How to Tell Your Girlfriend is Ready For You to Propose

One of the problems many men face is deciding when the right time to propose is. It can be confusing, especially if you’re not getting much indication from her. In this article I’ll explain how you can determine when she’s ready for a marriage proposal.

The most effective way to find out if she’s ready for you to propose is to keep the channels of communication open. If you regularly talk about the expectations and desires you each have for marriage you’ll have some idea of where she stands. This will help ease the tension and uncertainty that comes with moving a relationship to a new level.

The problem with this method is many men are afraid bringing up marriage will encourage her to put proposal related pressure on them. Although that’s a valid concern, the alternative of never speaking of marriage will only make that pressure more extreme and unexpected when the hammer finally drops. It may be difficult to bring up or discuss but once you are used to having those kinds of discussions it will become second nature.

Most girls who are ready and/or eager to be married will make it known to their boyfriend that that is something they want. The tricky part for the guy is to follow through with the proposal in a timely manner so the woman doesn’t get impatient. The ultimatum is a lose/lose situation for a guy, so it’s best to do everything possible to avoid it. Most of the time the ultimatum comes in long after the man has missed his clues and his opportunity. This is when frustration has set in for his girlfriend and she’s ready to call it quits.

In order to effectively tell when your girlfriend is ready for you to propose you really should encourage her to discuss her plans for the future. There is no secret button to push that will give you that information without encouraging her to talk about it. The good news is most women don’t need much prompting to talk about marriage.

However, just because you have this conversation with her doesn’t mean she needs to know any details about your proposal when you get to planning it. Once you know how she feels about marriage, and marrying you in particular, keep her in the dark about any proposal related plans you make from that point on.

Determining if she’s ready for marriage is really as simple as keeping your ears and eyes open to signals and clues that she sends off. If you do it will be very hard to miss knowing when she’s prepared for a proposal. And that’s when the fun really begins because then it’s on you to plan your next move!

Juxtaposition of Babylon and Zion

Exodus 16:19-20 “And Moses said, Let no man leave of it till the morning. Notwithstanding they hearkened not unto Moses; but some of them left of it until the morning, and it bred worms, and stank: and Moses was wroth with them”

It is of cardinal importance for the church to be aligned with the present day truth. Present day truth is the now word of God that is pertinent to the now season. Granting to the passage of scripture cited above, it is apparent that God instructed Israel not to partake in the manna of yesterday in the new daylight. Nevertheless, they disobeyed the instruction of God by gathering for today and for tomorrow and as the result the manna bred worms and stank. The principle that is inferred from this passage of scripture is that, the Manna of yesterday is today’s worms. Simply put, the word God for the current epoch can easily become a hindrance if appropriated for another season. It behooves the church to move with the cloud of the presence of God to keep in touch with what God is doing in this season. We ought to see how God works, God is progressive.

A divine directive of today can be tantamount to idolatry in the morrow. The purpose of this article to help us comprehend and assimilate the principles of building in the Kingdom of God. The plan of attack is to put Zion and Babylon in a microscope in a pursuit to see how God builds as opposed to how mankind builds. Let us define Zion. Zion is the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God. Zion is a city not made with human hands, but by the hand of God himself. Plainly cast, it is an accurate manifestation of the heavenly things. Hebrews 11:10 “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God”. Romans 1:20 “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse”. It is self-evident from this passage of scripture that when God builds, he builds to reveal himself. The principle is that the invisible is understood through the visible. Zion is the visible (physical) expression of the invisible (spiritual). Right away let us define Babylon.

For the purpose of this article, Babylon can be defined as every man-made system, knowledge, visions and wisdom that seeks to exalt itself above the knowledge of God. Simply put; every human ideology that does not glorify and acknowledge the mastery and sovereignty of God is tantamount to idolatry. The question then becomes what is idolatry? Idolatry can be defined as everything that is less than Christ. Let us shift our attention towards the scripture even as we explore in detail how Babylon was built as opposed to Zion. By now we know that understanding the book of Genesis is the genesis of understanding. Let us analyse the creation and background of Babylon as our degree of expiration. Genesis 10:8-10 “And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.”

From the above passage of scripture, it is evident that Nimrod the son of Cush is the founding father of Babel. The principle is that every system is defined by its founding fathers. Thus, it is imperative for us to understand the foundation of Babel if we want to comprehend the system of Babel. First, what does the name Nimrod mean? It comes from the Hebrew verb “Marad”, meaningrebel. It is therefore axiomatic that the city of Babel was founded upon the foundation of rebellion. The question is who is Nimrod?

  • Nimrod was the son of Cush
  • He was mighty one in the earth
  • He was rebellious against God as his name denotes his nature
  • He is the founding father of the city of Babel
  • He exalted himself above the knowledge of God

Genesis 11:1- 9″And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off building the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Let us dissect the above passage of scripture to excavate the hidden nuggets of present day truth.

Modus operandi of Babylon

  1. They used brick and slime to build the city and the tower of Babel
  2. They used brick instead of stone and slime instead of mortar
  3. The main objective was to build a structure that reaches unto heaven
  4. They wanted to make a great name for themselves

Let us turn over on each principle highlighted above

  1. They used brick and slime to build the city and the tower of Babel

It is evident that brick and slime was used in the building of the city of Babel. We need to note that bricks are made of clay and water. Bricks are man-made material. Therefore, Babylon was founded upon a man-made system and ideologies that seek to exalt itself above the knowledge God.

  1. They used brick instead of stone, and slime instead of mortar

It is evident that the people opted to utilize an alternative building material not the relevant material that is utilized to make. The scripture clearly says that bricks were used instead of stones. It is evident that man-made material was used in instead of God-made material in the construction of the city of Babel. Bear in mind that bricks are man-made whilst stones are God made. The principle is that when man-made material is used in the building, the end result will always be Babel (religious system that defies the supremacy of God). Simply put, we cannot employ man-made strategies, ideologies and systems to build the kingdom of God. The principle is that divine systems cannot be adulterated by man-made systems. Every time, mankind employs his own strategies to build the outcome will always be “Ichabod” (absence of glory). Let us revisit the book of 1Samuel to excavate the principles upon which Babylon was established.

1 Samuel 4:1-4 “Now the Israelites went out to fight against the Philistines. The Israelites camped at Ebenezer, and the Philistines at Aphek. The Philistines deployed their forces to meet Israel, and as the battle spread, Israel was defeated by the Philistines, who killed about four thousands of them on the battlefield. When the soldiers returned to camp, the elders of Israel asked, why did the LORD bring defeat on us today before the Philistines? Let us bring the ark of the LORD’s covenant from Shiloh, so that he may go with us and save us from the hand of the enemies. So the people sent men to Shiloh, and they brought back the ark of the covenant of the LORD Almighty, who is enthroned between the cherubim.” It is evident from the above passage of scripture that Israel committed a huge mistake of leaving behind the Ark of the Covenant to fight the Philistines.

Note that they brought the ark only after realizing that they are losing the battle. Plainly cast, they employed their carnal strategies to fight the Philistines instead of sticking to the divine order and protocol. The question becomes what is the divine order? Divine order is that God takes precedence and pre-eminence in everything we do. The Ark of the Covenant was designed to be in the forefront, but, however, Israel left the Ark of the Covenant behind and that’s the cause why they were discomfited because they replaced the divine order with human order. Babylonian order is antithetical to the divine order in the gumption that it puts man first and God after. The tower and the city of Babel were constructed using bricks instead of stone, and slime instead of mortar. Recall we said earlier that Babylon is a religious system. The scriptures state that when the Ark of the Covenant was taken into the camp, the people shouted and praised God, but however, the Philistines discerned that it was an empty shout because God was not in their midst.

