True Costs to Dirty Energy

There are many costs to dirty energy, the most obvious being money, but some are more subtle like air pollution, environmental destruction, habitat loss and many more. My goal is to make this world a better place, a place where my son can grow old in and not have to worry about going outside for fear of pollution. Now that may sound a bit extreme but this Mit Study tracked ground level emissions from tailpipes, industrial smokestacks, and residential heating. They found that those pollutants caused around 200,000 early deaths each year. That is a staggering number. Staggering because not only is there a better way but it’s here today, we don’t have to dig for it we don’t have to drill for it all we have to do is harness the power of the sun.

Solar power has been around since the 1980’s and it is baffling to me that it’s not mainstream. I understand that not every one can afford to drop $20,000 on their home for a full solar power system, but this kit to my left is only 180 dollars and can save you hundreds on your electric bill now there kits that run up to a grand or so but I wouldn’t recommend those to a first time builder. I can’t stress enough the importance in today’s world to start thinking of the earth and what we are doing to it. We are going to reach a time where it will be too late to act. Solar panels are a clean reliable source of electricity that uses a fuel that will be around for another billion years or so and by that time I am pretty sure we will have figured out a better way. Now I live in one of the snowiest cities in the US and last winter being that my house is 100% electric my bill was through the roof! I was paying over $500 a month and had no money left to spare. If I were paying more attention to how my energy was being used for example all my light bulbs were the cheap 5 dollar lights that have been around for ages and suck up electricity. If I would’ve shut off lights when I wasn’t in the room I could’ve saved a few dollars. Now last winter it would’ve been almost impossible to cut down on my heat because of the bitter cold but if I were able to build a solar panel myself for relatively cheap I could’ve saved hundreds.

Wind power has been around since 200 B.C. when the first machine powered by wind is said to be dated. Wind power is relatively simple but not all places are suitable for them. A good place to start is to look up online where you live on a wind chart and if your average speed is above 8 mph your location is good. Although 12 mph is considered the most ideal. Wind power has come along way since the days of windmills standing beautifully in the field. Now days they use gears and turbines to maximize even minuscule gust they receive producing the maximum amount of electricity. Many people today are choosing to build their own solar panels and wind turbines since they are more cost-effective. The average cost of a complete solar panel setup for a house is around $20,000. This can be countered by certain government grants but the cost is still high. The average cost to build a solar panel that can save you 80% on your electric bill is under $300. That is a serious price difference, on the one hand you a have a professionally built system that WILL pay you back but the amount of time it takes will be around 30 years. On the other hand you have a home build system built relatively cheap that you can always upgrade and change. The benefits of solar power and wind power are too many to count. If every home in the united states installed solar panels it would cost less than the Iraqi and Afghanistan wars combined, and would save the taxpayers 162 billion dollars per year.

Arc Floor Lamps

Adding a touch of style to a room can be quite challenging. One way many interior designers do this is by adding accent pieces that evoke an overall design theme. A small painting or sculpture placed at appropriate locations in any given room can convey a clear statement about the personality of the room owner or about what the room itself intends to send across.

The arc floor lamp is another piece that can easily function as a complementary room decor that is versatile enough to conform to-or even highlight-just about any theme imaginable. Unlike paintings, sculptures or other similar works of art, an arc floor lamp is a true functional appliance that can provide a room with general lighting or with controlled lighting effects for drawing out a particular ambience or mood.

Among modern lamps, the arc floor lamp is a bridge design between traditional and historic lamp archetypes such as the torchiere and contemporary lamps that often place high premiums on elegant simplicity and guided experimentation. In its basic form, the arc floor lamp launches from the rigid structures of torchieres by evoking a sense of movement that is light, easy and graceful. As such, arc floor lamps may be used to subdue excessively sharp angularities in rooms, providing a wavelike dynamism to otherwise stark spaces.

Arc lamps often have solidly built bases that are also leveraged as artworks in themselves, in addition to providing stability to the entire lamp assembly. These lamps are also spatially adaptable even with their curving arms, allowing interior designers or building owners to snugly place them in room corners or, in adequately spacious rooms, as part of a central lounge system.

Arc floor lamps are among the most sought after lamp types today, largely because of the wide range of sub-styles available that cater to just about any consumer or design requirement. Branded arc lamps are generally pricy but there are some independent dealers that offer value-in terms of decently crafted pieces-at less demanding costs. You can find these deals online or at retail shops that offer different models of contemporary floor lamps. Online and over-the-counter purchases each have their own set of advantages. For example, buying online allows you to skim through a comprehensive product catalogue at the comfort of your home, while physically visiting the retail outlet allows you to closely inspect the different product options you are selecting from.

If you intend to purchase an arc lamp for one of your residential, office, or commercial spaces, consider the following:

1. Consider the room theme you wish to adopt. Any divergence from this theme will negatively affect the coherence of the room design, and you wouldn’t want that. Remember to ask second opinions on whether the specific models of arc floor lamps you have shortlisted are congruent with the overall design elements of the room.

2. Examine the materials used to craft the lamp. Are these conventional, innovative, or sustainable? Do the materials agree with your core value or personality? Are you a person who values tradition very highly? Does your company promote innovative thinking? Are the friends you hang out with really concerned about the environment?

Remember, the things you choose to acquire tell something very important about you. Your choice of arc floor lamps is no exception.

