Paris, France – Rue Du Cherche-Midi and Rue Vaxin

A walk along the rue du Cherche-Midi will reveal some of the finest 18th-century domestic buildings in the city. Tall structures display a classic line of elaborately carved facade, arched windows and Juliet-style balconies. A statue of a centaur by the French sculptor Cesar stands at one end. This street is home to many Parisians, and is also the location for several fine specialist shops that have replaced the antiques merchants for which the street was once famous.

The renowned Poilane bakery is at No 8, where all kinds of cakes, bread, biscuits and pastries make for a lavish, and extremely tempting, window display. The bakery is just a few doors away from the Musee Hebert, a museum dedicated to the work of painter Ernest Hebert, and housed in a former 18th-century hotel, the Hotel de Montmorency, at No 85. A fashionable portraitist, Hebert was the official painter of the Second Empire and went on to become a director of the Academy of France in Rome. In his honor, the museum displays notable examples of his work.

Located in one of the more picturesque streets, rue Vavin, and within a reasonable walk from the Tour Montparnasse in one direction and the Jardin du Luxembourg in the other, this property stands out from its neighbouring classic 18th-century properties because of its unusually decorated front facade. It has a series of stepped balconies adorned with blue and white ceramic tiles, not dissimilar to those found on some Dutch houses. The building is known as the “Sporting House with Steps.”

Lead Free Solder – Some of it’s Characteristics and Problems and How to Deal With Them – RoHS

Since the RoHS legislation came into force in Europe the nature of electronics manufacturing, and soldering in particular has changed forever. RoHS compliance and lead free solder presents many new challenges to businesses involved in pcb manufacturing.

No-one seriously disputes that lead free solder is healthier for everyone involved in pcb assembly, but unleaded solder does present certain problems. Lead free solder does not flow as easily as leaded solder and the soldered joints on a pcb board look different on a leaded board, when compared to a board built using lead free solder.

The first thing you will notice is the lack of top fill on your through-plated pcb boards. It is rare to get more than a 75% fill on your pcb boards.

The second thing you will notice is that your lead free solder joints are not as shiny as the old style leaded joints that you will have been used to. This is simply down to the actual mix of lead free solder and should not be a cause for undue concern.

Does lead free solder melt at the same temperature as leaded solder?

No! Unleaded solder will melt at a higher temperature, the exact temperature will vary depending on the solder mix you choose to use. One common mix is 99% Tin, Copper 0.7%, and Silver 0.3%. This melts and flows without much difficulty at 275 degrees.

Preparing to use lead free solder for the first time.

Who has to use unleaded solder?

Almost all electronics assembly will have to be done using lead free processes. (See my article on RoHS compliance for more details).

What about soldering equipment?

It is very likely that most of your soldering equipment will need either replacement or adjustment to prepare it for lead free service.

At the very least your soldering irons will require new tips to avoid contamination issues, and you may find that you need to replace the entire soldering iron if you find it has trouble reaching the new higher temperature that is required for lead free soldering.

Bigger soldering equipment such as a wave soldering machine will probably need to have their soldering baths replaced and you may want to consider replacing the flux you use, as the pcb boards that you will now be soldering will be lead free as well.

Solder pots and other hand operated solder equipment can either have their baths replaced, or for a cheaper option you could try emptying them of solder, cleaning the bath, and coating it with a layer of oxide paint. Once it is dry you can fill your bath with new lead free solder and you are ready to start soldering again.

Best Ceramic Flat Irons

Are you looking for the best ceramic flat irons?

Straightening your hair to get a smooth silky finish is all the rave these days. To determine which ceramic flat irons are best I decided to do some research and ask some friends about their experiences. Firstly your selection of a ceramic hair straightener versus the old metal types is a great idea. Ceramic plates tend to heat up faster and more evenly and are less damaging to your hair. The ceramic emits negative ions which helps preserve moisture and the natural oils plus it seals the hair cuticle and reduces static. I looked at some of the top selling ceramic straightening irons and here is a summary of their features plus the pros and cons to help you decide for yourself.

Farouk CHI Flat Hairstyling Iron
The Farouk Chi Ceramic Flat Iron is the probably the top selling ceramic flat iron these days. It heats up in seconds and stays hot – temperature reaches up to 410 Degrees. It has a long 10 foot swivel cord which makes it comfortable to style entire head. Also it is great for not just straightening but also flipping and curling your hair. Hair comes out shiny and smooth after one pass. The draw backs are first it has no temperature control and second many people have had problems with it breaking down within months. Even so I have friends who swear by it and say it it worth every penny and the shortcomings.

Ceramic Tools Professional Flat Iron
The Ceramic Tools Flat Iron and is very economical and provides very good results. It heats up fast and lasts hot evenly. Unlike the CHI this one comes with 25 different heat settings which go up to 446 degrees and it has on / off switch with an indicator light.I also like the soft grip handle. It has rounded edges which help hair glide easily and allow for curls or flips also.

Andis Ceramic Clamp Flat Iron
The Andis Flat Irons is probably the cheapest ceramic on the market. Although this one does heat up fast and has 20 different heat settings, it only goes up to 375 degrees which may not be enough for really thick hair. The temperature dial on this flat iron is not in degrees but on a scale of 0-20 which different than most. You will need to test to figure out what works for you. The clamp style holds hair tight and gives you more control when styling. Also I like the auto off feature.

