Lighting For Stitching Needlework

It is amazing to see incredibly fine works of embroidery from times past, which were worked when there was no electricity and therefore no artificial lighting. When you consider that many women would not have had the chance to do any embroidery during the day, because that’s when they were out working in the fields or in the home, how did they see to stitch in the evening?! I don’t really know the answer to this. If you’ve ever tried to stitch by candlelight during a blackout, you’ll marvel with me at their achievements.

If I am stitching in the day time, it is my preference to sit by a window and allow the natural daylight to illuminate my work. The colours are more accurate, and it adds nothing to the greenhouse effect or to my electricity bill! However, sometimes I want to stitch in the evening, when there is no or little daylight available. Because of this, it is wonderful that today we have the advantage of electricity and many wonderful lamps to light our work and make it easier to see as we embroider. This will assist with accurate needle placement, and with guarding against tired eyes or eye strain. So how do we use these lamps to best help us?

Incandescent, fluorescent, halogen, true colour etc.?

There are many different types of bulbs. Many needleworkers feel that true colour lamps such as Ott lights and daylight lamps are the holy grail of lighting for embroidery. They provide lighting that does not give a warm or cool colour cast to the light as many other types of light do. If colour is important in your needlework, a true colour lamp may be what you need.

However, regular incandescent and fluorescent bulbs in your lamp can also work well. They are much less expensive than true colour lamps, and there’s certainly no reason why you can’t use them. I do! Just be aware that they are not true colour, and will change the colours of the threads and fabric that you are using. If you are using these types of bulbs, do all your colour checking and choosing in sunlight.

Halogen lights are a popular type of lighting in contemporary homes, and can be used for lighting while you stitch your embroidery. Keep in mind that halogen bulbs do produce UV rays which can cause skin damage (just like sunlight). Choose a bulb that filters these rays out so that your skin is safe.

Floor standing lamps

If you are a right handed person, the best place to position a lamp is so that the light shines over your left shoulder and onto your work. This will mean that your stitching hand will not obstruct the light as it falls on your work area. If you are left handed, you will want to position the lamp so that it shines over your right shoulder. Experiment with the precise position to get the best effect.

Desk or table lamps

If you are a right handed person, position the lamp on the table to your left. This will mean that your stitching hand will not obstruct the light as it falls on your work area. If you are left handed, position the table lamp on your right. Experiment with the exact position, and the proximity of the light to get maximum benefit.

Clip on lamps

I find that small, clip-on, battery powered lamps with LED bulbs are an excellent portable option. By clipping the lamp onto my needlework hoop or frame, I can work with good lighting wherever I am, whether at my kids’ after-school classes or sporting activities, in a cafe, or in a waiting room. For right-handed people, clip the lamp on the far side of the frame or hoop on the left side, and vice versa for left-handed people.

By choosing your lighting carefully, and positioning it well, you too should be able to make exquisite embroidery too, just like in days of old!

How the Use of Translations Can Help to Overcome Communication Barriers

All over the world, people are thinking, speaking, reading and writing in different languages, and the number one of those languages isn’t English. So while you are reading this right now, chances are there are non-English speakers who are translating it so that they can read it as well. Over 70 percent of the Internet’s websites are in English, and of the rest, only one fourth of all those other websites can be roughly read by those who speak English. Some do not have the time or natural aptitude towards a foreign language, and there is still a significant communication barrier.

Through emails, phone calls, face-to-face interactions and websites, communication is a constant and often instantaneous barrage to anyone. In business, proper communication is essential. Even if you have the best pitch, a lack of understanding will be the one thing that stops any business deal from going forward. In the academic world, knowing the top information in your field will oftentimes require knowing what is happening internationally, and much literature and academic materials will not necessarily be in your native tongue. For example, in the scientific research in Spain, a desire to extend their global business of bringing products, services and new breakthroughs led to a rise in wanting translations of Spanish work.

