How to Choose a Contemporary Rug

Contemporary rugs are the perfect complement to a modern living space, but with the variety of choice out there on the market today it can be hard to know where to start looking. Many contemporary rugs are characterized by their bold colours and geometrical shapes, whereas others are minimalist and styled in muted tones, giving a drastically different look.

With all this variety, there is no wonder it is hard to choose. Along with browsing online stores and looking through home decor catalogues for inspiration, here are a few tips that will help you make the right choice for your interior.

When choosing a modern rug, the colour is critically important. As mentioned above, one of the most popular modern looks inside the home is the use of bright and bold colours, sometimes used dramatically and abundantly, and sometimes used sparingly in little splashes.

If you already have a room with lots of colour that is quite ‘busy’ to look at, the last thing you want is to add another distracting element to the mix. If your room already has a lot going on in it decoration-wise, it is advisable to stick with contemporary rugs in a single colour, in a neutral tone or a shade that matches colours that already exist in your space.

Contemporary rugs are great at doing this compared to traditional rugs, which often grab attention with their intricate designs and their inherent ‘character’, especially vintage rugs. Their modern counterparts, however, are excellent at blending into their surroundings when you need them to.

On the other hand, you may want a beautiful rug to provide an eye-catching centrepiece to your room. This works well in a space that has very neutral contemporary decor – such as white walls and neutral-tone furniture – as the vibrancy of a striking modern rug in the middle of a room can add style, character, and bring all the decor together.

There are many fantastic designs of abstract and artistic contemporary rugs on the market today, using bold colours and intriguing patterns to captivate and raise the style factor of any room. If you want your rug to stand out, do not forget to choose one in an adequate size as to draw attention, yet not overwhelm or underwhelm onlookers.

A good size for a rug – whether traditional or modern – is one that fits your seating area. This is for style as well as practicality; when you are sitting down on your sofa or armchair, you want you feet to be on fabric, rather than a cold, hard floor. Ideally, the furniture in your seating area should be fully on your rug, although if this is not possible, just the front legs will do.

An important factor to remember is that your rug should match the shape of the furniture that is on it. A round coffee table and seating area is a stunning contemporary look, and it is best to complete it with a round rug. On the other hand, a rectangular seating area and coffee table look great with a rectangular rug oriented in the same direction.

In addition to thinking carefully about colour and size, you should also consider texture when selecting from a range of contemporary rugs. Modern manufacturing processes and materials have given us more choice than ever before to choose a texture that suits our d├ęcor, and this means great things in terms of creativity when it comes to interior design.

Try juxtaposing different textures of contemporary rugs with other furniture in your space, such as a fluffy pile rug with a smooth and sleek leather 3-piece suite. These contrasts can provide interest, style and originality to your home.

Choosing contemporary rugs for your interior doesn’t have to be tricky – just remember to consider colour, size and texture when browsing products in order to rapidly narrow down your selection and find the ideal addition to your home decor.

Interview Shoes – The RIGHT Styles For Men and Women

Interview attire advice often focuses on suit colors and cuts for men and whether to wear a skirt or slacks for women and the color of either. Other articles of interview attire are even more important. A case in point is shoes. For both men and women, wearing the right style and type of shoes can often serve as the most important and most visible item of interview attire.

For Men

For men there are four types of shoes that are acceptable for interviews. There are from most to least formal: the black oxford shoe, the black brogue shoe, the black tassel loafer and finally the black dress penny loafer. Each of these shoes has a distinct style and message. Regardless of which style of shoe is worn, they should be well maintained – meaning not scuffed or worn at the heel and highly polished.

The black leather oxford shoe. This is the classic tie shoe. It has either a plain to or a non-perforated cap toe. This is the dressiest of men’s shoes and are popular with investment bankers, government officials and other’s who must portray formality and consistency.

The black leather brogue shoe. Often described as the wing tip, this is slightly less formal than the oxford. It may be cap toed or have the wing shaped toe decoration both of which are perforated. Acceptable with suits, the brogue has been a favorite of businessmen for decades although it fell out of favor during the “casual Friday” dress down era of the 1990s.

The black leather tassel loafer. The tassel loafer has been around for decades. Once classified as Ivey League or preppy, it is now a business staple. It is a loafer with stitching around the toe and a pair of leather tassels. The shoe is not as formal as either the oxford or the brogue but is acceptable with business suits in all but the most formal and tradition bound professions.

The black leather penny loafer. This is not a casual loafer with the big “beef roll” and the rough hand stitching around the toe. The penny loafer for dress is more refined in cut and stitching. It looks like and is a dress shoe. The least formal of the business shoe styles, it is sleek and clean and works with suits for all but the most formal occasions.

What kinds of men’s shoes to avoid for interviews? First, the heavy soled and big toed lace and slip-on shoes popular with younger men should be avoided. Even if they say they are dress shoes, they say all the wrong things about one. Secondly, avoid casual shoes such as weekend loafers or other very casual shoes with leather, rubber or plastics soles. Finally, avoid trendy shoes. If attracted to a pair of shoes that would look great on the dance floor at a club or at a wild party, keep them for those events. Do no wear them to an interview. Trendy is not an interview look unless you are a fashion designer or in the arts.

The right kinds of shoes are available at stores and on-line. The most popular traditional interview shoes are sold by: Church’s Shoes (English design, very traditional), Alden (American and very traditional), Allen-Edmonds, Cole-Haan and Johnson & Murphy. Stores that carry the right kinds of shoes for interviews include: Brooks Brothers, Joseph A. Bank and Nordstrom.

For Women

While there are infinitely more styles of women’s shoes available than men’s, the styles that are appropriate for interviews are even more limited. The rules about the condition of shoes for women are the same as for men. The shoes must be in top condition and well maintained if not new. While all the colors for men included black and black, there are more possibilities fro women. While black and navy are safe bets 95% of the time. Other colors are OK but must complement the suit or outfit and should match the purse or handbag too. Avoid light colored shoes for interview and never wear white shoes to an interview unless it is for a nursing position. If brown, dark shades are best. Avoid suede and never wear shoes that have metallic sparkle, glitter or sequins for an interview (or for business ever).

The styles of shoes that are appropriate for women to wear for interviews fall into four categories: classic leather pump with a heel, the leather sling back style with a heel, the classic leather Mary Jane style shoe with a heel, the flat or ballet style shoe in leather. All should be leather. All should be well maintained and worn with neutral colored stockings or pantyhose regardless of the season or temperature (or knee highs if work with slacks).

The leather pump. Heel heights and shapes vary. This is the traditional shoe for women in business. Solid color.

The leather sling back style with a heel. Again heel heights and shapes very. This shoe while very traditional has an adjustable strap rather than a closed back. The shoe is classic and in good taste but with a bit more style and is considered a bit more dressy than the plain leather pump.

The classic leather Mary Jane shoe. This is not the flat soled cloth model or even the funky thick soled model worn by teens. It is basically a leather pump in style and cut with a thin strap ending in an adjustable buckle across the instep. Better with skirts than with slacks.

The flat or ballet style shoe in leather. This kind of shoe if made of fine leather and in a traditional cut is classic, flattering and is worn by women of all heights. But it is favored by very tall and strangely enough, very short women. It may be plain or decorated with a discrete bit of gold metal or grosgrain bow at the toe. The casual ballet slipper style in fabric, needlepoint or less dressy leather should be saved for wear with jeans or khakis.

What shoes are not appropriate for women to wear to interviews? Frankly, everything else unless the interview is not for business, non-profits or one of the professions. Anything in unnatural colors or with sparkles or anything novel just will not do. Flip flops are a no always. As are sandals. Big, clunky shoes are for teenagers or weekends. Loafers are for khakis and weekends. Tie shoes are not appropriate for women in business unless running an art gallery or a church order. Finally, strappy, very high heeled shoes should be left for weekends and never for work. Forget what they say in “Sex and the City”.

Women’s interview shoes are available at many women’s stores, shoe stores and department stores. The list is really too long to do justice here. Some of the more traditional sources are: Cole Haan, Talbots, Nordstrom, Lord and Taylor and Brooks Brothers plus the some of the designers who offer quality shoes in more classic styles.

Shoes speak volumes about a person. This is never truer than in an interview environment. Make sure the shoes that you wear say all the right things. While they will not guarantee a job, the will not be an obstacle if the points outlined above are observed.

The 7 Step Plan To Get Sexy Six Pack Abs In 21 Days

Trying to get those sexy six pack abs? In this article, I’m going to give you the 7 step plan to get sexy six pack abs in 21 days.

Step 1:

Are you ready? Are you willing to commit and never quit? If not, do not read on. In order to get six pack abs, a lean muscular body, and lose weight, you must be willing to commit…for life, not just a few days, weeks, or months. That is the first step to losing weight, improving your health and getting a great body. Ever so often do we all speak about something we want to accomplish, but never do what it takes to succeed.

Step 2:

Water. You have to drink plenty of water if you want to form your body into a lean, muscular, fat-less sculpture with ripped six pack abs. Your body needs water to build lean muscle and burn fat. Drink ice cold water as an added benefit since your body will burn fat to warm the water to body temperature.