Solia Ceramic Flat Iron
The Solia is also a very popular brand for straightening irons and they also claim you can use it on damp hair or dry hair. I do not recommend that kind of heat on wet hair but some people claim it works great and does not do any additional damage to your hair. The Solia does heat up fast and goes up to 450F. It keeps it temperature and the iron plates are smooth and do not snag hair. The handles are very comfortable and the extra long 9 foot cord is ideal.

All the above ceramic flat irons work very well. After you take into account some of different features and your budget I think you will be happy with whichever one you select. Hope this information helps you decide which ceramic flat iron is best for you.

Open Your Own Audio Book Online Store And Make Money

Nowadays, as we go about our busy schedules, numerous people are getting used to utilizing audio books. In fact, over the past couple of years, many more people have changed over to this type of reading as opposed to purchasing custom paperbacks and reading them with their eyes. Reading with ears, is a current concept and lots of people have become captivated by them. This is primarily because this type of book, is both accessible and amusing.

Strong Demand For Audio Book Online Stores

If you have a mind for business, it might be a beneficial idea for you to consider beginning your own personal online store. There is such a strong demand for these books, and the revenue margins are attractive, to say the least. Today, deals with about every genre and so people are able to rent books on just about every topic. Naturally, there will be many competitors, particularly from big rental companies, such as Audible. They offer wonderful online plans to their customers.

Even so, for someone who is industrious, they can still be a success. Opening an audio book store will still be a good business plan. There is no doubt, that as time passes, the demand for these, will increase also. So if you are looking for a good home business, this may be just what you are looking for. You should not allow the big companies to intimidate you, and by showing some spunk, a lot of money can be made running your own store online.

Without question, Audible is the leading company in the audio book online sites. It in fact, pulls in more than a calculated eighty million dollars each year. However, as large as they have become, they did not start out this size in the beginning. There is always enough room for small companies to glean the rewards and earn good money from beginning an audio book online store too. It will demand, suddenheless, that you begin small and then, as money and business pick up, you can set your goals greater and aspire for a better known store.

To turn your store into a success, it will require that you do the proper amount of advertising, build up your customer clientele, and be able to plan in the near future, for further expansion. You'll be a success if you can build up a base of customers that are willing to pay monthly subscription fees.

Many people will be interested in the availability of purchasing audio books online as well as renting. This feature may be added to your audio book online store. You will have many customers that will want to collect them and to be able to have them on hand for re-listening pleasure. This is another possible avenue that you could offer; selling them at discounted rates.

In order to be successful in your online endeavors of selling audio books, it will require not only luck, but perseverance on your part as well. The use of proper marketing strategies and effective advertising are key factors. If you stick with it and have an "I can do it" attitude, you'll be able to make a decent living and some day soon, look at the prospect of expanding and becoming one of the big companies that shadow the smaller companies in the sales of audio books.

Night Fishing For Catfish – Enticing Trophy Catfish Into A Feeding Frenzy!

Equipment you will need:

  • Boat
  • Boat Anchors
  • Separate 12v Battery To run lights
  • Night Lights
  • Submerged Lighting
  • Live Bait Keeper
  • Chum bag Rod Holders
  • Heavy Bait Casting Or Spinning Rig
  • Insect Repellent

Night fishing for catfish can be a very rewarding fishing trip. Trust me If you do it correctly you will catch fish, not only will you catch fish but some will be lunkers! Catfish feed at night and are very active, and when they get into a feeding frenzy fishing action can be incredible! Catfish are attected to submerged lighting And have a very keen sense of smell. So If you can locate their nightly haunts you can entice them on to your hook with some simple methods I will explain here. But first you must be setup and prepared for night fishing it is totally different at night then in the day. Things you take for granted during the day, do not apply at night.

Boat Setup for night fishing

Before you even think about going night fishing for catfish you need to have the following items :, lights for inside the boat, either battery or Coleman fuel type lanterns with two mantles. Set up your lights so they distribute light evenly inside the boat. I personally fish from a 20 foot pontoon and I have 3 halogen battery powered lights hung 2in the front, left and right and one hanging from my canopy in the rear. (I have used my Colemans but they attract a huge amount of insects)

You also will need a secondary light on your person. This light is used for re-rigging your fishing poles. Trust me, no matter how prepared you are before your trip you will loose some tackle, from line crossovers, or snags, or fish snapping your line. (you can limit this by using heavy tackle and making sure your line is fresh) I personally use a led light that clips to the visor on my ball cap.

You also will need a light to illuminate the water surface I recommend 12v halogen light that can be directed outside the boat. Mount it on the side of your boat, in the center. I personally use and adjustable halogen that I can clip to the railing on my pontoon. Direct the light at a 60 degree angle from boat to water. This will illuminate the surface.

