4 Most Common Types of Construction Accidents That Cause Serious Injury and Death

Construction site accidents are responsible for numerous injuries and deaths each year. While construction site accidents vary in severity, the following article discusses the four most common types that result in the most serious injuries, including death.

  1. Electrical Accidents – Perhaps the most common accident occurs because of contact with power lines. Overhead and buried power lines at a construction site are very hazardous because they carry extremely high voltage. Electrocution is not the only injury that can occur. Burns and falls from elevation are also potential risks.

    Another common cause of electrical accidents is the inappropriate use of electrical equipment, such as using equipment outdoors when the label clearly indicates indoor use. Another misuse is cords or tools with worn insulation or exposed wires.

  2. Falls – Falls are the leading cause of fatalities in the construction industry. In fact, falls from elevations account for one-third of all deaths in construction. Falls most commonly occur in the following situations:

    • unprotected sides and floor holes without safety net or personal fall arrest systems;
    • improper scaffold construction;
    • unguarded protruding steel rebars, whereby the fall results in impalement;
    • misuse of portable ladders, such as not positioning and securing the ladder.

    Washington State regulations mandate that a “competent person” must supervise the erection of scaffolds. Despite this regulation, scaffolding accidents still occur when workers attempt to access a scaffold through unsafe methods and fall.

  3. Struck-By Accidents – Struck-by objects are another leading cause of construction-related deaths. About 75% of struck-by fatalities involve heavy equipment, such as trucks or cranes. One in four struck-by vehicle deaths involve construction workers. Forklift accidents are also largely responsible for worker deaths each year in Washington State. Common accidents involve not only vehicles, but also falling and flying objects. This type of accident is likely to occur when workers are beneath cranes or scaffolds or when hit by flying particles or nails when using power tools.
  4. Trenching and Excavation Accidents – Working in trenches and performing excavations are perhaps the most dangerous jobs in construction work. The statistics seem to support this observation with the fatality rate for excavation work being 112% higher than the rate for general construction. In Washington State, collapsed excavation walls or trenches kill an average of two workers per year. Soil weights 2000-3000 lbs. per yard, causing death by asphyxiation or drowning.

    Evacuated material piled too high or too close to the edge of a trench or excavation site is an accident waiting to happen. The piles can roll back on top of workers or cause a cave-in.

    Even entry and exits from trenches or excavations are extremely dangerous if no ladders, stairways or ramps are in place. For this reason and the reasons set forth above, regular inspections of trenches and excavations are necessary to avoid potential hazardous conditions.

Construction accidents happen every day, as well as in cities and states across the nation. Like every other American worker, construction employees are entitled to a hazard-free work environment. The reality, though, is that the very nature of construction work is hazardous.

Laminate Flooring Advantages

Durability

Because it’s designed with a tough and durable wear layer, laminate flooring is much stronger than most installed solid hardwood flooring, carpets and vinyls, it’s more resistant to scratches than softer surfaces (solid hardwood floors for eg.) and is one of the best choices for households with heavy foot traffic, kids, or pets. But, best of all, laminates will look like new for years.

Resistance

Laminates are highly resistant to stains, fading and moisture and many laminate flooring manufacturers offer warranty protection against them for a long period of time (usually from 10 to 25 years).

Ease of installation

The top brands of laminate flooring have developed a glueless floating floor installation process. They just need to be cut, clicked together and are ready for walking or even placing heavy things, like furniture, on them. Most professional installers could do it in a couple of days, but expect to take longer if you want to do it yourself.

Easy cleaning and maintenance

To clean up spills and messes, just use a little soap and water and your laminate floors will look brand new.

Healthy flooring

Laminate flooring provides a much cleaner and healthier living environment when compared to other floorings such as carpets, with regular cleaning cycles. It accumulates less dust, pet dander, allergens and it doesn’t hold residual stain contaminants on the surface. Allergic people will often be recommended to remove the carpets from the living space.

Economical

A typical laminate flooring is and extremely economical solution, if you take in consideration the costs of alternate flooring solutions. Solid hardwood floors will require 4-5 refinishings and carpets and vinyls will need to be replaced at least twice (depending on traffic loads), while laminates don’t require anything.

In conclusion, kids playing with their toys on the floor, the dog running through with dirty paws, friends walking with wet shoes on it, or baby bottle spills all over it won’t be a problem with laminate flooring. They are the perfect floor for busy families and growing households.

Eight Unique Gift Ideas For Co-Workers

Do you have co-workers that you feel you need to surprise with a gift that is not only different but also unique? Well, you certainly should consider gifts from Russia. Because of the high number of people found in this country, there is a diverse yet very rich culture. In expressing themselves, there are unique and authentic pieces of art that have been created over time. These would no doubt make great gifts for co-workers. This is because they break away from the common and monotonous gifts that people give each other.

In this article we explore 8 different gifts ideas from which you can easily choose.

Nesting dolls – Also known as “babushka” or “Matryoshka”, these dolls present one of the unique gifts. They are designed such that they vary in size. They come in pieces and are designed to fit into one another with the largest doll acting as the holding container for the rest. This collection is extensive with different themes, which vary from traditional cultural expressions, animals, celebrities, world-famous personalities among others. For art lovers there is a plain set of nesting dolls that can then be painted with the desired design.

Christmas décor – Is it the end of the year and you are wondering what gift to give for Christmas? Well you certainly won’t go wrong with the Christmas décor from Russia. These décor is handmade meaning that they come in limited quantities hence very unique.

