Flat Panel Displays – Beyond Plasma

The term set-top box will become something of a misnomer in the near future, as most displays will become too thin to allow a box to placed on top of them. As the price of plasma & LCD displays has plummeted and their image quality has improved, they are popping up in homes everywhere.

Although they are the darlings of the media and the generic for flat panel display in the minds of many, plasmas are about to be in a serious fight with other technologies for the flat panel crown.

LCD displays, seen on the desktop for years as computer monitors, and commonplace in smaller flat panel TVs, are finally increasing in size to the point they are becoming a rival to plasmas in the 42″ – 50″ size range. Picture quality is similar to plasmas; however LCDs are immune to the burn-in that can affect plasma displays. This burn-in occurs when plasma units are used to display static images such as video game screens and stock or sports tickers.

Plasmas generally have an edge in the ability to produce deeper blacks and more saturated colors than LCDs. Plasmas are also better at producing full motion video than LCDs because of the response time of the LCD panels, although this difference is disappearing.

LCD TVs are a bit more expensive than plasmas at 42″ and larger sizes, but they should last a while longer. Plasma displays should last 20,000 – 25,000 hours and LCDs should give 30,000+ hours of useful life. However, the latest generation of plasma displays from NEC, LG & others is claimed to have a 60,000 hour life. If that is an industry trend, the traditional lifespan advantage held by LCDs may soon disappear. This comes at a time when Sony and other major consumer electronics manufacturers are either abandoning plasma or reducing their plasma offerings. Others, such as Panasonic, Fujitsu and Pioneer are firmly committed to Plasma technology.

Currently Sony has a 42″, NEC a 40″, Sharp a 45″, and Samsung a 40″ LCD TV or display. Samsung also has the big one, a 46″ that started shipping in early September of 2004. The Samsung 46″ was the first consumer LCD video display to have a 1080 line native resolution. This allows it to display 1080p native when that format arrives for HDTV. The Samsung has been joined by Sony, Toshiba and others, to endow the mid 40″ size category with some pretty solid LCD offerings. The largest consumer LCD TVs or monitors are the Sharp 65″ and Sony showed a prototype 82″ LCD from their Bravia line at the 2006 CES in Las Vegas.

Other technologies are on the horizon as well. One that has shown great promise is OLED, for Organic Light Emitting Diode. Developed by Kodak and Pioneer, this technology has been used for a few years in car stereo and cell phone displays. It’s just about ready for prime time. Philips has shown a 13″ unit, Samsung a 17″, and Seiko-Epson has shown a 40″ prototype.

OLED’s advantages are many. It actually emits it’s own light, so it requires no backlight and has better contrast than a traditional LCD. OLED displays have a wide viewing angle like a plasma display. Power usage is very low, less than 1/2 that of a traditional LCD display. At around 2mm deep, OLEDs are much thinner than either a plasma or LCD.

They have a refresh rate about 1,000 times faster than a traditional LCD, so they will be far superior for video applications. They have fewer parts than LCD or plasma and can be manufactured using a novel ink jet printing process. This promises to keep prices low as the technology is implemented. It is expected to see sub 20″ displays in stores by 2006 with larger units following one to two years later.

Other promising display technologies on the horizon include SED (Surface-conduction Electron-emitter Display) and carbon Nanotube. SED was developed by Canon, who began research into the technology in 1986. SED is basically the same principle as CRT, however there are important differences. The most important from a consumer standpoint is thickness. An SED display is only an inch or two thick, depending upon screen size.

The basic construction is two glass plates separated by a vacuum. One of the plates is coated with phosphors the other is mounted with electron emitters. Electrons are ejected when a voltage of about 16 to 18 V is applied to the emitters. These electrons are then accelerated by a higher voltage into a beam similar to that in a CRT display.

The visual advantages of SEDs are as for CRT displays, great color, deep black levels and quick motion response. These advantages, combined with the slim form factor, low cost and small power requirement should make for a real winner.

A unit shown by Toshiba at a Japanese trade show in April of 2005 even had it’s contrast ratio up to an incredible 100,000 to 1 by significantly reducing black luminance. Even if the specs were a bit inflated this would still amount to a fantastic contrast ratio, on the order of 5 times that of a traditional CRT. At one time, Toshiba indicated they would move to this technology for all displays over 40″ by 2006. However, after a spectacular demo at 2006 CES by where they indicated a late 2006 debut, both Canon and Toshiba, Toshiba resheduled their release date for SED until mid 2007, ostensibly to allow them to produce lower cost SEDs.

There is another fly in the SED ointment too. On April 21st, 2005 US firm Nano-Proprietary has filed a suit against Canon in the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Texas, alleging that the surface (SED) televisions that Canon plans to release violates a licensing agreement signed 5 years ago between the Japanese giant and Nano-Proprietary.

The pace of change in the home theater and entertainment display market has just kept accelerating. There are some promising technologies around the corner that will allow, as usual, higher performance, lower cost and more compact form factors. As prices for advanced technologies plunge and technology improves, it will make it even easier for the average person to have a fantastic media system almost anywhere in their home.

Seven Pros of a Helmet Camera

Have you ever wanted to see what you do after you've done it? If you do not know what I'm talking about, try to imagine yourself skydiving and then looking at the crazy risk you took to experience the ultimate high on video (granting that you're still alive, of course). How would you do it? Through cool inventions known as helmet cameras.

Helmet cameras, as the name suggests, are hands-free camcorders that you mount on your helmet so you can take the action as it happens. These are the video implements of choice for individuals who would like to tape the action as it happens. There are so many advantages of wearing helmet cameras. Here are the top seven:

1. Helmet cameras allow you to capture the action form your vantage point and share it with family and friends. If you're an extreme sports enthusiast, you get to experience the thrill all over again as you view your recent skiing, bungee jumping or snowboarding adventure with your loved ones who are too chicken to do it with you. Not everyone is as brave as you are, after all, and surviving the whole experience gives you the right to share and brag about it.

2. Helmet cams are essential for training purposes. If you're training for competition sports like surfing, motorcycling, kayaking, cycling or other athletic events, you can mount the helmet cam to see your technique so you can improve it before the actual competition. If you're in law enforcement, you can also use the camera while training to see whether you can do certain acts more efficiently.

3. Helmet cams can record the action for hours (usually 2-6 hours depending on the type and the memory card in the cam) so you can enjoy and review the action for the whole duration of the event.