You will need a submerged light source. You are probably asking your self right now why do I need submerged lighting? The submerged lights will generate plankton swirls that will attract bait fish. Once the bait fish start schooling The big cats will come. attract schools Submerged lighting rigs come in a variety of sizes and shapes, the one I use is 36 "long about 4" in diameter. Center the submerged light in the illumination pattern of the surface water lighting you just set up. Anchor your submerged lighting about 12 "off the bottom, (without an anchor they will float on top of the water) .. make sure the light completely submerged under the water. anchor the submerged light about 2 to 3 ft from the boat.

You will need a secondary power source for the submerged light, the water lighting light and to operate your aerator pump for your live bait or live well. " want to get stuck on the lake at night right? If you take a well charged 12v marine battery as your second source it will last through the night.

You will need all Your poles pre-rigged If you have the rigs I would set up 3oles, per person in advance of getting on the water. The reason I suggest this is because it's real pain the "blank" To re-rig at night. You will end up doing it anyway, but if you have spare poles already set up, use them first before you have waist valuable time with poles out of the water.

Locating the cat's nightly haunts

It has been my experience the bigger cat's roam the shore lines or back waters in search of food at night. Every body of water will be different. I highly recommend you do some research on the body of water you intend to night fish for catfish on. At Minimum Get a topographical map of the area before you attempt your trip. These can be attained at any of the local bait and tackle shops in the area. (I recommend you visit one of these shops to get the local scoop anyway, if you dig deep enough these guys can pin point on the map Where to start fishing.

Enticing the Cats to your boat.

Once you have your water surface lights and your submerged lights set up and ready to go you do not even need to do the next step, you are ready to start fishing. The submerged lighting will get the schools of bait fish coming, but I take it step one step further because if you play on the catfish's extra sensitive sense of smell you can drive the big cats into a feeding frenzy! OK You say how?

Well the answer is by introducing "chumming". Chumming releases a slick of dead fish smells and fish guts that the small bait fish and catfish feed on. There are many commercial chumming systems you can purchase and they work very well, but I use a simple very inexpensive method that anyone can set up. First you will need a nylon netted bag that you can close tight. (a good example would the netted bags that you put golf balls in that have a string closure adjustment) This is what I use, works perfect, very inexpensive. Next, get some good size freezer bags, 3 should do for one nights trip.

Next, Purchase about 2 dozen good size chubs and cut them in 1 "to 2" slices, make sure you do this in a pan that will not drain all the juices. Fill the freezer bags pieces and juice all together, and let them sit outside in the sun all day long. Yes it will stink to high heaven by the end of the day, but that is what you want! Now stick the freezer bag in side the meshed bag that can close. Close the bag tight and tie a line at the bottom of the bag about 2 feet long. Attach about a 2lb anchor to get the bag to the bottom. Now tie a line at the top of the bag with enough lead line to get the bag on the bottom. Now before you lower the chum bag to the bottom take an ice pick, or something sharp that will puncture the bag, but not tear the plastic. Punch the freezer bag numerous times, then lower to the bottom an tie it off on the side of the boat.

Now its time to fish! But before we go there lets re-visit Your catfish rigs. There are many catfish rigs you can use, and they all work in situations that they are designed for. When you are fishing at night and you have submerged a lighting setup, you want get your line about 2 ft away from the light source, approximated on the outer edges of the source's beam.

You will be fishing only a short distance from the boat, so your rigs need to be set up to fish in close proximity to the boat. You could fish tight line with a basic catfish hook and a small sinker. Or use a slip bobber system. I prefer to use the slip bobber system.

I use the single hook rig. Both rigs shown in the illustration work fine but I just have preference for the single hook rig. I do use the double hook rig when fishing for other types of fish. I use all heavy duty, open face, and spin cast rod and reels with 30lb test. When you do get a lunker on your line you want the tackle set up to handle the fight. You miss some small cats, but it's well worth it when you catch your first 10lb plus catfish.

Baits To Use

both Channel and Blue catfish will eat just about any small fish like Suckers, small shad, or bluegills both live or dead. I use both live bait and dead "cut bait" I will normally set one pole up with a small live gill no more that 3inches in length. My other poles will be baited with cut bait, normally LARGE suckers 6 "or longer cut in 1" to 2 "chunks.

Now Bait your rigs, Get Your Boat Setup and get ready for an exciting Night fishing for Catfish Trip! Once you catch a lunker 10 pounder + You will be Hooked for life! So have fun and good luck!

How You Can Make A YouTube Video Of Your Own

YouTube is quite the place. You can video on just about anything and could end up getting hooked on hanging out there. I guess that is why Google bought it. What if you want to put a video of your own on YouTube? This article takes a look at how anyone can make a YouTube video and do it fairly easy.

First of all you will need something to record your video with. This could be a camcorder or even a cell phone if it is equipped to record videos. You have to love modern technology. A digital camcorder will give you the best quality.

Once you know how you are going to record you video you can get started. Popular videos on YouTube include funny videos, music, video blogs, how-to videos, or even videos on a trip you have taken. You can make a video on just about anything you want. It is your video. Think of yourself as a director.

You need to keep your videos less than 10 minutes and you can submit as many videos to YouTube as you want.

When creating a YouTube video make sure that the quality is good. Speak directly into the camera or else use raised voices. You do not have to shout, but rather project with your voice so people who will be watching your video can hear and understand what you are saying.

