How to Help the Homeless

Is there any ways that really help the homeless? Does handing the panhandler a dollar do any good? Are you looking for the quick help or do you want to help solve the solution? The biggest problem is the homeless are not a group of the same person so their problems are not the same so the same solution will not work for everybody.

First off the reason for their homelessness is not the same. Yes some are due to addictions – both alcohol and drugs. Others have psychological issues. And then the fastest growing segment is those running from spousal abuse. And some simply have out spent their income and ended up on the streets with the downward spiral that leads to loss of job and loss of everything else.

So you have 2 avenues to help – the long term solution and the short term fix. The long term solution includes finding them jobs and affordable housing. The long term solution also focuses on fixing the other issues – the addictions, the psychological and emotional help, career and family counseling. So the long term solutions help with economic means to get them off the streets and the mental issues to help them cope so they don’t end up back on the street.

But since most people only want a short quick answer we will now comment on the ways to help the homeless deal with their everyday issues. Though these solutions are vital to them surviving they do nothing to help get them off the Street – they help them deal with the street.

What do you do when you see someone holding up a sign, “Will Work for Food”? Do you roll down your window and give them money? Do you pretend you didn’t see them? Nobody likes to be confronted by the homeless – their needs often seem too overwhelming – but we all want to treat them fairly and justly.

Here are some simple guidelines to equip you to truly help the homeless people you meet:

First off please do not give money to the homeless. If you want to donate money give it to the shelter that takes care of them. Too often, well intended gifts are converted to drugs or alcohol – even when the “hard luck” stories they tell are true. If the person is hungry, buy them a sandwich and a beverage. Taking time to talk to a homeless person in a friendly, respectful manner can give them a wonderful sense of civility and dignity. And besides being just neighborly, it gives the person a weapon to fight the isolation, depression and paranoia that many homeless people face.

The homeless are as diverse as the colors of a rainbow. The person you meet may be battered women, an addicted veteran; someone who is lacking job skills…the list goes on. Please do not treat them ALL as addicts – the addicted old homeless man we all pictures is only 25% of the population. So try and treat them with respect – remember they are still people too as you deal with them help them to help themselves. Take them to the appropriate homeless shelter. Most shelters offer immediate food and shelter to the homelessness through their emergency shelters. Many offer long-term rehabilitation programs that deal with the root causes of homeless. Many also offer “tickets” that can be given to homeless people which can be exchanged at the shelter for a notorious meal, safe overnight lodging, and the option of participating in a rehab program. Exposure to the elements, dirt, occasional violence, and lack of purpose all drain years from a person’s life. God can use your prayers and the brutality and the futility of life of the street to bring many of the broken to Himself. So please pray for the homeless.

So you want to do little more. Their immediate needs are the basics – food, clothes, and shoes. So you can take food to the homeless shelters. Get with your local grocery store and ask if you can have the daily leftovers and date expired food. Take to the shelter. If you like set up a weekly trip and take them enough food every week – now you are making a big difference. Take along your kids. Another great way to help is to take your extra shoes, coats and clothes. Have a clothes drive in your neighborhood, Do it on a monthly basis – if you like – the homeless residents next month are most likely not the homeless residents who were there this month.

The homeless in America are growing at a rapid rate and we all need to pitch in and help. Listed below are some staggering facts in regard to the homeless numbers and their conditions:

1. Family Homelessness: A New Social Problem

Except during the Great Depression, women and children have never been on our nation’s streets in

significant numbers. During the 1980’s, cutbacks in benefits coupled with rapidly increasing rents and a dearth of low-income housing jeopardized the stability of all people with reduced or fixed incomes. At the same time, the number of female-headed households dramatically increased. As a result, the nation’s population of homeless families swelled from almost negligible numbers to nearly 40% of the overall homeless population today. The United States in unique among industrialized nations in that women and children comprise such a large percentage of our country’s homeless.

2. More Than One Million Homeless Children

Although counting the exact number of homeless children is difficult, a consensus is emerging among researchers. According to the National Coalition for the Homeless, 1.2 million children are homeless on any given night. Supporting this figure are estimates from the U.S. Department of Education that report almost 400,000 homeless children were served by the nation’s public schools last year. Since more than half of all homeless children are under the age of 6 and not yet in school, a minimum of 800,000 children can be presumed to be homeless. On the basis of these data, the National Center on Family Homelessness concludes that more than one million American children are homeless today.

3. Family Homelessness Will Increase

Looking beyond current numbers, The National Center on Family Homelessness (NCFH) predicts that

tight housing markets accompanied by decreasing availability of cash benefits as a result of welfare

reform will lead to an increase in family homelessness. To determine which states will have the biggest problem, NCFH created an index of seven risk factors for family homelessness. These factors were identified from epidemiological research conducted over the past ten years. The ranking of states is presented in the report.

Part II

1. Homelessness Makes Children Sick

Researchers from NCFH have isolated homelessness as a direct predictor of specific childhood illnesses.

Homeless children:

o Are in fair or poor health twice as often as other children and four times as often as children whose families earn more than $35,000 a year.

o Have higher rates of low birth weight and need special care right after birth four times as often as other children.

o Have very high rates of acute illness, with half suffering from two or more symptoms during a single month.

o Have twice as many ear infections, five times more diarrhea and stomach problems, and six times as many speech and stammering problems.

o Are four times more likely to be asthmatic.

o Go hungry at more than twice the rate of other children.

2. Homelessness Wounds Young Children

Every day, homeless children are confronted with stressful, often traumatic events.

o 74% of homeless children worry they will have no place to live.

o 58% worry they will have no place to sleep.

o 87% worry that something bad will happen to their family.

Within a single year:

o 97% of homeless children move, many up to three times.

o More than 30% are evicted from their housing.

o 22% are separated from their family to be put in foster care or sent to live with a relative.

o Almost 25% have witnessed acts of violence within their family.