4. You can use the film you've taken in a particular sport to get yourself a sponsor for your next sporting event. There are free and cheap editing software that you can use to make your videos look more professional.

5. Helmet cams also come with built-in speakers and microphones that record your voice as well as the sounds of the environment around you. This gives a total viewing experience. Some models record speed, distance and acceleration as well. Others even allow you to purchase such accessories as a GPS plug-in so you can pinpoint exactly which part of the world the video was shot. Most models also allow you to take still shots while you're doing your thing.

6. Waterproof helmet cameras are a must in scuba diving or water sports. The water was once an unconquerable world where cameras were concerned. Now, however, advanced technology has made capturing underwater action possible.

7. No one wants to anticipate bad things. But in the event of accidents, helmet cams provide valuable information on what went wrong. One can liken it to an airplane's black box before a crash, only, it provides a more comprehensive view because you can actually see what happened as opposed to only hearing what occurred.

What Is a Corbel?

People often ask "what would I use a corbel for? Where do you put them?" Corbels are the workhorses of architecture. Traditionally, a piece of masonry jutting out of a wall to carry an overhanging weight is called a corbel. This technique has been used by builders since prehistoric times in all types of architecture. As buildings evolved and became more ornate so did the corbels. The Mayans, Romans and Greeks all found corbels an ideal place to add carved ornamentation making them decorative as well as functional. When architectural styles trended toward excess ornamentation, corbels were frequently added strictly for decorative purposes.

So what about today? Most modern architects, designers and decorators restrict the use of corbels to places where they support or appear to support something. Does this restrict their use? Hardly. Let's look at some popular examples.

1. Fireplace Mantels. Easily one of the most obvious places to find functioning corbels. Something has to hold up the mantle. They are available in any style from simple rough sawn timber to deeply carved and highly ornate. The corbels you choose can easily help make your fireplace the focal point of any room design.

2. Countertops. Another often overlooked place that corbels are frequently used is to support countertops, especially natural stone tops. The amount of overhang for a countertop is limited by the material. By adding the appropriate size and number of corbels for support it's possible to dramatically increase the overhang and create usable breakfast bars and desk areas.

3. Doorways. Using corbels on the inside of an opening between the header and the doorjamb to create an effect not unlike an arch is a common use of corbels. But you can also use corbels to create a capital at the top of the casing before, a great idea for more decorative designs. This is especially effective with an exterior entry.

4. Wall Hung Cabinets. Corbels are a great way to add support and ornamentation to wall hung cabinets. Adding carved hardwood corbels finished to match your cabinet takes it to the realm of fine furniture. As an added bonus the corbels can be used to help hide any undercabinet lighting you might be using.

5. Curtain Rods and Valances. Using corbels for the end support pieces of curtain rods and curtain valances is a natural. With the huge selection available you're sure to be able to find something you like.

6. Shelves. When appearance counts, replace those ugly metal brackets with corbels. Want to add a plate rail to your breakfast nook? Use polyurethane corbels and three-quarter inch lumber painted to match your trim. Want to add a shelf above your beautiful stained oak mantle? Use carved or plain Oak corbels and a piece of three-quarter inch oak from your favorite lumberyard.

These are just some of the ways that you can use corbels to add a decorative element to the interior of your home. However, the exterior of your home has an equal number of appropriate places to use corbels as well. Any overhanging surface is fair game to add a row of corbels for decoration. Here are just a few examples.

1. Windowboxes. These are a great way to add garden space to even the smallest of homes. You can make them as decorative or as plain as you would like just by your choice of corbel.

2. Bay Windows. The addition of corbels to a bay window can add interest and define style.

3. Exposed Rafters Tails. Attaching corbels to the bottom edge of exposed rafters tails can add a lot of interesting detail to the eaves.

4. Eaves. A row of corbels along the eaves will add a feeling of weight along with needed ornamentation to revival designs.

There is really no end to the places you can use corbels and it's been that way for thousands of years. Corbels come in sizes as small as 2 inches to as tall as 4 feet. You can use a corbel anywhere that could use a little support or a little ornamentation. You are sure to find a decorative design that fits your style.

Oscillating Multi-Tools – The Revolutionary Tool

Oscillating multi-tools are revolutionary and convenient tools that make it possible to take on several tasks in a sufficient manner such as: cutting, sanding, scraping, and polishing wood, plastic, metal, concrete, brick, and anything you put up for the challenge. When did this “wonder tool” come about? The Dutch company Fein, in 1967, made the first oscillating power tool – the plaster cast saw. This saw was capable of cutting through the hard cast on a patient, but had the control and precision that prevented any injury to the patient. Fein went further with this design and nearly twenty years later, created the sanding component that is present in the current form seen today. In 1995, manufacturers saw the promise that this new tool held and broadened its horizons to cover numerous other needs, and since then has progressed to the current day oscillating tool of today’s market.

With the many actions that this versatile power tool can perform, it appeals to everyone with a “to-do” list. There are so many great things to appreciate about this tool aside from its adaptability. Attachments come with all of these oscillating multi-tools giving it a wide-range of uses, and are easy to quickly change at hand. The majority of these power tools have several speeds for efficiency and precision that various projects call for. They are designed to be easy-to-hold and easy-to-maneuver so that they can be used to take on even the smallest of areas. Tool manufacturers make multiple kinds of multi-tools (some are even cordless!). If a buyer is looking for an oscillating multi-tool for small projects, look for a 1.5 Amp motor to get the job done. If the goal is to finish a larger project such as home remodeling or construction, then a 2.5 Amp motor would better suit the task(s). Having this tool in your possession will truly make your projects a smoother ride, and it is very easy to find. No matter what the project is, an oscillating power tool will be your device to bring that project to a beautiful finish.

