The Three Important Types of Attic Insulation

Many people do not realize this, but attic insulation is a really good means in which you may dramatically reduce the energy bills of your household. Saving energy constitutes a really fashionable and argued issue in our present days, both amongst the masses as well as in the mass media. Attic insulation is an inexpensive and extremely effective solution, particularly if you can not afford expensive eco-friendly appliances.

A primary natural laws says that hot air always goes up. This is exactly the reason why lack of attic insulation always causes the hot air to rise up from the house and get straight outside through the roof. And this is precisely the use of attic insulation. It will stop the hot air from leaking out and it will truly cut back the running time amount of your furnace.

Likely the best-selling type of attic insulation is fiberglass batt insulation. It is in reality what nearly everyone envisions in their mind's eye when thinking about attic insulation. Fiberglass batts are actually long strips that can be colored in yellow or pink. Besides the fact that this special insulation type is extremely easy to install, fiberglass batts can have varying R-values, which constitutes an advantage too, as you must customize your R-value taking the advisable value of your area into consideration. You can either choose to incorporate a vapor barrier or not.

Secondly, another cool option is cellulose attic insulation. It has a fundamental advantage over the fiberglass batts, the fact that it is way more affordable. Still, there is a catch to this: regular people can not apply this type of insulation themselves, and professional service is often needed. This fact will slightly increase the cost of its installation. Cellulose is a loose material which gets blown on the floor of your attic, covering even the tiniest hole or gap. The perfect installation is a homogenous blanket. Also, if you treasure the environment, you will be delighted to know that cellulose is a very environment friendly solution, since cellulose is actually fabricated from reprocessed newspapers.

Lastly, let's not leave out spray foam insulation. This particular insulation type was mostly used in commercial applications, nevertheless it is now a lot more common than it used to be. This is a material that expands, and it becomes a few times larger in its dilated state. This lets it cover every little opening and thus create a highly effective insulation. Spray foam has high R-values, making it particularly profitable in cold climates. This is also a type of insulation that requires a professional installation procedure, since very specialized tools are needed in the process.

Now, how effective can attic insulation be in shrinking your energy bills? As a matter of fact, it can be extremely effective, and you will really be amazed to find out the fact that you could even pay up to 30% less for your energy bills! All you must do is get hold of a professional who will examine your attic and will tell you precisely what insulation type works best for your household.

How Are Minerals Formed?


MINERALS are naturally occurring, inorganic solids, with a characteristic chemical composition, having a regular atomic structure throughout. Man-made industrial diamonds are not considered true minerals but, having said that, there are also some Organic Minerals, such as Amber, which purists are reluctant to call minerals, but they satisfy at least three of the criteria for mineral makeup, and therefore the point is open to debate.

How Many Minerals are there? There are about 4000 listed minerals on this planet but only a relatively few have gained popularity due to their pleasing appearance, often bizarre shapes, exquisite spectrum of colours, and trading value. Minerals are generally composed of more than one element or compound. Those which are made up of only one element are called Native Elements e.g. gold, silver, mercury, copper. The Conquistadores fell in love with New World gold and “liberated” it by the ship-load to fill the coffers of Government and Church in Spain. Silver too, along with Topaz, Tourmaline, Agate, Ruby, Diamond and many other precious rocks and minerals, have been highly prized for as long as Man was first enchanted by their beauty, commercial value and status it imparted to the wearer.

So, just how are minerals formed? Minerals can be formed in a wide variety of geological environments; deep inside volcanos, at the bottoms of deep oceans, deserts, salt lakes and cooling deep deposits of molten rock. Also, under the influence of heat and or pressure, when solutions and gasses holding concentrations of specific elements cool or evaporate, minerals growths are deposited inside rock fissures or voids. These minerals are sometimes forced through as a suspension in water, the water then evaporating leaving the mineral deposits as crystals (e.g. Amethyst) when the rock void is not fully filled or as Agates, when the rock is completely filled. These minerals are only visible when the rock is split open; it takes some skill to decide which rock to crack open! More about that later. An example of such crystal and mineral specimens for collectors are Geodes which are round rocks containing precipitated mineral salts, these being commonly Agates (caused by mineral salt crystals forming inside Basalt rocks), Amethysts, Quartz, Jasper.

Minerals don’t necessarily need heat or pressure to be formed; water saturated with mineral salts can leave deposits (Stalactites) as it drips down from the roof of a cave, forming corresponding Stalagmites directly below, over the centuries, where the drips hit. Eventually both grow to meet each other and thicken over the years. Sometimes, as a novelty, tourists can hang an item on a line at a cave, over which calcium carbonate saturated water runs; over a period of a few months it becomes encased in a hardening deposit of Calcium Carbonate.


Ok, the basic scene has been set, now let’s examine in more detail the different mechanisms involved in mineral formation. All minerals are formed from ROCKS, which are an aggregate or mixture of various minerals and are the basic materials from which a mineral is formed.

Rocks can be either:

Igneous – formed due to volcanic activity from the Earth’s core.

Metamorphic – formed because of pressure or heat (e.g. tectonic plates colliding) on existing rocks, changing them into another type of rock.

Sedimentary – resulting from the layered compaction of weathered rock materials and/or shells.

Let us examine these rocks a little further:-

IGNEOUS ROCKS(from the Latin ignis – fire) can be further categorised as being or Extrusive.