As with any video or picture make sure you have adequate lighting. Shooting during the day will help with this. Once you have your video done you will want to view and then edit it. You can use editing software for movies for this. Your computer with probably have movie editing software if it is a new model. If you can not find it at a media store or on the internet.

You can not spend to much time making sure you edit your video so it is a high quality video. You are putting this online to share with friends and family, but you never know who will end up seeing it.

The last step once you have your video the way you want it to post it on YouTube. You will need to register for a free account if you do not already have one. Once you are registered you can log in and go to Youtubes help center for information on easily uploading your new video. They even have a YouTube forum you can join and ask questions and read previous discussions.

YouTube is around to stay and getting your own videos online is another step to joining this amazing technological age we live in.

Easy Ways to Overcome Barriers

Sometimes these can be small events, and sometimes, they are so large that they seem unmanageable. Here are 5 simple ways that you can overcome barriers.

1. Take a different direction. When there is a stumbling block in your path, try to take a different direction, through the metaphorical woods for example. In other words, if you are faced with a barrier in your path and you don’t see any way to move forward, try to think of a solution outside of the box. Come up with something creative and you might find a way around the barrier.

2. Think about it from someone else’s perspective. Think about this problem pretending to be someone else. You might think of a solution that you would never have normally. Imagine that you are someone else that has had a great deal of success in business. What would they do if they were in that situation?

3. Try to think of a way to make the barrier smaller than it currently appears. For example, you might think that a problem is a huge, life-changing event that will prevent you from ever achieving your goals. But if you think about it for a while, you might find that it’s not nearly as big as you thought it was.

4. Take a break and let your subconscious mind do the work. When you have a problem to overcome, and it is keeping you from the success you desire, consider just forgetting about it for a while. Sometimes your subconscious mind can do its best work by itself, and long after you have moved on to a different task, your mind might pop up with the perfect solution.

5. Turn the problem to your advantage. You might think that something is a barrier keeping you from reaching your goals, but what if you could turn it around and make it actually work for you instead of blocking your path. When you come upon problems, try to think of creative ways that you can make them actually get you closer to your goals instead of stopping you.

Five Beliefs to eliminate if you want to Achieve Success

Humans are their own worst enemies sometimes, and there are definitely beliefs that everyone has that can be destructive. If you happen to have those beliefs, then you are going to have a very difficult time achieving success, because they do a terrific job of blocking the path. We’re going to discuss three of those habits in this article and give you some great tools to help you to eliminate them from your life.

Belief 1: You Don’t Have the Ability

The first belief that we’ll discuss is a common one among just about everyone on planet earth – not having the confidence to do whatever task that you’ve set for yourself. In nearly all cases, this simply isn’t true.

As a demonstration, I knew a man who wanted to be a singer more than anything. The problem was, he couldn’t carry a tune. Everyone told him that he wouldn’t ever be a singer because he lacked the ability. You either had it or you didn’t, they said. The man didn’t believe them, and took lessons and practiced for about 10 years. After a very long time, it clicked, and he was able to sing on key and hear and correct himself when he sang off key. You should look at your business goals the same way.

Belief 2: All the Good Ideas are Gone

This is simply a cop-out. All of the good ideas are not gone. In fact, every ten years or so, as technology improves by leaps and bounds, a whole new crop of ideas are available. If you think all of the good ideas are gone, then it is likely that you aren’t opening yourself up to new ideas and inspiration. Instead, you are letting negativity convince you that you’ll never be able to have an idea as good as the ones you’ve heard about, when the truth is, you might have one better.

Belief 3: You Don’t Have the Determination

Finally, you need to get rid of the belief that you do not have the determination to reach your goals and be successful. There is one very simple way to combat this. Understand that if you believe you don’t have the determination, you don’t, and if you do have the determination, then you do. It is completely your choice whether or not you have enough sticking power to reach your goals.

A Fireproof Wall Safe Will Save Your Valuables From Devastating Fires

How many times do people expect their home to catch on fire? A fire is never expected, which is why it is important to have a fireproof wall safe in your home. If you are about to get a safe and you are doing your research go that extra mile and get something that is fire resistant and waterproof. How many time have you heard a person say "We lost everything in the fire"? You might not be able to save your furniture and your clothes or your appliances but you can definitely save your passports, documents, cash and jewelry.

Be aware that there are many kinds of fire resistant wall safes. When you are looking at these safes read the description about them and find out how long they can last in a fire. Many times you will be told how long the safe can last in a fire but other times you might find out how many degrees a safe can withstand. Heavy duty safe boxes can last about 3 hours in burning flames safely protecting your possessions.

It does not hurt to be extra protective especially if you are already planning to get a safe you just need to pay a little more. If you just buy a safe to avoid burglary you will still have worries about all the contents of your safe.

AMSEC safes are top of the line safes that make many fireproof models. A couple of the best fireproof vaults made by AMSEC are the WFS149 and the WES149. It features a combination lock and pull out trays. It will protect against a fire and also features tamper- proof doors. You can also try Honeywell which also makes top of the line fireproof safes. You can identify a good quality fireproof wall safe if it deep and thick. It is made from stainless steel and very well insulated through the walls and door. You might want to worry more about potential fires then a thief when it comes to elaborate documents.

