How to Build a Pole Barn Style Garage

Two car garages can cost upwards of $25000 today for a simple garage with a concrete floor. With nothing fancy and by using vinyl siding on the exterior, you can build a garage yourself for under $5000. In fact you will need some free hands form time to time to aid you in some of the building work bur friends and family should be able to help without you becoming too much of a pain in the butt to them.

If you are starting with a level or almost level site for the garage, that is a big help. Heavy machines needed to level a site can eat up a great deal of cash really fast. Assuming the site is flat layout the rough size of the garage you are going to build with some string lines and stakes. A typical two car is twenty-four feet wide and twenty four or twenty-six feet deep. Roof trusses are spaced every two feet apart so keeping the garage measurements in even two foot increments is important.

Having laid out the garage location, step back and take a good look at the area. Is there enough room between the garage and the road to park a car outside? Is the garage square with the house? Is the garage aligned with the property lines? Is the garage the proper distance from the side property lines? All these questions are very important. Once the garages main poles are set, it will cost you good money to move it if it is wrong.

If you have decided you are happy with the garage location now is the time to lay out the garage accurately to drill or dig the holes for the main posts of the building. Start in one corner and setup a string line on the center of the post locations and drive a stake in at the other end of that wall. Continuing on with all four sides, the string lines should all be in the center of the pole locations and cross at the four corners exactly in the center of the four corner posts. Using a can of upside down paint ($2.99), paint the holes for the four corner posts on the ground. Now add four new stakes at the locations where the four strings cross. These will help hold the tape as you measure and layout the other post hole locations. If you have a helper you can avoid this step and let them hold the tape measure end at the string crossing for you.

Checking your drawings you will see that perhaps the poles are to be six feet apart on center. Starting on the outside of the corner post (not the center), measure along the line exactly six feet. Draw the post hole on the ground. proceed along the string and mark all the post holes. Along the back wall there will be five holes counting the corner holes. Now do both sides. Five holes here also for a twenty-four foot deep garage. The front of the garage is a bit different. Lets assume you are going have two eight foot garage doors. Starting on the corners on the outside of the post, the post hole spaces will be, two feet, eight feet, two feet, eight feet and two feet, totaling twenty-four feet. Garage doors come in exactly eight foot widths so you want your post exactly eight feet apart. if you choose nine foot doors, adjust your column widths to suit. When you install the typical 2×10 wood trim, the openings will downsize enough for the doors to butt against them when they are closed. The finished measurement of the opening would he seven foot-eight inches for eight foot doors.

Now it is time to dig the holes. Keeping our budget in mind and if the ground is actually the type that can be hand dug again you will save a bundle of your muscles can take the work. If the ground is very rocky or clay soil type, hand digging may not be possible. Rental stores have gas driven post hole augers with a twelve inch diameter bits that with the aid of a helper can make short work of the post holes. There are contractors that offer this service with truck mounted augers but again your budget will feel the pain. If it is at all possible, dig the holes yourself. It may take several days but by carefully covering the holes against weather, kids and stray animals and your wallet will love it.

You should have a helper for the pole work but it is not impossible to do it alone. I have set sixteen foot pressure treated posts alone but it is a real chore and a little dangerous. Your drawings will show the various lengths of poles for each hole. Longest poles go on the sides at the ridge center and shortest on the front and rear. if the gables are on the left and right. If the gables are over the garage doors, (front and rear) the longest poles will be center of the front and back wall. I have found if you install a pole slightly longer then the top of the truss, construction is a great deal easier. The first end truss will be supported on the top of the perimeter beams and lean against the poles. No bracing is necessary. Set all the posts in their respective holes. Check your drawings to determine if a concrete footing is required for the posts. If yes, pour a bag of pre-mix concrete in each hole and wet with a hose. Using a hole or shovel, stir up the mix so the water penetrates the concrete mix and level as best as possible in the bottom of the hole. Allow the concrete to dry overnight.

Set all your pressure treated poles into their respective hoes based on length.. Remember there are two very long poles at the ridge, four of the same length for the next set of four holes (two each side of the ridge center) and so on with all the poles on the front and back the same length. Set a corner post first. The post outside faces must be exactly in line with the two crossing string lines. Take your time with this part. The four corner posts must be exactly in line with the strings and square to the building. Bracing each post with some 2 x 4’s and stakes, plumb the posts with a good four foot level. Not a two foot shortie. With all four post in their holes, braced and plumb, now with a helper measure across the garage form corner to corner to see if the measurements are the same. Exactly the same. The length will vary depending on the garage size you are building but these two measurements will and must be exactly the same.

If it is twenty eight feet four and one quarter inch one way, it must be exactly that size the other way as well. If it is not, you must move the poles until the measurements exactly match. Once they match, double check the lengths of your walls to see that you have not stretched or shrunken them by squaring the poles. This takes a bit of practice and effort but if you take your time and get the building sides perfect and the cross measurements perfect, you will see a square building is a lot easier to build that one that is not square.. Now go ahead and set, brace and plumb all your other poles. Make sure the separation distances are correct as well. Brace the poles well. You will be climbing on them and do not want them to topple or move out of alignment while you work. The band or rim boards come next.

Typically the sides that the trusses bear upon are 2 pieces of non-PT 2 x 12 lumber nailed and then through bolted to the posts. The opposite or gable ends are smaller sized lumber typically 2 x 8’s and do not need to be through bolted. This work is also a heck of a lot easier with a helper but not impossible to do alone if you can lift the 2 x 12’s. The front and rear boards on a twenty-four foot garage would be two 2 x 12 by 12 foot each and three 2 x 12 eight foot each or any combo that adds to twenty-four feet and lands on the center line of a post. An eight footer and a sixteen footer will work as well. These bands go on the inside and outside of the posts to support the trusses..Make sure all the posts are plumb as you proceed around the garage. One additional word about the band joists These 2 x 12 band joists must be perfectly level and especially on the truss bearing sides. The top of the 2 x 12 is the height that the bottom of the truss will be above the garage floor.Typically this is eight feet however it can be nine, ten or whatever you wish it to be. You must adjust your pole lengths to accommodate this added interior wall height.

Trusses are the cheapest and easiest way to frame a roof. A typical 4/12 slope trusses for a twenty-four foot garage is about $35 or so. Watch for sales at big box stores or local truss companies that are clearing out their lots. A twenty-four foot garage needs 13 trusses. You will have twelve two foot spaces plus one to start with. That comes to twenty-four feet overall. Another trick is to order two trusses as gable end trusses. These will come “flat” framed and when installed on each end of the garage will continue the wall line to the roof from the 2 x 4 girts leaving one straight face for the exterior plywood. Placing the first truss on top of the perimeter 2 x 12 band joist, line up the flat bottom portion of the truss (or birds mouth) with the outside edge of the 2 x 12. If you purchased trusses with an overhang or soffit, that portion of the truss will hang over the 2 x 12’s on both sides of the garage.

Holding the truss firmly against the poles, atop the perimeter 2 x 12, nail the truss to the poles. The poles should stick up slightly past the truss s’s at this point but will be trim cut later. Truss installation is a heck of a lot easier with a helper. Two men can take all the trusses and hang them upside down on one end of the garage and stack them. With one man on top of the garage, the other man can slide the truss over to him and using a pusher pole made of scrap 2 x 4, flip the truss upright into the waiting hands of his partner. I highly recommend the use of metal truss spacers. They are sized so when nailed to the first truss, and after sliding the second truss into the end of the spacer, the end result will be two foot space between truss centers. A quick nail in the top of the spacer and the truss will stay in place.

