How To Use Wall Hangings Properly?

Wall hangings were used as decorators in homes, temples, churches, and buildings to decorate them, by various cultures from the early times. This trend is followed in contemporary times also. The wall hangings designed from different cultural environments exhibit a historical outlook and are very resilient as they are from textile background.

Now a day, wall hangings have become an important part of home decoration as they can be used in various exclusive ways. The wall hangings can be designed in a number of lovely styles like landscapes, modern art and flowery wall hangings provided the weaver knows his work excellently. The wall hangings are enjoyed by the art fans as well as the interior decorators as they are a good complement to the traditional art. In medieval times the wall hangings were prepared using wool but now high quality colors and latest fibers are used for this purpose. They can be used to make classical as well as traditional wall hangings.

In modern wall hanging tapestry, the use of chenille is popular. This is because this versatile material is soft and flexible. If you wish to decorate your home then the use of chenille will make your décor elegant, warm and adaptable. Chenille can be used for a wide variety of settings in home décor like tapestry throws, wall tapestries and cushions.

The high class wall hangings are very useful as they provide motivation to the decorators as well as historical and traditional sense to the viewer. They also make the living area look spacious.

A vivacious colored wall hanging makes your room more spacious and bigger than it actually is. But for a room that is already big, you can line up a number of wall hangings of different sizes to make it look smaller than it actually is.

The wall hangings differ a lot from the traditional posters. So, placing them at their right place requires a lot of intellectual skills and patience. A lean and high wall will be most suitable for a long wall hanging which will give it slightly active look and not the trifling looks.

But for a large wall hanging the wall with apparent display will be most suited which helps in displaying the charm and brilliance of the wall hanging to its greatest extent. The wall hangings are a very god choice to decorate your house and give it a royal look.

If you are having 2 wall hangings of self-effacing designs but only 1 rod, then you can hang both of them next to each other on the same rod with a gap of 3 to 6 inches. Be cautious about the dimensions because any exception in the dimension will create a kind of chaos that will not be pleasant to look at.

From decades, wall hangings have been the best choice for decorating the houses. Manufactured from modern stuff and knitting, they are the most handy, appealing and a displays the beauty of history and traditions. Wall hangings are truly the heritage for future generations.

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For more home decor articles, see Jessica’s latest article about using decorative mirrors.

Hammer Drills and Impact Drills and Their Differences

There are many differences in a lot of different power tools. Two tools that everybody loves are Hammer Drills and Impact Drills. These drills are used for different reasons. Both have there pros and cons in there usages. Hammer drills have more power to it as an impact drill will provide you with more torque. People use these drills for all different reasons. Depending on the manufacture that your drill is from you are able to get a drill in all different sizes and speeds and torque. A lot of drills are no capable to be battery powered as opposed to plugging them into the outlets. There are a few different voltages. They range from 12 volt up to 120 volts. There are many brand names that you can choose form. The list starts with DeWalt, Hilti, Hitachi, Milwaukee, and Makiti. They all have there differences between each manufacture and the differences between hammer drills and impact drills are not so common to always see.

When using a Hammer Drill it is important that you use the one that will get your job done correctly. There are so many different reasons to use a hammer drill. Whether you are just drilling in to the wall or if you are drilling into the ground there is always a hammer drill that will fit your needs. Its important that when looking for a drill you take a look at your job requirements and see what type of job it will be. A lot of drills are capable to provide you to use any size drill bits that will get you hole to the adequate size. There are safety precautions that you will need to know before you manually use these power tools. Authorized personal only.

Now as far as Impact Drills are concerned they have a lot of different qualities that will help you attack any type of job you are looking to pursue. From small to large you are able to use a variety of different brand name impact drills and drivers. People now use impact drills as there new screw driver. It’s more convenient to use an impact drill/driver as opposed the the old school hand screw driver. The reasoning there is that you are not straining your hand or wrist when tightening a screw. The impact drill provides an easier way for you to do what you need to do whether the job is on a construction job site or just simply tightening the loose screw to your toilet paper rack. It is very easy to use and that is why people are turning to power tools now a days because they are more equipped for the ordinary user and installer. Impact drills also are able to insert different drill bits and spade bits so that you can attack any drilling need tat you need to have done without using a hammer drill.

So when you have a job to do big or small make sure that you choose the power drill whether it’s a hammer drill or impact drill that will accommodate your every need. It is very important that you realize the differences so that you can install or fix any task that comes your way!

A Street Car Named Desire

Thomas Lanier Williams, known as Tennessee Williams, the author of A Street Car Named Desire presents the contradiction and paradox that real human life might offer. It is a stage play with elements of tragedy and pathos that was published and staged in 1947. The theme of the story presents conflicts with which the central character, Blanche Dubois has to live. The theme is not dramatic or out of life as most of us live in our delusory world that may be far off the reality. While most of us cope up with our delusions and distinguish between real and fantasy, the others like Blanche Dubois turn a victim of overpowering delusion. And she knows it: “Blanche explains to Mitch that she fibs because she refuses to accept the hand fate has dealt her. Lying to herself and to others allows her to make life appear as it should be rather than as it is”.

The plot of the story is wonderfully crafted that goes on to highlight a number of emotional traits that are tested during the time of human tragedy. Most human beings are weak for their inescapable need to cry over the shoulder of some one close. At times this dependence takes severe form as in Stella’s dependence on Stanley for love and support; Mitch, otherwise a sober character, is also not without the need of companionship that he finds in Blanche, after the death of his mother. Blanche is also in need of support. Whether the support is offered by Stanley or not is an issue that needs analysis. Money matters, as it does for Blanche, while Stanley, a hard core down to earth worker proud in his masculinity must ensure he is not being cheated by Blanche. The drama depicts that while life moves on from past to present, the lingering past just cannot be done away with whether Stella tries to move on after leaving Belle Reve, or Blanche tries to find a man in her life after her husband commits suicide, or Stanley is apologetic about his rough actions. The past keeps haunting them in present. Death is shocking, and it is especially so if it involves some one close and near. It might often entail a sudden shift in one’s outlook and personality. Blanche’s husband’s death has a profound impact on her, even as those of the others in Dubois family. Mitch confronts the death of his only love as well as his dying mother who ultimately dies.

There are several other characteristic themes that merge in the single plot. One such theme is the loss of a world that meant status and class, and consequent downward spiral into the life of a blue collar ghetto. The impact of this social theme translates into loneliness, insecurity, and having to bear cruelty. Stella and Blanche the two sisters originally belong to a world that no longer exists for them. Their family’s ancestral plantation, Belle Reve, is lost. Their world is also lost along with it. The two sisters are the only living symbols of the old world. In the second scene, Blanche makes a comment about Stanley to Stella that says it all: “Oh, I guess he’s just not the type that goes for jasmine perfume, but maybe he’s what we need to mix with our blood now that we’ve lost Belle Reve”.