Step 3:

Sleep. Getting 7-9 hours of sleep EVERY night is very important for not just burning off fat and losing weight, but also your overall health. I know most of us want to see that favorite TV show/movie, etc., which is more than likely the #1 reason people do not go to bed at a reasonable time, but you’re going to have to weigh your options here: watch The Late Night Show or Get a Sexy Beach Body??

Step 4:

Weight Training. Cardio alone is not going to do it. You can not burn fat, lose weight, and sculpt a lean body by simply just doing cardio. You have to do some form of weight training. Building muscle will give your metabolism a rocket boost. Make sure that within 15 – 30 minutes after your workout, you have some form of protein to help in restoring your worked muscles.

Step 5:

Rest. I’m not talking about sleep here. I’m talking about resting your body after weight training. Over working your muscles will do more damage than good. The way I workout is that I work a specific body part on each day, therefore giving that particular muscle a full 7 days rest. For example: On Mondays, I work my legs, on Tuesday, I work my shoulders, on Wednesday, I work my back, on Thursday, I work my arms, and on Friday, I work my chest.

Step 6:

Eat a lot. Did I catch you off guard? What I mean is to eat several small meals through out the day instead of the usual 3 course. Doing this will increase your metabolism, which will ultimately lead to burning off a lot of fat, and ultimately sculpt those sexy six pack abs you want. Make sure that the foods you eat are nutrient rich, high in fiber, and high in protein.

Step 7:

The obvious and most popular step – do ab exercises. Although this is the most popular step, it’s also the most mis-understood. Why? Well, most think that by simply just doing this step will burn off belly fat and get you those killer abs. Sorry. You must do the previous steps along with step 7 in order to really reap the reward…sexy six pack abs. There are billions of different machines, etc. out there promising hot six pack abs. Doing traditional exercises, from my own and other peoples research, will sculpt six pack abs faster than any device. It’s simple. Crunches, side crunches, leg raises….it doesn’t get any more simple than that. However, the one misconception, which ultimately leads to lack of results, is quantity. Just by doing a lot of crunches doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get killer abs. The way you will sculpt abs quickly is by doing slow concentrated (squeeze your abdominal muscles at the positive point of the repetition – which is when you lift up) repetitions (reps).

Top 10 Skimboarding Tips

Skimboarding is an enjoyable hobby that will bring you many hours of pleasure. This please is accentuated when you have the proper technique.

Please find below the top 10 skimboarding tips that will help you become more skilled at skimboarding.

1. Choosing the right skimboard method. You should match your skimboard method to the type of beach you skimboard on. For beaches with steep slopes use ‘wave skimboarding’ whereby you skim into the waves and ride them just like you would in surfing.

When you are on a flat beech with relatively benign waves use the sand skimming method in shallow water.

2. Use the appropriate skimboard. You have to match your board to the skimboard method you are using. This is your only contact with the water so it is essential you get the board right. The critical factor is board shape, much more so than the design or prices of the board. For sand skimming you should use a round skimboard that resembles a disk in shape. For wave skimming use an oblong board similar in shape to a mini surf board.

3. Mounting the board. You should move onto the board with momentum almost as if you are running onto the board. The board is more likely to move with you in the direction of your motion. If you were to just jump on the board, you are more likely to topple over.

4. Riding the waves. Use the ‘side slipping’ technique to get on the waves. As you are speeding across the water, tilt your board sideways with your feet facing out towards the ocean. You can slow down the rate of speed loss by carefully timing the ‘trimming’. When you near the wave, turn your skimboard around and ride the wave as per usual.

5. Wax your Board. By waxing your board you will increase the speed at which it travels over the water. This will decrease the friction between your board and the ocean and result in a swifter movement of your board.

6. Feet Position. Position your feet at the back of the board. This will maximize your balance and effectiveness.

7. Fit traction pads on a new board by using an alcohol solution. When you get a new board they tend to come in a high gloss finish. Determine the places where you want to fit traction pads and use an alcohol solution to de-gloss these areas. This will increase their ability to attach to the board giving your further peace of mind.

8. Putting traction pads back on: If the traction pads start to come off then you need to take immediate action. Apply super glue around the edges to prevent them from peeling further. You can use a hot hair dryer to remove the pads and then reattach them

9. Travelling with a skimboard. Protect your board from damage by purchasing a padded travel bag. You can wrap it in a towel or other padded material to further protect it. Airline will charge extra for carrying sports equipment so check out the prices in advance.

10. Skimboard Safety. You should take time and do adequate stretching before you hit the water. This enhances flexibility and mitigates injuries. Use sun screen and sun glasses to protect yourself from damaging UV rays.

There are many excellent resources for skimboarding tips, equipment reviews, video lessons and more online.

Biocides In Textile

Any unwanted modification in the properties of a material brought about by the essential actions of organisms is called Bio-deterioration. Present article is concerned with the degeneration of textile materials produced by microorganisms like fungi and bacteria, and the solutions to avert or reduce their effects.

Not all failures of materials by microorganisms are unwanted. When we throw away any objects not required any more, we wait for “Nature” to clear away what has then become waste. Such deterioration is a vital course of action for the protection of the world in which we live, and it is a process of recycling many of the vital components held by these materials. However, it can be a critical problem to both manufacturers and users when it is an undesirable process, when textiles are influenced by rot or mildew.

Under proper environment microorganisms, which dwell in soil, water, and air can grow and flourish on textile materials. These organisms encompass species of microfungi, bacteria, actinomycetes (filamentous bacteria), and algae. Textiles manufactured from natural fibres are normally more vulnerable to biodeterioration than are the synthetic man-made fibres. Microbial expansion can also be advanced by products like starch, protein derivatives, fats, and oils used in the finishing of textiles. Micro-organisms may attack the whole substrate, i.e. the textile fibres, or they may attack only one constituent of the substrate, such as plasticizers enclosed therein, or grow on dirt that has built up on the surface of a product.

However, even minor surface tumour can make a fabric look ugly by the emergence of undesirable pigmentation. Heavy infestation, which gives rise to decaying and failure of the fibres and consequent physical variations such as a loss of firmness or flexibility, may produce the fabric that fail to serve. The material is attacked chemically by the action of extra-cellular enzymes produced by the microorganism for the objective of acquiring food. However, microbial activity can be reduced by saving the dryness of vulnerable materials because surface expansion will only take place when the relative humidity is high. Therefore, some kind of chemical shield is generally needed with textiles expected to be used in hostile conditions under which they stay wet or damp for long time.

Natural fibres

Plant fibres like cotton, flax (linen), jute and hemp are very vulnerable to attack by cellulolytic (cellulose – digesting) fungi. Certainly, the complete degeneration of cellulose can be achieved by enzymes created by the fungi and recognized as cellulases. Diagram 1 gives details of the chemical process involved. The spores of these microfungi are there in the atmosphere and when they settle on proper substrates they can grow fast under positive conditions of temperature and humidity. The typical growth form of these “mould” fungi is recognised as mildew, a outward growth, which may discolour and spoil the fabric with stain, as many microfungi are able to produce pigments. The best safeguard against mildew is to ensure that the fabrics are dry when put in storage and that they do not turn out to be wet in storeroom. Fabrics which are to be used outdoors for awnings, beach umbrellas, military uniforms, sails, tarpaulins, tents, truck and boat covers, shoes and shoe linings, are processed with a fungicidal finish to save them from mildew damage and rotting. Algal greening may also appear on fabrics, which stay damp for long time and can create particular problems in the tropics.

In proportion to plant fibres, animal fibres are less affected by mildew growth. Pure silk, if completely degummed, is less vulnerable. Wool decomposes only slowly but chemical and mechanical harm during procedure can intensify its vulnerability to biodeterioration. When stored under very unfavourable conditions wool will finally rot by the action of the proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes concealed by many microfungi and bacteria.

Man-made fibres

Man-made fibres obtained from cellulose are vulnerable to microbial degeneration. Viscose (rayon) is easily struck by mildew and bacteria; acetate and triacetate are more unaffected although discoloration can take place if the fabrics are improperly stored. Fibres produced from synthetic polymers (e.g. acrylic, nylon, polyester, polyethylene, and polypropylene fibres) are very resistant to attack by microorganisms.

The hydrophobic character of these polymers is possibly a significant aspect deciding their resistance. Also, these synthetic polymers have chemical bonds, which do not take place or are rare in nature, and perhaps therefore they have not been around long enough for microorganisms to develop the proper enzymes required to start their analysis. Although the substance of a synthetic fibre by itself will not hold up microbial development, pollutants of low molecular weight (e.g. remaining marks of the caprolactam monomer of nylon 6) and mixtures such as lubricants and spinning oils used in the finishing of textiles may give satisfactory nutrient for mild surface evolution of a microorganism. In most cases this will not influence the health of the fabric but can result into staining and discolouration, which are often not easy or impossible to eliminate.