Mineral crystals formed from Intrusive igneous rocks have a coarse structure because the cooling effect was slow and the crystals could grow for a long time, sometimes to a large size, especially when molten rock (magma) is trapped under ground and cools very slowly. Granite is an example of a commonly found intrusive rock. Other examples are:-



Pegmatite (Pegmatites are known to contain aquamarine, tourmaline, beryl, topaz, cassiterite, fluorite, apatite, tin and tungsten plus a host of other minerals.

These rocks are generally only exposed after mountain-forming upheavals, when rocks deep down are thrust to the surface due to Tectonic Plate Convergence. The Himalayas, for example, are currently still being pushed up by convergence forces.

Extrusive rocks are magma ejected from volcanos and cooling rapidly on the Earth’s surface. This means that their crystal structure is generally very small to microscopically small, as the crystals did not have sufficient time to develop. Obsidian (a glass-like black rock still used today by some surgeons because it keeps its sharp edge, down to one molecule!) & Basalt (the Giant’s Causway at the northern tip of Irleand) are two commonly found extrusive rocks, as are:-





METAMORPHIC ROCK MINERALS (from the Greek meta after, morphe form) are formed when sufficient heat and pressure change the original rock into a completely new rock. The original rock can be sedimentary, igneous or metamorphic. The most important Metamorphic mechanism is heat, changing the rock’s chemical structure at temperatures above 200 Celsius, breaking down the crystalline structures in the rock and converting them into new minerals. If the temperature becomes too high, the metamorphic action stops and the rocks become igneous. Marble is a common example of metamorphised limestone.

(hot water with dissolved ions) can also be responsible for changing parent rocks and is responsible for producing Sulphide minerals (e.g. Pyrite & Galena) and also Copper on the sea floor when the hot mineral-enriched water contacts the sea water.

Metamorphic Minerals – most of the minerals in following list are found exclusively in Metamorphic rock:-











SEDIMENTARY ROCK MINERALS. (from the Latin sedimentum – a settling). Sedimentary rocks are the basic building blocks from which nearly all metamorphic rocks are formed; it is the sedimentary rocks which are drawn down or pushed up by tectonic activity. While igneous & metamorphic rocks produce some of the finest mineral/gemstone specimens, the minerals in sedimentary rocks are not quite so impressive in form or range, though some sedimentary rock can also include igneous & metamorhic minerals as these rocks crumble due to weathering & being dissolved in water. Sedimentary rocks are also a mirror of the past, the different layers telling a story of what the Earth’s climate was like over the millions of years the rocks were forming, especially because of the fossil content as, unlike the other two types of rock, the heat & pressures produced in sedimentary rock formation is not enough to destroy fossil evidence.


CLASTIC Sedimentary Rock is layered or Lithified (from the Greek Lithos – rock) by deposits of erroded debris of other rocks (due to weathering, frost, glacial action, or water). Most of the igneous rock minerals (with the exception of Quartz, which is very hard) are attacked over time by water, acids & alkalis and changed into clay minerals and chemicals in solution. Other minerals in Clastic sedimentary rock, like Zircon, Rutile & Magnetite are inert and highly resistant to mechaincal & chemical breakdown.

Clastic rock also contains the minerals feldspar, quartz, amphiboles & clays.

Minerals found in clastic sedimentary rocks are in the classes of Halides, Sulphates, Borates.

BIOGENIC SEDIMENTARY ROCKS are made up of materials from living organisms, i.e. corals, molluscs & amoeboid organisms, which deposit layers of calcite over the ocean floors, which later form limestone. Other examples of minerals found in biogenic rocks are stromatolites and flint.

PRECIPITATE SEDIMENATRY ROCKS are formed when mineral solutions e.g. sea water, evaporate and deposit minerals such as Halite & Gypsum.

And finally, a list of mineral classes (for those who love lists!)

Classes of Minerals.

All minerals found in igneous, metamorphic & sedimentary rocks can be classified as follows:-

1. Elemental (Diamond, Gold, Silver)

2. Sulphides,Selenides,Telurides,Arsenides,Antimonides, Bismutides (Galena, Pyrite, Chalcoprite)

3. Halides (Fluorite, Carnalite)

4. Oxides & Hydroxides (Corundum, Quartz, Hematite, Magnetite)

5. Sulphates, Chromates, Molybdates, Tungstenates, (Barite, Selenite)

6. Phosphates, Arsenates, Vanadates (Variscite, Mimetite, Vanadinite,)

7. Silicates (Opal, Zircon, Talc, Tourmalines, Topaz)

8. Nitrates, Carbonates, Borates (Calcite, Malachite, Azurite)

9. Organic Minerals (Amber, Whewellite, Oxammite)

I hope the information has been of help to you in your quest for answers as to how are minerals formed. The subject of Mineralogy can be developed to great scientific depths, but I have tried to present the information in a format anyone can understand. I hope this small offering has whetted your appetite for further research! Later, I will be adding some information on where and how to find some of the most popular minerals & gemstones. Happy hunting!

Water Matters!

One thing I never thought about as a new brewer was water. As it turns out water is very important. Did you know that 90-95% (by weight) of beer is water? Even though it seems obvious, you probably never gave it a second thought.

How many recipes do you see that call for a specific a water type? Not very many, unless it was written by an advanced brewer or is for a very specific beer style.

When I lived in northern Nevada, all my beers had a common flavor. The beers I made developed a "lime" flavor. It drove me crazy! I cleaned, re-cleaned and paid extra attention to sanitizing but nothing worked and it would not go away.

I moved to Colorado where the water is much different and behold, that "lime" flavor disappeared! What happened?