How to Choose Bow Hunting Arrow

Several factors come into play when one is shopping for bow hunting arrows. Choosing the right bow hunting arrow can depend on the type of game being hunted, the type of bow used, and the length of the draw. All must be considered when trying to decide on the right arrows to use for bow hunting.

The type of game being hunted has more of an effect on the type of arrow head used than on the arrow choice. However, considering the different prices charged for arrows of different sizes and compositions, this should be a serious point of consideration. Arrows used to hunt small game are far more likely to be fired into the ground or into a tree. The odds of losing or breaking the arrow are extremely high. Therefore, it is not really a good idea to use the most expensive arrows available to hunt small game.

The type of bow used is important because some materials can stand up to the pressure that a compound bow or a crossbow can apply in a very sudden manner when fired. Wood and fiberglass may not be the best choices for use with these bows because of the chance of the arrow splitting when fired. Aluminum and carbon are the two best materials for use in these more powerful bows.

Different people come in different sizes. Bows can also come in a variety of sizes. The draw length of different bows can vary from 28 to 36 inches. For this reason, arrows are available in different lengths from 31 to 40 inches. One does not want to take a 40 inch arrow and attempt to use it as a bow hunting arrow with a bow that only has a 28 inch draw because the arrow would not be positioned or balanced properly when fired.

Another feature that bears consideration when searching for the perfect bow hunting arrow is straightness. The absolute straightest arrows manufactured today are made of aluminum. Models such as the Easton xx75 have been mainstays of bow hunting arrows for over 50 years. Aluminum does have one major drawback however. If one is not extremely careful when removing the arrow from a target or an animal that has been shot, the arrow can be bent. Sometimes, the bend is not even noticeable, yet it will affect the way that arrow flies from now on.

Carbon arrows are not quite as straight as aluminum. Their advantage lies in the fact that they can not be bent further out of true without breaking. Of course, this does lead to a lot of broken arrows that must be replaced. In recent years, attempts have been made to produce the perfect bow hunting arrow by combining a core of aluminum with a sheath of carbon to provide an arrow that is straight and more difficult to bend. The results are a little mixed. These arrows are more durable than either material alone, yet still not as straight as aluminum alone, and they can be bent.

Manual Lymphatic Drainage

Manual lymphatic drainage therapy is a technique that involves very gentle manual massages that is said to aid in the flow of lymph fluid within the vessels and nodes. This therapy is excellent in treating patients who suffer from lymphedema and experience swellings due to congestion of the lymphatic fluid. The treatment is an excellent system that helps in removing all the toxic fluid that has gathered in the body and has no outlet because of the nodes being blocked.

The manual lymphatic drainage system is a treatment method that is carried out with bare hands on the skin of the patient by applying the right amount of pressure. This healing touch does not require the usage of oils or even lotions that aid in free flow massage. The touch that is required in MLD is very different from any other types of massages and hence needs to be carried out by experienced therapists. With the application of the right touch and right pressure only will the technique and its outcome be effective.

The manual lymphatic drainage therapy requires the therapists to use gentle precise movements of the hands that usually target the lymph vessels and nodes. The movements are towards the natural flow of the lymph fluid pathways and therefore require a lot of skill and understanding of the watershed and pathway patterns.

Some benefits that patients draw out of the very relaxing manual lymphatic drainage therapy are:

o This therapy helps in the draining of oedemas or swellings that usually occurs because of the breakdown of the mechanical failure of the lymph pathways.

o The lymph flows easily through the nodes from where they purify and filter the system, without which the system becomes sluggish and gathers materials that are toxic.

o Since the immune system is kept clean it is easy to ward off any kind of illness or infection that other wise is easy to contact.

How to Pick Linear Drain Systems Which Fit Perfectly in Your Bathroom

So, you've finally mustered enough time and resources to give your bathroom a complete makeover. The old bathtub is kind of tarnished and no amount of glazing can hide that. Or the old shower pan is leaking and is giving you headaches because of the mold it causes. One of your best options is to make a tub to shower conversion, coupled with the installing of a high quality linear drain system.

For a Do-It-Yourselfer, a tub to shower conversion may seem an intimidating job at first. But do not worry, it's actually simpler than you think. Remove and dispose the old scratched tub and insert in its place a spacious shower pan, fitted with trench drain systems. You can buy a single piece shower pan, which come in various dimensions; just make sure that you pick the right size. A trench shower drain is a must in the case you want a no threshold shower pans or a wet room shower. You should select the shower trough drain at the same time you select the shower cabin or the shower base, in order to avoid latter mismatches.

Trench drain systems are available in many colors and textures, so you have no excuses if you do not match them to the other fixtures in your bathroom. The material of choice for trench shower drains is stainless steel. It's durable, hygienic and very appealing to the eye. If you prefer warmer looking materials, bronze and copper shower trough drains are available from some manufacturers. All materials are available in several textures – satin, polished etc. The model and shape of the trench drain system can also be custom picked to match the overall design of the bathroom.

Make sure that you select a shower trough drain with built in height adjustments, so you will not have to buy them separately. Check the specifications of the product and look for those who have factory waterproofing. Waterproofing is essential for linear drain systems in order to avoid mildew inducing leaks.

The simplest way to use a linear drain system is to place the shower trough drain on a side and create a slight incline of the shower plate, so the water can be quickly evacuated. More complicate designs can be used, such as dual linear drains or drains placed in angles to obtain a certain aesthetic effect.