. Plastics

Various kinds of plastic materials have surfaced as sections of textile products, for instance, to give waterproof coatings for rainwear. Plastics, which are produced mainly or entirely from polymers such as polyethylene, are generally highly resistant to microbial expansion. However, two types of plastic used significantly as coatings for textile materials, plasticized polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyurethanes, are vulnerable to biodeterioration. In the case of PVC, the polymer itself does not willingly supply a means of nutrients for bacteria and fungi. The vulnerability of PVC formulations to microbial attack is associated with the amount and types of plasticizers, fillers, pigments, and stabilizers, etc., inserted during processing. Many of these additives are organic compounds of comparatively low molecular weight. For instance, plasticizers (predominantly esters of organic acids, polyesters, and chlorinated hydrocarbons), which are put in to enhance the flexibility of an otherwise fragile polymer, will in most cases nourish microbial expansion and their degree of vulnerability applies a deep impact on the propensity of the textile coating to biodeterioration; such microbial exploitation of the plasticizers may cause crack of the PVC coating during use. With polyurethanes on the other hand the actual polymer is able to prop up microbial evolution because of the resemblance of some of the chemical connections in polyurethanes to those discovered in nature. Therefore, biocides are often included in both plasticized PVC and polyurethanes as a practical measure.

Use of biocides

The perfect technique of preventing microbial degeneration is to use synthetic materials, which are naturally resistant to attack. Another method is to apply antimicrobial chemicals known as “biocides” which are generally included into the finished textile product. So far no additive agent has been unearthed, which provides neither complete safety nor is without some drawback. Perfect biocides include following requirements:

. Efficient against a large range of microorganisms, especially bacteria and microfungi.

. Operative during the life of the product.

. Of low mammalian toxicity and non-toxic to humans at the concentrations used.

. Lacking colour and odour.

. Influential at low concentrations.

. Not expensive and easy to use.

. Resistant to sunlight and percolating from the fabric.

. Fabric handle and health are unaffected.

. Adaptable with water-repelling and flame-reducing agents, dyes, and other textile accessories.

. Does not intensify the fabric to destruction by light or other effects.

It would be an endless journey if somebody sets off to find the ideal biocide and the compromise choice of a proper product is not always easy. Some chemicals, for instance organo-mercury compounds, have been discarded because of their lasting and increasing toxic effects in the environment. Textile materials, which are to be used outdoors, need a constant fungicide that has anti-rain wash properties and capability to suffer breakdown by light. If the environment is tremendously damp, monitoring of algae and bacteria becomes more significant. However, many compounds, which are efficient against microfungi, are not essentially good bacteriocides and vice versa.

Regularly used biocides in the textile industry are organo-copper compounds, organo-tin compounds, and chlorinated phenols. These function by intervening in the energy-producing procedures of microbial cells. Copper naphthenate and copper-8-hydroxyquinolinate are greatly multipurpose biocides, very efficient against fungi, bacteria, and algae. They are specially used to look after textiles prone to be bare to soil and to harsh weathering conditions, e.g. cotton and flax canvases, awnings, tarpaulins, cordage, ropes, sacks, tents, military uniforms and military gears. The main drawback is that they give a yellow-green colour to processed materials. Pentachlorophenol esters, conventionally pentachlorophenyl laurate (LPCP), are resistant to percolating by rainwater and so are applied as fungicides for the rot-proofing of a large array of textiles together with cotton, flax, and jute fabrics used as covers, tarpaulins, shop blinds, tents, etc.; also carpet backings, coated fabrics, hospital materials, mattress covers, pressed felts and woollen textiles. Some biocides can provide more than one objective; thus organo-tin mixtures can work as stabilizers for plastic formulations as well as fungicides.

Use of biocides in textile fabrics for rotting and mildew-proofing is generally performed as a final finishing treatment. The fabric is soaked in either a solvent (usually white spirit) solution or, more commonly, an emulsion of the biocide; it is then pressed and dried out using a cylinder dryer, a stenter, or other appropriate tools. The fabric may be polished first but more usually and especially with heavyweight materials, the biocides are applied to loomstate material without polishing. Very often they are co-applied with water-repelling, fire-retardants, and pigments. In vinyl polymers like PVC, the biocide is generally diffused in the plasticizer, which is by and large the most biodegradable constituent. As the surface film is eliminated, new plasticizer will shift to the surface, taking with it a continuous source of biocide. However, these products finally lose their protecting merits through seasoning even though 70%-80% of the biocide continues to be chemically unaffected in the formulation. One possible cause is that under the influences of heat and ultraviolet radiation, depolymerisation of the vinyl resin and consequent cross-linkage may condense the biocide, checking its transfer to the surface where biodeterioration occurs.

Biocides are also applied to give hygienic finishes for fabrics that will be used in health-care goods. These finishes are categorised as either renewable or long-lasting, although long-lasting finishes are detached gradually during laundering. Renewable finishes can be substituted during laundering, for instance quaternary

ammonium compounds used to resist napkin rash. Some safeguard against the microfungi responsible for athlete’s foot is also asserted for hygienic finishes that are applied to socks and linings for footwear.


Measuring the scope of biodeterioration of textile materials is not easy but it must be estimated in terms of millions of pounds sterling annually in the UK alone. Breakdown of materials can often be a complicated event resulting from a mixture of chemical, physical, and microbiological reasons. The problem is most critical with fabrics used outdoors but other products such as floor coverings, rug backings, shower curtains, vinyl baby pants, and mattresses may also need an antimicrobial finish to check fungal and bacterial surface expansion. If possible, materials naturally resistant to microbial attack should be chosen rather than materials, which need protection. Thus, synthetics, which resist mildew, contend positively with cotton in manufacturing sails for boats or shower curtains. Advance research is needed into techniques of producing both natural and synthetic materials more resistant to biodeterioration by chemical alteration of their make-up, especially because uncertainties have now been given rise about the toxicity and environmental constancy of some of the so far well recognized biocides. It is also envisioned that enhanced biocides will surface on the market to meet new set of laws introduced by governments worried about the environmental impact of current compounds.

Trainspotting Analysis

Trainspotting adapted from Irvine Welsh’s novel and made by the Shallow Grave team of writer John Hedge, producer Andrew Macdonald, and director Danny Boyle, giving us characters and moments that are unforgettable. Ewan McGregor plays Renton, an on-and-off heroin addict who can’t decide whether to clean up or regress in the company of his loser friends in working-class Edinburgh, and later in London. The film was produced in 1996.

Trainspotting in reality refers to a session of dark linear mark or track that is left in the veins after shooting heroin. The first thing is that heroin users mainline along their arms and inject up and down on the main vein. “Station to station,” they call it. For addicts, everything narrows down to that one goal of getting drugs. “Trainspotters” are like that, obsessively taking down the numbers of trains.

The five main actors in this film are all males and with a life threatening drug habit. Trainspotting can be classified under four different types of film genre including: drama, comedy, crime and drug culture. “Trainspotting” is classified as drama since it is a serious story due to the drug habit and several scenes that showed the real lives of junkies, and graphic images of injecting heroin. On the other hand it can be classified as comedy especially when Spud goes to an interview high on speed and other funny moments that are there to lighten up the seriousness of the film. This can be classified as black humour. Surely Trainspotting can also be out under the crime and drug culture genre due to the story in itself and the characters This film gives us a very vivid and real picture of a heroin addict’s every day routine.’Choose Life…’ the film’s most famous quote means a lot. Those portrayed in Trainspotting are the ones that need to understand choosing life; they are the ones that this phrase was penned for and who are these people living a life less ordinary? They are addicts in Scotland, living lives that are synchronized around getting what they need. For three of them, heroin is their mode of addiction, for another passivity, and for the last aggression. They are a mad quintet, pissing away lives that could maybe amount to something.

In the beginning as we are introduced to our humble narrator Renton (McGregor). We can see that he is on a road to nowhere, stealing CDs from a shop in hopes of making a little cash to pay for the next hit. His home away from home is a drug dealer’s apartment ( Mother Superior) where he is issued a regular platter of needle, spoon, lighter, and heroin beside his best mates Sick Boy (Miller) and Spud (Bremner). They are as troublesome as he is, though Spud is helpless in his addiction while Sick Boy is just there to compare metaphorical sizes.

Movies about drug addiction are certainly nothing new, but this film makes everything look different, almost like it is the first film to deal with the subject. Trainspotting is brave and frequently hilarious; it’s dark, smart and stubborn. It’s more than one of the best ‘drug movies’ ever made; it’s arguably the finest film to come out of the UK

Ewan McGregor plays the main character; Mark Renton. He introduces the film Trainspotting with an extremely energetic scene, the former scene accompanied by Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’, along with Renton’s sarcastic narration, which rejects our weak, mechanical existence in favour of the joys of heroin. Iggy pop is Renton’s hero. He even has a poster of him in his room. When he goes clubbing, we notice that his heroin habit has been going on for a long time as he doesn’t recognize any of the new songs at the club. Diane makes him notice this, and Renton starts to realize that heroin has taken so much out of his life.

“People associate it with misery, desperation and death, which is not to be ignored. But what they forget is the pleasure of it, otherwise we wouldn’t do it” He is undoubtedly appalled by society and the materialistic satisfactions it offers. He later compares heroin: ‘imagine the best orgasm you ever had and multiply it by a thousand and you’re not even there’ However, after a few minutes into the film he decides to quit heroin. The viewers may conclude that it is time to move on in life, yet he could not live life without heroin as we see through out the film his various unsuccessful trials at quitting his habit

Renton has a serious drug habit, and due to his unemployment must sustain is by shoplifting and petty theft. When he was on methadone, he had his ‘last hit’ and this resulted in an overdose. This simply shows an effort to avoid being compliant. In fact, it is this determined attitude which possibly explains heroin’s over Renton. He states, “We’d inject Vitamin C if they made it illegal”

Even though he manages to kicked his heroin addiction and starts a new life in London, his old circle of friends are not easy to get rid of and Renton ends up getting involved in a drug deal, and sells 4 kilos of heroin with his ‘so-called’ friends. Towards the end of the film, he betrays the others by escaping with the money. This shows the viewers that he decided to ‘choose life’, be ‘just like us’ which is a doubtful aim; the qualities of which the film questions the whole time

Renton is dreamy, sharp, troubled, and calm, seemingly all at the same time, and you never know where you are with him, as he never knows where he is with himself. It’s an understated portrayal of an essentially rootless character – yet a magnetic one.