Lacquer Boxes – This is another gift idea for a co-worker. The Lacquer boxes are perfect for storage of small items and have been carefully designed to have a flawless yet glam finish both internally and externally. This makes it a unique and rich work of art in itself.

Baltic amber jewelry – Famed for its beauty and high quality, this is a perfect gift for the co-worker who values style. It is available in different shades and colour and is fitted to sterling silver that has been handcrafted to give you unique yet desirable jewelry.

Orthodox icons – For the religious co-worker, you can never go wrong with this. Set into the wooden frames that have been uniquely made, these icons feature Godmother Mary and Jesus Christ. Some of them also feature Russian Nativity Scenes.

Handmade Silver Jewelry – This is another great gift idea for the jewelry lovers. The sterling silver is 100% genuine and has been uniquely handcrafted to ensure that they are unique. You will actually not find any two pieces that are similar.

Russian Refrigerator Magnets – These magnets are made of wood and hand painted to give you a unique collection. They range from the traditional to contemporary designs. They have various themes to give you a wide variety to choose from, and are also small in size hence can easily be brought along as a gift to a co-worker from a trip.

Cute Friends Russian “Gzhel” Glazed Ceramic Sculpture – We all have a co-worker who is not only a work-mate but also a friend. This gift that recreates a play moment between two mice friends is the gift that befits such a friend. It is ceramic and has been hand painted in white and blue traditional colours, giving you a very unique and beautiful piece.

These are just some of the ideas that will give you a starting point. You can however be sure that you will get many more great ideas as you shop.

Remove Old Cabinets That Were Built In Place Using Nails

Periodically, we will have to remove an older set of kitchen or vanity cabinets that were fastened together and installed using nails rather than screws. If this is the case with your remodeling project, you WILL NOT be able to save the cupboards to be installed somewhere else. When you are finished taking them out, there will only be a pile of parts and pieces.

Take a flashlight and search inside your cupboards. If you do not see any screws, then this method of removing cupboards is for you.

Tools Needed:

  • Hammer
  • Small Single Handed Sledge Hammer
  • Pry-bar
  • Gloves
  • Safety Goggles
  • Razor Knife
  • Reciprocating Saw
  • Jig Saw
  • Skill Saw
  • Assorted Screw Drivers

Steps for Removing Old Cabinets

  1. Shut off the water supply to the sink faucet and the power supply to the range, dishwasher, hood vent or space-saver microwave.
  2. Remove the sink and all of the appliances. You may need another person to help with the sink. Most older homes have cast iron sinks and they are super heavy. I’m not joking here, DO NOT try to take a cast iron sink out alone.
  3. IMPORTANT: While you are trying to remove cabinets, be careful NOT to pry against the walls too hard. Most likely, they are made out of drywall or plaster board and are somewhat fragile. Try and remember to just pull things away from the walls-rather than prying against them.
  4. Cut all of the caulk lines everywhere that they are adjoined to the cupboards and counters against the walls, floors or ceilings.
  5. Put on your safety glasses and cut large sections of the Formica countertop, oversize base cabinet bottoms, face-frames and toe sections into smaller pieces. You can do the same with the upper cabinet bottoms that are large as well. Do this with whatever saw you feel the most comfortable using.
  6. If the backsplashes are only three quarters of an inch thick (3/4″), they are glued to the wall with liquid nail. Insert your putty knife between the wall and splash, then drive it downward using the force of your hammer. Continue to do this in several places until it comes loose from the wall.
  7. If the splashes are thicker than three quarters of an inch (3/4″), the chances are really good that they are attached to the countertop. There is no need to wedge the putty knife behind if they are attached to the top.
  8. With your gloves and safety glass on, you can begin the removal process by hammering the countertop in an upward position. Once it has begun to loosen, you can use the pry-bar to lift it higher. I can almost hear the squeaking sound of the nails already! Eventually, you should reach the point where you can grab it with both hands and pull it off of the cabinet.
  9. Take all of the drawers out from their respective locations.
  10. Using your hammer and sledge hammer, dismantle all of the cabinetry parts. Start by banging on a finished ends, then the face-frames, next pry on the bottoms and lastly the backs. The cabinets should remove rather quickly if you follow that pattern. Any time a cabinet part is difficult to remove, cut it into a smaller piece. Most of these old kitchens were manufactured using pine and plywood. They also were glued together with carpenters glue. This can make them stubborn to get apart sometimes.

You should always be on the lookout for roaches. Who knows, if your lucky, you may find an old newspaper article from the late 1950s. I retired when I discovered an old safe that had a million dollars stashed underneath the toe base of a kitchen cabinet in Hollywood. I think the home originally belonged to Jed Clampet of the Beverly Hillbillies. Having a little fun during the project is a good thing!

The trick to making all of this easier is to cut as many parts into smaller pieces before you start ripping them out. This will make it easier for the trash man or for you when carrying the parts out of the house and throwing them in your trash containers.

Anytime you remove old kitchen cupboards, be prepared to find things that need to be replaced or repaired. It’s not uncommon for there to be water damaged areas where mold has been growing. Sometimes places where leaks were years ago are found on the ceilings. Outside the cost of your new cabinets, have a little extra set aside for unexpected repairs.

Don’t Let Your Roof Repairs Go Sky High!

Before you go to the expense of calling in a roofing contractor, see if you can analyze and repair your roof problem yourself. The best possible time to repair your roof problem – is as soon as you realize that you have one and if the weather is calm enough to climb up onto the roof. In fact, this could be further qualified by saying that the best and most economical way to a trouble-free roof, is to inspect the roof regularly, so that you see the problem developing.

