Top 10 Frequently Asked Questions on Betta Fish Explained

Betta Fish, arguably the most popular type of fish found in the home today across all the world. This astonishing fish displays a vibrant personality whilst posing the most magnificent colour and fin structure helping to create a truly jaw dropping aquarium that you can show off to your guests!

Originating from the paddy fields of Vietnam, Betta are an astounding fish and I will be answering in this article the 10 most popular questions I get asked on a regular basis about Betta Fish. So lets get started…

1. How Do You Stop Betta Fish From fighting?

This is probably one of the most popular questions I get asked!

In my experience I’ve found a few ways that work…

One way is simply to get a bigger tank. With the bigger tank you can include a couple of new plants, bear in mind you don’t want to over do it with the plants otherwise you will ruin your fish display (not very appealing to your guests!). By making the tank bigger and introducing a few more plants it creates extra hiding places for your Betta when the aggressive one is on the war path!

A second way is to simply separate the aggressive fish from the rest. This can be done by putting a divider into your tank, or by taking the aggressive fish out and putting it into a new tank. I would personally recommend putting a divider into your tank, size permitting of course, as your Betta will know the other Betta Fish are there. It also helps when it comes to the breeding process because introductions would have already been made.

Thirdly, you must NEVER, I repeat NEVER put a male Betta in with another male Betta Fish, period! Otherwise, they will fight to the death (this is why they are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish!). So by not keeping males together this will reduce fighting astronomically.

Female Betta’s have been known to be aggressive and fight between each other, particularly if you have 2 together. However, this is just an “I’m the leader” thing going on between them and usually wears off , but a technique I’ve used and seen have great success to stop this happening is to add a 3rd female into the tank. By doing this any tension between the previous two is removed – try it, you’ll be surprised how effective it is!

2. Can You Keep Male and Female Betta Fish Together?

Yes you can. However, I would recommend keeping a close eye on the male Betta just in case he becomes too aggressive and the female needs to be removed. As I mentioned above having plants in the tank can help the female hide if the male becomes aggressive.

3. How Do You Tell the Difference Between a Male and Female Betta Fish

I always remember the saying “It’s easy when you know how…” when I get asked this question because when I first started breeding Betta Fish it took me ages to recognise the difference between a male and a female…

You will tend to find that female Betta’s have fat bellies where as males tend to have a more streamlined structure. Also, you will find that males have a longer body and fins whereas the females are shorter in body size and fin length.

Also, male Betta Fish tend to have more colour and longer pointed anal fins compared to their female counterparts (sorry ladies!). You will also find female anal fins are more level to their body. The anal fin is the rigid looking fin coming from the bottom of the Betta Fish.

However, one giveaway of a female is her white spot on the underside of her belly. This white spot is called the ovipositor and is used during the breeding process.

4. What are the Best Caring Tips for Betta fish?

Lots of people have written books on the subject of caring for Betta Fish but I’m going to give you my best tips that I’ve picked up along the way…

– Test your water’s acidity level regularly. A PH level of 7 works best in my experience.

– Always try and keep the water temperature at around 75-80 Fahrenheit. I would recommend testing this regularly using a floating thermometer because big drops in water temperature can cause stress on your fish. Floating thermometers in my experience give the best accuracy reading because they are kept in the tank water.

– Always keep a lid/cover over the top of your tank with air holes in it because Betta Fish can jump and you might not be there to catch them!

– Any filtration system should be kept at a low level and you must take care not to put the air intake in such a position that it could cause your Betta to get hurt. Having your filter system at a high setting has been known to cause stress to your Betta.

– Try and clean your tank regularly, ideally twice a week. Remove bits of food caught under the stones, castles or leaves of your tank.

– As a rule of thumb I recommend 3 quarters of a gallon per Betta fish in your tank. Also, try and get a spacious tank to allow your Betta plenty of room to show off their personality, you’ll be surprised some are very exciting to watch!

I’ve always found if you love your Betta like you love your own then you won’t go far wrong, and with implementing the above you will be well on your way to having truly astonishing Betta Fish.

5. What Should I Feed My Betta Fish?

Surprisingly, Betta Fish are known to be fussy eaters (and you thought us humans were bad!). So it is best to feed them on a variety of foods, such as:

– Brine shrimp

– Daphnia

– Frozen Bloodworms

– Blackworms (Tubifex) worms

– Combination Betta Pellets from Pet Shops

– Powder Fish Food if feeding Fry

– Vegetables (such as green beans, not a whole one but in tiny portions)

I tend to find a regular feeding pattern of 2-3 times a day works best for Betta. Try as well to make portions eaten in one sitting otherwise any leftover food could lead to additional bacteria in the tank potentially causing disease for your Betta Fish.

6. What are Betta Fish also Known as?

Not a lot of people know this but Betta Fish are also known as Siamese Fighting Fish. The name originates because of the males aggressiveness and their “Fight to the Death” attitude if two males are put in the same tank together.

Betta fish are often referred to as Betta Splendens but this is a type of breed of Betta, which leads us nicely onto the next question…

7. What are the Different Types of Betta Fish Available?

There are many types of Betta Fish available, the most popular types I’ve listed below:

– Betta Splendens (the most common type)

– Betta Bellica

– Betta Coccina

– Betta Picta

Some of the most popular Tail Types of Betta are:

– Veil Tail (this generally the most common tail type that you find at the pet stores)

– Delta Fish (normally any fish under the 180 degree tail span is considered a Delta)

– Super Delta Fish (normally any Betta with a tail span of 120-180 degrees)

– Fan Tail (the Betta’s tail displays a smoothly rounded edge)

– Half Moon (as it’s name suggest it’s tail is the shape of a half moon – a 180 degrees span, this is the fish most breeders strive to achieve and display a truly fabulous colour!)

– Pin (Spade) Tail (the Betta’s tail is pointed at the end)

Depending on what you are looking for this should hopefully give you enough information to choose a Betta fish at the pet store! 😉

8. Can I Put Bamboo in With My Betta Fish?

Bamboo or Lucky Bamboo as it is also known, the type that is sold from pet stores, can be put into your tank with your Betta Fish. The bamboo can make your tank look more attractive and appealing to your guests, which is always a bonus!

However, what I recommend is that the bamboo is washed thoroughly before entry into the tank to help ensure there are no chemicals on it that could hurt your Betta. Also, it is a good idea to check the bamboo regularly just to see if it is rotting because it could release bacteria into your tank’s water that could potentially harm your Betta fish. Changing your tank’s water often will reduce the threat of bacteria happening.

9. What Ammonia Level Should My Tank Be At?

Ideally, you want an ammonia level between 0-0.5. By changing your water regularly (about 30-50% twice a week, if you have high ammonia) this will help reduce the ammonia in your tank.

It is a good idea to monitor ammonia levels on a regular basis, because a high level is not healthy for your Betta Fish.