I would like to give one example of a lesson I learned about the value of this tool. At one point in my remodeling work, I came to the problem of removing old linoleum floor. The linoleum had been glued down to this concrete floor back in the late 1960’s. This was still the original floor in this bathroom from when the house was built. Now I went into this project thinking this would be an easy task. But I was soon proven wrong. You see over the years spots around the vanity, toilet and shower had started to peel. I assume the peeling was from water sitting or seeping underneath. Well I thought this will be an easy job, but I was soon proven wrong. I started peeling the flooring back where I thought it had separated from the concrete beneath but came to find out it was peeling off the glued backing. When I was finished removing it I had a floor of linoleum backing that did not come free from the concrete beneath it. So I retrieved my hand scraper and started at it. After three hours of scrapping I said there has to be an easier way. I went to the hardware store and bought a large ice chipper, this looked like an over sized putty knife. Well to no avail I didn’t get much more than I did with the hand one. So I went online and found the oscillating multi-tool. I saw a video of someone doing exactly what I was trying to do but in a much more efficient way. I ordered one and two days later I had it in my possession. I will tell you that this was like a magic. The oscillating multi-tool removed that flooring like it was powdered snow on the windshield of a car. I have to say I was made a believer that day in the infinite uses of this tool.

10 Reasons to Study to Be an Engineer

Have you thought about studying to become an engineer, but you're really not sure if you can do it, or if it will even be worth it? Do not worry. It's totally worth it, and you can. You just need to understand the reasons why and take that first step. Here are ten great reasons why you should start today!

It's profitable. Engineering jobs are some of the most highly paying out there. With mechanical engineering careers especially, it's not uncommon to earn north of six figures.

It's secure. Even in a turbulent global climate, there is still great demand for engineering jobs. Part of the reason for this is that economies thrive on engineering improvements.

It gives back to the community. If your community has a better transportation system and more quality roads, then accidents can be averted, travel can be affordable, and businesses can grow.

It creates a stronger economy. If businesses are growing, jobs are, too. If people are working, they are also spending, and that is nothing but the best for your economy.

It encourages you to think creatively. Some of the challenges you will face in mechanical engineering careers and related fields will allow you to think creatively to conquer them.

It creates a safer environment for future generations. A solid infrastructure makes certain that future generations will have a safer environment they can be proud of.

It's easy to get started. Engineering recruitment consultants make it easy for you to get started. All you have to do is drop by an agency, express your interests, and they will guide you down the path you need to go.

It's always something different. Engineering jobs can have you working on new roads one minute and a new building the next. There is no limit to the number of opportunities an engineering job can open up for you.

It can lead to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities. Engineers are needed to work on cutting edge technologies such as military jets and space shuttles. Few people can brag that they got to have a hands-on experience with equipment that is so awe-inspiring.

It can build your reputation. People who excel in mechanical engineering careers and related fields are looked upon as competent experts. You are entrusted with the future of your society, and showing the moxie to live up to that challenge will only grow your reputation in the days, weeks, months, and years ahead. This will also open up more lucrative job opportunities.

Engineering recruitment consultants are standing by to help you find your path toward mechanical engineering careers. The future is waiting for you to take control of it. With reasons such as the ones presented here, it does not take a rocket scientist to want to become a rocket scientist!

The 6th Universal Law Is That of Detachment and Rhythm

Be involved with passion, yet detachment. Eckhart Tolle and Byron Katie teach us to stay in the moment and to be accepting of our present reality. Byron explains that you can not win if you try to fight what is, so it works better for you to accept what it. This is detachment. And this leads to being an integral man and a master manifestor.

Integrating Passion with Detachment:

In order to make this Universal Law work to your benefit promise yourself: "Today I will factor in uncertainty and celebrate and experience more joy." If you have a desire that you are passionate about, celebrate the fulfillment of this desire, but do not attach to a specific item, car or home or job or boss. Celebrate how great you feel now that it has been accomplished, but do not connect this to a specific result.

I no longer give a specific time that I will arrive at work, and I find that I am getting here faster and earlier than I was when I was more specific. I formerly had a specific car that I was interested in, but almost as soon as I changed the desire to a more general, "Thank you for our comfortable and safe new vehicle with low mileage" we were given an opportunity to buy a Jeep with low mileage that got us through a horrible winter without any difficulty.

I used to ask for houses near the water with a private back yard and room to garden, and always got what I asked for, but then I realized that I should also ask for the money to afford them and that worked much better.

When I have asked for specific jobs, I have gotten them and not always been happy with them. I learned to ask for a job that I would enjoy which pays enough money for all my bills and expenses. Sometimes the pay is less, but the boss and colleagues are always great.

The Universe always has Balance and Rhythm:

This earth has balance. There are rainy seasons and dry seasons and warm seasons and colder seasons. We interfere with the rhythm of change at our peril. This is one area where we need to show some detachment. The earth follows certain natural laws that we can not interfere with. This balance was set in motion by the Creator / Source / God.

There are high tides and low tides, and these are necessary to maintain life in the oceans. There is dark and light each day, and this is also necessary for life on this planet. We can not interfere with these things.

However, we can alter space and time locally. Your spirit is not limited by time and space, and does not live by natural laws and you can manifest a different reality. Gregg Braden tells a story of traveling with a group in Egypt. They were on their way to see the pyramids which should have been an all day trip. They were talking about and visualizing what they wanted to see, and when the bus stopped at a checkpoint, there was some distress. Gregg went out to assist, and it seemed that they had gotten to the checkpoint a couple of hours ahead of time. This had been done without speeding or taking any shortcuts. The Universe had simply bent time-space to accommodate the group desire.

Another way taught by Yoga masters is to visualize the sun in your heart, and then add the moon. As these are the astronomical bodies that determine time on Earth, once you hold them together, you are able to stop time. I have been practicing this for a few years, and my most successful attempt was this morning. A trip that I do with a colleague that normally takes 2 hours, took only 1 hour and 8 minutes this morning!

Any manifesting requires passion and belief:

(Visualization + Belief) * Passion = Manifestation

Most Westerners start out with pretty good ability to visualize and we have pretty good passion. It is belief where we fall short. As your belief grows, so will your manifesting.

Insulation and Your Home

Home insulation is among the essential elements that keeps indoor living as comfortable as possible. Its resistance to heat that prevents heat loss and gain is what makes everyone inside the house warm and cozy in winter and cool and relaxed in the summer. A properly insulated home also makes use of energy in the most efficient and cost effective way. Thus, whether you are in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Long Island, Staten Island, or Queens; insulating your New York home definitely pays and affords you the comfortably luxurious living you and your family deserves.

Other than attics and exterior walls, there are also other areas in your homes that could use some insulation for maximal comfort and functionality. This includes:

o Ceilings- with unheated areas above, cathedral ceilings;

o Interior walls- basement walls, walls that separate one room from another especially in bathrooms, knee walls;

o Floors- that cover vented crawlspaces, and those overhead porches and garages especially unheated ones.