A leak from one dislodged tile is a small and inexpensive matter, but if you do not inspect your roof regularly, this will go unnoticed. By the time that you DO notice it, it may be because water is dripping into your spare room! This means that this whole area of the roof structure is soaked, the ceiling will need to be replaced and hopefully the flooring will recover.

Always check your roof after a wind storm, as most roofing is not designed to withstand fierce winds. Scrutinize the tiles for cracks, splits and torn-off corners; also check for lifting. Lifting is a common cause of roof leaks, and can be easily rectified. Be aware of multiple tiles lifting, as this could be a sign that the roofing material is too old and is warping from all the weathering.

Climb into your attic/loft and ensure that any insulation that you have in your roof is not right up against the roof itself. There has to be a gap for air to circulate; also when a roof heats up and there is insulation directly behind it, this heat is thrown back into the roofing and excessive heating like this can damage and warp the roof.

Another weakness in all roofs is the flashing. Flashing is designed to provide a watertight junction between roof materials and structure, especially if the roof projects out or changes design (as with extension roofs). If you are installing a new roof, it is worthwhile to get the flashing ‘inspected’ as it is a common failure area.

Often the simple fact that the gutters, leading into down pipes from the roof, are blocked with leaves and twigs can cause a problem. Roofs must have adequate run off, especially in the areas which may have snow. Water trapped in the gutter will mean that it will back up the roof for a few inches and have time to seep into the edges of the roofing tiles. Not all homes have adequate perimeter protection on their roofs, although this is one good feature to ask for on a new roof.

Quite often homes incur roof leaks all at the same time (often after strong gales winds and torrential rain etc). This can mean that all contractors are busy and you have ‘stop up the leak’ until you can get help.

If you do get a leak, and you have placed buckets under the dripping water, be aware that the leak may be in a completely different place than it would seem. Locating the source is difficult, as water can run along horizontal timbers and appear to be leaking from a place that is sound. Getting up into the attic and actually looking for a wet spot on the roof decking will be an accurate way to tell.

If you can find the spot an emergency patch can be made applying roofing felt and using plastic cement to hold it until you can call in a contractor. You can also attempt to repair it yourself, if it is just a shingle that is damaged. You can carefully prize up the roof shingle by removing the three or four nails that are holding it in place; next, apply a generous coating of tar beneath the tear in question, and also coat the underside of the shingle with a with a coat of tar before putting it back in place. Add a spot of tar to each nail head. Most roofing companies advise against the ‘liquid’ asphalt repair products.

Roofs can also be temporarily repaired using roof membrane and sealants. Care must be taken to clean the roof surface first to ensure that the sealant will stick and keep the leak protected from rain etc. In fact, as long as the roof is clean and dry, the wonder of the 20th. Century – duct tape – can also be stuck onto the roof!

Designer Handbags — Which Material is Best?

With the huge number of different types of designer handbags available to choose from, how do you know which material you want it to be made from?

To a certain degree, it depends on what you want the handbag to do.

Do you want it to compliment an outfit? Do you want it to liven things up a little bit (or a lot) or do you just want it to be durable and long lasting?

The most common material for designer handbags these days is leather.

Strong, highly durable and incredibly tough, leather is a perfect choice for a material.

Bearing in mind that leather also comes in a variety of different types such as cowhide, goatskin, natural, man made etc, there will always be one out there that “feels” right in your hands.

Strong and thick leather will weather well, able to shrug off raindrops and small marks and spills (dependent on the protective coatings and coloring) and will not rip or shred after repeated putting down and picking up off rough floors.

Suede also runs a close second to the leather lines, having many of the same strength and durability properties of leather. Less designer handbags are made from suede as it is a harder material to design a color or style for — although Coach specifically do a great range of colors and styles in suede handbags!

But what if you want to glam up an outfit or go for something beyond the traditional materials of leather, suede, canvas and nylon mix?

Well — you’re still spoilt for choice.

How about a seat belt bag, made from recycled seat belts in a criss cross pattern? Strong, colorful and very different.

Or the new Licence Plate handbags — made from cleaned and recycled licence plates, handbags that are literally bent into shape with hinged flaps.

Then there are evening bags, made from velvet.

Ugg handbags, made from treated sheepskin — some of which also double up as a handbag and muff!

Beijo handbags are made purely from polyvinyl — tough and incredibly easy to wipe clean.

Some of the Louis Vuitton high end bags are made from a mix of cowhide leather or canvas with ostrich leather for trim and decoration!

You can even still pick up some handbags made from crocodile skin — albeit from the pre owned market!

The choice of materials is quite mind boggling. Just about anything you can think of as a suitable material to use for building a handbag has already been done.

The only real question is — What do you want your handbag to say about you?

If your solid, traditional and dependable — go for leather.

If your funky and chic — try the seat belt bag.

If your different and a bit of a trend setter, not a trend follower, either go with the Licence Plate handbags or design and make your own.

What’s lying about round your house that you could use as a material?

Copyright: Rufus Steele

High Pressure Painting With Airless Paint Sprayers

Small, portable, but powerful paint sprayers have revolutionized interior and exterior home painting projects, allowing handymen to give everything from houses to garages, barns, fences, sheds, and other outbuildings a thorough coat of paint in a matter of an hour or two, rather than days. These tools are straightforward enough for even fairly inexperienced people to get excellent results with them, and airless paint sprayers represent some of the strongest available today.