The constant barrage of stressful and traumatic experiences has profound effects on the cognitive and emotional development of homeless children.

o Homeless babies show significantly slower development than other children do.

o More than one-fifth of homeless children between 3 and 6 years of age have emotional problems serious enough to require professional care.

o Homeless children between 6 and 17 years struggle with very high rates of mental health problems.

o Less than one-third of homeless children are receiving mental health treatment.

3. Homelessness Devastates Families

Families are the fastest growing segment of the homeless population, now accounting for almost 40% of the nation’s homeless. More than 85% of homeless families are headed by single mothers, with the average homeless family comprised of a young mother and her two young children, most of whom are below the age of 6 years.

Homeless mothers have an average annual income of under $8000, living at 63% of the federal poverty level for a family of three.

o Only 21% of homeless mothers receive money from family, partners, or friends.

o 39% have been hospitalized for medical treatment.

o 22% have asthma, compared to 5% of other women under 45 years.

o 20% have anemia, compared to 2% of other women under 45 years.

o 40% report alcohol or drug dependency at some time in their lives.

Although 70% of fathers of homeless children are in touch with their children, most do not live with the family. The downward spiral into homelessness for a child is often accelerated if a father loses his job, becomes injured or ill, has a bout with alcohol or drugs, or is involved with the criminal justice system.

o 50% of fathers are unemployed.

o 43% have problems with drugs or alcohol.

o 31% have physical or mental health problems.

o 32% are in jail or on probation.

Homeless children are at particularly high risk for being placed in foster care; 12% of homeless children are placed in foster care compared to just over 1% of other children. The National Center on Family Homelessness has identified placement in foster care as one of only two childhood risk factors that predicts family homelessness during adulthood.

o 44% of homeless mothers lived outside of their homes at some point during their childhood; 20% of these women were placed in foster care.

o 70% of homeless mothers placed in foster care as children have had at least one of their own children in foster care.

The frequency of violence in the lives of homeless mothers is staggering.

o 63% have been violently abused by an intimate male partner.

o 27% have required medical treatment because of violence by an intimate male partner.

o 25% have been physically or sexually assaulted during adulthood by someone other than an intimate partner.

o 66% were violently abused by a childhood caretaker or other adult in the household before reaching 18.

o 43% were sexually molested as children.

When the violence from their childhood is combined with their experiences as adults, 92% of homeless

mothers have been severely physically or sexually assaulted; 88% have been violently abused by a family

member or intimate partner. These repeated acts of brutality result in unusually high rates of serious

emotional problems among homeless mothers.

o 36% have experienced Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; three times the rate of other women.

o 45% have had a major depressive disorder, twice the rate of other women.

o 31% have attempted suicide at least once, primarily during adolescence.

o 12% have been hospitalized for treatment of mental illness.

Among homeless children:

o 8% have been physically abused, twice the rate of other children.

o 8% have been sexually abused; three times the rate of other children.

o 35% have been the subject of a child protection investigation.

o 24% have witnessed acts of violence within their family.

o 15% have seen their father hit their mother.

o 11% have seen their mother abused by a male partner.

4. Homeless Children Struggle in School

Despite state and federal efforts to provide homeless children with improved access to public school, at least one-fifth of homeless children do not attend school.

Homelessness takes children far away from their own schools and classmates. For many homeless

children:

o There is no transportation from shelters to school.

o Improvised living arrangements are too short to make enrolling in a new school worthwhile.

o Lack of academic and medical records creates obstacles to registration.

o Daily demands of finding food and shelter push children’s educational needs aside.

Homeless children who manage to attend school face discouraging barriers to their academic success.

o Homeless children have four times the average rate of delayed development.

o Have more academic problems that other children.

o Are under served by special education.

o Are suspended twice as often as other children.

Among homeless children, there is twice the number of students with learning disabilities and three times

the number of students with emotional and behavioral problems.

Homeless children are twice as likely to repeat a grade.

o 21% of homeless children repeat a grade because of frequent absence from school, compared to 5% of other children.

o 14% repeat a grade because they have moved to a new school, compared to 5% of other children.

Within a single year:

o 40% of homeless children attend two different schools.

o 28% attend three or more different schools.

So they need your help. Start with the short term help – provide food and clothes or shoes, And as you get involved start thinking of ways to help with the long term needs. With the current economic conditions its only going to get worse, And more help will be needed, And when you picture the homeless please picture the homeless child and not the drunken, pan handling bum. That homeless child so desperately needs your help .

5 Major Markets For Quarries

We've all seen them, sitting on the outskirts of town, surrounded by giant hills of stone, gravel and sand. They're known as gravel pits, sand pits, or quarries, which are specifically used to mine crushed stone from the earth. But once the stone has been dug up from the quarries, where does it go? Who buys that much gravel or crushed stone? How do quarries stay in business?

Below are the top 5 markets for quarries, who they sell to, and what they sell.

Government. All levels of government-city, county, state, and federal-buy crushed stone and other aggregates from quarries, making the government the single biggest customer quarries have. Over half of all quarry sales go to the government. They use this material for new roads and interstates and new government buildings.

Commercial new construction. Commercial construction companies use the aggregate bought at quarries in their construction of commercial buildings. These can be any buildings that are not residential, such as office buildings, hospitals, schools, retail centers, or even parking lots.

Residential new construction. Quarries provide the crushed stone needed for building new houses. It's used in foundations, as well as in driveways and landscaping.

Railroads. Railroads need a great deal of a material called ballast, which is the gravel and crushed stone that the railroads buy from quarries. This ballast is laid on the path where the rails will eventually be placed. Because of the characteristics of crushed stone and gravel, this keeps rails steady and supported under the heavy weight of trains, and allows for drainage so that the tracks do not get submerged.

