Plasma vs LCD vs LED TVs – Differences Explained

In the last 10 years, a multitude of new flat-screen TV technology have been commercialised, all with excellent improvements over past technology. The fast advancement in technology has left a lot of us behind, as most of us don’t hold degrees in electronics. So what are the key differences between these new TVs?

Plasma TV

These are the oldest of the new flat-screens. They came around at about the same time as LCD TV, but they were much cheaper for their size, which is why they were more popular upon introduction. Plasma screens use a gas, which turns into a plasma when an electrical current is passed through them, emitting light.

Plasma pros:

– Cheaper compared with other flat-screens for the same size.

– Generally better, more realistic colour than LCD TVs.

– Deeper blacks and higher contract ratio than LCD TVs.

– Do not suffer from motion blur. Plasma screens have fast refresh rates, so moving objects appear less blurred.

– Wider viewing angle than LCD TVs.

Plasma cons:

– Less lifespan than other flat-screens. Plasmas are predicted to last 10-15 years, whereas LCD TVs will last twice that or more.

– Plasma uses much more power to run.

– Do not come in all sizes (they do not come in small sizes, and only come in a few set sizes, e.g. 42 inch, 50 inch, 60 inch.).

– Usually a little thicker, and much heavier than the others.

– Is more susceptible to reflection glare in bright rooms.


LCD panels first came to existence in the form of computer monitors. The technology itself has been around for many years. It is the same basic technology as the screen on a pocket calculator. LCD TV generally refers to a fluorescent backlit LCD TV. This is not to be confused with the newer LED TV, which is technically still an LCD TV except with LED backlit technology.


– Better lifespan than plasma screens. Predicted lifespan of 30+ years is possible.

– LCD screens use less power than plasma, but more than LED TV.

– Comes in many sizes, from computer screens to 60+ inch displays.

– Lighter than a plasma, hence easier to mount on the wall.

– While prices for LCD TV have been higher than plasma, it is falling quickly with increased production.


– Worst panel in terms of performance: lowest contrast level and slow (motion blur possible).

– Narrower viewing angle, with slight colour shifting possible for any particular viewer.


LED TV is technically actually LCD, but backlit with LEDs rather than fluorescent light source/s. This technology is the next generation in LCD screens.

Differences between LED backlit and current LCD technology:

– LED backlit produces much greater dynamic contrast owing to its direct backlighting.

– LED TVs can be made extremely thin, down to around an inch thick.

– LED TVs consume the least power out of all three screen types.

– LED TVs currently cost much more than LCD, but the prices are expected to fall dramatically as production increases.

– LED TVs are considered to be the most reliable out of all current flat-screen systems.

I hope this makes your search for a suitable TV an easier experience!

Tips on Buying Cars From Japan

Japan is the best place to buy used cars mainly because cars in Japan are very carefully maintained and the Japanese roads are renowned to be the best in the world. Japan also maintains a very high standard for used cars. There are used cars in a much better condition than you would ever expect in Japan. This is because the Government discourages people to own cars more than 5 to 6 years. The older the car is the more “shaken tax” you have to pay. (A tax based on the Japanese technical car examination system) That’s why people prefer to buy a new car.

There are major auction sites across Japan putting up the best used cars, trucks, buses and vans under the hammer which sells at the best price. Buyers are constantly scouring these sites for buying used vehicles. The buyer comes in early morning on the day to hand check prospective vehicles put out for auction later that day. Once bought, the cars are then transported to a port. Once the vehicle arrives at the yard via a car transporter, it is checked by trained mechanics to make sure that only good quality used cars are dispatched to our customers overseas. One fact that has to be carefully considered is that Japanese cars are generally right hand drive vehicles.

There are lots of SUVS in Japan and a majority of them have hardly seen any dirt at all the suspension is at 90% of its original, after usage of 5-6 years. Repair costs in Japan are extremely high encouraging people to buy new vehicles rather than repair the ones in use. So you can see why Japan has the best used car market. The best way to buy a used car is off the auction houses spread out across Japan. Country side auctions are the best places to buy used cars rather than in Major cities like Tokyo and Osaka. You would have access to buying used cars cheaper than in major cities. Fukoka auction houses are recommended to enable buyers to buy them cheaper.

The vehicles are thoroughly checked to ensure there is no rust or damage to the chassis. Engines are also checked to make sure they are in good condition and the car runs well. The vehicles are a given a test run to make sure the gears are in good working order. All the necessary tests and checks are carried out to make sure the products sold are of the best possible standard in order to maintain a satisfied customer base and ensures the customers return back again if the need arises.

If the Japanese used vehicle is bound to be registered in the destination countries of Kenya, Zambia, Uganda, or Tanzania. The vehicle will have to go through a stringent JAAI or JEVIC safety inspection test. This test would cost extra it is actually an extra little bit of peace of mind as these tests are quite strict and makes doubly sure that you are getting a good vehicle. Of course, customers not in these countries can also choose to get either of these tests if they so decide. These tests, especially JEVIC include, testing of all lights, both front and back. Tyre grip depth, brakes, speedometer, emissions, constant velocity joints and rust damage.

Japan’s strict motor-vehicle inspections and high depreciation makes such vehicles worth very little in Japan after six years, and strict environmental-protection regulations make vehicle disposal very expensive in Japan and they also have very stringent vehicle emission test standards. In general, Japan is not a negotiating society, but car purchasing is an exception, so do not be embarrassed to bargain, the dealership will ask you to quote your price range, as well as make, model, and features and narrow your options down to one or two of the cars of the lot, you can still fill the form out so they can look through their not-quite-ready stock of vehicles and contact you if anything else comes in. Due to progressively escalating costs of passing the mandatory periodic vehicle inspection, cars are typically scrapped or exported for sale abroad by the time they are about 10 years old. Engines removed from scrapped vehicles are in some cases exported for sale outside of Japan. Nearly 1.4 million used vehicles were exported from Japan in 2006.

The most popular destinations for used cars are from Japan are Bangladesh, Russia, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Zambia, Malaysia, Australia, Congo, Ireland, Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Peru, Bolivia, Paraguay, amongst many others.