Johnny Lee Miller plays the part of Sick Boy who is portrayed as a handsome guy who has the habit of talking nonsense and bombarding his mates with trivia about Sean Connery. He is a womanizing James Bond wannabe, who is highly intelligent. Sick Boy is the one who seems least affected by his heroin habit. In fact, when Renton tries to quit heroin, Sick boy does the same just to spite him In the film Trainspotting Sick boy is the one who trivializes heroin and seems to have no problems with his addiction contrary to the rest of the crew.

“The film only touches on the question of how far his persona is genuine or just social camouflage” . Sick Boy’s behaviour in the final parts of the film show how the death of his baby has affected him and made him more crime prone. He starts to deal in drugs, pimping and becomes an all round con. Renton states that when Sick Boy’s child passed away, something inside Sickboy must have died and never came back .

Later in the film, Renton escapes to London to start a new life, while Sick Boy and the rest of his friends remain in the Scottish capital. When he visits Renton unexpectedly, he immediately sells Renton’s television without consent and he also offers to sell Renton’s passport. Sickboy is so fixated with his new criminal career that he never even bothers to think about Renton’s feelings. “He becomes obsessed with developing useful contacts for that elusive ‘big deal’, and sticks a finger in any pie on offer” He becomes a manipulative pimp and drug-pusher at every opportunity and wouldn’t hesitate about taking advantage and manipulating anyone for the purpose of self-advancement. All through out this ordeal Sick boy remains as vain as always.

Tommy, played by Kevin McKidd, contrasts vividly with the other main characters. He is portrayed as athletic, finding pleasure walking in the countryside, weight lifting and watching football rather than making use of drugs. As the film progresses, there is a drastic change in Tommy, turning him into the worst of the bunch with a “rapid and fatal” descent .

Tommy’s relationship with his girlfriend Lizzie does not seem to be progressing well. The strain of finding their homemade porn film missing because Renton “borrowed” is the final straw for Lizzie and breaks off the relationship. When his efforts to patch up his relationship fail, Tommy falls in a depression and resorts to drugs. Sadly enough (black comedy), it is Lizzie, the very person whom Tommy loves that causes his death. With the increased use of heroin, Tommy contacts HIV. His initially clean and tidy apartment becomes filthy. His final tentative to regain Lizzie sees him getting her a kitten, which she refuses. Tommy is found dead due to an infection from the kitten’s faeces . This has a social connotation as HIV and AIDS due to heroin abuse was on the increase and booming in 1996.

Clarke considers this character’s story helps to create an ethical perspective in this film, giving the audience something to think about. Anyone can fall victim to drug abuse, even youths considered as ‘good’. Clark states that Tommy is portrayed as free from drugs on film whereas makes use of amphetamines in Irvine Welsh’s novel. This could be credited to the fact that certain individuals would prefer watching the film rather than reading the book thus the message has to be harsher to get across. The same can be said of Tommy’s behind-the-scene drug use. As the film proceeds, Tommy’s health aggravates thus shocking the audience. In the end, without Lizzie, Tommy “chose not to choose life” but heroin and death .

Begbie considers himself better than any of the rest. This is seen clearly when he lectures his friends after Renton narrowly escapes imprisonment , and trys to appear mature in front of Renton’s parents and when he claims that never would he “poison” himself with chemicals. Alcohol can also be considered as a harmful chemical to the body, but Begbie doesn’t see it as such. Begbie takes a commanding attitude when with his friends, for example in the final pub fight scene when he orders Renton to bring him a cigarette or during the hallucination scenes as well as during his stay with Renton in England.

Spud, the “amiable, childlike loser” as described by Clarke, is played by Ewen Bremner . Clarke considers Spud’s life as brimming with wrong choices, including his choice of drugs which is considered unsuitable to his weak character . During his six-week relationship with Gail, they never had sex. On the night she wanted to have sex with him, Spud was too drunk to do anything. On awaking in Gail’s bed the following morning, he finds the sheets soiled. Spud’s bowel contents end up smeared on Gail and her parents whilst eating breakfast .

Clarke compares other scenes from the film. Spud gets incarcerated for shoplifting while Renton emerges practically scot-free. Similarly, Diane sees Spud lying intoxicated under the pavement during the letter scene whilst the others appear lucid . Also, despite various threats, Spud is the only member of the group to be injured by Begbie. Nonetheless, it is inevitable for everyone to love Spud. The audience sympathise with him. Renton wishes he ended in prison instead of his friend. In the end, he leaves money only for Spud because he pities him.

Kelly Macdonald starring as Diane is young but wise beyond her actual years. This is shown especially when she deals with men. At first, Renton sees her at a nightclub rejecting the advances of a man by drinking both drinks and leaving, and secondly when Renton approaches her outside the club and responds to his weak chat with a coldly cruel speech that leaves him completely dejected. However, when she leaves the taxi door open for Renton to go in, it becomes clear that the negative response may have been purely a tool to create sexual power over him.

Later in the film, after a night of passion with Renton in her bedroom, Renton and the audience are amused and disturbed to see Diane changing from her silver dress into her school uniform. The audience understands the position Renton has found himself in. He ought to escape from this situation or else face the consequences since she is underage. However, Diane has once again the power over Renton in this situation because if she tells the police, Renton will face prison. She knows the law and blackmails him to meet her again . Diane also seems to be more knowledgeable about modern culture. In fact she emphasizes that shooting heroin, listening to Iggy Pop and the fact that Renton and the main protagonists are still in Edinburgh are outdated, “Times are changing, music is changing, even drugs are changing” .

Establishing sexual power over men is also seen in other women in the film. In a nutshell, Trainspotting’s male characters are ready to drop their usual secure façade and jeopardize embarrassment to fulfill their sexuality. The women in Trainspotting seem to be more than happy to coerce. For instance Spud’s girlfriend refused to sleep with Spud during their six-week relationship but she later admitted to Lizzy that she wants to sleep with Spud yet she loves watching him suffer. Lizzy is also seen as ridiculing and sexually controlling her men. She would not deny herself from having sex with Tommy since it is her only pleasure she gets from him. However, later in the film, when Thomas could not find the highly intimate private video, Lizzy was ashamed. She was so furious with him that she left him .

Alison, played by Susan Vidler, is a typical drug-craving mother. She is self-centred, completely neglecting her daughter. When the baby is found dead in her cot, Renton narrates that they did not know who father her baby. This furthers the belief that she is quite immature and lacking in morals, having sexual contact with all male members of the group. On discovering her daughter’s death, one of her initial reactions is to take heroin.

Mother superior is the group’s heroin provider. Although he is seen administering the drug to the friends, he himself is never viewed making use of it. Mother superior cannot be considered completely as friend to them because he ultimately wants money for the drugs he provides. However, when Renton overdoses, Mother superior calls for a taxi and provides money for it. This can be interpreted as a friendly gesture but also as helping Renton to avoid getting in trouble. Mother superior knows the different characters of the group. This can indicate that they have all be using drugs for quite a while, thus frequenting Mother superior’s place often. During the film, the characters are seen shoplifting to sustain their drug habit. The need to steal might have been initiated by Mother superior demanding hard cash.

The bond Renton has with his friends is just the common goal of shooting the next hit. When he is not on drugs he has to face reality, which is, maintaining relationships, meeting girls and everyday responsibilities. The film portrays what seems to be united group. However, there is a fear of Begbie because of his violence and alcoholic tendencies as well as him being the older of the lot. Sickboy, Renton, Spud and later on in the film Tommy all have a heroin addiction, thus their preferred method to solve problems is taking a hit. Begbie solves his by drinking and fighting. The group share stolen money and tend to shoplift in groups. When they go to the clubs, they party together. Still, in the end Renton calls the rest of the group “so-called friends”.

The relationship between Renton and Spud can be thought of the best within the characters. As mentioned before, Renton cannot help liking Spud. Renton is seen giving his friend hints before Spud’s job interview. Even though it is considered wrong, Renton offers Spud some speed to put him at easy. When both of them are caught shoplifting, Renton wishes he went to prison instead of Spud. In the same scene, he admits feeling lonely, although being surrounded with family and friends. At the end of the film, Renton felt sorry for Spud because he never harmed anyone or said a bad word about his friends. Thus, he left money only to Spud. This relationship is further supported by the fact that Renton asks Spud if they would take the money and go. Renton could have more easily grabbed the bag and left before Spud would have reacted in any way.

