What is Strass Jewelry?

In a distant country of France, where poets were singing sonnets to beautiful women, a Jeweler George Frederick Strass created an idea of covering a faceted glass with a special metal powder. There was nothing special about covering glass with metal, but.. this special covering was creating an unusual, rainbow-like effect on glass, which made it look just like diamonds!

Can you imagine wearing glass that looks like a diamond. That has the same rainbow effect, but it costs 10 times less? It blows my mind actually. Diamonds at half price -okay, I can imagine this, but ten times cheaper? Unbeliveable!

Are there any valid reasons to wear glass instead of geniuine diamond? Of course – first of all it may be unacceptable to wear real diamonds in daylight. You might be worried about your security. The wheater may be against you – for example – you can be on beach, where real diamonds aren’t acceptabel. Yet the rhinestone jewelry is not expensive at all and you can wear a lot of it. Some of it can even be attached directly to your body.

Rhinestones, put simply, are glasses with faceted top and a very thin foil at the very bottom – that way the light reflects and refracts in glass like it couldn’t – because glass is less refreactive tha diamonds – light passes it through, when in real diamonds a full inner reflection is happening.

Chaton Roses are flat-bottom rhinestones (it is pronounce “shayton”). They have Aurora Boreale effect (“Northern Lights”, which can be seen in Northern Poles when millions of ion particles enter unprotected with magnetic field atmosphere). It’s just a matter of simple physics dispersion (hmm, didn’t we all learn this at school), and the laws of the light were discovered in 10th centuries (actually rediscovered in 17th century) and it took centuries to apply it to glass to make it seem like a diamond (talking about rhinestone jewellery of course).

So what are they uses for those little sprkling things? Chaton Roses have a lot of uses, like body jewelry (some of it can even be used to swim – a special kind of glue makes it water-resistible for a week or so, and it looks really amazing – actually I was pretty stunned when I first saw this kind of body jewelry); it is also used in dance costumes, as bridal jewelry.

These stones are real jewelry-makers dream. But you’d better be persistent enough – you might need tens of thousands of stones to decorate a costume, yet you might need only tens to make a little love-heart shaped thing near your belly button. It’s really fun and think of the looks of it.

The most known brand to produce such crystals is (of course) Swarovski crystals. You should easily find those in Internet.

Angel Cabada, KR3W and Supra Founder – A History of Supra Sneakers

Recently it would appear that Supra had just magically exploded onto the sneaker scene and almost single-handedly taken the shoe industry by storm creating a footwear revolution in the process.

For long time skater, Streetwear manufacturer and sneaker buff Angel Cabada, the founder of Supra, the journey has been a long and eventful one with plenty of twists and turns rather than a quick, direct blast to the top of the sneaker game.

Angel started his first company, known as TSA, with some fellow skaters who were mainly into making clothes that they could wear when skating. That was 1991 and it lasted for around ten years until Angel decided to leave so he could do his own thing. The company he founded in 2002 was KR3W, his current apparel brand that he manages along with Supra under the distribution umbrella for the two projects known quite simply and aptly as One Distribution; initially built to cut out the middleman in the European distribution process.

So what did Angel take with him from his TSA experience, well just that…’Experience’. He has described his first project as his ‘Education’ in the business and I’ve heard other entrepreneurs/founders in street and sneaker culture say similar things; such as the lead designer and co-founder of Creative Recreation, the other hot brand in the up market sneaker niche, who commented in a recent video interview that his training ground in the sneaker industry was as a snowboard boot design technician and later sneaker designer for Vans.

After all of his years of learning on the job at Team Santa Ana (TSA) he openly admits he made a million mistakes as a young, creative businessperson attempting to build his first brand. And in fact one thing he insisted he would do when KR3W opened its doors was take all of that experience and apply it effectively so he wouldn’t make the same mistakes all over again.

Since 2002 Angel has been gradually building KR3W based on a solid formula of making simple, effective clothing for skaters, made by skaters; similar to the Team Santa Ana philosophy yet with a more effective company infrastructure and an efficient, productive team of specialists running their particular areas of expertise. KR3W has gradually built a loyal following within the skate community due in part to its durable, stylish designs while the other part of its recipe for success is the development of a team of respected, charismatic, fashion forward and culture and marketing savvy professional skateboarders who are admired by this generation of young skater consumers. The up and coming crop of new boarders admire the pro riders they look up to and learn their skills from yet they themselves are actually the ones who wear the hoodies, jeans and skate shoes every day to really get a feel for their authenticity and how they stand up to daily wear and tear.

Most of this team of professional riders/endorsers are friends of Angel that he’s grown up with in the Orange County skate scene so the people he’s giving product away to are just friends (from the worlds of music and skating) who represent the brand well and enjoy the gear for its comfort, style and functionality as in look, feel and performance. The young people who buy the clothing recognize when the apparel and sneakers are designed by people who know their way around a skatepark and skateboard and can smell a phoney a mile away and in this sense the genuine skate roots of Angel, his associates and their endorsers ring true with consumers; Cabada claims to have a personal bond with every member of his skater endorsement crew and judges each one on the merits of both their character and personality as well as their ability on the board.

So where did Angel get the inspiration for creating the Supra shoe company? I guess you could say that Cabada wanted to go ‘above and beyond’ (the loose translation of ‘Supra’ from Latin) what already existed in the sneaker marketplace at that time when he came up with both the name and concept behind his new shoe line. His motivation was to create some kicks that would be a nice complement to the KR3W clothing line and he wanted to take the sneaker game up a level since in his words most of shoes were a bit ‘chunky’ for his tastes.

Angel has been in the business for 17 years and riding a board for even longer than that so as the skaters grow up why shouldn’t their brand follow suit. This is the vision behind Supra, a brand grounded in skating that also maintains a higher overall sense of fashion awareness and sophistication. You can skate in the Skytop yet also wear it out on the town without hesitation regardless of the occasion. As for what some might say are radical design concepts for their refreshingly innovative models, especially in high cuts, Cabada credits his inspiration to his continuous daydreaming, “I’m a thinker. I think a lot, I daydream a lot, think of ideas, constantly talking to my designers”; like the old acronym goes… All Day I Dream About Supra.