The airless paint sprayer is an advance in most ways over paint guns using compressed air to vaporize and shoot materials. Practical limits on air pressure limit the materials that a compressed air gun can apply to thin and some medium-textured types, while thick paint will clog the gun or emerge in clumps and spatters. Overspray is ample and these sprayers are usually best for small jobs in a paint booth.

Airless paint sprayers come in several different configurations, but even the smallest and most self-contained pack quite a punch as far as pressure is concerned. Diaphragm pump systems are intermediate between compressor and piston pump sprayers, but even their pressure is higher than that of air compressor equivalents. Airless systems with pistons offer at least 2,500 PSI and often as much as 3,000 PSI, which is one of their main advantages.

Having high PSI supplied by a mechanical piston shunting paint through the spray gun creates powerful suction, enabling the use of long hoses connecting the paint gun to a large material supply such as a 5 gallon can of paint. Even a small painter that squeezes the piston, filters, and other mechanical parts into the handheld case can pull paint through a ¼” hose from 25 feet away. Larger varieties can suck paint from as far away as 150 feet, letting you move all the way around a medium-sized building without needing to move your material supply.

Besides the ability to work a good distance from the material can, hopper, etc., the high pressures airless devices generate are eminently practical for applying a great paint job. The intense pressure vaporizes the paint into tiny, highly uniform drops that coat the painting surface, drenching it thoroughly but uniformly and creating a smooth paint job without streaks, blotchiness, or marks. The paint is also blown into grooves, surface fissures (as in the case of bricks or of old planks), ensuring that no parts of the surface are left exposed or uncolored.

Graco, Wagner, HomeRight, and Titan are all companies that produce sturdy, highly functional airless paint sprayers to the highest modern standards. Their product ranges contain everything from hand-held modules that use a paint cup or a feed hose put into a can of paint or stain, to free standing or cart types that can be carried or wheeled from place to place. In this latter case, the spray gun is nothing but a dispenser, not a storage unit, and is light and small enough to be used in very awkward situations, such as while clinging to a ladder or spraying inside a very cramped space.

With close to a full horsepower on some of the larger types, airless paint sprayers must be treated with respect to avoid injuries. At 3,000 PSI, the pistons can drive paint right through human skin into the muscles beneath. In this case, professional medical services are needed to help remove the toxic paint from your body. It is best not to get injured at all – practicing self-discipline and never pointing the nozzle at other people or other part of your body will contribute strongly to this outcome.

Good spray gun nozzles for airless paint sprayers will give you exactly the finish you’re looking for. The potential of most airless systems is best focused on bigger projects where their unique abilities – fast, intense painting, good coverage, creation of smooth coats – can really shine, and can truly benefit you. Airless devices are the wave of the future in painting, but are available right now to turn painting into something fast, enjoyable, and satisfying for beginners and experts.

Not So Intelligent Design

All right … I can’t help myself. I just have to weigh in on “Intelligent Design”. It’s like looking at someone with a hump on their back. As much as I don’t want to comment, I just have to say something–it’s the Larry David in me. When the president recently proclaimed that “intelligent design” (a.k.a., ID) should be taught in schools along side of evolution, I decided I had better learn more about what the president was suggesting. Although usually skeptical of President Bush, I really wanted to give this one a fair chance–you never know when humps might become fashionable.

First I needed to understand what the heck ID is, after all, it clearly can’t be “Creationism” repackaged. There must be something more to it. What is the differentiator and why all the sudden hubbub? Also, if I’m about to throw centuries of evolutionary science out the window with the sea water, I better have a more definitive idea of what this new science is all about. So like any modern day investigator, I did a search on “Intelligent Design” in Google and went to the site at the top of the list, “Intelligent Design Net – Seeking objectivity in origins science”. It sounded promising.

It had an interesting home page. My attention was immediately drawn to a clever little moving image. A balance scale with “Design” on one plate and “Evolution” on the other plate is see-sawing on a table top tagged “Science”, with “religion” and “naturalism” crossed out. Oh yeah, under the word “Evolution”, ‘no design’ is written. That initially struck me as a bit unfair and unbalanced; anti-FOX you might say. So to even it out, I imagined that ‘no evolution’ was written under “Design” and decided to give the website the benefit of the doubt. It most likely was an oversight by the website owner, “Intelligent Design Network, Inc.”, a nonprofit organization that seeks objectivity in origins science.

I continued on.

“Objectivity results from the use of the scientific method without philosophic or religious assumptions in seeking answers to the question: Where do we come from?”

All right, now we are getting somewhere. This is about science, scientific method. Intelligent Design is science. Good. Nothing better than old fashion science discovery; something that rewrites all the prior science, turns it on its ears. It happens in Physics all the time. Sometimes scientists even prove themselves wrong. Just ask Steven Hawking. It’s about time the science of evolution was jolted in the same way.

I read on with my ape DNA all in a bunch–never liked the thought that we are related to primitive primates anyway.

“We believe objectivity will lead not only to good origins science, but also to constitutional neutrality in this subjective, historical science that unavoidably impacts religion. We promote the scientific evidence of intelligent design because proper consideration of that evidence is necessary to achieve not only scientific objectivity but also constitutional neutrality.”

Whoa … now stop right there partner!

What the hell does that mean, “…this subjective, historical science…”. I thought by its nature, scientific method was the gold standard of objectivity, not subjectivity. “Subjective science” is an oxymoron, no different from being “fairly biased”, which I was beginning to believe this website to be. Evolutionary theory has stood up to the rigors of scientific method. In other words, it is science and therefore, not subjective. So what are they getting at? Could it be that Darwin cooked the books on sparrow beak size and fly wing observations in order to sustain his philosophy of naturalism? Yikes. What a big jerk he was if he did!