Other than resisting heat flow, insulation also serves as a sound proofing measure that reduces the amount of noise transmitted from one room to another and from outside the house.

To ensure that your house is insulated sufficiently, consult with a professional insulation contractor. The US Department of Energy (DOE) and the International Energy Conservation Code have established standard range of R-values, where R stands for the resistance to heat flow, which affords each home the highest levels of indoor comfort and optimal energy savings. There are certain areas and factors that your hired contractor will look into to ensure that the house is well-insulated like the climate, heating system and R-values ​​of the attic, cathedral ceiling, wall cavity, sheathing, and floor.

When thinking of insulating your new home or adding insulation to your home, the options are many. Each type is made from different materials, requires specific methods of installation, ideally applicable to certain areas, and has its own set of pros and cons. To determine which type is best for your home, do some research. Some of the most commonly used types of insulation include:

o Cellulose,
o Fiberglass batts,
o Fiberglass loose-fill,
o Rigid Board extruded polystyrene,
o Rigid Board expanded polystyrene,
o Rigid Board polyurethane or isocyanurate,
o Rockwool or mineral wool,
o Reflective system,
o Concrete block insulation,
o Insulating concrete forms (ICFs),
o Vermiculite, and
o Wood shavings.

When exploring your options, there are things to consider before deciding which type of insulation to use. The higher the R-value is the better. You should also make sure the thermal performance offered by the product is long lasting. For larger energy savings throughout time, pick one that warranties a long working life. Choose one that is resistant to fire and moisture, and avoids air infiltration. And with the growing trend of going green in home remodeling, you may also consider environmental benefits.

But regardless of which insulation type you opt to use for your home, the essential key to achieving the full R-value is proper installation. Other than looking into the basic qualifications when looking for a New York contractor, it would also be advantageous to hire a contractor trained by the NAIMA – North American Insulation Manufacturers Association.

Kidney Failure in Cats – How to Provide the Best Care Possible

Chronic renal failure (CRF) is a common cause of illness in older cats. Unlike some other organs such as the liver, damage to the kidneys cannot be repaired. Signs of renal disease are usually seen once at least 70-75% of the renal tissue has been irreversibly damaged and, once established, CRF is generally a naturally progressive condition. The rate of progression of disease can vary hugely from cat to cat. There is no cure for CRF and in people with this condition, dialysis treatment followed by renal transplantation are the main options. Neither of these treatments are currently available in the UK, although it is possible to improve the quality of life of affected cats by employing a variety of medical treatments tailored according to the individual’s needs. In recent years many treatment advances have been made and there are now more options available to owners wishing to care for their cats with CRF. Before discussing these treatments in detail, it is important to consider what normal kidney function is and therefore the range of problems that cats with CRF may have.

In normal cats, the kidneys play many vital roles which include:

Elimination of waste products, drugs and toxins from the body via the urine

Regulation of the body’s acidity, electrolyte levels (calcium, phosphate, potassium, sodium and chloride) and water balance

Production of hormones such as erythropoeitin (required to stimulate production of red blood cells by the bone marrow) and renin (important in controlling water and salt balance)

Activation of vitamin D (important in control of blood calcium and phosphate levels)

Regulation of blood pressure

Signs of CRF develop when two thirds to three quarters of renal function has been lost. Cats with CRF are vulnerable to problems including:

Accumulation of protein breakdown products (including urea and creatinine which can be measured in blood samples) which is associated with clinical signs of illness (e.g. nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite)


Acidosis (increased blood acidity)

Electrolyte abnormalities

Anaemia (partly due to lack of production of erythropoeitin)

High blood pressure (systemic hypertension)

CRF cats often show non-specific signs of ill health such as a variable or poor appetite, weight loss, depression and sickness. An increased thirst is seen in about one third of cats with CRF although this clinical sign can also be seen with various other conditions common in middle aged and elderly cats such as hyperthyroidism and diabetes mellitus (‘sugar diabetes’). Diagnosis of CRF therefore requires collection of blood and urine samples for analysis. Most commonly a diagnosis is made following identification of azotaemia (accumulation of the protein breakdown products creatinine and urea in the blood) and loss of urine concentrating ability (i.e. the urine is more dilute than it should be). Further tests may be required in some cats to identify the cause of the renal disease. For example ultrasound examination of the kidneys is usually a straightforward technique for identification of polycystic kidney disease (PKD).

Management of cats with CRF involves a range of treatments tailored according to the individual’s needs.

What is the ideal diet for cats with kidney problems?

It is common to prescribe specific dietary therapy since this has been shown to improve the quality of life and survival of cats with CRF and may reduce the rate of progression of disease. Renal diets typically have restricted levels of high quality protein which limits the amount of protein breakdown waste products for the ailing kidneys to excrete. Levels of phosphate are also restricted since cats with CRF have a tendency to retain excess amounts of this in the body which can contribute to their feeling unwell. Renal diets have increased amounts of potassium and B vitamins which CRF cats are vulnerable to losing in their urine and increased numbers of calories which helps CRF cats with a poor appetite to maintain a normal body weight. Renal diets usually have lower levels of sodium in them which may help to reduce the risk of high blood pressure developing.

It is possible to prepare home cooked diets for cats with CRF and veterinary recipes are available for this purpose. Most owners do not elect for home cooking protocols as this is very time consuming and therefore not a practical option in most cases.

Cats with CRF often have a poor appetite and this can be exacerbated by offering special kidney diets which may not appeal to the cat. In some cases, the use of appetite stimulants such as the anti-histamine cyproheptidine (trade name Periactin) or anabolic steroids can be helpful in stimulating an adequate appetite. More recently some vets have been treating cats with persistently poor appetites by placing a feeding tube into the stomach. Feeding tubes can be placed into the stomach using endoscopy and are referred to as PEG tubes when this is done (percutaneous endoscopically placed gastrostomy tube). Although an anaesthetic and short period of post-operative hospitalisation is required to place the tube, once in place these can be used for prolonged periods to administer food, liquids and medicines to the cat.

How can dehydration be treated and prevented?