Top 7 Tips to Communicate Calmly

I have had an exciting morning today. I was filming an upcoming television show here in Toronto. The show is called “Save Us From Our House” and is aired on the W Network. It is a half-hour show where they try to help a family with two key problems; one is their current living conditions and the other is effective communication. As my brother would tell you, I can’t fix or build things very well (my brother can fix anything from a toaster to a helicopter…) so you know I was not there to repair the home. I was there to do what I do best – help people communicate better.

Time was limited. I usually have a chance to give new clients a full hour assessment and structure a coaching program where we meet once or twice a week, for a series of six to twelve weeks. Today however, things were different. I had only twenty minutes to talk to this wonderful family and then dish out some quick and pertinent advice to assist their communication improvement. Then, it was “Action” and the rest of my advice would have to be given on the fly, while the family went shopping and while the cameras were rolling. It was an enjoyable experience and I believe that even in a short time the family learned a lot, especially since they will have the benefit of watching the show over and over again, and hear me coaching them on how to improve their 3 Vs of communication.

I do not know yet when this episode will air, as they are still filming. It may be quite a while before it hits the air, so for now I would like to give you all the same top 7 tips for communicating calmly that I gave the family. By the way, I would like to take this time to say hello to that wonderful family: Wilson, Belisa, Kaitlin and Julian – you all did a great job today, and I know you love each other very much. Good luck with your new house, whenever they are finished renovating it. I can’t wait to see it on T.V.!

Okay, here are the Top 7 Tips to communicating calmly:

1 – Look at the person you are talking to. Square your body and hips. Make eye contact. Relax your face muscles and then relax all of your muscles. Smile (5%) as you listen.

2 – Use open body language. Lean in slightly; do not cross your arms, legs or ankles (no matter how comfortable it is) and try to keep your shoulders relaxed. That not only helps you relax and relieve tension, but it also encourages the other person(s) to adopt the same body language. Do not use fists, interlocked fingers or other close-handed gestures. Use open-palmed ones instead. Do not point at others.

3 – Breathe. Breathe before, during and after your difficult or heated discussion. If necessary take a few seconds or a minute before responding to collect your thoughts. Count to ten if you need to.

4 – Control your pace. It is not a race right? Say a few words or a phrase, then take a quick pause, then continue with a few more words or the next phrase. Think how Barack Obama speaks; calm, cool and in control. It is strong but not aggressive.

5 – Use positive language. Instead of saying the first thing in your head, ask yourself internally if there is a softer, less aggressive way to say what you want to say. Try not to blame or accuse others. Instead of pointing the finger, just speak about your own feelings and expectations first. Ask questions to clarify or give the person a chance to explain themselves. Staying positive helps keeps things from getting personal and out of control. It is very difficult to have a healthy conversation or persuade someone to do what you want when they feel under attack. They will resist everything you say, regardless of any logic presented.

6 – Do not shout. Ever. If you feel the need to talk louder than the other person, that means you are not listening. Be quiet and listen first before you make your points. Use medium volume in your speaking. If someone shouts at you do not engage in conversation until they are calmed down. Shouting is simply not necessary to convey your points.

7 – Do not argue. It is fine to state what you want or need or feel, but it is not okay to argue and treat a conversation like a competition. Competitions are for sports and games with rules. If you think that you must ‘win’ the argument that means you are forcing the other person to ‘lose’. How does it feel when you lose at something? Not so good right? So do not make another person feel that way, especially a friend or family member. Do you really want them to feel like a ‘loser’?

Enjoy the tips and I will let you know when the episode airs. However, if you feel that you could benefit from effective communication training, especially if you are interested in building more confident communications in your professional life, then please check out the next Toronto communication workshop, running November 8th. We will be in a downtown hotel, have catered lunch, and everyone will get a free coaching session as well as a discount off any future workshop or coaching program. It is a great time to invest in your future success!

Any questions about the workshop, or anything else, please do not hesitate to ask.

P.S. I think I should also let you know that I have been more active with my blog lately, and you may find some great communication tips and resources there. I have recently posted things on leadership, NLP, Entrepreneurialism, ESL resources, and a free eBook called Communication Mosaic.

Thank you.

All the best!

Techniques For Acrylic Painting – How to Paint People – Painting Closed Lips and Mouths

Learning how to paint people is exciting, and sometimes challenging. There are some tips and techniques that can help you as you begin your portrait painting journey.

Start with an accurate drawing of the subject you plan on painting.

Some artist use the grid method, while others free hand the initial drawing. One hint that you need to take to heart is this; If you don’t have an accurate drawing, do not attempt to paint the person. You more than likely will not achieve a likeness if you don’t have a likeness first in pencil.

Painting the closed mouth is fairly easy with practice. Painting the open mouth is more difficult and requires lots of practice. This is because you not only have to paint the lips, but the gums and teeth and sometimes the tongue. The mouth is the facial feature which most expresses the subjects’ mood. The mouth and lips can make or break a portrait. They can make an otherwise realistic portrait look unlike the person or even cartoonish if you do not get it close to exact. To paint closed lips make sure that the pencil drawing is accurate. You will need to step back and view the drawing to make sure that it looks like the subject.

Using the correct color for the lips.

When you are satisfied that the drawing is correct, use a color that matches the persons flesh tone and create the outline of the mouth and the line between the lips. The color that you will use for the lip outline is flesh tone with some burnt umber and alizarin crimson added to it. Be careful not to make the lips look too pink or red, unless there is lip stick on the subject. Lips are really just a little pinker or reder than the flesh color. The outline color should be slightly darker than the actual lip color. Think of this stage as a coloring book. For the outline of the lips you are just painting over your drawn lip lines.

After you have painted the outline color, use the same color but a little lighter and paint in the upper lip. The upper lip will be darker than the bottom lip. Now, paint in the bottom lip with a slightly lighter lip color.

Highlight the lips

Now highlight both lips. The upper lip will have a touch of very light lip color or even white right along the very top center portion. The lower lip will have quite a large area of highlight along the “puffy” center of the lip. The highlight gives the illusion that the puffy portion of lip is rounded and closer to the viewer if you will. When you add the light or whitened highlights to the bottom lip do so in vertical strokes. You should leave a few stroke lines to indicate lines in the skin that make up the lips.