No matter what design you choose, make sure that the trench shower drain is a high quality product. This will spare you a lot of trouble over the time. The right drain system will last you a lifetime.

Using a Diamond Drill Bit on Tiles

Diamond drill bits are cutting tools used to drill holes. They are ideal for drilling holes in some of the hardest and toughest materials around. With other drill bits you may not get clean cuts, but because diamond is one of the toughest materials on earth, it will cut through most materials when attached to a drill. The cut will be clean and high speed, making your job easier. When drilling through tough materials, like glass and stone, it is best to use diamond drill bits as it is much more likely to prevent chips and cracks, making it a good investment by avoiding the costs of replacing these expensive materials. As the actual drilling is quick it makes for less noise.

Whether you are using ceramic, porcelain or any other hard materials, you will still come across difficulties when cutting. Here are some quick tips on how to use your diamond drill bit to cut through tile and get the perfect cut.

  • Before you start, make sure you know about the materials you are working with. It’s good to have a little knowledge on the material so that you can drill efficiently without causing damage to the material or drill. Porcelain, for instance, is a very hard material to cut because of how dense and defined the clay is, whereas ceramic tiles are usually easier to drill through and install.
  • When you start to drill, make sure you do not apply too much pressure, as the drill bit can easily slide, creating a scratch on the surface of the tile. To avoid any chance of a scratch, place a piece of duct tape over the space where you want to drill. Mark a point on the duct tape and then drill. The tape helps control the drill and protects from any potential scratching, if the drill does slide.
  • Using a diamond drill bit to cut the ceramic tile will give you the cleanest cut. You will need to apply cutting oil to keep the drill cool as it rotates on the tile. Drilling slowly will also help prevent a build up of heat.

The most important thing to do when drilling is to be careful and not to rush the process. Being patient and focused with the cutting tools will help avoid any scratching or cracking of the tile. You will not want the expense of replacing damaged material.

Timber Joinery and DIY

The outdoor wood to use for things such as furniture. We're going to start off with the obvious wood, oak. Oak is thick and heavy however it is sustainable and fairly cost effective considering it's life. If you leave it outdoors it can retain heat in the summer which can lead to expansion and cracking may occur. The cheapest kind of furniture is pine, this is not the better wood for out doors however, simply because its a lot lighter than most wood is not as structurally sound. No no the best wood in my opinion for outdoor material is cedar. This is a strong hardwood resistant to cracks and weathering. It is lightweight, resistant to rot and decay and better than this the aroma it gives off puts off moths and insects. At first however the wood seems expensive but it lasts a long time and has the added benefits that other woods do not have. Other hardwood's are available to do the same thing like redwood or cedar.

As there are thousands of different types of wood indoor and outdoor we'll go through the common ones as they are easiest to acquire. So I'm going to begin with oak again. Oak well known for furniture makes with that classic style of antique. It is tough stuff resistant to rotting and insects. Because oak is quite a heavy wood it is better to be used for things that need be able to withstand pressure and not get moved around that much. Next up I'm thinking of pine, structurally sound pine is one of the most commonly used wood for indoor furniture. Finally I'm thinking of plywood, this is a composite wood made up of recycled old wood. This is a cheap way to make furniture however it does not look that great, paint is in most cases needed.

It's important to bare in mind how the wood you've chosen for bigger projects is processed. I'm going to look into air dried, kiln dried and pressure treated wood. Dried wood color : such Kiln color : as oak is great for a now-a-days home. Kiln drying is only part of the process and Usually starts with air drying, kiln drying is great for the changing temperatures of the 'new homes' of today. Air drying can take up to 5 years or more and usually has the wood cut length ways and separated with the grooves. This means that any natural stress found in wood is released through time as it is left outside throughout the seasons. Unlike kiln dried wood air drying is a natural process meaning it is much more effective than the artificial methods. A finish that is used is pressure treatment. This uses pressure and chemical to kill any bugs and prolong the life of the wood.

Reclaimed Wood Flooring – Go Green

Wood floors are the healthy choice, they require fewer chemicals to clean than other floor coverings, and they don’t trap dust and fumes in the fibers or grow mold in the grout. More and more people are choosing wood floors for anyone with allergies. Don’t be surprised if a doctor recommends a wood floor for your spine and joints. Wood is know to give a little and can be easier on your legs and feet. Antique and Reclaimed wood floors are an ever popular trend in flooring. Wood reclaimed can provide the benefits of old growth timber with the added plus that not a single living forest tree is sacrificed. This is where living green comes into play.

Reclaimed and Antique wood can be milled to look like new, or sometimes consumer look for wood with nail holes, bolt holes, and other fastener marks which make these characteristics part of the appeal. The old lumber will have rustic character marks from many years of use and exposure to the elements.

Many of the floors come out of buildings about to be demolished or in the process of being refurbished. Antique wood flooring can be reclaimed from lumber salvaged from dismantled old barns and buildings. Antique and Distressed wood floors are prized for their beauty, stability and patina. Antique and distressed wood is usually from salvaged vintage homes, barns and structures.

A rustic wood floor will have more of the natural character such as knots, distinct color variations, possible insect marks, surface checking and varying grain patterns. Reclaimed or Antique flooring usually comes from the old growth forests from our early American history. Today they can still be found in floors in old homes and historic structures in many parts of the country. This wood displays character unmatched by any artificial means. Wide Plank flooring can also come from newly sawn old growth lumber. The use of wider widths and longer lengths will reduce the number of end to end seams in the floor which creates a historical authentic look.