Effective Closet Cleaning Tips – Let Go of More Than Skeletons

I know I have a problem when I have to battle with the overflow every time I try to shut my closet door. Well, okay, it's not really a closet, more like an overgrown cupboard, but as it's all I have something's got to give. When it comes to clothes and shoes, I'm the worst. Perhaps it's the result of coming of age in the last two decades of the century – living through wave after wave of recycled fashions. After all, are not asymmetrical tops back in?

I have an established routine for weeding out my closet:

Step One: Take everything (and I mean everything) out and lay them in loosely organized categories, such as shorts, pants, T-shirts, blouses, etc.

Step Two: Pass through each category using the golden rule "If you have not worn it in a year, put it in the discard pile." Then pass through and sort out the deduplications. After all, how many pairs of denim short shorts do you really need?

Step Three: Clean the closet / overgrown cupboard. Remember, dust bunnies do not have feelings or sentimental value; It's ok to throw them away.

Step Four: Try on each and every item. If it's more than a tiny bit too tight or smidge too big, put it in the discard pile. No exceptions!

Step Five: Plan your closet! Do not just put everything back in willy-nilly; make a mental plan, think about the seasons, and organize!

Step Six: Shoes – Okay, so I like to give Imelda Marcos a run for her money, but shoes are hard to store, so some just have to go. First, make sure that each and every pair will go with at least three items of clothing; if they do not, discard. Second, if they are sadly out of date, discard. Third, try them all on and walk around the house in them. If they hurt your feet, discard. Finally, get a good shoe rack; If you have more shoes than room in the rack, repeat steps 1-3 until each shoe has a home.

Now you should have a big pile of discards in the living room. I have a two-step clothes dispersal process that works well for me. First step is getting together with all my girlfriends of approximately the same size and have a discard party. What's old and tired to you may just be the thing your pal has been searching for. A few munchies, several bottles of wine and you'll have a great time trading your old gear for something that's new to you. If you do not have girlfriends that are your size or your friends are fashion-challenged, you can always find folks to trade with online. There are plenty of fashionistas trading at SwapThing. However, always keep in mind your space limitations and only trade for a few things that really add some zing to your wardrobe! The second step is to gather all the discards at the end of your soiree and donate them to a local women's shelter. If you do not know any local organizations try doing a search in your area through the ShareThing program at SwapThing. Your old stuff can be a wonderful gift to a fellow female who has nothing to call her own. Good luck and get cleaning!

Diamond Head Nails

A Diamond Head Nail is made of super strong 1060 hardened steel and consist of a standard nail head with a diamond-shaped emblem engraved into it. Compared to the alternative (screws) Diamond Head Nails are much more efficient and economical and just as reliable for a range of construction materials-particularly steel.

The nail-shaped fasteners with a flat head are manufactured from steel wire complying with ASTM A 510, Grade 1060 (UNS 1600) and are heat-treated to provide case and core hardness of 52-55 HRC. The nails have either electrodeposited zinc coatings with a chromate finish or mechanically deposited zinc coatings conforming respectably with ASTM B633 Type II, SC 1 or ASTM B695 Type 1 Class 12. The hardened nails have a ballistic point with a nominal 0.10-inch (2.69mm ) or 0.145-inch (3.66mm) diameter knurled or smooth shank, a nominal 0.245-inch (6.2 mm) diameter head and a minimum length of 3/4 inch. They are available in 15 degree wire collated and 21 degree plastic collated strips, and 0 degree plastic coil sheets.

Features and Benefits of Diamond Head Nails
• When compared to screws, Diamond Head Nails install at least 50% faster.

• Diamond Head Nails are manufactured out of 1060 hardened steel and are excellent for attaching steel-to-steel, wood-to-steel, and wood-to-cement. Mainstream nails are made with 1020-1030 steel and are limited to fastening wood-to-wood.

• Diamond Head Nails are suitable for commercial construction, while regular nails are best for wood-framed residential construction.

• Using Diamond Head Nails, contractors and inspectors can trace the nails; they know the Diamond Head design, the manufacturer, and the necessary testing to win ICC approval.

Diamond Head Nails and Steel Construction
With the innovation of light gauge steel, new fasteners were required. The introduction of the Diamond Head Nail now allows builders to fasten OSB board, plywood, gypsum board, metal and other sidings to light gauge steel in a fraction of the time and at a fraction of the cost (screw guns vs. nail guns). Regular nails will not penetrate or hold in steel.

Thanks to the efforts of industrial groups such as The National Association of Home Builders, The American Iron and Steel Institute and the Light Gauge Steel Engineers Association the perception of light gauge steel framing of homes and high rise buildings, has rapidly evolved from that of an experimental building practice to one that offers many benefits over wood framing. Light gauge steel in conjunction with Diamond Head Nails:

• Is stronger
• Results in straighter, truer walls
• Is termite proof
• Is noncombustible
• Will never rot.

Builder Benefits
• Precision – steel is traditionally manufactured; it's straight with square corners.