If your subject is a person wearing lip stick you could be done with the lips because lipstick sometimes shows a defined line. But if the subjects’ lips are natural, you should gently blend the lip color into the flesh color of the face so that a hard edge does not exist where there is none.

Final Touches

The last thing to do with a closed mouth is to add shadows directly above the top lip where the crease under the nose is, and directly under the bottom lip and in the chin area. Painting people accurately is an art that requires much practice and patience. You should purchase literature for acrylic painting techniques that demonstrates these methods.

Descriptive Language in Charles Dickens’s Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son is a novel rich in descriptive detail, with both the exteriors and interiors in which its many characters feature being vividly realized. However it is arguable that such detail isn’t intended to be merely decorative but instead perform a range of elaborate functions within the vast and intricately plotted story.

The Dombey residence is situated “on the shady side of a tall, dark, dreadfully genteel street” (p.23). It is a large corner house whose interiors are depicted with an overriding sense of bleakness – the words “dark”, “dismal” and “grim” abound – creating an atmosphere that borders on the funereal. The fact that Mr. Dombey appears unable to separate familial matters from his business affairs is evinced in the title of the third chapter, where the father is described as being “at the head of the home-department”, and “the various members of Mr. Dombey’s household subsided into their several places in the domestic system” (p.23). This particular detail subtly highlights another aspect of the Dombey abode, in that it vaguely resembles a prison, with his son’s nurse Polly Toodle (or ‘Richards’ as Mr. Dombey has arbitrarily renamed her) being “established upstairs in a state of honourable captivity” (p.23).

It is clear from the outset that Mr. Dombey only views people as commodities, a facet of his personality which ultimately proves to be his downfall. The small selection of rooms that Polly’s employer has allocated for his own private purposes is significant to the story, particularly the glass conservatory or ‘chamber’, where he summons the nurse to “walk to and fro with her young charge” (p.24). Glass performs an important metaphorical function within the narrative. It has been noted that a particularly common use for the large expanses of glass whose manufacture only became possible towards the middle of the nineteenth century was the display of goods in shop windows. Mr. Dombey would appear to be regarding his son in such a manner, his interests in the boy solely motivated by his plans for him in his firm.

Dickens makes use of the ‘pathetic fallacy’ by depicting inanimate objects as distinctly anthropomorphized. This can be compared with the portrayal of certain characters in a dehumanized form. For example, when Polly glimpses Mr. Dombey watching her with his son through the glass, the narrative is focalized through her, and seen from this perspective her employer is described in relation to “the dark heavy furniture” (p.25) he occupies as opposed to any physical description of him. Such an approach also occurs in Mr. Dombey’s daughter Florence’s conception of him – to her he appears merely a collection of parts: “The child glanced keenly at the blue coat and stiff white cravat, which, with a pair of creaking boots and a very loud ticking watch, embodied her idea of a father” (p.3). By way of contrast, the descriptions of the Dombey house delineate its facade as if it were a human face always “lowering on the street” (p.337), containing cellars which are “frowned upon by barred windows, and leered at by crooked-eyed doors” (p.23). Such details are not limited to the building’s exterior either as each of the covered chandeliers is said to look like a “monstrous tear depending from the ceiling’s eye” (p.24) – it is as if the house itself were visibly weeping on account of Mr. Dombey’s lack of grief at his recently deceased wife. This particular technique serves to enhance the portrayal of Mr. Dombey becoming a commodity himself through the ceaseless reification of his own surroundings.

Some have contended that the kernel of Dombey and Son is Florence’s quest for her father’s love. As a character, Mr. Dombey’s daughter is essentially non-realist, possessing qualities typical of heroines from eighteenth century sentimental writing, such as innocence and kindness. However melodrama isn’t the only convention the narrative invokes when chronicling Florence’s attempts to affiliate herself into her father’s affections, as the Gothic is also evident in these scenes: “the dreary midnight tolled out from the steeples”, as well as the “dropping of the rain”, “moaning of the wind”, “shuddering of the trees” (p.270). However any feelings of ‘terror’ on Florence’s part are quashed by one overriding emotion: love, and it is this that drives her down to “making her nightly pilgrimage to his door” (p.270). The glass that had appeared to separate Mr. Dombey from his son’s nurse is apparent here also, “The rain dripped heavily on the glass panes in the outer room” (p.271). The repetition of the phrase “Let him remember it in that room, years to come” (p.272) much later on when the adult Florence returns to her father when his second wife has left him and his business faces bankruptcy, is effective in linking these two scenes. Florence finally succeeds in gaining her father’s love and saving him from the house which appears to be consuming him: “The great house, dumb as to all that had suffered in it… stood frowning like a dark mute on the street” (p.892).

Descriptive language in Dombey and Son forms a vital function within the story. We are able to see that through the implementation of several techniques, such as ‘symbolism’, ‘metaphor’ and ‘comparison’, and the invoking of other literary conventions – such as Melodrama and the Gothic – into its essentially realist construction, as well as the adoption of literary strategies, such as the ‘pathetic fallacy’, Dickens’s descriptions serve many functions within his narrative, making considerable enhancements to his portrayal of characters and development of plot, ultimately enriching the overall effect of his novel.

How To Get Rid Of Blisters

If you have ever had a blister, whatever the cause, you know just how painful they can be. A blister is a bubble under the skin that is filled with serum; a clear fluid excreted by damaged blood vessels. ‘Blood’ blisters are filled with blood. Blisters are usually itchy and painful. Sometimes you may not even feel them. Here you will find practical information regarding the many causes of blisters, and how to get rid of blisters.

1. The Causes of Blisters:

Blisters are most commonly found on your hand and feet, but can also form on other parts of the body from a wide variety of causes. Some of these blister causes are:

# Friction. When a single area of skin is repeatedly rubbed over extended period of time, a tear forms under the outer layer of skin (epidermis), causing fluid to leak through and become trapped between layers of skin. This is the cause of most hand blisters and foot blisters because they often rub against shoes, sports equipment such as rackets, and tools such as rakes or shovels. Also, the thick skin in these areas, along with a moist and warm environment creates the ideal conditions for blister formation.