The ground man using a ladder can nail the truss to the perimeter 2 x 12 band joist securing the truss from any further movement. A third man in the crew helping with nailing makes this job even easier. Thirteen trusses should be erected in about two hours start to finish. With all the spacers nailed in place, a least two two by fours are required along the bottom chords of the truss as a permanent truss spacer as well. A typical W truss has two equal bays that the 2 x 4 may be run straight down the center on top of the chord and the ends nailed to the top of perimeter 2 x 12. While you have the extra manpower, pass some sheets of plywood up on the roof. Use 5/8″ plywood if possible. 1/2″ plywood meets code with metal support clips but is nowhere near as permanent a roof as 5/8 plywood.

At this point I install the 2 x 4 “girts” or perimeter horizontal boards that the side wall plywood will be nailed to. On the bottom of the posts at the finished floor height another 2 x 10 or 2 x 12 is installed around the entire perimeter with the exception of the spaces between the garage door openings. A temporary board is nailed across the opening to hold back the concrete when it is poured and then removed later for car traffic. Install the side plywood on both gable ends and the walls. This helps stiffen the structure as well. Install a one by two along both gable ends flush with the top of a scrap piece of plywood laying on top of the truss. It will stick up past the truss top 5/8 inches. Install your fascia boards on the truss bearing sides remembering the roof plywood when installed must be flush with the fascia so as not to create a bump in the shingles. Now install your roof sheathing (plywood). If you have access to an air nailer it will greatly speed this work. Make the roof plywood flush with the inside edge of the perimeter one x two you nailed on earlier.

Start with a full sheet of plywood. If you did your truss spacing properly, the eight foot sheet of plywood will fall directly in the center of a truss for nailing. Tack all four corners and perhaps the middle and move to the next sheet and so on. Start your second row with a ½ sheet of plywood to avoid having any vertical joints line up on the trusses in two consecutive rows. Then go to full sheets and so on. The third row starts with a full sheet again. Leave at least a 2″ air space along the top of the roof at the highest point or ridge. On both ends of the ridge on a twenty-four foot garage make the plywood go all the way to the top for about two feet. This will leave a twenty foot slot. When the roof shingles are completed and the vent cap is installed, this slot will let the summers hot air escape out the roof. With all the plywood in place now proceed to nail it all as per your drawings specs but eight inch spacing on the edges of the sheet and 6 inch centers on the field of the sheets should be fine. No less the eight penny common nails are used for this purpose.

There will be some minor plywood infill work at sofft ends or “pork chops”, around door openings and the like. Now is the time to nail the all plywood in place permanently. Install your 2 x 10 jambs at the over head door openings and do not forget to let them project past the plywood sheathing to allow a 3/4″ vinyl siding J channel trim to rest against them on all three sides. Racially your framing is finished.

Install your two layers of ice and water shield on the roof and the balance of the felt paper. Many companies today say you do not need the felt but it is cheap insurance when a broken shingle appears and unless you can install thirteen or so square or shingles by yourself in one day, it will help keep the inside of the garage dry as well.

At this point many carpenters will install the garage floor to provide them with a nice dry flat surface to work on while doing the siding. Not a bad idea. See my article on pouring sidewalks and slabs if your going to try and your the concrete yourself. A typical 24 x 24 foot garage will use approximately 7.5 yards of 3000 pound concrete (24 x24 x.33 divided d by 27= 7.04 cubic yards, Round up to 7.5 cubic yards at least.) I would get eight yards to take into account a thicker depression at each garage door and around the perimeter edges. Eight yards at $85 per yard is $680.00. Be prepared to pour for when the truck gets there to offload within one hour. Ant time after that you will charged extra waiting time and increase your bottom line costs. Have enough manpower handy to wheel and place the concrete as quickly as possible.

By buying my siding and trims at a going out of business sale I spent another $1200. The wood garage doors were $350 each. You can add windows and walk doors at any time to a pole barn style building with little extra effort so they not required in the basic garage to start. With my garage complete I spent a total of $4100 cash money and a lot of my own man hours. Beats $25000 all to pieces. See my article on vinyl siding for help with this part of the work.

How To Choose The Best Weight Lifting Straps

Weight lifting straps are a tool that many of us will use at some point to help us progress further than we would otherwise have got without them.

Lifting straps basically perform the role that our forearm muscles do to allow us to hold bars on handles when lifting or pulling heavy weights.

Like all things in life there are plenty of options to choose from, so here are the things you need to look out for when selecting a pair of lifting straps for your own training.

#1 Length?

This depends on the main exercises that you’ll be using them for. Most come in sizes of around 20 inches but some of the more expensive brands do make longer ones of around 24 inches or 60cm in length. Ideally you’d opt for the longer size as this will allow you to wrap them around a bar or handle many times giving you a firmer grip. If you don’t need the extra length then you could simply leave it loose. It won’t affect your lift in any way.

#2 Width?

This aspect seems to be quite standard across the range with most being approximately 1.5 inches wide. You certainly wouldn’t want to choose any weight lifting straps that were narrower than this.

#3 Material?

You really have 2 choices with this – leather or cotton. Both have their merits. Leather is softer, but can be slippery and has the potential to snap. Cotton is not quite as comfortable, but because of the woven nature, it is unlikely to ever break apart along the stitched seams. More expensive brands tend to be a little softer and more durable.

Also be wary of choosing cheap brands that use a thinner fabric as this can bunch up in the hand causing real pain and discomfort through the entire exercise. Thicker ones are best as they hold their shape when wrapped around a bar or handle.

#4 Padding or no padding?

As to whether you choose padded or non padded straps is purely a matter of choice. The padding is usually a strip of neoprene that is stitched to the inside of the outer strap to cushion the strap against the wrists. If you have quite small wrists and are using a lot of weight then the padded version could be your best bet, they are much more comfortable to use. In terms of strength and durability, there is no real difference between padded and non padded weight lifting straps, it is purely down to comfort levels.

#5 Budget or high end product?

As with all things in life you get what you pay for and lifting straps are no different. There are three main price bands. Firstly for the simple cotton straps without padding these are the cheapest. Next are the padded cotton version which are a little more expensive and finally leather lifting straps which tend to be the most expensive.

Hopefully this little summary in to the pros and cons of weight lifting straps has helped you to make a decision as to whether you decide to buy a pair for yourself.

Article Writing 101: The Perfect Author Resource Box

If you want to really make your article “SELL” then you’ve got to craft the perfect RESOURCE BOX. This is the “author bio” that is below your article body and it’s also known as your “SIG” (short for SIGnature).

Here are the essential items that should be in your RESOURCE BOX:

  • Your Name: You’d be amazed at how many folks forget to include their name in the RESOURCE BOX. Your name and optional title should be the first thing in your resource box.
  • Your Website Address: in valid URL form. Example:
  • Your Elevator Pitch: This is 1 to 3 sentences that encapsulates the essence of what makes you and your offering unique. Also known as your USP (Unique Selling Proposition).
  • Your Call To Action: You’ve got them warmed up and now it’s time to lead them to BUY from you or visit your website. This is where you “Ask For The Sale.” Best to only give (1) specific call to action.

Here are some optional items you could include in your RESOURCE BOX:

  • Your Ezine Subscription Address: While getting your interested visitor to surf your website is nice, capturing their email address can help you begin the confidence/trust process. If you’re going to do this strategy, include a URL for your ezine subscription address and do not use an email address for the “join” address.
  • Your Contact Information: Such as your business phone number or how to reach you for interviews or your press/media kit. Keep in mind that article marketing is a timeless strategy and you may not have an easy ability to retract what you put in your article once it hits major distribution.
  • A Free Report: This could also be part of your call to action or your free bonus report that further enhances your credibility as the expert on the topic of your article.
  • Your email autoresponder: I’m not a big fan of this strategy due to the fact that spammers will text-extract your autoresponder address and add it to their spam list. Perhaps this strategy was best for the 1990’s and has now run its course.
  • An anchor URL that is related to one keyword or keyword phrase that you want to build SEO strength for. Example: if I wanted to build search engine relevance/strength for the term “Article Writing,” I’d link up that term in my resource box to my website. This is an intermediate to advanced level strategy and should not be abused by over-doing it. Keep it simple.