Cats with CRF are vulnerable to becoming dehydrated since they are unable to produce concentrated urine. Encouraging cats to drink and maintain normal hydration is helpful, if possible, and moist diets are probably preferable. Offering flavoured water may encourage cats to drink more (e.g. fish broth) although it is important to not offer salty liquids as these can increase the risk of high blood pressure and other problems developing. Many cats with CRF do however prefer the dry kidney diets and it can be difficult to encourage drinking. In recent years, one treatment that has received a lot of attention is administration of fluids under the skin by the cat’s owner (subcutaneous fluid therapy).

This is not currently a common recommendation in the UK although many USA owners of CRF cats are finding it a simple and valuable technique for helping their cat. In severe cases, dehydration may require treatment with intravenous fluid therapy (i.e. cat admitted to a veterinary surgery and placed on a drip). Giving additional fluids at home can therefore be helpful in preventing this. In addition, extra treatments such as potassium can be added to the fluids. Subcutaneous fluid therapy usually involves giving around 150 ml of fluid under the skin twice a week. The technique is well tolerated by most cats and owners include one report of a 19 year old cat with CRF that has been managed for 6 years using subcutaneous fluid therapy as part of the management protocol. If necessary, the regime can be changed to more frequent fluid administration. The owner will be trained in how to perform this technique by a veterinary surgeon or nurse – it is important that the fluid is given correctly in a sterile manner so that infections do not occur at the site of injection. Some cats do not tolerate this procedure and so it may not be suitable for all cats with CRF.

How can electrolyte problems be treated and prevented?

Electrolytes are salts present in the body which are required for normal cellular functions. The most common electrolyte imbalances in CRF cats involve potassium and phosphate. CRF cats are vulnerable to losing potassium in their urine which can cause a reduction in the blood potassium levels (hypokalaemia). Hypokalaemic cats can become very weak and lose their appetite. Although renal diets contain increased amounts of potassium in them, some cats with CRF can still develop low blood potassium levels. Additional potassium can be supplied to these cats as a powder, tablet or liquid.

CRF cats are vulnerable to accumulating phosphate which can make them hyperphosphataemic (have high blood phosphate levels). Oral phosphate binders are drugs which bind to phosphate present in the diet and limit what is absorbed by the cat’s bowel. These drugs may be needed in CRF cats whose blood phosphate levels stay high in spite of dietary therapy or in those cats that will not eat a prescription diet.

How can systemic hypertension be treated and prevented?

High blood pressure (hypertension) occurs in 20 – 30% of cats with CRF and can have serious consequences such as blindness. Monitoring of blood pressure is therefore important so that high blood pressure can be identified and treated rapidly where it occurs. Most practices now have facilities to measure blood pressure in cats and this is a technique which is simple, pain free and only takes a few minutes to perform. In those cats requiring treatment, anti-hypertensive drugs (such as oral amlodipine or benazepril) can be prescribed. Most cats need once daily therapy to maintain normal blood pressure.

What other treatments may be needed?

Additional treatments which may be prescribed according to the needs of the cat include:

Erythropoietin: Anaemia is common in cats with CRF and one reason for this is the decreased amounts of erythropoietin produced by the kidneys. Erythropoietin is a hormone that triggers red blood cell production by the bone marrow and treatment of anaemic CRF cats with human erythropoeitin can be helpful in reversing the anaemia. Unfortunately, this treatment can be expensive and may not always have a lasting effect as the human hormone is recognised as a foreign substance by the cat’s body which eventually produces antibodies to the drug preventing it from having a useful effect. Another possible side effect of this treatment is development or exacerbation of high blood pressure so cats receiving this treatment need to be carefully monitored. There is research underway in two US universities to develop a feline erythropoietin which would be much more helpful and should not result in antibody production by the cat.

Iron supplementation: Some anaemic CRF cats are iron deficient so measuring iron status and considering iron supplementation may be useful. Iron is required in production of haemoglobin, the oxygen carrying molecule in red blood cells.

Anti-sickness pills for vomiting: cats with CRF may suffer from what is known as uraemic gastritis (inflammation of the stomach due to retention of waste products and hormones which the kidneys normally excrete). Anti-sickness treatments including antacids and anti-vomiting drugs can be very helpful at treating this problem which may help the cat to feel much better.

Prevention and treatment of acidosis: Cats with CRF are vulnerable to becoming acidotic (ie their blood is more acid than it should be). This has many consequences all of which make the cat feel more unwell. Where at all possible, cats with CRF should not be fed acidifying diets (these diets are often prescribed for cats with lower urinary tract problems such as cystitis and bladder stones) as this increases the likelihood of acidosis. Treatment for acidosis involves use of drugs like sodium bicarbonate.

Calcitriol (vitamin D therapy). Although still somewhat controversial, many clinicians have used this treatment in certain selected CRF patients and found it beneficial at maintaining normal blood levels of calcium and phosphate.

ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) inhibitors such as benazepril (Fortekor®, Novartis): This treatment has recently been advocated based on research in people with CRF in which ACE inhibitors were found to increase the survival times. Data from a recent clinical trial in cats with CRF suggested that cats receiving this therapy had a better quality of life (as assessed by their owners), a reduction in the amount of protein they were losing in their urine and slightly increased survival times. Fortekor did not reduce the parameters used to assess renal function (e.g. blood urea and creatinine levels). In the same clinical trial, a specific sub-set of cats with CRF which were losing large amounts of protein in their urine showed an excellent response to Fortekor® treatment (dramatically improved survival, appetite and weight gain). Unfortunately this manifestation of CRF accounts for only a small proportion of all cats with CRF.

ACE inhibitors also lower the blood pressure and so may be prescribed as anti-hypertensive therapy.

Antibiotics: recent studies showed that up to 30% of cats with CRF suffer from a bacterial cystitis at some point in the course of their disease. In some cats this infection may spread to the kidneys further compromising the renal function. In other cats, the bacterial cystitis is a consequence of bacterial infection of the kidneys (pyelonephritis). Cats with CRF may be more vulnerable to the development of bacterial urinary tract infections since the urine they are producing is so dilute. Unfortunately, in many cases the bacterial infection does not cause signs of cystitis (such as urinating more frequently, straining to urinate and passing bloody urine) which makes diagnosis of this complication difficult. Diagnosis requires collection of a urine sample which is assessed for microscopic evidence of bacteria and inoculated onto bacterial culture media for growth in a laboratory. A course of antibiotics, in some cases for weeks or months, may be needed to successfully eliminate bacterial urinary tract infections.