The lesson that we can learn from Israel is that God has to be in the forefront in everything we endeavor and want to achieve because everything that is attained in the absence of God is “Ichabod”. 1 Samuel 6:3-7 “They set the ark of God on a new cart and brought it from the house of Abinadab, which was on the hill. Uzzah and Ahio, sons of Abinadab, were guiding the new cart with the ark of God on it, and Ahio was walking in front of it. David and all Israel were celebrating with all their might before the LORD, with cast nets, harps, lyres, tambourines, rattles and cymbals. When they came to the threshing floor of Nakon, Uzzah reached out and took hold of the ark of God, because the oxen stumbled. The LORD’s anger burned against Uzzah because of his irreverent act; therefore God struck him down, and he died there beside the ark of God.” What can we learn from this passage of scripture? It is interesting to remark that the Ark of the Covenant was put on a new cart, which was a good gesture, but even then, the divine order according to the Mosaic was that the Ark of the Covenant must set along the wooden staffs to be supported by the shoulders of the priests.

Today we realise that there are severe repercussions when mankind violates the divine order. Oft times we are enchanted up in creating new arrangements that do not conform to the divine protocols. The new cart was actually a neat idea, but however, it was not a great idea as far as God is touched. We should be careful not to be caught up in creating and pioneering systems that do not adjust to the divine pattern. The principle is that everything that does not resemble Christ shall be adjudicated.

  1. The main objective was to build a structure that reaches unto heaven

The motive for the erection of the tower of Babel was for humans to reach unto heaven. We can derive from this principle that Babel is a spiritual organization that seeks God following man-made protocols, ideologies, imaginations, laws and arrangements. Firstly, let us define religion. Religion is man-made order, pattern, paradigm, ways and modus operandi instituted by human beings in a pursuit to build the kingdom of God. We necessitate being cautious in terms of how we build the kingdom of God. The principle is that every seed brings forth after its sort. Plainly cast, whatever man builds, it will constantly ponder the nature of humanity.

  1. They made a name for themselves

Babylon was established upon the system of idolatry. Recall we said earlier that idolatry is everything that is not equal to Christ. Plainly put, everything that is not tantamount to the stature and measure of Christ is equal to idolatry because it does not exalt God. The primary engine behind the construction of Babel was self-idolatry in a sense that they wanted to create a name for themselves, and not glorify the name of God. It behoves us to construct in accordance with the divine pattern. The principle is that everything that is God-made shall glorify God and not humans.

Let us divert our attention towards Zion, the city of the living God. It is of paramount importance for us to note that Zion is no longer confined to a geographical location, but however, Zion is a spiritual habitation of the Lord (the church). The Psalmist corroborated this sentiment in Psalms 132:13-14 “For the LORD hath chosen Zion; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” Let us revisit the account of creation even as we learn how God builds as opposed to how mankind builds. Genesis 1:3 “And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” It is evident from this text that God spoke the word (Christ) in the creation of the universe. John 1.1-3 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” It is apparent from the above cited passage of scripture that everything was created by the Word (Christ). Furthermore, the scripture records that the Spirit of God was hovering upon the face of the deep. Let us juxtapose. Babylon was built with bricks and slime and Zion was built with stone and mortar.

Plainly cast, man-made material was employed in the construction of Babel. Note how God created the heavens and the earth. God the father spoke the word (God the Son) and God the Holy Spirit administered the government of God the father. Plainly cast, Christ (the living stone) and the Holy Spirit (the mortar) were involved in the creation account. The principle that can be inferred from the creation account is that God does not employ man-made material to build his kingdom on earth. Isaiah 28:16 ” Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.” Let us interrogate this passage of scripture.

  1. A stone is laid in Zion for a foundation- Christ is the stone cut without human hands laid in Zion(the church) as the foundation
  2. Tried stone- Christ was tried and tempted in every manner by the system of men but he was found innocent
  3. Precious corner-stone- Surely there is none like him and that predicates on his deity
  4. A sure foundation- He proved to be faithful at all times

The question becomes who is the stone that Isaiah the prophet spoke about? It is axiomatic from the above cited passage of scripture that the stone that the prophet is speaking about is none other than Christ. Simply put, Zion is built upon the tried, precious and a sure foundation (Christ). Paul the Apostle attested to this viewpoint in Ephesians 2:20 “And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord.” The main difference between Zion and Babylon is that Zion is built upon the Rock (Christ) whilst Babylon is a city without a foundation (Christ) and is built by bricks and slime. Daniel 2:45 “Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands.”

King Nebuchadnezzar saw a stone that was cut without human hands, but however, he did not have the revelation about the stone (Christ). It is noteworthy that the stone was cut without human hands, predicating the deity of Christ. It is apparent from the scriptures that the stone (Christ) destroyed the head of gold (Babylon). The principle is that every man-made system that defies the supremacy and sovereignty of God shall be destroyed and crushed into powder. Matthew 21:42 “Jesus saith unto them, did ye never read in the scriptures, the stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes. Recall that when Babylon was built, the people rejected the stone (Christ) and they used bricks instead. Guess what? The same stone (Christ) that mankind rejected and despised became the chief corner stone and it is marvellous in our sight. The principle is that there is only one sure foundation upon which everything hinges upon.

Heaven and earth was founded upon the foundation of Christ and there is nothing that was not founded upon Christ. It behoves the church therefore to migrate to the tried, sure and precious foundation (Christ). Genesis 28:18-19 “And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put for his pillows, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it. And he called the name of that place Beth-el: but the name of that city was called Luz at the first.” Granting from the passage of scripture cited above, it is evident that Jacob turned the stone that he used for a pillow into a pillar. The principle is that when the stone (Christ) is used as a pillow, the result is Luz but however, there is a paradigm shift when the stone is used as a pillar. Guess what? Luz is transformed into Beth-el the house of God. Jacob by revelation understood that until Christ is placed in his rightful position not as a pillow but as a pillar, God will never inhabits Zion (the church). The principle is that the presence of God is where Christ is placed as the chief cornerstone.

There is therefore a clarion call for the church to migrate from the pillow to the pillar, from Luz to Beth-el, from Babylon to Zion. Isaiah 51:1-2 “Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah that bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him.” It is quintessential for us to look unto Abraham our Father. Recall that by faith Abraham looked for a city that has foundations (Christ) and whose builder and maker is God. Therefore, it behoves us to follow in the example of our father Abraham, to put our focus on everything that is founded upon Christ and not humans. Zion is a city without walls. It is a city whose builder and maker is God. Bear in mind, the Lord has chosen Zion as a place of his habitation. The scriptures record that God loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob. The rationale is that Zion is built upon the chief corner stone (Christ), the stone that was cut without human hands. Therefore, everything that we build should hinge upon Christ. In conclusion, we need to note that Babylon is a city without foundations and is built with bricks (religion) and slime (idolatry) whilst Zion is a city that has foundations and is built with the stone (Christ) and the mortar (Holy Spirit).

House Painting Odors – Getting Rid of the Smell

Homeowners, especially those with small children, often ask me how to get rid of paint odors. It’s such a big concern for some folks that they’ll ask me about potential odor control before they even book the painting estimate.

The good news is that the evolution of house paint has come a long way with low-odor and even odorless lines for some applications. The bad news is there are still so many reasons to use the smelly stuff, especially if you’re repainting an older home. Alkyd (oil-based) and shellac or alcohol primers are especially effective in sealing water damage and old oil painted surfaces to upgrade them to Latex top coats. But they’re also very smelly with potentially long-lasting vapors. Even the most common low-odor alkyd paints often used today to repaint wood work can have a lingering odor for days under the most ventilated conditions.

So how do you get rid of the smell?