What NOT to include in your RESOURCE BOX:

  • A listing of every website you own. There is no faster way to dilute your credibility than by posting a half dozen irrelevant URLs that have nothing to do with each other. Best to only post ONE URL that is related to the topic of your article.
  • A listing of every accomplishment you’ve achieved to date. No one cares. Keep your resource box brief and to the point. Yes, your resource box should be benefit oriented so that the reader finds value in reading it rather than your ego being justified.
  • Advertisements or pitches for products that are not relevant to the topic of your article.
  • Keep the size of your resource box so that it’s no larger than 15% of your total article size. Too often I see resource boxes that are 50% of the size of the total article and this is abusive.

Your Perfect Resource Box Conclusion:

The BODY of your article is where you “GIVE” and the RESOURCE BOX is where you get to “TAKE” for your article gift of information. The resource box is the “currency of payment” you receive for giving away your article. Be sure to include your name, website address, your unique selling proposition as briefly as possible and a simple call to action.

Cymatics – Top 10 Most Amazing Facts

Here are the top 10 Most Amazing facts about cymatics, a little known but fascinating field of study spanning art, science and medicine. Most people know cymatics as some beautiful geometric patterns made with sound waves. But there is more to cymatics than meets the eye; read the facts below to get a glimpse into the wonderful world of cymatics!

1. Cymatics lets us “see sound” as a visible pattern.

2. Cymatics may prove that sound is not a wave but a bubble.

3. Cymatics is used to help deaf people learn how to speak.

4. Cymatic symbols appear to have been embedded inside a chapel in Scotland in order to record music secretly.

5. Cymatics when played on metal actually shows the stillness within the sound; but when played into water cymatics shows the sound itself.

6. Cymatics is currently being used to record and decode the language of dolphins.

7. Cymatics plates almost identical to today’s were played for astonished victorian audiences by Ernst Chaldini, the “father of acoustics,” in the 1700’s.

8. Cymatics has been shown to make matter “defy gravity” – for example, if you tip a plate sideways with liquid on it, the matter will fall downward; but if sound is applied to the plate, the liquid will actually climb back up the plate to keep it’s cymatic form in defiance of gravity.

9. Cymatics has been used by violin makers for years to help build better violins: they look at the geometric patterns created by particles inside of the violin to help perfect the shape while the instrument is being carved.

And last but not least…

10. Cymatics can be used to see the geometric patterns of your voice at home using table salt and a simple device made out of 3 things you can get at the hardware store. You can get free instructions for how to make this device below.

Why and How to Install a Flexible Chimney Liner Up a Chimney For a Wood or Fuel Burner

Fuel burning appliances that you have which burns wood/fuel to heat your house need to be vented to the outside of your home. This can be done through a chimney liner, which is the material on the inside of your chimney’s flue that contains the combustion products from your burner until they are vented out the top of the chimney.

Flexible liners are made of continuous lengths of corrugated tubing which are installed inside the flue. Lining a chimney or fitting a wood burning stove or fire carries no stipulation that the work cannot be done as a DIY job but all work however does have to comply with the building regulations. If this work is not carried out by a competent person (E.G a HETAS installer) it must be inspected by someone from your local council’s Building Control Department. This is classed as “Building work” and you must notify your local council’s building control before work starts. In any case there may well be local planning restrictions converting chimney work and new chimneys that you have to follow. You may be required to erect scaffolding around the chimney down to the ground for health and safety. Reference should be made to ‘The Building Regulations 2000 Approved Document J Combustion Appliances and Fuel Storage Systems 2002 Edition’ or the building control department of your local council.

An existing chimney or a new flue or chimney installation must be given a visual inspection to check that it is in good order, clear of obstructions and is of a suitable size and type for the appliance you plan to install. If you are handy with tools and have a good understanding of how fireplaces and chimneys work, you may be able to do most of the liner work yourself.

The first thing you need to do is check your local building and fire safety codes. In some areas, you will be required to have a licensed chimney specialist make repairs or do new liner installations for you. If you find that it is permissible for you to do your own chimney work, be advised that replacing or installing a chimney liner requires precision work under potentially dangerous conditions. So, unless you are confident you know what you are doing, it might be best to let an expert do your chimney repair and lining installation work for you. If you are confused about the best type of liner to install in your chimney, your local chimney cleaning professional can give you advice during your annual chimney cleaning.

Fitting a flexible chimney liner to an existing chimney is a two person job.

You will need the following tools and equipment to fit a flexible chimney liner to an existing chimney: A length of rope(10m), other ropes (for safety), cement, sand, integral water proofer, unibond, trowel, hammer and cold chisel, metal snips, buckets, old paintbrush, Phillips screwdriver, adjustable spanner and pliers, roof ladders, ladder or scaffolding structure.

Before attempting to fit a chimney liner to an existing chimney, you must always sweep the chimney. Do not attempt to fit a liner without first sweeping the chimney. Remember that debris may very well fall down the chimney at any time during the installation of the flexible liner. A wood burning stove should be fitted at the same time, or soon after a flue liner has been installed.

Talk to your supplier about the type of wood/fuel burner you need and about the flue liner you need to serve it. The efficiency of the fire will depend on putting the right wood burner into the right opening and using the correct flue. If they do not all match up you could be wasting a great deal of energy.

Fitting a flue liner into an existing chimney can certainly be a DIY job but certain, very important rules have to be adhered to. The size of the flue used depends on the size of the flue outlet on the wood burner. The flue used must, under no circumstances, be smaller than the flue outlet of the fire or stove. For a wood burner or other solid fuel fire or stove producing up to 30KW a 150mm flue must be used. For an appliance (burning smokeless fuel only) producing up to 20KW, a 125mm flue can be used. The amount of soot deposit created by a wood burner is quite considerable and a 150mm flue is suggested in every case. If you open up an old fireplace and would like to place a wood burner in the opening you must first arrange for the chimney to be smoke treated to see if it is safe to use without a liner. If the flue needs a liner, check with your supplier as to the best liner to use under your circumstances. A flexible liner is the easiest to fit.

***Please make sure you stay safe while you are working on the roof. Proprietary scaffold and roof ladders must be used and under no circumstances should you attempt this job on your own. It is a two person job.***

Now tie a large knot in the end of a rope (preferably a 10mm nylon rope) and lower it down the chimney to the hearth at the bottom of the fireplace. Tie the other end of the rope to the chimney pot. If you feel the rope you slack before it hits the hearth it has probably got caught on a ledge or a change of direction in the stack. Lift and drop the rope a couple of times to allow it to fall down. When the rope is at the bottom, tie a piece of string to the top at the top of the pot or mark it in some other way. The distance between this mark and the knot that the end of the rope is the length of flue liner you need to buy. You also need to measure how wide and long your stack is so you can order a closing plate. The closing plate should overlap the inside edge of the brickwork by about 25mm leaving 75mm of brickwork exposed all the way round.