The question of how to solve that communication barrier comes in the seemingly obvious choice of using translation services of a fashion. For many, this can mean machine-based translations. By putting the text into a translation service on the computer, the basic gist of the text remains. However, details are lost and, depending on the ambiguity of the word choice, the translation can seem almost as confusing as the original. Because much of the original language’s meaning may rely on subtext, many have suggested that machine-based translation is a place to start, but is not an effective method on its own. That is not to say that no one is trying to solve that issue, though. In Europe, much research is being done to develop more accurate software for even speech-to-speech automatic translation. For now there are other methods available.

The classical approach to this communication barrier comes in the form of a person. After all, qualified translators can be the best investment a business has. Qualified translators will have extensive training in translation, with a profound fluency in both the language you need and English. With a qualified translator, the risk of business deals going wrong decreases a great deal, and in the scientific, medical or academic field, it makes finding out the top developments much easier.

Overall, the communication barrier is never going to go away as long as there are different languages that people must speak. Thankfully there are tools, both electronic and human, that are helping to navigate around the barrier in the hopes of clear communication and better understanding globally. As long as people continue to take advantage of the tools available, the barrier will become less of a barrier and more of a minor obstacle to steer around.

6 Tips to Keep Your iPhone in Pristine Condition – Prevent Scratches and Dings

Your iPhone is an investment, and you certainly would not want to ruin it by not maintaining it, or letting it get covered with scratches. Protect your iPhone with these tips, and you will be able to enjoy it for much longer!

1. Keep your iPhone away from things that can scratch it. If you are going to put it in your pocket or purse, don’t put it in the same place you keep your keys or your change, as either one is likely to scratch it.

2. Get a case. There is a plethora of types of cases available for you to use to protect your iPhone. Some of them include flip cases, slip pouches, gel skins, rigid cases, weather resistant cases, and leather cases. You can get sports cases for when you don’t have a pocket or a free hand. Sports cases are armbands with an attached pocket or sleeve for your iPhone. If you are fashion conscious, you can even get Gucci and other designer iPhone cases. You can get cases that look like purses. iPhone cases come in every color imaginable. Some cases fit so tightly around your phone, leaving the screen open for you, that they look like the phone itself. So whatever your preference in a case, you can find one that you like, and it can keep your iPhone looking like new.

3. To keep dirt and smudges off the screen, get some screen protectors. These bits of film adhere to your screen, usually by static, without obscuring your view. You use your iPhone screen like normal, right through the screen protector.

4. Another option for protecting your iPhone from dirt and scratches is an Air Jacket kit. The air jacket is a thin layer of protection only 1 millimeter thick. It’s almost invisible, yet it still protects your phone. The air jacket gives you no protection for if you should drop your phone, but it will keep away the dirt, smudges, and scratches which ruin your iPhone’s finish. The kit comes with the air jacket, a thin crystal film, and an anti-glare film for the LCD.

5. There are also things you can do to maintain your iPhone’s battery, and extend its life. First and foremost, keep your iPhone away from heat. Don’t leave it in a hot car, or anywhere else in the sun. Heat is the worst thing for your iPhone’s battery, and will ruin it faster than just about anything else. Also, you should go through one charge cycle per month to keep the battery maintained. To do this, charge it up to 100% and then let the charge drain completely down to 0%. Lock your phone when you are not using it, and keep power-draining activities, such as gaming, to a reasonable level. Doing these things will keep your battery operating at an optimum level.

6. Part of maintaining and protecting your iPhone is cleaning it. To clean it, first turn off your iPhone for safety, and then use the cleaning cloth that came with it. If that is not available, you can use any soft, lint-free cloth. Get it slightly damp, but not wet. Do not use any cleaning solvents, alcohol, household cleaners, window cleaners or abrasives. Be sure you don’t get any moisture in any of the openings.

A clean, well maintained iPhone will look good, and make you look good. It will work better with more efficiency. And it will be there to bring you ease, convenience, and fun entertainment for a long time to come. Enjoy!