• Large Design Range For all Materials — steel has the highest strength-to-weight ratio, creates a stronger, lighter-weight frame, accommodates greater spans, and allows for larger open spaces within a building.

• Long Term Price Stability – compared to lumber, the price of steel is much more stable.

• Less Waste – steel studs can be cut to exact lengths with almost no waste.

• Dimensionally Stable – there is no shrinkage, no rotting, and no warping.

• No Possibility of Insect or Mold Damage – steel is naturally termite, carpenter ant, and mold proof.

• Better Protection in Natural Disasters — steel withstands hurricanes and earthquakes better.

• Less Warranty Work – there are no nail pops or drywall cracks.

Building Owner Benefits
• Environmentally Superior – steel is non-toxic and allergy-free, with no waste, and higher recycling potential.
• Highly Durable Over the Long Haul – there are no jammed doors and windows, no out-of-plumb walls or sagging roof lines.
• Fire Safety – steel does not burn.
• Lower Insurance Premiums – because steel is fire retardant and more durable in hurricanes and earthquakes, insurance premiums are lower.

The other alternative for steel construction is screws. Using screws is very time consuming; the installation of nails is at least 50% faster. Screws are put in place one at a time with screw guns. Nails are installed with gas or air tools. Savings in worker hours is a major benefit. A recent school project saved the contractor about $ 9,000 in labor alone. While Diamond Head Nails are cost competitive with alternative fasteners, the major savings is in how they are installed.

B2B Industrial Packaging's Herb Burrows is the developer of the highly innovative fastener. After receiving International Code Council (ICC) code approval, Herb received the required approval from the State of California. Herb is the only person who has three ICC Code approved numbers (numbers ESR2961, ESR2962, and ER3091). Herb awarded B2B Industrial Packaging permission to sell these nails and use the ICC Code approval.

Concrete That Lasts Through Winter

Frost heaving or frost heave, separate from needle ice which occurs near the ground's surface, results from ice that forms benefit the surface of soil when the atmosphere outside reaches freezing conditions. Ice starts to grow in the direction of heat loss (vertically toward the surface) starting at a particular freezing front or boundary in the soil. It generally occurs somewhere there is a water supply to keep feeding the ice crystal growth. The growing / heating ice is restrained by overlying soil. The heavy weight of the topsoil limits the vertical growth of the frost but promotes the formation of a lens-shaped bump within the soil. The type of soil through which water passes to feed the formation of a frost heave is referred to as "frost susceptible." The force of one or more growing ice lenses is sufficient to lift a layer of soil almost twelves inches thick. In places where the topsoil layer is not particularly thick, differential frost rising can even crack concrete, damage building enterprises and unleash a mess of potholes come springtime.

Concrete that has been reengineered or resurfaced last longer, stays weatherproof longer and is less likely to crack than unfinished concrete. This is not only because the concrete is thicker and often of higher quality than conventional outdoor concrete but also because of the fine stains and materials we use in our concrete surfaces. Beside that, a crack in a stamped or marble-stained slab of concrete is not as noticeable as a crack in a plain, square slab. Stamped concrete is patterned to resemble brick, slate, flagstone, stone, tile, or almost anything else you can imagine. Stamped concrete can be used outside the home to beautify pool decks, driveways, entries and courtyards, and patios. If your driveway or patio is stamped in an irregular stone pattern, for example, a frost heave crack or two will not be much an issue because it will blend in with the pattern.

In addition to being better protected from the elements, resurfaced concrete also creates a stronger aesthetic tie between your concrete surfaces and the beautiful façade of the building you live in. With resurfaced concrete, naturally occurring hairline cracks blend in better and your concrete blends in better with its environment. Color and pattern combos can be chosen to coordinate with other stone or tile elements at your residence. Complex designs incorporating steps, courtyards, and fountains can be achieved.

Hardwood Floors – 7 Tips For Selecting Perfect Flooring


With thousands of colors and styles to select from today it can seem like a daunting task to make the right floor choice. To narrow the field down it is recommended that you select a flooring style that complements your overall interior design style. Nothing will look worse that a glaring clash of styles, so make sure your new flooring complements your existing (of planned) interior design.


Almost every install will have physical or functional requirements that will further narrow down the scope and selection of an appropriate hardwood or laminate flooring system. Here is a brief summary of factors to consider:


The quantity and type of traffic you expect on your floors will impact the flooring material you can choose. Laminates offer high durability, as well as wood species that have high "hardness rankings" on the Janka scale. Softer woods are generally not a good selection for high traffic areas.


The quality of any new hardwood flooring installation can only be as good as the subfloor underneath. For the best results, the subfloor should be dry, stable, and level. Concrete subfloors generally are only acceptable for laminate installations, but you should be mindful of installing a quality underlayment that provides an appropriate moisture barrier as well as good sound installation. Poor laminate installations will sound very hollow when walking on it.


To prevent warping and cupping of floors make sure there is adequate ventilation and regulated temperatures thought the year. Laminates work best in areas that experience higher humidity levels.


The time and cost of installation is an often overlooked factor in floor selection decisions. Glueless click-style floating laminate floor systems can be a weekend project for experienced do-it-yourselfers, and can save a lot of installation labor. Other flooring installation methods are generally more complex and will require professional installation in most cases.


