Trigger Point Therapy

Introduction

Medical massage therapy procedure consists of mobilization of skin, fascia and muscular tissue, trigger point therapy, and post-isometric relaxation techniques. Each of these modalities is equally important in order to reach rapid and sustained results. For decades, massive utilization of medical massage has proven to be a safe and very effective method of treatment for the support and movement system disorders, inner organ disorders, stress management, and more.

In the last few years, there have been numerous arguments in within the professional community about practitioners utilizing manual therapy and trigger point therapy. In recent professional publications many authors have been raising the following questions: Is a trigger point a formation of fibroconnective tissue in muscles? Have histological studies ever been done on trigger points? Is there a theory of peripheral nerve pain at the motor end plate a new theory and the only theory? Are ischemic compression techniques for trigger point therapy safe and effective?

The brief answers on aforementioned questions are:

1. Fibroconnective tissue formation in muscles is myogelosis, an incurable muscular pathology.

2. In many cases myogelosis is the result of inadequate treatment of trigger points.

3. A trigger point is a pinpoint localization of pain that can be found in muscles, connective tissue, and periosteum. The morphology of this point of pain is such that the demand of blood supply is much higher than the actual blood supply.

4. The theory of peripheral nerve pain at the motor end plate is not a new theory.

5. Any theory must be supported by clinical output.

6. Ischemic compression as a method of trigger point therapy has been proven by at least 4 decades of massive utilization as a safe and effective method.

7. Ischemic compression techniques are applied by gradually increasing pressure, thus excluding the possibility of doing harm to the patient and to the therapist.

In the search for true understanding of pathophysiology, the body’s sophistication and complexity requires us to take an integrative approach to any issue. Thus I would like to present to the reader a short scientific review of the trigger point issue and the trigger point therapy concept.

The Nature of Trigger Points

There is no statement in the modern scientific literature that calls a trigger point a “taut band of fibro-connective tissue.” However, it was once used in the late 19th/early 20th century until histological studies conducted by German scientists (Glogowski, and Wallraff, 1951; Miehlke et al., 1950) showed that there is no connective tissue proliferation (myogelosis) in the area of a trigger point in muscles. “In our opinion, fibrositis (in regard to trigger points) has become a hopelessly ambiguous diagnosis… is best avoided” (Travell, Simons, 1983). However, connective tissue will grow between muscle fibers when a core of the myogelosis is formed (Glogowski, and Wallraff, 1951). Myogelosis is a clinical outcome of years of reactivation of the active trigger point in the same area. At the same time, trigger point therapy is useless if the core of the myogelosis is already formed.

In 1843, for the first time, the German physician Dr. F. Froriep described trigger points as painful formation in skeletal muscles. In 1921 another German scientist, Dr. H. Schade, examined them histologically and formed the concept of myogelosis. In 1923 the British physician Dr. J. Mackenzie offered the first pathophysiological explanation of the trigger point formation mechanism and formulated the concept of the reflex zones in the skeletal muscles where the central and peripheral nervous system play a critical role. The reflex zones concept was further developed by the American scientist Prof. I. Korr in 1941 in a series of brilliantly designed experimental studies. Thus, the trigger point concept was developed long before the work of Travell and Simons, who based their publication (see references in “Trigger Point Manual” by Travell and Simons) on the works of the scientists mentioned.

There are numerous published results of histological evaluations of the trigger point areas. Even in the short list of references at the end of this article you can find ample evidence under references 5, 6, 7, 13, and 15.

It is misleading to state that Dr. Travell and Dr. Simons recommended using ischemic compression for trigger point therapy. They advocated injection, stretch and spray techniques, and muscle energy techniques for trigger point therapy. Although, Travell and Simons did mention ischemic compression as an option based on the European medical sources, they never recommended it as a treatment method.

The Role of Vasodilators in Local Ischemia

Awad (1973) examined biopsy tissues from trigger points using an electron microscope and detected a significant increase in the number of platelets, which caused the release of serotonin and mast cells, which in turn released histamine. Both serotonin and histamine are potent vasodilators and their increase is a clear sign that body is trying to fight the local ischemia in the trigger point area. In his now classical work, Fassbender (1975) conducted a histological examination of the circulation in the area of the trigger point and proved once and for all that “… the trigger point represents a region of local ischemia.” The same results were obtained by Popelansky et al., (1986) who used radioisotope evaluation of blood circulation in the area of the trigger point.

The End Plate Theory

The end plate theory is not a new theory. Travell and Simmons constantly emphasize the nervous system as a critical factor in the development of the trigger point and point out the importance of end-plate zones. They even name special types of trigger points called “motor trigger points,” which are located in the middle of the muscle belly at the neuromuscular junction. “The functionally significant structure with regard to the innervation of muscle fibers is the myoneural junction (end-plate zone)…” and “Some trigger points are closely associated with myoneural junctions, others not.” (Travell and Simmons, 1983). The idea of the nervous system and the role of end-plate zones is not a new concept. As early as 1947 Prof. Korr addressed the same issues in his research.

According to histological studies (Heine, 1997; Gogoleva, 2001) chronic pain and low grade tension in the skeletal muscles and fascia are responsible for the low grade inflammation around the terminal parts of the sensory and motor neurons which end in the soft tissues. This chronic inflammation activates the local fibroblasts, which deposit collagen around the nerve endings forming so-called “collagen cuffs.” This additional irritating factor triggers an afferent sensory flow to the central nervous system, which is interpreted by the brain as pain. This mechanism is partially described by the generation of pain in the area of motor trigger points. We have to consider that the terminal parts of the sensory and motor neurons are located in the soft tissues, including skeletal muscles. In other words, it would be logical to assume that something must irritate the terminal parts of sensory and motor neurons. This something is a tension in the skeletal muscles, including trigger points that are not associated with motor trigger points (since they are located in other parts of the skeletal muscle). Keep in mind that any inflammatory condition, whether in motor end plates or in muscular tissue, means that there is a decreased amount of blood supply to this inflamed tissue. From this it follows that gradual ischemic compression can be viewed as an anti-inflammatory effort.

There is no doubt that myofascial pain can be the result of peripheral nerve abnormalities. An example of this would be the irritation of the sciatic nerve by an over-tensed piriformis muscle resulting in the formation of trigger points in muscles innervated by the sciatic nerve. This list can be continued because any peripheral nerve’s entrapment in the key areas will cause formation of trigger points in muscles innervated by this nerve.

If one examines a patient with peripheral arterial disorder (e.g., Buerger’s disease) one will find numerous active and dormant trigger points in the leg and foot muscles. It would most certainly be agreeable that insufficient arterial blood supply as a result vascular abnormality is responsible for the formation of trigger points in the skeletal muscles rather than abnormalities in the motor end-plates. The same is true for trigger points in the skeletal muscles, which are developed as a result of chronic visceral disorders (e.g., patients with cardiac disorders exhibit active trigger points in the trapezius, levator scapulae, and rhomboideus muscles). In such cases the end-plate abnormalities do not have anything to do with formation of trigger points in the skeletal muscles. They are the result of the phenomenon of convergence of pain stimuli within the same segments of the spinal cord, which are responsible for the innervation of both the affected inner organ and the skeletal muscles. In 1955 Dr. Glezer and Dalicho formulated the theory that still stands clinically proven. They proposed and developed maps of reflex zone abnormalities of the skin, fascia and muscles, including trigger point development.