Common Problems With Bluestone Flooring

One of the more popular materials used by homeowners for patios, pathways, driveways, flooring, fireplaces, counters and even window trims and sills is natural bluestone. The main reason for this is that the stone is amazingly durable and is available in a variety of colours, including: greys, pinks, greens, blues, and even a lilac purple. If you are planning on using bluestone as a flooring material, however, there are a number of problems that you should be aware of first:


Unfortunately, bluestone is a highly porous material, which means that it will soak up water and hold onto it, leading to a number of problems, including:

  • A slight curling in the stone, which can lead to individual pavers being unseated from their level alignment.
  • Splotchy colour loss where large volumes of water have been sitting or soaked up.
  • An unattractive and oily build up that is caused by soap residue within the water not being soaked up by the stone.

If you are planning on using bluestone as a flooring material in areas that will be frequently exposed to water (such as bathrooms and patios), you will need to ensure that it is properly sealed.

Discolouration, Scratches and Chips

These are all common problems that befall bluestone when it is used as a flooring material. There are, however, some ways to fix these issues and to prevent them from occurring:

  • Discolouration (or efflorescence) is caused by the stone absorbing water and then releasing mineral salts, which dry on the surface like white powder. Simply vacuum, mop or sweep it away.
  • Bluestone can be easily gouged, scratched or chipped, but if these marks are minor they can be gently sanded away. Deeper marks will need professional attention.

Spills and Breakages

The sad reality is that bluestone is a very unforgiving material – if you drop something breakable on it, it is likely that the item will smash and most spills will cause discolouring. The best way to protect against these problems is to seal the stone (which will also waterproof it) and to lay down mats or carpet scraps in high traffic areas. Not only will this help to protect breakable items from being broken if they are dropped, it will also help to lessen the strain on people standing on the bluestone for extended periods of time.

Even though bluestone, when used as a flooring material, is subjected to a few problems, if it is properly cared for and maintained none of these problems should occur. The moment you have installed your bluestone floors, have them sealed and then regularly reapply this sealant (every couple of years is sufficient) and you will be going a long way towards preventing a number of the above problems from ever occurring.

Inexpensive Vacuum Therapy With the Noogleberry Breast Enlargement Pump

There are many ways to increase the size of a woman’s breasts, breast surgery is the first thing that comes to mind, another method would be to use a breast enlargement cream, but breast creams can be expensive and are often not very effective. One less talked about method is using a breast enlargement pump, also known as vacuum therapy. Breast pumps are a popular way to increase breast size, in fact there are many clinics around the world that offer vacuum therapy but it can be expensive. The Noogleberry is a device that gives women the ability to perform their own vacuum therapy in the comfort of their own home.

The Noogleberry kit ships with:

  • Instructions on how to use
  • 2 breast cups
  • Clear plastic tubing
  • A small hand pump to create pressure

How the Noogleberry works:

The Noogleberry promotes new tissue growth in the breast, it does this by creating suction, the sessions last no more than 15 to 20 minutes per day, all you do is place a breast cup over each breast and attach the hand pump to the plastic tubing and gently pump, doing so creates pressure in and around the breast, stimulating blood flow to the breast tissue making your breasts larger.

One of the advantages of the Noogleberry is that there are really no growth limitations, as your breast grow you can order the next breast cup size larger to continue growing. A complete Noogleberry kit with two medium cups costs around $65.00 if you decide to order larger cups later on you can, two large breast cups cost around $41.00.

Realistic expectations from vacuum therapy

One thing you should know about vacuum therapy is that you can’t expect overnight results, it usually takes about two months to see significant growth, after a couple of weeks women will begin to see fuller breasts, but actual tissue growth takes some time, so it is important to not get discouraged, most women have seen an increase of up to two cup sizes larger over a six month period.