Much of this vintage recycled timber comes from old growth forest and was used to construct old buildings. This vintage lumber has unparalleled architectural quality and character, not to mention beauty.

Some antique wood flooring, sometimes called country hardwood flooring is made from salvaged oak, maple, cherry, hickory, walnut, chestnut, white oak and other vintage reclaimed woods.

No two floors are exactly alike and usually can be found in random widths. Reclaimed hardwood flooring may contain characteristics inherent in aged wood, including cracked knots, slight surface checking, insect and nail holes, weather checking, and color variation.

Benefits of using Reclaimed and Antique wood flooring:A floor made from antique wood has Rrerrque beauty and defining character that cannot be found in newly sawn timber.

o Recycling wood is an alternative to cutting down trees. This is good for the environment.

o Reclaimed wood has been transformed by nature and time which is a link to our past. Having a piece of history in your home can be very satisfying.

o The character and patina of the wood cannot be duplicated.

o Older growth wood is denser and more dimensionally stable than new growth wood which are traits more desirable for wood flooring.

o Certain species such as American Chestnut can only be found through reclaimed wood suppliers.

o What about Antique Wood over radiant heat? The use of radiant heating systems is growing in popularity throughout the United States, especially under wood floors. Radiant heat is an excellent heating source.

With proper acclimation and installation methods, Reclaimed and Antique wood is an exceptional choice over radiant heat. Radiant heat is healthier for the wood than alternative heating systems. The heat is evenly distributed throughout the floor at a low temperature. Each board is exposed to the same amount of heat and does not encounter uneven drying. Radiant heating actually replicates the natural process that antique wood has experienced. Wood that was used to support a factory, barn or building was exposed for decades to a regular increase and decrease in temperature and moisture. In some cases, the timbers from which the boards were cut have been slightly expanding and contracting for over a century in their previous installation. Radiant heat, with its low temperatures and even distribution affects the wood flooring the same way, but the impact is much less dramatic with Antique or Reclaimed wood than newly sawn wood because it has already been through this cycle for years!

Pricing Generally speaking, the price of reclaimed flooring is a bit higher. Pricing for uninstalled wood can start at $5.95 a square foot and can top the $22.00 mark. The price of recycled Antique and Reclaimed lumber will vary with the size, grade, length, quantity, and surface character of the material and whether the material is purchased in its existing condition or re-manufactured/milled to your specifications. The cost of recycled lumber is generally more expensive than new lumber of the like grade and size. If the lumber goes through the re-manufacturing process, it will add nominally to this cost base to offset the expense involved in cleaning, de-nailing, re-manufacturing and grading. The process of turning the reclaimed lumber into flooring can be lengthy and involves considerable time, money and expertise.

In conclusion, reclaimed wood floors are becoming increasingly popular due to some consumer’ interest in historic preservation and also to advance the green building design. These woods often offer superior qualities from wood that grew slowly and is often more dense than faster grown wood. Vintage and antique reclaimed wood adds to the warmth, character and atmosphere of a country home. This wood has character from abundant natural traits. Some planks are generally wider boards and have a character and charm that display an instinctive sense of harmony and spirit of country living. A feeling of history from a time when using solid wood flooring was the way a home was built. If you already have a Reclaimed or Antique wood floor or are thinking about purchasing one, just think a little bit of American history is now or can be part of your home. What an exciting concept!

Learning Politics Using Board Games

Many board games are based on some realistic life experiences, some deal with sports, real estate, and even banking. Then manufacturers came along and decided to add the process of politics to the line up of gaming options. The games are fun and educational, they also give you insight into the life styles and campaign strategies of people who are presidents, senators and congressmen. Learning what it takes to run the country and run for offices all over the world.

In one game called, “the Making of the President”, you are brought face to face with two of the most well know figures in American political history. You will meet the enigmatic John F. Kennedy and the controversial Richard M. Nixon,in a champaign that takes you back in time to the 1960 election. Through this political race, gamers meet and become one of the two very different political personalities. In the real life election Kennedy wins the race, but in this game, it is anyone’s game. This game allows you to find out what you will have to go through in order to be the leader of the United States.

In another game called “Die Macher” players are invited to check out the 7 political races that are conducted in Germany. This game requires the player to come up with their own party philosophy, and they must learn about how poll results are tabulated, they are introduced to how the media shapes the influence of any political race. All of these tools are available to make the political candidates, who enjoy playing this fun and exciting game go away with an in-depth understanding of German Politics.

Players of political games will also want to know how the political games work from different countries once they have experienced the process of the United States and Germany. To experience another interesting political environment, players will find the game, “Quo Vadis”, one of the more popular games. The Roman Senate is re-enacted during this game; you and the other players will have a chance to try to get your politicians in the committee’s best positions. It takes 45 minutes to find out which of your friends are the best qualified candidates.

Another political game shows another side of politics. In this game, players learn how to plot coups and assassinate political leaders and hopefuls. The game of “Junta” starts with the election of the “El Presidente” of the Republica of Los Bananas, and then it includes the people who are looking into gettin rid of their leaders and take over the country.