The Energy Crisis Theory

There is another theory, which links formation of trigger points with the shortage of ATP in the affected muscles as a result of insufficient arterial circulation. ATP is the energy source for cellular function, including muscles. Authors of this theory, called the Energy Crisis Theory, pointed out the formation of the trigger points in very healthy athletes who did not have signs of peripheral nerve abnormalities and still developed active trigger points. Gradual increase of the resting muscular tone in normal muscles triggers local vasoconstriction, interstitial edema, and ATP exhaustion with the subsequent formation of active trigger points. Prof. D. Simons reviewed this theory as well, and even used extensively works done by his colleagues, Dr. D.R Hubbard and Dr. G.M. Berkoff, in his own research.

Trigger Point Therapy Protocol

Ultimately trigger point therapy has the following goals:

1. Eliminate protective muscular tension in the muscles that harbor active trigger points.

2. Eliminate condition of the hyperirritability of the peripheral receptors, especially pain receptors.

3. Block the pain-analyzing system of the patient.

4. Produce reflex vasodilation.

5. Eliminate local ischemia.

To effectively achieve these goals the practitioner should conduct trigger point therapy utilizing several equally important components:

1. Detect location of the active trigger point.

2. Detect the pathway of pain radiation and examine tissues along this pathway in case satellite trigger points are formed.

3. Place finger in the trigger point. Slowly apply vertical compression of the tissues until the patient feels the first sign of pain. As soon as he or she reports it stop increasing pressure but maintain it at that same level. After 10 seconds of pressure application, the pain that the patient initially felt will disappear. The patient should immediately report to you as soon as he or she feels the pain cease. During the next 20 seconds the practitioner will be able to get to the “bottom” of the trigger point without unwanted activation of the pain analyzing system and generating protective muscular tension in the affected muscle or muscles in the region.

4. To accomplish the first three goals apply effleurage and kneading techniques on the affected muscles in the inhibitory regime for 5-7 minutes (comfortable gradual increase of pressure, in the same direction of the strokes).

5. Exit the trigger point as fast as possible to produce quick and effective vasodilation and elimination of the local ischemia.

The correct protocol of trigger point therapy does not have pitfalls. This protocol is equally effective for the motor trigger points, as well as for other trigger points. The applied pressure is never strong enough to go over the patient’s threshold of pain, causing the pain and injury of motor nerve endings. Peripheral vasodilation restores local pH to normal, increases oxygenation of the tissues in the area of the trigger point, and gradually eliminates the trigger point.

References

1. Awad, E.A.: Interstitial myofibrositis: hypothesis of the mechanism, Arch. Phys. Med. Rehab, 54(10):449-453, 1973

2. Fassbender H.G. Pathology of the Rheumatic Diseases. Springer-Verlag, New York, 1975

3. Froriep, F. Ein Beitrag zur Pathologie und Therapie des Rheumatismus. Weimar, 1843.

4. Glezer, O., Dalicho, V.A. Segmentmassage. Leipzig, 1955

5. Glogowski, G., Wallraff, J. “Ein beitrag zur Klinik und Histologie der Muskkelharten (Myogelosen)”, Z. Orthop., 80:237-268, 1951

6. Gogoleva, E.F. “New Approaches to Diagnosis and Therapy of Fibromyalgia associated with Spondylosis.” Ther. Arch., 4:40-45, 2001.

7. Heine, H. Lehbruh der biologischen Medicine. Stuttgart, Hippokrates, 1997.

8. Hubbard, D.R., Berkoff, G.M. “Myofascial trigger points show spontaneous needle EMG activity”, Spine, 18:1803-1807, 1993.

9. Korr, I.M. “The Neural Basis of the Osteopathic Lesion.” JAOA, 47(4): 191-198, 1947.

10. Kreymer, A.Y. Vibration Massage in Diseases of the Nervous System.

Tomsk University, Tomsk, 1987.

11. Mackenzie, J. Angina Pectoris. Henry, Frowde & Hodder & Stroughton, London, 1923.

12. Mezlack, R., Wall, P. “Pain Mechanism: A New Theory.” Science, 150 (Nov): 971-979, 1965.

13. Miehlke, K., Schulze, G., Eger, W. ” Klinische und experimentelle Untersuchungen zum Fibrositis-syndrom. Z. Rheumaforsch, 19:310-330, 1960.

14. Popelansky, Y.Y., Zaslavsky, E.S., Veselovsky, V.P. Medicosocial significance, etiology, pathogenesis, and diagnosis of non-articular diseases of soft tissues of the lims and back. Vorpr. Rheumat., 3:38-43, 1986.

15. Schade, H. “Untersuchungen in der Erkaltungstrade: III. Uber den Rheumatismus, in besondere den Muskelrheumatismus (Myogelose).” Munch. Med. Wschr., 68, 95-99, 1921.

16. Travell, J.G., Simons, D.G. Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction. The Trigger Points Manual. Williams & Wilkins, Baltimore, 1983.

17. Wall, P.D., Crowly-Dillon, J.R. “Pain, Itch and Vibration.” A.M.A. Arch. Neurol., 2: 19-29, 1960.

Choosing a Solid Copper Tea Kettle or Copper Plated Tea Kettle

Tea lovers for generations have enjoyed the beauty and quick heating characteristics of copper tea kettles. While kettles manufactured or handcrafted from copper have been produced in the United States for decades, most cookware of this type is now manufactured in England, Portugal, India and China. Because of the high cost of genuine copper, many teapots are now copper plated stainless steel.

Solid Copper Tea Kettles

When selecting a new or used solid copper teapot, it is important that the interior lining of the pot be in good condition to avoid a metallic taste which can occur if copper is exposed inside the kettle. Most teapots manufactured from actual copper are lined on the inside with tin or nickel to avoid the metallic taste of copper. With use, the kettle will tarnish or develop an “antiqued” look. If you prefer to keep the teapot shiny on the outside, the exterior of the pot should be regularly cleaned with a high quality non-abrasive metal polish. For quickly cleaning the most stubborn tarnish, Wenol metal polish does an excellent job and leaves a clean polished surface appearance. Never clean the interior of a solid copper teapot with metal polish, metallic scrubbing pads, metal utensils, bleach, vinegar, or harsh cleaners as this can severely damage the interior lining of the pot. Because copper cookware is a fast conductor of heat, solid copper teapots will normally perform well on medium or lower heat settings saving time and energy. Great care should be used to never allow a solid copper tea kettle to boil dry on the stovetop. While most kettles will be damaged by this occurrence, allowing a solid copper kettle to boil dry can severely damage the interior lining of the kettle. A solid copper tea kettle with a scorched or damaged interior lining should not be used. Allowing a solid copper tea kettle to boil dry can also warp or otherwise damage the kettle.

Copper Plated Teapots

Many of the new generation of copper teapots are manufactured from stainless steel with a copper plating and feature rugged construction for everyday use. To eliminate the need for polishing, some (but not all) of the new generation of copper plated stainless steel tea kettles also feature a high temperature exterior clear coat which seals the exterior copper plating to minimize tarnishing. Because the kettle is manufactured from stainless steel, the kettle interior is easy to clean and is resistant to damage.