And what about this idea that “objectivity will lead … to constitutional neutrality” What is meant by “constitutional neutrality”? I quickly found a copy of the Constitution and did a search on ‘evolution’ thinking that maybe old Ben Franklin snuck a little non-neutrality in there–not one reference, not a one. Whew … it’s neutral on it. And finally, is it true that it (I guess evolution) “unavoidably impacts religion”?

It took some digging but I think I know what is going on here. I think that you do too.

The trick being played here is casually stating that evolution as a science is subjective, moving it out of the realm of objectivity and into the world of subjectivity. A very wise consultant with whom I worked once told me never to wrestle a pig in the mud, they will always win; after all, it is a huge home field advantage. Essentially, by falsely setting up evolution as subjective theory, it moves it into the mud.

Evolution is a theory that has been proven over and over again in the theater of scientific method, where results are tediously measured, documented and analyzed by other, many times competing and doubting, scientists. It is not the space in which religious beliefs or philosophies fare well.

The deal is that Intelligent Design is subjective. It is a belief without scientific measurement. Its axiom is that there must be intelligent design (and therefore a superior creator; i.e., God) because a human being, for instance, is extremely complex and complexity can not rise or evolve haphazardly from less complex systems (e.g., apes). For example, you can place the parts of a watch in a jar and shake it until the cows come home and never create a working watch. It takes a watchmaker to make those parts work as a watch. Significant complexities must be intelligently created–there is scientific evidence to believe so anyway. But where is the evidence of which they speak? Actually, all the scientific evidence seems to prove that complex systems can evolve from less complex systems; that if you keep shaking those parts way past the cows coming home, you just might get the watch.

Look, man thought forever that the Sun revolved around the Earth. We grudgingly acquiesced when science proved that belief to be wrong. All right, so we might not have been the center of the universe but we were at least the center of intelligent life, after all God planted Adam and Eve on Earth in his (never her) image.

Well, science, specifically the science of evolution and natural selection, has pretty much taken care of that matter. Needless to say, it is difficult for humans to give up this notion of being special, of being the center of God’s universe. I guess we are special all right but not in a way that makes us particularly intelligent; quite the opposite frankly. We are the only species I’m aware of that is the most capable and the most willing to knowingly eliminate itself. Well, maybe I’m being a little too dramatic when I suggest we are not superior to other species; after all, we have harnessed fire, designed the wheel and invented breast implants. But it is this fascination with being self important that stirs “Creationism” and its more highbrow cousin “Intelligent Design”. We just can’t get over this collective human ego thing.

Let’s face it; if there is a God who is responsible for the “goin’ ons” of this planet, he or she can’t be the brightest star in the galaxy so to speak. A truly superior intelligent designer would never have whipped up humans on the fly. I mean, right from the get-go with the apple and snake, and then the clothing issue, and then the need to send down some commandments because we were carrying on like idiots. And then he had to turn on the spigots for forty days and forty nights to get our attention. And, when none of that seemed to work, he eventually sent his kid to get us back on message with the whole heaven idea already, hoping beyond hope to get us to behave. And we still didn’t get it! That’s a lot of trouble and hard work for someone who had some sort of intelligent design in mind. At least I think so. It seems more like the work of someone who got a little carried away, a little too careless, couldn’t let it go after the apes, had to tinker with that whole self image thing.

That is exactly why evolution must be the real deal. I think we descended from less “intelligent” primates–an unforeseen accident. And only God knows where those early primates came from. Actually, I’m starting to think not only does God not know the answers to a lot of things but he doesn’t care any more. He’s moved on to bigger and better things, a little wiser I hope too! And nothin’ for nothin’ but I wouldn’t be shocked if God looked like a dolphin anyway.

I guess I can best sum this up by saying, if you want to have a discussion about “why” we exist, “intelligent design” is as good a set of beliefs as any. But the “whys” of something is not science, it is philosophical. If you want to know the how of something, you are talking science, where observations of the physical world are broken down and figured out in mathematical models. And when you allow the whys to drive how the hows are derived, you are in for trouble when science catches up. Such is the case of “creationism” being the why that drives this false how called “intelligent design”. It just ain’t so. So offer “intelligent design” in religion and philosophy classes, not in science.

I guess then I really have no quarrel with President Bush, as long as he has no quarrel with separating the discussions of “whys” from the experiments of “hows”. That is keep “whys” in religion and philosophy classes and “hows” in the science labs.

Unfortunately, I’m not sure he sees it that way.

Five Pieces of Women’s Clothing That Should Be in Your Wardrobe

A lot of women in the UK have wardrobes that are bulging at the hinges, as they are packed full of various different types of clothes. If you are one of these women and were told that you could keep only a handful of items, the following 5 pieces of women’s clothing should be at the top of your wish list to keep.

1. Jeans. Possibly the staple item in any women’s wardrobe around the world today, whether you’re 15 or 55, jeans will probably play a bigger role in your daily fashion than you probably realise.

One of the reasons why jeans are such a popular piece of women’s clothing is that they are so versatile. You may only think of them as casual wear for going into town, but with the right accompanying items, they can be suitable for everything from a meal in an up market restaurant to an evening in a casino. In fact, unless the dress code for a specific event is ‘formal attire’, you will generally be able to team jeans with something in your wardrobe to make a suitable outfit.