Then if players want to take their investigations of political board games one step further, they will want to play the board game “Koalition” in this game the players will learn the political process that is not one, but of 12 European countriess. The players then will try to gain power ad political influence in as many places as possible, they will convince the many political parties to join up to form the colitions that this person will need in oder to build up your countries power.

If you are interested in board games and politics, they will find many opportunities available for play, which will include both options. These games help gamers learn the political processes for many different countries, and who knows maybe one day they will become “El Presidente”.

Devastating Porch Collapses

Porches and balconies are great building features. These outdoor areas allow people to enjoy nice weather – and even poor weather conditions, if they are so inclined – while remaining within the comfort of their own homes. Unfortunately, however, these structures have been known to give way and collapse on rare occasions. This phenomenon happens for a number of reasons, and when it does occur, porch occupants are put at serious risk of injury or even death.

Causes of Porch Collapses

In a number of apartment buildings, particularly in older cities, porches and balconies have been reported to collapse. This can be especially dangerous if there are people occupying the deck. It can be even more gruesome if the loaded, collapsed deck was located on an upper level. In these situations, those on the balcony as well as anyone underneath will suffer when the porch caves in. They may fall several stories before hitting solid, stable ground.

Older porches lacking maintenance and balconies that were not initially incorporated into the original building design have a higher likelihood of giving way. When you consider some of the more common causes of balcony collapse, this trend becomes justified:

  • Rotting wood
  • Rusty fixtures, like nails and screws
  • Not having been built to building codes
  • Overloading with people
  • Overloading with items (in storage, for example)
  • Accidental overloading with snow, after a storm

Because a number of porches in older cities were built before building codes, citing balcony safety requirements, were established, many apartments still host decks that are at a relatively high risk of collapse. Porches that are not maintained regularly, balconies with design and erection flaws, and decks that fail to meet construction codes all may collapse when loaded.

The Chicago Balcony Collapse of 2003

In 2003, one of the most notable balcony collapses in US history occurred. During a night party at a Chicago apartment complex, a third-floor balcony that was overloaded with 50 party-goers caved in. This incident dropped rubble and people through the second-floor and first-floor balcony and into the building’s basement. As a result, fifty seven people suffered injury and thirteen more passed away.

Though the apartment complex owner was not criminally charged for the collapse, he did see significant fines for failing to adhere to required building codes. Following this incident, the city of Chicago performed a number of inspections on its apartment buildings. Over 1000 of these structures were cited for violations.

Contact Us

If you or someone you love has been injured in a devastating porch collapse, then you may have the right to recover compensation from the responsible party. The St. Petersburg personal injury attorneys of Beltz & Ruth, P.A. can provide you with the legal support needed to claim damages. To learn more, visit us at our website by going to

What Is a Carbide Cutting Tool?

Carbide cutting tools are used by manufacturers to machine and shape a wide range of tools, products and prototypes from metal. Technically speaking, a cutting tool is any tool which is used to remove material from a workpiece (an unformed block of material) by means of shear deformation. In manufacturing, carbide cutting tools are a key element of the forming and machining of metal tools, fasteners and molds, as they provide the cutting edge for machining lathes and equipment. Carbide cutting tools are used to because carbide offers strength, heat and chemical resistance necessary to cut hard metal materials such as steel and iron.

Cutting Tool Uses & Applications

In order for manufacturers to mass produce consumer products, they need a variety of precisely shaped metal tools, molds, castings and fasteners. Metal molds and castings for injection or blow molded plastic products; cutting tools for machining or shaping plastic or wood; specialty metal fasteners such as screws, nuts and bolds; these manufacturing tools are typically machined from metal workpieces on lathes or CNC machines. Carbide cutting tools are used as the “blade” of these lathes and forming machines.

Inserts & Replaceable Tool Tips

Rather than forming an entire tool from carbide, which is costly and extremely brittle, manufacturers often equip their cutting machines with replaceable carbide tool tips. These tips, or inserts, can be easily replaced when they have worn down, saving manufacturers from the time and expense of removing and sharpening entire carbide tools. In many cases, carbide tool tips are “indexable”, meaning they can be rotated or flipped to provide a new, fresh cutting edge. Indexable carbide inserts allow manufacturers to get more cutting time from each insert, significantly cutting material costs.

Why Carbide?

In order for one material to cut another, the cutting tool must be harder than the material being cut. For this reason, cutting tools used to shape metal workpieces must be harder than metal and capable of withstanding the high friction and heat that results from high speed machining. Carbide tool tips are made from a compound of carbon and tungsten, also known as cemented carbide or tungsten carbide. Tungsten carbide, although fairly brittle, is harder than most metals, but its chemical properties are just as important. Carbide is considered a “stable” material; it is not chemically changed by heat, as steel is, which allows tungsten carbide inserts and tool tips to withstand high speed metal machining for long periods of time.

Wal-Mart Goes To Germany

This article will traverse the before and after affects of Wal-Mart’s attempt to gain a strong foothold in Germany. Wal-Mart has done very well in North America and many of Wal-Mart’s leaders thought that they could use the exact same success formula in Germany; however that was not the case. There were several factors that contributed to the initial failure of Wal-Mart’s in Germany including language barriers, government, and cultural differences. Wal-Mart’s failed attempt to gain success in Germany lead to the loss of millions of dollars and the offense of many German businesses.