# Irritation. Burns of any kind, including sunburn, can cause blisters to form. Irritating chemicals coming in contact with the skin may also create blisters. Extremely cold conditions can result in frostbite, which can cause blisters when the skin is re-warmed. Also, eczema, a skin condition characterized by a persistent rash that may be red, dry, and itchy, can result in blister formation.

* Allergic Reactions. If you come into contact with a poison such as poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac, blisters may form due to what is called allergic contact dermatitis.

* Infections. There are many infections that can cause blisters to appear on your skin;

o Varicella Zoster Virus; the cause of chickenpox in children, or shingles in adults.

o Coxsackievirus (Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease) infections commonly found in children can produce blisters.

o Bullous Impetigo infections caused by either the staphylococci (staph) or streptococcus (strep) bacteria. This condition is most commonly found in children and appears in small clusters. If impetigo is not treated, it will spread and persist.

o Herpes Simplex Virus (both 1 and 2) can cause blisters to appear on the mouth or genital areas.

* Diseases of the Skin. Many skin diseases can cause blister formation. Some of these include dermatitis herpetiformis (a sensitivity in the intestine to gluten in the diet), epidermolysis bullosa (a rare hereditary disease that makes the skin highly susceptible to blisters as a result of minor friction or irritation), and porphyria cutanea tarda (a condition that causes the skin to be extremely sensitive to sunlight, resulting in sunburn and blisters).

* Medication. When taking medications you should be aware of all side effects as many can cause skin blisters to appear. One such antibiotic prescribed to patients with urinary tract infections (NegGram), and another which is prescribed in cases of high blood pressure and to reduce swelling/water retention (Lasix) can cause blister formation. Other medications, such as doxycycline (Vibramycin), an acne medicine, can increase sensitivity to sunlight, thereby increasing the likelihood of getting blistering sunburn. A more severe reaction to medication such as valdecoxib, penicillins, barbiturates, sulfas, and lamotrigine, could cause a severe and life-threatening condition that affects the skin by causing blisters to form that could cover more than 30% of the body. These allergic reactions are called erythema multiforme (known in extreme cases as Stevens-Johnson syndrome) or toxic epidermal necrolysis syndrome (TENS).

2. Blister Treatments:

When caring for and treating blisters, you can choose to either let them heal on their own, or drain them yourself. If the blisters are not obtrusive it’s best to let them heal on their own as puncturing the outer layer of skin will create an open wound and increase the likelihood of infection.

Protecting Skin Blisters:

If the blister is not painful or obtrusive, give it a chance to heal on its own. The serum inside the blister works to pad and protect the injured skin. Cover the blister with a gauze bandage to protect it. The blister will eventually heal by itself, the fluid will be reabsorbed and the skin will return to its normal state. If the blister ‘pops’ or breaks, wash the area with soapy water, and apply a bandage to protect it while it heals.

Draining Blisters:

If your skin blister is large and/or painful, and you choose to drain the fluid – take care to leave the outer skin intact. Follow these steps carefully in order to help your blister heal faster and continue to protect it.

1. Clean the blister with rubbing alcohol or antibacterial soap.

2. Sterilize a straight or safety pin by using pliers to hold it over a flame until the pin glows red and then allowing it to cool.

3. Using the pin, puncture a small hole in the base of the blister.

4. Using GENTLE pressure, drain the blister.

5. Apply an antibiotic ointment to the area like Bacitracin and Polymyxin B – triple antibiotic ointment. Avoid products containing neomycin as this is more likely to cause an allergic reaction.

6. Cover the area with an absorbent, non-stick bandage and change it daily. You may need to change it more often if it becomes wet, dirty, or loose.

In the event that the blister forms a small tear in the outer skin, treat it in the same way as if you had punctured it using the above steps. If the tear is larger, “un-roof” the blister by carefully removing the loose skin with sterilized scissors. Then cleanse the base of the blister with antibacterial soap and water, and apply antibiotic ointment and a bandage as described in steps 5 and 6 above.

Blisters caused by various diseases and illnesses are treated in different ways;

* If eczema is the culprit, a simple corticosteroid cream may be all that is necessary to get rid of blisters.

* Blisters resulting from Herpes Simplex or shingle infections are sometimes treated with antiviral medications.

* An antibiotic cream or pills may be prescribed to eliminate blisters that have come from impetigo.

* In cases of chickenpox or coxsackievirus, the blisters are usually left to go away naturally.

* To lessen the discomfort of the itching, an OTC anti-itch cream, such as Calamine lotion, can be used.

* If you have dermatitis herpetiformis (sensitivity to gluten, found in most grains), you may benefit from a gluten-free diet.

* In the severe case that you have developed erythema multiforme from an allergic reaction to a medicine, you should immediately discontinue the medication and you may be prescribed a corticosteroid cream.

3. Know when to contact your doctor:

If you have blisters accompanied by other signs of illness, such as a fever or malaise (an overall sick feeling), immediately contact your doctor. Also, if the blisters are from an unknown cause or are very painful, you should see your physician. At any sign of infection (increased pain, redness, or swelling; oozing pus or blood; or red streaks in surrounding skin), it is imperative that you consult a physician immediately.

The Importance Of Having A Reach Truck Or Forklift

A lifting truck is very much like a forklift, but there is a small difference. This kind of vehicle is like a small forklift, designed for small aisles. They are usually electric powered and are named reach trucks because the forks extend to reach a load. Having a lifting truck in your warehouse or facility can increase your work efficiency and overall warehouse performance. Apart from this, there are many more other benefits you should consider when purchasing a lifting machine. I recommend you speak to a dealer or manufacturer about the benefits a reach truck can add to your business. One of the many benefits of owning an electric powered lift vehicle is that it costs way less to maintain than other types of forklifts. This is because they do no contain as many moving parts and do not need any type of fuel. They cost less to operate on per hour compared to a diesel or petrol powered forklift.

However, not everyone can afford to buy all the machinery and equipment they would need to run business. Not every business is as successful. Luckily, there are things like truck hiring companies. Truck hiring companies enable smaller businesses that use heavy machinery and equipment like reach trucks. Reach truck hire have become extremely popular and small businesses find this type of service very helpful. Companies that might only use reach trucks every now and then for small, irregular projects also find reach truck hire companies useful.