They are left with two options: either face reality and come to terms with, or live in a make believe world of fantasy to which Blanche succumbs; Stella comes to terms with reality. The real world now is the harsh world of hardship, of cruelty, of blue collar culture and living symbolized by Stanley. Stanley represents raw masculinity that intrigues and repulses at the same time. He and his world are quite in contrast to the aristocratic world of Blanche Dubois of which she is no longer a heiress but persists with her illusions even as they stay together which allows the readers to contrast what might be the symbols of real and illusion.

Let us see the paradox in Blanche’s life: Blanche’s illusory world offers her comfort as it is in fact her primary means of self-defense. Her deceptions do not spring from any malicious intents, rather they are an extreme reflections of her frailty to cope up with the misery of real life. She appears extremely reluctant to face the truth head-on. “For her, fantasy has a liberating magic that protects her from the tragedies she has had to endure. Unfortunately, this defense is frail and will be shattered by Stanley”.

Blanche makes a dramatic entry into the scene looking for her sister’s house. She looks in disbelief at the apartment building as she checks the address. She appears to pity Stella, her sister having to live in such a rundown building. Blache, about 30, elegant and attractive, a little haggard and weak is in her white suit with pearl earrings and white gloves. She appears lost and out of place in the ghetto populated by blue collar workers. Blanche tells Eunice when he asked her whether she is lost, “They told me to take a street-car named Desire, and then transfer to one called Cemeteries and ride six blocks and get off at-Elysian Fields”.

From here on the cocoon of unreality that Blanche lives in to protect herself against her weaknesses including her inability to repress her sexual desires become apparent. She refuses to acknowledge and lies about her promiscuous behavior in Laurel. “She shuns bright light, lest it reveal her physical imperfections; and she refuses to acknowledge her problem with alcohol. Stanley effectively penetrates her cocoon verbally with his crude insults and physically with his sexual coup de main near the end of the play”. As against Blanche, Stanley is rude, coarse, and domineering ruled by primal instincts. Her opinion of him might be seen as what she says about Stanley in course of conversation with Stella: “He acts like an animal, has an animal’s habits. Eats like one, moves like one, talks like one!” He is a man who calls a spade, a bloody shovel. His manners are uncouth and lingo, working class. He is hell bent on destroying every fabric of façade that is a protective armor of Blanche Dubois.

That’s what reality does to illusion. It recklessly tears asunder the envelope of falsehood. However, we do see Blanche not totally deceptive with herself. She does realize that they have no option but to mix their superior blood with working class, as she pities the fate of Stella’s child who will enjoy none of the privileges she and her sister did. Nonetheless, Blanche simply fails to come to terms of reality. It is in fact this failure that results in severe consequences for her. A time comes towards the end of the drama when she loses her mental proportions completely.

How to Choose the Right Forklift

When deciding to rent, lease or purchase a forklift there are so many brands, dealers and options that the decision can quickly become confusing and sometimes down right difficult. Here are some easy points to consider to help you come out of the deal with the equipment you need at the right price, along with great service after the sale!

  • What is Capacity & Why Do I Need to Know It?

The rated capacity of a forklift is the amount of weight it is able to lift. Forklift capacity is found on the unit’s data plate along with other important information. Keep in mind that the higher you are lifting a load the lower the capacity will become. If you add an attachment this will also effect the unit’s capacity. Most capacities are rated at a 24″ load center. Before deciding on what forklift to purchase or rent, make sure you have a good idea of the weights and sizes of the loads you intend to lift. Any good dealer can help you with this if needed. The most commonly used capacities range from 3,000-6,000 pound units, however forklifts can range anywhere from 2,000-65,000 pounds or more. The more the unit can lift, the more expensive it is. It is important to know what capacity unit you need not only to make sure you get the job done, but that you get it done safely. Using a forklift with too small of a capacity can cause damage to the goods you are lifting and can be potentially deadly to operators and those around them.

  • Lift Height & Collapsed Height

Along with capacity, you also need to know how high you want to lift your material and if you have any height restrictions. Lift height can be key if you are working on projects that reach above the typical 188″-189″ of a triple stage upright. “Quad” units have a fourth mast, allowing them to lift to heights of 240″ or more. A forklift’s collapsed height is measured from the tallest part of the unit to the floor, when the forks are completely lowered. This measurement is important if you have low doors or ceilings in the building you are working in, or in the trucks you are loading/unloading.

  • What is My Application? How Does This Help Me Choose My Forklift?

When selecting a forklift one of the very first questions that should come to mind is “What am I using this forklift for and where am I using it?” The answer to that question is your application. What are you using it for: to stack pallets, move large rolls of paper, carpet or logs, piping? The possibilities are endless. Where are you doing the primary lifting: in a warehouse, outside on asphalt, gravel, mud, grass, in the woods? The product you are moving and the type of environment you are working in determines your application. The type of application you have determines certain specifications on your forklift such as the type of fuel, tires, and any attachments you might need. If you are working in an environment where certain safety precautions must be taken talk to your dealer about specially safety-rated units. If you are working outside in grass or mud and have heavy loads to lift, ask your dealer about rough terrain and four wheel drive units.

  • Attachments

There are multiple attachment options available for your forklift. Carton clamps, rotating clamps, sideshifters, marble clamps, battery retrievals, drum handlers, carpet poles, push-pulls, fork positioners and hydraulic clamps are all examples. Once you have established your capacity and application with your dealer, ask about attachments and if they could benefit you. Special attachments may also increase the residual value of your unit. When purchasing a unit with more than one feature or attachment you may want to consider a forklift that has a fourth operating lever. Talk to your dealer to decide what attachment options are best for you.

  • Fuel Options

You also have multiple fuel options to consider when selecting a forklift: electric powered, gasoline, LP gas, diesel and dual fuel gasoline/LP gas. Your application can help determine which fuel source to choose along with cost and preference. If you are working inside in a closed facility it is unlikely that you would want an internal combustion unit because of the exhaust fumes, so an electric powered forklift would be ideal. However, electric forklifts are generally more expensive to purchase, and their batteries require specific chargers and special care & maintenance. If you need a heavy-duty forklift chances are it will be diesel. Dual fuel forklifts offer flexibility and a little more mobility, in that if you run out of gasoline you can simply switch the unit over to LP gas to finish the job. The cost and availability of fuel is something to keep in mind, as this will be a required expense through the life of your forklift.