What was the first reaction to the concept for his new line of kicks that combined skate culture with more refined, up market, stylistic sensibilities? At first upon hearing he had dropped $100,000US into research and development of the shoes even his partners thought he was a little crazy and as for the general public a lot of people thought he was completely insane when they took a look at the Skytop prototypes and some even laughed; now Angel claims he’s the one laughing, all the way to the bank.

As for the more fashion forward designs of the NS (Non Skate) line, the creators of the brand had to think outside of the sneaker box in their marketing approach like they had been innovative in designing the product. It was necessary to branch out to the more fashion driven tradeshows at that time and to veer away from traditional athletic/sports-based promotional events because Skytops hadn’t even been embraced by the skate community yet.

Initially Cabada wanted to ensure that although the designs were fresh and innovative that the color schemes were not too over the top to drive away his loyal, hardcore following from KR3W, so he insisted that the Skytops were introduced in classic, simple white and black colorways. In time, however, Supra got edgier with its initial success ensuring cash flow and confidence, and took some chances on bolder, brighter colorways (although still mostly in one or two uniform simple yet classic combinations). Taking some chances paid off in spades especially with the release of the Gold Chad Muska limited edition signature series which originally scared people with its choice of experimental materials and sneaker color scheme. However when it hit shelves it wasn’t long before the buying public snapped them up along with subsequent releases of the Skytop, Vaider and Suprano Hi; thanks in part to the innovative colors, materials and designs and also due to the respect in street culture community for the renowned skater endorsers who represented the brand.

Supra footwear has come a long way in a short time from the designs that people initially laughed at to the models that everyone is copying (and copping) these days; hoping to cash in on proven success rather than focus on innovation like Angel, his lead designer Josh and their creative design team have chosen to do. On the eve of the release of the Terry Kennedy signature shoe as well as the development of the Skytop II and other exciting new design concepts in the works, Cabada is more flattered than angry that competitors both small and large are choosing to copy Supra’s signature lines. The Supra Footwear Founder expects the consumer to have the Skate and Shoe IQ and good sense to know the difference between the imitator and the innovator.

How to Remove a Stubborn Bush

Have you ever had that bush that just seemed to stay in the ground no matter what you tried to remove it? Well hopefully in this article I can provide you with some ideas on how to finally get rid of that stubborn bush. The first thing you need to do is collect any tools that you might have that could aid in the removal process. I would recommend a shovel, hatchet or small axe, a large axe or pick axe if the bush is very large, and some hedge clippers. If you do not have an axe you could use the edge of your shovel to cut away at some of the bush. So here are the steps to removing that bush.

Step One – Cut back the bush. If you have a large bush you will want to trim back the bush so that you can get at the root a lot better. You could use hedge clippers or an axe to cut away the parts that are in the way. Trim the bush down until you get to the root of the bush and you have better access to dig it up. Make sure to always wear protective gear whenever you are working in the yard. I would suggest wearing safety glasses and gloves. That way if the a piece of the bush flies into your face you will be more protected.

Step Two – Try to dig under the bush. The key to removing a bush and ensuring that it does not grow back is to get deep under the bush and pulling it out with all the roots. To accomplish this task you will have to dig deep into the ground. If you have a hard ground I would suggest maybe soaking the area with your hose for 15 minutes to ensure that you can dig deeper. If your ground is extremely hard you may have to use a pick axe to dig deep. A pick axe will ensure that you get deep into the ground and break up the dirt so you are able to remove the bush more easily with a shovel.

Step Three – Pull out the bush. The easiest way to remove the stubborn bush is to get your shovel deep underneath it and pry the bush up. You will be to work the shovel around and eventually push the bush up. Do not try the prying method if you have a wooden handle. The pressure on the shovel will most likely snap the handle. However, if you have a fiberglass handle it will bend much more effectively and will not break. If the bush still refuses to come out you will want to take the pick axe to it. When swinging the pick axe try to get the axe to go deep under the root. You can then use the axe to pry the bush up. Once the bush is a little more loose go back to prying it with your shovel.

Step Four – Clean up. Once your bush is removed you may need to clean up any other parts of the root that are still in the ground. This can be done with a simple small axe. You can cut away at the bush root and pull it out as necessary. Make sure to try and clean out all the root you can.

With these steps it is my hope you are able to remove that pesky bush and begin creating the garden of your dreams. If you have any questions or ideas please leave them in the comments section and we will be sure to address them or add them to this article.

Use of Eductors in Oil Return Systems

From time to time it is reported that on screw chillers using eductors for oil return, when operating at low load conditions, it appears that the eductor does not operate efficiently enough to return a sufficient amount of oil to the oil separator or sump to maintain its oil level, which then causes the chiller to shut down on low oil, a consequence of oil retained in the refrigerant charge in the evaporator.

For such a chiller which uses an eductor for oil return, the cause of the failure may not be low load, but rather low lift. In a comfort cooling environment, chiller load is responsive to outdoor temperature. That is, when it is hot outside, heat flows rapidly into the building and chiller load is high. Simultaneously, the chiller must reject its heat to a high ambient temperature. Hence the chiller operating at a high load condition is also operating at a high lift condition. Lift is defined as the difference between the suction and discharge saturation temperatures (or pressures).

When the outdoor temperature is cool, little heat needs to be removed from the conditioned space and so chiller load is low. The low load is accompanied by a low lift condition since the ambient temperature is down from its high value. The low lift is the cause of the loss of effectiveness of the eductor. The eductor is driven by the pressure difference between the condenser and the evaporator. When this pressure difference falls, the flow inducing capacity of the eductor is reduced. The flow inducing capacity of the eductor is approximately proportional to the square of the pressure difference. Hence, a pressure difference reduction to 50% of design will lead to an induced flow reduction to 25% of design.

Not all chillers serve the comfort cooling market. There are chillers applied to chemical processes, for example, that may have varying load but constant lift; i.e. constant suction and discharge temperatures. These chillers would not likely have oil loss problems related to load if served by an adequately sized eductor based oil return system.