Renton has a good relationship with Tommy as well, thinking of him as one of his best friends. Tommy also considers Renton a friend by confiding with him the problems he had with Lizzie. Renton felt sorry for Tommy when he found his HIV positive friend living in a horrible, filthy apartment. He tried to make amends by giving money to Tommy to pay the rent. This relationship is somewhat ironic because Tommy’s downfall is caused by Renton when he stole Tommy and Lizzy’s video. From the beginning, Renton and Sickboy’s relationship does not seem strong. Renton is slightly jealous of Sickboy. This impression is born by the fact that Sickboy can easily overcome heroin just because Renton is trying to quit. Sickboy does not seem to have any problems dating girls in the disco scene whereas Renton did not like the females around him, except for Diane. Towards the end of the film, Renton states that Sickboy would betray him off as well if he thought about it first. Sickboy himself admits the fact.

Spud and Tommy are seen alone talking about sex a highly private issue since they both have a girlfriend. Their girlfriends also seem to be in confidence with each other. They are comfortable sharing problems: Spud – no sex in a six-week relationship; Tommy – forgetting Lizzy’s birthday. He had a ticket for Iggy Pop for the same night. When Tommy dies, Spud sings him a song. This little act shows how much Spud cared for Tommy. Begbie’s relationship with Renton is slightly contradictory. Begbie trusts Renton enough to confide with him when he went out with a transsexual without knowing at first. However, Begbie threatens Renton on several occasions, his aggressive nature taking over all emotions. Renton pleases Begbie mainly because he fears him. Renton tries not to oppose Begbie because he is “a psycho” At the end of the film Renton states that he did not care that he betrayed Begbie.

The relationship portrayed between Mother superior and Renton cannot be termed as a friendship because ultimately Mother Superior’s business consists of selling drugs to Renton and the rest of the group. Still their relationship runs deeper than the normal dealer-user relationship. Mother superior could have easily dumped Renton somewhere instead of calling a taxi to take him to hospital. However, some may doubt the gesture as generated due to friendship. The audience could believe that paying for the taxi is a little price to pay when compared to all the trouble Mother superior could get if found with a dead body.

Trainspotting could be described as conveying an anti-drugs message, which is portrayed through “character studies rather than a patronizing preach” This film presents its audience with more than one view of drug Throughout the film, the youth characters are frequently seen cooking heroin and injecting the latter into their bodies (, however it also portrays the pain, agony, melancholy and unhappiness that are derived from this drug addiction . One could say that this film is a warning about the fears and perils of drug addiction, mainly heroin addiction .

Trainspotting’s anti-drug message mainly lies within the film’s ability to illustrate and tackle the reason as to why young people are attracted to drugs. Furthermore the film’s power and success into presenting the audience with the negative results, damage and consequences that derive from this type of addiction convey this anti-drugs message more clearly. The film portrays these negative results and damages constantly throughout the film. The film and its characters enter a world of neglect, dieing babies, AIDS, anxiety, depression, boredom and hopelessness. Moreover the other anti-drugs message that derives from this film “goes beyond causes and consequences in explaining that serious drug abuse is itself beyond cause and consequences: Renton asks, “Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?” .

Trainspotting deals with the mid 80’s heroin subculture of Edinburgh, “when Pakistani smack had glutted the UK market, becoming, for thousands of ordinary people mired in unemployment, a cheaper means to oblivion than alcohol”. It analysis the likelihood of youth subcultures to surpass “their social class contect and form(ing) a class of their own” In this film even “nonravers” are portrayed as drug users, both in a literal sense (“state-sanctioned chemicals like alcohol or tranquilizers”) and in a metaphorical sense (“TV, videos, computer games, the adrenaline rush of football violence”) .

Hebdige (1979:100) maintains that “style is an intentional communication.” Barthes (N.D.) as cited in Hebdige (1979:100), differentiates between “subcultural” and “normal styles.” The subcultural style collects those insistent mixtures of clothing, music, jargon and so on, and nearly exhibits a corresponding connection to “the more conventional formulae (normal suits, ties, twin sets, etc.)”. The clothes that individuals wear are selected within the constraint of preference, taste, cost etc. Such choices embrace a wide range of messages, which are communicated through the delicately assorted distinctions of a number of “interlocking sets” such as status, self-image and class. Subcultural styles distinguish themselves from normal styles as “they are fabricated and they display their own codes,” and this is constantly portrayed throughout the film (Hebdige, 1979:100-101). Through the clothes worn by the characters in the films, they are portraying the message that they do not belong to the “normal culture” but they belong to a class or subculture of their own; “I speak through my clothes” (Eco, 1973 as cited in Hebdige, 1979:100).

Trainspotting can be described as dark humor, but junkies’ world over priced the film heartily. It’s a film that is mainly about people that do not want to belong. Trainspotting is not the first film about heroin, but the first one that is a ‘slap in our faces are both the grim realities of life at the tip of a needle and a freewheeling, pop-music-fueled glorification of the addicts’ smack-happy existence’ .

The Trainspotting soundtrack was wildly successful in the international charts after the release of the film itself, in the 1990’s. The music score is mainly composed of popular music. Sometimes the film takes the semblance of a music video, with conversation kept at a bare minimum. The scene and the soundtrack are complete and enough for the viewer to understand. This is used several times and for different purposes .

In the first ten minutes of the film, we are transfixed; watching as the anti hero Renton and Spud race through the streets and a voice over begins:”Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a career. Choose a family. Choose a fucking big television; choose washing machines, cars, compact disc players and electrical tin openers. Choose good health, low cholesterol and dental insurance. . . .”

This litany goes on and then we get a view of Renton lying in heroin stupor and the voice over ends with:

“But why would I want to do a thing like that? I chose not to choose life: I chose something else. And the reasons? There are no reasons. Who needs reasons when you’ve got heroin?”

Accompanying this powerful scene is Iggy Pop’s ‘Lust for Life’. ‘Lust for Life’, in which the lyrics, are markedly subordinated to Renton’s voice-over after the thumping opening few bars, so much so that the only lyrical fragments that can be heard are the opening line ‘Here comes Johnny Yen again…’ and the choral refrain (‘I gotta lust for life’). Incidentally, Iggy Pop is renowned for his past heroin abuse and is mentioned quite a lot in the film. The two eventually come to signify each other – Mark Renton is the central character of the film, and Iggy Pop is the most prominent artist on the soundtrack album. Iggy Pop’s music also lends a sense of rebellion to the film. We can notice Iggy Pop’s poster in one of the scenes too

Renton’s knowledge of new music is limited and this is seen when they go clubbing. Renton is ill at ease; he hasn’t been out for a long time and is not in touch with the current music scene. This is where we have the inclusion of the songs Born Slippy and ‘For what you dream of’. All this shows how Renton has been so wrapped up into his heroin habit that he is totally put of touch. The only song Renton recognizes is a song originally by Blondie called “Atomic’ (an 80’s song). The shift in emphasis is evident in Trainspotting itself as, although the musical character of the score gradually shifts from the proto-punk of Iggy Pop through to the more recent waves of dance music

Some of the music was recorded purposely for the film. For example Pulp’s “Mile End”, which accompanies Mark Renton’s moving into a London flat. The lyrics of the song describe the state of the flat he moves into:

“It smelt as if someone had died

The living room was full of flies.

The kitchen sink was blocked

The bathroom sink not there at all…”

Another song created by the group Leftfield for the film is ironically called ‘The final Hit’. Throughout the film Renton takes many of his so called final hits. It is mainly an instrumental track, with harmonic chords which contrast with a dark, almost overpowering rhythm track. The contrast between harmony and rhythm may represent Mark Renton’s mixed feelings at this point in the film – he desperately wants to give up heroin, but the feeling it gives him is too pleasurable.

As a whole the music used in the film is full of irony. For example when Renton is hallucinating that he is disappearing down the ‘dirtiest toilet in Scotland’, we hear a mellow piece of ambient music by Brian Eno, aptly called Deep Blue Day. The film takes a surreal twist here and we enter a world of soft sounds and images as Renton swims in a blue ocean. This all contrasts harshly with the reality of Renton digging into a filthy toilet to find his heroin suppositories, while he vomits uncontrollably

All of the songs in the soundtrack of Trainspotting have become significant to people who saw it and associate the songs to the film; to heroin. At this time, the term heroin chic was having great impact in the world. Heroin chic was a trend in the 90’s that characterized the “thin, sickly look of junkies. Blank expression, waxy complexion, dark circles under the eyes, sunken cheeks, excessive thinness, greasy hair” were seen on runway models showing the ‘heroin chic’ look and promoted in popular magazine and fashion circles as ‘chic’. This fragile, thin, and drug-addicted look was well-liked in the fashion world. In fact, in 1997 it was the basis of the advertising campaign of Calvin Klein. The heroin chic fashion provided debate and anti-drug groups protested. “Fashion designers, models such as Kate Moss and James King, and movies such as Trainspotting were blamed for glamorizing the heroin chic look and lifestyle”

Former US President Bill Clinton condemned the heroin chic look and the ‘heroin chic’ fashion photography for sending a message that using the drug is ‘glamorous’ and ‘sexy’. He said, “You do not need to glamorize addiction to sell clothes.” As he saw it, the glorification of heroin “is not creative. It is destructive. It is not beautiful. It is ugly. And this is not about art. It is about life and death. And glorifying death is not good for any society” Not surprisingly much of the mainstream press and the dailies were horrified by the apparent glorification of heroin use in the film Trainspotting. Junkies were presented as righteous heroes choosing freedom over the tyranny of consumer society. Suddenly all values were inverted as viewers and readers were invited to identify and empathise with low-lifes who would think nothing of spending all day watching telly and shooting heroin. Trainspotting helped a new morbid fascination with the drug heroin by portraying powerful role models in the movie. For years heroin has been very popular in the lives of young celebrities for example River Phoenix (who died of an overdose in 1992).