One advantage of the Noogleberry is that using this method gives women lasting results, unlike breast growth from using breast creams or supplements which can quickly fade.

One of the best features about using the Noogleberry is their customer service; they offer post sales support as well as a community forum. Signing up to the forum gives you first hand experience from other women who offer tips and actual results from using the product, which is perfect for first time users. So if you are looking for a safe way to increase your bosom, vacuum therapy could be a good alternative, all you need is a little bit of patience and before you know it you will have bigger breasts.

Some Lean Six Sigma Tools – Analyse, Improve and Control

The cost, speed and quality leaps of Lean Six Sigma are obtained through the application of appropriate tools. We conclude by reviewing some tools from the Analyse, Improve and Control phases of DMAIC.

The Analyse Phase

Purpose of Analyse:

In implementing Lean Six Sigma this phase identifies and verifies the relationships between causes and their effects. It helps in the discovery of factors that affect key process inputs and outputs. The analyse phase seeks to find patterns in the data obtained during the measure phase in order to make sense of it all.

Tools for Analyse:

Scatter Plots:

Two variables are plotted against each other on a graph. The resulting picture gives a visual indication of how well correlated the variables are.

Regression Analysis:

This can be regarded as a mathematical equivalent of the scatter plot. Here an equation is derived to express the dependence of one of the variables on one or more others. The equation can then be used to predict values of the dependent variable for given values of the independent variables.

Fish bone diagram:

A large arrow is drawn with the effect whose causes are being analysed show on the right at the end of the arrow. Main categories of probable causes are shown on branches emanating from the main line. For each category, detailed causes are brainstormed and indicated against the corresponding branch.


Time Trap Analysis and Capacity Constraint Identification:

A time trap is a process activity that inserts delays into the process and may be due to capacity constraints or other operational inefficiencies. Whatever the source of the delays, it finally shows up as long lead times. A capacity constraint is a sub-process or activity whose output per unit time is less than that of the preceding and/or subsequent sub-process or activity.

Non Value-Added Analysis:

From the as is value stream map, each process activity is examined to determine its contribution to customer requirements. Those which do not contribute to customer valued outcomes and are not necessary for other business reasons (e.g. regulatory requirements) are eliminated.

The Improve Phase

Purpose of Improve:

In the previous phases, defects (variability outside the customer’s specifications) and wastes (non-value added activities and costs) have been identified, measured and their causes found through analysis. The purpose of the improve phase is to eliminate the defects and wastes.

Tools for Improve:

To Be Process Maps: A map of the desired process is created, in which identified non-value added activities have been eliminated

Setup reduction:

From the capacity constraint and time trap analysis carried out in the Analyse phase, we can determine whether the major source of delay was due to long setup times. In that case, the following steps are applied.

* Document and classify setup procedures

* Improve organisation-Study work area layout and analyse required movements. Use 5S if necessary to remove inefficiencies. Brainstorm improvement opportunities in the setup steps.

* Where possible convert internal (setup activities that are done with the machine down) to external (setup activities that do not affect the running of the machine) procedures. In transactional situations, this means converting serial procedures to parallel.

* Improve the remaining internal setup procedures.

* Eliminate need for adjustments.


This lean tool results in a clean and organised work area, with a place for everything and everything in its place. The steps of the methodology are:

* Sort

* Straighten

* Shine

* Standardise

* Sustain

Applying 5S eliminates inefficiencies resulting from lack of organisation by reducing the amount of unnecessary motion and transportation.

Total Productive Maintenance

Where downtime is a major cause of low process cycle efficiency, total productive maintenance, which aims to reduce the percentage of downtime, should be applied.

Mistake Proofing:

By proper design of the processes and equipment, the possibility of errors (and with them the need for inspections) is eliminated. Examples are designing online forms that cannot be submitted if data is incompletely entered, or if the wrong type of data is entered. Similar to this are parts that can only be assembled in one way.