2. Little black dress. So you come in from work and your partner reminds you that you’re going to their black tie work’s dinner, but you’ve forgot and haven’t bought a new outfit. What do you do? Simple; rely on your little black dress.

You’re rushing around trying to get the whole family washed, dressed and ready for your relative’s wedding. You haven’t had time to buy a new dress but need something that looks good and is formal enough for a wedding. The answer? Your little black dress.

Just as versatile as jeans, a little black dress can be called upon in almost any formal setting and will always look fantastic.

3. Black trousers. There are two ‘work’ clothing items every woman should own and a pair of black trousers is the first of the two. Working in exactly the same way as they do for men, throwing on a pair of black trousers instantly makes you exude a certain degree of business formality.

In addition to business, they can also be used for everything from meetings with your bank manager to a night out with work colleagues, not requiring for you to take a whole new set of clothes with you to work.

4. White blouse. The second of the two necessary ‘work’ clothes items, a white blouse is the perfect accompaniment to black trousers. Carrying out exactly the same roles as mentioned above, a white blouse covers almost any role you can think of when looking at formal wear, without wanting to look too dressy.

5. Trench coat. The classic trench coat is one of the most reliable pieces of women’s clothing that you can own. Suitable as a light jacket in spring but often warm enough to be used in autumn and through to early winter, the trench coat not only looks fashionable, but can hide any fashion faux pas you might have made underneath.

The 4 Lines of Self Defense

The cry of “Self defense!” is common among those who get into trouble for fighting. Often this is heard from both parties, which makes the statement suspect. Self defense is a complex concept. The defining the word is the easy part. In terms of cultural and legal meanings, it gets even more confusing; however, the purpose of this article is to examine what goes into self defense, rather than dissecting techniques or what comes after.

There are four major concepts within the topic of self defense: knowledge, attitude, awareness, and skills. Each concept contributes to your personal safety. If any one of them is left out, the danger to yourself increases dramatically. Each concept is referred to as a “line”-as in “the first line of defense.”

Knowledge

Simply put, Knowledge is knowing what’s out there. You may see on the local news that there was a murder two blocks over. You may read in the newspaper that there have been a string of robberies targeting convenience stores. You may hear on the radio that there is a major storm approaching quickly. These are items that serve to catch the attention. You now know that they took place and that finding yourself in a dangerous situation is an increased possibility.

Beyond the attention grabbers used by the various media, look at the details of the incident (or approaching situation). The murder victim was a reclusive man. He was killed when he surprised a burglar in his house. The convenience store robberies all took place in the Westlake area between the times of 9:00 p.m. and 3:00 a.m. The approaching storm is predicted to be the worst storm the city has seen in 50 years. These details tell you that the murder was an incidental killing and not done by a serial killer, it’s probably a good idea to stay out of the Westlake area convenience stores between 9:00 in the evening and 3:00 in the morning, and that covering the windows and making sure you have enough supplies for at least a week after the storm hits is a smart idea.

Attitude

Most self defense courses and workshops will tell you that attitude is how you present yourself. Many will even tell you some basic body language to use: head up, shoulders back, relaxed gait. What is often left out is that attitude is as much internal as external, as much mental and emotional state as posture. This is not to say that such workshops ignore the internal aspect, just that they tend not to explicitly state it. In many ways it is easier and faster to fix the outward appearance. Since workshops rarely last more than half a day, the decision (a wise one in my opinion) is to spend more time teaching skills.

The internal aspect of attitude should not be ignored, however. Confidence and mental readiness take longer to build, but will withstand more scrutiny on the streets. Most support groups have some form of the phrase “Fake it ’til you make it.” In essence, that is what one shot workshops teach in terms of attitude. By faking the appearance of confidence, you may prevent a possible predator from thinking of you as easy prey. That shell, however, is very thin. Those more observant will see the slight hesitation in the footsteps, the unusually fast breathing, the flickering eyes. With an internal framework of confidence and mental readiness, the exterior presentation is not a shell, but a natural byproduct.

Awareness

If you closed your eyes right now, could you list off all the exits to the room you’re in? Could you tell which is the closest? Could you tell which would be the fastest to get through? Awareness is knowing what’s going on around you. Of all the components of self defense, awareness is the one that uses all five senses. Perhaps more so than attitude, having an active awareness takes work. It is also one of the hardest aspects to train. Though few instructors of self defense deny the importance of awareness, almost none bother to attempt to teach it in workshops. Most of the workshops I’ve attended merely give lip service to it. “You have to be aware. Be aware of people around you. Be aware of traffic.” After that, they move on to a different topic. No advice on how to be aware. Not even a short mental checklist for when you enter a room. To most people, awareness is passive. While there is a passive element to it, effective awareness is active.

When you walk into a room, where are the exits, where are the obstacles, who are the people, and what can be used as improvised weapons in the worst case scenario? A simple four item mental checklist allows people to feel in control of the situation. A person with a sense of control has more confidence than one who does not. An active awareness affects attitude. It also lets you know when something is wrong with a situation.

Skills

The last line of self defense are your skills. By skills, I don’t just mean fighting ability. Skills are your actions. They answer the question “What are you capable of doing?” A few of the self defense workshops I’ve attended focus on three or four release type skills and spend the rest of the time on learning how not to need them. Defusing a confrontation is one of the most valuable self defense skills a person can have. Successfully defusing a situation prevents the need for fighting. Having the people skills that allows you to avoid a confrontation in the first place is even better. If you end up with violence, all your other self defense skills have failed. It is only at that point, that you need to have a strong grounding in fighting skills. Conversely, and somewhat paradoxically, by having a strong foundation of fighting skills you provide the framework on which to build your knowledge, awareness, and attitude.