101 Tattoo Facts

1: An Ohio restaurant specializing in cheeseburgers offers a lifetime 25% discount for anyone who has a tattoo of a cheeseburger and at an unrelated tattoo studio in a nearby town, they’re offering a 25% discount on cheeseburger tattoos- Sounds suspicious.
2: Tattoos are rarely done in ink, what is commonly called inks, are actually suspended solid color particles, mostly metal salts and plastics, but not vegetable dyes as commonly believed.
3: There are no reported cases of HIV infection from a tattoo in the U.S., but there are three from dentist’s offices.
4: More women than men are getting tattooed today.
5: Tattoos are considered a minor medical procedure.
6. Until 2006 it was illegal to get a tattoo in Oklahoma
7: Lucky Diamond Rich of New Zealand is the most tattooed person in the world, and after running out of space, has started putting lighter tattoos on top of the darker ones, and vice versa.
8: Robbie “the coon” Koch recently broke the world’s record by inking 577 tattoos in 24 hrs. The old record was held by Kat Von D of the television show, “LA Ink.” Update- Hollis Cantrell actually owns the record as of 2009 (801 tattoos) but Robbie the coon sounded better. Hollis’s final tattoo was on his thigh.
9: The first recorded tattoo is believed to have been found on a mummified iceman in 3300 BC. He had 58 tattoos, mostly dots and lines.
10: In 1876 Thomas Edison invented a machine that ultimately became the tattoo machine, but it took modifications by Samuel O’Reilly in 1891 to adapt the device for tattooing.

11: The record for the longest tattoo session is 43 hours and 50 minutes and was completed by the very observant and talented artist Melanie Grieveson, of Australia. The tattooed was Stephen Grady.
12: In 2005 Kimberly Smith was paid $10,000 to have Golden Palace.Com tattooed on her forehead by the casino, to help pay for her daughter’s education. The casino is noted for its outlandish promotions.
13: Thomas Edison had five dots tattooed on his left forearm, similar to the dots on dice.
14: Lip tattoos only last 1 to 5 years and need to be frequently retouched, the most common a cosmetic lip liner.
15: The second most common reason for tattoo removal is mistranslation.
16: In 2010 Channel will unveil its new line of fashionable temporary tattoos. The set of 55 tattoos sells for $75.
17: Most Tattoo machines hold between 1 and 10 needles and some ancient methods using rakes hold up to 27.
18: Anil Gupta is considered NYC’s most expensive tattoo artist at over $350 per hour.
19: In the majority of cases, the outline of a tattoo shouldn’t bleed at all, and the shading for only a few minutes.
20: As of 2006, 1 in 4 women aged 18 to 50 have at least one tattoo.

21: U.S. President James Polk is said to be the first white man to have a Chinese character as a tattoo.
22: A brothel in Cologne, Germany is offering any patron who gets a tattoo of the businesses logo, by their in house artist, free entrance for life ($6.25 US) and discounts on lap dances ($25.00 US. ea)
25: The word “tattoo” has been in the top ten searched terms since Lycos started tracking search engines.
26: Democrats are more likely to have a tattoo then republicans, 18% to 14%.
27: January 23, 2010. A new US Marine Corp directive prohibits anyone with a full sleeve tattoo from becoming an officer. It also prohibits tattoos on the hands, wrists, fingers, and the inside of the mouth.
28: July 17th, 2009. 18 year old Kimberly Vlaminck sues a Romanian tattoo artist over the 56 stars that she awoke to, scattered across her face, 53 more than see asked for. She later admitted that she lied in the lawsuit and had asked for all fifty six.
29: Blues singer Janis Joplin had a wristlet tattoo and a small heart on her left breast.
30: In Oregon, it is a felony to practice tattooing without a license or in an unlicensed shop.

31: Heiress and socialite Paris Hilton had one tattoo to her credit, the name of then boyfriend Nick Carter on her right butt cheek. It has since been removed by laser.
32: The traditional Samoan tattoo, pe’a, covering the body from mid torso to the knees, takes 3 months to complete and up to 1 year to fully heal. A typical session lasts from dawn till dusk, or until the pain becomes too great, and resumes the next day unless the skin needs a few days to heal.
33: In a 2002 survey, 8 of the top 10 voted, “most beautiful people in the world” had tattoos.
34: Tattoos done today don’t turn blue when they age, unless they were originally blue, the inks are much more stable.
35: The first occurrence of the word tattoo in the Oxford English Dictionary came in 1769 and is credited to Captain John Cook.
36: A rooster tattooed on one leg and a pig on the other is said to protect a sailor from drowning. Neither animal can swim.
37: Queen Kamamalu of Hawaii (1808-1824) was the first woman to have her tongue tattooed.
38: Most tattoo artists will not tattoo a pregnant woman.
39: Some tattoo artists claim that if you shield a new tattoo from sunlight for the first two years it will remain brighter and clearer for decades.
40: Over 40 million people in the U.S. have tattoos.

41: 26% of Americans with a tattoo say they make them feel more attractive, with women voting that way almost 2 to 1 over men.
42: Tommy Lee of Motley Crue holds the record for highest altitude tattoo, having been inked in 2008 at 45,000 feet. The tattoo was said to cost $150,000 dollars.
43: 73 year old Isobel Valley, the world’s most tattooed women, has every square inch of her body tattooed, except her face, and also has fifty piercings, 15 of which are visible. The majority of the piercings are below the belt because she wants to jingle when she walks, she says.
44: An increasing number of people are having medical alerts tattooed to aid doctors in case of an emergency.
45: 43 year old former soldier Shawn Clark has the names of all 232 British soldiers killed in Afghanistan tattooed on his back.
46: At one time red ink was known to fade; not so with today’ inks.
47: The title of The “Hardy Boys” #47 is “The Mystery of the Whale Tattoo.”
48: When Cortez landed on the Mexican coast in 1519 he was horrified to find the natives practicing devil worshiping and had somehow permanently marked images of their idols on their skin. He called it the work of the devil.
49: A tattoo of an anchor on a sailor indicates they have sailed across the Atlantic.
50: One third of Americans with tattoos say they make them feel sexier.

51: Tattoo ink is injected into the second layer of the skin, the dermis, and become encapsulate by the body as a defense mechanism, leaving the image stable and intact.
52: Gabrial Carbona, an American teenage hit man for a Mexican cartel, has his eyelids tattooed so they never look closed. His idea is not working as well for him in prison.
53: Jimmy Buffet sings about tattoos in this song of the same name, “It’s a permanent reminder of a temporary feeling.”
54: In the 1920’s, American circuses employed more than 300 people with full body tattoos and paid them up to $200 a week, a lot of money during those times.
55: The percentage of males and females with tattoos is now statistically equal.
56: Tattoo equipment is sterilized in an autoclave, a high pressure steam machine, similar to a pressure cooker and how hospitals do theirs.
57: 57% of people without a tattoo feel that those with them are more rebellious and threatening.
58: 35 0f the first 43 U.S. Presidents reportedly have tattoos.
59: Tattoo inks are not regulated by the by any government agencies so there is no way of knowing exactly what’s in them.