Turns out a high pH (that is a measure of acidity in water) will do that. The lime flavor comes from a pH approaching 12 ppm (parts per million). The ideal range is 6.5-8 ppm. Most municipal water supplies fall in that range, but it turns out, Nevada has a very high pH in their water.

All this leads up to the fact that water matters a great deal. Let's look at some other water issues you may or may not know about.

The big one is chlorine! Every municipal water supply uses it to drive off germs and bacteria. That is fine for swimming pools (where even more is added), but what does it do to beer? Have you ever heard someone say, "That beer tastes like old Band-Aids?" The taste you are getting is called chlorophenolics. It has a flavor that tastes at best like medicine, and at its worst tastes like Band-Aids. How do you make sure there is no chlorine in your water?

1. Use all store bought spring water. It is not chlorinated, and all excess ozone is destroyed before bottling.

2. Boil your tap water then let it cool back down before adding steeping grains (works for chlorine only). Some say let it sit overnight before using.

3. Add ½ a crushed Campden tablet (or 1/16 teaspoon of metabisulfite) per 5 gallons cool water, stir in and let stand 5 minutes. NOTE: Not advisable for people who can not tolerate sulfites (wine makers us it as a preservative).

How do minerals get into water you ask? Minerals are naturally found in soil. Soft rainwater makes it down through the soil, through underground caverns, over rocks in streams or aquifers where it picks up some of the following dissolved minerals along the way.
a) calcium
b) carbonate
c) chloride
d) bicarbonate
e) magnesium
f) sodium
g) sulfate
h) Trace metals such as iron and copper

An entire book could be written on water and water chemistry, but that really is getting pretty advanced. I would encourage you to do more research as you become more familiar with the craft of home brewing.

Each of the minerals listed affect water and brewing in a different way. Without getting too technical, we will just say for now that different water chemistry works better with certain beer styles. For example, waters low in alkaline are known to be better for lighter styles of beers, like English Bitters, where water with higher concentrations are better for stouts and heavy beers. It is also known that very soft water, water with sodium being the only trace element, is better for Pilsners and light beers than hard water containing many more trace elements.

The water used for extract brewing is not as critical because your malt has already been mashed. Therefore you do not have to worry about the mash pH, ​​and are only concerned with flavor impacting minerals like sodium, chloride, magnesium and sulfates.

So you ask, "Is there a way to tell if your water is sufficient for brewing?"

My rule of thumb (interesting origin to that phrase by the way) is this: taste the water, really taste it! Make sure it is at room temperature (taste buds lose effectiveness below 46 degrees Fahrenheit). Does it taste good? To tolerate it do you have to chill it? Is there a salty or lime flavor to it? If you detect anything at all that tastes off, your taste buds are telling you something. Either go purchase a minimum of 6 gallons of filtered water, or boil it out and taste it after it cools. If it still tastes bad, buy your water making sure it tastes good as well.

Now you can see why water is important.

Building a Wet Bar – Fun and Functional

It used to be that only the elite homes in your neighborhood had a wet bar, they were an extravagant luxury for those who had a little more cash to burn. But now you see homeowners taking it up a notch and installing these bars in a wide variety of middle class homes. If you're thinking of adding this to your home's decor, know that you have a wide variety of options, from built in to free standing units, small kitchens all the way up to large entertainment areas.

Some people prefer the bar to be out of the way, an unseen asset to the room that's mostly hidden. Others would rather dually feature the home theater area and the adjoining wet bar in order to combine the viewing and eating experiences. Whichever you prefer, you'll want to carefully plan the flow of traffic around the bar, not only walking traffic but where you would put any bar stools for seating. Due to the amount of plumbing involved in the function of a wet bar, it's not easy to move it if you decide later that you do not like how things look or function.

A few things you'll want to consider would be lighting, counter space, room for any appliances (generally not a stove, but definitely a small refrigerator and freezer, sink area, and storage for glasses and standard bar essentials. Some people like to feature their more expensive glassware and alcohol so open cabinet designs are an option. A truly open bar area would be placed away from the wall so the food preparation area is able to view the TV and main seating area. This allows the cook and bartender to be part of the evening's entertainment as well. Most bars would have a countertop that hangs over enough to allow for 2 to 4 simple bar stools to be placed with plenty of leg room and seating area to have a comfortable place to eat.

Airsoft Sniper Rifles – Spring Vs Gas

Many people often wonder what the differences are between gas airsoft sniper rifles and spring airsoft rifles. Besides the obvious fact that one is powered by a spring, and one is powered by gas, there are actually some other important factors as well. But above all else, it is fair to say that the biggest difference between gas and spring powered airsoft rifles is usually the price. For example, a good spring airsoft sniper guns usually costs about $100 – $125, while a good gas airsoft guns generally costs about $175 or more in most cases.

Also, another important thing to consider about gas airsoft guns is the fact that they almost always shoot at a higher velocity than a spring airsoft sniper rifle. Generally the higher end spring airsoft sniper rifles shoot at around 450 FPS, while the gas airsoft rifles usually shoot at 500 to 550 FPS. It is also worth noting that a bolt action gas airsoft gun is much easier to cock than a spring powered rifle; this is because with a gas airsoft gun there is no heavy duty spring to cock back for each shot. You still have to pull back the bolt with a gas powered rifle, but it is much easier to operate.

Another very important thing to consider is the fact that all spring rifles are single shot only, meaning that they have to be cocked for each and every shot, while a gas powered airsoft sniper rifle can be semi automatic. However, many of the gas sniper rifles are still made as single shot bolt action rifles, which makes them much more realistic. And again, the single shot gas powered airsoft rifles are much easier to cock than the spring airsoft rifles. This may not seem very significant, but it can definitely make a difference in airsoft games where you end up doing a lot of shooting. You would not want your arm to become tired during an airsoft battle!