Having obtained your liner you need now to remove the chimney pot and the surrounding haunching. If this is done carefully you will save the pot. Place the pot somewhere safe and squash flat the last 9 inches of the liner and fold the flat section back on itself. Push the rope through the fold and tie it together under the fold. Now use some strong duct tape and tape the folds together. Put plenty of tape on the actual crease of the fold itself to smooth of the sharp edges. You will soon be pulling this liner down the chimney and the more times it gets stuck (and we promise it will get stuck!) The more you will wish you had “wasted” a bit more tape rounding off the end. Now tie a large knot in the other end of the rope and once more drop it down the chimney. When it gets to the bottom get your work mate to pull it through while you feed it into the hole from the top. When it gets stuck, pull it up a little and tug it down again. Very few chimney stacks are straight up and down so there may be a few bends to work through.

Check that the liner is the correct way up. There is a purple arrow sprayed onto the flexible liner which should point up the chimney.

Flue liner is not the cheapest of materials but do not be tempted to cut costs by being too accurate with the length of liner required. It is a great deal better to have some to cut off than it is to be 25mm short. If using rockwool insulation then attach this around the flexible liner. You can wrap the entire liner at once or fit it section by section as you pull it down the chimney. It is important to insulation for your flue pipe. It is a long way from the wood burner to the chimney pot and as the hot smoke rises it will cool down on the metal of the liner. If the liner is not insulated the hot air could condense causing a lot of water to run back down the liner into your stove. This makes the stove or fire totally inefficient. Next the flue outlet is fitted to the top of the wood burner. To stop heat escaping from any gaps the flue outlet bracket sits in a slight recess at the top of the wood burner and a length of fire rope is placed in between the two. As the flue outlet is tightened down onto the top of the wood burner, the fire rope is squashed into place.

Connect the stove to the flexible chimney liner adaptor with a length of rigid flue and give it all a minimum of 24 hours to go off before you light the stove. A notice plate must be completed and permanently posted in the building when flues have been installed.

Five Easy Crockpot Recipes

I am a huge fan of crockpots. In fact, I just bought a second crockpot a few weeks ago. My old one works just fine, but it’s a bit small and I wanted one that would fit an entire roast or turkey breast without having to cut the meat first.

One of the advantages of crockpots is that cooking is very easy. It usually consists of mixing some ingredients together, throwing it all in and turning it on.

I’d like to share some of my family’s favorite easy crockpot recipes with you:

We love turkey year-round. I buy turkey breasts when they are on sale. These first few recipes are for turkey breasts:

1 turkey breast

2 cans cream of something soup

2 soup cans of water

We have used cream of mushroom mixed with cream of chicken soup. We have also used cream of asparagus mixed with cream of chicken soup. Both recipes come out wonderfully. Refer to your owner’s manual to see how much liquid you need in the crockpot for perfect cooking. Depending on size, you may only need one can of water. Cook on low eight hours.

1 turkey breast

1 package onion soup mix

2 cups Sprite or 7-Up

I prefer the flavor of the soda to water. You can however use water mixed with the onion soup mix. If you want to add in some cut celery and/or carrots, that will add to the overall flavor of the sauce. Cover and cook on low eight hours.

1 turkey breast

1 can jellied cranberry sauce

1-2 cans chicken broth

I like to cut the cranberry sauce into small pieces and rub it all over the turkey. Then I mix the remaining cranberry sauce in with the clear chicken broth. Put the turkey into the crockpot then pour the sauce in. Cover and cook on low for eight hours.

If you prefer beef over turkey, here are a couple of very easy beef recipes:

2 pounds of meat – you can use either a roast or stew meat. Both will be tender after the hours of cooking.

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 envelope onion soup mix


Mix together the soup, water and onion soup mix. Place meat in crockpot. Pour the sauce in and cook on low for seven to eight hours.

The final recipe I’d like to share with you is also a beef recipe:

1 roast

1 can beef broth

1 package Italian salad dressing mix


Mix together the sauce. Place the roast in the crockpot and pour sauce over the meat. Cook on low about eight hours.

These are all easy yet flavorful recipes you can make in your crockpot.

What Is a Polyurethane Duct Board?

Ducts are widely used today in HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). Their main purpose is to serve as a passage for air. They are important in maintaining ideal indoor air temperature and quality. For this reason, ducts should be able to resist external temperatures to maintain the air flowing through them at a constant temperature. In order to do this, ducts are made from or coated with insulation materials. Aluminum and galvanized steel are the most commonly used materials for creating ductwork because of their availability. However, these can be heavy, especially in the case of galvanized mild steel. That is why some manufacturers use polyurethane.

Polyurethane (PU) is a type of plastic resin. It can be made flexible or rigid. It is very versatile and is used not only for industrial products but also in many end-user products such as mattresses, shoes, and tires. Polyurethane is commonly used because of its insulative properties. In your home, polyurethane duct boards are present in your refrigerator and freezers. If you have a relatively modern home, then the walls could have been lined with polyurethane duct boards or panels in order to prevent heat loss during colder months and to keep the air inside your home cool during the summer or warmer months. The common house and commercial building areas that are lined with polyurethane duct boards are cavity walls, floors, roofs, pipe and boiler areas, and large air ducts.

Advantages of Using Polyurethane Duct Boards

Insulation is not just for comfort. The act of keeping cold and hot air in certain conditions has a long term effect. In the EU, private households contribute about 35% to total CO2 emissions. Using polyurethane duct boards and other insulative materials will lessen the CO2 emissions of refrigerators, heaters, and air conditioners. Having a properly insulated space will lessen their electricity consumption. Lining target areas with polyurethane panels would be expensive at first but this will, in turn, help home owners and business owners to save money in the long run.

Commercial buildings also need less maintenance if they are properly lined with polyurethane panels. Unlike aluminum and galvanized steel, polyurethane panels are easier to work with and are more efficient in terms of space saving. These panels can be efficiently used without disrupting the interior and exterior design of a house or building. Overall, polyurethane panels are gradually becoming a necessity in both homes and offices.

10 Annoying Employee Work Behaviors and What to Do About Them

It’s that time of year, when employee evaluations are due, where we evaluate the behaviors in employees that annoy us the most and try to figure out what to do about them. Below are ten behaviors that experts all over the world have identified as irritating, problematic, or counterproductive along with a proposed solution to the problem. The ten are in no particular order, but each one has its own set of circumstances which impact a company’s productivity or morale in some way.

Promotion and/or Pay Raise Seekers Who Haven’t Earned Their Stripes

“If you want something different or better than the position you’re currently in, then do the work, serve the role, earn the job and make it evident to everyone around you that you deserve it (without blowing your own horn every five minutes). The easiest promotions come when it’s blatantly obvious that someone is already doing the job and capable of carrying it. The worst situations come when someone gets promoted to a job for which they aren’t qualified. Everyone suffers in that scenario,” says Dick Hoffman, Owner of Hoffman Management Consultancy based in the Netherlands. “When someone pursues a title, promotion or raise so relentlessly that they make everyone around them miserable, then it’s usually time to recommend that they exit the current situation and pursue another job.”

Falling Asleep on the Job

Sometimes employees simply don’t get the proper rest, but it’s unacceptable to nod off during the work day or meetings. Companies aren’t paying their employees to take a siesta on their dime. This is not only a hindrance to the company itself, but it genuinely upsets other employees. A Research Associate in the San Francisco area recounts a recent sleeping on the job incident where the outcome will always have two behavior altering options: “If sleeping on the job became a frequent problem with the employee, I would cite safety issues (which are applicable, as we work in an engineering/laboratory environment) and give the employee the option of a) getting immediate help (and I would have to see documented proof that he/she was actually getting some help) or b) face termination.”

Pardon the pun, but it’s hard to sleep on this one–quick and decisive action is required to save face and improve productivity. A general consensus seems to suggest that the best solution for your company is an immediate termination if you catch someone frequently sleeping on the job or during meetings. It’s not the company’s responsibility to cater to employees which don’t get the proper rest.