Possible remedies for poor eductor performance in low lift applications include reducing the oil discharge rate of the compressor/separator and modifying the control system to increase the minimum lift of the system.

Liquid in the Compressor Suction

Ideally, any liquid entering the compressor suction will be rich enough in oil and lean enough in refrigerant that lubrication will be satisfactory. Yet, if any liquid ingested into a compressor has too low a concentration of oil, lubrication may be compromised and wear leading to compressor failure can ensue. All compressors are vulnerable to lack-of-lubrication failure, either from lack of oil or from too much refrigerant in the oil..

A second type of failure is the result of injecting too much liquid refrigerant/oil into a compressor that can damage or destroy the compressor by “liquid slugging”. Screw and scroll compressors are rather more tolerant of liquid in the suction stream than are reciprocating compressors. This is due to the differing nature of the compression processes.

In a reciprocating compressor designed for a three to one compression ratio, the gas may reach the discharge pressure when the piston is only at half stroke. At this point the discharge valve opens and gas is discharged as the piston continues to rise even though gas pressure in the cylinder no longer rises. The final clearance volume may be only one tenth of the total swept volume. This clearance volume is not discharged, but is re-expanded on the suction stroke. One might say at this point that the true compression ratio is ten to one considering a closed discharge valve (swept volume divided by swept volume plus clearance volume). If a volume of liquid of 110% of clearance volume is in the cylinder when compression begins, the piston will be compressing only liquid at the end of its stroke and the liquid may not be able to exit the discharge valve fast enough to avoid developing a very high pressure in the cylinder. This high pressure can cause failure of the connecting rod or failure of the head bolts. For a reciprocating compressor to be efficient, a small clearance volume is required. Yet, it is the small clearance volume that makes reciprocating compressors susceptible to liquid slugging damage. Allowable levels of liquid in the suction are determined by the ratio of clearance volume to swept volume.

In contrast, screw and scroll compressors designed for a three to one compression ratio capture a volume of suction gas (and some oil and maybe some liquid refrigerant) and reduce its volume to one third its original value. But the compression process is completed before the discharge port opens. Any liquid in the suction stream will cause the compression ratio to rise above the design value of three, but the rise is slower than in the reciprocating compressor. For example, assume that the suction stream for a screw compressor consists of 1 part liquid and 8 parts gas by volume. The compressor will reduce these 9 parts to 3 parts. At the completion of compression, one part will still be liquid and two parts will be gas. The pressure in the compressor when the discharge port opens will be four times suction pressure (8 parts gas going in divided by 2 parts gas going out). The one part of liquid remains one part because the liquid is essentially incompressible. Thus, the effect of liquid in the suction stream is to increase true compression ratio. But a four to one true compression ratio in a compressor designed for three to one is probably safe to operate. Allowable levels of liquid in the suction stream are determined by the design pressure ratio and the maximum pressure that can be tolerated in the compression chamber.

A Perfect Day For Dissecting J.D. Salinger’s Bananafish

J.D. Salinger’s 1951 classic short story, “A Perfect Day for Bananafish,” introduces Salinger’s favorite character, Seymour Glass – only to kill him some several pages later. The story starts in a posh seaside hotel room, where we overhear Glass’s wife on the phone with her mother discussing Seymour’s mental health. From there, we head to the beach, where Seymour is hanging out with a four-ish-year old girl named Sybil and telling her stories about the elusive “bananafish.” The story ends with Seymour returning to his hotel room and shooting himself in the head.

Seymour Glass, or, as Sybil calls him, “see more glass,” is a hotly contested short story character in American literature – which gives his oh-so transparent name all the more irony. People can’t seem to agree on what the guy is like, why he’s always hanging out with little kids, or, most importantly, why he decides to kill himself. There are three leading theories on the matter.

Theory One: Seymour is a bananafish. No, really. In the description he gives to Sybil, bananafish are fish that swim into holes and gorge on so many bananas that they get stuck and die. According to some, this is Seymour’s unorthodox but fitting metaphor for the materialistic consumer mentality of post-WWII American society – not that we’d know anything about that nowadays. This of course begs the question, what does Seymour’s suicide mean? Is going back to his fancy-shmancy hotel room and killing himself the human equivalent of diving into a banana hole and eating to death? That might explain why Sybil thinks she sees a bananafish – she could be talking about Seymour. OR, perhaps Seymour’s suicide is a way of overcoming the material world: by leaving it altogether.

Theory Two: Seymour is a pervert. Yup, all that befriending and swimming and story-telling is just his way of getting close to little girls. You’ll notice, for instance, that Seymour grabs Sybil’s ankles when he is lying on the beach, then again when he pushes her along the water. When he goes so far as to kiss the bottom of her foot, even four-year-old Sybil is weirded out enough to yell, “Hey!” probably remembering something she heard in preschool about a “red-light touch.” Embarrassed and/or frustrated, Seymour immediately ends their play date, heads back to the hotel, and kills himself in shame. The fact that sexual abuse is an ambiguous but recurring theme in J.D. Salinger’s other works, notably in The Catcher in the Rye, supports the possibility that something is wrong with Seymour’s libido.

Theory Three: Everybody has gotten way too P.C. A touch isn’t necessarily inappropriate, a kiss isn’t always sexual, adults and children can hang out in non-creepy ways, and literature doesn’t always have “erotic undertones.” Seymour is drawn to the innocence and guilelessness of children because his experiences in WWII have made him feel disillusioned with the adult world – not to mention, talking with Sybil lets him indulge in his creative side. Seymour makes up a great story about the lives and behavior of bananafish, and is tickled pink – in a non-sexual way – when Sybil plays along. Unfortunately, he has trouble dropping this mischievousness when he gets back to the hotel. He jokingly accuses the woman in the elevator of “staring” at his feet, and, in a stunt that only an adult would pull, the woman gets offended by the insinuation. The argument escalates until Seymour becomes genuinely angry instead of just pretend angry, and the woman flees from the elevator. Realizing that he just doesn’t gel with adults anymore, Seymour gives up hope of being happy and ends his life.