Utility companies. Utility companies buy a great deal of crushed stone and gravel from quarries, because they need at least a little of it in every job they do. Laying or repairing pipes requires that the pipes be supported by and surrounded by gravel so that they do not shift and so that water can drain away from them. Putting up utility poles requires cement and aggregate reinforcement. Utility companies have many uses for this material, and keep quarries quite busy.

Quarries sell to other markets, as well, including plumbers, excavators, and landscapers. The aggregates they produce are even used to make glass and toothpaste! However, the above markets are five of the most lucrative customers for quarries, and demonstrate how closely the fate of our nation's quarries is tied to the rest of the country's economy.

Woodworking: Common Methods of Wood Joinery

Wood joinery, in its various forms, has been used to build, craft, construct, and to secure our human projects for thousands of years. Accordingly, there are many techniques for wood joinery circulating the industry and although they all do essentially the same thing, each method has an individual focus and, consequently, produces a different kind of joint.

To take a small step backward, wood joinery is the binding of two separate workpieces. Each piece must be of equal thickness and must planed flat along their adjoining edges. The goal of joinery is to produce an angle or to elongate/extend an existing workpiece. Various techniques are employed to create joints that are everything from durable to delicate and invisible to aesthetically pronounced. As such, the array of methods a woodworker can apply to produce a wood joint is staggering; while extensive, though, the list of joinery methods is also comprehensive rendering wood joinery a craft that appeals to woodworkers of every skill level. The below list, then, reflects the most common techniques for binding two pieces of wood.

Common Wood Joinery Methods:

Biscuit Joinery:

A biscuit joint is most commonly used to join workpieces end-to-end to create one larger panel out of several smaller panels (i.e. tabletop making). In a nutshell, a crescent-shaped slot is cut into exact opposite points on two adjoining workpieces. The slots are glued and a “biscuit” or oval-shaped piece of dried and compressed wood shavings is inserted into one slot for each pair of slots. The slots are brought together (with the biscuit between them) and clamped into position. As the glue sets, the biscuit expands with the moisture of the glue and reinforces the joint. After assembled the joint is strong and, effectively, invisible.

Butt Joinery:

Frequently used in construction, a butt joint, while not extremely attractive, is a very simple, very common wood joint. This method involves simply binding two pieces of wood (at their edge, of course) to produce a right angle. This joint requires reinforcement.

– Mitered Butt Joint:

For a bit of variation in your run-of-the-mill butt joints, one will also encounter a mitered butt joint. Similarly, this technique binds two workpieces to make a right angle, this technique, however, binds them with mitered edges (or, edges that have been cut at a 45-degree angle). While less durable than some joints, this detail produces a more attractive butt joint than its basic butt counterpart.

Dado Joinery:

A dado joint involves carving a slot into the surface (not the edge) of a workpiece and affixing the edge of another workpiece into that slot. This is a strong joint that binds your workpieces perpendicularly. Dado joints are often used to create shelving (i.e. for bookshelves).

Dovetail Joinery:

Posited to predate written history, a dovetail joint is a very strong, very resistant wood joint that is both effective and attractive. This joint is formed by cutting a series of trapezoidal “pins” into the edge of one workpiece and a series of complimentary “tails” into a corresponding workpiece. The pins (tabs) interlock into the similarly (yet also oppositely) cut tails (slots) to form a flush, tight bond. The angle of slope that forms the pins and tails (or, interlocking trapezoidal segments) may vary. To avoid gaps or movement between segments, dovetails must be cut with careful accuracy. After gluing, these joints require no additional reinforcement and, though frequently used in the fabrication of drawers and boxes, dovetails are used in numerous woodworking applications.

– Through Dovetail Joint:

For its aesthetic qualities and also for its uncommon strength, a through dovetail is probably the most frequently used dovetail joint. It is, more or less, the standard dovetail joint in which the end-grain of both workpieces is visible after assembly. This is often regarded as a very beautiful joint and emphasizes the skill of the crafter behind it.

– Half-Blind Dovetail Joint:

Like the standard dovetail, this joint involves interlocking pins and tails. As the name would imply, though, after this joint is assembled, the end grain of one workpiece (on one side, usually the front) is hidden by the other workpiece. This allows the mechanics of the joint to be hidden from certain angles of sight and visible from others.

– Double-Blind or Full-Blind Dovetail Joint:

Although this joint also features interlocking pins and tails, the construction of the joint hides these segments altogether. In other words, the mechanics of the completed joint are invisible. This method is employed when the strength of the dovetail is required but the visibility of the joint is not. To form this joint, pins and tails are carved but they are not cut entirely through the workpiece – they stop short leaving the one surface of each workpiece intact and untouched. This allows the pins and tails to interlock underneath a of section uncut material.

– Sliding Dovetail Joint:

Like a dado joint, a sliding dovetail joint binds two workpieces where the edge of one workpiece joins at an intersection to the surface of another workpiece. To form this joint, a pin (or tab) is cut onto the entire edge of one workpiece. A tail, or slot, is then carved into the length of the surface of the adjoining workpiece. The pin is then slid and fitted into the slot to form a tight, strong joint. This method is employed in a huge number of carpentry applications.

Mortise and Tenon Joint:

A mortise and tenon joint is similar to a dovetail joint in that it involves joining two workpieces together at an angle where one workpiece has a “mortise” or slot and the other has a “tenon” or a tab. The mortise and tenon then interlock to bind the joint. These tabs and slots are ordinarily rectangular in shape.

Tongue-and-Groove Joinery:

Like biscuit joinery, a tongue-and-groove joint is primarily used to join workpieces end-to-end. To form this joint, a tongue is carved along the entire edge of one workpiece and a groove is similarly cut into the edge of its adjoining piece. The tongue is a tab-like protrusion that fits squarely into the groove which is, of course, a slot-like formation. This technique is often used in furniture production, flooring and paneling, and, although not typically glued, produces a very durable joint. Also like a biscuit joint, this bond is hidden upon assembly.