When attempting to expand a business overseas there are several important areas that must be taken into account in order to give the business a fighting chance. Possibly the most important issue is to avoid ethnocentrism which is the “belief that ones one culture is superior to others” (Angell, 2007, p. 352). Wal-Mart failed at disdaining an ethnocentric viewpoint and this combined with other failures lead to their financial disaster in Germany.

1. Do you think there are cultural differences between the German market and the American Market? What might they be?

There are many cultural differences between the German market and the American market, but one of the biggest differences is the way that the people of each culture perceive low prices. Wal-Mart prides itself on its low prices and this is the primary reason why it has done so well in the United States. Americans love to buy goods at what they feel is a bargain price and they will shop around in order to get the best deal. However, in Germany very low prices are often viewed as accompanying a poor quality product. This cultural difference can have a devastating affect on a company that prides itself on the lowest prices. One other cultural difference is that Americans like to buy everything in large quantities and to get all of their shopping done at one location, but in Germany people do not mind going to many different shops in order to get everything on their list and they will go to these shops every day and only purchase the amount that they need for that one day. This may seem like a waste of time to Americans but that is a ethnocentric viewpoint and should be avoided.

2. Why would German managers and vendors revolt against American business practices.

One of Wal-Mart’s first business decisions in Germany was to buy out several retail chains and to redesign the outlets in order to fit the Wal-Mart style. This gave the impression to the managers that Wal-Mart was going to do business in their own way whether or not the Germans liked it. Furthermore Wal-Mart has the practice of forcing its vendors to supply the first shipment of goods on credit and then Wal-Mart would not pay them until they had either shipped another load or had ended their business relationship with Wal-Mart. By receiving the first shipment on credit Wal-Mart is able to keep large amounts of money under their control. This method of buying on credit upset Wal-Mart’s vendors in Germany and brought them into a revolt against Wal-Mart.

3. Why do you think the Wal-Mart executives didn’t intrapersonaly think about the context in which they were communicating?

Wal-Mart has no excuse for the many mistakes that they made when branching into Germany, particularly when so many companies have had success in Germany before them. The Wal-Mart executives were over confident from the success that they had achieved in North America and this confidence, though pertinent in North America, did not suit them well when expanding into Germany. If the executives had stepped back and thought about the situation they were jumping into and ignored their previous success they would have been able to better see the cultural differences that eventually lead to Wal-Mart’s great financial loss in Germany. The mistakes made by Wal-Mart were basic but had large effects.

4. What specific communications skills should Wal-Mart managers have used to start off on better terms with the German managers and vendors?

One of the most surprising mistakes made by Wal-Mart is that the American bosses placed in Germany could not speak German (Angell, 2007, p. 28). Being unable to communicate in a complete manner immediately placed strains on Wal-Mart’s German relationships. Also by placing the pressure on the German managers by expecting them to speak English gave further insight into how much thought Wal-Mart had given to adapting to the German Community. Before reconstructing the outlets in order for them to fit the Wal-Mart model Wal-Mart managers should have spoken with the German managers to find out the strengths and weaknesses of the current outlets. Then Wal-Mart could have made an informed decision as to whether or not it was appropriate to redesign the layout of the buildings. Communication on a personal level would have gone a long way in securing Wal-Mart’s success in Germany.

5. How should Wal-Mart address the problems it faces and begin to collaborate productively with the German people?

Germany’s government has placed price bottoms on many goods that Wal-Mart sells and this directly undermines their ability to be the low price leader. Wal-Mart needs to partially redefine their position in the German marketplace. In addition to redefining their position Wal-Mart needs to stop adhering to their ethnocentric viewpoint and begin listening to the ideas of their managers. Once again communication at the personal level with German managers and vendors will be the key to Wal-Mart’s success. They have already messed up their relationships enough that the only way to repair those relationships is for Wal-Mart to make the first move and to begin to deconstruct their German branch of the company in order to realistically face the cultural needs of the German people. Once the German’s see that Wal-Mart is making a serious attempt to change the way in which they do business they will begin shopping there more often. Possibly it will take the younger German generation to change the cultural norm and begin to buy in bulk while paying the lowest price.


Wal-Mart made many mistakes when they expanded into Germany. Their primary mistake was falling into an ethnocentric view and assuming their formula for success would automatically succeed in all other nations. By not properly researching the German culture Wal-Mart failed to realize that selling in bulk and at a low price was not what the German people were used to. Also Wal-Mart failed to give the German managers the courtesy of speaking to them in German while in Germany. Lastly Wal-Mart was not prepared to deal with the German government and the price restraints that they placed on certain goods. When looking at the results of Wal-Mart’s expansion into Germany the term disastrous comes to mind and it will be interesting to see how Wal-Mart proceeds into other countries in the future.

Safety Tips for Cherry Picker Operators!

The cherry picker is a specialized and highly functional aerial lift device that is used in numerous industries. It is primarily designed to provide temporary access to various heights that are difficult to reach using conventional means such as ladders. The aerial lift platform features a hydraulic bucket and a rotating boom arm that is used to carry workers, tools and essential instruments to necessary working heights.

While this provides ample benefits to the user, it is imperative to consider safety while operating the machine because of the greater risks of severe injuries and fatal accidents. Therefore, it is imperative to determine the causes of such occurrences and then conform to established safely guidelines in order to eliminate such harmful events.