60: Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, had a tattoo of a snake on her wrist. They were popular for rich aristocrats during that period. She chose a snake because it could be easily covered by a bracelet.
61: U.S. President Andrew Jackson had a giant tattoo of a tomahawk that ran down the length of the inside of his thigh. No one knows exactly why.
62: Almost all U.S. corporations have some form of restrictions or policy regarding tattoos on the job.
63: As of Sept. 29th 2009, the 19 year old ban on tattooing was lifted in DeKalb, Illinois.
64: Actress Halle Berry has a tattoo of a sunflower on her rear end covering up the name of her ex, baseball player David Justice.
65: The popularity of tattooing during the latter part of the nineteenth century and first part of the twentieth century owed much to the circus sideshow.
66: People with antisocial personality disorder are more likely to have a higher number of tattoos in more visible locations, and covering a larger percentage of their bodies.
67: Ancient Egyptians used tattoos to differentiate between slaves and peasants.
68: During the late 18th century in Europe, collecting the tattooed heads of Maori people became so popular that many were murdered to meet the demand. The heads were commonly paid for in guns.
69: In the 1870s the Japanese government outlawed tattoos forcing the practice underground where it flourished.
70: 3% of Americans say having a tattoo makes them feel more athletic.

71: The world’s most tattooed women, Isobel Varley got her first tattoo, a flower, at age 49.
72: 4% of consumers spend over $1000 on a tattoo.
73: When you see someone’s tattoo you are viewing it through the first layer of the skin, the epidermis.
74: 50% of all tattoos are not covered up by clothing and are openly visible.
75: Tattoo machines can make upwards of 200 hits per second, that’s up to 12,000 times a minute and 720,000 an hour.
76: In ancient Greece and Rome, tattoos were considered barbaric and were only used to mark slaves and criminals.
77: 52% of those in prison are tattooed.
78: In recent studies, memorial tattoos have been shown to overwhelmingly turn grief into joy and morning into celebration by creating a lasting memory.
79: A 2009 study conducted at Liverpool Hope University found that people with three or more tattoos had significantly lower levels of self esteem.
80: 4% of Americans say that their tattoos make them feel healthier.

81: It is untrue that white or lighter colored inks are more painful to use.
82: A tattoo is art, only, if the person doing the tattoo is an artist and a skilled technician.
83: President James Buchanon had a tattoo of a scantily clad woman on his chest with the initials BFL (bachelor for life).
84: In 2002, 18 year old hair dresser Lee Becks was shocked to find out the tattoo he thought said, “Love, honor, and obey” actually translated to, “at the end of the day, this is an ugly boy.”
85: New York City outlawed tattoos from 1961 to 1997 because of a tattoo related outbreak of hepatitis “C”.
86: In a 2002 study a group of male high school and college students viewed pictures of models with and without tattoos, and graded them in 13 categories. The models with tattoos scored much lower in 9 of the 13 ratings.
87: Some people experience pain or a burning during sensation during an MRI because of the metallic particles in some inks.
88: The US Navy prohibited tattoos of naked women during World War II, so many future sailors had to get their tattoos reworked to include cloths.
89: The first recorded instance of death following tattooing was reported in 1837 in France. The young woman, a prostitute, was covering up another unwanted tattoo and died from the infection that followed.
90: Apr. 30, 2009. To celebrate Barbie’s 50th birthday Mattel comes out with the new “Totally Stlylin’ Barbie, complete with a set of place able tattoos, one a lower back tattoo featuring the name Ken.

91: 35% of all NBA players have tattoos. Michael Jordan has none and teammate Dennis Rodman has at least 22.
92: Lorette Fulkerson was the last woman to work the circus sideshows, retiring in 1995 at the age of 80.
93: Eyeball tattoos are not done with a machine, but rather, the ink is directly injected into the eye with a syringe.
94: Urine was sometimes used in early ink mixtures.
95: 5% of Americans with a tattoo say they make them feel smarter.
96: The first case of a syphilis being transmitted by a tattoo came in 1853. The artists ink was drying up so he spit in it, transferring the disease.
97: Never go back to the person who gave you a bad tattoo to have it fixed, it will not get better.
98: The time to ask questions is before you get a tattoo.
99: Good tattoos aren’t cheap and cheap tattoos aren’t good.
100: Women are more than twice as likely to have a tattoo removed as men.

101: Over 50% of the tattoos created today will be removed by laser at great expense, intense pain and permanent minor scaring. Think before you ink.

The Importance of Safety Signs and Hazard Signs in the Workplace

The proper use of safety signs is a compulsory requirement for all businesses, commercial organisations and public access buildings. Legislation is in place to enforce the proper use of these signs. The enforcement of this legislation is within the remit of The Health and Safety Executive (The HSE).

The content of health and safety signs is split into the following categories.

1. Prohibition.

A predominantly red and white safety sign which denotes that a certain behavior or activity is prohibited. “No smoking” and “No access” are common examples.

2. Hazard.

A warning triangle which is yellow with a black border signifies all potential hazards. Signs can be generic and just state “Danger” or can be more specific, such as “Caution slippery surface” or “Danger High Voltage”. The symbol within the triangle varies according to the hazard. An exclamation mark denotes a general hazard, whereas a lightning strike denotes an electrical hazard.

3. Mandatory.

A blue and white sign denotes that a certain action must be taken. By far the most common use is to signify that certain types of protective equipment must be worn or used. “Hard Hats”, “Safety Footwear”, “Hi-visibility clothing” and “Eye protection” are essential in nearly all areas of industry and construction.

4. Fire Equipment.

A red and white sign is used to denote all fire equipment such as extinguishers, alarm call points, and fire hoses. Extinguisher signs are further coded to denote the type and its proper use. For example, CO2 (black) signifies safe for use on electrical fires but should not be used in a confined space.

5. Safe condition.

A green and white sign that denotes safe conditions. These are predominantly used to inform people of escape routes and escape procedures. The normal style is wording such as “Fire Exit” or “Exit” along with a running man symbol and a directional arrow. Other common uses are for “Assembly point” and “Push Bar to Open”.

All of these signs are usually available in a choice of materials. Self adhesive vinyl, rigid plastic, dibond and aluminium are the most usual materials. Self adhesive vinyl is for internal use, and should only be applied to smooth flat surfaces. Rigid plastic can be used externally but is predominantly for internal use. These can be fixed using appropriate double sided tape or can be pre-drilled for screw fixing. Dibond and aluminium are more suitable for external use and have the appropriate fire ratings for signage in high risk areas, such as chemical or gas cylinder stores. For buildings without emergency lighting, the use of photoluminous signs is essential particularly for Fire Exit and Fire Equipment signage. This too is available in all of the above materials but as only suitable for interior use, most commonly in Self Adhesive Vinyl and Rigid Plastic.

The size of the signage required is determined by the viewing distance of the sign. For example, as a rough guide, signs visible up to 10 metres away should be 300mm x 100mm, up to 20 metres, 600mm x 200mm and up to 40m, 1200mm x 400mm.

There are many British Standards governing the design of signs, but with particular reference to “Fire exit” and “Fire equipment” signs, BS5499 or 92/58/EEC should be used.

Sign buyers should also be aware of their responsibilities under the Disability Discrimination Act (DDA) where it may be appropriate to provide signs in “Tactile” or “Braille” formats.

In short, signs are an essential part of every business and advice should be sought when determining what is needed in terms of content, size and material.