Trainspotting was a great hit and could be seen of more than advertisement than a film. Even years after the film was released, the film about heroin addiction is was of the best marketed films that portrays cultural images of the heroin subcultures. Trainspotting has received a cult following. The film addresses both the problems of heroin addiction from a user point of view to an anti-drug point of view. Trainspotting manages to shock us, terrify and disgust us one moment and make us laugh the next. Trainspotting does not really have a plot but simply follow the daily lives of this group of junkies

Drugs are the main focus of this film. In the 1990’s a new wave of music and drugs started to emerge. Heroin was seen as old-fashioned (Iggy Pop). With the film Trainspotting heroin was given the spotlight. Characters like Sick Boy and Renton became idols for rebellious teenagers who wanted to experiment in drugs, felt disillusioned, unattached from society. Trainspotting became the bible to this new generation of heroin junkies. They had a soundtrack and idols to emulate. On the other hand one could have viewed the film as it is; an ironic and cynical peep hole into the lives of a group of heroin addicts. The tragedy of the film is apparent to the viewer, but than it is up to the individual to interpret it.

The ABC’s of Song Structure

I’m certainly not one to try set specifications how art should be created or performed (that kind of defeats the purpose of art). Like many expressions of art, songwriting doesn’t have to follow any hard set rules, but for your music to have broad appeal (if that’s what you’re going for), it’s a good idea to understand basic song structure.

There is no doubt that there are some phenomenally creative and talented artists out there, who take unconventional approaches to their lyric and melody writing. I think it’s safe to say that most music listeners appreciate some kind of direction and organization. This is where song structure transforms your work from chaotic ramblings to purposeful connection.

Study your favorite artists. Think of examples of your favorite songs. Chances are, you will find deliberate song structure, with a clear point and direction. Now creative types typically don’t like the idea of rules or structure, but there’s a lot of creative play within the confines of a well crafted song (and an infinite catalog of popular music proves it).

In popular music, there are four basic components to compose a song: verse, pre-chorus, chorus, and bridge. Depending on what kind of song you’re writing, all, some, or only one of these elements may be all you need.


The verse is where you tell the story and “preview” the central idea of your song (driven home by the chorus). It’s typically your lyrical introduction, revealing the themes layer by layer. This is generally where you have to grasp the listeners attention. The following verses develop the story or expand on the central idea.


The pre-chorus doesn’t appear in every song, but it’s a very effective way of setting up a dynamic transition into the chorus. The lyrics and melody typically go with the flow of the verse, but are distinctly different. A lot of times it’ll be the same lyric line, regardless of the verse, but it can also be a great expansion and new perspective of your verses.


This is where the central idea or theme of your song takes hold, and you drive home your hook (that part of the song that sticks in the listeners head). A lot of times the lyric lines are a little more simple here, with a dynamic melody.


Sometimes you’ll want to insert a bridge, which usually occurs later in the song (typically after the second chorus). The bridge usually has a distinctly different melody, and lyrically it sums up or reveals new insight into the theme of the song. Sometimes it can just be an instrumental solo.


This usually has to do more with arrangement and production, than actual writing. The intro is the first thing a listener hears, so you’ll want to open up strong. A lot of the time it’s only an instrumental, but lyric lines or vocals are many times present depending on the style and arrangement. The outro is the ending of the song. This is where you decide what the listener hears last. Sometimes it’s just the chorus fading out, sometimes an abrupt stop, or any creative arrangement that you feel will have the most impact.

Common Song Structures

How you write, structure, and arrange your song, is completely up to you. Here are some of the more common arrangements:





You have many different arrangements to play with, and you can really let your creativity thrive here. If you want a more complex arrangement, you can try something like:

Long Verse/Pre-Chorus/Chorus/Short Verse/Pre-Chorus/Chorus/Bridge/Chorus

The more you play around and develop you’re arrangements, the better you’ll get at it. The biggest hurdle to jump, is to get out there and start!

The Difference Between AutoCAD and SolidWorks

SolidWorks is what we call a “parametric” solid modeller used for 3-D design. Parametric means that the dimensions can have relationships between one another and can be changed at any point during the design process to automatically alter the solid part and any related documentation (blueprint). AutoCAD, however, is primarily a 2-D design tool with some, but limited 3-D capabilities. It is very simple compared to any parametric solid modeller (although 3D is improved in AutoCAD 2007). Autodesk (the manufacturer of AutoCAD) makes a product that is nearly identical to SolidWorks, called Inventor, which is a parametric program for design of solid parts and assemblies.

SolidWorks is a 3D mechanical CAD (computer-aided design) program that runs on Microsoft Windows. SolidWorks files use the Microsoft Structured storage file format. This means that there is various files embedded within each SLDDRW (drawing files), SLDPRT (part files), SLDASM (assembly files), with preview bitmaps and metadata sub-files. Various third-party tools can be used to extract these sub-files, although the sub-files in many cases use proprietary binary file formats. SolidWorks is a parasolid-based solid modeller, and utilizes a parametric feature-based approach to create models and assemblies. Parameters refer to restrictions which values determine the shape or geometry of the model. Parameters can be either numeric, such as line lengths or circle diameters, or geometric, such as tangent, parallel, concentric, horizontal or vertical. Numeric parameters can be associated with each other through the use of relations, which allows them to capture design intent.

AutoCAD is, just like SolidWorks, a Computer Aided Design software application for 2-D and 3-D design and drafting. AutoCAD was one of the first CAD programs to run on personal or home computers, notably the IBM personal computer. At that time, most other CAD programs ran on mainframe computers or mini-computers that were connected to a graphics computer terminal for each user. Early releases of AutoCAD used basic entities such as lines, poly-lines, circles, arcs, and text to ultimately construct more complex objects. AutoCAD has since started to support custom objects through its C++ Application Programming Interface (API).

Modern AutoCAD includes a full set of basic solid modelling and 3-D tools. With the release of AutoCAD 2007 improved 3D modelling saw the light, which means better navigation when working in three dimensions. It also became easier to edit 3-D models. The mental ray engine was included in rendering and thus it was now possible to do quality renderings. AutoCAD 2010 introduced parametric functionality and network modelling. At this moment, AutoCAD only runs under Microsoft Windows operating systems. It is available in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. AutoCAD can run on an emulator or compatibility layer like VM-ware Workstation or Wine, although various performance issues can arise if you work with 3-D objects or large drawings.

Choosing a system that works for you depends solely on the type of work you want to do. Many experts say that SolidWorks is more effective when working on 3 dimensional designs and that AutoCAD is the way to go for 2 dimensional design.

Pros and Cons of Back to Wall Toilets

The look and design of a bathroom is almost always the top priority when remodelling a bathroom. The main consideration is usually the decor with matching tiles and fittings or vanity units. However, a clean, hygienic and well-designed toilet not only looks appealing but also allows the optimum utilisation of space. After the kitchen, the toilet and bathroom are the most frequently used areas in the house hence the demand for attention to its design.

Today, several choices of toilets are available in the market. Beginning with corner toilets, wall hung toilets, one and two piece toilets and back to wall toilets. Among the many varieties, the back to wall toilet style is favoured by many and is ideal for compact houses and apartments. These types of toilets have a concealed cistern behind the wall or a cabinet and are either floor or wall mounted. Before purchasing one of these popular toilets, lets discuss the pros and cons of back to wall toilets.

Pros of Back to Wall Toilets

Sleek & Slim: Installing these toilets produces an aesthetically pleasing bathroom with their elegant clean lines and hidden cistern. The toilets are fitted up to a false wall or cabinet that hides the cistern and plumbing. The cabinet usually matches the interior decor and continues the bathroom theme. A variety of designs are available with contemporary and modern styles available in the market to suit individual tastes.

Space: Less space is required to fit a back to wall toilet as they are shorter in length due to their hidden cistern which is installed behind the wall. Their shorter length makes them ideal for small bathrooms, ensuites or under-stair toilets. Back to wall toilets can also be wall mounted, which require even less space and are easier to clean.

Ergonomics: The design of back to wall toilets make them aesthetically pleasing as well as very comfortable. As this type of toilet can be wall hung, they can be adjusted to the perfect height for the user, making it easy to use.

Cons of Back to Wall Toilets

Expensive: Compared to traditional toilets, these toilets are more expensive due to them being produced in lower numbers. In addition, they also require additional work to install which will increase the installation cost, as well as requiring a wall mounting kit.

Installation & Repair: If separate access to the concealed cistern is not created during installation, it will be very difficult to maintain or repair in the future. A separate panel access may increase the cost of overall fitting.

Besides, the little extra work required to install the toilet and cistern, back to wall toilets are an increasingly popular trend and are extremely popular in high-class establishments and homes. Fitting one in the home will not only enhance the style of the bathroom but could also help to increase the house value.