Accident Causes

There are several causes of accidents related to the operation of aerial lifts. Some reports indicate that the cause is due to failure to maintain the device in good working condition which can then lead to boom collapse and tip-over. Other says failure to deploy hydraulic outriggers before starting the job contributes to accidents. The last comment is that operating the equipment without adequate training is a large factor. Cherry picker accidents are still an ongoing concern which results in litigation and insurance issues. The tip-over, which is a common cause of such accidents, can result from: not following the right operating procedure; not paying attention to any obstacles in the path of the task; incorrect use of hydraulic outriggers; not following manufacturer’s instructions, and driving without training.

Safety Guidelines Using Aerial Lift Platform

To maintain safety and efficiency, the following guidelines should be followed by operators when using the device in various applications.

  • Training – Operators and drivers must be well-trained on the right usage of the machine.
  • Follow Instructions – Encourage workers controlling the bucket to conform to manufacturer’s recommended instructions.
  • Inspections – Professional mechanics should conduct periodic inspection at least bi-annually. And drivers should conduct pre- and post-inspections of the vehicle depending on the allowed time.
  • Use Safety Devices – This should not be an option but rather a requirement.
  • Avoid Overhead Hazards – No workers should be allowed at any point between overhead hazards and the bucket.
  • Safe Clearance – Maintain safe clearance and a minimum allowable distance of at least 3 feet away from overhead power lines.
  • Fall Protection – All workers must wear fall protection devices while located in the bucket.
  • Work Safely – Workers should be prohibited from sitting, standing, or climbing on the bucket edge.
  • Truck Movement – Trucks should not be moved while the bucket is raised.
  • Capacity – Be conscious on the loading capacity of the vehicle.
  • Level Surface Usage – The equipment should be parked on a level surface.
  • Use Outriggers – Hydraulic outriggers should be engaged prior to the start of work.
  • Power Lines – Always consider power lines as “active”.

The importance of personal safety equipment at the job site should not be neglected. These safety devices protect workers and improve the business productivity level. Although fall protection is not a total guard to avoid injuries, at least any potential injuries can be minimized. Controlling the risk can happen by ensuring that the working environment is free from hazards. In addition, drivers must be trained to identify, control, and prevent such accidents from happening. Of the many methods available to avoid expensive injury claims, one of the best tips is to read these safety guidelines for cherry picker operators and put them into practice!

Guppy Fact Sheet

Guppy Fact Sheet The Guppy, Poecilia reticulata is an attractive and normally peaceful fish. It was named after Robert John Lechmere Guppy who discovered this fish in Trinidad. He believed that this was a previously undiscovered fish. After being scientifically described, the fish was called Girardinus guppii. The common name of Guppy was given the fish.

The Guppy males tend to have a smaller body and bigger fins than the female. The fin underneath the fish in about the centre of the fish’s body (the anal fin) is long in the male and is used in fertilisation. The male is capable of pointing it forwards so it can make contact with the female and transfer the sperm. In the female, this fin is triangular in shape. The males tend to be much more colourful than the females. Modern female guppies often have good colours, but the wild ones did not. Modern Guppy males tend to have purer colours, while the wild ones tend to have more varied ones. Often the wild males have more colours on each fish.

It was later found that the fish had been previously discovered by Wilhelm C. H. Peters, described and named. The fish is now usually called Poecilia reticulata. The most common of the common names is ‘Guppy’. There are several other common names including ‘Rainbow Fish’ and ‘Millions Fish’. The name Rainbow Fish is appropriate to its many and varied colours, but is misleading because of the several other fish with the same name. I prefer the name “Guppy’. However, I would note the name ‘Guppy’ is sometimes used for other fish. Fish I have seen called ‘Guppies’ include goldfish, Neon Tetras, Zebra Danios and Gambusia. This is simply misleading and can be confusing.


Guppies are native to several Caribbean islands and north western South America including Barbados, Guyana, Netherlands Antilles, Trinidad and Tobago, the US Virgin Islands, Venezuela and Brazil.


The Guppy is a popular aquarium fish. It can be kept with other small peaceful fish, including Platies, Swordtails and Mollies. It is in the same family as these fish and is in the same genus as Mollies. Other fish suitable as companions are White Cloud Mountain Minnows, Neon Tetras, Cardinal Tetras, Siamese Fighting Fish, Peppered Catfish and other Corydoras catfish, Cherry Barbs, and other small peaceful fish.

Note that many of the fish just named are schooling fish. I would recommend that these be kept in groups of at least four, and preferably more. The Guppy is not a very strongly schooling species and can be kept singly or in small groups, although I certainly prefer larger numbers. It is both the way they usually occur naturally, and they look good. A tank of the highly coloured Guppies is a beautiful sight. Males and female guppies can be kept together although if they are I suggest that at least one female be kept for each male. If you keep several males with one female, all the males want to mate with the female and do not give her much peace.

Fish I would not recommend as companions for guppies include Black Widow Tetras, Serpae Tetras, Buenos Aires Tetras, Paraguay Tetras, Red Eye Tetras, Tiger Barbs, Rosy Barbs, Paradise Fish, Galaxias, and any other fish that can be fin nippers. Larger fish are also generally not suitable companions for Guppies.