Five Most Important Questions to Ask an Applicant

A certain article posted in yahoo.com caught my attention. It was written by Willa Plank dated last April 30, 2010. Reading the said article made me think back on the time when I was on the applicant’s seat being asked by my employers; it was a job interview and honestly this was indeed nerve wrecking like some investigation on some Criminal History hidden inside your closet. There are times I wish I could laugh out loud yet need to keep it subtle as there are things that, no matter how much at ease the conversation was, need to be kept unsaid.

The article discusses the five questions that employers must ask potential applicants. It was compiled through an interview with Founding Principal of organizational consulting and research firm Dattner Consulting: Ben Dattner. It was said that with the economy picking up (from last recession), companies have started hiring more. However with little fund getting the best employee is a challenge yet again. To catch the best here are the five questions that the article suggests must be asked.

1. In what ways will this role help you stretch professional capabilities?

According to Dattner, this question is a reversal to “what are some of your greatest weaknesses?” Candidates at this point are prompted to describe either the skills he or she want to develop or the goals she wished to achieve. However Dattner also advices the employer to watch out for people who would simply say that the job he or she is applying to may help add up to what they already know.

2. What have been your greatest areas of improvement in your career?

If there is one thing that can ruin an applicant, a “red flag answer” according to the article, is “I’ve always been a natural. I don’t need to make improvements.” This is one of the questions that will surely hit the weaknesses of applicants yet may also boost out their goals, histories and more positive things that may earn them the opportunity to work. Employment Verification may be in need for this type of interview to further check on whether the applicant is telling the truth, is being conservative with his or her answers or is lying….

3. What’s the toughest feedback you’ve ever received and how did you learn from it?

The toughest feedback question usually triggers a candidate willing to learn from mistake. Another plus factor is the recall he or she can make especially on what he or she specifically learned from it. a definite red flag for this question would be when he or she doesn’t seems to forget what it was or has no toughest feedback what so ever. It means he or she has not exposed him or herself in a risky environment nor has gone to go for creative measures.

4. What are people likely to misunderstand about you?

This question tends to discuss an applicant’s social skills. His adaptability to an environment plus the way he or she is able to sense into other people’s moods are something that can be a plus for an applicant.

5. If you were giving your new staff a “user’s manual” to you, to accelerate their “getting to know you” process, what would you include in it?

This question reveals a candidate’s working style. For example, take note for those who can give straight answers like he would prefer to discuss something in person and so on and so forth. To answer that he or she will let other people see what he or she is like is a wrong answer adds the fact that the answer would be “just do your job and everything will be fine”.

There are many mistakes often done during the interview; either the applicant (especially those who are sitting on the chair for the first time) is nervous (like scared that he or she might be linked to someone else’s Criminal History), or really is plain ignorant on how to deal with such situations. Remember that being impressive all may fail us (as being too confident may also give the impression of boastfulness rather than being a team player). Learn to handle interviews and be confident, in the right amount that any Employment Verification or whatever background check for that matter is something that has carried you to someone developed and further open to learning.

Getting Gritty With Sales Plans – Or – A Buffalo Hunter’s Guide to Sales Planning

A tribe of primitive peoples is facing starvation; ‘we need food.’ The chief pulls the hunters together to discuss the situation and they develop a plan. It’s not documented because writing has yet to be invented but the plan is agreed on – it’s articulated.

The plan goes like this… ‘We will focus on the water buffalo because they are slower, yield more per kill, there are more of them, and we know where to look for them.’ Everyone agrees that this is a good assessment of the market place and the decision to hunt buffalo is strategically sound.

The next day the hunters arise as usual and assemble for a days hunting. ‘Today we hunt buffalo’ and off they head. At the end of the day they return empty handed. The next day, the same, and the day after. Strategically the plan was good, but it lacked detail. It didn’t identify where they were going hunting (which water ways they would investigate), who was going to go where and how many water buffalo they needed to kill. It was a marketing plan but not a sales plan.

The chief puts more detail into the plan. ‘There are 48 waterways, here on the map (scratched into the dirt). I will divide you into 4 groups of hunters; each group will travel to 12 waterways in the next week. ‘But chief there is a great distance to cover; it is not possible to cover that many waterways in 7 days’ (unrealistic number of sales visits). It is agreed that they need to focus on the waterways (territories) that are most likely to contain the highest number of buffalo (market intelligence identifying the lowest hanging fruit).

And so it goes on, until every hunter knows where he will be going as soon as he leaves camp next morning, the morning after that, and for the foreseeable future. He knows what catch he is expected to achieve in order to make his contribution toward feeding the tribe (sales targets and budgets).

A few weeks later the chief and the hunters meet. ‘How is the hunt for buffalo going?’ ‘Well Chief, most of the waterways that we chose are achieving their targeted number of buffalo kills’ a cheer rises from the assembled hunters. ‘However, there are a small number that are well below target’ a groan.

Somebody shouts out ‘Our plan is a failure!’ after he is solidly beaten with clubs (a sales meeting) the discussion continues. ‘No! Our plan is good, but it needs fine tuning’, says the Chief (the sales manager). ‘We need to decide; do we abandon these waterways and put these resources into others that we have chosen to ignore, or do we put more hunters in to these same waterways?’

Exercises and Workouts – Quick Tips to Help You to Get More From Your Stationary Exercise Machine

If you are someone who’s been upping your cardio game, one piece of equipment you may find yourself using on a regular basis is a stationary exercise machine. Stationary exercise machines are an excellent way to work your lower body while giving yourself a great cardiovascular boost – plus they are a sure-fire way to torch calories in a hurry. Saying this, though, you do need to know how to use one of these machines optimally to see the best results.

Let’s look at a few quick tips you should be aware of and keep in mind as you go about your workout sessions…

1. Never Lean On The Hand Rails. First, it should be common sense but never lean on the handrails. Most stationary exercise machines do have handlebars you can hold onto to give your upper body a workout while you do the session. Note though you do not have to use these bars. Instead, you can just place your hand on the rail and hold on for balance, but never hold yourself up by them.

There should be no body weight placed on these handlebars as you will then be reducing the intensity of the session.

2. Vary Your Step Depth Based On Your Goals. It is also a good idea to change your step depth based on your goals. Modifying the depth of your step is often done by changing the incline if your machine will allow you to.

Go on a small incline if you want to get more quad activation while if it’s your glutes you want to challenge, a higher incline will be your best bet.

You should immediately feel the difference going from a low incline to a higher incline, so choose whichever is best suited to the area you want to work.

3. Watch Your Foot Placement. Finally, in addition to varying your step depth, also watch your foot placement. Many stationary exercise machines have foot plates that are quite long in nature, so if you place your foot near the very front of the plate, you will create a slightly different effect compared to putting your feet in the back section of the foot pads.

Taking care of your feet placement also means the difference between using the machine very comfortably, and feeling awkward as you go about your workout session. Play around with your foot position and find whatever works best for you.

So, there you have the key points to help you to get the most from your cardio sessions. Be smart in how you do these sessions and you will see great results from the time you invested in your exercise program.

Which Hammock is Better – Cotton Or Polyester?

As you are probably aware by now, there are many choices out there when it comes to purchasing a hammock. In fact, many people don’t realize how many different fibers, styles, etc. there are. When it comes to a rope hammock you have two fibers to choose from – one is polyester and the other is cotton. There are some other blends available, but cotton and polyester are the two most popular, and the most commonly found. It’s hard to make the proper choice because each has its own advantages, and disadvantages. Here are a few considerations that may help.