Guitar Delonge – 7 Tips to Play Guitar Like Blink 182

Tom Delonge’s guitar skills may not be the most impressive thing on the planet, but he does have enough skills to become a punk rock icon. Because of Blink 182’s catchy music, they’ve played hundreds of shows for thousands of dedicated fans.

But what should a beginning guitarist do in order to master the skills that Tom Delonge has? Here are 7 tips that can hone your skills into a rock guitarist.

1. Learn to play in different tunings.

Even though Delonge’s guitar parts are usually played in standard tuning, quite a few are played in other tunings like drop ‘d’. Check out other tunings to really expand your knowledge of the strings and the notes on each fret.

2. Use a guitar with a thinner neck.

You may have noticed that punk rock bands usually have Fenders and other similar-made guitars because of the thin necks for faster playing action. Buy a thin-necked guitar so that you can increase your playing speed to bang out those fast chords.

3. Become an adequate player with rhythm and lead riffs.

Tom Delonge is a decent guitarist because he’s forced to mix lead and rhythm riffs in each song, being the only guitarist in the band. In order to really get a feel for playing like Blink 182, you need to learn chords and catchy lead sections for your guitar arsenal.

4. Master pull-offs and hammer-ons.

Two of the most common guitar skills in punk rock music for lead riffs are pull-offs and hammer-ons. These are fairly easy skills to master and they’ll make you look like a pro when you’re on stage.

5. Get a hold of a guitar tab book from one of the Blink 182 albums.

Wouldn’t it be great to know exactly what Tom Delonge was playing when he recorded on the Blink 182 albums? Well you can!

There’s a guitar tablature book for each album that tells every single note that he played. Go out and learn what Blink 182 was really doing in their songs.

6. Use a mixture of palm-muted and open notes.

Being able to showcase diversity in your playing is a big part of playing guitar. Try switching up your playing style between palm-mutes and open notes when you’re playing guitar songs.

7. Practice Blink 182 songs in order to get the feel of how Tom Delonge writes and plays.

The more you’re familiar with how Tom Delonge plays his guitar, the closer you’ll be to mastering his skills. See if you can play through an entire album by Blink 182 without it causing too many problems.

Becoming familiar with how Tom Delonge performs and plays is the real key to learning his trade. Try to develop your own style as you follow these tips so that maybe you can be the one on stage some day.

Globalism – Cultural & Economic Diversity Does Not Divide Us

When I sit back, close my eyes and think of my earliest childhood memories, I remember being entranced by tales of exotic lands, cultures and cuisine. I remember my family sitting around the dinner table talking about the grandeur of the Taj Mahal and the enduring love story that inspired its construction. The conversation led to the mystery surrounding the Great Pyramids and before the conversation could go any further, I was hooked.

My dreams, at the preschool age level, would usually consist of me travelling to an exotic land and somehow being given the royal throne. It was not, however, without a fight for power that involved White Siberian tigers, a fairy-godmother and fireworks. Reality set in as I learned about the tragic endings that followed most monarchies and I actually saw the magnificent and endangered White Siberian Tigers. My dreams of exotic adventures became passions for travel and knowledge.

I am very fortunate to have parents who believe that a well-rounded education includes the understanding and acceptance of people of different races, cultures, religions and economic and political philosophies. It is one thing to study and philosophize, but quite another to tangibly be in the moment. The first trip I remember vividly was a trip to Bali, Indonesia when I was six years old. I remember watching the traditional religious ceremonies of the local people with colorful silk fabric draped around them, singing and playing music and carrying offerings of fresh fruit and flowers. It was magical to me and, at the same time, very foreign. I asked my family so many questions and I learned about the history, culture and religion of the people. I came away from that trip with an unquenchable thirst to experience more places with rich histories and cultures. I would find myself studying about the history of my next vacation prior to the actual trip so it would make the experience far more valuable. My grand plans certainly did help me understand the destination a bit better, but reality is far different from the pages in a book.

I have been fortunate to travel to some of the most amazing places on the planet. I have seen Palaces in Jaipur and Versailles, amazingly beautiful beaches in Australia and Rio, The Great Pyramids and the Taj Mahal and nature’s marvels in the Iguassu Falls and the Himalayan Mountains. At the same time, I have seen the poorest people in the streets of India, the villages of Bali and the Favelas in Rio. Economic differences exist in every country. Families strive to succeed and support one another, as we do here. As we toured the home of a typical Balinese villager, I noticed the intense pride in the patriarch of the family and sensed a ray of hope beaming through the rest of the family members. This renewed sense of hope was prevalent in many of the other families I encountered on my travels. Although the geography and cultures may be different, I have come to realize that people are basically the same. It is this basic premise, with the aspiration of hope and a strong work ethic that will eventually tie us all to a more globalized word.

Painting a Red and Green Apple Still Life in Oil Paint, Wet in Wet Demonstration

1) Raw umber wash drawing stage:

I add a small amount of odourless turpentine to a small amount of Raw Umber, mixing together with a palette knife. I then proceed to draw with a brush, using a small amount of this mixture, finding a basic outline and scrubbing in the shadow shapes. I constantly compare the apple to my painting, looking to correct any inaccuracies. By using shadow shapes to draw with, one can start to compare the masses like for like. Using straight lines to better identify the structure and comparing the width of the shadow shapes to the light shapes, I move towards more accurate proportions. I use another brush dipped in odourless turpentine or kitchen towel as an eraser.

I then add my highest light in the composition to better see how bright I can ultimately go to. (Squinting helps to identify where the highest light is. I want the painting to be as bright as possible in the lights (halftones, lights and highlights). Keying the painting in this way also allows me to gage the values (how light or dark something is) more easily. I then thinly paint a basic background colour to create somewhat of a context for the apple and to further correct the drawing. The value of the background in the light is derived by comparing it to the highest light in the painting. Squinting helps to determine the right value.

It should be noted that unlike a tennis ball, no apple is a perfect sphere, but consists of subtle planes. If one were to paint an apple as a perfect sphere, as some artists do, it will look like a Christmas bauble (not the look I am after).

2) Blocking in the masses

I paint the most chromatic (colourful) parts at full intensity in order to key the colour. Thereafter no colours in my composition can be more chromatic than my key, in the same way that no value can be higher than the highest light, already established. I paint the planes of the apple in a colour and value that best represents that plane, looking to capture the structure of the apple. Each value and colour is dependent on those around them and at this stage they must make sense in the context of the whole ensemble, or else be repainted. The lights (halftones, lights and highlights) must be lighter than the shadows. Squinting shows how simply the shadows can be painted, just one flat value at this point. Keeping things broad and simple, I cover the panel to create a loose visual impression, further correcting the drawing as I go.

3) Further refining form

I correct any false values that jump out as not fitting in with the overall impression, before breaking down the large planes into smaller ones, if desired. Further correcting the drawing as I go, I also define my edges, painting the contour of the apple as it meets the background harder (more abruptly) or softer (less abruptly) depending on what I see. For instance, the side of the apple appears harder where it overlaps the cast shadow. The cast shadow is painted more softly the further away it gets from the apple. One can create a soft edge by adding an additional intermediate value, blending across forms (make sure to restate the form if you do this), dragging the brush to overlap a previous brushstroke, with a loaded or empty brush, finger or palette knife or quite frankly any way you want. If there is too much paint down where I need to make a correction, scraping with a palette knife or using kitchen towel to remove excess paint can prove indispensable.

4) Finishing

Looking to simplify and reinforce any values or colours by further repainting on top. Paint handling and application can enhance textural variety, but achieving texture ultimately comes down to the right value, in the context of all the other values in the composition. I add detail, or simplify throughout the composition, depending on what I am after. For instance, I could have left the shadows as one flat value (see stage 3), but in this instance I introduced a small amount of reflected light into the shadow, squinting to determine how unified they should be. Too much reflected light will weaken the sense of the unified light impression. Our eyes adjust and let in more light when looking into the shadows in nature. Sacrifices must be made because paint does not have the same extremes of tonal range that we see in nature. Reflected light is somewhat sacrificed to promote the division of light and shade. See the work of Edouard Manet to see just how much one can simplify values in the lights (halftones, lights and highlights) and shadows. Often less information in a painting means more, but it depends on what effect you are seeking.

Article content: Copyright Andrew Hitchcock 2013

The Ugly Truth About Sex After Infidelity – Can You Handle It?

Rebuilding your sexual relationship with a cheating spouse after they’ve had an affair can be a difficult situation. Between the two of you, there’s a lot of emotion, confusion, and self-consciousness that will need to be handled in order to create a safe environment for intimacy.

To make matters worse, sex will be as much of a roller coaster as your feelings are. Sometimes it won’t be good enough, and there are things that should (or shouldn’t) have been done. You’ll want him to kiss you there, or not touch you at all. You’ll want him to do it right, or don’t do it at all. There will be times he’ll pull out all the stops short from swinging from a chandelier with a rose tucked between his teeth and you’ll still fall short of bliss.

For most men, sexual intimacy is one of their easiest forms of communication and reconnection, especially after an affair. Sexual intimacy doesn’t involve lots of verbal expression, but it’s still possible that sex won’t be easy for him either. He may miss his sexual relationship with the other woman, even if he’s made a clear decision to save your marriage or committed relationship. He might also find it hard to sustain an erection out of guilt or fear that if he doesn’t perform as you desire, you’ll think he’s still cheating on you. Anxiety can impede his sexual performance in other ways, making him absent-minded and uncomfortable.