Making a successful claim under a flooring warranty often requires that you can demonstrate the product was installed exactly as per the manufactures recommendations and that the damage is not a product of wear and tear or poor workmanship. Hiring a professional installer and dealing with a large brand name product that has an established track record is your best protection.

If you need more help you can read our full article series on selecting hardwood floors [] to create the perfect hardwood flooring solution to match your interior space.

5 Differences Between Mopeds and Scooters

If you are trying to save a few buck in your transportation expenses these days, you may want to consider a moped or scooter. Obviously if you do not live near your work or have a large family this may not be possible. But for single people, students, or someone who has just a short commute to work, these vehicles can save you a ton of money when it comes to what you are paying at the pump each month.

Many people interchange the two terms, but they technically are not the same. Here are some of the differences between the two:

# 1 The Look.

Some of you reading this that are a little bit youngger may have never even seen a moped. They look like a heavy duty version of a bike. They have a motor, but they also have pedals.

The scooter on the other hand, has no pedals and looks like more like a mini motorcycle.

# 2 The Motor

Mopeds are going to tend to be a lot less powerful than most scooters. They will usually have a 1 gallon gas tank with no more than a 49cc motor. Do not get me wrong, they will usually get you over 200 miles on a tank, but they are limited on power.

The scooter, on the other hand, has evolved over the years. Scooters come with many different engine sizes ranging from 49cc up to 250cc.

# 3 Speed

The mopeds are hindered by their smaller motor, so they only get going to around 30 mph tops. The scooter can go anywhere from 25mph up to 60mph depending on the size of the motor.

# 4 Availability

Honestly, there are going to be many more options available to you if you are choosing a scooter over a moped.

# 5 Affordability

A moped may be a little less expensive because a) the are usually not as high tech; or b) you may actually have to find a used one if the moped is the way you want to go.

Scooters are much more advanced nowdays, but some people like the old school look and feel f the moped. Either way, they are both going to save you massive amounts of money at the pump if you decide to use them.

A Brief Overview of the Ketogenic Diet

The ketogenic diet, colloquially called the keto diet, is a popular diet containing high amounts of fats, adequate protein and low carbohydrates. It is also referred to as a Low Carb-High Fat (LCHF) diet and a low carbohydrate diet.

It was primarily formulated for the treatment of epilepsy that did not respond to medications for the disease.

The diet was originally published in 1921 by Dr. Russell Wilder at the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Wilder discovered that putting epileptic patients on a fast helped to reduce the frequency of the symptoms. At the time of its publication, there were a few other options available for the treatment of epilepsy.

The ketogenic diet was broadly used for the next several decades in treating epilepsy both in children and adults. In several epilepsy studies, about 50% of patients reported having at least 50% reduction in seizures.

However, the arrival of anticonvulsant drugs in the 1940s and afterward relegated the ketogenic diet to an "alternative" medicine. Most health care givers as well as patients, found it a lot easier to use the pills compared to adhering to the strict ketogenic diet. It was significantly ignored in the treatment of epilepsy by most specialists.

In 1993, a renewed interest in the ketogenic diet was sparked by Hollywood producer Jim Abrahams. Abraham had his 2 years old son, Charlie, brought to the Johns Hopkins Hospital for epilepsy treatment. Charlie experienced rapid seizure control within days of using the ketogenic diet.

Jim Abrahams created the Charlie Foundation in 1994 which helped to revive research efforts. His production of the TV movie called "First Do No Harm" starring Meryl Streep also helped to greatly promote the ketogenic diet.

The meals were designed to provide the body with the right amount of protein it needs for growth and repair. The calculation of the amount of consumed calories was done to provide adequate amounts that will be able to support and maintain the proper weight necessary for the child's height and weight.

Underlying Concepts of the Ketogenic Diet

The classic ketogenic diet has a "fat" to a "combination of protein and carbohydrates" ratio of 4: 1.

The general daily calorie breakdown of the ketogenic diet is as follows:

  • 60-80% of calories from fat
  • 20-25% from proteins
  • 5-10% from carbohydrates

The ratio of the foods in a ketogenic diet is formulated to help the body induce and maintain a state of ketosis.

However, the ketogenic landscape has steadily increased both in its application and implementation. While the classic ketogenic diet is still extensively used today, it has now formed the basis for the development of several alternative ketogenic protocols.

Ketogenic diets basically encourage the intake of about 20 to 50 grams of carbohydrates per day. Protein consumption is moderate and mostly depends on factors such as the gender, height and activity levels of the individual. Essentially, the overall calorie of the diet is balanced primarily based on the amount of consumed fat.

The Fat and Protein Ratios in a Ketogenic Diet

Increased healthy fat consumption is the main focus of the ketogenic diet. Also, the purpose is to maintain the state of ketosis at all times so allowing your body to use more body fat for fuel.

The body digests fat and protein differently. Fat is arguably the body's best source of energy and in a state of ketosis, the body can make use of body fat and dietary fat equally well.

In general, fats have very limited effect on blood sugar levels and insulin production in your body. However, protein affects both of these levels if consumed in large amounts beyond what your body requires.

