies can and do constantly interpenetrate one another fully, without in the least injuring one another. “People on the astral plane,” according to him, “can and do pass through one another constantly, and through fixed astral objects.” When passing through another subtle astral body for a short time, the two astral bodies are not appreciably affected. However, if the interpenetration lasts for some time, Leadbeater says that they do affect one another “as far as the rates of vibration [i.e. frequencies] are concerned.”

This is not surprising, as (according to plasma metaphysics) subtle bodies are electromagnetic bodies. Hence, when two subtle bodies pass through each other slowly there would be electromagnetic effects – such as changes in frequencies and distribution of charges over the subtle body. David Spergel of Princeton University, commenting on the findings by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, is of the view that “the findings do not rule out interactions, other than gravitational effects, among dark matter particles.” Hence bodies composed of dark matter particles can interact with one another electromagnetically. The ability of subtle bodies to pass through other subtle bodies and objects betrays the fact that they are composed of low-density dark matter.

6. Dark/Subtle Matter is of Low Density

According to scientists, the average dark matter density in the Solar System is much lower (a trillion trillion times lower) than that of rocks, water and other substances typically found on Earth.

Out-of-body researcher, Robert Monroe, observes that the ‘Second Body’ can penetrate walls and concludes that, “Anything that can interpenetrate a wall must have very little density.” Metaphysicist Leadbeater observed (around 1910) that astral matter is only relatively solid. Almost a century ago he said, “The particles in the densest astral matter are further apart, relative to their size, than even gaseous particles. Hence, it is easier for two of the densest astral bodies to pass through each other than it would be for the lightest gas to diffuse itself in the air.” In other words, astral bodies are composed of “collisionless” dark matter.

7. Dark/Subtle Matter rapidly increases in Density towards the Center

A study using the Sloan Digital Sky Survey provides the most direct evidence yet that galaxies reside at the centre of giant, dark matter concentrations that may be 50 times larger than the visible galaxy itself! The ‘lambda cold dark matter’ model is a popular scientific model that predicts that dark matter rapidly increases in density towards the centre of a galaxy. Astrophysicists modeling the motion of dark matter say that each clump had a density that peaked in the centre and fell-off toward the edges in the exact same way, independent of its size. Observations with the Chandra X-ray Observatory support the cold dark matter model. To test the model, researchers used Chandra’s sharp optics to measure the temperature and intensity of the hot, X-ray-emitting gas in a galaxy cluster some 4 billion light-years from Earth. The data obtained by John S Arabadjis and Mark W Bautz of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, along with Gordon P Garmire of Pennsylvania State University in State College, found that the density is greater the closer it is to the centre of the cluster.

Leadbeater reported in 1910 that the densest aggregation of subtle astral matter is within the periphery of the physical body of a man. Similarly, he said, in the case of the Earth, the greater part of its astral matter is gathered together within the limits of its ordinarily visible physical sphere. The density profile of subtle astral matter is consistent with the density profile of dark matter observed by the Chandra X-Ray Observatory.

8. Dark/Subtle Matter is “Weakly Interacting”

Physicists say dark matter ‘interacts weakly’ with ordinarily visible matter. They could well have said that there are ‘subtle interactions’ between dark and ordinarily visible matter. The term ‘subtle’ used by metaphysicists is not much different in meaning from ‘weakly interacting’ used by physicists to describe the nature of interactions between ordinary and dark matter.

9. Dark/Subtle Matter is Composed of High Energy Particles

Dark matter particles include supersymmetric objects and particles. According to scientists, these are higher mass-higher energy particles that have not been detected by our current low energy particle accelerators because of their high energies.

Subtle matter (in traditional metaphysical theories) is considered to be made up of highly energetic particles which generally becomes visible (as objects) after some training in meditation or similar exercises. In Hindu metaphysics, we find references to not only the “anu” (i.e. standard physical particles) but “param-anu” (which are super-physical particles). Valerie Hunt, Professor Emeritus at UCLA and internationally recognized authority in the area of energy field medicine, says that “even ancient Hindu literature asserts that the energy body possesses a higher vibration [or frequency] than normal matter-energy.” Modern ‘seers’ were unanimous in their opinion that subtle bodies consist of “as yet undiscovered higher frequency matter and energy” and have mass – long before any widespread awareness of dark matter or supersymmetry theories.

10. Dark/Subtle Matter forms Webs

According to Britt, scientific studies show that both ordinary and dark matter work in concert to build a web of filaments in space, with dense junctions where galaxies cluster together. The resulting structures, he says, look something like spider webs.

In 1904 metaphysicist Annie Besant reported that, “During human antenatal life a single thread weaves a network, a shimmering web of inconceivable fineness and delicate beauty, with minute meshes. Within the meshes of this web the coarser particles of the bodies are built together.” The Chinese acupuncture map of meridians in the physical-etheric body also resembles a web of energy. According to Brennan, the physical-etheric body is “like a sparkling web of light beams”. To a clairvoyant, “the etheric body consists of a definite structure of lines of force and sparks of bluish white light move along these lines” she says. This web has been discussed in more detail in the author’s article Acupuncture Meridians and the Cosmic Spider Web.

11. Dark/Subtle Matter is Subject to Gravity

“Thanks to a new analysis by physicists at Caltech and the University of Toronto, we can expect that lumps of dark matter gravitationally attract each other in just the same way that lumps of normal matter (like you and the Earth, for instance) attract each other.” – Science Daily, October 2006

“Astral matter [i.e. dark matter] gravitates towards the center of the Earth, just as physical matter does.” – Charles Leadbeater, Metaphysicist, 1910

According to Brennan ‘aura’ appears to have weight. Monroe believes that the ‘Second Body’ has weight and is subject to the gravitational force. (Weight is, of course, an effect of the gravitational force.) It appears that what was discovered by Science in 2006 was observed by Leadbeater almost a century ago and also by many other experimental metaphysicists.


There is only one inescapable conclusion: The dark matter and energy of physicists is the subtle matter and energy of metaphysicists. Sooner or later qi, prana and kundalini must be accounted for by Science under dark matter and energy – after all they are, by definition, dark matter and energy. It is also important to note that the metaphysical evidence strongly suggests that certain people can see this dark matter (using the sensory-cognitive systems of their higher energy subtle bodies) which is ordinarily invisible to most of us.

© Copyright 2007 Jay Alfred