As far as accuracy goes, most people will agree that the accuracy of a spring airsoft rifle is pretty much the same as gas airsoft sniper rifles, but there may be a few that disagree. There isn’t much evidence to really support any differences in accuracy between the 2 types of airsoft rifles, but it is safe to say that you should most likely be using slightly heavier airsoft BBs with a gas powered airsoft sniper rifle, due to the fact that they usually shoot at a significantly higher FPS than the spring powered airsoft rifles. The faster an airsoft gun shoots, the heavier the BB you will want to use, to achieve maximum accuracy. This is especially true at longer distances.

Conclusion? If you have the extra money you may want to consider a gas airsoft sniper rifle, as they shoot a bit faster than the spring airsoft sniper rifles, and are easier to cock as well. However, the spring airsoft rifles are certainly an excellent choice if you don’t want to spend the extra money, and it is arguable that they are a bit more durable than the gas airsoft rifles. Also, if you want a semi automatic airsoft rifle, then spring airsoft sniper rifles are not for you, as they are single shot only.

How to Add Flare to Your Kitchen

Kitchens are often the central hub and meeting place in a home, where food is prepared, coffee is always ready to share with a friend and family discussions take place. Transforming the atmosphere of a kitchen into a warm and welcoming place really increases everyone’s appeal to spend time in this space. Go ahead, dream about your perfect kitchen and feel free to use any of the ideas that follow, to assist you in creating your perfect kitchen.

Kitchen Transformation Tips and Ideas

In selecting colors and shades of paint determine if you are replacing the flooring or matching the flooring. Measure all the surfaces you intend to paint, taking note of what the surface consists of. My kitchen revitalization budget did not include replacing the cabinets so the surfaces included plaster, wall paper, wood and paneling. The home is 98 years old, so the plaster was applied on wire mesh, luckily there were no large pieces of plaster missing.

Choosing your paint:

This kitchen had a number of surface types so we selected a fresh start primer for the plaster and wall paper surfaces, and stix primer for the wood and paneling surfaces.

Choosing a paint finish or sheen for interior walls depends on your desired amount of shine, look and durability. The most common interior paint finishes are flat, eggshell, satin, semi-gloss, and high-gloss.

Flat finish: Available only in latex paint, a flat finish is opaque and sophisticated. It works great on interior walls and ceilings. As the least shiny finish available, it doesn’t clean well and isn’t suited for kitchens, baths, or children’s bedrooms.The only way to clean fingerprints or smudges off a flat finish is to repaint.

Eggshell finish: An eggshell finish is often used for decorative finishes because it provides a low luster. It cleans up better than a flat finish, but probably not as well as you would want in a kitchen or bathroom.

Satin finish: The most popular paint sheen is a satin finish. It has more sheen than eggshell or satin and cleans better too. This finish is a good choice for woodwork, walls, doors, and hallways. It’s also great for bedrooms and dining rooms. Satin is washable but it isn’t scrubbable, so you probably don’t want to use it around your toddler’s craft table or in your kitchen.

Semi-gloss finish: A semi-gloss paint will give your room a subtle shine. You can scrub it and it is good for moldings, doors, windows, kitchens, and baths.

High-gloss finish: A high-gloss finish has a shiny, polished look. It’s also stain resistant and very scrubbable, which makes it a good choice for the areas of a home that get the most wear and tear, such as kitchens and baths. Food splatter or even crayon marks will clean up easily on a high-gloss finish.

When you’re deciding on which sheen you want to use, remember the higher the sheen, the darker and more intense the color will be. Also, high-gloss paint reflects light – and makes imperfections in your walls more noticeable. So before you apply this paint finish, take the time to prep your walls and make them extra smooth.

Most paint finishes are available in latex or oil. In today’s world you most likely will chose latex, it is more environmentally friendly.

List of supplies needed:

Hand held Sander and sand paper

Painters tape

Roll of drip plastic

Paint brushes, rollers, paint trays and inserts

Primer and Paint, stir sticks

Moving boxes to store items from your cabinets and drawers

Putty and putty knife to repair any nail holes created for hanging pictures.

Paint can opener.


Paint remover.

How to organize the project:

Remove all baseboards, doors, and casings

Remove window covering, and wall hangings

Pack all items from your walls, cabinets and drawers. Note: It is a good idea to label the boxes by what they contain.

Remove all electrical plates covering electrical outlets and light switches.

Wash all surfaces with a solution of water and cleaner that will remove cooking grease. Note: Remember to wear gloves when using this solution, it will dry out your natural oils as well.

When the surfaces are dry, start taping the edges so you will have straight edges, also providing the added bonus of avoiding paint smudges on surfaces not meant to be painted.

Use plastic to cover cupboards, appliances and the floor.

Remember to tape the electrical outlets and light switches.

Note: We use an 3′ x 3′ table, covered in plastic as our work station while painting.


Line a paint tray with a liner, open your primer, pour primer into the liner, being careful not to fill above the roll off incline.

Set up your ladder, put your pail of paint on the fold down utility tray, climb the ladder and with a paint brush or edging brush paint the edges and corners. Note: For best adhesion, brush up and down or back and forth quite a number of times along the corners, or edges.

Now that the edging is complete, take your paint roller and paint the larger surfaces, walls or ceilings. Again, for better adhesion, roll the roller up and down a number of times over the same area.