One distinctive difference between regular forklifts and reach trucks is that reach trucks have the ability to lift pallets in a vertical fashion. This is especially helpful if you have a warehouse that utilizes high storage racks that might be difficult to reach.

Forklifts and lifting trucks are used for a number of different reasons, as we know. They are a critical element to warehouses and distribution centers, so much so that the warehouse efficiency and overall performance of the business would be noticeably decreased if without one. Obviously, like with most vehicles and heavy machinery, a forklift or lift truck driver would need to have a license to be able to operate these machines. Often times, drivers of these machines will have to be guided into the warehouse or factory through guide rails laid out on the floor.

Forklifts, lifting trucks and any other type heavy machinery often come with a nameplate that indicates, amongst others, the weight the machines are able to handle: normally between one and five tons. Larger machines that have up to fifty ton loading capacity are used to load larger objects, like shipping containers. The information located on the nameplate is extremely important and should never be ignored or removed: loads must not exceed these limits, as it can be extremely dangerous. In many jurisdictions, it is illegal to remove or tamper with the nameplate without permission from the machine’s manufacturer.

Forklifts and lift trucks are essential equipment in some industries. If your company is too small to be able to afford these machines, forklift and reach truck hire might be the answer.

What Are the Most Common Ibuprofen Side Effects?

Ibuprofen is a popular over the counter medication. It is an anti-inflammatory medication which is commonly used for pain and swelling caused by arthritis and injuries such as breaks and sprains. Many times a higher dose is prescribed by a physician. Usually, this is on a short term basis.

The most common Ibuprofen side effects are in the digestive system. Many people have nausea, heartburn or indigestion after taking ibuprofen. Consumption of ibuprofen can also lead to instances of gas or cramps. But it can also have either extreme effect of constipation or diarrhea. Usually, if there are any ibuprofen side effects they fall into this category.

If symptoms persist, an ulcer and bleeding internally can occur. Older people tend to be more likely to develop these types of ibuprofen side effects. Taking food with a dose of ibuprofen seems to help alleviate the milder gastrointestinal issues. Eating food with ibuprofen protects the wall of the stomach. Ibuprofen tends to tear down the lining of the stomach.

Other common ibuprofen side effects include ringing in the ears, itching, nervousness or headaches. Some people may experience fluid retention and even loss of appetite. It is possible that ingesting ibuprofen can cause drowsiness, dizziness or a general light headed feeling. A few cases are reported where a person experienced confusion after taking ibuprofen.

A few less common ibuprofen side effects are insomnia, depression or sores in the mouth. Some have reported symptoms such as hair loss and anemia. Other effects of taking ibuprofen include heart palpitations and meningitis. These are not frequently observed, but have been reported in cases by those taking ibuprofen.

Long term use of ibuprofen can have harmful effects on the body. It is hard on both the liver and the kidney. There are also cardiovascular issues that can develop from long term use. These can be very serious ibuprofen side effects.

Ibuprofen cannot be taken by people who are allergic to the drug. There are several symptoms of allergic reactions. Commonly the first one that begins is difficulty in breathing. It may feel like some one is sitting on your chest, or like you cannot take a deep breath. Your body may react to ibuprofen by breaking out with a rash or with an elevator fever. Less noticeable is a sudden drop in your blood pressure. If you think you may be having an allergic reaction to ibuprofen stop taking it immediately and consult a doctor.
If you experience any of the ibuprofen side effects described above it is always best to consult with your doctor or health care professional. Most of the time ibuprofen side effects are not present, but paying careful attention to your body’s warning signs can prevent serious conditions.

Birth of Photography – Beginning of Film & Video Production As a DOP and Cameraman

Cinematographer, lighting cameraman or DOP – Director of Photography, they all are under the umbrella term – CINEMATOGRAPHY.

What does DOP – Director of Photography stand for? What does it mean to be a Cinematographer? The beginning of Film & Video Production was the birth of Photography and the foundation of every Film, TV and Video Cameraman and DOP (Director of Photography).

The Camera Obscura was the first invented camera but an exact age of it can not be set. Its principle is so simple that even Mother Nature creates it every day: A dark cave with a small hole in the outer rock face is all it needs for a Camera Obscura. A caveman could have a picture upside down on his wall, opposite the hole. It would show him a very blurred image of what is happening in front of the cave. Even Aristoteles mentioned the projection through a hole in 4th century B.C. Later on some painters used this principle to create more creative pictures and because the projection was too much out of focus and the exposure to low, they started to implement a lens. To this time there was no substance to capture these pictures, such as film, tapes or hard drives. In 1727, Johann H. Schulze, a German physicist, discovers that silver salts turn dark when exposed to light. But it took another century until the French inventor, Joseph Nicephore Niepce, produced a permanent image by coating a tin plate with asphalt emulsion and exposing the plate to light for about eight hours.

This invention is what we could call the birth of the first picture taken by a camera. In 1878, after many other inventions such as the “dry-plate” process using an emulsion of gelatin, the British photographer Eadweard Muybridge takes the first successful photographs of motion, showing how people and animals move. Let us call him the first DOP – Director of Photography (or cameraman?), which is in today’s film and television industry far more then just a photographer of 10-20 single pictures to get some motion. In Film, TV or Video production a DOP is not just using a camera; instead he has to adjust the lighting for the scene and is in charge of all other cinematographers and visual aspects on the set. In his career usual he starts as a lighting cameraman or cinematographer and later he gets accredited to a DOP – Director of Photography. Some say a cinematographer is the same as a DOP but I cannot agree with that, even most cameramen who call themselves cinematographers are indeed Directors of Photography. But not necessarily you have to be a DOP to call yourself a cinematographer.

The general concept for a cinematographer we think is a cameraman who works only for the film and movie industry – wrong, instead a cinematographer is an experienced lighting cameraman for all kind of professional film, television and video production. A cinematographer can get accredited as such from an association like the ACS- Australian Cinematographers Society or the ASC American Society of Cinematographers and some others. If you are fully accredited of above societies then you can name yourself, for example Stephan C. ACS or ASC. This accreditation can only be achieved by filming for at least 8 years (ACS) for professional broadcast or movie productions on a continually basis. The creativity and style of the cameraman (lighting, camera movement and framing etc.) will be judged by professionals form the appropriate society and only with their approvals a cinematographer can be named ACS or ASC.