Design Of Experiments:

This is the statistical design of experiments to enable you determine the impact of two or more variables on another variable of interest. This tool also accounts for interaction effects between variables.

Hypothesis Testing:

This is a statistical tool for testing the validity of assumptions. In this case the assumptions might relate to the impact of causes on effects. For example, if performance is suspected to be operator dependent, tests might be carried out to verify whether observed differences in performance between two operators are statistically significant.

Solution Selection Matrix:

Generally there will be more than one possible solution identified to the problems under consideration. The selection matrix compares them using a set of weighted criteria to determine the most appropriate.

Project Management:

Actual implementation of agreed solutions will be in the form of a project, and will require use of the usual project management tools for planning, communication, risk assessment, and monitoring.

The Control Phase

Purpose of Control:

The purpose of the control phase is to ensure that the gains from the improve phase become embedded in the organisation.

Tools for Control:

Standard Operating Procedures:

The improved process design will certainly include new operating practices. These must be codified in an operating manual to which operators can refer. Having a standard operating manual helps prevent slippage into old inefficient practices.

Statistical Process Control:

Control charts, reflecting the improved capabilities of the process must be constructed and used to monitor process performance over time.

Visual Management:

The essence of visual management is captured in the idea that an employee should be able to walk through the work area and come away with 90% of the information. This is achieved through 5S organisation, illustrations of process steps placed close to the process, SIPOC diagrams and value stream maps, the use of shadow boards etc.


The list of tools considered in this article and the last are only a few of the several available. On any one project, only a few are likely to be used.

Security Cameras in Schools

Security cameras used in schools to monitor activities do not differ much from common cameras. They are usually purchased in bulk quantities and require complex connections. With the help of them, teachers and staffs can easily monitor students. Security cameras in schools are useful to prevent thefts, property damage and entering of outsiders to school’s property. Now, more and more schools, regardless of their status, are engaged in installing security cameras.

Installing security video cameras will help students focus on their studies and not make them worry about outside violence. Cameras control crime and are the chief sources of evidences when crimes occur. They allow security personnel to do more job-specific work, and also save money in the long run by avoiding chances of burglaries and vandalism.

Most security cameras used in schools are color mini cameras with wireless and night vision features. They come with recording systems. These systems may be analog devices such as CCTV monitors or VCRs or digital IP based systems connected to a web network. Digital recorders ensure easy storage and viewing over different monitors.

Installing security cameras in schools will cost high (usually around $100,000) as a number of cameras with cables and other equipments are needed. Security cameras in schools are placed in only public areas such as near entrances, hallways, stairwells, cafeterias and parking lots where the officials can monitors activities.

Most security cameras in schools include features such as pan, tilt, and zoom and infrared recording options for lowlight situations. But these cameras generally do not have any microphones for audio recording. They can be used in both indoor and outdoor locations, and often have waterproofed and weatherproofed coverings. They are specially made for long continuous usage, and work often 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. Many schools often use motion/behavior detection cameras, which automatically take images of any abnormal activity around them. There are many camera and surveillance system manufactures such as View Systems Inc. who manufacture systems especially for satisfying schools’ needs.

Life in Spain – 10 Reasons Why You Should Live in Alicante

I am reviewing this article from 5 years ago, so I have now lived in the Alicante region of Spain for 27 years. I just wanted to update my experiences of living here with anyone who is thinking about moving to or living in Spain.

With the introduction of the Alicante tram, the small fishing town of El Campello now seems so much closer to Alicante itself, making it another good choice of places to find a home within easy commuting distance of Alicante.

10 reasons why you should live in Alicante

1) The sunshine and mild Winter climate probably heads the list, with a minimum temperature of 5º in Winter and real scorcher days in the Summer reaching up to 40º. In the Winter, if the sun is out you can go out, and it’s as simple as that and savings will be reflected on the heating bills. The best of the weather though is definitely in the Autumn and Spring, with an average temperature of 20 to 25º, even allowing you to spend time at the beach in the Playa San Juan, or enjoy a memorable day on the Alicante Golf course in perfect conditions.