With so many questions from “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” unanswered, it’s no wonder that Salinger went on to feature Seymour in four more stories, most importantly in the two-parter “[Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction].” In these two novellas, Seymour’s devoted little brother, Buddy, undertakes the challenge of putting Seymour to paper. The fact that his writing is often rambling, disjointed, and impossible to follow suggests that maybe we’re just not meant to know.

Hair Straighteners: Titanium Vs Ceramic

Hair straighteners, or flat irons, have been around for over a decade now, and many different types have been produced in that time. Differences in style, heat settings, heating technology and most notably, plate materials. The plates, or blades, are the point of contact between the hair and the hair tool, and therefore, can be of huge significance when it comes to how your iron performs. Up through the late 1990’s, Teflon or aluminum plates were pretty much the common material. As innovation progressed, hair tool developers realized that these materials cause hot spots, and damage to the hair due to the uneven heat distribution.

In the early 2000’s, a ceramic coating was placed on the aluminum plates. This coating provided a more even heat distribution, and less damaging effects to the hair. It wasn’t long before some companies started developing solid ceramic plates. The solid ceramic plates have great heat distribution, but are brittle, and over time can crack. These cracks end up snagging the hair and give the user a terrible hair straightening experience.

Although ceramic is still being used in many large brands such as CHI and Conair, it has its issues. The manufacturing process for ceramic coated plates is not high tech. Molten ceramic material is sprayed like paint, onto the contact surface of the aluminum plates. The plates are then kiln-heated to cure. The small layer of ceramic that is approximately 0.2mm in thickness, doesn’t provide an extreme amount of protection from the heaters within the aluminum plates. Also, the difference in properties from the aluminum and ceramic cause the materials to detach over time, and eventually the coating rubs off, giving you essentially, an old-fashioned aluminum hair straightener from the 1990’s.

In the mid 2000’s, companies like Ozon and Babyliss discovered the properties of titanium could make a better flat iron. By 2011, titanium had become the newly accepted professional choice by hairdressers. The titanium plates widely used today are not 100% solid titanium, but rather, an alloy commonly referred to as nano titanium, which has just enough of the element to get the desired properties, without getting the undesired ones. Titanium plates last for years, never crack or scratch, and outlive the iron itself. The composition of the plates also give the plates the most even and responsive heat distribution, giving no hot spots, and allowing the iron to glide smoothly through the hair.

In conclusion, in the battle vs. ceramic and titanium flat irons, titanium wins without question. Ceramic irons perform as well as a titanium iron, for the first month or so, but after time, the plates, whether solid or coated, give way, and eventually snag and damage hair.

Jambalaya Pots – A Resume of Important Tips

The Jambalaya tradition is alive and well and spreading far and wide, well beyond its Cajun origins in Louisiana. If your thinking about getting into Jambalaya cooking there are a few things its good to know.

Jambalaya pots are multi-purpose; they are great for stews, soups, gumbos, popcorn and much more. You can cook nearly all types of food using cast iron cookware so these pots are the supreme example of large scale ‘anything goes’ cooking equipment

Cast iron pots are a great cooking medium with near perfect heat conduction and heat retention they are very efficient, heating evenly & consistently without heat spots.

There is one piece of advice that is paramount, don’t buy cheap. A Jambalaya pot is an investment that your grand children’s children will be enjoying, so buy well. Remember, by comparative standards they are not expensive and when measured over their extended lifetime they are incredibly cheap.

As a simple piece of advice, we have found that the Bayou Classic range of jambalaya pots are superb, they represent the very best in Jambalaya cookware.

Jambalaya pots are ideal for outdoor cooking but they can be a little heavy, especially the larger models. This said the common advice from users is, if you think you’ve chosen the right size then go for the next size up as there surely will come a time when you’ll have need of it. This said do also bear in mind that when going from say, a 7 gallon up to a 10 gallon pot you’re going from being able to serve 60 people, to being able to serve 100.

It’s really healthy to cook with cast iron jambalaya pots because you can cook fat free as a properly seasoned Jambalaya pot will be non-stick so it requires no oil for cooking.

Jambalaya pots are easy to clean:

  1. once the pot is cooled, wash it using normal washing up liquid, then rinse and dry with a paper towel; don’t listen to those that say just wipe it out; this is not hygienic.
  2. after washing put the pot onto the stove/burner to completely dry it out; then before its cooled very lightly oil with a vegetable oil; then leave it on the stove for a few minutes; then take it off the stove and wipe away any excess oil with a paper towel;
  3. after drying your cookware you should never store it with its lid on as this can allow moisture to build up inside, resulting in rust! To help avoid this it can help to put a paper towel inside the pot to absorb any moisture; and
  4. if you do experience rust, scour with steel wool, until the rust is gone, wash and re-season.

Finally here are just a few dos and don’t when cooking with your Jambalaya pots:

  1. Don’t use your pot for boiling water.
  2. Always preheat your pot before starting cooking. The temperature is right when drips of water sizzle then jump around. Its too hot if the water turns to steam straight away and too cold if the water just bubbles.
  3. Never pour cold water into a really hot pot as it may shatter. And
  4. Never touch the jambalaya pot when cooking as it gets really hot. Keep a good pair of very heavy duty oven gloves handy if you must touch it or move it.

Why Is Hot Food Important?

Hot food is important because it changes the food we eat. It has both historical and current significance.

The heat created during cooking is an agent of a chemical process called denaturation which changes the proteins in food, unravelling the molecules and altering their physical and chemical properties. Depending on the proteins cooked, this causes them to decrease solubility or to cause hydrophobic proteins to bond together to reduce the total area exposed to water. Denaturation affects what food feels like, tastes like, looks like and smells like. A fried egg quite clearly shows denaturation and is a good example – the runny, clear egg white (albumen) reaches a set consistency and turns opaque white when heated. As with many denatured proteins, the process cannot be reversed, i.e. you cannot go back to raw egg once it has cooled down.