  • Tire Options

Forklifts have numerous tire options. Cushion, air pneumatic, solid pneumatic and foam-filled are only some of them. Again, knowing your application will help determine the correct tire for your forklift. If you are working primarily indoors, on asphalt or cement then a smooth cushion tire will do. These tires are also available in a non-marking style, which will keep black marks off the floor. If you are working outside on rough asphalt, in gravel, mud or grass you will need a pneumatic tire. These tires have actual tread and add more of a cushion between the forklift and the ground. Keep in mind that forklifts do not come with their own suspension. The tires on your unit can greatly influence the comfort of your operators. Aftermarket tires that wear longer are also available. Consult your local dealer for your best options.

  • Warranty

Just like automobiles, new (and sometimes used) forklifts come with warranties. A common forklift warranty covers major component repairs for one year/2000 hours, and wearable items for around 90 days. Certain parts may also be covered for a longer period. Extended warranties are available for an additional price. Be sure to ask the dealers you are consulting about the different warranty options that their manufacturers offer. Some are better than others, so check thoroughly. Before making any major repairs to your forklift always consult your dealer first. Even if the unit it is out of warranty there is still a possibility that the manufacturer will offer a little assistance, especially if the unit has low run hours.

  • Maintenance and Service

We are so quick to compare purchase, lease or rental prices that we easily overlook the costs associated with maintaining our forklifts. This can lead to trouble in the long run. Manufacturers have recommended services that should be performed on their units at certain intervals. Review these with your dealer along with planned maintenance and periodic maintenance options. Planned maintenance is usually scheduled every 200 hours or 30-120 days, depending on how much you use your unit. This service includes oil & filter changes, fluid checks, lubrication and other various maintenance depending on your type of unit. Periodic maintenance is less frequent and covers differential fluid changes along with other less common maintenance, and occurs approximately once a year or every 2000 hours. A good dealer will offer you planned and periodic maintenance packages for your forklift, and come to your location routinely to perform them. This also gives the technician a chance to notice any existing or potential problems and correct them before they lead to larger failures. If you are leasing a forklift then you will have the option to purchase a full maintenance package and let the dealer take care of everything, or service the unit by your own means. The latter option, while presently saving you money, may cost you in the end if you return the unit from lease with failed parts. If you are renting a forklift as a short-term rental then all maintenance excluding damages/abuse, daily fluid checks & battery watering should be covered by the dealer.

  • The Right Dealer

This is perhaps the most important decision you will face when looking to purchase, lease or rent a forklift. Not all dealers are created equal! Even if you are determined to stick with a particular brand, at least shop around a bit before going with the first dealer you come across that offers your favorite brand of forklift. Key factors when considering which forklift dealer to give your business to are: reputation of the company, quality of the equipment, convenience of the sales process, aftermarket resources, service capabilities, and overall customer service.

Reputation: It is highly recommended that you choose a local forklift dealer. You want a company that has been established in your area for some time and has a vested interest in your community. Local dealers are much more likely to stand behind their equipment and do what they can for you as a customer because their reputation is on the line. If you purchase equipment out of town, off of the internet or at auction then the person who sold it to you isn’t really going to care if you complain to your co-workers about the lousy machine they stuck you with. Choosing a local dealer also helps you support your community and keep business and money at home, something every town can benefit from.

Quality: Forklifts are not cheap. They are large, application-specific pieces of machinery that come with a hefty price tag. If your business or project is to the point where you require a forklift you want to be sure you make the wisest investment possible. Doing a little research ahead of time and having a general idea of what you want will help. Do an internet search for forklift reviews and see what’s being reported about the brands out there. Some brands cost more but last longer or offer better warranties, options or residual value. Some brands are less expensive because the give you less in the long run. Whether you choose a basic forklift or a unit with all the bells and whistles, you want to make sure you are getting what you paid for. Take the search results you find with you to your local dealer and discuss them. If you are in favor of a particular brand or model but there are some mixed reviews be honest with the salesman and ask him what he has experienced.

Sales Process: From start to finish the process of purchasing, leasing or renting a forklift should be as simple as possible. Again, this is why working with a local dealer will help you. Speaking directly to a salesman that is well versed in the equipment he or she represents can make all the difference in the world. Forklift varieties, attachment & tire options, financing, warranties and maintenance should all be covered before you are asked to make a decision. A good forklift salesman will make a strong effort to get you the correct equipment at the best deal possible, and follow up with you after the sale.

Aftermarket resources: These are points to keep in mind for after the sale. Does this dealer have their own parts department? Chances are if they stock their own parts they will be able to fix your unit faster when it breaks down, and that should include tires. Does this dealer have a rental department? When your unit goes down and you have to have something in its place, it’s a whole lot easier to get a short-term rental from the company who is fixing your equipment than it is to shop around for something yourself. Also, examining the dealer’s short-term rental fleet prior to purchase may help you decide which brand & model to go with. After market resources can also include miscellaneous items that assist in other aspects of your material handling, including racking and warehousing systems.

Service Capabilities: The service capabilities of your dealer will help ensure that your unit is well taken care of. Planned & periodic maintenance of your forklift, as well as manufacturer recommended services should all be presented to you upon purchase of your forklift. What is the dealer’s service response time – will they be out to fix the unit in a matter of hours or days? Are their technicians certified and trained properly? Don’t be afraid to ask questions!

Customer Service: This final characteristic is perhaps the most important. Once you purchase a forklift from your local dealer you should expect continued high-quality customer service. No business is going to be able to immediately fix everything for you all of the time, but the dealer you choose should do everything within their power to assist you. They should have a friendly, helpful staff as well as convenient hours of operation. Scheduling a service call, ordering a rental or parts should should be a stream-lined, un-complicated processes. Local dealers will only thrive if their customers do, so taking care of you should be a priority to them.

Keeping these guidelines in mind when deciding on a forklift will help you save time, money and frustration in the long run. Remember to discuss any and all questions or concerns with your local dealer prior to the sale. This can help avoid confusion and possibly negative situations in the future. With these tips, your forklift purchasing should be a positive experience where you come out of the deal with the equipment you need at a price you can afford, knowing you have a strong team at your local dealer ready to help when you require service and support.

Five Quick Tips to Increase Your Height

It is a fact: most of us are dissatisfied with our height. Most of us wish we were taller – an inch, two inches, or even six inches. But it is also a fact of life that increasing your height once you’ve crossed your growing age is nearly impossible, sans surgery.

But at the same time, it is quite possible to look much taller than you actually are if you follow some certain rules:

1. The Wardrobe



Your clothing can have a significant effect on how tall you look. As a rule, vertical stripes help you look taller as well as leaner. Thus, by shirts and trousers with pinstripes. These are also very much in fashion these days.

Also, wear solid colors all over – preferably in darker shades. Light pants over dark shirts, or vice-versa, draw attention to your waist and legs, giving you a short, stodgy appearance. This is the reason why you’ll rarely find shorter celebrities wearing light clothing.

2. The Shoes



It’s pretty obvious: your shoes can add a significant inch or two to your height. Avoid shoes without any heels. The standard Converse Chucks have a sole that’s just 0.45 inches thick, as compared to the 1.5 inch+ of the Nike Shox. It makes sense then, to wear shoes that help you look taller.