I’ve just received an email from a mother asking me that very question. Her young child’s room was painted almost two weeks ago and she’s left the windows open and the fan on ever since. Still, the paint smell is strong enough that she’s concerned about letting the child sleep in the room. The painting of this room involved a lot of priming to cover the dark brown oil paint used by the previous home owner. Since the color needed to be lightened up and the surfaces converted to a far more Eco-friendly Acrylic Latex, a common top brand Alkyd primer was used to give the whole room a fresh start. And although it had “Low Odor” printed on the can, it obviously was NOT odorless. To compound matters, all the woodwork had to be finished in a leading “Low Odor” brand of Alkyd semi gloss which produced a smooth lustrous finish as well as a migraine inducing vapor.

So what can you do? Well, there a few ways you can overcome these situations beyond obvious ventilation to control, eliminate and even prevent odors from lingering.

“An ounce of prevention”… Before there was such a thing as “low odor paint” we used to add a splash of vanilla extract to every gallon of oil paint to make it “low-odor”. It was cheap, easy to do and had no effect on the color. Now that low-odor alkyd paints are commonplace on the market, adding about a tablespoon of vanilla extract makes them virtually odorless.

Or, as in the case above, the painting is already done. It’s too late for vanilla and the smell won’t go away as quickly they’d like. What’s happening here is that the odors are being trapped in the walls while the paint cures and probably in all the fabrics and rugs in the room as well. They need something else to absorb them for good. So, here’s what I advised her to do. Cut up a few onions and place them in a couple of bowls of cold water. Put one of the bowls in the room and the other in the closet. As simple and crazy as it sounds, the onions absorb and actually eliminate the paint fumes and odors… sometimes as quickly as overnight!

I first learned this trick while creating a baby’s room about 17 years ago. I had spent about 5 weeks converting a badly crumbling and dusty old attic room into a nursery pending the baby’s birth. And as it turned out, the baby was born about two weeks early and was ready to come home just as I was finishing the project. The job required a lot of smelly primers and sealers to bury decades of neglect and water damage. As was customary in those days, I added vanilla extract to minimize the paints’ odor (and damage to my brain cells) but the smell wasn’t clearing up fast enough to bring the newborn in. The homeowner’s Nanny, who was moving into the bedroom next door (and who was also troubled by the smell) used a couple of bowls of cut onions in cold water over night and the smell was gone the next day. I couldn’t believe it!

I’ve recommended this technique ever since with great results. But it should be noted here that this example was in an empty room. In the case of a fully furnished room, as in our case above, you should consider airing out clothing, drapery, rugs or anything else which might be trapping the odors and give them a shot or two of Febreeze to do the trick nowadays.

Now sometimes, there are extreme cases where odors are simply not an option. Some people are highly allergic to the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) contained in paints and the tints used to color them. Some can become quite ill with even short term inhalation of the fumes. In these cases, you have to resort to the whole gamut of tricks:

  1. Before you paint, empty the room completely to make sure there is nothing that will trap the odors.
  2. Open all the windows before you open the paint cans and keep them open throughout the entire painting process.
  3. Add vanilla extract to your Alkyd, Alcohol or Shellac based paints. (Latex paints don’t usually need this step as they’re relatively low-odor to begin with).
  4. Place several bowls of onions around the room (as above) while you paint to absorb the fumes as they escape.
  5. When the painting is finished, seal and remove all paint cans, bag your drop sheets in plastic before taking them out through the rest of the house (or throw them out of the window if possible) to keep from spreading the fumes they’ve trapped indoors.
  6. Refresh your supply of onions in water as the old ones will have had their fill of vapors by the time your finished the painting.
  7. Keep the windows open and wait until the paint has fully dried and the odors have gone before you replace the furniture and other belongings.

Of course, these tips are offered in connection with interior painting but you should also try adding some vanilla to your paint when painting the exterior in Alkyd coatings as well. It saves the painter a lot headaches… literally. But whether inside or out, these simple ideas combined with some good old fashioned common sense should produce a fresh new look with clean, breathable air you can live with.

Happy painting!

Epididymitis Symptoms – The Changes Your Body Shows

Epididymitis is a condition wherein the epididymis is irritated, swollen and inflamed which results to scrotum pain and in some cases, is mislead as a testicular torsion that’s why diagnosis is very important for this disease. This disease is caused by bacterial infection especially to those people who have problems in urinary tract and some causes of this disease are from gonorrhea and Chlamydia or commonly known as sexually transmitted disease. In order to define the infection as a disease, this practically shows some epididymitis symptoms.

The progression of this disease is typically slow in nature. However, epididymitis symptoms may often hit the highest point in just 24 hours. In the beginning, the patient with epididymitis may have flank or abdominal pain caused by inflammation of cells that usually starts in the vas deferens. As the inflammation fall down to the lower part of the epididymis, the patient feels discomfort confined to a small area of the scrotum. Young patients or patient with an epididymitis that is sexually transmitted may show symptoms associated with urethritis. Yet, urinary tract infection is the most common cause of epididymitis disease in older patients.

Epididymitis symptoms usually develops pain in the testicle at the back portion and fever that progresses over an hour and that includes chills, pain in groin swollen and tenderness, enlargement of scrotal, sudden pain in scrotal, spermatic cord pains, trauma, sexual activity, strain, discharging of urethral and at the tip of the penis, you can feel extreme pain. These are the usual manifestations of epididymitis.

Epididymitis symptom may also occur on testicle pains, swollen orchitis which can be caused by after- removal of scrotal cyst or vasectomy and sport injury that includes lower abdominal pain and this could only be confirmed by some testicle examinations and laboratories which are conducted through ultrasound or torsion tests. This may also include blood and urine test. In some cases, symptoms may show up swollen lymph nodes and enlargement of prostate and if needed, doctor recommends urethral smear and a urologic assessment must be completed.

To prevent having epididymitis and to avoid having epididymitis symptoms that will lead into disease, you may opt to use condoms in sexual intercourse and if you are under medication, it would be best to eat fruits and laxative foods and avoid sitting in chairs that are too hard. Instead, use pads and make sure that your doctor’s prescription is taken and followed completely. Symptoms are always the first signs of a disease that may be fatal in the end if not given much attention. Know your body and know the changes it has; the changes may be the symptoms of a disease you never imagine you will ever have.

Choosing Right Transformer For Mining Industry


The US has one of the largest mining industries in the world – an industry closely linked with the economy. In the past, the discovery of resources such as gold and oil resulted in a major population shift and rapid growth for formerly remote regions of the country, such as California, Texas, and Alaska. Extraction of these resources, and finding new deposits, continues to provide the foundation for local economies in some regions.

Some of the minerals mined in the US are coal, uranium, copper, gold, silver, iron, lead, zinc and others. Most of the mines in the US are highly automated and thus energy intensive. To provide an example, even in the last decade of the 20th century, iron ore mining alone consumed 62.3 trillion Btu of energy across a calendar year. Because mining is such a large industry and makes a sizable contribution to the national income, mines must have a dependable source of power – a crucial resource for mining processes.

The mining and mineral extraction sector both in the US and worldwide relies heavily on energy to harness natural resources such as aggregates, precious metals, iron ore, oil, gas, and coal. This energy is used to power shovels and drills for excavating these products, loading them into enormous mining trucks or onto conveyer belts, sorting, sifting and crushing ores, heating, and a hundred other functions. Both surface and underground mining operations rely on powered equipment to extract materials and load trucks. Overall, the mining sector could not flourish without the use of vast amounts of energy.