When you are finished wait for the paint to dry.

Repeat the same processes for applying the paint.

Note: Paint remover applied to a cleaning cloth quite easily helps clean up imperfections or paint drips.

The Cabinets:

Remove the doors and hardware. The cabinets were stained, varnished and finished, so to begin they were sanded lightly with a hand sander. primer and paint will adhere much better to a slightly rough surface. The cabinets were primed and painted.

The Counter Top:

My budget did not include new counter tops. This kitchen revitalizing project had involved quite a few hours of painting, making it quite logical to paint the counter tops. Here I purchased a counter refinishing kit to complete the transformation.

Carhartt Flannel Lined Shirt

Preferences may vary from person to person but quality is something which we all prefer. Are you someone who prefers class over cost? Do you care more for the feel of the cloth than the price tag attached to it? If your prefer quality over quantity we have just the thing for you.

Carhartt, a brand which has been designing quality products for the last 120 years brings to you the latest innovation in their men’s wear section, the Flannel Canvas Shirt Jacket. Especially known for their premium work clothing, Carhartt has never led one down in durability, comfort and fit.

The makers of Carhartt consider service and satisfaction before anything else. Durability is one of the prime concerns at Carhartts and hence every fabric used in their clothes has to go through rigorous testing. Only once the brand is sure that the fabric can live up to the standards of the Carhartt name is the fabric used in a cloth.

The Carhartt flannel shirt can also be labelled as Carhartt Winter Shirt as one of its special features is that it doubles as a light jacket coz of the flannel lining. One has a wide range of shades to choose from as the shirt is available in black, brown, dark brown, midnight, moss, port and straw. A regular size S296 Carhartt flannel shirt will cost you a reasonable $50.00.

The Carhartt winter shirt is flannel lined for giving us extra warmth. For people not well acquainted with flannel, it’s a soft woven fabric, made from synthetic fibre. Coming back to the shirt it is composed of 9-ounche, 100% cotton canvas, the flannel lining is a 4-ounche, 100% cotton again. The 100% cotton content makes it an extremely comfortable wear.

Amongst other unique features are antique styled brass snaps and a couple of chest pockets which are made by rivet reinforcements for longevity. Triple stitching of main seams is ensured to provide the flannel shirt durability. You can also be rest assured about the fit coz Carhartt has been famous for it for over a hundred years.

Best on cold to chilly days the shirt keeps you warm on all occasions. Once you are inside one you are sure to cut the cold out. The Carhartt flannel canvas shirt jacket can also be worn over a shirt like a light jacket. Be it fishing or working outdoors, this is the perfect product for moderate to rough use.

You can go ahead wearing it as frequently as you desire being assured that the shirt is going to last really long. It’s a multipurpose shirt and can be worn on numerous occasions. Its trendy looks make it apt to be worn even on dinners. Available in various shades and sizes Carhartt has a perfect fit for all.

Make sure you rush to a Carhartt store right away and beware you might not be done with just one. Make sure you purchase at least a couple of this multipurpose shirt – jacket.

How To Plant A Garden – For Beginners

Assess The Amount Of Space You Have For Flowers And Vegetables

Of course, any garden, big or small, will take up space. Thus, the first thing you should do is pick out the space and assess the dimensions your new garden will take up. If you want to plant flowers in your front yard, make sure there's enough room between the walls of your house and the sidewalk or road. If you're planting a vegetable garden in the backyard, make sure you have enough clear room in the sunlight to make it happen.

Test Your Soil And Get Fertilizer As Necessary

Not every garden will automatically grow just because you've planted them. In this case, the quality of your soil is very important. There is equipment you can rent in order to actually test your soil itself, but most people do it the old fashioned way: they run a test garden. Plant a couple of seeds of what you intend to grow and see how they do. If they flourish, then your soil is good. If they struggle, then your soil needs help from fertilizer. Contact a local topsoil distributor, many turf companies also supply, to ensure your garden thrives.

Research What Grows Best In Your Area And What Does not

Just because you really love roses and want roses in your yard means that they will actually grow. Any responsible gardener will research what grows best in their area and what does not. The same goes for both flowers and vegetables. If you live in a temperate climate, you may do well with perennials; if you live in a place with solid seasons, you should get spring and summer blooming plants and let your garden remain dormant through winter.

Get The Soil Ready And Plant Seeds Even Width Apart

Whether you are planting vegetables or flowers, you should make sure your seeds are an even distance apart. A good rule of thumb is at least half a foot. This gives your plants plenty of room to take root without tangling together with another plant, and to give them the chance to get the water and nutrients they need. Crowding plants together will only make it harder for them to grow big and healthy. Also make sure you plant in a place that gets good daily sunlight and access to rain, otherwise you will have to water them yourself.

Keep Up Maintenance On Your Garden By Pruning , Weeding, And Watering

Once you have your garden planted and it is growing, you need to keep up on its maintenance. This includes weeding it when weeds appear, pruning bushes so flowers can access sunlight, and watering the roots on dry days or in areas that do not get much rain.

If you follow these steps, your garden should start growing soon enough. Enjoy your new hobby and fun new lifestyle!

Woodworking for the Laundry Room

When home organization comes to mind, we typically think of many ways to improve storage and efficiency for many rooms within our homes. The family room, kitchen cabinets and pantry, bedroom and bedroom closets, bathrooms and linen closets. These are the common living areas upon which we tend to focus our efforts. On the contrary, one of the rooms we most frequently neglect is the laundry room. But there's really no reason why we should. There are many woodworking ideas that can increase the organization and efficiency of this important area, too.