The process of denaturation can be desirable because food can look, taste and smell better when cooked and the chemical changes can allow for the creation of new foods such as meringue. To create a meringue, the chemical bonds between the egg molecules need to be broken so that they can recombine with those of sugar.

Cooking has another function because it also kills bacteria, parasites and viruses, making the food we eat safer. Bacteria such as Salmonella and E. Coli can cause serious illness in humans and at the very least cause an unpleasant stomach upset. In the worst case scenario it can cause death. Children, the elderly, pregnant women and immuno-compromised people are at a greater health risk from serious illness from food-borne illness and thorough cooking helps make food safer for them.

The process of heating also softens food and makes it easier to digest. Cooked food contains the same amount of calories as uncooked food, but requires less energy to digest. Cooking makes starches more digestible. Starches aren’t soluble in water so they need to be heated to break them down (a process called gelatinisation). When they are broken down, they are easier for the digestive juices in the stomach to get to. Raw starch foods are also generally unappetising and hard (think raw potato) and cooking makes them palatable.

Hot food also helps warm us up and it is comforting. It’s much nicer coming home in the winter to a hot stew than coming home to a pile of raw vegetables.

We prefer to have hot food as part of our diet. That’s not to say that raw food doesn’t play an important part too – it’s just that humans like a mix of both and it benefits us to do this.

The ability to heat food was one of the things that helped mankind to evolve into the dominant species that it is today. Cooking allowed us to digest some food types more easily and we were able to kill off bacteria and parasites, giving us safer food. Without the discovery of fire and the ability to cook food, we would not be in the position we are now, and this means that the addition of hot food to the human diet was a very important step forward in our evolution.

Capping Machines for the Packaging Industry

While different cap types and sizes are seemingly unlimited, it takes a surprisingly low number of capping machines to cover a majority of caps. Of course, unique and rare container tops may require custom capping machinery. For almost all other caps, a small group of capping machines will “seal” the deal.

SPINDLE CAPPERS

Spindle capping machines are probably the most popular capping machine produced for the packaging industry. These cappers use sets of matched discs to spin caps down onto bottles or other containers as they pass through the capping area on a conveyor system. Normally, three or four sets of discs will be used to gradually tighten caps. Elevators or vibratory bowls assist these continuous capping machines by delivering caps to each individual bottle, leaving the operator of the machine to simply replace bulk caps as needed. These capping machines can handle a wide range of screw type caps, including flat caps, sports caps, trigger sprayers and many more. Many different containers, including F-style containers (think of anti-freeze, a long narrow container with a handle), can be run on the spindle capper and multiple containers require minimal changeover. The versatility and ease of operation are two factors that make this capping machine popular.

CHUCK CAPPERS

Chuck capping machines are similar to spindle cappers in that they work with screw caps. Chuck cappers normally consist of a metal chuck and a rubber insert matched to the cap size. Once a bottle is in place under the capping head, the chuck descends to apply consistent torque to each bottle and cap combination. Automatic chuck cappers may include multiple chucks to increase the capping machine speed. Handheld, semi-automatic and tabletop chuck cappers will usually cap one bottle at a time. While one chuck and chuck insert can handle different cap sizes, a facility running both small and large caps may require multiple chucks and/or chuck inserts. Chuck cappers are ideal for flat caps, but some modification to the chuck and inserts allow for other screw type caps to be run as well.

SNAP CAPPERS AND LID PRESSERS

Snap cappers and lid pressers are both used for non-screw type tops. Rather than being torqued onto the bottle, snap type tops are simply applied using pressure and normally held in place by a lip on the container. The pressure is applied via a declined belt or a simple plunger depending on the application. Paint cans may work well in a lid presser, while plastic containers for some food and beverage products would use a press on belt to avoid damaging the containers themselves. Snap cappers can be constructed very similar to spindle cappers, with the spindle sets replaced by the decline belt, allowing snap caps to be sealed continuously as well, caps permitting. Spindle cappers and snap cappers can also be combined on one capping machine to handle an even wider range of cap types and sizes.

ROPP CAPPERS

An ROPP Capper (Roll On Pilfer Proof Capper) is somewhat of a specialty capper. ROPP cappers use specially designed knives to thread and seal tops onto containers. The most common product for an ROPP capping machine would be topping off a bottle of wine. Different bottle types and sizes may require different sets of knives when using this machine, and these packaging machines will not handle the variety of seals run by spindle and chuck cappers. However, some ROPP cappers can be manufactured to include a chuck type capping head to expand the realm of caps that can be run.

Each of the capping machines discussed briefly above are available in different levels of automation, allowing this group of packaging machines to handle not just a wide variety of caps and bottles, but a range of production levels as well.

Scoring Concrete For a Beautiful Stained Concrete Floor

As you have been looking around the web you may seen concrete stain floors that look like tile. This is accomplished by scoring the concrete with a 4″ grinder or a concrete saw. You can create amazing patterns with this simple process.

A word of caution: Handheld grinders can be very dangerous and sometimes they are easier to work with if you remove the safety guard that is usually provided, So Be Very Careful, Please!

If you are really serious about this you can even take intricate patterns and transfer them to transparencies or slides and use them with an overhead projector or slide machine to project onto the floor and trace the pattern with a soapstone and then score the patterns. The scoring in this case can be done with a hand held 4″ grinder or for more intricate patterns a common dremmel tool.

If you stain the floor after scoring and before sealing the score lines will be stained with the rest of the floor and will usually be a little darker than the floor stain color.

If the scoring is done after the staining is finished the grout lines will be the original color of the concrete. This will give you the appearance of looking more like tile without grouting.

You also have the option of scoring after the staining and then grouting the lines to give you more of an authentic look of tile. The grouting should be done after the first coat of sealer. Allow the grout to dry overnight and then apply the second coat of sealer. This of course should be followed by three coats of floor finish to act as a sacrificial lamb for the sealer.

It is best that the score line only be 1/8″ deep so as to make the floor much easier to clean. If you score the lines deeper than that it enables the grout lines to trap more dirt, animal hair etc.. If you feel you need to score the lines deeper then you may want to use a 100% solids epoxy as this will help fill in the grout lines and it will give the floor a much deeper look.