The Role of Transformers

Mine ‘Power Centers’ or ‘Load Centers’ are an essential system for underground and surface mining. Their primary function is to convert distribution voltage into utilization voltage for equipment operation, thus placing power transformers at the heart of the load center. Proper selection of transformers is imperative, and must fulfill safety, reliability, and efficiency requirements. Determining capacity rating is among the first steps for selection of a power transformer for a mining load center. A rule of thumb here is to allow 1 kVA for every horsepower of connected load. Most mining processes, however, do not produce constant loads – all machinery is not connected all the time – and therefore the 1 kVA per horsepower thumb rule will typically result in transformer oversizing. According to the SME Mining Engineering Handbook by Howard L. Hartmann, “Past experience and demand factors established by manufacturers and operators, along with the horsepower of the connected load, are essential for determining transformer capacity. For typical underground mining sections, the kVA rating may lie within the range of 50 to 80% of the connected horsepower.”

Transformer Losses

Standard transformers while under full load operate at 90 to 95% efficiency, with this figure dropping as the load lightens. This is due to inefficiencies in the transformer’s core, a main component of the transformer. The losses in the core remain the same throughout the transformer’s operating range. At 100% load, the amount of comparative loss is negligible. However, at reduced loads, the same amount of energy loss represents a higher percentage of energy being wasted. Unfortunately, average transformer loads run between 34 and 50% of the transformer’s total capacity. With the majority of the electricity used

in the US being run through transformers at these lower loads, massive amounts of energy are being wasted. This issue is of special relevance to the mining industry, simply because of its high energy usage. Mining operations also involve hostile environments full of dust, dirt, chemicals, moisture and airborne contaminants. Load center transformers need to function reliably and efficiently in these environments over a long term.

Without electric power at mining facilities, the natural materials extracted from the earth in the mining process would be much more costly than they are today. Thus, power transformers provide a lot of muscle, capacity, and stability to an essential industry. From drilling trenches to busting up rock, carting out huge loads of materials and pulling up heavy amounts of minerals, power transformers provide the strength and capability needed.

Liquid Filled and Dry Transformers: Performance Characteristics

1.Liquid-Filled Transformers

While there is still debate on the relative advantages of the available types of transformers, there are some performance characteristics that have been accepted: • Liquid-filled transformers are more efficient, have greater overload capability and longer life expectancy. • Liquid-filled units are better at reducing hot-spot coil temperatures, but have higher risk of flammability than dry types. • Liquid-filled transformers sometimes require containment troughs to guard against fluid leaks. • Liquid filled transformers are smaller in size than dry-type units for the same power rating capacity and have lower losses because of their better thermal dissipation characteristics.

2.Dry Type Transformers

Dry type Transformers are usually used for lower ratings (the changeover point being 500kVA to 2.5MVA). They are usually placed indoors, serving an office building/apartment. Dry type units typically come in enclosures with louvers, or sealed.

Dry type transformers use almost no flammable materials and therefore do not constitute a fire hazard when used underground in both coal and other mines.

Dry type transformers in the mining industry are housed in a steel tank and the core and windings are cooled by air circulating within the tank, transferring heat to the steel tank which is in turn cooled by the external air. In some compact designs for mounting on mining machines water cooling is added to further improve the performance of the transformers.

Correct choice of insulating materials and an understanding of the cooling system is imperative if the transformer is to be correctly designed. For example, a temperature rise test conducted on a transformer manufactured and sold as continuously rated, can reveal that the transformer only had a continuous rating of 65% of the nameplate rating.

The Need for Energy-Efficient Mining

With the current focus on climate change and reduction of environmental impact, government agencies around the world are making increasingly stringent demands on industries to reduce energy consumption and manage waste more effectively, among others. It is surprising how many mining operations still use twenty-year-old technology.

Regulatory pressures are already beginning to affect the mining industry – according to an article on ‘US Environmental Regulations and the Mining Industry’ on the International Development Research Center (IDRC) website, “Environmental regulations have had an effect on the US mining industry’s profitability. Companies have been forced to retrofit or renovate installations or leave the market. Increasing operational costs have affected their international competitiveness, and to some extent, this may be changing the world allocation of mining investment. Employment levels have fallen substantially, and local economies have borne part of this cost.”

Mining companies in the US are thus feeling the pressing need to be energy-efficient, simply to stay competitive. Reducing energy consumption by adopting customized, cost-effective solutions like NEMA-approved transformers and harnessing solar or wind energy to meet their future energy needs can be good ideas in the long run, especially since the alternate energy option will help mining companies keep away from fluctuating international fuel prices. Alternate sources of energy are still a very small blip on the graph, in terms of actual power provided for industries like mining, and thus the sector as a whole needs to come up with more immediate ways to conserve energy.

Various types of transformers for the mining industry:

Transformers can be used in various open pit and hard rock (subterranean) applications that range from auxiliary lighting loads to power for cranes, drag lines, conveyor belts and other miscellaneous dedicated variable speed drive applications.

Benefits of energy-efficient mining

• Reduced cost of production

• Opening up of new reserves for Conclusion

On one hand the mining industry is all set to grow to keep up with increasing demand; on the other it has to stay competitive as fuel prices zoom upwards. For an energy intensive industry, keeping a check on fuel consumption and cost is critical. Thus the mining industry as a whole is looking for energy efficient technology, including power transformers.

Ameriglide Vs Acorn Stair Lift

Ameriglide stair lifts – also known as Summit stair lifts (they are the same company) – are cheaper than Acorn stair lifts. Ameriglide claim that, although it offers a cheap machine its product is as good as that of the Acorn. But does a comparison between the Ameriglide and Acorn stair lift prove this claim?

First off, the Ameriglide is cheaper than that of the Acorn Superglide machine. If the customer’s sole consideration is a low cost stair lift then the Ameriglide is the first choice. But the price of a chair lift is determined by the quality and features that come with it.

What follows is a review and comparison of the Ameriglide and the Acorn on a component by component basis.

DC Battery or AC Power?

When chair lifts were first manufactured they were mains powered but today Acorn, and most other leading brands, are powered by a 24 volt battery pack. However, Ameriglide/Summit chair lifts are still mains powered. So, what’s the issue with using mains power? Well, batteries present no risk of electric shock. Also, many stair lift can be self-installed but many states will only allow a qualified electrician to install a main powered appliance.

A mains powered unit like Ameriglide has a trailing cable. The cable is constantly reeled in and out as the chair travels up and down the stairs. This will produce wear and tear – over a relatively short period – and will require maintenance and/or replacement of the cable. In some situations the cable can fail when the lift is in use leaving the user stranded mid way up or down the stairs.

DC batteries have proved so popular because of the smoother ride, especially when starting or stopping. The Acorn machine gives a very smooth ride. DC battery operated units like the Acorn are also quieter than those that are mains powered.

Power outages also make batteries a clear winner. You can continue to use the Acorn stair lift during these outages. Ameriglide, do suggest a solution to this problem – go out and buy a universal power supply – which contains a stair lift battery.

A final note about batteries; all batteries used in new stair lifts like the Acorn can be easily purchased from a local hardware store. The cost of replacing them is very cheap too – the company charge around only $15.00 for each battery.

The drive systems.

Ameriglide use a cable system. This is considered old technology by just about every other manufacturer. Acorn, like nearly all modern designs, use a rack and pinion system. The problem with cable systems is that the track is very wide and trough shaped – which creates a problematic dirt-trap. It’s claimed that rack and pinion tracks need regular cleaning and lubrication to prevent damage. However, with Acorn machines this is not so; the system is maintenance free.

Safety controls and devices.

The easiest type of control for anybody to use is the joystick, which is why the Acorn chair is fitted with one on the arm rest. The control used on the Ameriglide is a rocker switch, which is not as easy to use, especially by those with severe arthritis. The remote controls supplied with the Acorn are modern, wireless infra-red devices, rather than old-fashioned, hard-wired controls that must be fixed to the wall as is the case with Ameriglide.

The Acorn has an electro-magnetic braking system with a self-locking gearbox. The self-locking gearbox alone, as installed in Ameriglide is not really a braking system.