On the other hand, he may also pursue you at top speed for sex, as he thinks it’s a method to prove he still loves you. Many women react unfavorably, assuming their husbands see them as a sexual object, but we implore you not to. If he primarily connected to you with sex before the affair, chances are he’ll continue to do so after the affair.

Another challenge to having sex again after an affair is dealing with the other woman. She will continue to be part of your sex life long after she’s been removed from the picture. Your husband may think longingly of her, fantasize about her or desire her and potentially feel guilt about it as well. You too, will think of her, perhaps to wonder how you compare to her, or in an angry manner. When either or both of you channel her mentally during sex, this will bring the passion in your bedroom down.

Difference Between Hand Tools and Power Tools

For DIY enthusiasts, and even those who have the bare basics of a tool box, most people will probably have at least some hand and power tools to call their own. The simple difference between a hand and power tool is that hand tools are devices for performing work on a material using only hands while the power tools are tools powered by an electric motor.

Arguably power tools are great machines for completing large scale projects quickly and efficiently, and other tasks which require more than man power to get the job done. Meanwhile, hand tools can mean the difference between a casual DIY beginner and a true craftsperson for smaller projects. A degree of skill and precision can come into the use of hand tools, while the main element of using power tools is the safety aspect.

Hand tools usually refer to anything which is manual, and there are many which are so common and every day, that we do not even think of them as tools at all. These range from gardening equipment such as spades and shovels, to hammers and screwdrivers. These items are so prevalent in our daily lives we would not necessarily consider them when considering the tools we own.

When asked about their tools, many would simply think of tools powered by electricity or a motor. These can include electric drills, petrol chainsaws, lawnmowers, power sanders and so on. When it comes to deciding which is most important and versatile, you should remember that both types of tool are indispensable in their own right.

Hand tools provide more speed, strength, and accuracy than hand tools, they are ideal for smaller projects but a power tool will save you a considerable amount of time and effort in a larger project.

Hand tools have the edge when it comes to being more environmentally friendly, often easier to use, and cheaper to buy.

Often power tools cannot be used near a water supply or in the rain, and the user must also be careful of using such equipment around children or animals in case of accidents.

Both hand tools and power tools both have their place in any workshop and home. If you’re serious about DIY, it’s important to use both types of tools in the situations where they work the best. Some jobs, such as putting together flat pack furniture, will require use of both types of tool, while other jobs such as sanding, your choice will depend on the size of the area required, a power sander is only needed for a large surface area. The important thing to remember is that both power and hand tools can complement each other in their uses and practicalities.

To equip your workshop or toolbox and shed, here are the top 5 of each that everybody should own;

Essential power tools

  • Electric drill
  • Petrol Hedge trimmer
  • Petrol chainsaw
  • Power sander
  • Nail gun

Essential hand tools

  • Screwdriver
  • Hammer
  • Spirit Level
  • Scalpel
  • Wrench

Starting A Concrete Cleaning Pressure Washer Business

Concrete cleaning can be a lucrative business to start. Here are some tips which will help you do it right.

First and foremost there is one thing you need to understand when you are cleaning concrete and that is that concrete cannot always be restored to its virgin state after it has been stained. You can always get stains lighter or bleached but completely removing it is very difficult. So when talking to a customer explain this to them otherwise they will be asking for a job that just can’t be done unless the entire concrete slab is ripped up and re-poured. Now with that in mind let’s talk about equipment that is needed for this type of work. Remember safety is always important when working with a pressure washer. Some times there are chemicals involved in cleaning some stains. Thus, you should always use some type of eye protection. Also, when you are using chemicals you need to wear jeans to protect your legs.

Chemicals made for concrete are very strong and should not be toyed with. Would a person rather work with dry feet or wet? It is recommended that you get rubber waders or some type of rubber boot. They will keep your feet from getting wet and keep them from getting burned by the 250 degree water. Orange cones are also important to have for this job. These help make people visually aware that you are there if you are in a high traffic area or where there are a lot of contract workers at say a newly constructed house that needs the concrete cleaned. This makes everyone around you safe and you are helping prevent accidents. Of course you are going to need a Hydro-Twister for this job. You can technically do the job with a wand but it will take a lot more time and water, not to mention you can cause streaking if you are not using even strokes across the slab of concrete. Most of the new car wash trucks come with them now but if you don’t have one and or you need a second unit and go to buy one be sure to get the larger of the two. There my be only a 5 inch difference in surface coverage but it is well worth it when you are trying to save time without cutting corners.

Remember this business is all about time relevant to money. You want to be making at least a $1 a minute when doing concrete work at a minimum and aim for $100 to $200 per hour. If you are not achieving this income level then you work too slowly or you did not bid correctly on the accounts you are taking. You need to have a work order form. This form should have an area for time it took to do the job, how many people were on the job, gas to get to the site and mileage to get to the site. If you need a sheet like this the trainers (Jason & Rand) in Scottsdale will be more then happy to fax you one. Call them at 1-602-432-1308.

For your wand you need to use a green tip for steam and a yellow or 15-degree tip for breaking up dirt from an area or pushing the dirty water from an area. You need to have an extra one hundred feet of pressure hose with you on the truck. This extra hose needs to be available when you are at a job site where there are many contract workers and space is limited. More then two hundred feet of hose will be required to get to places like the back yards of houses. You will also need two hundred feet of garden hose. More often than not you will have a job that requires more than 200 gallons of water or multiple jobs on a single day that will use more than 200 gallons of water. You have to remember that hard water is not really all that important when doing concrete. Soft water is good for doing vehicles to help prevent hard water spots but is not necessary for concrete. Plus, it is not worth the time to refill your water tank just do concrete. If you have a regular concrete cleaning customer you may just want to tell them you will use their water and you will decrease their bill by about fifty dollars a month to help cover their water bill.

You need a push broom or hand brooms to help move lose dirt before starting the job. On larger jobs you may want to consider a blower, the type that are used for lawns. This will help move more dirt faster. You need a floor squeegee for helping push water out if you are in a garage or other area where water should not stand very long. The half-moon shaped floor squeegee works best. Plus it helps identify an area that you may need to go over again or chemically treat to get the stain out. A flat-ended shovel is important to have if you have concrete that has spilled on the flat slab already or small rocks that have accumulated on the concrete. If you spray the concrete when these little rocks are still on there and you hit them just right; they may catch a nearby window and cause damage. You could break up the excess concrete with the pressure wand but once again this is wasting time and money that you could be making at your next job. A very important item to have is some type of cover plate. This plate will be placed in front of doorways or floorboards when you are using the wands to get around the edges of the concrete. A lot of the competition does not make this additional effort when doing a job. This is what makes us the best because we care about the work that we do.

The truck should be set up so that you can use a garden hose and external water supply should we need one for concrete or other types of jobs. The trucks should come with quick releases between the tank and the intake tube to the pressure washer. There should also be a valve that is turned so the water is running from the black tank that now holds the external water that comes in. There needs to be a connection for a water hose that is on top of the black small tank. The inside of the tank can be fitted with a floater in it so water will not run over when you are not depressing the trigger and letting out water. When cleaning concrete always use 3000+ PSI and 250+ degree water. These two elements are key to cleaning concrete effectively and correctly. Now let’s talk about chemicals for a minute.

To clean rust there is a product made by Simonize (that can be ordered from Howard at AAA Pressure Washers)


that is called Concrete Cleaner and Etch. This chemical is an acid and can be very dangerous. To apply this chemical you can spray it with a metal hand held spray canister. If you use a sprayer that has plastic parts to it, the sprayer won’t last more then a one or two times before the parts melt and it is useless. The chemical should be mixed 50-50 with water. If you are using it on colored concrete try a test patch first because this stuff bleaches and lightens so it might make it lighter than the original concrete. For removing oil or grease stains Simonize SC-260 can be used. It is a granule type chemical that looks like kitty litter. To apply it you need to wet down the area to be treated first then spread a thin layer of it over the spot. Take a brush and agitate it to work it in. Let it set about fifteen to twenty minutes before removing it. Make sure you are very through in removing the granules. This next chemical should be used for emergencies if at all possible. This stuff is very thick and should be applied with a roller brush that is an adhesive type roller. Let it set for fifteen to twenty minutes and then remove it being very careful not to get it on you or any of the other chemicals for that matter. To develop the most efficient use of time at a concrete job site one person should be sweeping up loose debris from the work area while the other is setting up the equipment. Be sure all the corners are swept well because this is the area where most lose dirt seems to end up. Remember that when you hydro twist an area that you are simply lifting the dirt and stains.

You need to go back over the areas afterwards to move the dirt away from the concrete. After you have used the hydro twister on the area you then need to cover all siding up with your cover plate or what ever guard you find works best and proceed to hand wand any trouble spots and the outer edges of the concrete. Finally, when working where a lot of contractors are working be sure to be polite and try to work around them. You never know who they have contacts with. They may refer you to some one else. Concrete is a great “filler” account if it happens to be raining. You can always do concrete in any type of weather and it pays very well for what you to do for the job. So remember, concrete work is always good to have.

For ideas on marketing it might be a good idea to go to;