10. Would a Father Betta Harm His Children?

Unfortunately, a male (Father) Betta would harm his children (Fry). Although, the Father is very protective of the Fry during the spawning process it is common for them to attack the Fry as they become bigger and able to look after themselves.

I recommend removing the Father from the tank once the Fry are able to swim freely, usually 7-10 days after birth because he can become very aggressive towards them and potentially cause them harm.

That’s the answers to the 10 most asked questions I get on a regular basis. I hope you found this information useful and are able to put it to good effect.

Buying the Right Flagpole – 10 Things You Need to Know

If you are reading this, you are probably already considering purchasing a flagpole or replacing your old one. With so many styles, materials, features and prices available on the Internet, you may find yourself overwhelmed as you try to process it all. This article will boil it all down to 10 questions, which when answered, will make your flagpole shopping a breeze! Each paragraph is a checklist. Feel free to print this article out to help you with your purchase.

1.) Budget. Asking how much a flagpole costs is like asking how much a car costs. The answer is, “that depends.” Many details factor into the cost of a flagpole, such as the overall height, the diameter of the pole, the thickness of the tubing, where it was manufactured, how it is shipped and how far, and other considerations too numerous to mention. It is safe to say you can buy a flagpole from about $50 to about $2,500 on the Internet, it just depends on what you want to spend. For most homeowners, you will be able to buy a relatively good-quality flagpole kit for around $100 – $300. Don’t forget to allow extra for applicable taxes, shipping charges, and contractor fees for installation (or the cost of a steak on the grill if you have your brother-in-law install it for you!)

My budget for a flagpole is: $____________.

2.) Local Codes and Neighborhood Associations. Once you have decided on a budget, you need to check for any local ordinances, historic district restrictions or neighborhood regulations restricting the erection of a flagpole. The quickest way to find out if your proposed flagpole installation is in violation of any codes is to Google the name of your county plus “building codes.” Some locales have documentation available online. There is usually a phone number you can call during business hours to speak with someone who can answer that question for you. If you belong to a neighborhood association, that information should be in your agreement, or you can always call the association just to be safe. If you find out that an in-ground flagpole is not an option, you may still be able to consider a wall-mounted, or post-mounted flag set.

_____ There a restrictions on erecting a flagpole in my area.

_____ Flagpoles are limited to a height of _____ feet in my area.

_____ Flagpoles are prohibited where I live, but I can install a wall or post-mounted flag set.

3.) Construction. The next thing to think about is what kind of flagpole do you prefer. Back in the day, flagpoles were mostly one-piece construction, usually steel or aluminum. You can still find these today, but they have mostly been replaced by sectional flagpoles or telescoping flagpoles which can be shipped, transported, and erected easier and cheaper than their one-piece predecessors. Sectional flagpoles are usually tapered on one end to fit snugly into the section above it, leaving only a slight seam that is visible up close. Each section is typically 5 feet to 6 feet in length. Telescoping flagpoles have become increasingly popular due to their ease of raising and lowering the flag, their relative low cost, and their portability. When you purchase optional accessories like wheel stands, deck mounts and carrying cases, you can take your telescoping flagpole to tailgate parties, the RV park, or your boat dock. Perhaps the biggest advantage a telescoping pole has over a sectional or one-piece pole is that there are no clips to clatter in the wind, no ropes to tangle around the flag, and no pulley way up top to fail.

Whether you are looking at sectional aluminum flagpoles or telescoping aluminum flagpoles, when determining overall quality you want to look at 2 factors: diameter of the pole and thickness of the pipe wall. Generally, thicker gauge walls are stronger than wider tubing. The quality of the aluminum used in the construction of the poles matters a great deal as well. Rather than try to elaborate on the technical differences in strength and corrosion-resistance between different grades of aluminum, suffice it to say, if one flagpole costs more than another similar flagpole, there is probably a good reason for it.

_____ I prefer a sectional flagpole.

_____ I prefer a telescoping flagpole.

_____ I prefer a wall-mounted flagpole.

4.) Height. So you found out there are no restrictions on flagpoles where you live, and you decide to go big. Really big. You want to buy a 50-foot flagpole and fly a 10-foot by 12-foot flag from it. Wonderful. How big is your house? Try and visualize what that massive car dealership-sized flagpole will look like in proportion to your house. Conversely, if you have a massive house, a flagpole that is too small may look awkward. As a general rule, if your house is single-story, a 16-foot to 20-foot pole is fine. For tall single-story homes or average two-story homes, a 20-foot to 25-foot pole works well. Taller two-story homes can look good with a 25-foot or 30-foot flagpole.

_____ My home is single-story; I need a 16-foot to 20-foot flagpole.

_____ My home is a tall single-story or a story and a half; I need a 20 -foot to 25-foot flagpole.

_____ My home is a two-story home; I need a 25-foot to 30-foot flagpole.

5.) Ease of Installation. When deciding to tackle a project like installing a flagpole, it helps to know what all is involved before grabbing a shovel and jumping right in. Sometimes it is better to pay someone to do it right than to save a few bucks and have to live with the results for the next 20 years. Sectional flagpoles and telescoping flagpoles are inserted into a ground sleeve that is set in concrete which extends below the frost line. Depending on your region, the frost line will vary. The most critical part of flagpole installation is making sure the ground sleeve is set perfectly level in the concrete. One slight mistake here and you will have the “leaning tower of flagpole.” Installing a wall-mounted flagpole is much easier and can be tackled by nearly every homeowner with a few basic tools. Most brackets take 3 or 4 mounting screws.

_____ I have the tools and know-how to install an in-ground flagpole myself.

_____ I will hire a professional to install my flagpole for me.

_____ I will go with a wall-mounted flagpole that I can install myself.

6.) Wind and Weather Conditions. When evaluating a flagpole for purchase, consider the typical weather conditions where you live. Is your area prone to frequent high winds? Do you live on a hill or at an elevation where it is usually windy? Do you have a lot of wide-open fields around you with nothing to block the wind? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will want to consider paying a little more for a higher-quality flagpole. Ask the dealer for the wind rating on the pole you are considering. This is usually given as mph with and without a flag. You may also want to consider a telescoping flagpole that will allow you quickly lower the flag or remove the flag in the face of adverse conditions.

_____ Wind is a factor where I live; I will need a flagpole with a higher wind rating.

_____ I am surrounded by trees and/or neighbors; wind is not really an issue.

7.) 24-Hour Display. The United States Code of Federal Regulations states in Title4, Chapter 1, Part 6.1,

“It is the universal custom to display the flag only from sunrise to sunset on buildings and on stationary flagstaffs in the open. However, when a patriotic effect is desired, the flag may be displayed twenty-four hours a day if properly illuminated during the hours of darkness.”