About 56% of the excess ingested protein is converted to sugar. This has the effect of upsetting the ketosis state of far burning as a result of the body reacting to the glucose created from the protein breakdown.

Depending on the type and source of ingested fats, a high fat diet can be much healthier. Reducing carbohydrates intake and increasing your consumption of more saturated fats from mostly medium-chain fatty acids will greatly improve your body's fat profile.

The ketogenic diet increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels while at the same time reduces triglyceride levels. These two factors are the main marks for heart disease.

A ratio of less than 2.0 in your Triglyceride-to-HDL ratio means that you are doing well. However, the closer this ratio is to 1.0 or lower, the healthier your heart.

This kind of fat profile is associated with increased protection against heart attacks and other cardiovascular problems.

Consumption of increased lean protein in the absence of adequate amounts of fats in the diet can cause "rabbit starvation." Rabbit starvation is a condition where there is an insufficient amount of fats. This condition is seen in diets that mostly consist of lean proteins.

One of the major symptoms of rabbit starvation is diarrhea. The diarrhea can often become serious and may lead to death. This often occurs within the first 3 days to one week of pure lean protein diets. If adequate amounts of fats are not consumed in the succeeding days, the diarrhea can worsen and may lead to dehydration and possible death.

Precast Construction: Awesome And Unique Construction Segment

The concept of precast construction (which also refers as “prefabricated construction”) includes those buildings where the majority of structural components are standardized and produced in plants in a location away from the building, and then transported to the site for assembly. These components are manufactured by industrial methods based on mass production in order to build a large number of buildings in a short time at low cost.

The main features of this construction process are as follows:

  • The division and specialization of the human workforce
  • The flawless use of tools and other equipments, usually automated, in the production of standard, interchangeable parts and products

Since 2005, the demand for new commercial and residential buildings has been on the top than the other types of construction. Practically, precast construction is always more economical when compared to conventional multifamily residential, commercial, industrial or institutional construction anywhere in world.

As per the load-bearing structural, precast construction can be categorize into the following categories:

  • Large-panel systems
  • Frame systems
  • Slab-column systems with walls
  • Mixed systems

List of Structural Precast Detailing Services:

  • Precast Concrete Detailing
  • Precast Wall Panels Detailing
  • Precast Concrete Cladding Panels Detailing
  • Precast Concrete Tilt-up Panels Detailing
  • Precast Shop Drawings
  • Precast Concrete Stairs Detailing
  • Precast Erection Drawings
  • Precast Concrete Column Detailing
  • Precast Concrete Beam Detailing
  • Precast Concrete Slab Detailing
  • Post Tension Detailing
  • Double Tee Detailing
  • Non load bearing & Load bearing
  • Column Cover and Cornices
  • Hollow Core Slab Detailing Services
  • Column Cap Plate Detailing
  • Flat Slab Detailing Services

As far as the concept of precast products is concerned, many states across the United States require a precast plant to be certified by either the Architectural Precast Association (APA), National Precast Concrete Association or Precast Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) for a precast producer to supply their product to a construction site sponsored by State and Federal DOTs.

There are some numerous products which are utilizing precast/ prestressed concrete and majority of precast products can fall under one or more of the following categories:

  • Agricultural Products
  • Building and Site Amenities
  • Retaining Walls
  • Transportation and Traffic Related Products
  • Utility Structures
  • Water and Wastewater Products
  • Cemetery Products
  • Prestressed/Structural Products
  • Double Wall Precast – Concrete Sandwich Panels

Furthermore, Tilt-up construction is also plays an important part of Precast Construction process. Of course, a question comes into your mind that, so what is the difference between tilt-up and other types of construction?

The answer is, in traditional forms of wall construction, the walls can be built with CMU blocks or blocks faced with brick. A tilt-up building’s walls are created horizontally in large slabs of concrete called panels. The panels are then lifted, or tilted up, into position around the building’s slab. This means the tilt-up structure’s exterior wall is virtually finished when it is tilted into place.

Tilt-up construction provides numerous advantages over steel buildings either it is residential, commercial, institutional or other types of industrial building construction projects. Generally speaking, a one- to two-story structure larger than 50,000 square feet with less than 50% wall opening space is an excellent example for tilt-up concrete construction.

Benefits of Tilt-up Construction:

• Savings Construction Costs: by using this construction method, raw material costs can be reduced and of course it will also reduce the overall construction cost as well. In tilt-up construction method, the workers are typically lesser than the workers used in traditional construction. This way contractor can reduce labor costs. Because of the economies of scale, the larger the footprints for the building, the more these savings improve the project’s total cost.

• Fast Construction Schedule: Tilt-up construction offers several opportunities to “compress” the schedule and deliver the building very quickly. To erecting the walls in tilt-up construction is a faster process than building walls using traditional construction techniques. The trades can begin work earlier in the process on a tilt-up project, which allows greater overlapping of project phases. Because the building is made of ready-mix concrete from local sources, the chances of delay project is less than the traditional construction method.

• Safety: Tilt-up concrete is a proven, safe method of construction.

• Flexibility: Tilt-up concrete buildings are not prefabricated. Each one is custom-designed for the client’s needs and preferences.