Another method to make yourself look taller is through height enhancing insoles. These fit right inside the shoe and can add an inch or two to your height, without being outwardly visible. You can also buy pre-made elevator shoes, although then you’ll be limited to the designs that the shoe-company makes. To carry off insoles of over an inch, you’ll require boots.

3. The Posture



Measure yourself first thing when you wake up in the morning. Then measure yourself before going to bed. You’ll be surprised to find that in the morning, you’re as much as an inch taller than in the evening.

This happens because due to gravity, the spine gets compressed, which leads to a decrease in height. If you have a bad posture (stooped shoulders, slouched back), the spinal column compresses even more, giving you an even shorter appearance.

Thus, one way to make yourself look taller is by maintaining a proper posture. This means that you should keep your back straight, your shoulders drawn back, and your head lifted. Believe me, by adopting such a “military stance”, you’ll not only appear taller, but also much more confident.



4. The Hair



Short hair can make your neck seem longer than it actually is. The distance between your shoulder and head is easier to make out if you have shorter hair, thereby helping you look taller. Longer hair, on the other hand, has the opposite effect.

So keeping your hair short is the ideal way to go if you’re serious about looking tall.



5. The Attitude



This is easily the most important tip to appear taller: a positive attitude adds loads to your confidence, which invariably makes you appear taller, at least in the eyes of others. Often you’ll find that the most confident person is a group appears stronger and taller than he actually is, giving him the halo of a leader. Height is, after all, as much a matter of perception as reality. Being confident and strong can work wonders for your height.

Safety Shoe Codes – What Do They Mean?

There are occupations which present such daily hazards that protective gear must be worn while performing all necessary job functions. One of the most important pieces of this protective gear is a pair of safety shoes. But before you start buying inappropriate shoes make up your mind about the different safety codes that exist.

Safety shoes are readily available and are one of the easiest ways to help prevent accidents and injuries in the workplace. There are international standards which define the various levels of protection provided by safety shoes. These standards also give testing benchmarks which must be met in order for a shoe to qualify for an official classification. Safety footwear is rated on a scale from S1 to S5.

An S1 shoe is just one level above a standard safety boot or work boot. S1 class shoes have a high resistance to abrasions, steel toes and are non-slip. They also have energy absorption in the soles which can prevent injuries caused by short falls or hard impacts with the ground. This class of shoe is also required to be resistant to contact heat. In addition to all of this, S1 shoes have antistatic protection which can help to prevent static sparks.

S1 safety shoes are idea for jobs which involve the handling of flammable chemicals or gases that could be ignited with an electrostatic spark. Manufacturing and factory work fall into this category.

S2 shoes provide all of the protection of an S1 shoe, but are also waterproof. S2 class shoes are ideal for occupations where the worker must move through pools of water or chemicals. These shoes are appropriate for jobs such as outdoor maintenance, landscaping or some construction.

S3 shoes include all of the protections that are available in S1 and S2 shoes, but include the addition of a strong nail plate in the sole. This nail plate is designed to prevent injuries that may result from the shoe being punctured from the bottom. This shoe is designed for heavy construction work, demolition work and any occupation which requires movement across dangerous debris or terrain.

S4 and S5 safety shoes are identical to S1 and S3 class shoes respectively, but are made from polymers like rubber. S1 through S3 class shoes are made from non-polymers such as leather. S2 class shoes have no corresponding polymer designation because waterproofing is a basic requirement of a polymer shoe.

Do Not Buy Toddy Coffee Maker If You Want to Brew Any Coffee!

It is true, toddy coffee maker cannot brew you any coffee! Firstly, it was not designed to brew any coffee, and it is not meant to be a stove top coffee pot. Toddy is a special coffee brewer that can only do cold coffee!

And by cold coffee, I do not mean the type that goes cold after it have been left on the table for sometime. By cold coffee, I meant those that can serve chill something like cold lemonade.

Now, if you asked me who would want to drink cold coffee, that is really a matter of preference, but all I can say is that toddy cold brew has a huge following and is doing a roaring business in US.

The reason that they are not so popular in other part of the world is merely due to their marketing strategy. Currently, they are limiting their marketing effort to US. Even, on their website, they are only selling to US citizens.

From a marketing perspective, this is not a very savvy marketing plan as you are effectively limiting your group of consumers that you are able to sell to. But, by adopting this strategy, you can see how confident toddy is about their sales. So, my take is, they are doing more than enough sales from the US, and currently have no plan for expansion.

For those that have not used a toddy brewer before, the concept of producing coffee without hot water or stove must be very novel. This cold brew is attained by using time as a variable.

The very first step in doing this cold brew is to fill the brewing container with 1 pound of ground coffee. For a pound of coffee ground, you would need to pour 4 cups of cold water into the filter. And then you wait for at least 5 minutes.

After this 5 minutes, you add another 5 more cups of water into the filter. After this, you need to do more waiting, you would wait overnight, so you would place the container into the fridge.

This time round, you would need to wait for at least 12 hours. This is to allow the coffee to steep through the cold press filter. The liquid coffee will drain through the filter into the glass carafe.

Well, this is why I said earlier in the title about not buying the toddy coffee maker if you are someone that wants to brew your coffee. There is not much skill or technique involved in getting a toddy cold coffee, one does however, need to have lots of patience though.

Personally, I think this is a brewer that is easy to use and the cold coffee that results from it, is also pretty good. However, as cold coffee is the usual way of consuming this coffee (you can actually microwave the coffee concentrate to drink it hot), it would be more of a summer drink than a regular coffee brewer for most of us.

Therefore, for the majority of us, regardless if you like the cold brew or not, even if you do own toddy coffee brewer, it is very likely that you would also be getting a normal coffee maker as well.

3 Online Dating Profile Samples To Get You Noticed

Writing an online dating profile can be difficult for many people using a dating website. There are many generic dating examples online that sound the same. Many dating members are searching on how to write the perfect online dating profile. Here are 3 creative examples that I’ve concocted, which can inspire a single guy or single girl on any dating website!

First Example:

“Hello to everyone reading this! I’m new to the online dating scene and have heard good and bad things about it. I never assume anything before finding out all the facts on my own. I am newly single and want to move slowly back into dating. If you are someone who likes to take things slow and use their slow cooker, send me a message!

“My adventurous side has me watching anything on storm watching and would love to try it with someone who knows what they are doing. It’s always great to learn new things and have a list of things I’d like to accomplish by the end of the year. It would be nice to meet someone who wants to learn new hobbies and interests from each other. I am a chef by profession and artist by the weekend. I am a self-taught artist who enjoys dabbling in paint, ceramics and anything unusual.