Other medications not discussed may be required in some cats with CRF and it is important to modify the treatment according to the specific requirements of each individual cat. The FAB website (http://www.fabcats.org/) contains useful information on renal disease as does the following web site which was designed by an owner of a cat with CRF http://www.felinecrf.com/

What is the prognosis for cats with CRF?

The long term outlook for cats with CRF is very variable ranging from a few weeks post diagnosis to many years. CRF is believed to be a progressive condition in most, if not all, cats although the rate of progression may vary considerably according to the cause of the disease and other individual factors. The prognosis is also affected by other issues including whether the cat has any other medical problems which influence its condition and how severe the consequences of renal disease are. For example, cats with anaemia caused by CRF often have a very poor long term prognosis as this is difficult to treat effectively for long periods of time. Owner and veterinary monitoring of affected cats helps to assess the severity of disease and rate of progression which ensures that affected cats receive all of the treatments that they need to help maintain good health. Care of affected cats at home can be very rewarding as well as helpful in ensuring that CRF patients have the best quality of life for as long as possible.

A comprehensive book ‘Caring for a cat with kidney failure’ by Dr Sarah Caney is available through her website as an e-book or as a printed on demand softback.

Heartburn Causes and Treatments

The hurting of heartburn is caused by the acid that assists to digest our foods is not held in the stomach and begins to return or reflux back into the esophagus and will irritate. There is a valve or a lid named the lower esophageal sphincter or commonly called the LES. Its task is to open when we swallow food and drink and then remain closed. The trouble is sometimes the stomach develops too much of the acids or the sphincter relaxes and permits the acid to re-enter into the esophagus and burn.

Over eating induces the frequent heartburn. So slow down and consume less. Acids can be forced up into the esophagus when it is too full and successively make more acids. Over the counter antacids are more often than not helpful and competent. Most of the common over the counter antacids will contain an assortment of magnesium hydroxide and aluminum hydroxide. While one will induce diarrhea one will constipate and when compounded they counteract each other. While the over the counter gastric antacids may have very hardly any side effects, if taken for an extended period of time, they may be covering a more serious condition.

After eating, lay down for two hours. It is advisable to likewise have the head and chest higher than the feet. Gravitation will assist to do the rest. Try positioning blocks under the head of the bed or positioning a wedge under the head of the mattress, but extra pillows do not tend to work.

Do not consume milk or mint's for heartburn. This could make a bad situation worse. The mints is just one of the diverse foods that will loosen up the lower esophageal sphincter or the LES that is the value used to stop the reflux. Some different foods that relax the sphincter is wine, beer, other alcoholic beverages and tomatoes. The fats, proteins and calcium of the milk can excite the stomach to produce and secrete more acid. While it will help the throat going down, inside the stomach it has a different outcome. Caffeine drinks, such as tea, coffee and sodas might bother an already enlarged esophagus and loosen the sphincter. Chocolate has a twofold effect with the fats and caffeine. White chocolate has as much fat but lesser caffeine.

Avoid tobacco smoke. While it loosens up the sphincter, it also increases acid output. Carbonated drinks can expand the stomach and will give the same results as overindulging. fatty, greasy and fried foods will sit in the stomach more prolonged and create excess acid production. Being over weight, the extra fat will squeeze the stomach. Wearing lose fitting clothes, nothing binding and tight around the waistline. Bending your knees instead of bending the waist can help. Several prescription drugs such as antidepressants and sedatives might aggravate heartburn pain. Learn and talk about with your doctor.

Not all people are effected by the spicy chili peppers or the acidic foods like oranges and lemons, but many people are. It is advised for you to maintain a heartburn diary to help see what does and does not bother you. If problems along with conditions continue more than two months or occurs over two times a calendar week, try checking with you physician. The journal will help the physician to discover a course of action.

Non Alcoholic Specialty Drink Recipes

With countless opportunities to throw a party or entertain friends and family (holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, engagements, baby showers, etc.) it is a good idea to have a selection of drink recipes on hand for any occasion. Alcoholic beverages are always popular, but it is a smart idea to have some non-alcoholic choices on hand as well; for any under-agers, non-drinkers, or pregnant parties. The following recipes always leave you with the option to add alcohol of your choice as well, which make them versatile!

Raspberry Mint Crush

2 cups sugar
2 cups boiling water
1 cup red raspberries
1 bunch of mint
2 cups lime juice

Dissolve sugar in hot water and chill; add berries, crushed with mint and lime juice, and chill 2 to 3 hours in refrigerator. Strain and pour over cracked ice in small glasses and serve with additional mint leaves. This recipe makes enough for 12 small glasses. A fun idea would be to purchase beverage coasters in coaster sets that have pink or magenta colors on them to match the drink. Green edgings on the coasters would add to the visual.

Planters Punch

2 cups orange juice
2 cups lemon juice
2 cups grenadine
3 quarts ginger ale
Rum flavoring (to taste)
Strawberries and sliced ​​pineapple for garnishing
Mint leaves for garnishing

Mix juices, grenadine, and rum flavoring and chill 12 hours or overnight. Add ginger ale just before serving over ice. Garnish with strawberries, pineapple, and mint leaves. Makes enough for approximately 60 servings, depending on the size of the drink glasses you choose to serve the drinks in.

Lime Rickey

Juice of 1 large lime
1 teaspoon sugar
Club soda

Stir lime juice and sugar together in an 8-ounce glass, add 2 large ice cubes, fill glass with club soda and stir again. Garnish with slices of lime. This drink looks great with matching green cocktail napkins, lime-colored absorbent coasters, and even colored plastic cocktail glasses.

Grape Juice Lime Rickey

Juice of 1 small lime
2 ounces grape juice
1 teaspoon sugar
Club soda

Stir together in an 8-ounce glass, add 2 large ice cubes, fill the glass with club soda, stir again, and serve with stirring rod.

Kumquat Rickey

Juice of 3 kumquats
1 teaspoon sugar
Club soda

Stir kumquat juice with sugar in an 8-ounce glass. Add 2 large ice cubes, and the shell of half a squeezed kumquat. Fill glass with club soda and stir again. Serve garnished with mint leaves.

Grape Juice Fix

8 parts grape juice
2 parts lemon juice
1 part pineapple syrup

Mix ingredients and serve in tall glass over cracked ice. Garnish with mint leaves.