If you plan on displaying your flag all the time, you will need to plan on installing some kind of lighting fixture.Low-voltage flagpole lights typically sell for around $100 and feature a photo cell that automatically comes on at night and goes off at dawn. Unless you are an experienced electrician, you should probably hire a professional to install this for you and factor that into the overall cost.

When planning on flying the Stars and Stripes 24 hours a day, you also need to ensure you have a flag that can withstand all types of weather. Just as displaying the flag is a sign of respect for America, displaying a tattered and faded flag is a statement of disrespect for our country. Most nylon flags have brass grommets and are suitable for all weather conditions; however, it is best to avoid screen-printed flags for all-weather displays as they tend to fray and fade more quickly than one that is stitched and embroidered.

_____ I want to display my flag 24/7 and will need to purchase a low-voltage flagpole light and an all-weather flag.

_____ I will be taking my flag down at dusk and during inclement weather, no lighting needed.

8.) Multiple Flags. Many homeowners install a flagpole with one purpose in mind: to fly the American flag. However, at some point down the road, the idea hits them that it would be nice to also fly their state flag below the U.S. flag, or a military flag, or a P.O.W. flag on the same pole. If you live in Ohio, for example, you may wish to fly a Cleveland Browns flag to display your undying loyalty to your not-winning team. Most flags today come with 3 clips that allow you to add a second flag if you wish; however, not all do. If you think there is a remote possibility that you may wish to do this down the road, make sure the flagpole you purchase will support two flags and is designed for that option. With telescoping flagpoles, the second set of clips also makes it possible to fly the flag at half-staff.

_____ I will be flying two flags at once and need a flagpole rated as such.

_____ I am certain I will never fly two flags at once, so this will not be an issue.

9.) Warranty. The old adage, “you get what you pay for” is so often true with the things we purchase, and a flagpole is no different. A well-made flagpole by a reputable manufacturer will always have some kind of limited warranty. Be sure to ask for details when considering one to purchase. Keep in mind also, when buying a flagpole, or any item online, a warranty is usually valid only if purchased brand new from and authorized dealer or retailer. Beware of items that are “open-box” or “customer returns” where you are not the original purchaser. While most of these items are perfectly good and safe to buy, the money you save may not be worth the loss of the warranty. Ask the dealer if you will be receiving a brand new flagpole in a factory-sealed box.

_____ Yes, the flagpole I am considering has a warranty.

_____ A warranty is not an issue for me; I am willing to take my chances in order to keep the cost down.

10.) Made in America. For many, this can be a deal-breaker. It seems natural that a flagpole that is displaying the American flag should be made in America. In 2011, ABC News began a “Made In America” campaign that has a lot of people asking the question, “where was it made?” Most items today that are made in America are proudly noted as such. If not, feel free to ask the dealer.

Assembled in America. If you learn that a flagpole you are considering is not made in America, don’t be too quick to cross it off your list. Many companies import the components from other countries and assemble and distribute them in the U.S. This allows American companies to offer products that are competitively-priced and affordable to most consumers. It also provides American jobs for those who own and work for such companies.

Whatever your persuasion on the issue, feel free to ask the dealer if it is not stated. Anyone who will not tell you where their products are made is not worthy of your business anyway.

_____ I want a flagpole that is 100% made and assembled in America.

_____ Country of origin is not a factor in my decision to purchase a flagpole.

Displaying the flag is a great way to show your patriotism while at the same time adding beauty and elegance to your home or garden. Hopefully you have a better understanding of everything that is involved in the selection and purchase of a flagpole. Any questions not addressed here can be answered by your dealer, or by contacting the author.

Top 11 Ways to Hide Your Face Lift Surgery in Women

Facelift surgery may take 1-2 weeks to heal enough to be able to put make-up on and go back to the office. Here are 11 tips to heal faster and to hide your surgery:

– homeopathic medications before and after surgery

– avoid blood thinners before and after surgery

– get optimal skin care before surgery

– body position right after surgery, including icing right after surgery

– control your high blood pressure before and after surgery

– use antibiotic cream

– change your hairstyle right after surgery, grow your hair longer, or get extensions

– use anti-bruising cream

– avoid vigorous exercise right after surgery

– wear makeup over the areas of bruising and swelling

Before you even have surgery, some people feel that Arnica, a homeopathic medicine, may help reduce swelling and bruising. You should take 1-2 tablets the night before surgery and several tablets after surgery, to help with healing. Arnica cream, right after surgery applied to areas of bruising, may also help to reduce pain and swelling.

Aspirin, Ibuprofen, and even certain foods and supplements may make your blood thinner, causing more bruising and swelling right after surgery. To get the fastest healing possible, you should consult with your Plastic Surgeon about what medications and foods to avoid, before and right after your facelift.

Optimal Skin Care includes mainly prescription medications, such as Retin-A, hydroquinone, glycolic soap and peels, and other lotions. Great skin care before surgery allows your collagen to be more organized and thicker, so that you can heal faster after your surgery. This should be started at least 1-2 months before your facelift.

Right after surgery, your body position should be optimized to reduce swelling and bruising as well. Your head should be elevated and above your heart level. You may also want your head to rest on pillows.

You should have ice packs or cold compresses available to place on your face, to reduce swelling.

Patients with high blood pressure should monitor and control their blood pressure before and after surgery. Do not forget your hypertension medications! High blood pressure may contribute to swelling right after surgery and lowering your blood pressure with medication will help.

You will probably be told to use antibiotic cream right after surgery to help your incisions heal. It is important to do this consistently, because this cream will help your incision heal faster and form less scar tissue.

Changing your hair style right after your facelift is a good distraction. Your friends and family will be visually directed towards a change in hair color, extensions, or a different cut. You may want to wear your hair longer than usual before surgery, since the longer hair after surgery can help hide your surgical sites. Longer hair over the forehead may distract from a forehead lift and hair over the ear areas may hide the ear incisions.

You want to avoid exercise for several weeks until your Plastic Surgeon says it is ok. Exercise increases your heart rate and blood pressure, which increases bleeding and swelling in your surgical areas. You should wait until your incisions have healed before working out.

Wearing makeup is also an alternative. Again, you should ask your Plastic Surgeon when you can apply makeup to your facelift areas, which can hide or camouflage your surgery.

Check with your plastic surgeon to talk in depth about your individualized plan to recover from your face lift surgery.

Eric Vokel Gaudi Suites in Barcelona

The Catalonia capital of Barcelona has become a very popular destination in Europe, especially since the rejuvenation of the city for the 1992 Olympics. It offers the visitor a wide selection of culture, both contemporary and old, as well as great sightseeing, a lively night-life and some excellent places to dine. Finding accommodation in the city has also become much easier and the city now offers a full spectrum of accommodation types, from small bed and breakfasts to large, luxury five star hotels.