“If you are a risk-taker and would like to know more, I would enjoy receiving a message from you. Tell me what you find risky. Have a creative week and watch out for that storm!”

Second Example:

“I really don’t want to bore you to tears by writing about what a great catch I am. I’m sure you’ve read many dating profiles that have told you they are perfect for you! I’ve always believed that actions speak louder than words don’t you think? It would be great to meet face to face for coffee and see where it goes from there.

“I’m not scared to let you know that I have flaws. I’m a perfectionist and can use a whole package of good paper trying to handwrite something. With the internet world taking over, it’s nice to write an actual handwritten letter to family and friends. I know that recycling is huge so don’t worry, I do use the paper I’ve scrapped for other things! You would think because I’m a perfectionist that I have the perfect job. That, I have not perfected yet. I’m still looking for my true calling and am taking part-time classes at the University after work.

“If you are honest and are looking to meet someone for casual dating, make sure to email me. I am looking to date but if it leads to something more, it’s always a good thing. Don’t forget to tell me something about yourself!”

Third Example:

“I’m a person who enjoys meeting new people all the time. I love to socialize, embrace life and am a lot of fun if I say so myself! Online dating has been quite the adventure and I am still looking for that special someone. If you are looking for someone genuine, I’m your man! I don’t have patience for people who pretend to be something they are not.

“I’m honest, forgiving and love to laugh. If you can make me laugh, I would be interested in speaking to you. There are too many people who take life seriously and don’t make time to enjoy the finest pleasures. That would include taking in the outdoors, sitting in front of a fireplace and eating gummy worms on a regular basis for me!

“Tell me what your idea of having fun is. I enjoy the weekends out when I am not working in the week and would love to have someone accompany me. It could be an evening of taking in the local comedy scene or local bands. Drop me an email and we’ll chat soon!”

Petroleum – Its Uses And Benefits

Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring liquid found in formations in the Earth consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons (mostly alkanes) of various lengths. Petroleum literally means rock oil; oil that comes from rock. Petroleum or Crude Oil is a naturally occurring hydrocarbon-based liquid which is sometimes present in porous rocks beneath the earth’s surface. Petroleum is formed by the slow alteration of organic remains over time. It consists of a mixture of liquid hydrocarbon compounds and varies widely in composition, color, density, and viscosity. This liquid after distillation yields a range of combustible fuels, petrochemicals, and lubricants. Compounds and mixtures of compounds separated from crude petroleum by distillation include gasoline, diesel fuel, kerosene, fuel oil, some types of alcohol, benzene, heavy naphtha, different grades of lubricating oils and residuum. Petroleum is usually classified according to the predominance of paraffin or asphalted compounds and accordingly is said to have a paraffin base, an intermediate base, or an asphalt base.

Oil wells are drilled as deep as six miles into the Earth to search for petroleum. These wells can cost millions of dollars to drill, yet drilling is done because petroleum is a valuable natural resource. Although the major use of petroleum is as a fuel (gasoline, jet fuel, heating oil) and petroleum and natural gas are often used to generate electricity, there are many other uses as well.

Here are some of the ways petroleum is used in our every day lives. All plastic is made from petroleum and plastic is used almost everywhere, in cars, houses, toys, computers and clothing. Asphalt used in road construction is a petroleum product as is the synthetic rubber in the tires. Paraffin wax comes from petroleum, as do fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, detergents, phonograph records, photographic film, furniture, packaging materials, surfboards, paints and artificial fibers used in clothing, upholstery, and carpet backing. Helium, sulfur and other valuable materials are produced from oil wells along with petroleum itself. Petroleum is used principally as a source of fuel and lubricating oils. Only when these supplies are restricted or threatened does the average person begin to realize their importance.

The top three oil producing countries are Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States. About 80% of the world’s readily accessible reserves are located in the Middle East, with 62.5% coming from the five Arab countries: Saudi Arabia (12.5%), U.A.E., Iraq, Qatar and Kuwait. Millions of people around the world are employed to find or produce petroleum, ship and refine it and manufacture and market the many oils and waxes made from it.

Although there are many alternatives to petroleum fuels, an analysis of costs and benefits shows that petroleum is superior in most every area. Hydrogen, ethanol, hybrid, and biomass technologies are promising for automobiles and may soon increase efficiency and reduce emissions; but many of these technologies have not yet proven sufficiently profitable to providers or attractive to consumers. Petroleum retains a key advantage because the price of oil remains low compared to forms of energy with lower environmental impacts, like wind and solar power. Unlike hydrogen or even natural gas, oil is easily transportable and there is a vast infrastructure in place to support its use.

There are many factors due to which oil prices are rising but still petroleum is a necessity. These reasons are lack of available capacity across the oil supply chain in production, refinery upgrading and transportation infrastructure; surging demand in emerging economies; apparent insensitivity of consumers to the price signal; uncertainties related to the weather (hurricanes) or to politics (Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Nigeria); and increasing activity in the commodities markets. It is not very useful to blame any single player in the game. This could pose danger to the economy and business of the world.

Therefore, benefits of petroleum have brought enumerable benefits to human civilization: quality of life, dynamic prosperity and a source of income to energy traders.

Wrist Pain – Causes & Solutions

Wristy Business…Is wrist pain interfering with your yoga practice or Pilates workout or Life?

Wrist Pain: Our hands, by design, were not intended for weight bearing, so it’s no wonder that many of us experience pain or discomfort when assuming those Pilates or yoga positions that require us to do just that -bear body weight on our hands. Discomfort may simply be a result of mild limitations in wrist range of motion, improper alignment of shoulders, arms and hands or reduced core and arm strength. Gentle and gradual stretching and strengthening exercises, along with proper body alignment and weight distribution may reduce your wrist discomfort in weight bearing positions. However, for some of us, even with good strength and proper form wrist pain persists. A close look at the anatomy of the hand reveals why.

Hand Anatomy: The hand is designed more for mobility than stability. It is composed of 27 small bones, muscles and ligaments that allow for a large amount of movement and dexterity, enabling us to perform a multitude of daily activities requiring fine precision and coordination. The two bones of the lower arm, the radius and ulna, meet at the carpal bones of the hand to form the wrist. Unlike the foot the hand does not have a large bone cushioned with a fat pad for bearing weight, but has small bones surrounded by soft tissue, including the nerve and blood supply. The median nerve crosses the wrist through the carpal tunnel. These soft tissues of the wrist, including the ligaments and tendons, are subject to strain when we are weight bearing on a fully extended wrist such as in a push-up position.

The Culprits: As a simplification, the common causes of wrist pain are grouped into 4 categories:

  1. Overuse: too much repetitive movement or joint impact
  2. Injury: wrist fractures, strains & sprains
  3. Lack of conditioning: weak muscles, poor range of motion, improper form
  4. Aging or Disease: arthritic changes in the joints, inflammation, diabetes etc.