Teaming Up in an Attempt at Getting a Co-Worker Fired

This makes our list for the simple reason that executives and managers should be entrusted to ensure that the right people are “on the bus.” No amount of employee revolt against one employee will benefit anyone therefore it is best to keep the lines of communication open between all parties. If a riff is sensed among the constituency, hash it out to the best of the team’s abilities as a team. If a mutiny is inevitable, attempt to satisfy everyone’s concerns by attempting to restructure the team in such a way that promotes functionality above personality differences. If push comes to shove, someone may need to be terminated as a last resort to permit the business to move forward.

Not Understanding the Business

Ram Charan, a popular business author and former CEO of Honeywell, mentions in his book What the CEO Wants You to Know, “when you come right down to it, business is very simple. There are universal laws of business that apply whether you sell fruit from a stand or are running a Fortune 500 company.”

If you’re an employee, take the time to truly understand how your employer makes money. If you’re a business executive, invest some of your time to explain how your company makes money so that everyone has the basic fundamentals down. This is the least you can do to improve your likelihood of long term success.

Being a Know-it-All

No one enjoys being subjected to criticism or one-upsmanship from co-workers especially if that person isn’t the boss. There are no employees at any company, including the CEO, that know every answer to every conceivable problem. That’s why there are people in various roles within the company. If there is a “know-it-all” among the group, the best solution is to confront that person and hash out the differences as a group. Be careful not to make it appear as if you’re ganging up on the guilty party though. If the person provides a valuable set of skills to the organization, your goal isn’t to eliminate the employee–it is to discourage the behavior while continuing to capitalize on their unique strengths. Conversely, if the person is no longer providing tangible benefits to the organization, perhaps it’s time to encourage the problem child to seek employment elsewhere.

Eating at Your Desk

Nothing short of instituting a “please eat in designated areas only” policy will correct this problem. Businesses should consider implementing this policy if for no other reason than to protect company assets such as the computer, keyboard, monitor, desk, chair, and phone at each person’s work area. Grease can penetrate those objects and wear them down over time not to mention the unsightly grime and residue build up. If you have carpet in your office, it’s doubtful you desire to replace it frequently because of repeated mishaps. While most people are careful not to spill things, accidents are bound to happen so why not take the steps to limit them to areas better equipped to sustain them?

Dave Gullo, Owner of based in California, puts a humorous spin on this, stating “the sounds of mastication are annoying. Worst case is an employee who is eating KFC and working at the same time touching your monitor leaving rainbow marks.” Indeed!

Always Playing the Victim

If bad things are supposedly always happening to someone around you or even to you, it’s time to confront the guilty party. Complaining all the time without presenting viable solutions aggravates everyone in little time. Life isn’t always a picnic for anyone, but a consistent negative outlook is demoralizing to say the least. “Victim behavior is disruptive because victims create drama, they are constitutionally incapable of taking responsibility for the choices they make which means they are intractable and incurable. Prevention is highly recommended through careful screening,” says Jane Plank, Sr. Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Equity Consultants in Richfield, Ohio.

Plank suggests quick corrective action, “when an employee’s choices become more problematic than the benefit added to the company, it is time to coach them up or out.” Preeti Kalra, an HR Manager at Dilithium Networks in India, encourages one-on-one sessions, “Have several one-on-one sessions with employee and talk about things that bother him/her, explain why things are the way they are and if the complaint is genuine fix it. If you religiously follow this practice you might be able to change employee’s approach.”

Arrogance and Control

It’s extremely difficult to deal with employees or bosses which exhibit an attitude that they are somehow above the rules yet also desire to control those around them. When those situations arise, crap usually hits the fan quickly. To survive and grow from these sticky situations, Kathleen Erickson, Director of Sales & Business Development at Massively Parallel Technologies in the Denver area, suggests that there needs to be a culture of open communication that “when two people respect each other enough to say what’s on their mind and work through the issues or clarify the misunderstandings…things go pretty well.”

Once the air is cleared, the relationship can grow and the organization can continue to thrive. “If we can humble ourselves enough to let creativity flow and appreciate the true talent and untapped potential in one another, amazing things can happen right before our very eyes. Everyday heroes are all around us…even in the workplace.” Erickson says.


Simon Harriyott, Founder of Sussex Geek Dinners in the UK, points out that someone with a hard head is problematic to him, “coming to a discussion with a fixed decision in mind, and refusing to listen to or consider alternatives. It’s much worse when they’ve reached the wrong conclusion. It’s a hard one to fix, but sometimes gently asking questions will get them to think about their solution more deeply, and they may see flaws in their original decision.”

Said Hmaidan, Senior Information Officer at International Finance Corporation, The World Bank Group in the D.C. area, agrees, “As communication is the foundation of all conflict resolution and team building, people which such behavior tend to create a negative atmosphere and bad vibe among the team.” He suggests this potential solution: “there are several ways to remedy this but the most effective is by acknowledging the point the person made and create a new possible scenario placing the person into that scenario to attract his/her attention. When the person becomes attentive, then it is easier for him/her to see others point-of-view.”


Ah, who could leave out the annoying employee that simply doesn’t want to work or refuses to apply themselves? David Benjamin, Direct Placement Recruiter at Variant Partners near Detroit, gets bothered by “the efforts and creativeness of lazy employees always making excuses of why the company or they can not be successful. They come up with the most creative ways to spend their time to demonstrate their point instead of using that time wisely to become a success.” In problematic situations such as this, it’s best to help the employee seek out employment elsewhere, perhaps another department within your organization, because it’s doubtful they will ever be happy in their current role.

What the Issues Have in Common

In all of these cases, most experts agree that open communication can alleviate a lot of problems. Some even suggest a more proactive and self centered approach such as the one Joao Trindade, International Manager at Wisse Financial in Trinidad, utilizes, “What I’ve always tried to do, was to understand that person’s motivation and try to change the way I worked with them, in order to take the best part this person had to give to the company (if the mountain doesn’t go to Moses…). I would say that after some time, people understand that are being treated differently and they will try to understand why. Sometimes, when they figure out why, they change by themselves, which I believe is the best method.”

Ray van den Bel, an Independent Consultant in the Netherlands, points out that sometimes people will just have to agree to disagree. “It depends on your own communication style which is most annoying because some styles do not interact with other styles. Expressive people and analytical people are thus often opposites.”

While there are no definitive sure fire fixes for annoying employee behavior, opening the lines of communication seems to be the most popular elixir many experts suggest. If you openly communicate with your employees, and there are still major problems, it may be time to go in a different direction in order for both parties to be happy and content.

Making Military Parenting Plans Work For Active Duty Parents

Working out child custody is hard enough without adding the challenges of one or both parents serving in the armed forces. Custody complications can arise when circumstances related to your military career arise, such as a temporary transfer, mobilization or even deployment. Learn the ins and outs of preparing a military parenting plan to protect your parenting rights and provide for your children’s needs.

Military Duty and Child Custody

Most states uphold custody laws that say if one parent is voluntarily absent from the children’s lives and does not complete visitations, that parent’s custody rights can be changed. When you are serving in the armed forces, technically fulfilling your job duties left you open to legal action concerning custody. For example, if you had custody of your children but then were deployed for an extended period of time, the other parent could possibly file for permanent custody.

There were several high-profile cases in the last decade where deployed parents returned home to find that they had been stripped of custody and that the family courts were reluctant to restore custody because of their absence. While these men and women were preserving the interests of their country, they were losing their children.

Because service member parents have a limited ability to travel in certain circumstances, plus the high cost of travel from some areas of the world where they may be stationed, it is difficult for every deployed parent to engage in custody hearings. It wasn’t unusual for divorced military parents to lose custody of their children and spend lots of money trying to regain it.