Four star equivalent Eric Vokel Gaudi Suites lies in the heart of Barcelona, just a few steps from one of the city’s best loved and inspiring sights, the Sagrada Familia. Also just within walking distance is Park Guell, the beautiful green space designed by Antoni Gaudi. Furthermore, getting around the city to visit the other tourist attractions is also easy, thanks to the nearby metro station of Sant Pau, which is less than 50 metres away. For the size of the city, the Barcelona metro system is well developed, very efficient and thankfully cheap.

Accommodation at the Eric Vokel Gaudi Suites comes in the form of seventeen modern and stylish dwellings, all of which are located in the same building, make them an ideal choice not only for couples and families, but also for large groups. The building that houses these Barcelona apartments has been completely renovated and conceived by the Danish architecture Eric Vokel. It features solar panels for water heating, 24-hour concierge, bicycles, car park, cots/cribs, optional daily cleaning service and a lift/elevator.

The Eric Vokel Gaudi Suites are located in the Eixample dret area, one of the most historic and most characteristic areas of the city: a hustling and bustling place during the day which then transcends to a pleasant calm with nightfall, making it the ideal place to recover after a busy day of sightseeing or business meetings. Each apartment has been fully equipped with all the facilities and amenities needed for a relaxing and independent stay, such as fully fitted kitchenette, private bathroom, Wi-Fi connection and air conditioning.

If you would like further information on this accommodation in Barcelona, such as rates, availability, location map, general FAQs, as well as photos of the apartments, or you would like to book one of the apartments, then please click on the following link to the HotelsChart’s page for Eric Vokel Gaudi Suites:

Passing a 1G Welding Certification Test – The Easiest Welding Test Or is 3G Vertical Easier?

Welding Certification tests are numbered by position and joint type. For instance a 1 G indicates a flat position groove weld. The 1 means flat position, and the G indicates a groove weld.

I saw a video the other day that advertised a  mobile welding lab that was used to train and certify welders. 

A few students as well as the instructor were  interviewed and described the 8 weeks of welding training  that led up to welding certification tests in the 1G position.

What?

That’s right, 8 weeks of welding training per process to be able to certify in a 1 G weld test.

I don’t get it. After 8 weeks of training in a welding process, why can’t the welder pass some other positions like 3G and 4G welding tests? 

Did you know that a 3G plate test combined with a 4G plate test certifies a welder in ALL positions?

That’s all positions. Like 1G , 2G, 3G, and 4G. as well as every position of fillet welds imaginable too.

A 1G welding test certifies a welder to weld in how many positions? One ! that’s it …just one.

You get a lot more bang for your buck by training welders to certify in both the 3G and 4G positions.

Another issue is that 1G welding tests typically don’t have very good pass rates.

You know why?

Gravity. That’s right., gravity is working against you and not for you. Gravity lets the slag flow ahead of the arc on a 1G welding test and if you are not careful, it can cause cold lap and slag inclusions.

Gravity works For you and not against you on a 3G vertical plate welding test. 

Gravity keeps the flux behind the arc. The arc is then allowed to do its thing and penetrate into the base metal. As long as you maintain enough amperage and a tight arc, things will go well on a 3G vertical plate test.

The AWS (American Welding Society) classifies the 1G position welding test as the easiest.

I disagree with that when it comes to beveled groove welds.

I believe 2G horizontal and 3G vertical welding certification tests have better pass rates when it comes to a bend test or x ray testing.

Apply The Ancient Art Of Feng Shui For Good Wealth, Prosperity And Health

In feng shui study, the main entrance is considered the mouth where external qi enters and flows to the rest of the house. The facing, design, shape and size of the front door is believed to have a significant impact on the luck, wealth and the general well being of the family.

In the selection of the iron gate for the main door, one should avoid using arrow or spear designs. Sharp structures will create destructive energy that brings health problems to the family.

Based on the principle of a good feng shui design, the size and design of the front door must match the outlook and floor area of your home. Ideally, the main door should also have an auspicious measurement as dictated by the feng shui ruler. For example, a big house with a small entrance will restrict the inflow of qi into the house, thus, affecting the luck and wealth of the occupants.

Main door should open into a bright open area to invite yang qi (life force) into the house. Main door that opens into a wall will restrict sunlight and will not provide a smooth passage for qi to enter the house.

Main door should not form a straight path with the back door. Qi that enters the house will be funneled out through the back door without having enough time to circulate around the house. A quick exit of qi will hurt the finances of the occupants. They tend to experience difficulty in accumulating wealth or saving their income.

Avoid cluttering the entrance of the house with obstructive objects (like old newspapers, toys or large cabinets). Unnecessary objects or furniture will block the flow of qi into the house, thus, affecting the luck of the occupants.

It is inauspicious to see the toilet door upon entering the house. Bad vibes from the toilet will rush towards the main door causing poor health and bad luck.

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Living Hall

The living room is both a leisure area and a place for the family to entertain their guests. Living room should give a warm relaxing and welcoming feeling for one to tone down after a day’s work to read papers or to watch television. Good furniture arrangements, proper lighting and colour scheme will enhance the flow of qi and create an inviting atmosphere in the house. This in turn will bring forth a flow of good fortunes and opportunities from friends, colleagues, bosses or business associates.

It is inauspicious to seat under the downward pressure of the roof columns and to place the sofa without the support of a wall.

Cluttering the living room with unnecessary furniture or possessions (like toys, cabinets, old newspaper and documents) will restrict the circulation of qi.

Ideally, the sitting arrangement of the sofa should have the support of a solid wall and that one should have a clear view of the main door.

Decorating the house with antique figurines will increase the Yin qi of your home. Antique figurines unearthed from ancient sites tend to carry the energy of its previous owners and may attract spirits.

Avoid placing too many empty vases around the house. Empty vase is known as kong ping in Chinese, which sounds like poverty.

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Bedroom

On an average, a person spends about one third of their time resting in bed. As the bedroom is a sanctuary where one rejuvenate and nurtures the energy of the body, the location and facing of the bed will affect the quality of sleep, which in turn affects the health and luck of those who sleep there.

Allowing a little morning sun on the bed will energise its qi which in turn promote good health and relationship.

Avoid bedrooms that have an irregular shape. Missing corners or pillars with sharp edges that tend to create destructive energy.

Bed should always be placed against a solid wall or use a headboard as a support.

Avoid having too many open shelves in the bedroom. Open shelves resemble the edge of a knife and should be covered up with doors

Sleeping under a rotating ceiling fan or a pointed ceiling light tends to radiate negative vibes that will affect one’s health.

Position your bed carefully as it is inauspicious to overlook the toilet bowl. Foul odour and water vapour that is rushing towards the direction of the bed would bring forth ill health and bad luck.

One should avoid sleeping under an exposed beam or overhanging cabinets. The exertion of a downward pressure on the head will cause nightmares and headaches.