Which category does your wrist pain originate from?

Overuse: One common cause of wrist pain is Overuse, clinically known as RSI – Repetitive Stress (or Strain) Injury. Long periods performing the same movements, such as typing on a computer, playing a musical instrument or doing sun salutations, can lead to RSI. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (CTS) a leading cause of wrist pain is grouped in the RSI category.

What do you do about RSI?

An important first step in treating an overuse injury is to rest – stop doing what is causing you pain to allow healing time. The reality, however, is that many of our repetitive movements are related to our livelihood such as data input, graphic design, dental hygiene, massage therapist or fitness instructor, so to stop completely might result in a few bounced checks. If complete rest isn’t an option, two ways to decrease repetitive joint stress are through task and schedule modification.

Suggestion One: Modify Your Activity

Once you’ve identified the specific task(s) that’s aggravating your wrists (or other joints) look at how frequently or for what duration you’re performing this task.

Modify your Schedule: The objective of modifying your schedule is to reduce how often and how long you spend doing the pain inducing task. Urgent deadlines, productivity ratings or financial stress are real factors that contribute to overuse injuries. Many smart industries have implemented job rotation and other programs to reduce RSI in the workplace, thus saving money on workman’s compensation claims and lost productivity. Practical examples for modifying your schedule may include:

1) Part Time Work: a schedule of Monday, Wednesday and Friday will allow a day of rest in between.

2) Plan Ahead: instead of spending 6 hours banging out a report on the computer spread it out over 4 days for 1 ½ hour each day.

3) Set Time Limits: Break up the problem task into shorter time segments with rest and stretch breaks built into your day.

4) Job Sharing / Rotation: Can you recruit a co-worker to assist you or swap tasks with? Look at all options for creative scheduling.

Modify the Task: The objective here is to use an alternate method to accomplish the task, which may require a different set of muscles or reduce muscle tension and joint stress.

1) Change the Method: If you’re a fitness instructor with a wrist injury, give verbal directions instead of demonstrations. If you spend your day on the computer consciously reduce keyboard time by limiting your email correspondence – pick up the phone and make a quick call instead.

2) Change or Modify the Tool: Examples include using a track ball instead of a mouse, substitute an electric tool for a hand tool and increasing the diameter of the tool to open the grasp of the fingers and thumb.

3) Modify your Body Position: Use an ergonomic keyboard, set up your ‘work station’ optimally for your body and alternate standing with sitting.

4) Use your non-dominant hand: If your wrist pain is primarily in your dominant hand try to develop the skill to accomplish the task with your non-dominant hand. Start with something simple like stirring while cooking or dialing the phone then work towards using your computer mouse with your opposing hand. This may be challenging but is very useful and good for your coordination.

Suggestion Two: Incorporate frequent stretch breaks into your day.

Whether it’s an occupation or leisure pursuit that’s resulting in RSI, do strengthening and stretches that move your body, limbs and joints in the opposite direction of the repetitive motions you’re engaged in. Computer use is a big culprit of wrist pain, since many people now spend hours of their day at a keyboard and monitor. The typical computer posture takes its toll on your back, neck, arms and hands -possibly resulting in Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. Break up long hours at the computer by scheduling intermittent breaks to stand up, move around and stretch. Do these simple stretches several times a day in standing or from the comfort of your chair.

Hold each stretch for 3 to 5 deep breaths:

1) Stretch shoulder and arms: Reach back from the shoulder rotating the spine, straighten your elbow and rotate your palm up, extend the wrist slightly or keep neutral then straighten and spread the fingers apart. Deepen the stretch by rotating the neck so your face is turned away from your stretched arm. Repeat with the other arm.

2) Rotate both wrists several times clockwise then counter clockwise.

3) Stretch finger flexors: Extend fingers and place them together in a prayer position. Press fingers firmly together and spread them apart keeping fingers straight. To increase the stretch, gently pull the wrists apart 1 or 2 inches while keeping fingers together.

4) Stretch wrist in extension: Continue in prayer position with fingers and wrists pressed together. Start with your finger tips at your chin, and then slowly slide hands down towards your waist keeping the wrists pressed together. Go as far as you can comfortably & hold stretch for several breaths. If you feel discomfort in your thumbs simply cross them on top each other instead of pressing together.

5) Stretch wrist in flexion: Flip your hands over so the backs of your hands and fingers are touching and pointing down. Start with your hands at your waist and move slowly up to chest height keeping the backs of the hands pressed together. Fingers dangle loosely while the top of the wrist joints are stretched.

6) Gently shake shoulders, arms, wrists and fingers.

This series of stretches, each held for 5 deep breaths, only take a total of 3 minutes to do! A simple and healthy way to incorporate this routine into your day is to drink lots of water. Every time you get up for a bathroom break, do your stretches before resuming work.

Recap

Is wrist pain interfering with your fitness pursuits, work or life? If so, what’s the culprit? Too much keyboarding, weight bearing on your hands or other repetitive activity may be an underlying cause of your wrist pain. If you have an overuse injury – first try to rest! Next modify the activity through creative scheduling and use of alternative methods, tools or props. It’s also important to develop a stretching & strengthening program to counteract the negative effects of repetitive movements on muscles and joints. Our bodies were designed to move in a multitude of directions, so mix it up and bring some balance and variety into your weekly routine. You know what they say…Variety is the Spice of Life!

Disclaimer: If you have significant wrist pain resulting from a more serious issue such as joint inflammation, arthritis, carpel tunnel syndrome, previous fractures or surgeries of the wrist, it is essential that you consult your health care practitioner prior to beginning a wrist exercise program, Pilates or yoga practice.

Why Review Your Health Plan’s Explanation of Benefits

Have you ever been surprised that you owe for a medical procedure because maybe you thought your insurance paid the entire amount? In fact, so surprised that you handle it by ignoring the multiple statements, phone calls and the explanation of benefit statement from your health plan (which is where it all begins)?

What’s on an EOB?

Healthcare insurance providers are required by law to send a copy of the EOB to their patients. It can be labeled as a medical claim summary or medical summary notice as well as an explanation of benefits. Usually, in noticeable lettering, it will read: This is not a bill.

Some of the information that will be on it includes:

  • The name of the provider
  • What services were provided (blood test, wound treatment, physical therapy, etc.)
  • The amount your provider charged for your treatment
  • The amount that the insurance company will pay, usually referred to as amount allowed (also called allowed charges, negotiated amount or allowed amount)
  • Any co-pay you made
  • The amount you will have to pay after you have met your deductible (coinsurance)
  • The amount of the charges that your insurance company will pay
  • The difference between what the insurance company will pay and what you were charged by your provider, also called not covered, not payable or pending. This is also the amount that you may be billed for.