Helpful Laws Protect Military Parents

The U.S. government, as well as several states, recognized the unfairness of these actions, especially when deployment or other mandatory service was being counted against parents in custody issues. Today, such parents are protected by laws that restrict legal actions at certain times against those serving in the armed forces, including custody hearings.

Service member parents are allowed to have expedited custody hearings that take place before they leave, if possible. They can also deliver testimony via phone or other electronic means. Family courts cannot take permanent custody action taken against them while they are away for certain types of service. The away parents should still retain decision-making abilities where reasonable, and can even designate visitation time with extended family members.

Now, military parents can generally receive the custody levels they enjoyed before deployment within 10 days of their return from duty. No hearings are necessary for this action. While the other parent can try to take action, the family court cannot hold your deployment against you in determining custody.

Delegating Time While Deployed

Deployed parents can designate some of their unused visitation time with a third party, usually grandparents or other close relatives. The current laws don’t allow the other parent to restrict or overrule the away parent’s wishes when it comes to delegating that time. As long as the third-party member is approved by the court, this delegation will be allowed for as long as the military parent is deployed.

The family courts recognized the service member’s right to have a voice in who the children interact with, just as if he or she were home. Many deployed parents feel that this is a big improvement to staying in contact with their children. Often, the other parent may not make the effort to help the children communicate with the away parent. The service member’s family can preserve those bonds by including the children in family activities, making contact with the military parent and providing emotional support while they are away.

Military Parenting Plans

It’s important to create a parenting plan that takes service member parents into consideration, especially in the event of a deployment or transfer. You and the other parent can create a basic parenting plan for when you are nearby, then create a temporary parenting plan that is in effect while you are away.

Getting a temporary custody in place before you leave is typical of most divorced military parents. You will likely be able to receive expedited custody hearings in order to put your affairs together. If you and the other parent have a sample plan already made up, you can present it to the family court for approval. This temporary parenting plan will end once you return, according to the law.


Children deserve to have a loving, healthy relationship with both parents. Today’s military parents face fewer risks of losing your custody privileges after they return. After many years of struggling to keep or regain custody of their children after deployment, military parents are now covered under protective laws that preserve their parent-child relationships.

Simple Binary-Weighted and R/2R Ladder DAC

A simple 4-bit digital-to-analog converter that is constructed from a digitally controlled switch (74HC4066), a set of binary-weighted resistors, and an operational amplifier. The basic idea is to create an inverting amplifier circuit whose gain is controlled by changing the input resistance Rin. The 74HC4066 and the resistors together act as a digitally controlled Rin that can take on one of 16 possible values. (You can think of the 74HC4066 and resistor combination as a digitally controlled current source. Each new binary code applied to the inputs of the 74HC4066 generates a new discrete current level that is summed by RF to provide a new discrete output voltage level.) We choose scaled resistor values of R, R/2, R/4, and R/8 to give Rin discrete values that are equally spaced. To find all possible values of Rin, we use the formula provided. This formula looks like the old resistors- in-parallel formula, but we must exclude those resistors which are not selected by the digital input code-that’s what the coefficients A through D are for (a coefficient is either 1 or 0, depending on the digital input).

Now, to find the analog output voltage, we simply use Vout = −Vin (RF/Rin)-the expression used for the inverting amplifier shows what we get when we set Vin = −5 V, R = 100 kΩ, and RF = 20 kΩ, and take all possible input codes. The binary-weighted DAC shown above is limited in resolution (4-bit, 16 analog levels). To double the resolution (make an 8-bit DAC), you might think to add another 74HC4066 and R/16, R/32, R/64, and R/128 resistors. In theory, this works; in reality, it doesn’t. The problem with this approach is that when we reach the R/128 resistor, we must find a 0.78125-kΩ resistor, assuming R = 100 kΩ. Assuming we can find or construct an equivalent resistor network for R/128, we’re still in trouble because the tolerances of these resistors will screw things up. This scaled-resistor approach becomes impractical when we deal with resolutions of more than a few bits.

To increase the resolution, we scrap the scaled-resistor network and replace it with an R/2R ladder network-the manufacturers of DAC ICs do this as well. An R/2R DAC uses an R/2R resistor ladder network instead of a scaled-resistor network, as was the case in the previous DAC. The benefit of using the R/2R ladder is that we need only two resistor values, R and 2R. The trick to understanding how the R/2R ladder works is realizing that the current drawn through any one switch is always the same, no matter if it is thrown up or thrown down. If a switch is thrown down, current will flow through the switch into ground (0 V). If a switch is thrown up, current will flow toward virtual ground- located at the op amp’s inverting input (recall that if the non inverting input of an op amp is set to 0 V, the op amp will make the inverting input 0 V, via negative feedback). Once you realize that the current through any given switch is always constant, you can figure that the total current (I) supplied by Vref will be constant as well. Once you’ve got that, you figure out what fractions of the total current passes through each of the branches within the R/2R network using simple circuit analysis.

Which Remedies For Baldness Work?


With each remedy for baldness I have split up into two categories: “drugs” and “natural”. Both remedies for baldness are said to work to a degree. The drugs (creams and pills) have had various clinical trials performed on them, but on the downside they are occasionally susceptible to unwanted side-effects. The natural remedies for baldness most often have had no clinical trials attached, merely word of mouth recommendations, but normally have fewer side-effects (at least less unwanted ones) reported. If you are unsure on which type to try, it is possible to try both (but please get advice from a physician before doing so).


Before I start on any allopathic remedies for baldness, I have to explain the current thinking in science behind the causes of losing hair so that the mechanism and effectiveness of the drugs are easily understood.

Men convert excess testosterone into a more potent form called DHT by the enzyme 5a reductase. The DHT is highly active on the hair follicle receptors, readily latching to them and restricting blood flow to the hair. This causes the hair to become thin and miniturized creating the “peach fuzz” look. There is apparently a greater quantity of this enzyme in the scalp of men who are susceptible to male pattern baldness.[1]

Women, however, have excess of the enzyme aromatase which converts their testosterone into a form of active estrogen called estradiol. The theory is that after women hit menopause, their levels of natural estrogen lowers letting the testosterone be converted into DHT which makes them more susceptible to losing hair post menopausal. However, that doesn’t explain why post andropausal men lose hair when they become older and their testosterone levels die down.[1]

Well, that’s the theory, so now lets look at each remedy for baldness in turn and determine its effectiveness and availability as of July 2006. Below is a list of each remedy for baldness:

Rogaine (Minoxidol)

Propecia (Finasteride)


Mechanism – unclear. Seems to open potassium availabilty to the hair.

Effectiveness – average increase of hair per cm2 was 18.5% after 48 weeks. 1 to 3 months after stopping, hair condition returns to pre-treatment levels.

Side-effects – Dizziness has been reported. Local irritation, itching, dryness, and erythema may occur with use of topical minoxidil, most likely caused by the vehicle formulation of alcohol and propylene glycol.[2]

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – $10 to $15 per bottle (one month).


Mechanism – inhibits the 5a reductase enzyme responsible for DHT production.

Effectiveness – A third study of 326 men with mild to moderate frontal hair loss found that after 1 year, finasteride treated men had statistically significantly higher hair counts on the frontal scalp. Approximately 50% of treatedmen and 30% of those who took placebo thought the appearance of their hair had improved. Hair regrowth was not reported in older men taking 5 mg finasteride.

Side-effects – A decreased libido, erectile dysfunction, or a decreased volume of ejaculate have been reported in less than 2% of patients, which in reality is between 0.5% to 1% when compared with placebo.[2]

Availability – was prescription only. Generic version now available.