The Guppy is easy to feed. They are omnivores like most fish,and benefit from some vegetable food including algae. Guppies will eat most fish food. I suggest a good flake food as a basis for the diet, if possible supplemented with other food to give variety. Good flakes include the Wardley Total Tropical or Total Colour. As well as Wardley there are many other reputable manufacturers of fish food who make excellent foods. Other foods can include live food like Daphnia. Mosquito larvae (Wrigglers) are an excellent food. In the wild, Guppies will eat a lot of these. Their upturned mouth is well adapted to eating wrigglers. Blood Worms are related to wrigglers and are also a good food. Frozen Blood Worms are also good, as are several other frozen foods. Live or frozen Brine Shrimp are good. I also find that Guppies will benefit from dry fry food as achange.

Do not over feed your fish. I suggest feeding once a day, but not too much. For most types of food the fish should have finished it in a couple of minutes. Guppies are good eaters and generally will get the food quickly. Larger food including Algae Wafers is also good. Because these are hard, the Guppy will take longer to eat them.


Guppies generally thrive in fairly hard, slightly alkaline, water. They can tolerate very large amounts of salt in the water. In some countries they are bred in water which is a mixture of half fresh water and half sea water. The Guppies thrive in this water, but these fish can cause problems when people put them into normal fresh water aquariums. As well as having to be acclimatised to the fresh water, the Guppies have not been exposed to columnaris disease. These fish can die very quickly in a normal aquarium unless strong treatment is done quickly. To get immunity the fish have to be exposed to the disease, and the disease cured.

Rain water is not good water for guppies although many people have used it successfully. If this is the water you have, I suggest using a rainwater conditioner (A mixture of salts). If you are using tap water (as I do), make sure you get rid of the Chlorine or Chloramine.

For a tank of mixed small tropicals, I suggest a pH of 7 and a moderate amount of salt and hardness. In most places normal tap water, with the Chlorine or Chloramine removed and the pH adjusted to 7 is suitable for Guppies, and to a mixed community. If in doubt about your tap water, I suggest visiting your local aquarium store. They should know about the local water.


The Guppy is a tropical fish. However, different strains of Guppy have different tolerances to low temperatures. I have even heard of strains that are claimed to be able to tolerate temperature down to 4Ì? C (39Ì? F). I have never encountered any of these. Once I heard of a creek to the north of Adelaide that was supposed to have a naturalised strain of Guppies. I searched for the creek. I was able to identify the creek from the description I was given. There were no Guppies in it. (Actually, there was not even any water.) Although I tried to find where the Guppies would have gone, I was unable to find any Guppies. I suspect that this was a case of mistaken identity of the fish.

As a general thing I would not suggest a temperature of lower than 18 degrees C (65 degrees F). Guppies will certainly tolerate up to at least 32 degrees C (90 degrees F), and probably higher. Although I sometimes give the maximum and minimum temperatures types of fish can tolerate, it needs to be remembered that subjecting fish to their limits is not good and you are stressing the fish very badly. Stress will leave the fish very vulnerable todisease.

I generally set the thermostat at 24 degrees C (75 degrees F) although some people prefer a few degrees higher, especially for breeding.


The modern Guppies have been selective bred for colour and fin length, as well as other external characteristics. In the process they have lost much of the original hardiness of the Guppy. The life span of the Guppy now is often no more than a year.

Pest Fish

The Guppy has been introduced to every continent except Antarctica. In some places it is causing considerable damage to the native fish of the areas it has been introduced to. You should not release aquarium or pond fish into the wild, and you should ensure that they cannot get introduced accidentally.

It is worthy of note that many of the most destructive introduced fish and other animals have been introduced deliberately, often by government agencies.

Always Buy Your Cars With Cash

The biggest reason why most Americans spend more money than they should on their car is because they use financing to make the purchase. Borrowing money to pay for things that you consume is never good financial strategy. Only classic cars appreciate over time. The car you are buying to get you from point A to point B is only going to depreciate as you use it. When you are paying interest on something that is losing value, you will never come out on top. Here are some rules to follow in order to stay ahead of the game when buying a car:

Do not finance. Since most of us want a car we can not technically afford, there will always be a loan office waiting to approve us. Because we love our cars so much and always want the nicest and newest ones, these loan companies prey on our desires with ridiculous interest rates and terms. You end up paying much, much more when you lease a car rather than buying it with cash.

Do not lease. Leasing is just like renting a car long term. It's not a good idea because most people do not treat their leased cars very well. The car dealership knows this, and the cost of this is calculated into the leasing agreement. Why should you have to pay for other people misuse of the car? When you lease you have nothing to show for your lease payments at the end of your lease agreement.

Do not buy new. You've probably heard the adage that a new car starts depreciating the moment you drive it off the lot. You will pay a hefty premium for a brand new car because it will never be able to be resold at a price near what it originally sold for. The moment it's not a new car is the moment that it loses that new car value. Even if you wanted to sell your car just a year later, you'll have to eat a lot of the cost you initially paid. You can get a quality car at a fair price when you buy used with cash.

Do not get fancy. Many people make the claim that they need new or luxury model car for their job. They claim they can not have their clients see them in anything less than the best. If you are going to use your car as an indication of your success, be prepared to back it up with designer suits, a briefcase, and cappuccino's from Starbucks. People will be able to tell if you only have a nice car and nothing else. Also, it is counter-intuitive to think that people will judge your business success by your car. Bill Gates drives modest cars and no one thinks less of his money-earning ability. If anything people will think you are just using them to get rich, or you do not know how to make wise use of your money.