Rabbet Joint:

A rabbet joint is very commonly used in drawers, cabinets and other carpentry applications. To form this joint, a “rabbet,” or a step-like groove, is carved along the entire edge of one workpiece. The edge of another workpiece is then placed onto this groove to form a right angle. Accordingly, the depth of the rabbet is determined and cut based on the thickness of its companion piece. Upon assembly, this joint binds the long-grain of one workpiece to the end-grain of the other. Because this typically doesn’t glue well, the joint is often reinforced with screws, nails, or dowels.

– Double-Rabbet Joint:

A double-rabbet joint involves cutting a rabbet along the length of each edge being joined. This creates a more attractive joint and because the gluing surface area is greater, a stronger joint as well. The second rabbet also ensures the squareness or accuracy of the angle produced.

– Mitered Rabbet Joint:

Like the double-rabbet, a mitered rabbet joint involves cutting both edges being joined. This method, however, also incorporates mitered edges. To produce this joint, a rabbet is cut into each adjoining edge and the top step (shoulder) of each rabbet is mitered at 45-degrees. Although slightly more difficult to produce, this joint is stronger and commonly regarded as more attractive.

Homemade Kites

Some of life's creative treasures do not have to cost a lot or take considerable amounts of time to make. Creating a simple, homemade kite is one of those treasures. What a clever way to make memories with your children or grandchildren and make many more memories when the project is completed!

Kites may be made as big or as large as desired or as needed for the one handling it. However, to support the kite's ability to soar, select smaller dowels, which will serve as the frame. Typically, a good working size is 3/16 ", and two are required.

Using a hacksaw, mark the dowels at 24 and 30 inches, respectively, and carefully cut them at the markings. Arrange them perpendicularly, with the longer dowel placed lengthwise and the shorter dowel placed crosswise and approximately 20 inches from the working bottom of the longer dowel.

Use twine to secure the two dowels by wrapping them in alternating diagonals at their cross point.

Use a garbage bag to make the sail. Polyester film, which is available at craft stores, can also be used to make the sail, too. However, to create a homemade kite using everyday materials, a garbage bag is readily available at home and should do the job nicely. Cut along the seams of the bag, and place it upon a flat surface.

Secure the bag to the dowels by applying tape incrementally. Be certain to leave a some accessible space near the bottom of the longer wood dowel so that the tail can be securely added in a subsequent step. Then, steadily cut diagonally from point to point along the wood dowels to create the diamond shape characteristic of most kites. If free-handing the cuts proves challenging, use a ruler to assist in achieving straight, even cuts.

To create the kite's tail, use leftover streamers or scraps of ribbon or cloth, cut into ribbon-like lengths, and tie several small, evenly spaced strips of ribbon crosswise on a longer piece of ribbon placed lengthwise. Then, use twine to secure the tail a near the bottom of the LONGER wood Dowel . Do so by circularly wrapping twine around an inch to an inch and a half of the tail, then knotting it.

Secure flying line around the twine at the cross point. This may take some creativity. Consider using a sewing needle to accomplish this. So long as you proceed cautiously and ensure that the kite is not punctured, there are other ways to accomplish this. You need only use the supplies readily available to you and a little imagination.

Once completed, enjoy your craftsmanship with your children or grandchildren in any number of places – a park on a cool spring day, a beach during summer vacation, or your very own backyard on a beautiful and blustery autumn afternoon. With a hardwood dowel and some everyday items, a homemade kite is only a few instructional steps away.

Playing the Short Stack

Obviously you never want to have a short stack in tournament play, especially NL Hold'em tournaments. Just as obviously, it is going to happen sometimes and I see a lot of players make a major mistake when playing a short stack.

First, determine that you are short stacked. Sure, the standard method is to figure out the number of revolutions of the table that you can make with the blinds / antes etc. This is correct and the best way to figure it. But, I am not talking late in a tournament when these calculations are necessary. Let's get more basic than that.

Let's say that you are in a 9-player SnG and the starting chip stack is 1500. You have lost a couple of decent size pots and are now down to 700 in chips. The blinds are 200-100, no antes yet. What I see happen many times in situations like this OR CLOSE to this, is a player will try to limp in to pots to see a flop or worse, when they do limp in, fold after the flop if they do not hit. You can not do this with this size of stack. Your only play is to push all in. You are committed to any hand you play. Speculative hands are out at this point. The time to play suited connectors is gone, for the most part. Any hand you play, you have to be willing to take all the way.

What happens to many players in this case, is that they just get beaten down to such low levels that even if they do hit a good hand, they are going to get several calls by players experienced enough just to want to put them out. Playing a 700 chip stack into a 350 chip stack is just prolonging the enevitable.

Let's say it is still early and you have 600 in chips and the blinds are 100-50. You are still short stacked and you are just going to get whittled down by limping into hands. Do not try it. The other thing is, having 600 or 800 chips here really makes no difference. In a 9-player SnG you need to double up or get out. Winning small pots at this point should not be your goal. Only by getting all your chips in the middle can you get your stack back to respectability and be a force in the tournament.

The Smart Buddy – Matchbox Rocky the Robot Truck

Get your boys a smart buddy, the Matchbox Rocky the Robot Truck! This good-looking interactive dump truck is designed by Matchbox to give your kids a friendly, talking, dancing, lifting, and dumping toy truck! It is best for truck lovers ages 3 and up; it will give them a great time while playing and even help them clean up clutters as this is especially made as a motorized and durable toy dump truck with all the other perks!

Being a clever toy dump truck, all you need to do is press the smokestack found right on the front and it will perform responsively by rolling, standing on its back, dumping and dancing. Since the Matchbox Rocky the Robot Truck is sensitively responsive and interactive, you little-truck-lover will be charmed when it starts to show off its dancing skills. In addition, since its main purpose is to dump, it is made durably rugged and easy to control. You will be dazzled by the Rocky – the dump truck, when he starts to speak 100 cool phrases as if he understands your command when you start pressing the control. Lastly, when it’s time to rest, Rocky actually sleeps and when not used for a while, he even snores!