2) Alicante Golf then as the name suggests is not only the nicest residential area of Alicante, but also beholds a fantastic par 72 golf course that was designed by Seve Ballesteros in the late 90s. The whole design of the Alicante Golf residential area has been perfectly executed to include open green areas and parks, a 5 star hotel, a modern complete sports centre, the European Bilingual school, modern quality housing, wide roads and pavements, as well as commercial shopping centres within easy driving distance.

3) Eating out is so much more affordable too and Alicante provides a great selection of both Spanish and International cuisine, and you will also find that children are welcome too, but I would point out that the Spanish in general don’t speak English very well, so always carry a phrase book with you, that’s unless you are in El Campello, where you will even find English style pubs.

4) If you run a business and are a bit worried about the new higher income tax rate, come to Spain. The whole tax system is so much more simplified here, and without a doubt you end up paying less, regardless of your gross income.

5) Rates, Poll tax, council tax or whatever it may be called today, here in Spain it’s called IBI and is calculated on the size of your property. It can be paid yearly or over 6 monthly payments.

6) Everything is still much cheaper here than in the UK, so you will have more money to spend to go out and enjoy the Alicante outdoor lifestyle. The night life can also be enjoyed by people of all ages, whether you just like to sit down by the beach and enjoy an ice cream or if you like to have a few beers and let your hair down there is a whole commercial arena dedicated to night pubs in Alicante Golf, otherwise Alicante itself is quite a magical experience down by the Port, with views over the sea.

7) You don’t really need a car here. Now many people probably just want a car anyway, but for those who don’t, then both El Campello and Alicante Golf are just perfect with everything you need within a 5 minute walk. If you need to go further afield, then the Tram will take you right into the heart of Alicante, or up the coast to Benidorm or beyond up to Denia.

8) A smokers paradise. I believe that smoking in Spain is a lot more acceptable than in the UK. Cigarettes are very cheap and you can smoke in certain bars under cover, especially in El Campello, oh and you won’t get fined in Spain for throwing your cigarette but on the pavement.. not yet anyway.

9) Fiestas or festivals are also very high on the agenda in Spain. and Alicante is famous here anyway for its Fiestas. The first is just after Easter, when people from Alicante and the surrounding areas begin their annual Pilgrimage to Santa Faz, a middle age monastery in San Juan, about 5 miles from Alicante, and like a shrine to the local people. The “Hogueras de San Juan” is the second festival, and run from mid to late June, with the official burnings on June 24th, with the burning of huge paper maché figures, some of which are found in the surrounding areas of Alicante Golf and Playa San Juan. Finally in August, each residential community have a party whereby all the neighbours spend an evening together drinking and dancing the night away, so it can get a bit noisy in August. There are alternative Fiestas too in El Campello with the Moors and Christians festival being on top of the agenda.

10) Living in Alicante is without a doubt a more relaxing way of life, the sunshine does seem to be a normality here, and you are definitely better off financially here, at least to afford a higher standard of living, so why shouldn’t you live in Alicante or El Campello, and make a positive change for your overall well being. You won’t get stressed in Spain, if you learn from the locals.

How to Calm Your Fear of Driving Over Bridges: 9 Tips for Soothing Bridge Phobia

If you have bridge phobia (a.k.a. gephyrophobia), you suffer from a persistent fear of driving over bridges. Bridges are often the only passages across rivers and other waterways. Sometimes they’re the main traffic arteries of coastal cities. Fear of bridges can make your world feel smaller, imprisoning you within your neighbourhood or town.

Your bridge phobia may take different forms. Perhaps you’re afraid of the height of a particular bridge in your area. Or you may have problems with the openness, of not being able to see the other side. Maybe the fast moving traffic is hard for you. You may even fear you’ll panic, pass out, and drive off the edge of a bridge.