Placing sharp objects (like swords or scissors) underneath the bed is a feng shui taboo, which will bring forth a series of misfortunes.

Avoid sleeping with the head in line with the bedroom door. The rushing qi from the door will disrupt your sleep causing restlessness.

The human body is most vulnerable when one is asleep. Sleeping next to a full-length mirror will deflect the human qi. In the night, one may also be frightened by their own reflection.

Avoid placing a television set or computer in the bedroom. Long-term exposure to electromagnetic field emitted by electrical appliances is detrimental to one’s health.

Avoid placing the bed directly behind toilet, stove and air conditioning compressor, which will generate negative energy that would disrupt one’s sleep and health.

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Kitchen

In feng shui, the cooking stove is an important area that governs the health, finances and the bearing of offspring. As food is normally prepared in the kitchen, the placement and facing of the cooking stove will directly impact the health of the family. “Health is wealth”.

It is a Chinese custom for the family to pray to the Stove God during the Chinese Lunar New Year season. Chinese believed by making offerings of sweet sticky desserts to the Stove God, he would be unable to speak about the wrongdoings of the family in heaven.

Placing the cooking stove without the support of the wall will cause its qi to disperse and facing the stove directly opposite the tap will result in a clash between the elements of water and fire.

The cooking stove should not be visible from the main door or directly facing the toilet signifying financial losses.

For safety reason, one should avoid locating the washing basin in close proximity to the cooking stove. The conflicting elements of both fire and water tend to cause frequent quarrels and bring about financial woes.

The kitchen stove should not be erected under an overhead beam, which tends to affect the health of the female occupants.

It is inauspicious to chop foodstuff or drop cooking utensils on the cooking stove. Always keep the burners of the cooking stove clean and in working order.

The Good and the Bad About Hard Anodized Cookware

Personally, I love my Rachael Ray Hard Anodized Cookware Set. It is really cool to cook in and it cleans up easily. I particularly like the silicone handles. I am famous for grabbing a pan without potholders; so they keep me from getting burned so often.

There are some advantages of hard anodized cookware as well as some features that some people might classify as disadvantages.

This type of cookware is very durable. Most of them are both oven and broiler proof which makes it more versatile than other types of cookware. The set that I got has all of most commonly used sizes of pans including a Dutch oven which I use all the time. They are also great for sauteing.

Hard Anodized cookware is made out of aluminum which is a great heat conductor which results in the cookware heating quickly and uniformly. There is concern about aluminum reacting to acidic food which can cause the metal to leak into the food. To keep that from happening, the cookware goes through a process that creates a non-porous, non-reactive film over the aluminum cookware sets. Anodized cookware has been determined to be safer than regular aluminum pans and the anodizing process makes it extremely resilient.

This type of cookware won’t scratch, dent or burn. Because it is coated and non-porous, it is way easy to clean. It is stick-resistant and unlike non-stick cookware, you can use metal utensils with it. You do not have to worry about the coating getting in your food, which is nice.

The disadvantages of this type of cookware are that it is not dishwasher safe and the handles get extremely hot. That’s probably why the Rachel Ray design uses silicone handles. This type of cookware also cannot be used on an induction range or induction oven. If you don’t know what that means, you probably don’t have one. It’s a fancy stove that professional cooks and chefs use when the heat is generated in the pan rather than from the stove top.

If you haven’t used hard anodized cookware, you don’t know what you are missing. I wish I would have tried it long ago because it is pretty amazing. It is fairly inexpensive when compared to other types of cookware and in my opinion, it is much better than non-stick cookware. There are several brand of anodized aluminum cookware. You might want to check out some reviews before you buy a set.

What is PVC Canvas and How is it Used?

Poly Vinyl Chloride or PVC is a thermoplastic resin used in a number of materials and products. PVC is a by-product of petroleum, is mixed with water and natural salt and goes through an industrial process. The result comes in the form of a PVC sheet that is strong enough to endure the pressures of atmosphere.

The most common use of PVC is in making pipes, rainwear, tiles, plastic wear, and other related products. PVC-canvas is basically a product used in the manufacturing of tarpaulins, commonly known as PVC-canvas tarpaulins.

PVC-canvas is used for a multitude of purposes. The most common usage, of course is as a coating agent or covering agent. PVC-canvas, on a broader scale can be used for the following purposes.

Construction

PVC-canvas is vastly used as a construction material. Although it cannot be used as a pure construction agent like bricks, PVC-canvas is used to cover the basic construction material, and machinery, to protect them from rain and moisture, among other things. PVC-canvas is also used in the drying of construction material, as natural drying can take even months if proper construction methods are not applied.

PVC canvas is also used in laminating boats and ships. The type of PVC-canvas used in the shipping industry is rather different from ordinary PVC canvas in the sense that double and triple layer of PVC sheets are used to protect the costly iron from corrosion and other weather effects. These ships and vessels spend long time in the sea and can be badly damaged if these preventive measures are not put into place.

Rain shed

PVC canvas, as mentioned earlier, makes an excellent rain shed due to its waterproof qualities. Some PVC canvases come with reinforced waterproof features that further enhance protection from rain.

These PVC canvases can be installed in your backyard, bus stops, cafes, restaurants, and any other place where one needs immediate protection from rain, but cannot afford a costly construction of permanent shelters.

Additionally, PVC canvas provides a good cover for automobiles and is a cheap alternative to building a permanent garage. It is especially good for those people who do not have garages in their houses or those who live in apartments or rented buildings. They can easily protect their car from rain by buying a PVC canvas cover.

Home décor

Besides the use of PVC canvas in the construction, shipping industry, and rain cover, it can also be used in home decoration. PVC canvas is increasingly being used as a part of decoration of the living room. Most people take a small portion of a PVC canvas and embellish it with stones and other decoration stuff. Some people want to give their living room a touch of an open space and introduce mini umbrellas made of PVC canvas. The larger size umbrellas are actually used in the backyards or front lawns of some houses.

Alternatives to Skateboard Grip Tape

Grip tape is one of the most important parts of the skateboard. It’s what defines the board as something more than just a plank of wood with wheels on it, among other things. However, some skaters just don’t dig on the traditional tape. While grip tape is the most common method of keeping traction on your skateboard, there are other options if you ‘re looking for alternatives.

Here are some ideas:

Rubber grip tape- You can find this from an online supplier and sometimes from a local skate and surf shop. It is especially popular with longboard riders who ride barefoot but some regular skateboarders prefer rubber to traditional grip tape. It works the same but has a smoother, less grainy feel.

Grit strip adhesive- Grit strip adhesive works just like grip tape but it’s painted right on the board. It works the same but is often a pain (though not impossible) to remove.

Silica sand and varnish- I had a good skater friend who loved this method. You just sprinkle some silica sand onto the board and then use varnish to paint over it. You can use as much or as little as you want so it is fully customizable.