Below are important tips to remember when reviewing these statements:

EOB Dos:

  • Keep your EOB and when you receive your bill, compare them. They should match.
  • Respond immediately to requests for information.
  • Review the services you received and the dates they were performed to guard against billing fraud and identity theft.
  • Check the coverage information section so you know exactly treatments that were or should be covered.
  • Scan for double billing which can occur if more than one treatment or provider was used.
  • Ensure your health plan benefits were correctly applied.

EOB Don’ts:

  • Ignore the EOB statement because it is not a bill. It is the foundation for the bill and deserves careful scrutiny.
  • Be afraid to question anything that you are uncertain about.
  • Fail to pursue any errors. Most healthcare insurers have numbers you can call to begin any dispute process.
  • Forget to compare the EOB against the bill.
  • Avoid educating yourself on all aspects of your medical life which is with you forever.

Many patients ignore the important information contained in this document. Take responsibility for understanding the ins/outs of your health insurance plan or if you do not have one, ask questions upfront to prevent surprises. Understanding the EOB can help keep you out of collections!

10 Reasons Why FRP Is Better Than Steel

FRP, or fibre-reinforced plastic, is becoming a very popular material for construction projects. Its lightweight, strong and non-corrosive properties offer many distinct advantages over traditional materials such as concrete and steel. Some of these advantages are outlined below.

1. Non-corrosive

FRP does not rust or corrode like steel and other metals. FRP is impervious to water (be it submersion or splash), fumes and gases and is resistant to most chemicals. A variety of top surfaces are available, which are capable of withstanding the full range of caustic chemicals.

2. Lightweight

FRP is approximately 60-75% lighter than steel, yet it is pound-for-pound stronger. The lighter weight greatly reduces handling, transport and installation costs. The high glass-to-resin ratio produces a material that is capable of achieving excellent load bearing results.

3. No Maintenance

Thanks to its non-corrosive properties, FRP requires no maintenance aside from cleaning. UV stablisation means no painting or lacquering is required after installation and the lightweight nature of FRP means it can be easily lifted and moved for ease of cleaning.

4. Impact Resistance

Unlike steel, FRP will return to its original shape after deflection, thanks to its advanced elastic properties. Tests have shown FRP stands up to large impacts, without permanent deformation, saving costly repairs.

5. Low Installation Costs

FRP is lightweight, normally allowing for a simple two-man lift. This can save significant costs as cranes and other lifting equipment is not required. Other savings can be made with transport, again thanks to the reduced weight. FRP does not require specialist cutting or welding equipment and can usually be installed with simple hand tools.

6. Non slip

FRP grating, with an integrally bonded gritted top surface, has achieved some of the highest levels of slip resistance ever recorded for a walking surface. FRP is 50% safer than steel grating and 70% safer than chequer plate for slip resistance. This degree of safety is crucial for OH&S conscious workplaces, such as mine sites, oilrigs and factories.

7. Anti Static and Anti Spark

FRP is perfectly suited to sensitive environments, thanks to its ability to dissipate static electricity, as well as its non-sparking properties. Static dissipation is very important in underground and offshore locations, while FRP is ideal in gaseous environments, as it will not spark if tools are accidentally dropped – a hazard on steel flooring.

8. Temperature Performance

FRP is capable of withstanding long periods of intense heat. Standard pultrusions are capable of withstanding continuous temperatures of 60-65°C with full structural integrity maintained, while vinyl ester and phenolic FRP pultrusions can withstand in excess of 100°C and 200°C respectively.

9. Electromagnetic Transparency

FRP is capable of allowing radio waves, microwaves and other electromagnetic frequencies to pass through it, making it a hard wearing, long lasting and strong material for radio masts and radomes.

10. Versatility

As FRP is produced with moulds, it can be manufactured to any shape or design with a huge variety of surface profiles and unlimited colours. New uses for FRP are discovered daily!

Vinyl Decking – Advantages and Disadvantages

Vinyl decking has become really popular lately owning to its flexibility and low cost. Vinyl is an artificial substance that has two advantages over traditional hardwood – its easy to clean, and does not require daily cleaning.

Like hardwood decking, vinyl too is quite strong and can withstand a large range of temperatures. It doesn’t crack, decompose or decay easily. It can stand a lot of moisture, so if you live in a rainy area, you can rest assured that your decking won’t decay and rot (vinyl is water proof by nature).

Besides, vinyl decking is also comparatively safer as it doesn’t have any edges or nails sticking out. This is something that you should keep in mind if you have young children in the house.

Vinyl decks are pre-modelled and you can order them for any particular size that suits your requirement. The planks are usually patterened after wood or some other natural substance. Most manufacturers will have a plethora of options to choose from and you can even pick out a custom pattern that goes well with the overall theme of the house.

A great advantage of vinyl decking is that it is relatively very easy to install. While wood decks require professional expertise and can take a few days to weeks to install, a vinyl deck can be up and running in no time (keep in mind that these come pre-modelled). The other advantage is that you can get it in any color or pattern, unlike hardwood which has only a fixed pallette.

But of course, there are some disadvantages too. For one, it can give your deck a cold, artificial feeling. Nothing can really replace wood, which gives a natural warmth. Vinyl decking can end up looking very artificial, as something of an after-thought, detracting from the overall look of the house.

On the other hand, vinyl decking is more environment friendly than wood since it is usually made from recycled materials. So if you are environment conscious, this makes a good choice, even though most of the hardwood used in decking nowadays is sourced from ecologically managed forests.

Vinyl is a great alternative to hardwood decking and you should definitely consider it, especially if you want a custom pattern or color and don’t want all the hassle associated with wood.

IFRS Vs U.S. GAAP: Pros and Cons

There has been a debate over switching from GAAP to IFRS in the United States for many years now. It is still not clear if converging or harmonizing is the way to go with accounting standards, but there are many advantages and disadvantages to the switch. There are pros to IFRS like the ease of trading with international corporations, cost efficiency, and flexibility in the standards. Though these seem very tempting, with pros come cons, which include IFRS not being taught in many schools in the United States, the many inconsistencies on implementation of the standards, and extra costs and hoops to jump through for small to mid-sized firms that do not necessarily need IFRS. By weighing the pros and cons of IFRS, one can come to a conclusion on whether to converge or not.

One of the pros of converging to IFRS as presented in Peter Galuszka’s Pros and Cons of IFRS is that many companies have two different sets of books when they go global and have to conduct financial statements in IFRS and GAAP. (Galuszka, 2008.) This is a hefty cost to have, since the company would need two teams working with two different accounting standards. By having one standard the company could allocate more money to one specific sector and not focus on two separate ones. This makes the company more cost efficient and more concentrated on following one standard.

Additionally, the advantage of converging into a single set of standards, would improve to simplicity of trading and investments with foreign companies. The ability to compare international markets on a single basis would make analysis of many companies’ financial statements at one time much easier and improve quality and timeliness of work. Transparency, reliability, and easiness are three attributes of converging that sound very appealing.