Where are you going to locate your Hammock, indoors or outdoors?

Cotton hammocks generally should NOT be exposed to direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. It can cause them to fade and lose their color. You can use them outdoors in a shady place though if you’d like. On the other hand, polyester hammocks are resistant to the sun, but over time even the polyester ones may fade a little if they are placed in direct sun light. Polyester is known to be able to stand much more sun, and for much longer periods of time compared to cotton. So if you’re planning on keeping your hammock outside most of the time, polyester would be the way to go when it comes to durability. If you want to use your hammock indoors, cotton is the way to go.

Which is more resistant to rain?

Well, as I said above, if you’re hanging your hammock inside, this question doesn’t really matter. But if you are using it outside, cotton is prone to rot, mold and mildew caused from moisture or rain. There are products that say they can “waterproof” cotton, but I haven’t found that to be true. Polyester is resistant to moisture and rain damage so polyester will win when it comes to resistance to water.

Cost of polyester and cotton rope hammocks?

This really depends on where you purchase your hammock. There are high-end polyester hammocks that are more expensive than low quality cotton hammocks, but there are also high quality cotton hammocks that are more expensive than polyester hammocks! Of course, the choice is yours and this will depend on the brand of the rope hammock you choose.

Overall, the polyester hammock definitely wins when it comes to outdoor use and the cotton hammock is great for indoor use. Polyester is durable and will not rot, mold or mildew, where the cotton ones definitely will. Cotton is less durable, but much more comfortable. There remains one real question: do you want a rope hammock that you will not have to replace for many years (polyester), or a hammock that is comfortable, but that you will have to take special care of (cotton)?

The Role of BPDU Guard in Spanning Tree

BPDUGuard

As a CCNA / CCNP candidate you are expected to understand the purpose and function of Spanning-tree BPDU guard. The CCNA / CCNP’s exam will ask of you to determine the purpose of the BPDUGuard (Bridge Protocol Data Unit) within the spanning-tree protocol.

Before we go into detail as to the purpose of the BPDU Guard feature a quick recap on the spanning-tree protocol is required.

Spanning-tree is a protocol which is designed to prevent physical and/or logical loops in your layer 2 network. Spanning-tree achieves this loop free environment by first of all electing a device to act as the focal point of the network which all other switches measure themselves from. This focal point role is an elected role. The election of the focal point known as the “Root Bridge” is done at the very start of spanning-tree determining the loop free topology, the election of the Root Bridge is carried out by using a combination of the switches MAC address and a value known as the “Default Priority”.

These two values are conveyed into the network via BPDU’s. BPDU’s are used by spanning-tree to maintain a stable state network. In standard 802.1D spanning-tree for instance only the Root Bridge generated a BPDU.

The stability of the Root Bridge is of paramount importance in the operation and continual uninterrupted service of spanning-tree. A change in the position of the Root Bridge will cause service disruption on the network with data and voice session timing out.

It is important to consider what events could cause a change in the position of the Root Bridge, events such as links failing between the existing Root Bridge and the rest of the network would cause a change, or possibly a duplex mismatch between the Root Bridge and downstream switches causing the spanning-tree messages from the Root Bridge from reaching the other parts of the network. These events are easily fixed and resolved none of which would require the use of the BPDU Guard feature.

In our network we want to enforce the Spanning-tree domain borders and keep our active topology and the position of our Root Bridge predictable.

In our network we enable BPDU Guard only on access ports (access ports lead to end user devices) so that any end user devices on these ports that have BPDU Guard enabled are not able to influence the Spanning-tree topology.

BPDU Guard is enabled on an access port:

Swith(config-if)#spanning-tree bpduguard enable

Once BPDU Guard is enabled it will keep an eye open for any BPDU’s entering the access ports. The only devices which can reliably create and transmit BPDU’s are switches.

We want to keep a predictable topology and not allow other switches outside our control onto our network. If a rogue switch is introduced into our topology it will in most cases transmit a BPDU, if the rogue switch has “better” values than the existing Root Bridge it will cause a topology change in the switched network. Any topology change is bad news for the users.

By configuring the “BPDU Guard” feature on the access-ports enables the spanning-tree protocol to shut the port down in the event that is receives a BPDU. As a rule of thumb, BPDU’s are really only expected across trunk links.

If a rogue switch is plugged into a port configured for BPDU Guard, the port will disable as soon as the first BPDU is received, by shutting the port down we prevent the rogue switch from affecting our spanning-tree topology.

To re-enable a port disabled by BDPU Guard you will need to remove the offending device and then bounce the port by issuing the shut/no shut command.

Brain Research Supports Gymnastics As a Smart Choice

One of the current strategies for working with children classified as ADD or Attention Deficit Disorder is to give them more physical activity. The research shows that kids with ADD have smaller frontal lobes of the brain and thus they tend to struggle with focus and lean toward being more impulsive. Many of these children outgrow their behaviors as they continue to grow and their brain develops and matures. We also know that aerobic exercise releases chemicals that help in the development of those frontal lobes. A short bout of exercise can alter the chemical balance of the brain and can change our sour disposition to more genial and help us to be more focused. We’ve known this for years, hence the invention of the study break, the walk to the water cooler or the advent of corporate fitness centers in office buildings. Now the science backs up what we knew. But let me return to the point: repeatedly applying this concept of exercise to enhance focus can lead to permanently enhancing the efficiency of, not only the frontal lobes, but our bodies as a whole. Our frontal lobes do not fully develop until about age 25. That means up until then we tend naturally to be more impulsive, sometimes irrational, sometimes foggy or unfocused and sometimes inattentive. (Insurance companies knew this before the research by their tracking of data about who has auto accidents and when and why accidents occur. There was a sharp decrease after age 25 (as the frontal lobes mature) and thus they became less of a risk).

Science is also showing that academics are directly affected by sports and physical activity even more than we thought. Going back to the ancient Greek’s philosophy of a sound mind in a sound body; we seem to have always assumed that the 2 go hand in hand. But now by research we know that it is true. A study by the California Department of Education in 2001 compared standardized testing scores of physically active kids and inactive kids. The physical children had far out-performed their inactive counterparts by a large margin. This study was duplicated in Australia and Hong Kong and both with identical results. The verdict was in: being in sports and physical activity not only increased the rate and efficiency of brain development but it improved learning and retention over all.

In another study conducted by Ralph Barrett (Nashville) indicated that repetition and development of specific motor skills such as balancing, catching and activities that require a child to use quick eye-hand coordination skills will integrate sections of the brain and enhance reading skills. We know then that applied gymnastics and physical skills not only create a more efficient physical body but will lead to better comprehension in reading and thus improve grades and retention of information. Again, looking into our collective personal experiences, it confirms a North Carolina study that correlates grade point and graduation rates higher in both measures for the athletes in school than for the non-athletes. Further research in psychology, education and neuroscience all point to the similar conclusions: Physical activity does enhance academic performance.