Pine tar- This will give you good grip and it’s cheap but be warned it can be messy in application and it gets dirty easily, too. Always apply to a clean deck.

Tread Tex- Tread Tex is a textured paint that is often used in construction and on things like ladder rungs to keep the user from slipping. You can buy it at a local hardware store and paint it right onto your deck. It’s easy to apply, great for blank decks and works well. Just make sure you apply to a clean board.

These are a very ideas of alternatives to skateboard grip tape. If you’re looking for something different than regular grip tape, you might want to consider some of these options. If you’re new to these alternatives, you might try them out first on an old or alternative board so you don’t mess with your main skateboard until you know you have the grip source you like the most.

Multi-Generation Project Plan

What Is a Multi-Generation Project Plan?

– A vehicle to help focus the design team’s energies on a manageable project that can be completed relatively quickly.

– Since the future has been considered, the team will not make decisions that are incompatible with future generations.

– As the team’s work progresses, new ideas can be added to future generations of the process instead of increasing the development time for the first generation process.

– MGPP helps manage “scope creep.”

– The organization can be working on new technologies that are needed for future generations while the first generation process is being implemented and benefits realized.

The MGPP is usually not fully developed in the Lean Six Sigma Define phase step:

– In Define you should describe all the elements for the first generation product/service as fully as possible and fill in as much information as you have for future generations.

– You will add information to the MGPP throughout the DFSS process.

– At the end of the first generation, you will be able to describe the second and third generation products and services in much greater detail because of what you have learned from your research and testing of the first generation product.

The Multi-Generation Project Plan Will Help:

– Initially establish a reasonable project scope – one that drives values with a reasonable completion date

– Capture good ideas that are surfaced during the project

– Proactively identify project replication opportunities for other parts of the business

– Establish the “big picture” – How does this project fit into the overall improvement scheme for the organization

– E.g., the objective is to reduce billing errors for all of our customers. The first generation will address problems with our top 20% customers.

– E.g., this project will streamline the process and reduce the number of errors. The next phase will be to implement an automated information system.

– Communicate with stakeholders – “We’re focusing on this part of the process with this project, but recommend a follow-on project to address other parts of the process”.

MGPP Steps:

1. Start with the vision. Describe the vision for the new product/service 3 years from now. Then back up and describe product/service stages that lead up to the longer-term vision.

2. Describe the concept and technologies/platforms for Generation 1 in as much detail as possible.

3. Fill in as much information for Generation 2 and 3 concepts, platforms and technologies as you can. You will be adding more information about these elements as you learn more during Generation 1 development

Pros and Cons of Green Cleaning Supplies

Making the switch to green commercial cleaning supplies has some advantages and disadvantages. While I believe that overall it is a great idea to make the switch I do realize that it may be difficult to make the switch all at once and that you could be met with some resistance.

Here are the benefits to making the switch to green commercial cleaning products.

Good for the environment. Well duhh, this is about the first reason that comes to mind and what will motivate everyone in the first place. But take into account that this can be used for good PR, it is possible that you could receive some type of tax credit, and you will be left with an overall feeling that you did something right.

It will improve indoor air pollution, which can actually be worse than outdoor air pollution. Outgassing from fragranced cleaners can have a huge impact on peoples health without many people even realizing it.

It could possibly be cheaper. Commercial cleaning products are expensive because they are commercial. The price tends to be higher than for household varieties of similar cleaners. If you make the switch to cleaners like vinegar and baking soda you have the potential to save a significant amount of money.

Reducing the risk of people having allergic reactions to powerful toxic cleaners is a very real situation. Many people are highly susceptible to different chemicals in all varieties of cleaners.

Here are a few of the negative aspects of switching to environmental cleaners

You may not feel that things are as clean as they really are. We have become hyper sensitive to cleanliness. And smell is often associated with clean environments. Clean smells are often generated by harmful chemicals in industrial cleaners, so we have be trained to actually like the toxins.

Cleaning may take a little longer. There is no doubt about it but strong chemicals have the ability to take the paint off of a new car and these same chemicals can clean a floor, table or dishes very quickly. If you are paying a cleaning staff you might need to up the budget a little bit.

These are just a few of the considerations you must take into account when deciding whether or not make the switch to green commercial cleaning supplies. Do your research and look at all of your options before making a final decision.

Quiet Discoveries Lead to Fast Sinus Relief

It’s amazing what you can find when you start your search a little outside the bulls eye. While clicking through Magnetic Resonance Imaging research online, my colleagues and I found some intriguing scientific studies completely by accident!

What did we find? Well, let’s just say if you’ve got a stuffy nose you should try magnets before sniffling through that bottle of nasal spray!

Did you know that every year, more than 35 million Americans suffer from sinusitis? It’s one of the leading chronic diseases in the United States [1]. And it’s no wonder, as bacteria, viruses, cigarette smoke, and allergens like pollen, mold, dust mite feces and pet dander are all common causes of this condition [2]. Unless you live in a bubble, there’s really no escaping these tiny antagonists.

The sinuses are actually four pairs of hollow spaces in the bones of the face. Connected to the nose, air is allowed to flow in and out of these spaces. To help warm and filter the air, each sinus is lined with a mucous-producing membrane, called the mucosa [3].

Acute sinusitis occurs when the mucosa is irritated and inflamed. The small openings from the nose to the sinus cavities become congested (or even completely blocked), causing the facial pain and pressure most of us have experienced at some point in time. Mucus production is often increased as well, adding to the pressure, and causing that annoying runny nose symptom [3].

Many people turn to preventive methods like HEPA air filters, or frequent cleaning of carpets and bed sheets to reduce household allergens [4]. Decongestants, saline nasal sprays, and vaporizers are commonly used to treat the symptoms–but as you and I know, they take time to work.

This is where those studies come in. There’s an interesting, but little known fact about the sinuses: they are magnetically sensitive.

Based on our own research and experiences with clients and health practitioners over the years, we’ve observed that sinus congestion is dramatically improved or completely relieved with the application of magnetic therapy. In fact, taking about 20-30 minutes on average, it’s one of the conditions that biomagnetics alleviates quickest.

Until recently, though, we didn’t have much research to back these findings (other than our own records). But, while sifting through online abstracts from MRI research, I happened to stumble upon this:

Dating back to 1983, a study was conducted to assess the influence of magnetic fields on the physiology and behavior of biological organisms, and to search for possible magnetic sources within the organisms themselves.

It was found that a wide range of life forms could detect and orient to magnetic fields. (Like having a built-in compass.) Results showed magnetic orientation by bacteria was due to the presence of particles of magnetite (ferric/ferrous oxide) within the organisms.

The same magnetic material was also found in bees, homing pigeons, dolphins and other organisms–including humans. More specifically, the researchers found that “the bones of the sphenoid/ethmoid sinus complex of humans are magnetic and contain deposits of ferric iron”. (The sphenoid/ethmoid sinuses are located between the eyes and progress inward towards the back of the head [3].)