Equipment you will need:

  1. 2″ x 4″ wood board or a 2″x 2″ angle iron
  2. 4″ circular saw or a 4″ hand held grinder
  3. 4″ x 1/8″ or 1/4″ diamond tipped concrete blade
  4. Chalk box and chalk line – we recommend you use orange chalk as it does leave residual lines. DO NOT USE RED CHALK

SCORING BEFORE STAINING

1. After you have decided on the pattern that you wish to score into the floor, mark the design onto the floor using a chalk box (chalk line), being careful to only make cutting lines where actual cuts will be located. As noted above, DO NOT USE RED CHALK, as it is a permanent color and cannot be removed from the floor.

2. Using the 2″ x 4″ or other straight-edged object, cut the lines with the circular saw, making sure to cut straight lines. If you are using a circular saw be sure to place masking tape on the underside of the saw so it does not leave scratch marks on the concrete. If you using a hand held grinder use the 2″ x 2″ angle iron as a guide. Have you helper place their foot on the inside of the angle iron, flat side up towards the grinder, as run the diamond blade against the angle iron. This is the safest method we have found.

3. After the cutting is complete, remove the concrete dust by using a shop vac to clean up the dust. You can then mop the surface with a neutral cleaner and water. Do Not Use Soap as this may leave a film and inhibit the penetration of the stain. Allow the surface to dry completely.

Dust Muzzles, which are shrouds for the grinders are available in the clear plastic, they may be used for this application but we have found that it is very hard to see through them and get a straight cut. They hook up direct to a shop vac for dust control. You may want to give one a try. They only cost around $30.

4. Apply the concrete stain as recommended by the manufacturer.

SCORING AFTER STAINING

1. Apply the stain as recommended by the manufacturer..

2. Apply one coat of sealer as recommended by the manufacturer.

3. Mark your pattern as directed in Step No. 1 above.

4. Cut your pattern as directed in Step No. 2 above.

5. Clean your floor as listed in Step No. 3 above.

6. Apply another coat of sealer as recommended by the manufacturer.

The DAILY ACTION PLAN: An Insurance Agents’ Guide to Success

The daily action plan is a step-by-step approach to help you meet your selling goals and produce a compelling insurance career. An insurance agent who follows a daily action plan diligently is most likely to achieve success. Below is an example of a good daily action plan.

1. Get up and do the work. Since you are now self-employed, discipline must begin from yourself. Know what your responsibilities and duties on your work and make sure that you, yourself is responsible enough on your actions inside and outside work.

2. Organize your thoughts. List all the things you need to do, work and non-work related. It helps prepare your mind set and gives you direction on your plans throughout the day. One of the ways to do so through writing it on a notebook / notepad, or probably a small white board that you can place on your station where you can list all the things you need to do for the day and probable on the upcoming days.

3. Determine your activity for the day. Schedule your activities as to when and where you will be most productive and most efficient. Making your own time management plan will help you out.

4. Do your record-keeping. Keep a record of your clients’ numbers, the time and frequency of your calls and notes on your client calls.

5. Generate leads. If you call 15 people a day, you need to generate 15 new prospects to replace inventory. Be more proactive and don’t let laziness conquer you.

6. Phone at the right time. Do not be trapped into calling only during the night. While it may be the best time to call most, there are also many prospects available to call during day time.

7. Do your homework. Knowledge is power. Having the right knowledge allows you to ask the proper questions to gain essential information you need. If you have extra time, you can actually take several online courses that may add up on your current knowledge, professional development, and so on.

8. Mail out marketing letters. Tip:a personalized approach is the best way to go. You can forego company affiliation and just write your name on the return section. You don’t want people to be turned off by envelopes shouting THIS IS A MARKETING LETTER. Be creative. Sometimes, people like to read out letters that are not to serious, yet compelling to read.

9. Make those dreaded phone calls. Don’t be disheartened if people won’t grant you appointments. Instead, make this an opportunity to gain leads by asking for referrals. Some people may not be interested yet, but other may and this is one way for you to generate more leads and prospects.

10. Prepare for your interviews. Do your research and have information handy. Do not rely on current data you have, rather research on what things you should prepare for on an interview.

11. Go out on actual appointments. Be ahead of time in case you get lost. This also allows you to survey and get a feel of the area before doing the interview. Most clients like to see their agents get to appointments early rather than late. Getting early also helps you prepare yourself for the interview.

12. Do the actual interview. Ask key questions, present your product clearly, then close and ask for referred leads. Make sure that your client understood everything you have handed them.

13. Send out “thank you” letters. Send out a thank you card or letter after your interview. Avoid generic statements. People will remember you more if you are personal and sincere.

14. Update your list. At the end of the day, review your list and update it for the next day.

What’s the Difference Between Patio Room and Sunroom?

The sun is shining and it’s pretty great weather out there. Well, when it wants to behave. The Pittsburgh area summer temperatures average between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take a few degrees. But, we also know what happens when the summer weather kicks into action– the mosquitoes are on the attack.

It’s no mystery why most humans, animals, or anything living has a fairly high disliking for the little buggers. They love to bite and buzz, and they leave us with an irritating itch! Not the best household guests, are they?

But, we also know that they come out in fleets right in unison with our work schedules. They come out early in the morning as you’re grabbing the paper, and they swarm at night when you want to relax outside after a hard day’s work.

So, how can you enjoy your patio when there are mosquitoes everywhere? You live in the marshy side of town, which only makes things worse. The wildlife is beautiful, but the mosquitoes; yikes!

Well, there are plenty of options. If you are looking for ways to improve your home’s livability and curb appeal, then choosing between a patio room and a sunroom may be your best bet. But, what is the difference, anyway? Keep reading!

The Patio Room

A patio room is a great idea for any homeowner looking for an escape from the pesky critters and mosquitoes that ruin the outdoor experience. You may be hardly using the patio as is. Now is your chance to really make the most of your home and its assets. If you think you will ever sell, make the upgrade now and reap the benefits when your house gets sold.