I have spoken on many occasions about the benefits of gymnastics for children and though many sports involve coordination, eye-hand skills, balance, strength and flexibility; no sport offers them to the extent that gymnastics does. Gymnastics forms a foundation for other sports and activities to build upon. I cannot tell you how many of my former gymnasts have gone on to excel in soccer, softball, track, diving, or other sports. And not only that, in the last 30 years I have coached 3 doctors, 2 physical therapists, 2 lawyers, 6 teachers, 2 Physician’s assistants, 2 software engineers, 8 business owners, 2 architects, 3 university professors, a police detective, many accountants, numerous nurses, many lab scientists and 1 engineer whose invention was included on the space shuttle (a zero gravity fire extinguisher). Of course when I had them they were all just gymnasts. And, what’s more, there are more success stories in the making.

Research and personal experience concur that there is a defined connection between physical activity and academic performance. We see it from the improved status of ADD kids getting fit to the performance and graduation rates of school children and all the way to the high achievements of gymnasts. As a coach and parent, I encourage you to get your kids active on a consistent basis. You will improve their mind, their body and their chances for success.

The Signs Your Partner Is Cheating That Go Unnoticed

If you suspect your spouse or partner is cheating they will always leave signs. It is important to know what these signs are, so you can keep your sanity and not lose anymore sleepless nights.

Maybe you sense something has changed in the relationship. This is your own intuition that is like an internal early warning system. It’s a feeling, but you don’t have the proof… yet. If you wait to act you may be giving your cheating partner license to have the affair. Listen to your early warning system. If you do, you may be able to turn things around. Read the signs…

There are many signs that go unnoticed, because you just are not looking. You trust the person you love and base your relationship on that, so why look for trouble…

But still you worry because you sense something is going on. Listed are some signs below that go unnoticed.

The cheater begins working more hours. They will tell you the boss needs them to work additional hours to finish an important project. Why is this classic excuse so popular?

The cheater will come home from work smelling like they just showered. Know how to answer when the first thing out of their mouth is, I stopped at the gym.

The cheater begins adult education classes “For Work”. They give vague details about their new interest in furthering their education. They may sign up for the course and just never attend.

The computer has the evidence. Online cheating is an easy way to hide an affair and I’m not just talking about pornography.

Cell phones and smart phones are the cheaters easiest way to keep their calls and text messages private. If you knew how you can check their phones, you would sleep better at night.

The cheater leaves in the morning in one outfit and comes home dressed wearing another outfit! It could be innocent, but it may be a sign…

The cheater will purchase new sexy undergarments. Did they buy them for your enjoyment or someone else?

A cheater changes their fragrance. Why does the foolish cheater wear it?

The cheater will buy you gifts or jewelry for no apparent reason. Their own guilt is the cause. This makes them feel better about they’re cheating.

Cheaters go on many business trips. They will take every precaution to cover their tracks. They go on that trip for business and will either take the new love interest along or they meet there. They believe no-one will ever know…

If you find yourself facing the possibility of a spouse or partner cheating, you have to be aware of how they try to keep you in the dark. The cheater will always think they are being inconspicuous. Their goal is to keep you from knowing the truth so they can keep up their facade and continue cheating.

Your job is to find the truth and stop allowing this person to hurt you. If you take action you will get your self esteem back.

When you are ready to reveal their affair, don’t be surprised that your knowledge will be a complete shock to them.

Statistics show, after the truth comes out, some couples can forgive and do move on. They go through the experience and the relationship can grow from that. Some couples will choose not to go on because an emotional and sacred trust was broken. And some couples will never talk about it again and hope it goes away.

Whatever you decide, at least you know the truth and your partner is aware that you know too. You are in control now… So take it from here.

What Glowing Lights On Your Xbox 360 Really Mean

Most Xbox 360 owners would have heard of the dreaded “Red Ring Of Death”, a glowing light which appears on the front of the console. According to some sources, one third of all Xbox 360 consoles suffer from general hardware failures which cause the red warning light to displayed. However, what many 360 owners are not aware of is the fact that different types of red flashing lights actually mean different things, some more serious than others. Today I am going to tell you exactly what each specific red light configuration means for you and your Xbox, what the causes of each are and what can be done to fix the problems.

Before we can begin you need to inspect the front of your Xbox 360 console and get accustomed with the light display circle. Look carefully and you’ll notice that its broken up into four sections, all of which glow green when the console is functioning correctly. For the purposes of this article section one is the top right hand corner section of the circle, section two is the bottom right hand corner, section three is the bottom left hand corner and section four is the top left hand corner.

If section two of the light circle is the only one glowing red then the console has simply overheated. As many gamers are aware the Xbox 360 is notorious for overheating due to a somewhat inefficient heat removal system. Using the 360 for extended periods of time can cause the console to overheat and the only solution is to power the console down for an hour or so until it has cooled down. To help prevent overheating from occurring in the first place it is advisable to move the console to an area where it receives plenty of air flow and is raised off the ground.

If all four sections of the light circle are glowing red then the problem is even easier to fix. All that has occurred is that the AV cable has become disconnected from the back of the console. Completely remove the Xbox 360 AV cable and plug it back in until a clicking noise is heard. Restart the console and all should be working as normal. However, if the console still displays the four red lights then you should ring the Xbox 360 technical helpline (1-800-4MY-XBOX for American gamers, 425-635-7180 for international gamers) between 6am to 10pm Pacific time.

The real problems start when either section three, or all sections but number one of the light ring are glowing red. This means that your Xbox 360 console has experienced a genera hardware failure and is basically unusable. One of the most common causes of general hardware failure in the Xbox 360 is the malfunction of the Nyoko intercooler. Another common cause is the fracturing of the lead-free solder used during the construction of the console.

No amount of rebooting or cursing will fix the problem, and there are only three options to get yourself gaming again. The first is to purchase a new 360 console. However, this will be an expensive option and there is no guarantee that the new console you purchase will suffer the same problem as the old one. If you do choose to buy a new Xbox 360 then it would be wise to get an additional warranty to cover you in case you once again suffer the “Red Ring Of Death”.

Another option would be to send your faulty Xbox 360 back to Microsoft for repair. To do this you need to call the technical helpline (1-800-4MY-XBOX for American gamers, 425-635-7180 for international gamers) and explain exactly what the problem with your console is. A box will then be shipped to the address that you gave to the technical specialist that contains the instructions for shipping. Pack the console only (remove the hard-drive and all cables, controllers and discs from the drive) into the box unless otherwise stated in the instructions. Ship the box to the address provided and get yourself ready for the wait. It will take a few weeks to receive the refurbished console, and far longer if you live overseas. Some gamers have been unfortunate enough to have shipped their console for repair, only to have the replacement break down on them as well. Still, if you’re the patient kind of person then it’s worth giving it a shot!

However, if you’re the sort of person who wants to get back to gaming as soon and for as little money as possible then the best option would be to attempt a home repair job. Now you’re probably thinking that it can’t be possible to fix an Xbox 360 from home. I’m not gonna lie, it’s not as easy as it should be, but there are a number of excellent guides to DIY 360 repair that can be purchased online for a reasonable price. Of course there is some risk involved – opening your console will automatically void the warranty so the cautious Xbox 360 gamer would be wise to send their console back to Microsoft. For those who wish to get back to gaming quickly and cheaply home repair is a truly viable option and in most cases requires no special technical skills.