All four lines are aspects of self defense. Without any one of them, it will be as if you were living life with one sense partially disabled-able to function, but without a strong foundation on which to build the rest of your safety.

What Happens If You Break a Contract

A contract once formed is a legally binding agreement. The parties to the contract have agreed upon certain terms and conditions of the agreement and are intending upon following it to the letter. However, occasions might arise whereby one of the parties or all of them might have to break the contract. When this happens there are legal consequences that follows suit. So first, let us consider the circumstance when a contract becomes broken.

A contract can be broken or a better word to use – discharged in a number of ways. This includes partial performance, breach of the agreement made, frustration and by mutual agreement between the parties concern. If the contract is broken intentionally as one of the parties might find the contract to un-lucrative, then the other party might seek damages from the party breaking the contract. Example: Ben enters into an agreement with Paul to teaching his Business Law for $100 per lesson with a minimum of 10 lessons. Ben collects from Paul the money for the 10 lessons amounting to $1000 in advance. Ben was suppose to start teaching Paul the following day. However, after entering into this agreement Ben had another offer to teach Sue who is willing to pay him $5000 for 10 lessons. Sue wants Ben to start teaching her the following day at the same time as Paul. Ben decided that teaching Sue is more lucrative then Paul and decides to call Paul and terminate the agreement and return his money.

In this situation Ben is clearly breaking the contract. The remedies that Paul has over Ben in such a situation is that he can sue Ben for specific performance in which case Ben will be forced to teach Paul at the agreed price instead of Sue. It is also possible that Paul might just take back his money and consider the agreement he made with Ben as null and void. There is one more possibility in that Paul might claim that he has invested in books and additional material to prepare for the tuition that Ben is going to conduct and as such he might claim from Ben the damages in terms of money for this investment he made.

As to whether Paul will be successful in his claim is a matter the court will have to decide. Sometimes a contract becomes broken because of a term called frustration. This happens when some unforeseen event occurs that disrupt the contractual agreement between the parties. The is an English case called Taylor v Caldwell. In this case one of the parties hired a music hall for a series of concerts. But before the first concert, the music hall was destroyed by fire. In this case the court declared that the contract was frustrated as it has become impossible to perform since the subject matter namely the music hall was destroyed.

An example to illustrate the concept of frustration in breaking a contract is like you book a pair of tickets to a rock concert performed by a famous rock group. Just before the concert, a few members of the rock group became ill as the consumed the wrong kind of food in the hotel. Therefore the concert is cancelled. In this case you can probably claim your money back and that’s it. There might be much chance for you to sue the rock group for non-performance as they were ill.

Flexible Intermediate Bulk Containers AKA FIBC

Flexible intermediate bulk container (FIBC) is a bulk container used for storing many types of dry products like fertilizers, granules etc. It varies in size and capacity. Different types of FIBC are available in market. UNO, EVA, BOB, GAP etc. UNO is universal type for lots of applications. Each type has its own property.

Talking about history of FIBC, it was first used in 1940 and that too for packaging purpose. In 1970s FIBC was used for transporting large quantities of cements to feed vast building programmed.

Going to the construction point of view for FIBC we have U panel construction, circular construction, baffle construction, four side panel construction and round construction.

Many lifting options including cross corner lifting loop, corner lifting loops, four loops, two loops, sling loop, full loops are available.

As already discussed much of its usage is in builder bags or sand bags and non food grade bags.

Talking about the electrostatic properties in type A we have no special electrostatic safety features, Type B is Made of plain non antistatic pp or polypropylene.Type B bags are literally not capable of producing propagating brush discharges.The wall of FIBC shows a breakdown volt of 4 kvs or less., Type C is conductive FIBC which has electrically conductive fabric. These are constructed from highly electrical conductive fabric. highly standard fabric is used which contains very high conductive threads. and type D is anti static FIBC ie without earthling. More about type D FIBC's, they essentially are examples of those bags which have anti-static or static dissipative cases and properties. Without any requirement of earthling.

FIBC is Also known by big bag color : as bulk bag or container and it can carry up to 1100 times its own weight. If you are looking for In depth analysis of FIBC and FIBC products.

Ductless Portable Air Conditioner – Comparison With A Ductless Split Unit

Spring and summer are the best times to own an air conditioner and the fall is the best time to buy it, considering all the end-of-season specials and installation rebates. And after the scorching heat of this summer, many are decided they will be better equipped next summer. But what air conditioning unit to buy? In this article, we will present three major advantages of ductless split unit air conditioner as compared with ductless portable air conditioner. By the time you finish reading, you should be better equipped to see which type of room AC might best suit you. The three major advantages of split units are: Minimal space requirement, Higher cooling efficiency, and Low noise.

Minimal space requirement

Ductless split units take up very little space in the room. The inside unit of the split AC system is either installed on the wall, such as above the window, or is recessed in the ceiling, or is suspended from the ceiling. In either case, the ductless split unit, wall mounted or otherwise, is slim and will not take up any useful space in the room. In contrast, a ductless portable air conditioner will be much bulkier, it will take up valuable floor space, and its air tubes will meander across a part of the room to the window opening. As the tubes can not be bent arbitrarily tightly, the portable unit may be positioned as far as a few yards away from the window, taking up precious floor space.