Cost – $69.95 for 3 months


Most natural remedies for baldness also work by blocking DHT, either by inhibiting the enzyme or blocking the hair follicle receptor, or providing the nutrient for the hair follicle receptor which DHT blocks. There is also an alternative interpretation of the “DHT alone causes hair loss ” theory. Some believe that it is too much active estrogen-like substances as well as too much DHT that is to blame for prostate cancer and losing hair, and not enough free testosterone in the body.[3]

This sounds contradictory to the allopathic argument, and concerning estrogen it is. Some naturopaths say that it is all about what blocks the hair follicle receptors. It is these protein receptors which attract nutrients to the hair. DHT and estrogen-like pollutants both block the receptor.[3] Apparently, certain bacteria which thrive on fat, produce estrogen-like substances[4], and there is excess of the aromatase enzyme (which turns testosterone into estrogen) present in fat cells of obese and balding men. Aging, a high fat diet and lack of exercise can create too much estrogen and too little testosterone. Even if testosterone is at normal levels, active estrogen levels can still be way too high.[3] Although this doesn’t explain why women with high estrogen levels don’t get male pattern baldness.

Here is a list of each remedy for baldness and nutrient:

Beta Sistosterol (from the herb: Saw Palmetol)

Chrysin (from the herb: Passionflower)

Vitamin D

Vitamin B12

Biotin (vitamin B7)

Iron and L-lysine (for women)

Folligen (copper peptide)


Rooibos tea


Mechanism – blocks DHT from the androgen receptors sites found on the hair follicles.

Effectiveness – untested. Mixed reviews from people on health forums.

Side-effects – None, but side-effects of the herb Saw Palmetol can be male breast enlargement.[2]

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – 90 Capsules 400mg $7.95.


Mechanism – increases free testosterone by inhibiting the conversion to estrodiol.

Effectiveness – shown to be effective at stopping aromatase in the petridish, but not in the body. Not known if it helps with losing hair.[5] Not a proven remedy for baldness.

Side-effects – none.

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – MRM, Chrysin 500, 30 Caps. $14.99.


Mechanism – binds to the many vitamin D receptors in the scalp and hair follicle.

Effectiveness – shown to dramatically stimulate hair follicle growth in “nude” mice.[6]

Side-effects – none, unless taken over 50 micrograms per day.

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – 400iu (10 micrograms) 60 capsules $4.99.


Mechanism – deficiency causes hair loss.[7]

Effectiveness – 40% of Americans are deficient. Not proven to remedy hair loss if taken.[8]

Side-effects – None, unless taken over 100 mcg daily.

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – 1000 mcg, Tablets $7.99.


Mechanism – increases blood flow to the hair follicle.[9]

Effectiveness – it can promote hair growth in high doses, although not a proven remedy for baldness.

Side-effects – none.

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – 300mcg tablets $2.99.

IRON AND L-LYSINE (for women)

Mechanism – deficiencies in both these nutrients have been associated with losing hair in women.[10] Interacts with zinc and copper.[11]

Effectiveness – proven effective remedy for baldness for women with losing hair.[10]

Side-effects – none unless taken over 250 mg daily (iron).

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – 100 Tablets $7.29

FOLLIGEN (copper peptide)

Mechanism – most effective blocker of the production of both types of 5a reductase enzyme.[12]

Effectiveness – low copper and zinc enzyme levels caused hair loss in mice.[13] A topical copper peptide solution created near perfect hair rejuvenation in 6 months in a woman with 10% of her hair at the start.[14] No studies on the remedy for baldness Folligen itself, but some reports of success by women on forums.

Side-effects – none.

Availability – over the counter.

Cost – 2 oz tube, $21.95. 2 months.


Mechanism – promotes the production of the good inactive estrogen. Blocks the receptor sites for active estrogen and inhibits 5a reductase.[3]

Effectiveness – proven to inhibit the enzyme 5a reductase.[15]

Side-effects – none.

Availability – over the counter. A food substance, not a remedy for baldness.

Cost – ?


Mechanism – unclear.

Effectiveness – in a 10% lotion called herbasol, 89% had increased speed of hair growth. 45% saw an increase in hair growth. 78% reported no further hair loss.[2]

Side-effects – none.

Availability – over the counter. A food substance, not a remedy for baldness except as above.

Cost – ?

I would personally recommend trying Beta Sistosterol with a powerful multi-vitamin and mineral supplement coupled with the Folligen solution as a good remedy for baldness.


[1] Have Scientists Accidentally Discovered the Answer to hair loss?

[2] Treatments for hair loss.


[3] Grow Young and Slim


[4] Health Loss Education

[5] Chrysin: Is It An Effective Aromatase Inhibitor?

[6] Vitamin D3 analogs stimulate hair growth in nude mice.

[7] Diet and Nutrition – vitamin B12.

[8] Do You Need B-12?

[9] Biotin and Hair Growth

[10] Nutritional factors and hair loss.

[11] Interaction of iron, zinc and copper in the body of animals and humans

[12] Folligen

[13] Age-related cochlear hair cell loss is enhanced in mice lacking copper/zinc superoxide dismutase

[14] Have Scientists Accidentally Discovered the Answer to hair loss?

[15] Regulation of Male Sex Hormone Levels by Soy Isoflavones in Rats;jsessionid=nFFp1FovOhX-OhcS3V?cookieSet=1&journalCode=nc

What to Do When Your Ex Boyfriend Says – Let’s Be Friends

“Let’s just be friends”… the words still echo strangely in your ears. As if dealing with a break up isn’t hard enough, some guys want to keep in touch with you even after the relationship ends. Some couples call, email, and even hang out with each other long after they’ve broken up. It seems only natural – you’re getting along with your ex in a friendship type role, but in a relationship role you just argue and fight. So why not be friends with your ex? It’s certainly possible, right? You’re both two mature adults and you both know what you want – so why not go for it?

Well, there are several reasons. The first and foremost being that you’re probably still in love with him. Staying friends with someone after you’ve broken up usually indicates you’re not completely over the relationship. While you’ll try to rationalize the friendship and convince yourself it’s strictly platonic, you’re always going to be hoping – ever so slightly – for something more. And if you were the one who dumped him? He’s going to be the one praying for a reconciliation. The simple fact is that no break up is totally clean. Someone always gets hurt. And whoever that person was? He or she is going to eventually put a strain on the “friendship”.

On the surface, friendship seems like a nice easy route. You don’t have to miss your ex boyfriend: you can still see him… call him… email and text-message him. Best of all, you don’t have the fighting and bickering you used to have while you were dating. There’s no obligation to do anything together, and when you do hang out there aren’t any complications arising from the two of you sleeping together. Being friends with your exboyfriend is all puppy dogs and ice cream… or at least, that’s how it looks on paper.

In reality though, problems will surface. Hanging out will be fun at first, but one or both of you will eventually want to have sex again. Late one night, lounging around after renting a movie, I mean hey – why not? The two of you have done it lots of times, you can certainly handle a few more. But sleeping with your ex leads to an unwanted emotional attachment. No matter how much fun it is, you’re going to feel used when he doesn’t call you for a few days – which is what friends sometimes do.

Dating is another huge problem. Even if you maintain a healthy, sex-free friendship with your ex boyfriend… what happens when he gets a new girlfriend? Will you see him as much? Will he introduce you as an exgirlfriend he still hangs out with or will he hide that little fact? And how will you feel once he begins spending more time with her and a lot less time with you. Jealous? Of course you will. Because seeing your ex move on with his life while you’re left sitting home alone just plain sucks.