Pineapple Daisy
1 part grenadine
2 parts lime or lemon juice
8 parts pineapple juice

Mix ingredients and pour into goblet over cracked ice. Serve decorated with pineapple sticks and fresh strawberries, if available. You can the find the if specialty drink glasses, table coasters , or cocktail napkins decorated with images of fruit (lemons, oranges, limes, pineapples) it will : add to the visual appeal!

Raspberry Daisy

1 part Grenadine
2 parts lemon juice
8 parts raspberry syrup

Mix ingredients and pour into prepared goblet over cracked ice. Float whole fresh raspberries in this drink for an effective party-like look.

Dummy Daisy

1 part Grenadine
2 parts lemon or lime juice
8 parts orange juice

Mix and pour into prepared goblet and stir with cracked ice. Decorate with orange slices and a sprig of mint for gala occasions.

Mint Cooler

Crush 1 or 2 sprigs of mint with 1 or 2 teaspoonfuls sugar in the bottom of the glass, add the ice, decorate with lemon peel, and fill glass with ginger ale.

Lone Tree Cooler

Juice of 1 lemon and ½ an orange with 1 ounce grenadine. Fill up with club soda.

Spicy Coffee Cooler

15 whole cloves
2 sticks cinnamon
½ cup ground coffee
7 cups boiling or cold water
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 cup heavy cream, whipped

Add cloves, cinnamon and coffee to water and brew as usual; strain and add powdered sugar. Pour into tall glasses half filled with crushed ice; top with sweetened cream and dust with cinnamon. These measurements serve enough for approximately 6 people.

How to Choose a Bar

If you're looking for a good bar in Cardiff, or anywhere else in the UK, then you'll want to make sure it meets a strict set of criteria. Here are 10 questions you should ask before making your choice.

1. Is it easy to get to?

Think about where you're coming from and where you're going to and find out if you can to and from the bar with ease. If it's by public transport, check the last journey home so you're not left stranded. If you're driving, make sure you're not drinking and see if they have any car parking facilities on-site or nearby.

2. Is the bar in a good location?

What part of town is the bar in? Is it a safe area? This is vital for making your night go without a hitch, so do your homework before you leave.

3. Who will be joining you?

Can they get there easily? Is it suitable for their tastes too? If it's a business meeting, how loud will the music be? If you're taking your girlfriend, is there music for you to have a dance?

4. Will you be wanting to eat?

If you're not looking for food, do you mind going to an establishment that is meal-orientated? And if you do want to eat, does the bar you're looking at serve food at the times you intend to go?

5. How expensive are the drinks?

Nobody wants to pay over the odds for drink, so check out reviews before you go and see what people who've been before think.

6. How efficient is the service?

Make sure wherever you're going gets good reviews for service. Nobody wants to wait around to be served for half the evening.

7. How much seating do they have?

If you like to sit down when having a drink, make sure they have plenty of seating. If do not mind standing up, this does not matter as much, but it's nice to have the option – especially if you're likely to tire yourself out with dancing.

8. What kind of atmosphere does the bar have?

Is it quiet? Loud? Photos busy? -Quiet? Every bar offers something different, so do your research and know what to expect before you arrive.

9. Do they have the drinks or kind of meals you're looking for?

People always forget to check what products bars do, then have to change their order at the bar. Call the bar before you go and make sure they offer Jameson Whisky if that's what you like to drink.

10. Can you go to any other bars nearby?

If you do not want to stay in the same place all night, why not find a bar that is surrounded by other bars. That way, if the bar is not what you fancy, you're not a taxi ride away from somewhere else.

The So, for instance, the if you're looking for a good bar in a city like Cardiff, Post why not start your Suche with a Cardiff directory to the find ratings and reviews provided by ? You'll discover all you want to know about bars in Cardiff as well as much more.

For the Love of Badminton

Badminton is one of the most popular sport ever created by humans, it is usually played by two to four players hitting the feathered ball with a racket in opposite direction. I really love this game because it does not require a lot, just buy a racket, shuttle cock and invite friends to play badminton even to the streets.

History of Badminton

It is said that this game was invented in the ancient Greece, derived from the child's game battledore and shuttlecock, where two persons will hit a feathered shuttlecock using a long thin racket. The Indians call this game "Poonai" in the 18th century, the British officers who stationed in India are the ones who bring the game in England, introduced it to their friends, introduce some rules and developed some equipments.

This game was officially launched in 1873 at the Badminton House, Gloucestershire. During that time, the game was referred to as "The Game of Badminton," and the game's official name became Badminton. 1992 is the year that Badminton became an Olympic Sport.

Benefits of Playing Badminton

Do not you know that a complete game of badminton can make you loose from 350 to more a thousand calories? Yeah that's true, now you know why many want to loose weight through badminton, its will not only make you thin but it can also make you reduce bad cholesterol and for better blood circulation. Because this game is more on ball focus, Badminton is also recommended for those persons with poor eyesight and ADHD kids.

Court Dimension, Scoring, Racket, Shuttle Cock and Net

Full width of the court: 6.1 meters (20 ft)
singles: 5.18 meters (17 ft)

Full length of the court: 13.4 meters (44 ft)

Service line distance
singles: 1.98 meters (6 ft)
doubles: .78 meters (2.6 ft)

Twenty one (21) is the winning point unless there's a deuce, a deuce happens when the score is 20-20, the winning player / s must achieve at least two (2) points ahead in order to win. Thirty (30) is the maximum winning point. Badminton Racquets are light usually 80-90 grams of weight, its is made out of light metals such as aluminum. the strings are usually made-out of carbon criss-crossed together for added strength to stand hard smash.

The shuttle cock is a conical shape material made out of protractor shaped cork covered with clothe and feathers.

Badminton Playing Tips

o Perform warm-up exercises before playing to avoid injuries.
o Hand Shake Position is the best way to hold the racket.
o Always remain to the center area of ​​your court, it's the base position.
o Always put the ball where your opponent can not get that ball easily.
o Be prepared, focus on your opponent's body movement, it may give you an idea on where he will put the ball.
o Smash the ball whenever you have the chance
o Estimate if your opponent's hit will go out or not.
o Defense is better than offense.
o Be confident, it can help.

Thanks for reading my article.