The Acorn has sensors mounted on each side of the footrest and on the carriage itself to stop it immediately if any obstacle gets in the way. The Ameriglide is fitted with a sensor only on the footrest, so an obstacle found on the track will not stop the stair lift.

There are other items found on the Acorn machine that are superior or not even present on the Ameriglide version.

In conclusion, there’s nothing wrong with the Ameriglide. It’s cheap and does its job and there are many satisfied customers who use it everyday. In fact, many consumer reviews like its no-frills functionality and cheap price. But there’s no doubt that the Acorn stair lift is a superior product. The price of the Acorn machine may be higher than the Ameriglide, but you get what you pay for.

On Pneumatic Elevators

Elevators for use in residential buildings and small commercial spaces come in four principal types — hydraulic, winding drum, counterweight and pneumatic lift. All of them have several pros and cons but the last one is undoubtedly the most interesting of the group. Known for their bullet-like shape and unique glass exteriors, pneumatic lifts provide an excellent bird’s eye view of the exterior while traveling.

If somebody is considering adding a residential elevator to their home, the pneumatic elevators are the best option for they do require any gigantic space. Since they work on the basis of a suction channel, they do not require any machine room; neither has any pulley hoist system got to be installed. The fact that machine rooms and hoist systems are unnecessary for pneumatic elevators makes them much cheaper to install, compared to any other variety of elevators. Using a clear tube with a car inside it, pneumatic elevators can be placed anywhere within a very short time, as long as the ground is level.

The pneumatic elevator is an extremely convenient option for anyone who is looking for a convenient way to travel from floor to floor within their small residential or office building. The cabin of such a lift can move at speeds of up to 30 feet in a minute and can travel heights of 35 feet at a time. Additionally, the lift does not use oil to function and this makes it environment friendly. Instead air pressure regulated by a valve creates suction in the channel and that suction is what causes the elevator to go up and down. It is one of the most effective and sensible ways to reduce pollution in modern times and ensures that men leave behind as less carbon footprints as possible. These elevators involve bare minimum energy consumption with a tiny bit needed to move the cab up via turbines.

The work principle of these elevators is also reasonably simple. The cab is made to go p and down by creating differences between the atmospheric pressure outside the tube and the air pressure inside it. While going up, a piston depressurizes the area inside the tube and the cab goes up due to the pressure inside the tube being lower than the atmospheric pressure outside it. While coming down, the valve at the upper end of the glass tube increases the pressure inside so that it is greater than the atmospheric pressure outside the tube, thereby causing the cab to descend. As far as stopping at floor levels is concerned, the tube has locking devices to halt the car at floor. Additionally pneumatic lifts come equipped with all security features in case there is an emergency and the pressure inside the tube returns to normal.

The pneumatic design is suitable for residential purposes because they can lift weights up to 450 pounds which is equivalent to 2 people at a time. That is sufficient enough to move people between floors of a home or small commercial building more than 3 story tall.

Swapping a V8 Into a Toyota MR2 – Build Your Own Supercar

Please note: This is the first in a series of articles on this subject.

For many years, I have dreamed of owning a mid-engine exotic supercar. Unfortunately, they remained out of my reach financially. I decided that the only way I was going to get one was to build it myself. I have always been fascinated by mid-engine sports cars due to their superior handling, braking, and traction over a front engine sports car –even those front engine cars with a rear transaxle, that have a supposedly optimum 50/50 weight distribution. I like to call them the “dumbbell cars” because their weight distribution is just like a dumbbell–heavy at the ends, and light in the middle. This is decidedly suboptimal for acceleration, handling and braking.

Compare this to a mid-engine cars, where if you were to make a dumbell resemble the mid-engine car, the weights would be slid to the center. Now, if you want to make the dumbell, or the mid-engine car rotate about its vertical axis (called “yaw” in aircraft terminology), it will do so much easier and more quickly. This is because the tire traction does not have to overcome the inertia that a front engine/rear transaxle car would have over each end of the car. The result is that the car will be able to change directions faster, and with less tire wear. The peak G-forces will be much higher in a mid-engine car as well, meaning its faster around the corners. Rear wheel traction during acceleration is superior, since more weight is on the rear wheels. Strangely, there are a lot of “side-effect” advantages to mid-engine cars that the automotive press fail to mention.

Some examples:

1) Exhaust piping is usually very short in a mid-engine car (compared to a front engine car), so the engine has to overcome less “pumping losses” or the resistance to the exhaust travelling out the tail pipe. This means more power. The exhaust system will also be lighter since there is less of it. Dumbell cars have no advantage here.

2) The rear brakes do a LOT more of the stopping vs. a front engine car. When you hit the brakes, weight transfers to the front wheels. This means that the rear wheels become unloaded. On front engine cars, the front brakes do about 80% of the stopping. This is why disk brakes in the rear took a long time to catch on. They simply are not needed in the rear. A mid engine car has a LOT more of the weight (usually around 55 to 60%) on the rear wheels. When you hit the brakes, weight transfers to the front, so under braking, you might get 50%-60% on the front. Dumbell cars get some of the help that mid-engine car gets, but not nearly as much, because the engine is still in the front and is still far heavier than the trans at the back.

3) the mid-engine car has no driveshaft (unless its an AWD car, like the R8, or the Veyron), so there is a weight savings here.

Unfortunately, most mid engine cars are very expensive. Ferrari, Lamborghini, McLaren, Zonda, Koenigsegg, Bugatti, and so on. Some of these cars are above a million dollars! Mid-engine cars do tend to be more difficult to work on as well. Changing sparks plugs on the exotics is a major operation. The McLaren F1 requires engine removal to change the plugs!

In the realm of affordable mid-engine sports cars, there are Pontiac Fieros and there are Toyota MR2s. In each case, the cars came with 4 cylinder motors. The Fieros also got V6s, but those V6’s were very underpowered, with a whopping 140hp. In 1990, Toyota redesigned the MR2 and upgraded the power as well. Base models got 130hp and the high-end Turbo was 200hp, which at the time, was quite a bit for a car that weighed 2700 lbs.

The new body was very good looking, much like the Ferrari 348 at the time. The build quality was also superior as it was, after all, a Toyota. I decided to purchase a 1993 Toyota MR2 turbo in 2005 with the intention of doing a Toyota V6 swap, which up to that point, had been done by many people. At about that same time, I found that there were some attempts to install a V8 engine into the earlier MR2 (Generation 1, 1984-1989 body style, or mark 1). There were also attempts to install a Toyota/Lexus V8 engine into a MR2 mark 2. The attempts at doing the V8 into the MR2 mark 2 were not completed, and the project owners gave up. The reasons were not clear, but it appeared to be due to the fact that the Toyota V8 was simply too long to fit in the car transversely, even after cutting the car severely in an attempt to make it fit.

As a Mechanical Engineer who happens to be a mid-engine sports car nut, I became intrigued with the possibility of putting a V8 into my MR2 mark 2. With a strong V8 engine, the MR2 would be transformed into a supercar, with supercar performance. The Fiero guys have enjoyed swapping V8s into their cars for many years. Fieros have an advantage over MR2s in that their engine compartment is wider allowing for a larger and longer engine, like a V8. Fieros and MR2s all have transversely mounted engines. Another advantage the Fiero guys have had is that the stock Getrag transaxle bolts up to a Cadillac 4.9 L OHV V8 from the late 1980’s/early 1990’s. The later Cadillac Northstar also bolts up without an expensive custom machined adaptor plate.