The opposite scenario is equally sticky. Let’s say you meet a new guy, start seeing him, and then the two of you are suddenly boyfriend and girlfriend. Do you still hang out and contact your ex boy”friend”? If so, do you tell your new man about it? Chances are he’s not going to be very understanding when you’re still talking to, emailing, and getting along with someone you once slept with. Guys tend to want their girlfriends all to themselves, not have to share them with other guys who already know them on some pretty intimate levels.

Now if you’re looking to get back together with your boyfriend, being friends may seem like a great idea. It allows you to stay close to your ex while you figure out how to win his heart back. You can monitor what he’s doing, know who he’s with, and ultimately patch things up to the point where you’re dating again. Right?

Not so fast.

Being friends with your ex when you still love him is even more hurtful than going through the pain of separation. Your ex knows you’re still into him, and because of this he’s going to string you along while he looks at other options. Your exboyfriend is free to see, date, and sleep with other girls in this scenario… and you have to clap your hands gleefully and wish him luck because you’re his “friend” and want only the best for him. Screw that.

The path to getting your boyfriend back doesn’t lead through friendship. There are ways of winning back your ex that involve breaking free of your past relationship and creating a new environment in which your ex wants you back. Establishing a friendship with your ex actually hinders this process. While you’re still friends, you’ll never be able to get back together with him. And the longer you keep the facade of that pseudo-relationship up? The deeper you fall into the friend zone.

Don’t ever substitute being friends with an ex boyfriend for the long-relationship that you really want. Fight for your ex back by going through the right channels to make him miss you, think about you, and love you again. It’s the only way to repair your breakup and begin dating your ex. Friendship with your exboyfriend is always a dead end street.

Is There a Difference Between PVC, Teflon and Hook Up Wire?

The term Hook Up Wire basically discusses the power hook up between two sources. The wire is the conductivity between the two sources. A lot of people think that hook up wire is a specific type of wire, but it isn’t. So this article will discuss the different types and how they differ from each other.

Usually when someone needs hook up wire they’re talking about a one conductor wire with PVC insulation. The copper underneath the insulation is usually different based on how flexible you want the wire to be. There’s solid and stranded bare copper or stranded tinned copper. The stranded copper is for flexibility and the tin is for easier soldering.

Teflon® wire is another type of PTFE hookup wire that’s a little bit more expensive. It’s also known as high temperature wire. It has the Teflon® jacket for 200 degrees Celsius compared to the PVC insulation at 105 degrees Celsius. It also has silver plated copper strands which helps protect the copper from the high temperatures as well.

PVC wire is the one that “hook up wire” most commonly confused with. PVC wire comes in UL1007 300 volt and UL1015 600 volt for the most popular sizes. The UL1007 has a thinner insulation than the UL1015, but they’re both made with 30 awg tinned copper strands. A higher strand count for the same gauge size will result in added flexibility. On the other hand, a solid strand of copper will be much less flexible and suited for applications that need the wire to hold its form.

PVC wire is a lot more specific but still has a few variations based on voltage, amps and flexibility. THHN THWN electrical wire has PVC insulation with a nylon coating over it to protect it against moisture when installed in conduit or in applications outdoors. It also acts as a lubrication to help push the wire through conduit.

Temperature, voltage and the environmental conditions are the main pieces of the puzzle when determining which type of wire will best suit your application. The price is affected accordingly when voltage or temperature ratings increase.

Make sure to ask about the wire you’re buying before actually buying it. That way you know you’re getting the right type of wire for your application. Anything more and you’re paying too much, but anything less and you don’t have enough wire. If you don’t have enough wire then it could cause bigger problems in the end.

Ghosts – Strong Arguments in Favor of Their Existence

Are you a staunch believer in supernatural phenomenon? To put it simply, do you think ghosts exist? Or do you feel that ghosts are something people see only when they are drunk? Many skeptics, most of them belonging to the rational world of science and logic, dismiss ghosts are weird light effects or an image created by an over imaginative human mind. Some people, however, are firm believers in the paranormal. If you are a skeptic, you might consider the following arguments before dismissing the paranormal as pure fiction.

Most people argue that ghosts simply cannot exist because they cannot be seen. But what if ghosts are creatures that cannot be seen with physical eyes? Is it wise to dismiss ghosts as fiction just because one cannot see them? What if ghosts can be detected with the help of certain technological devices?

Let us now look at it from a different angle. Have you ever expressed fascination at the thought that your television can capture sounds and images from studios located at a long distance from your living room, where your TV is placed? After all, your TV is just a box comprising a screen and a medley of wires that make no sense to anybody except someone who has done a course on TV technology. You simply have to push a plug into an electric socket, and the television will spring to life. Moreover, you can view any one of the hundreds of channels available.

So, how do these amazing images and sounds reach this little box? The answer is “electro-magnetic waves.” But if you look around you, you simply won’t be able to catch sight of even a single electro magnetic wave. Your inability to see them, however, doesn’t prove that they don’t exist. If they didn’t exist, your TV would not have to able to capture even a single image.

Certain devices can detect these electromagnetic waves, provided the device is set to the correct frequency. Only then will you be able to spot the sounds and images that are broadcast. The images are lost if you change the frequency. What if scientists invent a device that could detect supernatural phenomena, such as ghosts, if turned on at the correct frequency?

Also, remember the basic rules of science. Matter can neither be created nor destroyed. Likewise, energy can neither be created nor destroyed. We human beings are pure energy. Ghosts are nothing but the spirits or souls of the deceased. They are the life energy of which science knows nothing.

If only the scientific world makes an effort, it might be able to invent devices that can detect these little-known paranormal creatures that roam the earth, unable to move to the higher realms. Only science can convince the skeptic, and it is entirely within the power of science to study the paranormal.

Singing Techniques – Learn to Sing Higher by "Zipping Up"

Most singing teachers agree that both males and females have “head voice” as part of their sound. This term applies to the way the vocal cords vibrate and work when we sing high notes. I will go into the mechanics of the vocal cords in another article and in my courses, but for now let’s just understand that two strips of membrane in our larynx (adam’s apple) we call vocal cords vibrate against each other, turning air from our lungs into sound. For lower sounds (the chest voice) the full length or the cords is used for the action. Since higher sounds require smaller, shorter or thinner vibrations (think how a harp looks) the vocal cords must change in shape and size in order to make high notes.

As we sing higher notes our two vocal cords move closer together and begin to do what is called the “zipper effect”. Higher notes require a smaller opening for the air to go through, so a small miracle occurs as the cord begin to “zip” up, leaving a smaller and smaller opening. (Think of what a clothing zipper looks like as it zips up.)

So, when you think about it, it should take less air pressure to sing the high notes than the low ones, and it does. For low notes there is a big opening between the cords where you can pass a lot of air through without a lot of stress. And the high notes require a smaller opening between the cords. This smaller opening allows less air to pass through without stress. When we try to push too much air pressure (volume) through the cords for higher notes we cause them to work too hard resisting the extra air. This produces an overly-fat, amateurish sound which sounds forced and difficult.

When we sing higher we “feel” we must work harder to get those notes out. In fact, we need to back off some, feel the sound higher in our head, letting it thin like the higher notes of the piano or guitar.

Try singing a sweeping continuous “ah” or “uh” vowel, starting at your lowest note and “sweeping” or sliding the continuous sound up to your highest notes. Notice that you’ll probably reach a point when it seems you can go no higher. Lighten your sound there and begin to let it thin and feel higher in your head. Guys, if you go into the falsetto that’s OK for now. Let you voice do what it needs to do. Girls you’ll probably need to move into your head voice at some point. That’s ok. Just keep going, trying not to strain.

Do this exercise often, paying attention to how the higher notes feel. Are you pushing and straining, or are you just letting it sweep on up?