If your laundry room is small or lacks sufficient storage space, a standard ironing board may have no designated location for storage or may take up already limited space within the room when set up for ironing. An imaginative woodworker can make use of the space, no matter how limited it may be, by making a wooden wall-mounted ironing board. This corrects the issue by killing two birds with one stone, freeing up space and providing storage.

Another project to consider for laundry rooms lacking space is the addition of shelving or racks. By using the room's walls, sturdy pieces of wood add the dimension necessary for items requiring storage, including laundry detergents, fabric softeners, home cleaning products, and so on. If it's exposed (not contained within a solid unit, such as a cabinet), then the shelving can be as ornate or as simple as the woodworker chooses and, depending upon the wood and supplies used, is a simple enough project for a novice woodworker .

If cabinets are already in place, additional shelves or racks can be added within them to also make more available space. Not only are these simple additions with a great purpose, but they're relatively cost-efficient because minimal supplies are needed when working with assets which are already in place.

Space for hanging Additional clothes and Hangars can be accomplished by vBulletin® mounting a wood Dowel Between walls. A simple wooden dowel is all it takes to add space. What a simple fix! Dowels are relatively inexpensive to purchase, and the existing laundry room walls are already in place and available to work with.

Another woodworking project to consider for the laundry room is a laundry drying rack. Working with a hardwood dowel and a few additional supplies, you can air dry your delicates, knits, or small loads. Designs for both free-standing and wall-mounted racks are available. For the environmentally conscious woodworker, consider this project an eco-friendly one. By allowing even a few articles of clothing from each load to air dry on the rack you make, the time a dryer needs to run is lessened. Consequently, this also lessens the electrical energy required for drying.

You might also consider using dowels to make a shoe rack, perhaps for dirty work boots, rain boots, or children's outside play shoes. This could be a standard shoe rack or may be designed as a sitting booth with shoe storage underneath. Whichever design best meets your needs, encourage efficiency and tidiness by designating a spot for these items in your laundry room (or mud room).

These are just a few, innovative ways the love of woodworking can be used to better organize a laundry room. With a little patience and imagination, however, the possibilities are endless. Put them to work for you. After all, the more well-organized all the rooms of a home, the more efficient the household.

ECA Stack to Shed Your Weight

ECA is abbreviated for Ephedrine Caffeine Aspirin. An ECA stack is basically a complex mixture of multiple drugs and is used to enhance the body's stamina and energy. It is also used for weight reduction by many people. So the ECA stack is advantageous in more than one way. Ephedrine content in the supplement is mainly responsible for enhancing the stamina and for reducing the weight. Ephedra mixed with caffeine enhances the effects of ephedra alone. The product is stronger than before and shows result at a quicker rate. Intake of ephedra alone consumes a lot of time as compared against ECA stack.

The proper consumption of ECA really helps to eliminate the fat quickly. But it is important to keep some precautionary measures in mind before you buy any of it. You would obviously not want an unhealthy body after taking this stuff. When a person opts for weight loss supplements, he has to shed extra fat along with the muscle bulk. The muscles that are built with so much effort are easily faded away by these supplements. Hence it becomes important to preserve these muscles when you consume a particular supplement. A regular and healthy protein diet along with ECA stack is the easiest way to obtain this goal. You would be amazed to see changes in you in no time and that too very promising.

It is vital to take the protein rich appetite on a daily basis. Taking it once a day is the minimum requirement. However two times is even better. This will prevent your muscles to shrink and fade but at the same time it will help you lose weight as well. Ephedra is basically known for its appetite suppressing characteristics. However it is not known as to how this happens. Whatever be the reason behind it, it is sure that it is extremely useful in weight reduction. A careful intake of ECA stack can help you miraculously and the effects are clearly visible. Ephedrine stays inside your body for a short duration and therefore it does not cause many problems. For all those who want to shed their unwanted flab and weight very rapidly, ECA stack is the best option to have. You can enjoy its benefits without any serious ill effects.

Global Warming – Causes That Contribute

Increasing temperature, rising sea level and increasing the number of diseases are some of the effects of global warming. But do you know the causes that are leading towards these situations? Here we are going to discuss some of the causes that lead to these situations.

Emission of greenhouse gases is considered to be the main reason of climate warming. Water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrogen oxides, and some engineered chemicals such as chlorofluorocarbons are the greenhouse gases. Most of these gases occur in the atmosphere naturally, but due to the widespread burning of fossil fuels by growing human populations, the level of greenhouse gases emission has increased a lot. In order to reduce the effects of global warming, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has become a primary focus of environmental programs around the world.

Smog and poor air quality is a burning environmental problem, especially in large metropolitan cities. The primary constituent of Smog is the ground level ozone which is formed by a chemical reaction of carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, volatile organic compounds, and heat from sunlight. Pollutants that contribute to smog come from a lot of sources, such as smokestack emissions, vehicle emissions, paints, and solvents. The reaction to create smog needs heat and smog problems are the worst in the summer.

Moreover, the pollutant releases from the industrial sector and electric utilities contribute greatly to environmental problems and lead to many environmental issues. Emissions from vehicles also contribute to smog, low visibility, and various greenhouse gas emissions in the environmental atmosphere and thus, contributing towards the global warming.

The Reality About Arc Welding

Arc Welding is a broader classification of welding which includes among others stick welding.

Essentially, this process utilizes a welding power supply which may either be electricity or electrodes. Electricity may either be DC (direct current) or AC (Alternating Current). On the other hand, electrodes may be classified as either consumable or non-consumable.