A DOP is also involved choosing the type of format to use, the type of camera equipment and the lighting style, to complement and enhance the way the Director and Set Designer wish the production to look. He is in charge of most visual components if it comes to motion picture. He is also involved in post production, especially color grading because initially it is his picture he shot and it cannot be changed without his approval. (kind of COPY RIGHT). A Director of Photography does crew hire, he helps to select the right cameramen when it comes to hiring a team for the production.

The Do’s and Don’ts in Making the Perfect Bechamel Sauce

Cream sauce, Mornay sauce, cheddar cheese sauce, Nantua sauce, mustard sauce – what do they all have in common?

The answer is this – bechamel sauce. Bechamel sauce, also known as white sauce, is one of the five French mother sauces that serves as the base for the secondary sauces mentioned above. If you know how to properly make this sauce, you’re halfway done when it comes to learning how to cook milk or cream-based sauces.

The basic ingredients of bechamel sauce are butter, flour, milk and salt. Additional ingredients may include pepper, freshly ground nutmeg, bay leaf, onion and clove. Butter and flour are usually of equal parts, but some recipes differ when it comes to the butter to flour ratio. The sauce is prepared by first making what the French call the roux, a mixture of butter and flour.

Begin by gently melting butter in a saucepan (preferably non-stick) over medium heat. Don’t let the butter sizzle; as soon as it is melted, take the saucepan off the stove. Next, sift flour into the butter and stir the mixture over gentle heat with a wooden spoon to let the flour cook. It should be done after a few minutes, but take note that not cooking it long enough may make the sauce taste floury. At this stage, your mixture is now the roux, and you are ready to add the milk.

Gradually stir in milk, making sure it is warmed. Don’t add cold milk as it can make your sauce lumpy. Whisk the milk and the roux, keeping an eye on the sauce’s thickness. A bit of onions, cloves and bay leaves may be added to the mixture to add flavor, but they are later removed or strained out of the sauce after cooking. Season with salt, pepper and freshly ground nutmeg to taste.

Don’t use black pepper if you want a purely white sauce because it will result to black specks in the mixture.To keep your sauce white, use white pepper instead. Make sure to stir the sauce all throughout to prevent it from sticking to the pan. Remove the saucepan from heat once the desired thickness is reached, and you’re done!

This sauce is incredibly versatile. Not only can you add in garlic, peppers or different seasonings to create a unique flavor, you can also add in shredded parmesan and cheddar cheese to create a cheese sauce that everyone will love. This can be drizzled over pasta, chicken or vegetables.

Where Did Turkey Chili Originate From?

Chili is a stew composed of mainly meat and sauce of a viscous nature, with some onions, a handful of beans and spices but it is not limited to that, there are more great versions of chili for instance, the turkey chili recipe. There is still speculations about where chili came from or where it was originated (some say it was from the Midwestern areas of the United States) nevertheless it is definitely one of the most enjoyable dishes if you ask me. Chili is one of the best food to experience, especially in cold and frigid temperatures since it is a hearty, fulfilling meal that gives the person plenty of energy, therefore it is not surprising that the countries north from the equator would be the ones that eats chili the most.

Although Chili has become westernized, people of northern European countries eat chili consistently, however, they are not the ones that eat the most chili worldwide. Before we can discover which place eats the most chili, we first have to figure out where and which culture it originated from. Chili did not just derive from one distant culture but three of the most prominent cultures, a hundred years ago in North America; the Americans, the Mexicans, and the Native Americans. These three cultures were combined to, eventually, give us the Chili we know and love today. There is little doubt that Texas was the birthplace of the popular American stew often known as Chili, however, not many individuals realise that the spices and sauces were derived from Mexicans. After all, the area of Texas was once Mexico, so even though the United States eventually took over and claimed the territory, the original Mexican people and their spices and traditions were still in place.

Besides the Mexican influence in the area, there was also Native Americans. They commonly produced a high-energy food, called Pemmican, which they carried in leather pouches when they hunted or traveled extended distance. The white hunters of America saw the leather pouches as being an advantage for transporting a combination of bear grease or buffalo fat, chopped buffalo meat, berries and nuts (this was typical at their time). Eventually, the hunters combined the spices of the Mexicans, the Pemmican of the Native Americans and their own meats to make, what is known as chili today. So for those who did not quite catch the hint, the area that eats the most chili on the planet is Texas, it is where the three cultures first intertwined to make this awesome and hearty dish. The turkey chili recipe; is still one of the best recipes used today. Chili is still one of Texas’ famous and main dishes. Just this past year thousands of pounds of chili was consumed.

How Does a Laundry Company Track Their Linens?

How does a hospital laundry service with multiple clients keep track of all of the incoming and outgoing items to ensure that they get back to the right facilities, and in an efficient manner? The technology has grown increasingly sophisticated in the past couple of decades. Tracking systems are particularly crucial when dealing with unique items like personalized lab coats or uniforms, as a medical laundry service would.

There are two main types of systems: radio-frequency identification (RFID) and bar coding. RFID is the technology used in the microchips inserted into pets so that they can be identified and returned home if they get lost. Since RFID is the more modern, efficient one, we will focus most of our attention on how that works in tracking laundry.

RFID Systems

In an RFID system, a tag or chip is attached to each towel, sheet, garment, or other item. In some cases, they are installed by the manufacturer. In others, items are tagged by the laundry. The tags/chips are available with low frequency (LF), high frequency (HF) or ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio bands. The tags have a strong, yet small, thin plastic casing that does not interfere with an item’s use, but can withstand harsh commercial laundry processes that use very hot water and chemicals for up to hundreds of washings.

How RFID Tracking Works

Antennas linked to readers are placed in locations where items pass by or are stored at key points during their time at the laundry service. This includes entrances, soiled linen bins, clean linen hampers, and uniform racks. Entire bins of linens can be scanned at one time. The reader is linked to a software system that collects and manages the data. The system also allows a laundry to inventory its hotel, restaurant, and hospital linens quickly and accurately, with little manpower needed.