Imagine how brilliant Rocky – the dump truck is? After seeing all what he can do, you would think “How come there aren’t toy trucks invented as great as this before?” So before you start blaming yourself and sadly deprive your boys the chance to have a fun and helpful companion – buy it now! You just need 4 C batteries and the fun will start! The Matchbox Rocky the Robot Truck is available at toy stores across the States and all American territories or you can log into your trusted retail website and buy it online with a very reasonable price.

Don’t Risk Your Life! Learn Arc Flash Safety!

What is Arc Flash Safety?:

Since electrical arc can result in loss of eye sight, eye burns, injury in any other part of the body or even loss of life, companies must take measures to protect their employees from such accidents.

Behind such incidents, human error is also a factor; special measures for safety should be taken when handling electrical equipment. Following are some ways of preventing arc flash explosions:

Infrared Scanners:

Infrared scanners can detect any misplacement in the tools or electrical equipment. These scanners can warn us well in time for any electrical danger. So installing these scanners in the companies can prove to be vital.

Voltage Indicators:

Voltage indicators show how much voltage of energy is being conducted by the electrical equipment. So such indicators can help measure voltage preventing manual measuring of voltage, and thus reducing the risk of any injury to employees.

Switching off the Applications:

Another way of preventing arc flash explosion is to switch off the electrical applications before inserting any tool in it.

Calculating Energy Flow:

Moreover, through the analyses, the amount of energy flow in the power system can be calculated and so it can be judged as to how much threat the electrical system can pose for the worker. Then accordingly, the ‘boundary’ or limit of distance can be set for the worker beyond which the area should be restricted.

PPE (Personal Protection Equipment):

PPE includes all forms of equipment which can help save the workers or employees from injuries or burns, such as protective gloves, caps, coats and so forth. This is also part of the arc flash analysis, and helps making the employees remain on guard for their own safety.

Labeling:

Labeling is another very effective step which is part of Arc flash analysis which refers to putting up warning labels for the workers to wear protective equipment before dealing with the electrical tools. This is help the workers understand and remember to be aware of the danger areas and assist them in getting prepared before heading on for electrical work.

Training:

Another very effective measure for arc flash safety is training the employees and teaching them about different ways of self-protection from electrical short circuits. Training includes watching demos, and getting hands-on experience of its safety measures.

All in all, since through these methods of safety the information gets embedded in the minds of the workers, and every time they have an encounter with a high power electrical system, they would be beware of the possible outcomes of not following safety rules.

How to Make a Survival Crossbow

A couple of years ago my son was studying the Medieval age in Social Studies. His teacher assigned the class a project to construct something that represents that era and write a paper on it.

I helped him build a homemade crossbow that really works! I was concerned he might not be able to take it into the school, but he had specifically asked his teacher if it was OK for him to build a crossbow for his project and she said yes.

The morning we took it to school, his mother accompanied him with the crossbow underwraps to the office. Once inside they asked to speak to the principal and explained to him the situation. My wife said his eyeballs almost popped out of his head when he saw this thing!

He agreed that as long as the crossbow did not have any arrows (known as bolts in crossbow lingo) with it, my son could take it to class. His Social Studies teacher awarded our efforts with a really high mark and he got an A in Social Studies that semester.

We ordered a package of crossbow bolts made for a crossbow pistol and took some target practice with the makeshift weapon at a nearby farm. It worked great and would make an excellent short-range survival weapon for taking small game.

I wish the crossbow was entirely my idea, but I have to give credit to Ron Hood for that. Ron makes survival videos that are very detailed and shows in one of his videos how to build a crossbow similar to this.

One word of caution. This crossbow has NO SAFETY. It would be very easy to fire the weapon inadvertently. Therefore I recommend if you decide to build one to not load it until you are ready to fire. Make sure no one is down range of you and that the weapon is pointed in a safe direction when you are loading it.

Here is a little more detailed information on how to construct the crossbow. We used a 2×4 for the stock. The only reason for that was to make it look like a medieval crossbow. For a survival crossbow you could make the stock from pretty much any tree about 2 inches in diameter.

Make your bow first. We used rattan because we had some and it makes a great bow. Again, you can use just about any wood. Hickory has pretty good qualities for a bow. We used parachute chord for the bowstring.

You will want to measure about half to length of your bow down the stock. This is where you should cut into the stock to make your trigger mechanism. Measure approximately another 4 inches past the end of the trigger box and this will give you the overall length of the stock.

Once you have cut in your trigger box you will need to drill a hole down through the stock at the front edge of the box. The top part of the hole should be round. However, on the bottom of the stock, you will want to elongate the hole. Once you put your trigger in place the elongated hole on the bottom will allow your trigger to rock forward and the string to slide off and engage the arrow.

Next, cut a T shaped piece that fits down through the trigger hole and protrudes about an inch or so out the bottom. Cut a notch in the front of your stock to put the bow in. The notch should allow for a tight fit of the bow. I put a couple of screws in the front side of the stock and used parachute cord to lash the bow into place.

I lashed a piece of wood to the top of the stock to make an arrow keeper. This will hold your arrow in place and ensure that the bow string engages the arrow properly upon release. If you prefer, you can carve a groove down the top center of the stock for your arrow to ride in.

We stained our crossbow to give it an authentic look. Now you can either hand make your own arrows (bolts) or you can purchase some practice arrows that are made for crossbow pistols. Check with your local Army / Navy surplus stores.

I can not stress enough how careful you have to be with this piece of equipment. Again, there is no safety. Do not load until you are ready to fire and keep it pointed in a safe direction at all times!