By locating your local contractor who specializes in patio room installation, the job will get done in no time. With some insulation, flooring, beautiful windows, doors, and screens; your patio screen room will be good to go!

Are you finding it difficult to understand the rational behind screening in your patio? Well, nowadays homebuyers are looking for all the possible ways to improve their home’s beauty. When the time comes to sell, you are going to want to make home improvements by the bundle. If your home could use the extra space and the added curb appeal, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t enclose your patio.

So, what if you make the installation and then the house gets sold. But the new homeowner wants to have a room that can be used all year round? Do they have to tear down your patio room?

No!

Enter the Sunroom

A patio enclosure is a great use of space and your money. By updating your patio into a patio room, you are actually taking the first step that could lead to becoming a room with a year-round purpose!

By just asking your contractor to make some changes you can have your very own year-round sunroom.

Your sunroom will provide you with all the natural light you could ever want, and you can even get glass that is insulated!

What’s Your Choice?

So, do you want to just escape the bugs and don’t really need to use the room all that much in the winter? Are you just interested in taking the first step and see how things go?

No problem. You can always upgrade your patio room into a sunroom. That’s the major difference between the two rooms. A patio room is not as advanced, or an as comfortable year-round space.

Networking Equipment – Different Types Used in Many Industries

Networking is defined as the act of linking computers in order for end users to have the chance to exchange information with each other. It is also a vital way to access a central store of information. A most common example is the Internet. It is in this regard that networking equipment existed.

Building or expanding a network is made possible by a variety of equipment for communication. From power or Ethernet switches and firewalls to digital media devices and UPS power protection, all the needs of users are addressed accordingly. All these facilities allow proper exchange of signals from one point to the other. Take a look at what some of these gadgets are proud of.

Routers

Routers are networking devices used in order to route and forward information from one destination to another. In the worldwide web for instance, the paths are powered by the use of this equipment. There are two planes in which routers operate. The first one is called the control plane where the router acquires the proper outgoing interface in order that the information will be relayed to the destination. The other is known as the forwarding plane responsible in processing and sending information from the recipient to the outbound logical interface.

Network switches

This network equipment is used to connect different segments of a network. It is often referred to as a network bridge to process and route data and operates in several OSI layers. When one switch operates in more than a single layer then it is more popularly known as a multilayer switch. For commercial purposes, network switches are built in several modular interfaces. This is in order to cope with requirements of different types of networks.

Network-attached storage

This network equipment functions after a so-called file level of computer data storage is connected to the computer network. This provides guaranteed access to data for various clients of the network. Generally, this device is multi-tasked with data storage, access to files and filing systems. It also handles management of several computer functions.

Server

This is yet another popular type of network device. It is a blend of software and hardware designed in order to provide better services to patrons. Even one computer may serve as a server as long as it is running in a server operating system. As a hardware device, the server is tasked to run various software applications.

Each of the above-mentioned network equipment has a specific role to play in a computer network. Industries benefit with the existence of these devices. Even residences are making use of these popular gadgets.

What Happens to a Person Who Is Dying From Glioblastoma Multiform

If you’ve recently found out that you, a family member, or a friend has been diagnosed with a glioblastoma mediforme (gbm), you’re most likely wondering, “What is going to happen?” Of course, this is only one of many thoughts that will race through your mind. How do I know this? Because I was with my brother when he was diagnosed.

He did not survive, but he was able to get treatment that allowed him 6 years with his family before succumbing to gbm.

We discovered the tumor after he suffered a grand mal seizure in 1994. He was home alone with his three children – 6, 2½, and 1 – when it happened. His 6-year-old ran to a neighbor and told them something was wrong with her father. Testing at the hospital revealed that he had a tumor – that’s all we understood. The doctor said we needed to have a “hatch” put into my brother’s skull so that they could excise the tumor – but be able to repeat the procedure often. Why would they repeat the procedure? Because excising a tumor means taking out small portion of the tumor at a time; then as it returns, the doctors would invade my brother’s brain again and take a little more of the tumor.

Not Satisfied with That!

Doing what I do best, I researched everything I could find out – I reached out to medical contacts to find the names of the best doctors near us. My brother and I traveled to NYC to consult with a Neurologist on Park Avenue. He was, apparently, well renowned for his understanding of brain tumors. At the end of the visit, he recommended that my brother get his affairs in order, because he only had a matter of months to survive. He told us that the tumor was cancerous and surgery would not solve the problem.

A friend of my mother had a nephew who was a neurologist in Boston. We sent my brother’s MRIs, x-rays, and test results to him. He immediately called and said that the Neurosurgeon in Boston could help my brother. We made an appointment and met the doctor. What a difference!

This doctor explained everything so clearly. He offered hope, but no promise of a perfect life.

So What Happened Next?

Kim, my brother, was scheduled for surgery; but first he had to go through a series of MRIs (fast MRIs) that provided information for the doctor to create a 3D image of my brother’s brain so that he could prepare for surgery. During surgery, Kim had to stay awake so that the doctor could ask questions. Kim had to identify pictures and words and answer questions throughout the surgery so that the doctor could determine if he was resecting (removing) tissue too close to functional areas of his brain.

He ended up shaving his whole head, because the little amount of hair remaining just looked out of place. The rest of his head had scars that his 2½-year-old daughter described as looking like a baseball. (I’m sure she was referring to the stitching on the ball – Kim’s skull had similar stitching.) The risks of this operation included:

  • Infection: The patient could get an infection in the wound or a deeper infection from exposure in the hospital
  • Bleeding: This could be superficial bruising or a deeper collection of blood
  • Loss of smell or cerebrospinal fluid leaking through the nose if the doctor uses a frontal approach to remove the tumor
  • Damage to the cranial nerves resulting in facial numbness, loss of vision, or double vision
  • The need for a blood transfusion during or after the procedure
  • Weakness, numbness, speech disturbance or paralysis (stroke like symptoms)
  • Epilepsy, which may require medication (this happened to my brother)
  • The surgery may not cure this condition and further treatment may be needed
  • Coma or death

This was just the beginning – but that surgery allowed Kim another six years with his children. In the meantime, he underwent aggressive radiation twice a week and chemotherapy through a combination of IV and pills. He was incredibly sick from the treatment (vomiting, nausea, exhaustion), but he continued to work. It wasn’t easy work either; he was a floor sander, lifting 300-pound machines up several flights of stairs. It was during one of these climbs approximately three years after the resection that he got an incredible headache – the worst he’d ever experienced.