Bar Code Labeling

Bar coding is an older, simpler technology than RFID. It is generally less expensive, but not as efficient for tracking large amounts of inventory. A bar code labeling system, which is essentially what is used in stores to bring up the price and other information on the items we purchase, records information on each item, such as when it was issued, how many times it has been processed, and when it was last turned in.

RFID versus Bar Coding

  • Bar code labeling usually requires the labeled item to be within the sight line of the reader, and therefore necessitates that an employee is there to operate the reader. Most RFID readers remain in a fixed location, and items can be read even if they are not directly in front of it. Employees do not operate the readers.
  • Bar codes can read just one item at a time, while RFID systems can read multiple tags simultaneously.
  • RFID tags can be read at much greater distances (up to over one hundred yards) as opposed to about five yards for a bar code.
  • RFID readers can read much faster – several hundred or more tags per second.
  • A bar code is read-only, while most RFID tags can read and write, which means that new information can be written over existing information. It is something like the difference between readable/writable CDs and readable ones.
  • RFID tags can identify each tagged item individually, while most bar codes can only identify the type of item.

Some large laundry companies, such as those that handle medical linens for multiple hospitals, put both RFID tags and bar code labels on each of their items. The bar code is there as a backup in case the RFID system fails to read an item. However, RFID tags are nearly 100% accurate.

How Tracking Improves Laundry Services

Tracking systems improve efficiency and reduce the time and effort involved in processing, shipping and receiving at a laundry facility. They allow business owners to track every item in their inventory from purchase to rag-out. They provide an accurate inventory, so that laundry companies never have to run short of healthcare linens, tablecloths or any items they handle. The more advanced tracking systems can even generate billing reports when items are shipped to customers.

As Steve Kallenbach, a former member of the American Laundry News Panel of Experts, notes, “If you don’t have good reconciliation processes, any of these systems will only allow you to know what’s missing!” However, tracking systems can go a long way towards helping medical laundry services and other laundry companies operate more efficiently.

Success Through Persistence In Hopeless Situations

Persistence creates the power to do with ease what we once found difficult and even ‘impossible’. It can give us the greatest hope we have of achieving success. Persistence can produce amazing results in many fields of human activity even when the situation seems hopeless.

After a bout of ‘flu in early 2006, I started to exercise again. At first, I struggled to do even 20 sit ups; then I reached 30 and so on. So long as I persisted, the number of sit ups increased and seemed much easier to do.

Ralph Waldo Emerson explains why: “That which we persist in doing becomes easy to do; not that the nature of the thing has changed, but that our power to do has increased.”

Most things are difficult to do at first and remain difficult if we give up too soon. When I tried water skiing in the warm water off the South of France, I nose dived into the water and was dragged along like a plank of submerged wood instead of rising majestically on to the surface of the waves like most other people.

The ‘other people’ included a bunch of naïve teenagers from the school I was teaching at. They seemed to find no problem in staying above water!

But I only tried water skiing once. The cold water off the coast of the UK does not encourage water skiing unless you are very keen. It is not surprising that I am not a water skier after my one and only attempt in the Mediterranean.

The great inventor, Edison, sums up the problem:

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”

If you persist in reading articles and books you will come across inspiring treasures like the words of Edison. It is easy to think that we have read everything of importance that there is to be read. Only persistent reading will reveal new and powerful ideas.

Reading will also remind us of the power of persistence in one biography after another. History is full of persistent failures in apparently hopeless situations who later achieved some kind of success or who even became acknowledged as geniuses.

In 1936, Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss) was on a ship to Europe. The rhythm of the engines inspired a nonsense poem that became the storyline for the book ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street.’

The book was rejected by the first 27 publishers he showed it to. Most people would give up after the first 2 or 3 rejections. Eventually, in 1937, a friend published the book for him, and it had some success.

Geisel died in 1991. By that time his books had sold more than 200 million copies in 15 languages. Since his death another 22 million books of his have sold.

All over the world children love the weird characters of Dr. Seuss. Geisel’s persistence in writing, in spite of early rejection, had paid off.

Like Geisel, J.K Rowling, a divorced mother, was first inspired by her idea for a children’s book when she was traveling.

J.K Rowling had a small daughter to support as well as herself. She was forced to live on benefit or public assistance. However, she kept on writing and would do much of this in the coffee houses of Edinburgh where she could keep warm.

She kept working little by little at the story of Harry Potter for years. She didn’t think many people would like her story and never thought much past getting the story published.

She commented “I just wrote the sort of thing I liked reading when I was younger.”

Several publishers turned down the first finished manuscript before one took interest.

By 2004, Rowling had become a billionaire. Millions of children and adults were queuing up to buy her books. Her steady persistence had turned her writing into her own Aladdin’s lamp. Harry Potter’s magical powers cannot compare with the magical power of his creator’s persistence.

After her success she said: “It was wonderful enough just to be published. The greatest reward is the enthusiasm of the readers.”

One of her greatest achievements was in causing youngsters and their parents to leave the TV alone for a while as they devoured the latest Harry Potter novel. She has helped millions to discover or rediscover the joy of reading.

Persistent reading can also give us the power of an expert. Earl Nightingale said that one hour per day of study could put you at the top of your field within three years. 2 extra years would make you a national authority and 4 extra years would make you a world authority.

Brian Tracy writes (after quoting Nightingale):

“If you read one hour per day in your field, that will translate into about one book per week. One book per week translates into about 50 books per year. 50 books per year will translate into about 500 books over the next ten years.”

This all sounds almost too simple; but the simplest ideas are often the most workable and effective.

Examples of the power of persistence in the face of disappointment and difficulty can be found everywhere.

I am currently enjoying watching the group stage of the 2006 World Cup Football in Germany. I haven’t made the effort to go to Germany. TV is fine with me!

On June 17th, the USA held out with 9 men against the 10 men of Italy and succeeded in achieving a very creditable draw. 3 players had been given the red card (sent off) and two of these were Americans.

It would have been easy to give up but the USA persisted to the end with only 9 players and now have a chance of moving on into the knockout phase of the competition.

On June 18th, South Korea played a French team which included legendary players like Zinadine Zidane and Thierry Henry. France scored a goal early on and looked as if they were in total control of the game. The South Koreans appeared to be in a hopeless situation.