In late 2007, another V8 in a MR2 mark 1 (1st generation) was completed by a guy in Europe. The car was crazy fast, and would do cookies at the drop of a hat. What fun! So, I took another hard look at the prior attempts to install a V8 into the MR2 mark 2. What I realized was that they were attempting to “keep it in the family” and use a Toyota or Lexus V8. There wasn’t really any valid engineering reason to use this power plant. It did not bolt up to any of the MR2 transaxles, and it was too long. The Toyota V8 used,(engine code 1UZ-FE) is about 26 inches long from the crank pulley to the rear face of the engine, or bell housing interface. This is the critical dimension. Compare this to the stock MR2 engines like the 2.0L 3S-GTE turbo motor which has a critical dimension of 20 inches. This dimension is critical because it fits between the unibody pseudo-frame rails of the MR2 chassis.

I decided to take a different approach. I started searching the internet for a V8 engine that would fit the MR2 chassis, preferably with no cutting, or possibly with only a small amount of cutting of the MR2 unibody. My requirements were that it be a V8 with at least 300 horsepower, that it is available, that it would cost somewhere under $5,000, and that it would be short enough and narrow enough to fit the MR2. I succeeded in finding one. Audi has an interesting habit of making very short V8’s. They do this because they want to use their Quattro drive train, but at the same time, not compromise handling too much. Audi seems to prefer longitudinal engine and transmission arrangements over transverse. The Quattro drive train involves a driven front axle, which they had to locate behind the engine. If the engine is too long, it puts too much weight in front of that axle, so they compensate by making a shorter engine. This has the added benefit of allowing Audi to install this engine in smaller cars that were originally intended to have a 4 cylinder power plant. For my purposes, I found that the 1991 through early 2000 Audi V8 engines are approximately 20.6 inches long at the critical dimension, and about 29 inches wide, not including the headers, or other easily removed items.

I purchased a 1997 Audi 4.2L V8 (engine code ABZ) and a transaxle, and started working on my project. Unfortunately, after much trial and error, I finally decided that the Audi V8 was not suitable for this engine swap. The problem laid in the fact that the engine was always designed to be longitudinal. In my case, with a transverse layout, the right size axle had to run along side of the engine, and Audi did not design the engine with that in mind, so there are large portions of the block in the way of that axle. The starter, oil filter/cooler and engine mount are also in the way on that side, however, I did solve those problems. The nail in the coffin of the Audi was the adaptor plate. I determined that the adaptor plate required some of the mounting bolts to be located inside of the bell housing of the 6 speed transaxle I was using, so it was impossible to tighten them. At that point, I decided to change my approach and use a different engine.

Please stay tuned for the next in this series of articles.

Glass – Environmental Friend or Foe

Serving a large purpose with little consideration, glass is a key ingredient in many of our everyday products. Tableware, light bulbs, mirrors, stove tops, windshields, windows: the list is large for something not given a second thought. Friend or foe, we need to consider the implications of glass making on the environment.

The ‘What Is’ of Glass

Glass is a combination of three types of substances that occur naturally in North America;

  • silica, the most popular being white sand
  • alkali, such as sodium bicarbonate
  • limestone

Sometimes a metallic oxide (lead) is added to the mix. Depending on which alkali is used and whether or not lead is added, the clarity or color cast of the glass changes. The expense of producing and the quality of the glass is determined by the choice of alkali and the percentage used, combined with the choice and percentage of silica used.

The ‘How’ of Glass Production

A silica, an alkali and limestone are first crushed into a powder form, sifting out any coarse particles. They are then blended and put into a furnace at an extremely high temperature for as long as 24 hours. This yields molten glass which is then cooled several hundred degrees resulting in a thick liquid. The resulting matter is called frit which is then blown, pressed, drawn, molded or rolled into glass objects. If the glass is to be molded the molds are also heated at high temperature so the liquid poured into them does not wrinkle. The cooling process involves washing with water.

Environmental Impact of Glass Production

The process of making new glass is not at all environmentally friendly. The initial crushing and grinding step sends particulates of metals, chemicals, acids and dust into the air. These are easily inhaled causing irritation to the nose and throat, potentially causing damage to the lungs. The particles of metals are hazardous to the environment as they can find their way into surrounding soil and water.

The need for extremely high temperature furnaces to melt the mixture of substances makes the melting stage of the glass making process very energy intensive. It is estimated to take 15.2 million BTUs of energy to produce one ton of glass. During any one of the formation processes the glass may need to be reheated to keep it in liquid form. This means the heat in the furnace must be kept up until the process is complete.

Discharges from the glass making process may find their way into the aquatic environment during the cooling and cleaning processes where the most significant amounts of water are used. Discharges may contain some pieces of glass, some soluble used in the production like sodium sulfate, lubricant oil used in the cutting process, dissolved salts and water treatment chemicals.

Glass manufacturing processes also emit a significant amount of greenhouse gases especially carbon dioxide. Additionally, the processes spit out air-polluting compounds like nitrogen oxide, sulfur dioxide and particulates.

Benefits of Glass

Glass is nonporous making it impermeable to other substances. For this reason glass is a very hygienic surface as any bacteria and germs that come in contact are not absorbed into its structure. Glass surfaces take to strong cleaning with a disinfectant and hot water with no effect on its quality. For this reason glass containers can be easily reused many times over.

The impermeableness of its structure eliminates any interaction with the stored contents. This, along with glass being made from nontoxic raw materials, dismisses concern of leaching chemicals into the contained substances. In the case of food storage, this also insures the freshness and uncompromised taste of the stored substance. Glass containers also do not absorb the smells of the foods in or around them.

Unlike other materials, glass used in the microwave does not leach any toxins into contained foods or liquids. Nor does it stain, corrode or deteriorate no matter how many times it is reused.

Glass dishes and containers are very versatile as they can go from freezer to microwave or oven. Glass is very attractive looking beautiful on table top or as decorative pieces like candy dishes, storage jars, vases and mirrors.

And glass is 100% recyclable.

Turning Foe into Friend

Many manufacturers have put into place practices to reduce the negative environmental impact of glass making. Consideration has been given to use of more efficient furnaces to cut energy use, producing thinner glass to employ lower temperatures and reduce transport costs, use of air and water purification systems, and use of recycled glass to make new.

Here are some ways to reduce the environmental effects and still enjoy the benefits of glass products.

  • Reuse glass food and storage containers. Because of its natural properties there is no chemical reaction with the glass container and its contents. Glass items at home can be safely used over and over with no loss in the quality of the glass.
  • Recycle. Glass is 100% recyclable and can be reused to make new glass. Unlike other types of materials, the reuse of glass in no way degrades the integrity of the material. Glass can be melted and reused over and over again. A glass bottle ending life in a landfill can take one million years to breakdown. But a recycled glass bottle has about a 30 day turnaround time from recycle bin to being a new bottle on a store shelf. Every ton of glass that is recycled saves more than a ton of the raw materials needed to create new glass. Because cullet (glass pieces for reuse) melts at a much lower temperature, making glass products from cullet consumes 40 percent less energy than making new glass from raw materials.
  • Reduce the amount of new glass products you purchase. Because it has found its way into so many commercial uses it is now easy to find products made from recycled glass. Look for tableware from cullet, recycled glass jewelry, decorative tiles, counters and landscaping materials that utilize recycled glass.

Glass is a versatile and beautiful material to use in many facets of our lives. Let’s do our part to turn glass production from foe to friend.

Tatung Rice Cookers – Better Than Aroma Rice Cookers?

In the low end price range market, Tatung rice cookers often come out on top. They offer many convenience features while keeping operation very simple, and that is attractive to many consumers looking for a good product to cook their rice perfectly every time. While they are a good pick for cooks of any experience level, it is smart to take a moment and see how they compare to other reputable brands in the same price range, such as Aroma rice cookers.

Both brands are in the same lower price category and offer many of the same features. Actually, when you take a closer look there are far more similarities between these two brands than there are differences!