Refining our search, we were able to uncover other MRI studies confirming this finding. Here’s a brief timeline of what was found:

1986 – “Magnetic Resonance Imaging [using a 1.5 Tesla (15,000 Gauss) magnet and a spin echo technique] has revealed a remarkably intense signal from abnormal tissue in the human paranasal sinuses. Inflammatory disease in the maxillary, sphenoid, ethmoid, and frontal sinuses has been detected and demonstrated with greater clarity than any other available technique.”

1990 – A study conducted at the UCLA School of Medicine tested conditions affected by MRI field strength. Results illustrated that “magnetic susceptibility artifacts are prevalent on the boundary of air-containing paranasal sinuses”.

1995 – Research at Uppsala University in Sweden discovered that “large, local magnetic field variations up to 3 parts per million were found in the human brain near interfaces between air or bone and brain tissues”.

2002 – An Ohio State University study compared differences in magnetic field susceptibility at tissue interfaces in the human head. “Considerable magnetic field inhomogeneities were observed in the inferior frontal lobes and inferior temporal lobes, particularly near the sphenoid sinus and the temporal bones.”

These four independent studies all relate to the notion that human sinuses are magnetically sensitive. When compared to other regions of the head, more intense magnetic field readings are seen, and conditions of inflammation are more easily observed.

So how does this lead to sinusitis relief?

Magnetic therapy is proven to be effective in reducing inflammation, a primary symptom of sinusitis. By reducing inflammation of the mucosa, mucous blockages can be drained and the sinus cavities reopened. This, allows you to breathe freely again, while eliminating the facial pain caused by pressure build-up.

When applied properly, magnetic therapy products can relieve sinus congestion in as little as 15 minutes. That’s faster than any decongestant or vaporizer, lasts longer than most nasal sprays, and is completely free of any side effects (like dryness or burning). Not to mention, you won’t need to worry about buying refills or possible addiction to certain nasal decongestants.

What Therion products work best to help relieve sinusitis?

The Eye & Sinus Mask is designed specifically for relief of your sinus congestion. Inside it has 28 neodymium magnets covering areas around your eyes, forehead and upper cheeks. (The magnetic field has an effective penetration depth up to 2.5 inches.) You can expect sinus and headache relief within 15-25 minutes of wearing it.

For even faster relief plus more restful sleep, Therion ‘s magnetic dual contour pillow is the perfect choice. The visco elastic (memory) foam is soft and comfortable, but also supportive. You’ll actually feel it adjusting and conforming to the shape of your head and neck. It’s ideal to use as a regular sleeping pillow, as the magnetic field reaches the pineal gland. This is a magnetically sensitive area in the brain that functions to induce sleep by secreting melatonin. (See the article “Having Trouble Sleeping” found in the Learning Center at http://www.therionresearch.com.

So before you open that box of ‘non-drowsy’ decongestants or reach for the nasal spray on your nightstand, give magnetic therapy a try. If it’s fast acting with no side effects, and never needs a refill, what do you have to lose?

See you soon at http://www.therionresearch.com

SOURCES:

1 – Sinus News: Sinus Pressure

2 – Sinus News: Sinus Facts Overview

3 – The Sinus Treatment Center

4 – The Allergy Relief Center

1983 — PubMed: Magnetic bones in human sinuses.

1986 — PubMed: High-field magnetic resonance imaging of paranasal sinus inflammatory disease.

1990 — PubMed: Effect of field strength on susceptibility artifacts in magnetic resonance imaging.

1995 — PubMed: Measurements of magnetic field variations in the human brain using a 3D-FT multiple gradient echo technique.

2002 — PubMed: Three-dimensional numerical simulations of susceptibility-induced magnetic field inhomogeneities in the human head.

Individualism vs. Teamwork

“There is more to building a team than buying new uniforms.”

– Bryce’s Law

INTRODUCTION

As you travel around corporate America these days, you hear a lot about “teams”; that groups, departments or whole divisions are trying to behave more as a team as opposed to a group of individuals. Its the latest catch phrase du jour. I guess

someone finally figured out the power of teamwork. But just how much of this represents sincere efforts? My corporate contacts tell me its mostly facade. They contend they get some nifty new corporate shirts and some great pep talks, but aside from this, little else. As much as corporations tout the need for teamwork,

most still encourage rugged individualism.

There is more to creating a team than simply saying you are one. New shirts and axioms are nice, but in order for this to work, people have to think and act as a team. In other words, success hinges on it becoming a natural part of the corporate culture.

CORPORATE CULTURE

Teachers, coaches, and drill instructors have long understood the value of teamwork. The intent is to turn a heterogeneous working environment into a homogeneous environment whereby everyone is working in a concerted effort towards common goals. But do corporate managers truly understand teamwork? Not necessarily. Many still create competitive environments in the hope that the strongest will rise to the surface. Teamwork is more about cooperation than it is about competition.

This brings up an important point: Teamwork is taught. It means developing a disciplined work environment where the participants must conform to a specific set of rules. Inevitably, it means breaking some work habits and creating new ones. This can be painful, yet necessary if you want to achieve the desired results. Basically, you are teaching people how to live and work together as opposed to apart.

In the United States there is more of a natural inclination to teach individualism as opposed to teamwork; perhaps this is because we are a nation based on freedoms. For example, our public school systems have minimal dress and hair codes;

each student is allowed to look and dress as they personally see fit, many with some very questionable taste. This is permitted as it is believed the individual must be allowed to freely express him/herself. This may be fine, but it certainly does not promote a spirit of teamwork. Compare it to other countries, such as Japan, where students are required to where school uniforms and are given group assignments, such as the preparation and cleanup of their daily lunch. In Japan, students are taught the value of cooperation at an early age which has the added benefit of improving their socialization skills.

As mentioned, teamwork requires the establishment of a working environment conducive to teamwork. It doesn’t happen simply by making some platitudinous statements. A manager must do more, much more; some suggestions:

1. First and foremost: Lead. All teams need a leader who can articulate goals and give direction. The team must trust and believe in its leader. Without such confidence, the team will not likely follow the leader, particularly in times of difficulty. The leader should also be wary of leading by democratic rule. Soliciting input is one thing, as is

having assistants, but there can only be one ultimate leader to guide the team.

2. Institute uniform operating practices that everyone will be expected to conform to, such as operating hours of work, dress code, office appearance, speech and conduct, etc. Such uniformity stresses the equality of the workers. As another suggestion, downplay job titles and put more emphasis on work assignments instead. Job titles tend to emphasize a person’s stature in a company and can be disruptive in terms of

equality.

3. Establish standard practices for executing work assignments, thereby everyone is following the same methods, and using the same tools and techniques in their work effort. This improves communications, provides for the interchangeability of workers, and promotes the development of quality work products.