Kitchen Safety – How to Avoid Being Electrocuted in the Kitchen

The kitchen is the room in the house where you are most likely to be electrocuted. This article looks at the ways you can improve safety in the kitchen by reducing the chances of being electrocuted. We will look at wiring, sockets, using appliances safely and what to do if you drop a live appliance into the kitchen sink. By following this advice you should be able to significantly reduce the chances of being electrocuted in the kitchen.

If you have flickering oven lights, a food mixer that slows down when you switch something else on or overloaded sockets bristling with extension plugs then your electrical wiring needs looking at. You should get an electrician to come around and check the wiring and if necessary install extra sockets. If possible, any extra sockets fitted should be fitted with a circuit breaker.

One reason why the kitchen is such a high risk area of electrocution in the home is that it is an area which contains both electricity and water. Using appliances such as hand held electric mixers and blenders should be done as far away from the kitchen sink as possible. If an electrical appliance should fall into the sink it could electrocute somebody, even if it is switched off at the time. This could produce fatal results. But what do you do if it does happen?

If an electrical appliance is dropped into water the first thing you should do is make sure your hands are dry and switch the device off at the mains. Unplug the appliance from the socket before attempting to lift it out of the water. On no account think that because it is switched off or switched off at the socket that it is safe. Always switch off and unplug it from the wall before touching it.

To conclude, I hope you have found this article to be useful and that it has increased your awareness of the dangers of electrocution in the kitchen and the ways in which you can help to reduce them.

Advantages Of Horizontal Fly Men’s Underwear

You must have heard about the functional fly option on the various styles of men’s underwear available. What you generally have heard about the vertical fly mostly found on styles such as men’s brief underwear and men’s boxer briefs, but have you ever known about the horizontal fly?

With the emergence of so many techniques and technologies in the basic apparel sector; the horizontal fly is a part of the same. Traditionally, the fly on men’s underwear has been vertical. As of 2010, however, the horizontal fly is becoming popular because of its advantages.

Let us look at the advantages and compare which one is better than the other.

• Privacy: Ideally, the conventional vertical fly option was bound to be of an overlapping pattern. In simpler words, when you overlap two panels of cloth which is folded over each other to form an opening that is manually opened without any embarrassments. Technically, it was supposed to be like this and be very functional but, it did not go that well. Practically, it would leave open sometimes and would lead to an embarrassing situation. In the case of horizontal ones, the two panels are placed horizontally and the gravity does a much better job of holding the top flap in place over the under flap. The result is less gapping and increased security.

• Support: According to a research, the conventional fly is designed with a double criss-cross design that has a tendency to smoothen and flatten the manhood or in least cases protrudes and shapes the manhood, and does not even support. A horizontal fly, by contrast, usually is paired with what is known as a “contour pouch.” This pouch and the way it functions with the vertical fly support a man better than a vertical fly does, giving him more definition. The subtle support that comes with the dual purpose combo also helps a man feel more “in place.” This can make some men feel much more confident.

• Appeal: The vertical fly goes along with the male anatomy and makes it look a little rough whereas; the horizontal option is in contrast to the genitalia line and provides a different and natural look. It also supports the manhood from beneath. The increase in clothing choices, in conjunction with the natural definition provided by the apparel, ultimately can make the man look more attractive.

• Comfort: Like in the last aspect it was mentioned that the traditional option runs along the manhood whereas; the modern one does not, the former tends to stick a lot to the anatomy and rub against it. It leads to rashes and if it persists; it might lead to the sensitive skin injuries. On the other hand, the latter sits comfortably and does not rub against the skin.

These are some of the advantages of the modern fly option which is easily available at men’s underwear online stores and are offered by numerous brands that understand the male anatomy and its needs and want.

How to Grill the Perfect Beer Bratwurst

Grilled Beer Bratwurst

Everyone has their own secret perfect bratwurst recipe. Not being from Wisconsin, I can’t tell you if this recipe is perfect or not. What I can tell you is this recipe has produced for me some very delicious bratwurst. I have heard people say the Secret to great bratwurst is to simmer them in beer first (Really? Gee no kidding?), or cook them slow or make sure the fire is the right temp.

In my experience, the secret is simply patience. How long to grill bratwurst depends on how you grill them. You can throw them straight on the grill which will take about 25-30 minutes or boil the brats in beer, wine or water for about 20 minutes. After boiling, then they are grilled for 4-6 minutes. Boiling them first (also called par-poaching) in beer first improves the flavor so dramatically its almost a sin just to throw them straight on the grill. Regardless, brats take a little while to cook thoroughly. If you rush, you could easily end up with a bratwurst that is burnt on the outside and not so done on the inside.

If not handled properly, the long cooking time often burst the brat’s thin skin letting all the glorious juices out, causing a dried up brat.

Bratwurst Tradition

Due to the large German population, Wisconsin is known for their beer and bratwurst. Germans brought their bratwurst sausage recipes as they settled throughout the area in the 1800’s. Bratwurst is traditionally made from pork, although there are bratwurst that are all beef or other meats. In selecting which brand of brat to cook is a personal choice. Johnsonville is a popular national brand and is as good as any, unless you live around Wisconsin, where you can find many delicious alternatives.

Although gas grills are fine to use, bratwurst tastes the best when grilled over charcoal or wood. I have seen some fry bratwurst in a pan, but this reduces the taste to nothing more than a large breakfast sausage. Here’s how to grill perfect bratwurst

What To Grill

6 Brats

6 Good quality rolls (Semmel Rolls if you can find them)

1 whole onion

1 large Green pepper

12 ounces of beer

1 cup of water

2 tablespoons of butter

1 tablespoon salt

How To Grill It

If you have a gas grill, the sideburner is perfect for this.

Cut the onion in half and slice. Slice the green pepper into 1/4 inch wide strips. In a 2 quart saucepan, sauté the sliced onion and green pepper in 2 tablespoons of butter for three to four minutes.

Remove 1/2 of the sauteed onions and green peppers and place in a bowl covered with foil to keep warm. (You can use these on the brats later) Leave the remaining onion and peppers in the pan.

Next add 1 bottle or can of beer and 1 cup of water and bring to a low simmer. Never boil bratwurst –it will break open the skins. A low simmer is when there is steam rising off of the water and no bubbles are coming to the surface.

You can use any beer, but full flavored Mexican beers like Corona or Tecate work great.Light beer is not recommended.

Simmer the brats on low heat for 20 minutes and remove. (Discard the liquid and peppers). Take your simmered brats straight to the grill. Be careful not to break the skin. Grill on a low setting. the key here is low and slow. Brats can be cooked either directly over the fire or indirectly, where the fire is on one side of the grill and the food is grilled over the unlit portion. This allows the bratwurst to cook with little risk of burning from flare ups.

Grill the brats for 4-6 minutes total, turning often until brown. They are now ready to serve.

Use only tongs to turn. Using a fork or anything else that can poke holes in your brats will let all the good juices out and result in a dried out brat. Flare-ups from the dripping fat will cause the outside to burn as well.

Condiments:

Serve on good quality fresh baked rolls (not hot dog buns) and top with the onion and pepper mix that you sauteed, or with brown or deli-style mustard — or all of the above. If you like Sauerkraut on your brats, Use the fresh Sauerkraut from the refrigerated section of the supermarket. I like to use the Bavarian style with caraway seeds. Heat it in a pan with some course cracked black pepper.

Bratwurst and Beer with sauerkraut is one of my favorite grilled foods. It is fun to cook and so delicious.