How to Protect Your Home From Monsoon Weather Damage

Moist winds, heavy rains, damp air; they all are responsible for causing damage to our homes in the monsoon season. Building maintenance services, exterior paint services, etc. are some of the services which can be availed for a tension-free monsoon season. It is that we must plan to protect our houses from the monsoon weather damages in advance so that we can enjoy this weather without having to worry about our exterior walls or furniture. Below are some useful steps that will guide you and educate you on how you can keep your home safe from monsoon damages.

Paint the Exterior Walls

The outside beauty of the house totally depends on the exterior walls. Make sure that you get your house repainted with quality waterproof paint on the outside as a preventive measure from rains. You can also get the walls painted after treating them with water-sealant for a more protective layer on your walls. This would guarantee great looking and stronger walls.

Check the Doors and Windows

Make sure that all doors, windows and their respective frames are in good shape. Repainting of the metal frames, fitting of the doors and windows, checking of functioning are some of the main points which should be kept in mind. Ask your carpenter to fix all the damages so that you can enjoy smooth moving doors and windows before the arrival of monsoons.

Clean the Drains and Drainage System

To avoid water clogging in your house and surroundings, make sure that all your drains are clear before the rains begin. Replace the damaged and rusted drainpipes and make sure that all the drains on the balcony and porch are also taken care of. A clean drainage system will not allow water clogging in your house, keeping it safe from the rains.

Check Interior Walls and Ceilings for Seepage

Always look for small gaps, pores and any other leakages in the ceiling and interior walls, which can cause the water to seep in. Before getting your house painted from inside, make sure you get your walls treated with wall-care putty or any other similar water-resistant formula which can take care of all kinds of seepage and also prevent chipping of paint. This will give your walls a longer life. In case there are some cracks, before the paint gets these cracks treated with POP or cement. All these measures will keep your house beautiful and well-maintained to face the monsoons.

Get the Wiring Checked

Electric currents are a great danger in the rainy season. If any wiring is damaged or is left open, it can cause unimaginable damages to your house. Before monsoons, do not forget to call your electrician to do a complete check of wires and electrical connections. Make sure that all the damaged wires and electric points have been checked properly.

The above mentioned points will not only keep your beautiful house free from monsoon weather damages, but will also ensure complete safety of your family from all possible aspects. So now you have the checklist to follow before the rains begin to pour.

Aircraft Coatings and Aircraft Paints

In tune with environmental concerns, PPG Aerospace’s global flagship coating, Desothane® HS topcoat, is the only low-VOC topcoat approved by both Boeing and Airbus. Some of the most harmful chemicals found in paint are volatile organic compounds, or VOCs. VOCs are unstable, carbon-containing compounds that readily vaporize into the air. When they enter the air, they react with other elements to produce ozone, which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing problems, headache, burning, watery eyes and nausea. Some VOCs also have been linked to cancer, as well as kidney and liver damage.

Aircraft manufacturers, airlines and maintenance operations rely on aircraft coatings from primers for composite and metallic airframes to topcoats in standard, metallic and mica colours. Innovative Selectively Strippable Systems combine long-term performance with efficient topcoat removal for repainting.

Aircraft maintenance chemicals include paint and coating removers, US military approved products and interior and exterior aircraft cleaners.

General and commercial aircraft coatings, primers and topcoats.

Akzo Nobel Aerospace Coatings is one company manufacturing high solids polyurethane aircraft topcoats. Chemically cured, low VOC topcoats are designed to provide premium gloss, superior chemical and stain resistance, and flexibility. Acid in the upper atmosphere had resulted in a significant increase in complaints from airlines about loss of gloss, colour shift, and loss of paint adhesion from rivets called rivet rash. The customer complaints led Boeing to develop a topcoat test incorporating alternating acid and UV exposure. This test confirmed the poor gloss performance of the high-solvent topcoats being used at the time and the potential for improved performance with new high-solids topcoats.

Polyester urethane paints for aircraft.

Topcoat is a two-component polyurethane or acrylic urethane finish which provides a rich, high gloss finish. Formulated to the demanding requirements of the aerospace market, this product will provide superior colour and gloss retention, along with excellent chemical, and abrasion resistance. Polyurethanes have excellent wet look appearance, mechanical performance, UV resistance, and chemical resistance compared with other coatings. Polyurethanes can he applied as higher solids or powder coatings without loss of performance. As a result, polyurethanes are the market leader for coating metallic and plastic substrates in numerous high-end and highly visible applications today. In the future, the performance of urethane coatings will allow them to be used in a broader spectrum of applications.

Aerospace advanced micas.

Micas create a, some would say, controversial appearance on aircraft liveries. This repairable high solid formulation is flexible with optimal processing behaviour regardless of environmental conditions. Virgin have adopted silver mica. The colour has large flakes of silver in it, no white. It looks white from some angles because of the way the sun reflects off the silver particles in the paint… iridescence.

Special Effect coatings change the colour of an aircraft, depending on the lighting and the viewing angle. An aircraft can, for example, appear royal blue from one viewpoint, and purple from another. Iridescent effects are a distinctive way to combine colours for an unusual, eye-catching finish.

How to Choose a Landscape Gardener

If you are considering hiring a landscape gardener to create your new garden then there are a number of things to consider before making your investment. This guide offers advice on choosing a good quality landscape gardener that will go the extra mile to help make your new garden the only place you’ll want to be.

Here are four things to ask a garden landscaper when considering their service:


1. What services to do you offer?

Some landscape gardeners cover a variety of services including turf laying, fencing, decking, patio laying and planting. Others however only specialize in one area. If you are looking for an all-round garden landscaper then you must quiz your prospective provider as to what they can actually do – properly and professionally.


2. Can I see and check testimonials from past customers?

If you have not been recommended to this garden landscaper by someone you know has been satisfied with their service, then ask them for testimonials that you can verify. There is no substitute for hearing from other satisfied customers that this garden landscaping company can be trusted to do a good job, on time and for a reasonable price.

3. Can I see photographs of previous work?

Ask for photographs or even video coverage of recent garden landscaping jobs so that you can check the quality of the work.


4. Do you provide written, no-obligation quotations?

Make sure the garden landscaper puts their quote in writing on official headed paper showing a postal address and full contact details. Verify these details and look the company up by searching for them on the internet. Listings in directories and a strong presence stand for a lot.


Putting time and effort into choosing the right garden landscaping company – and asking lots of questions – will ensure your garden project runs to schedule, is not overpriced and the resulting garden is something to cherish.