4. Make sure everyone knows their responsibilities and assignments and understands their importance. Nobody wants to be regarded as the weakest link and, as such, the manager must be able to communicate their importance and carefully balance

the workload. Yes, there will be those workers who will undoubtedly excel over others, but teamwork is a group effort. If a weaker worker needs additional training, either give it to him or replace him.

5. Routinely check progress. Whenever applicable, keep statistics on both team and individual performance. However, it is not important to publish such stats. It is important for the leader to know the team’s strengths and weaknesses, but it is

nobody else’s business.

6. Be on the lookout for conflicts in working relationships. Some people will simply not get along and it is up to the manager to referee such conflicts. Either have the people work out their differences, keep them apart, or rid yourself of them. You want harmony, not contention, on your team.

7. Allow time for the team to meet and discuss issues as a group. This keeps everyone in tune with common goals, problems, and the team’s general progress. It also allows the

team to socialize and form a camaraderie (a bonding of unity).

8. Recognize individual achievement but reward on a team basis as opposed to an individual basis.

CONCLUSION

Are we really trying to promote teamwork or is this nothing more than the latest corporate fad that is being implemented more for public relations than anything else? Let’s hope for the former and not the latter. Teamwork is a powerful concept, particularly when there is anything of substance to be done.

Shrewd managers intuitively understand the need for teamwork. Let me give you an example from the world of entertainment. Jack Benny, the famous comedian of yesteryear had a great appreciation for teamwork. His radio and television shows were consistently at the top of the rating charts for a number of years. When asked what his secret to success was, Benny simply said teamwork. To Jack, it wasn’t important that he personally got the best lines and laughs week after week. In fact, he was often the butt of many of the jokes. Instead, he made sure his cast, guests, and writers all received the accolades they deserved. It was more important to Benny that people said they had tuned into

“The Show” as opposed to tuning in to see “Jack Benny.” He was right.

I realize there are instances in business when it becomes necessary to exercise individualism, but these are becoming a rarity. Instead companies can find greater glory as a team as opposed to a group of individuals.

“Individual glory is insignificant when compared to achieving victory as a team.”

– Dot Richardson, M.D.

U.S. Olympic Softball Team

Two time Gold Medal Champions

For more information on corporate culture, see:

No. 28 – “Understanding Corporate Culture” – June 13, 2005

http://www.phmainstreet.com/mba/ss050613.pdf

3 Affordable Laser Hair Removal Systems

In this short review you can read of some of the home hair removal machines that are now sold at much lower prices which makes them affordable and worth buying.

The first home laser system is the DM 4000, this system which was once sold only for hair removal clinics, is now sold for lower prices as the company Biotechnique Avance has two newer models which are more powerful. The DM 4000 is sold online for as little as $349 which is $100 less than the list price for this product.

The second home removal system belongs to the same company, Biotechnique Avance. This company is a leading manufacturer for skin clinics and aesthetics centers. Most of the device they design for professional use and not for the small personal home use. The DM 5000 is a model which is more powerful than the DM 4000 mentioned before, but because the company launched an upgraded version – DM 6000, the DM5000 line is sold for less than its real value.

Both of these lasers are lasers that are used at small skin and hair clinics, and can be used also for home use. They are both electric powered, and need to be placed close to the home AC/DC socket. The laser level is rather powerful, and can be adjusted by the user to reach the most effective level for the session, and the pain level regarding the skin area (for sensitive skin like upper thighs less energy is needed as the pain in higher levels may be too much to suffer).

The last affordable home hair removal system is the new Tria laser. This machine was the first FDA system cleared for home use. It is designed better than the first two systems, and was made only for personal hair reduction and not for clinic or Med Spa use.

The laser device is a cordless rechargeable device, so it is best for home hair removal sessions. The cordless hand set can be taken anywhere and used in any room in the house.

The Tria laser is not approved for facial hair removal, though in some publication images it is seen used on the upper lip.

This system is in this list of affordable home laser systems because the new Tria is sold for $395, (the former model was sold for $100 more).

If you insist in buying a home laser hair removal system, these three are the leading brands and give the best value for money return for your budget.

Spanish Essay Phrases

It is very useful to learn and memorise useful phrases for writing Spanish essays – this is probably the easiest way to improve your essays and hence your marks as a Spanish beginner.

This article is a collection of Spanish phrases to firstly help you start and conclude a Spanish essay; secondly how to present themes and argue points, and finally contains a range of connectives to make a Spanish essay flow more naturally.

The first sentence…
Voy a discutir acerca del tema de…
Voy a hablar sobre…
Voy a discutir

Introducing your opening argument…
Para empezar – to begin with
Al principio – at the start
En primer lugar – to begin with

Introducing new themes and arguments…
Para continuar – to continue
Para ilustrar… – to illustrate…

Concluding the essay…
Por fin – in short
Finalmente – finally
Para concluir – to conclude
En conclusión – in conclusion
Para terminar – to finish
En resumen – in summary

Presenting an argument…
Por un lado – on the one hand
Por otro lado – on the other hand
En cambio – in contrast
Por otra parte – on the other hand
Hay que tomar en cuenta – you have to take into account

Indicating time…
Durante – during
Mientras – while
Mientras tanto – meanwhile
Despues de infinitive – after
Antes de infinitive – before
Luego – then
Entonces – then

Because / as a result of…
A causa de – because
Como consecuencia de – as a consequence of
Debido a – due to
Porque – because
Como resultado – as a result

Spanish connectives and conjunctions…
Además – in addition, moreover
Tambi̩n Рalso
Sin embargo – however
A pesar de – in spite of
Así (que) – so
Aunque – although
Sino que – but
Pero – but
Por ejemplo – for example

Common subjunctive triggers…
Es probable que
Es necesario que
No creo que
Dudo que
Aconsejo que
Espero que
Quiero que

Presenting opinions (no subjunctive)
Creo que – I believe/ think
Pienso que – I think
Opino que – In my opinion
En mi opinión – in my opinion
Afotunadamente – fortunately
Desafortunadamente – unfortunately
Me parece que – it seems to me

Therefore
Por eso – therefore
Por lo tanto – therefore
Por consiguiente – therefore
Asi – so

Other useful Spanish words / phrases
Todavía – still
Ya – already / now
Apenas – scarcely (casi no)
En realidad – in reality
Actualmente – currently
Ahora mismo – right now
En seguida – immediately
Hoy en día – nowadays

The most… is that

Lo mejor es que
Lo malo es que
Lo importante es que

Common uses of the imperfect subjunctive in Spanish
Si tuviera… – if I had… (notes: this should be followed by a verb in the conditional tense)
Si fuera… – if I was… (as above)

I hope this collection of Spanish phrases is useful for you Spanish writing – please visit http://topspanishtips.weebly.com for more useful Spanish resources like this one.