Benefits to Using Plastic Drainage Pipe for Your Next Project

When it comes to choosing drainage pipe you have to make your way through the wide selection of materials to identify which one is going to be the best match to meet your particular project needs. Plastic drainage pipe has become a top choice and is the only drainage pipe used in all homes throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland since 1980.

You may be wondering why choose plastic drainage pipe over strong concrete or clay, but the benefits speak for themselves. The first thing you will notice when you choose plastic is the weight. Concrete and clay are exceptionally heavy, this not only slows down progress on the job site, but also increases your labour costs considerably.

Another major benefit to plastic drainage pipes is their resistance to chemical substances. This is majorly advantageous and can reduce the need to repair or maintain your drainage systems in the event that chemicals get into the water. If you think about it all water is brimming with chlorine and other chemicals and over time this can wear away at the piping, but with plastic the risk of this happening is eliminated.

Plastic drainage pipe comes in longer lengths than the other materials. This is a major benefit, which enables you to cut to your desired length, reducing the number of connectors and thereby eliminating the risk of leaks. With the other materials, you will need to string a number of lengths together, all with connectors to achieve your desired length, not the idea situation and increasing your risk of leaks considerably.

What you will find is that the plastic option is considerably cheaper than the other materials on the market. When you are running a large amount of drainage pipe, getting a few metres can result in you exceeding your renovation budget. With plastic you can enjoy a lower price per metre, saving you money in the long run.

You will find that your contractors will be able to complete the work in a shorter period of time when using plastic drainage pipe. This is due to the fact that it is lightweight, they can cut it to the length they need and position it with fewer team members. All in all not only will the installation be quicker, but you will save money on labour.

Of course when it comes to plastic, it is completely rust resistant, which an advantage is always. When it comes to piping, you need to ensure that the materials you choose can withstand the water without rusting, this also ensures the life span of the product. Plastic is completely rust resistant, durable and long lasting and is guaranteed to provide you with years of use moving forward.

Finally, you will also find that plastic drainage pipe causes less friction. This means faster running water at all times. This eliminates the risk of overflowing or flooding.

When buying this type of product ensure you only purchase from a leading supplier with years of knowledge and experience in the industry. Don’t fall into the trap of buying based on price, as this can result in you ending up with a poor quality products that will leave you having to replace it in the not so distant future.

Focus on the quality of the product, the manufacturers the supplier provides and their experience, knowledge and customer support. Ensure they provide a returns guarantee in the event that the product is damaged on delivery, giving you complete peace of mind at all times.

The Need For Storm Drain Cleaners

It is very essential that a storm drain should be working properly at full efficiency all the time. In the event of a storm, if the drain is cannot channel the accumulated water in a proper manner, it might pose some problems. The water may stagnate resulting in a flood leading to the damage of the building. The damage, mostly affecting its structure might cost you heavily. Hence the drain has to clear the water from time to time. For this to happen, one has to ensure that the drain remains clean always.

The process of cleaning the drain does not pose an uphill task. You might need a pair of gloves along with the cleaning agent. The use of the cleaning agent depends on the matter that is clogged in the drain. The gloves are there to provide adequate protection from the cleaning compound which will have certain chemical substances in them. The gloves will also protect your hands from the matter that is clogged. The storm drain cover can be lifted up using a screwdriver with flat blade. Once the drain cover is pulled up, you will be able to see the drain for yourself.

Once the drain is exposed, one can clean for oneself. You can remove the debris or the gunk that is clogged in the drain with your hands itself. The gloves are there to give your hands the required protection. It is needless to mention to throw away the matter in a safe and sustainable manner. The drain can be made clean with the scrub brush. It will be a good idea to cover the brush with the cleaner with which you clean the toilet bowl. Go deep into the drain, along the sides. Scrub as far as possible. Try to reach as much as your hands will let you go.

Once you have properly scrubbed the drain and its insides, rinse with a full bucket of water. Rinse thoroughly so that the force of water will actually carry away whatever that has been loosened up while you were scrubbing. Once you have washed it thoroughly, replace the cover. This is all what it takes to clean a storm drain.

Fencing Drills – The Preparatory Group Drill

Fencing classes and training sessions commonly have a need for a drill format for warm-up, review of skills, and for the first stages of a new skill. The simplest format to meet this need is the preparatory group drill.

Preparatory group drills work the fencer as an individual, not as a fencer working with an opponent. The fencers may be disposed in any formation that allows for effective control by the coach, although a line formation is the most commonly used. Because fencers are not facing or working with an opponent, masks and jackets are not required, although fencers should have them readily available in case the coach wishes to demonstrate with a partner or do a short corrective check lesson. The drill moves in one axis (typically forward and backward) with all fencers moving in the same direction, thus maintaining a safe separation from each other.

This drill pattern is suitable for situations:

… in which a partner is not required because of the nature of the activity (for example, group practice against wall mounted lunging targets),

… where fencers are responding to instructor movement or commands (for example, footwork drills led by the instructor), and

… when the drill involves practice of parts of skills that will be practiced as a complete skill in paired drills (for example, having the students practice the blade movement of a circular parry before having them execute exchange drills of a circular parry and riposte against a disengage attack by the partner).

The use of the drill to practice parts of skills has two potential positive outcomes. First, for the fencer who already knows the intended complete skill, this allows isolation and perfection of a part of the action without the distraction of an opponent and the rest of the skill. For those learning a new skill, this approach can be used to develop familiarity with the concept of the skill, to teach the names of the parts, and to automate the basic flow of action through an initial set of repetitions. The main body of new skill acquisition is then developed using paired drills.

This drill format may be particularly effective in introducing fencers to visualization as a practice technique. Fencers can visualize a threat and execute actions against the threat. From this they can be taught to visualize both threat and action, and start to use this technique for mental practice.