Further, a shielding gas is also involved in the process, which may either be inert or semi-inert.

In simple terms, it is the process of creating an electric arc fuelled by the welding power supply between the electrode and base material. Therefore, a point of contact known as the welding point is created. This position must be maintained by the welder until the material is successfully welded.

With respect to using electricity as a welding power supply, two kinds of power may be utilized: current power and voltage power.

According to experts, welding entails direct correlation between two important aspects —- the length of arc to the voltage and the amount of heat input to the current. Compatibility in these aspects must be ensured for successful results.

Common examples of sub-types of welding that uses current power supplies are as follows: gas tungsten arc welding and shielded metal arc welding. These sub-types that are characterized as manual welding processes require a constant amount of current as the voltage fluctuates. This is what exactly a current power supply provides.

With respect to subtypes of arc welding that utilizes constant voltage power, notable examples are automated welding processes such as gas metal flux cored arc welding, and submerged arc welding. In these subtypes, constant voltage is required amidst fluctuations in current. It is also important to keep the arc length constant since any movement in each of the materials involved may cause an increase in the current, which in turn hampers the welding process.

Indeed, welding entails technical knowledge on the matter. Its concepts are far too complex for an ordinary customer to comprehend. It requires the explanations of expert welders who are not only well-versed on the subject but can effectively communicate in easily understandable terms the nuances of the process. Actual demonstration is also a quick way of understanding the subject matter. The parts involved in the process can also be identified easily by the customer thereby facilitating the latter's comprehension. In sum, unless the customer is interested in pursuing a degree in arc welding, consultation of an expert welder is highly recommended.

How To Play Violin

This article gives the essential basics for how to play the violin. Generally violins are quite commonly available instruments and it is reasonably easy to rent or buy a violin. Children may need smaller violins (from an eighth, quarter, half, three-quarters, seven-eighths up to full size) to accommodate smaller hands if they are going to be learning over an extended period.

The Basics

The bow is held in the right hand with the thumb bent underneath the frog to support it and the other hands loosely gripping the wood. There are many different holds and it its important to find one that suits your hand size and strength. The violin is held with the left hand, with the chin on the chin rest supporting most of the weight, and the fingers loosely coiled around the neck of the violin. The thumb should be relaxed but firm. The left elbow should be curved under the violin. The violin should be roughly horizontal and the right arm held high. The main methods of playing the violin are bowed and pizzicato.


The bow should be drawn swiftly and smoothly across the strings, about halfway between the fingerboard and the bridge. A down bow starts with the hand close to the strings pulling across the string from left to right, and is generally used on strong beats. An up bow goes the opposite way, right to left, and is used on weaker beats and upbeats. However with practice down bows and up bows should be fairly difficult to distinguish. Slurs in music indicate that all notes within a slur should be played in the same bow movement. To play loud notes, the bow is pressed down harder on the string using the index finger or the bow is drawn across the string faster. To play more quietly use less pressure or draw the bow across the string slower. In classical music bowed music is indicated by the Italian term arco.


To play pizzicato (often abbreviated to pizz.) The right thumb should be placed under the fingerboard and the index finger used to pull the string quickly upwards and across. For faster passages, the bow can be held while playing pizzicato, still using the index finger but without the support of the thumb. In more complex and advanced pieces, a small cross above the stave indicates the fingers of the left hand plucking the strings.

Fingering and positions

As there are no physical aids such as frets for violinists as there are for guitarists, accurate tuning comes with immense practice. On a full size violin, the tones are roughly two centimeters apart, but this is difficult to judge when playing since you are seeing from a different perspective. To aid tuning, it is very helpful to have a piano or other keyboard instrument when practicing.

The fingers of the left hand are conventionally named first (index finger) to fourth (little finger). When playing notes other than open strings (G, A, D and E), these fingers must press down hard, so that the string is shortened convincingly for a higher pitch. The standard intervals taught to beginners is tone, tone, semitone, tone (ie. GABCD, DEF # -GA, ABC # -DE, and EF # -G # -AB). Of course the notes in between can be played by rearranging the hand position.

This is known as first position, where the first finger plays up to a tone above the open string. The next position usually taught is third position, where the first finger plays the note a perfect fourth above the open string (so, for example, third position on the A string would start on the D). All positions from first up to anywhere around tenth can be thus played, and two octaves on one string are considered fairly standard.

Does Lung Congestion Come From Sinus Drainage? Nurse’s Guide

If you’re wondering if lung congestion comes from sinus drainage or if sinus drainage causes lung congestion there are a few things you should know. First, it’s normal for sinuses to drain. You want your sinus cavities to drain because a quart of fluid has to move through them every day. You don’t want them to get blocked. Blockage can cause a sinus infection. You may have symptoms of that now, such as pressure, pain, headache, yellow mucous.

If your lungs are congested, or your lungs or chest feels full, or you cough a lot, it’s a possibility that sinus drainage has leaked into your lungs. You may be wondering how this can happen. At night when you lay flat the sinus drainage that moves down into your throat naturally can slip into the lungs. This is a common occurrence and many times is responsible for a certain type of pneumonia. Many people have pneumonia as a result of this sinus drainage.

One of the ways to prevent this from happening is to make sure to prop yourself up on pillows at night so that you’re not laying flat. Laying flat makes it easier for fluid to escape into your lungs along with bacteria. You need to make sure that it’s not just your head that is elevated but your neck and shoulders too.