However, the Koreans persisted in trying to score a goal anyway. They failed again and again but maintained their enthusiasm. Winston Churchill once commented:

“Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm.”

Ian Wright, another English commentator, exclaimed:

“They just never gave up; they just kept going, kept going and they got something in the end. They got something. I can’t believe they got something!”

The Koreans in the crowd also kept going. Even when their team looked destined to lose, they kept singing, dancing, waving and cheering their players on.

The martial art, Choikwangdo, which I teach was founded and is run by a Korean Grand Master called Kwang Jo Choi. The motto of Choikwangdo is “Pilsung”. Pilsung means “Certain Victory – If You Keep Trying.”

The South Koreans were a great example of this motto. They kept trying and kept running in the hot summer air in Germany. As one commentator remarked. “At least they are getting bodies in the box (the area near the goal) and having a go.” In the end they achieved their goal through the sheer power of persistence.

Persistence then allows us to do things with ease which we once found difficult. Of course, if we don’t persist, we will never find this out. I still don’t know whether I might have become a water skier who could stay on top of the water instead of a hopeless underwater surfer!

Persistent reading will allow us to discover the treasures of wisdom which we would otherwise be without. It will also provide us with great examples of persistence to follow.

Persistent writing might help a hopeless unknown produce a literary master piece or best seller or a published book. Any one with enough persistence to keep writing to the bitter end can now write and publish their own ebooks.

Persistent study in their own field for just one hour a day over a period of three years can turn an ignoramus into an expert.

Persistence in a world cup competition can turn hopeless failure into victory and bring joy and pride to the hearts of an entire nation. This can last for years.

In England, we still remember with delight the world cup competition of 1966 when we beat Germany in the final and won the cup! Normally, England play Germany and Germany wins!

Daily persistence can add the gold dust of magic to almost any activity we undertake. It can make us powerful and successful. It can even help us make a difference to the human race.

If you are in what seems to be a hopeless situation keep trying and keep going anyway. Who knows what magical changes persistence may bring?

Implementing An Ostrich Farming Business Plan

When starting out with ostrich farming, you will quickly realize that to ensure a stably producing farm, a financial plan is of utmost importance. In order to have products to market, we need reliable production at the right price. If we are able to identify all aspects pertaining to the development of the market, we will gain a better understanding of how we can finance each aspect and manage it in the most profitable manner.

There are business plan strategies that apply to all business models, but there are a number that are unique to livestock farming in general, and some are very specific to ostrich farming. It is good to learn from other enterprises, and to lend good business management techniques from them, but always remembering to change the plan to be very specific to ostrich farming. For instance, the turn-around time on a poultry farm is on average 6 weeks, where the turn-around time on an ostrich farm is up to 14 months, depending on which market you are catering for. Therefore much more care needs to be taken when planning for the cash flow of the venture, as the length of time before any financial returns will be made to ease the cash flow will take months or even years to be realized.

It is therefore imperative that you understand the market you are entering fully, while implementing the experiences of other successful farming ventures in your own business plan.

The first step you need to take is to define the market you intend to cater for. Find out what the requirements for this market are: What age and quality ostrich is needed for this market? What additional certification or quality controls are needed?

Once you fully understand your market, you can plan the steps you will need to take to get you there. Only then can you set up an operational plan and put it into practice.

• To set up your operational plans, it is necessary to research a number of aspects of the business:

• Define your management structure

• Define the volume the venture will start out with

• Define the rate of growth, and possible areas of expansion, with timetables

• Understand the quality requirements you will need to meet

• Develop the infrastructure needed, and co-operation of interdependent operation

• Find a source for your live ostriches and ostrich eggs

• Identify network opportunities, joint ventures and co-operations and partnerships you will need to make production optimal

• Develop a training program for all staff and interdependent operations

• Develop your product line

Various daily, weekly or seasonal activities will need to be defined for the smooth running of operations on your ostrich farming venture. While it is true that a plan can be developed as you learn the process, this is not good management practice. By researching your options, and learning from the experiences of other ostrich farms, you can implement a proven production plan ahead of time. This will leave no room for error due to lack of knowledge.

Activities to research include:


• What feeding program are you going to follow? Decide in advance where you will get your rations, and whether you will be manufacturing your own feed, or buying ready-made feed.

• Research the benefits of different types of feed as well as in what form they are presented.

• How will your ostrich feed be distributed, and how often?


• What will you do about incubation of ostrich eggs?

• How and where will chicks be raised?

• What type of pens will you have for the ostriches

• How will you ensure the bio-security of your farm?

• What will your transportation needs be?

• What are the safety risks involved to laborers, and what measures will be in place to ensure a safe and healthy environment for livestock and workers?


• What products will you be producing and/or manufacturing?

• Which processes need to be outsourced?

• What are your market requirements?

• How will the products be distributed and marketed?

Once you have researched each aspect thoroughly, you will be ready to put this knowledge into successful practice, as you move your ostrich farming venture from a planning phase to the developmental and finally producing phases.

Can You Use a Patio Heater in a Gazebo?

Many wonder about the safety of using a patio heater in a gazebo. A gazebo is a nice place to sit during the evening and does get cold like a patio during the cooler months of the year. It is fine to run a patio heater in a gazebo under certain circumstances.

Make sure that the gazebo is not enclosed. It must be wide open like your patio would be outside of the beams that are holding up the roof. But if you are really that concerned or there is some enclosed space inside, buy an indoor/outdoor heater which are safe to use even in completely enclosed spaces.

The best fuel source for a heater used this way will be electric. Natural gas lines running to the gazebo will be far too expensive. Propane is an option but it will take up more space. You will have to deal with the cords for the electric heater but it’s a much easier fuel source than the others.

One concern about using a heater inside gazebo is limited space. Full sized heaters might be a little too big for your average sized one. One option to consider as an alternative might be to use the electric wall heaters. These could be hung inside the gazebo saving some space and keeping the device out of the middle of the area. One could also get a standing infrared heater and point it towards the gazebo while it sits on the outside of the space.

Whatever option you choose to do, be safe. Always go with the manufacturers directions and recommendation on the box. Don’t ever try to make up your own version of what is or what is not safe.