Although the preparatory group drill is a simple and basic drill format, it can be used with students at all levels of performance. The addition of visualization, increased speed, use of tactical problems, ideomotoric drills, and other techniques make this an appropriate training tool for even advanced fencers.

Floor Coverings for Allergy Sufferers

Allergy sufferers need a clean living environment. Tiny particles of dust or invisible mites can cause allergic reactions that range from mildly inconvenient to life threatening. Allergies are a serious issue, and your home's carpeting might contain the worst allergen offenders.

Dust mites, mold spores and pet dander land on the floor and nestle into the fibers. Other allergens like cigarette smoke, household cleaning product residue and insecticides also accumulate in the carpets. While you may enjoy the plush feeling of carpet and use if to muffle household noises, carpet is dangerous for allergy sufferers.

Before you rip up and replace the carpeting, consider your options. With a smooth surface and easy clean up, linoleum and tile appear to be safe for allergy sufferers. The backing, however, contains harmful chemicals that lower the indoor air quality of your home. Mold also develops easily under loose flooring that gets wet. For maximum safety, install timber floorboards.

Timber Floorboards
Timber provides a clean and long-lasting floor for any home. If you worry about the chemicals in the protective finish, ask your contractor to apply varnish or wax with low volatile organic compound. While the contractor refinishes the floor, spend a few days at a friend or relative's house, and open the windows to ventilate the home. After the project is finished, hire a professional cleaner to remove any residue from the floor installation. Your new timber floor now offers beautiful safety.

It can not keep itself clean, though. At least twice a week, vacuum the floor with a filtered machine that captures and traps particles. Follow the timber manufacturer's instructions for mopping the floor regularly. At least twice a week, vacuum the floor with a filtered machine that captures and traps particles. Follow the timber manufacturer's instructions for mopping the floor in order to remove built-up residue the vacuum leaves behind and protect the floor's finish.

For comfort and warmth on your timber floor, lay area rugs made from washable fabric. Regularly wash the rugs in hot water in order to remove any mites, dust or pet dander. You will also want to implement a no-shoes policy. Shoes carry dirt, pollen and insecticide from outdoor sources into your home. Offer slippers or socks to visitors and guests. Do not be embarrassed about asking people to keep your home allergen free. This policy keeps you safe.

Timber flooring prevents allergens from accumulating and making you sick. It also makes life easier if you have children or pets. Cleaning up pet accidents or spilled milk requires a simple swipe with a damp cloth rather than a bulky carpet cleaner. These factors make installing timber floorboards a safe and simple flooring solution for your home.

How to Build a Simple Bookcase

I have built several bookcases over the years. They were not made using technical plans or expensive tools, but they are sturdy, look nice and hold all my books. They are certainly much higher quality than the low budget bookcases I've seen for sale in discount stores. They are usually made of a cheap pressed board which has little strength. Mine are made from solid wood.

The only tools I used when building my first bookcase were a jigsaw, drill and hammer. If you find that you need more space to store your books, you can easily build one yourself. There are a few things you should take into consideration before you start.

First you need to decide how long and how tall you want your bookcase to be. You can build it tall and narrow, low and wide, or you can build a very large storage unit. Just be sure to measure the space where you will be putting it when finished. You can build it to sit on the floor or hang on a wall. A size of 3 'tall and 5' wide makes a nice sized unit for a beginner. It's large enough to hold around 150 paperbacks, if it has 3 shelves. If you line books on top and use bookends to keep them upright, it will hold even more than that.

If you plan to hang it on the wall, you will need to buy sturdy brackets. I recommend a minimum of 6 brackets if your bookcase will be very large. Place 2 on the top, 2 on a center shelf, and 2 underneath the bottom. The easiest way to go about this it to mount the brackets on the wall, then lift the bookcase into place. After that, attach it to the brackets with wood screws. It's best to have someone help you hold it in place while you do this. Be sure that the brackets on the wall are screwed into wall studs. Walls studs are normally placed 16 "apart, but not always. You can find them by using a stud finder, or by the old fashioned method of knocking on the walls. When knocking no longer produces a hollow sound, you have found a stud.

The next step is to made a decision on how deep your shelves will be. The wider lumber is, the more you will have to pay for it at the home improvement store. Shelves 6 "wide will do quite well for storing paperback books and smaller sized hardbacks. If you have a lot of larger sized hardback books, you may want to opt for 8" or 10 "lumber. Whatever you decide, you will need to purchase the lumber for the sides, top and bottom in the same width as the shelves.

Measure the tallest book that you own. This is a bit of advice that I can not stress enough. Knowing the height of your largest book will help you decide on how far apart to place your shelves. Take the height and add at least an extra inch of space between shelves. If you have room, add an extra 2 inches of space. Make sure at least one of your shelves has clearance to hold your larger books.

I have found that as time passes by, I seem to accumulate taller books. I've had to build more bookcases special for holding them. If you leave enough clearance to start with, you can avoid this problem. The other shelves can be placed closer together, if you have mostly shorter sized books.

If your bookcase will be 3 'wide or wider, you should plan on building at least one support somewhere between each set of shelves. This is easiest to do if you stagger their placement, and do not try to place one directly on top of the other. If you do not use supports between long shelves, they will eventually begin to sag from the weight of the books. Just cut a support board the length of the space where you will be placing it. For example, if you have a 7 "clearance between shelves, cut the support board 7" high.

You can use any type of lumber for your bookcase. Pine is the cheapest and will do a great job. Poplar and oak are more expensive but will make a more professional looking piece of furniture. You should be able to find all three types of shelving boards at any home improvement store.

A circular saw will be easier to use when making straight cuts, but with care, they can be done with a common jigsaw. Do be sure to drill pilot holes in your lumber before nailing it together. This will help keep the wood from splitting. Make sure to use a drill bit that is a size smaller than the nails you are using. Use finishing nails when assembling your project. I used 6 penny finishing nails on all of my bookcases.