Higher cooling efficiency

Ductless mini split systems clearly separate the cooling part inside the room from the heating part outside. Therefore, there is never a need to put one in direct contact with the other. In contrast, the usually very hot exhaust air tube of the ductless portable AC is still placed inside the room, heating that part of the room. The portable, single piece unit has to work harder to keep the room cool. In other words, a portable AC is less energy efficient. This is reflected in the EER and SEER, seasonal energy efficiency ratings of portable air conditioners, as well as in their lack of the EPA-sponsored EnergyStar label. The cooling efficiency of recirculating portable AC types, or dual hose portable air conditioners, is better than the cooling efficiency of single hose air conditioners, but still incomparable to that of the ductless split unit systems.

Low noise

As the louder, compressing part in the split unit ductless air conditioner is placed outside the house, so is most of its noise. If you are needing air conditioning in the bedroom, the noise can be a problem. In contrast, a ductless portable air conditioner’s operation will be quite a bit noisier as both the compressing part and the expanding, or the evaporating part are located in the single, indoor unit.

Ditching Spare Wheels For Self Sealing Tyres

While spare tyres have undoubtedly helped a fair few drivers out of sticky situations in the past, they are not an ideal back up for all car owners. Quite often, vehicle owners don’t have the tools, strength or understanding required to change a wheel. This renders the carrying of a bulky spare in the boot entirely useless. So what other puncture technologies are there?

Seal inside tyres

Self-sealing technology in tyres has been around for a couple of years now and tyres that use it have become a popular alternative to driving with spare wheels. ‘Seal inside’ tyres fix themselves from the inside when they get a puncture.

Seal inside tyres have a layer of sealant behind the tread of the tyre which prevents air escaping when the tyre is punctured. It does this regardless of whether the object that pierced the tyre is still embedded or not. This protection is activated immediately so the tyre’s performance remains uncompromised and continued driving is still safe.

According to various manufactures of self sealing tyres, drivers who have them fitted will not even notice that they have a puncture. While this means that indeed the tyres do continue to work at full capacity, it could be slightly dangerous as the fix will not hold forever. Drivers who use such tyres therefore, should remember to regularly check their tyres for punctures and go to a professional if they find anything wrong.

Run flat tyres

Run flat tyres have been designed to allow a driver to continue for approximately 50 miles at a reduced speed after getting a flat. The idea is that with these tyres fitted, drivers can buy enough time to get off a motorway or make their way to a garage.

These tyres, also known as ‘self-supporting tyres’ have thicker sidewalls which can hold the weight of the car ever when the air pressure inside the tyre is reduced. A car fitted with run flat tyres will have a pressure monitoring system in place so that drivers are alerted to a significant pressure drop and can adjust their speed to the recommended 50 mph until they can get the tyre properly replaced.

Compressors

Compressor kits have also become a puncture quick fix. They can be used in conjunction with space saving tyres which are much less cumbersome than regular spare wheels and can be inflated using an air compressor. Otherwise, for drivers keen to do away with spare tyres altogether, a compressor can be used with sealant to re-inflate the punctured tyre. The driver simply injects foam to seal the puncture and then inflates the tyre to the correct pressure again.

Compressor kits can only offer a temporary repair although some manufacturers claim their kits can fix a tyre for up to 400 miles. In terms of what they can fix, for the most part they are only really suited to small punctures and drivers who fix a puncture using a compressor kit will have to visit a professional tyre repair or replacement service for a more long term solution.

It would seem that for drivers who are not keen to carry round a bulky spare wheel or who have no idea or inclination regarding replacing a tyre with a spare, there are plenty of alternatives.

Chinese Astrology – Personal Date Selection

What is date selection in Chinese Astrology? To answer this question, we need to delve into the philosophy behind the Chinese approach to Date Selection. The Chinese viewpoint of time centers on the concept of Yin and Yang and Time and Space. Time is Yang and Space is Yin. Time is movement and Space is stillness. Time exists as pattern of energies in the universe and it determines the cyclical occurrence of nature in space.

This brings us to date selection which is essentially based on the timeliness of energies. To the Chinese, an activity or endeavor can be chosen based on its timeliness as energy is deemed conducive when it is timely. An activity or endeavor that is carried out at the right time will be fruitful as the energy of the activity is in harmony with the energy of the person carrying out the activity. This is the essence of Chinese date selection. The objective is to carry out an activity at the point when the energies in the universe are auspicious for that particular endeavor. Through the synchronization of these energies, a particular event can commence on a lucky day and time. The Chinese view date selection as a form of divination but with a human touch of luck. The divination aspect has to do with certain planetary or star alignment in the constellation. The human touch concerns actions that we can take to tweak destiny in our favor. We can make choices and time certain decisions to positively influence an outcome and avoid misfortune due to bad timing. By selecting a point in time for an important activity with the most beneficial energy patterns, based on the configuration of stars in the constellation, it represents the quintessential of doing the right thing at the right time.

You can make informed decision and right choices on the path of life based on what is in your natal chart which is also known as the Four Pillars of Destiny or Ba Zi. Your Ba Zi chart is an elemental representation of your destiny. The elements which are dominant in the universe at the moment of birth are represented in the form of the Four Pillars. These elements are fire, earth, metal, water and wood. By understanding the interaction of these elements in your Ba Zi chart, you can determine how best to walk the path that destiny has in store for you. By combining the right course of action to take with the right timing based on date selection, you can personalize a selection of an auspicious date and time to carry out an important activity for a successful outcome.