If you have a full-blown sinus infection now you can still help your lungs by propping yourself up. You can buy a wedge to slip under your pillows to give you better elevation that includes the shoulders and often just a pillow or two are not enough.

You should be able to get this wedge at your local medical supply house. They are quite common and they all have them. It’s a good investment – usually about $20 or so because it can help to prevent future problems and help you heal your lungs now.

Of course, there are many things you can do to prevent yourself from getting sinus infections, sinusitis and other sinus problems. And there are a few things you can do to help yourself heal. All natural of course, because you always want to avoid drugs, and medications whenever possible because they all come with side effects and risks.

Even over-the-counter medications have many risks, adverse reactions and side effects. They can act in conjunction with other drugs or medications you’re taking and cause problems for you from the combination. There are other treatment options.

So the answer of course is yes, lung congestion can come from sinus drainage. But you don’t have to suffer now or in the future if you take a few of the best natural steps to prevent it or cure it and get relief.

A Look Into Brain Drain and Brain Gain in Africa

Brain drain is ravaging Africa. Most of the skilled and talented citizens are leaving the continent to Western Europe and North America. While some are going to play sports, many have made these regions homes and ply their trades in some of the most critical sectors of our modern civilization. And they are not coming back.

A recent study on Nigerian healthcare industry shows that the nation is underserved by its medical personnel primarily because of the emigration of its physicians abroad. So while there are many medical schools graduating thousands of doctors, the nation consistently lose the bests of these experts yearly. Unfortunately, the story is the same across all parts of sub-Sahara Africa and this has become a continental tragedy.

African football (yes soccer) leagues have been destroyed by the movement of our talented players to Europe. Local games are poorly attended and not very exciting to the locals. African European players are disproportionally popular and richer than their counterparts that play in Africa. In most national teams, up to 90% of the players play international.

In the field of engineering, most of the best students are lured by scholarships for postgraduate studies in the United States. These students are supposed to be future technical leaders of the continent. Upon graduation, they are enticed by the good jobs and prospects abroad and they spend their working lives outside Africa.

Emigration of skilled workers from developing nations to developed ones in search of better opportunities in trade, education, work, etc has been well documented. Many scholars from World Bank, IMF to countless non-governmental organizations have examined this trend. Theoretical examination is not scarce; what is lacking is solution to this problem.

So what can the continent do? Simply, we can leverage the power of technology to mitigate the impacts of brain drain. There are many enabling technologies and strategies which Africa and indeed all developing nations experiencing brain drain can deploy to turn brain drain into brain gain. There is need to understand how these nations can develop infrastructures to connect and collaborate with these people in Diaspora for their national developments. And technology could be the solution.

Understandably, Africa will prefer the physical presence of these experts in their native nations. Unfortunately, some of them work in industries that have not diffused in Africa. For those that are experts in genetic engineering, robotics, and so on, they may discover limited opportunities at home. Also, there is a potential "degradation" that occurs when someone moves from the seat of ideas to stay at the corners. In other words, telling an MIT professor of microelectronics to move to Kenya and practice will mean that in five years, he could be exceedingly backward when compared to his peers in US. And his professional worth will degrade instead of appreciating.

So, the continent must follow a paradigm where they honor the need for these experts to stay abroad and potentially contribute to their native nations. The physical presence while helpful is not really necessary provided there are enabling technologies and policies that can foster interactions between them and these nations.

The challenge will be to understand how technology can narrow the brain drain problem and turn them into brain gain as these experts continue to develop their skills in developed nations and using the enabling tools share and interact with their partners in their respective native nations. We need technology strategies that can connect people across boundaries and help modernize national programs on health, education, research, training, etc.

A comprehensive research on the contemporary issues regarding enabling technologies and strategies that can turn brain drain into brain gain is urgently needed in Africa. Based on the outcome of the study, we must develop a continental level roadmap driven by technology to offset the knowledge-imbalance created by brain drain. The continent needs to understand the following areas:

• 21st Century Brain Drain Challenges
• Brain drain and globalization
• Evolution and Opportunities in Brain Drain
• Distance and Web-based Education
• Technologies for Telemedicine, Security and Technology Management
• Deployment of Telepresence technologies in developing nations
• Economics of Brain Drain, National Technology Infrastructures and Policies
• Designing and deployment of supportive technologies
• Legal and Taxation issues for intercontinental workforce
• Open source Technologies
• ICT technologies
• Distance research and education collaboration
• Networks and regional bodies' roles in standardizations, and others

Africa must work hard and invest resources to see how it can use technology to improve the quality of its education and healthcare through tele-education and telemedicine. That will require looking at the communication facilities available in the continent and upgrading them accordingly. African Union should think about mandating member states to have Diaspora Technology Networks across the regions so that constant flow of information and ideas could be shared through quality networks, Telepresence and other video technologies. The universities must be anchors of this initiative as they are the most vital instrument for technology diffusion.

We must find ways to tap the expertise of our citizens in foreign countries. It is time we begin looking at the technology of this process than focusing on the academic aspects of it. As technologies break boundaries, we must take advantages and build Africa.

In summary, the exodus of very capable Africans to North America and Europe owing to lack of institutional readiness at home must be seen as a threat to the prosperity and wealth of Africa. As they work in these adopted nations to improve their education, medicine, sports, and all other major fields, African governments must find ways to tap these skills. Technologies are readily available and we have the capability to turn this brain drain into brain gain. It is about developing and deploying the right technology with the goal of not asking these Diasporas to return to Africa but to remain in their adopted nations and support their native ones in education and training.