Once you finish assembling the sides, top, bottom, shelves and supports, you may want to sand and stain or paint your completed project. It is not necessary, but it will help make a finished bookcase you can be proud of.

Creating a Manifestation Vision Board

A powerful tool that was discussed in “The Secret” was the use of a vision board. If you are not familiar with this term, then it is my intention that by the time you’ve read this article you will be familiarized with the term and will also have a clearer ideas as to whether you want to create one or not.

There are lots of different names for this tool which all have the same meaning. You may have heard it being called by a different name such as a dream board or manifestation poster. Whatever the name given to it, it is a tool to help you manifest your desires.

So let’s discuss first off how you can make one.

The first step is to create a vision board and the easiest way in my opinion is to start by writing a list of what it is that you want.

If you don’t know what you do want, then make a list of what you don’t want. By knowing what you don’t want, you can easily see the polar opposite and turn it into a desire. For example:

I don’t want lot’s of bills >> becomes >> I desire endless streams of money

I don’t want to be without a relationship >> becomes >> I desire a fun, loving partner

I don’t want my old car anymore >> becomes >> I desire a brand new BMW

The next stage is to go to your favourite search engine and type in keywords that relate to your desire. On most search engines there is a function where you can search for images only, select this feature and display images related to your search term.

Carefully choose some images that appeal to you and make sure they are images that really give you great feelings when looking at them.

Once you have your images, print them off, cut them out and stick them onto your vision board. You could make your vision board from:

  • A large white poster
  • Use a pin board and pin all of your images to it
  • Stick them directly onto your wall

Positioning is quite important now. You want your vision board to be close to you and in visual range as much as possible. If you work from home and spend 10 hours per day in your office then your office is the ideal place to put your vision board. Put it somewhere that you often look at.

Here are some examples:

  • Behind your monitor
  • Behind your telephone
  • Close to your waste bin
  • Next to your printer

I have my vision board right next to me and so when I am working in my office I turn my head about 30 degrees and there it is.

Now you have your vision board, how often should you look at it?

I spend 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening looking at and visualising the desires on my vision board.

This makes me feel great and often I am actually closing my eyes and taking the vision further than just staring at an image. I use the images to start my vision off and then I expand them to the depths of my desire.

Remember, the purpose of this is to feel good and so if you look at an image and it doesn’t feel good then replace it with one that does. It is a trial and error process but when done repetitively it can be very powerful. Your vision board should be an ongoing process for you and will never be complete as new desires will continue to emerge.

You should use your vision board as a “jogger” to remind you to visualize and also to help you recall feelings. It is not intended to be the ultimate tool that you must use to manifest. A lot of deliberate creators choose not to use vision boards and are just as successful. My advice is if it feels right for you – then create one. If you have doubts and you’re not that interested in it, then do not make one.

There are plenty of tools and processes available to you that could be more powerful to you than a vision board.

The key point to making a vision board is to help you create powerful emotions within you. It is those emotions and feelings that are doing the manifesting, not the picture on your vision board.

Verandah Decor – 8 Unique Ideas

Home owners with verandah porches have a unique opportunity to decorate not only the inside of their houses, but also the outside, as well. A verandah is a porch that is usually long, wraps around a home and is covered with a roof. It offers a beautiful spot to sit and sip a cool drink on a hot day, and a place where friends can gather to create memories. The eight unique ideas below will give you a great place to start when thinking about the best decor for your home’s verandah.

1. Polka Dots

For a fun, fresh look for your verandah, try a decor of polka dots. In the summer months, a perfect polka dot color scheme can range from anything to bright pinks, oranges and yellows or a patriotic theme of red, white and blue dots. The polka dots can also be designed to match the exterior colors of the home. This is a great way to pull the home’s exterior color scheme altogether in a fun, vibrant way.

2. Romantic White

There is something about a verandah that conjures up images of romantic, old farmhouses or large stately manors. White wicker chairs, rockers, pillows, and even a porch swing are all perfect pieces for a romantic, white decor. For a cheerful addition, add a clear glass milk bottle filled with white daisies on the side tables or in railing planters.

3. Arabian Nights

To create an Arabian theme for your home’s verandah, start by hanging colorful, sheer curtains from the ceiling along the outer rail of the porch. A deep purple or billowy gold are perfect for the occasion. Colorful fabrics and pattern cushions can also be added to seating areas, throw rugs and wall art. If an exotic Arabian theme is too much for an everyday look, try creating it for a special summer party. This theme may also work better in the rear of the house.

4. Patriotic Pledge

Nothing says summertime like the patriotic colors of red, white and blue. Use these as the palette for a patriotic verandah decor that will look perfect all summer long. Hanging lights in the shape of stars, a welcome mat with red and blue lettering, and a large flag or patriotic bunting hanging from the front of the porch will all enhance the desired theme.

5. Lemon and Lime

One of the most fun summer themes is to use lemons and limes as inspiration. Bright yellow cushions on white, wicker chairs with lime green colored outdoor pillows make for a fun and vibrant decor. It is easy to picture yourself enjoying a glass of fresh-squeezed lemonade on a verandah decorating in this way.

6. Red Stripes

Bold and passionate, red is a color that is welcoming and vibrant. Use red striped cushions, outdoor area rugs, and pillows to create a cheerful look on your home’s verandah. Combine the red with white, navy, orange, tan or gray to create custom looks.

7. Black and White

Nothing says sophisticated better than black and white decor. When creating a more formal theme for a verandah, choose black and white: Whether using a French inspired toile fabric or bold stripes, the use of black and white together will create a soothing, but sophisticated look that few others can match.

8. Ice Cream Lover

Cold ice cream and hot summer days are a perfect pairing. Choose ice cream pattern fabrics, ice cream related accessories, and colors of favorite ice cream flavors for the porch’s palette. This fun and unique look will make the verandah a perfect hangout for adults and kids alike.