An advantage of IFRS being principles-based is that it is more flexible. Epstein gives this example: “Either historical cost or revaluation models can be used in accounting for long-lived assets.” (Epstein, 2009.) Not only is the vocabulary of financial statement items flexible, but so is the way of accounting for them. The rules-based system creates a regulated and specific way for one to account for certain items, while the principles-based allows for companies to have a little more leeway because many companies are different and have a necessity for diversified accounts.

The cons involved with IFRS being principles-based are that it can have some gray areas and it can be very lenient at times. Financial statements are meant to be as transparent as possible, due to the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Brian Kim, author of the Harvard Journal on Legislation, expresses that “The Sarbanes-Oxley Act creates the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (“Oversight Board”) that will supervise the accounting process.” (Kim, 2003.) With this act in place, companies are strictly observed for indiscretions, or foul-play, in turn making them much more transparent. Even with this act, IRFS has a little more room for hiding or misrepresentation, so “implementation of IFRS will only be as good as the leaders implementing it.” (“Business: Ask the CPA,” 2008, p.B 4.) In order to have a fair representation and value of a company, implementation is key.

The another disadvantage of IFRS is related to small and mid-sized companies. Small and middle-sized firms may incur extra costs that may not be necessary for their firms. (Galuszka, 2008.) This will not affect them in a completely negative way, but it could cause some issues. “The main difference small companies will see will be the financial statement presentation. IFRS statement presentation can vary greatly as compared with their GAAP counterparties.” (“Business: Ask the CPA,” 2008, p.B 4.) Small businesses do not need all of the varied terms for accounts, due to their simplicity, so learning the new accounting standards would change a lot on their financial statements.

The pros and cons of IFRS are very interesting depending on the way you look at it. This research shows that there are many people on the fence about IFRS, due to the many pros and cons associated with it. It’s fascinating that I can see how some pros can be viewed as cons, and vice-versa. For example, IFRS being principles-based could be a good thing or a bad thing. In general, I believe that the pros of IFRS outweigh the cons. By having one set of standards for foreign and domestic companies, there will be no confusion or extra time spent on trying to figure out the meaning or reason behind other companies’ financial statements.

Reference Page

Anonymous, (2008). Business: Ask the CPA. The Record (Bergen County, NJ), Retrieved from http://www.lexisnexis.com/hottopics/lnacademic

Epstein, B. (2009). The Economic Effects of IFRS Adoption. CPA Journal, 79(3), 26-31

Galuszka, P. (2008). Pros and Cons of IFRS. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/pros-and-cons-of-ifrs/

Kim, B. (2003). Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Harvard Journal on Legislation, 40, 235-579.

Sinus Infection – How and Why You Get a Sinus Attack

You have a common cold, but after a week of dosing yourself, you’ve got a fever and you feel achy and miserable.

On top of that, your head hurts so much, it feels as if it’s about to explode… and to cap it all, you can’t breathe through your nose, your cheeks feel tender and there’s a dull, aching throb in your upper jaw and teeth.

You know it’s probably a sinus infection, but you hope you’re wrong; a friend of yours just came through some rather unpleasant surgery that cost her an arm and a leg.

You make an appointment and drag yourself to your health care provider.

After asking a few questions about your symptoms, she gives you a physical examination and calls for some X-rays. The doctor finally confirms your suspicions by diagnosing acute sinus infection brought about by the common cold.

You mention your friend and she smiles at your concerns, telling you not to worry. Everything looks fine and you probably won’t need specialized treatment, besides very few people ever need surgery for a sinus infection.

She then prescribes some medication and recommends a saline sinus flush using a “Tiki Pot”, and two hot, steamy showers a day in order to loosen the mucous.

What Caused This Attack?

You ask how and why you got infected and, because the doctor is rather busy, she only has time for a brief explanation:

She tells you that your sinus headache is caused by pressure inside the sinus cavities, and then goes into a little more detail:

You have four pairs of cavities located in the skull, called paranasal sinuses.

Each one of these is connected to the others by passages lined with a mucous membrane. The mucous membrane secretes a thin slimy fluid to:

  1. Keep the sinuses moist
  2. To trap airborne dust and pollutants
  3. To help keep bacteria from invading the sinus cavities.

Specialized tiny hairs called cilia grow through the mucous membrane; these continually sweep back and forth and are designed to trap airborne dirt, bacteria and mucous and then to propel it outward via tubes called the osteomeatal complex (OMC).

The OMC itself is connected to nasal passages in order to:

  • Maintain a pressure balance between the sinuses and the outside air.
  • Allow mucous waste to drain out through the nose.
  • Provide an exit point for unwanted dirt and bacteria.

Healthy sinuses are filled with air and a small amount of thin mucous that drains away continuously.

When the mucous membranes become infected by a cold virus, it sometimes causes a sinus infection. The lining swells, blocking the nasal passages and upsetting the pressure balance mentioned above. As a result, bacterium gets trapped behind the blockage and begins to multiply inside the infected sinuses.

These multiplying bacteria attack the mucus membrane causing it to secrete puss… and this causes a pressure build-up inside the cavities located in the walls of the skull.

The resulting pressure causes the skull bone to flex… and that really hurts… a lot!

With sinusitis, one or more of the paranasal sinuses turn septic.

The result? A dull achy headache that won’t let up, accompanied by a general feeling of malaise and fatigue.

How Long will a Sinus Attack Last?

That depends on the type of infection. There are four designations:

  1. Acute sinusitis (sudden onset) — lasts up to 4 weeks.
  2. Subacute sinus infection can last up to 12 weeks.
  3. Chronic sinus (long term) infection lasts longer than Subacute. Occurrences can continue for many months or even years, but they aren’t as severe as acute sinus.
  4. Recurrent sinusitis consists of several acute attacks per annum.

What are Sinuses?

As mentioned earlier, the paranasal sinuses are made up of four pairs of air filled cavities in the skull – two on the left and two on the right.

Mother Nature designed them to help:

  • Insulate the skull.
  • Reduce the weight (without them you’d have difficulty lifting your head).
  • To allow the voice to resonate within the skull (think of concert-hall echo).

The names and locations of these cavities are:

  1. Frontal sinuses located over the eyes in the forehead
  2. Maxillary sinuses inside each cheekbone
  3. Ethmoid sinuses behind the bridge of the nose and between the eyes
  4. Sphenoid sinuses behind the upper region of the nose and spreading behind both eyes

The doctor leans back and smiles, “Any questions?”

You shake your head and tell her “No… thanks a lot for the info.”

Feeling a little better, you drag yourself off, and stop at the local pharmacy on your way home.

Three or four days later you’re fit enough to return to work.