The local emergency room disclosed that he’d suffered a brain aneurysm – this is when a weak area in an artery that supplies blood to the brain bulges. However, when one of these aneurysms ruptures, it causes a hemorrhage that leads to further brain damage or even death. The doctor explained that the only reason my brother didn’t die from this hemorrhage was because the tumor resection had left a cavity or hole in his brain that allowed the blood to pool. He further explained that a possible reason the artery was weakened was from the radiation.

It took him several months to heal from this. But when he healed, he went right back to work and raising his three children alone. This is when things began to really go downhill for him. The doctors had him on high doses of steroids to reduce swelling and on Depakote to prevent epileptic seizures.

These were some of the side effects he endured:

  • Insomnia
  • Increased appetite and the potential for weight gain
  • Personality changes (ranging from moodiness to psychosis)
  • Muscle loss (particularly in the thighs, which bear the patient’s weight when rising, sitting, and walking)
  • Bloated appearance (distended abdomen, cushingoid swelling of the face, and sometimes a hump in the neck)
  • Pooling of fluid in the extremities
  • Potential for steroid-induced diabetes

Unfortunately my brother did develop diabetes and received insulin shots and blood sugar testing several times a day – that was one of my jobs. He had been an extremely athletic and active person (for example, he would get up at 4:00 am to pull lobster pots (200 pots) as a hobby before work; then he sanded and refinished floors all day; after work he would ride either his touring or mountain bike for 20 to 30 miles; and finally, he would clean the house and care for his three children). He really struggled at becoming sedentary and gaining almost 100 pounds.

He functioned okay – but he was slower, less coordinated, and his speech was garbled. He had MRIs every three months for two years and then every six months for the next four years. In the Fall of 2000, just a few months after a regularly scheduled MRI that was clear, Kim’s speech got worse and he started getting headaches again. We went to the hospital and what they told us broke us.

The tumor was not only back, but it was the worst kind of tumor – the fastest growing and inoperable. The tumor had suddenly grown like fingers dispersed throughout his brain.

Kim rapidly lost his ability to walk, talk, feed himself, or use the bathroom. He lost all dignity at this point. He had to be fed, wear diapers, and was bed-ridden. He survived like this for about six months. He did not want to give up his independence and he would try to walk, but fall on the floor. He had been 6’2″ and 160 pounds before the cancer; after all the medication, treatment, and sedentary lifestyle, he was still 6’2″, but he was 260 pounds. Trying to pick him up was difficult – in fact, impossible. My parents were in their 70s and they would try to pick him up – it took the three of us to get him back into bed many nights. It was exhausting, but absolutely heartbreaking.

Kim stayed in my home until he died. I’ll never forget the volunteers who came to my home just to sit with my brother – read, talk, or tell stories – anything to allow the family to have a small break from the constant care. Their willingness to serve kept us from feeling alone and allowed us opportunities to go to the store without worrying.

Hospice came in toward the end and monitored him. He had difficulty communicating. His breathing was so labored, he was rarely lucid, and he was in pain. The Hospice workers gave him morphine to relieve the pain and he stopped fighting to live just a day later, March 16, 2001. He was 49 years old.

I hope this information helps even one person to understand what families dealing with a gbm diagnosis may be experiencing.

Clarkson’s 5 Relationship Model of Counselling Relationships

Humanistic Integrative Counselling employs a number of tools to enhance the quality of the therapeutic connection between client and counselor. An integrative counsellor realizes that he cannot use the same counselling techniques on every client, as each client is a unique individual and has individual emotional needs.

It is necessary for an integrative counselor to work with a model that helps define the nature of the association that they are to build with their client. One such model is known as Clarkson’s 5 Relationship model. In this model, Petruska Clarkson has put forward five counselling relationships that if used correctly, will strengthen the client-therapist bond, allowing it to help in the healing process of therapy. They are as follows:

1. The Working Alliance pertains to the contract that is initially drawn up and agreed upon between the counselor and client. It includes terms and conditions regarding the payment terms agreed upon, the frequency of therapy sessions, the purpose and goals of therapy and the extent of confidentiality.

2. The Transferential Relationship exists between a client and a therapist when either of them associate the other with somebody else; e.g. a parent, a friend, sibling, relative, an old romantic interest, etc. and feel as though they are speaking to or listening to that individual. Such a rapport at times can be beneficial for the client if it helps them in the healing process. The therapist has to however maintain the professionalism required of the client-therapist relation as the therapist cannot just literally take up the role of, let’s say, a parent or spouse in the clients life.

3. The Reparative Relationship is one in which the client feels an emotionally nurturing bond between himself and his therapist. When the client-therapist bond is such that a client feels safe and cared for with the therapist; and when the association gives comfort and healing to the client it could also be called a re-parenting relationship as it helps heal and repair emotional deficiencies and traumas caused during childhood.

4. The “Real” or “Person-to-Person”Relationship is when the client-therapist relationship becomes so strong that the client does not have any inhibitions of disclosing his true feelings and thoughts before the therapist. Basically, in our day to day lives we are used to wearing a façade so as to be the kind of person that people and society would approve of and accept. In order to heal, it is necessary that one does away with such masks of unrealism and that the client feels confident and secure enough to reveal his real personality and thoughts.

5. The Transpersonal Relationship is related to spirituality, faith, life values and meaning. This kind of bonding is said to exist when there is a spiritual or psychic sort of exchange between the therapist and client. It’s about moments when things suddenly click, or there is a magical kind of coincidence, sometimes a moment of truth, understanding and realization. This kind of bonding is slightly complicated as there could be times when it could be experienced by only one of the two; client or therapist but not by the other.