Both models come in white or stainless steel designs that look great with any kitchen design. Both will cook rice to the correct consistency every time and will hold it warm until you are ready to eat. They come with necessary accessories, including a measuring cup and spatula. More importantly, both brands can be used as a crock pot to make other meals or as a steamer for vegetables, meats, or even seafood.

So what are the differences that make one better than the other?

The Aroma 10 cup rice cooker will make up to 20 cups of rice and offers a wider variety of models to select from. Each model has slightly different features, but virtually remains very similar. It is a good product at a very affordable price with great diversity in cooking potential.

The model getting the most attention in rice cooker reviews is the Tatung TRC-8FZ rice cooker. It has a very modern style with a unique design and spherical pan and heating system. An easy to read LED timing display and large buttons on the front make it very simple and quick to set the 24 hour timer. The 2mm pan comes out for easy cleaning and the stainless steel lid is easy to wipe down after use. It may not come in numerous different models, but it is very efficient when it comes to cooking all varieties of rice perfectly.

Tatung rice cookers have been around for generations and have earned respect as one of the best small kitchen appliances on the market. While other brands such as Aroma offer very similar products at the same price points, they may not hold up to the durability and time tested quality of a well known name like Tatung.

Different Shades on Metal Name Plates

Name plates create a brand identity for your company or business. Each name plate is a product of high precision. The use of right equipment and skilled technicians make the metal name plates legible and durable for long years.

Name plates are made of different materials like plastic, metals, etc. Metal name plates are a good option to display significant information’s like company’s identity, branding, ratings and safety information. It is accompanied by several features including high-class durability and attractive finishing. These metals can withstand harsh situations and any type of environmental changes. Metals like aluminium, steel and brass is used in creating name plates. While comparing other metals, aluminium is the widely used inexpensive metal to engrave name plates.

Aluminium name plates are well known for its exciting designs and variety of printing options. There are different shades used on this metal to make it more attractive and legible.

Take a look at the different shades and textures used in Aluminium printing:

Grey shade:

Grey is a basic foundation of Aluminium metal. Grey is a combo of various colours to create a soothing environment. It is the basic foundation of decorating on aluminium metals. Most of the designs start from the simple shades of grey to different textures.

Grey is a natural colour shade used for gun metals to warm earth tone metals. Hence, it’s a popular colour shade used in the development and reliable finishing of aluminium name plates. It is also applicable in anodized aluminium name plates, bright to brush metals.

Gold Texture:

A golden touch makes the metals more attractive to the manufacturers. The Jewel like pattern have created a geometric flair in the latest collections of metal shades. Aluminium pattern uses a variety of gold tint colour shades in the creation of metal labels, name plates and tags. A neatly structured and well-designed texture is obtained through this colour pattern.

Mechanical finish:

Aluminium is decorated with innumerable services. A decorative finishing is given to the aluminium products like aluminium name plates or aluminium labels with the help of layered colour shades and unique textures to create a geometric texture.

Rich colour tones:

Aluminium is also soft-decorated with rich colour tones. Transparent tints of colour shades are used on anodized aluminium name plates to make it more fashionable and decorative. The transparent tint coordinates with the secondary pattern to create layers of aluminium decoration.


A name plate plays a significant role in creating your brand identity. Hence making it more attractive and unique will help you to stand out from the crowd and create a remarkable space for your services. The different shades used in these metals will enhance the beauty of your applications.

What is Contemporary Garden Design?

Contemporary garden design came about as land areas for gardening became less and less for house owners in the urban areas. With the small land areas, many landowners who are urbanites will prefer a modern look to their garden, just to match their personality and lifestyle. Cultivating plants for eating is not in their minds. They rather spend their time maintaining their cool-looking garden. So that would mean a fresh, modern and energetic landscaping.

But how do you classify a contemporary design? Well for one, you will know once you see it. The most important characteristics for a modern design is the use of modern elements such as cement and marble slabs.

The use of cement especially as retaining container for some part of the garden immediately gives the garden a modern face. Those with big budget can have an artificial waterfall oozing out of the vertical marble slab.

Many of the new designs highlights the space, no matter how little there is available. Plants are pushed to the edge and the middle area is filled with flat green grass, with stone or wood walkways across the space. The walkways can be covered with large stones with the flat side up or small pebbles of stones mixed with cement. Plank of woods being piled together and being placed on the same level as the ground is another good example.

For small areas, not that many variety of plants are used. Even the number of colors present are minimised to avoid a messy range of colors.

Garden walkway lighting is another common element and majority used are the small ones to light the ground. Not many are needed though.

Shapes also play a part, rectangles and/or squares are used for stone slabs for walkways and for the vase for small high plants. A hard-edge design is commonly used for the walkway paths.

So do you want to convert your small vegetable garden to a modern garden?

If you think you cannot come up with any good contemporary design for your garden, many young and fresh landscape professionals can give you good idea after checking out your garden space and also some input from you. Be prepared to have a generous budget though.

Of course, you can also do a Google search and just look at what other people are doing with their gardens. That should give you some inspiration and ideas to start off with. The most important thing to remember is not to do too much and just keep it simple.

You can also check out our website to have a look at different samples of garden design, contemporary and not.

The Primacy Of Planning

“@#$%& it! Will you quit bugging me with your planning meetings – I’ve got work to do!”

That was a statement made to me by a manager when I asked him – for the third time – to work with a group of us assigned a critical project. The project, if carried off well, would have profound effects on the long term health of the business. But it ended up fizzling after two months. Why? Because this manager, in a crucial department, didn’t see the need for planning, and wouldn’t ‘play’.

Planning can be looked on as a pain in the neck. Often, at the very best, we do it because we know we ought to. But it’s done grudgingly, and because of that incompletely. And then when the plan doesn’t work we reinforce the thought that planning is a waste of time. But really, is it? What are the pitfalls of not planning?


Well, first there’s the effect on the plan itself. What happens when we don’t plan at all? That’s more easily seen if we look at a good vacation. Most of us wouldn’t think of going on an extended vacation without doing significant planning. Why? Because it’s precious time to us! We want results from it – results like relaxation, fun with others, rejuvenation. We judge ‘effectiveness’ in a vacation by the lack of hassle, by things coming off right, the absence of nasty surprises, the pleasantness of the surroundings, everything working like it should. And what is the final result? A good vacation brings us back refreshed and re-created (recreation?), and makes us much better able to take up our work again. In fact, a good vacation will change our entire outlook on our work, and make it a pleasure again – especially if it had stopped being a pleasure before. So we plan our vacations. We look at where we will go, what things we will do; we look at the accommodations we’ll book, and the surroundings of those accommodations. We look at resources – the money we’ll need to get there and the money we’ll have on hand for spending. Is such planning worth it? Most of us would answer “Absolutely!”.

So what about NOT planning a vacation? Well, you can look forward to one sure thing in that case – surprises. Now, I like surprises. But I don’t enjoy spending hours in a destination trying to find a room. I don’t like discovering that things in my hotel don’t work, or that the place isn’t clean. One surprise we encountered on a poorly researched vacation landed us in a room where the carpets were all wet. I wondered if this was because they’d just cleaned them, and further exploration yielded the fact that the toilet had a habit of backing up. Now THAT was a nasty surprise. Did we stay in that room? What do YOU think?

Lack of planning can yield similar surprises in business. Let’s look what goes into a business planning process, and how it can be done right.


Let’s face it, it’s fun to get right down to the meat of our work, and planning ain’t letting us do that! Believe it or not, that’s the number one reason leaders don’t want to plan. We are busy, and there are pressures to get things done, and planning takes time. It just seems easier and more enjoyable to do the job. But consider the surprises we set ourselves up for when we do it that way. We can find ourselves wasting time looking for data that’s hard to find, or missing completely. We find ourselves doing things over, causing rework for other parts of the business, lowering morale among staff. Ultimately, we don’t get the results we want, and the business itself suffers.

Often, leaders look at planning they HAVE done and aren’t satisfied with the results they obtained. Such results can be a powerful negative deterrent to doing any planning at all. And while our plan may have given us poor outcomes, it’s not the planning itself that’s the problem, but most often the way it was done. Good planning will take time, and it should be structured – done around certain principle areas. Let’s look at what those principal areas are.


Good planning starts with looking at the results or outcomes that are needed. Those results might include increased use of our product or service. They might include increased customer satisfaction with us, or better patient outcomes. They may just be plain, old-fashioned making more money! Whatever they are, good planning begins with a clear understanding of the desired results.

Time also need to be considered, and in two important areas. First, the actual time to plan must be enough for effectiveness. This can be hard because we aren’t ‘doing’ when we’re planning. But as we saw earlier, not taking the proper amount of time to plan can generate large amounts of wasted time later, and that wasted time affects productivity, staff morale, and ultimately business success. It’s best to take the time for planning well.

Second, planning needs to include the time needed for doing the right work to get the right outcomes. Leaders need to know how much time will be needed for critical parts of the project or business. We have to consider time needed for marketing, for interacting with the customer, the actual cycle time for producing our services or products. We need to consider the time needed for maintenance – both of equipment and of us and our staff! We need to know how long it will take to get important information, and how long it takes to get it to others who need it. So planning time is a principle leaders must use in planning.

The third principle is planning for resources. This is obvious, but it has to be done systematically. We have to consider the resources necessary to bring us the very best results. Those resources will include money: for marketing, equipment, proper staffing, space to work. They will include the materials themselves: what materials, what equipment, what kind of space, what information? And they include people: what skills will my people need? How many people? Where will the people be needed? So planning for resources is critical to a successful planning effort.

Fourth and finally, really good planning means planning for information. What information will be needed for each part of the project to work well? How quickly can I get it, and do others need it quickly from us? Planning for information means knowing where to get the information, who has it and is it the best? The right information at the right time in the right form is critical to effective businesses, more so now than ever before in history. So the last principle in planning is planning for information.


To sum it up, good planning is always the foundation of good business success.

Good planning involves knowing the results you want, taking enough time to plan, planning for the time needed to run the project or process well, planning for the resource needs, and assessing the information needs for the project.

No matter how skilled workers are, or how good leaders are, or how state-of-the-art equipment is, a poor plan – or no plan – will bring it all to nothing. Take the time to plan well.

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

If you’re like me and you’re looking to beat the heat this summer, you might want to think about installing a ceiling fan in your outdoor patio area. If you’re also like me, you might be completely in the dark as to which and what kind of ceiling fan you’re going to need. Here are some helpful tips that will not only allow you to enjoy your summer in comfort, but at the same time get the most from your fan.

The first thing you need to make sure of is that the fan you purchase is actually made for outdoors. You may not know this, but ceiling fans are actually designed for indoor/outdoor use. Outdoor fans are actually given certain ratings such as damp or wet ratings, and if you’re going to be installing your ceiling fan where the elements can get to it, you had better be sure that your fan is rated as such.

A damp rating means quite simply that the fan can sustain humidity or a light drizzle, not hard rain. Damp-rated fans are best suited where there is ample cover. This will assure that your product does not get soaked and thus damaged by rain.

A wet-rated fan on the other hand is made to sustain direct rain. Such fans do not have to be installed in a covered area, but can be a bit more expensive. Thoroughly survey your outdoor area to see which type better suits you. And remember, putting an indoor fan outdoors can lead to hazards like electrical shorts.

Out door fans are usually sealed-up completely tight to resist other elements like dirt and dust. Yes, over time dirt and dust can collect in the motor and eventually cause the fan to lock up completely. This will cause the motor to burn out and ruin the fan. Besides dirt and dust, bees can be a problem. A ceiling fan that is not sealed-up tight can become a home for bees and wasps. Their nests can also lead to motor failure and eventual destruction of the fan.

When looking for an outdoor fan, don’t just take the manufacturer’s word for it. Just because it says outdoor fan on the box does not mean it will necessarily stand the test of time. Things to look for in a quality outdoor ceiling fan:

  • Higher-grade wiring with added sealant.
  • Components such as screws are made not of low-grade steel or aluminum but instead are constructed of stainless steel.
  • Inquire about the finish on the motor. What this means is that the finish or casing around the motor should be made of some type of weather-resistant coating, like a powder coating. If not a high-grade powder coating, then at least stainless steel.
  • DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy an outdoor ceiling fan that has blades made of plywood. No matter how good they may look, blades made from wood of any kind have a tendency to deteriorate under the elements. Heat and humidity will over time cause such blades to crack and eventually rot, not to mention constant problems with mold accumulation. Look for a ceiling fan with blades made of ABS plastic, or fiberglass. Both are extremely durable substances and both resist warping as well as cracking.
  • If you decide to add a lighting fixture to your fan, be sure that the lights are sealed properly and designed for outdoor use. A light designed for outdoor use will be sealed properly and water-resistant to a minimum of damp rating.

If you follow these simple procedures, your ceiling fans should enjoy a long life in the great outdoors. Of course, if you find an outdoor fan you really like and want to put it indoors, that’s OK too. But remember, while an outdoor fan is always suited for indoor use, the opposite is not necessarily true. When choosing your outdoor fan, try not to be too frugal. While getting the most for your money is always a wise choice, spending too little and getting a cheaper model will cost you more over time. Most electricians charge anywhere from $100-$150 to install a fan, and if your fan breaks down on you, you’re not only going to have to come out-of-pocket for the new fans themselves, you’re going to have to pay extra for installation. Be frugal, but be smart. A good outdoor ceiling fan can last ten years or more, and make those hit summer months ever-so more enjoyable.

Ewen Chia’s Success Switch Review: Revealing The Secrets of Mind Power

One of the internet business pioneers, Ewen has been marketing on the internet since 1997. Today, a world-famous and highly respected marketer, he is a consultant in online branding, business integration, product creation and so on. He hosts sold-out $5000-a-seat seminars, lives a life most can only dream of and he attributes it all to the power of the mind.

In his unique style of simplifying complex subjects, the best-selling author of “How I made my first million on the internet,” brings a fresh perspective into books on mind power. What he set out to achieve is a practical step by step blueprint, devoid of weird hypnosis and junk science, that will help readers identify and flip on the success switch within them.

In this self-improvement program, Ewen reiterates the fact that we all have everything we need for success at our disposal and the faculties which are hidden within us will begin to function for our success as we put into practice the simple steps highlighted in his book.

Like all good mind power books, Success Switch explains the workings and dynamics of the mind. A good understanding of the functions of the mind will reveal the secrets of mind power and empower the individual to take control of their mind.

Napoleon Hill describes coming into financial success as a time people are so overwhelmed by abundance they wonder where the money had been hiding in all the lean years they have lived. What these people succeeded in doing was to flip on the success switch within them, thereby enjoying success in every area of their lives with minimal effort.

To the uninitiated, these people are just lucky but in Success Switch, Ewen Chia disagrees and refers to this phenomenon as making a contract with the mind. It is this contract that gives the mind the go ahead to create excellent circumstances of wealth, happiness, success and improvement in all areas of life for everyone who discovers how to command it.

As Ewen’s own life illustrates, it is easy to have exceptional education and still be broke while a person who has very little education is swimming in effortless success. The key is internal and the truly successful have learnt first to understand it and then to flip the switch for ever-increasing success.

Since all men have minds, all that is left is for the individual to make a commitment to enter into the process of learning to control his or her mind and once that is done, a success story like Ewen Chia’s will become the norm and not the exception.