But you can learn to soothe your bridge phobia. Just use the tips below. It’s easier than you think!

Here are 9 tips to help you calm your fear of driving over bridges

1. Plan your route well in advance: This eliminates the unpleasant surprise of coming upon a bridge unexpectedly. Know where any bridges on your route are BEFORE you drive, and know when you’ll be coming up to one.

2. Have some “me” time before you go: Take time out for yourself before your journey. Spend it doing anything you find pleasurable and relaxing. You can listen to music, take a bath, have your favorite snack, a refreshing walk – anything that soothes and nourishes your soul. You’re about to do something hard. Give yourself something nice beforehand.

3. Visualize being successful: One of the ways athletes train for success is by visualizing the perfect pass, or shot, or golf swing before they take it.Studies have shown that imagining yourself accomplishing a task successfully greatly increases the likelihood you will be successful. See yourself crossing the bridge and getting safely to the other side. This will make it easier to actually do it.

4. Ask a friend to accompany you: Driving over bridges may be easier if you don’t do it alone. Ask someone you trust to come with you, or at least talk with you on speakerphone when you’re on a bridge. This helps keep your mind off your fear and on the present moment.

5. Pull over right before crossing: If possible, pull over before driving over bridges. Take a few deep breaths and once again visualize driving across successfully.Millions of people do it every day. You can too.

6. Focus on what’s right in front of you: While on the bridge, try narrowing your field of visual focus. Don’t look up or off to the sides. Keep your eyes right on the licence plate of the vehicle in front of you or fixed on a stationary object such as a street sign.

7. Note the halfway mark: Mentally divide the bridge up into at least 2 sections. Notice when you reach one of the section marks, especially the halfway point. It’s easier to tackle a bridge in portions instead of all at once. When you reach the halfway point, say out loud, “I’m at the halfway point.”

8. Put on your favorite music: Playing music while driving is very helpful. It helps distract your mind from fear. If possible, roll down your car windows to help you feel even more relaxed.

9. Congratulate yourself on the other side:Yeah, you did it! You crossed the bridge! Take note of your success and that you arrived safely and unharmed. Now would be another great time to give yourself something nice as a reward.

You CAN learn how to calm your fear of driving over bridges. It takes practice, but it’s very doable. Use the tips above every time you experience bridge phobia. It gets easier the more you do it. I promise!

3 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Pre-Engineered Steel Building

Here are 3 mistakes anyone looking to purchase a steel building will want to avoid. Whether it’s a steel-arch quonset style building or a pre-engineered structural steel building, knowing this information before you make a purchase decision will help you make the right choice.

1. Make sure you buy a building that meets local building codes.

You should thoroughly investigate your city or municipality’s requirements for building on your lot, including variances and setbacks before ordering any building. This includes aspects such as snow, rain, wind and seismic loading requirements.

It is very important that the building you buy will meet your local building requirements. Your building should come with professionally engineered plans that you can use to get building permits from your local authority.

2. When price shopping, be sure you’re comparing “Apples to Apples”

This is probably the most important step for allowing you to get multiple, accurate quotes from different suppliers. One of the biggest factors in cost for a steel-arch building is the gauge (thickness) of material that is required. This will be determined by the size of your building and where it will be built. If the building will reside in an area that gets a lot of snow, it will need to be built in a much heavier steel to withstand those snow loads, and prevent it from collapsing.

It is also necessary to understand how your building will be connected to the foundation. There are numerous options that vary in cost and ease of assembly. A trough foundation may seem like a simpler, cheaper solution, but in fact it makes assembly of the building much more difficult and time consuming. A baseplate connector system often costs more upfront, but saves time and money during assembly. It also allows you the option of easily disassembling your building if you ever had a need to.

Make sure that all the accessories that you need are included in the quote. Accessories such as skylights, vents (to control condensation), overhead or sliding doors, service doors, windows and colour options. Every accessory will affect the price, so make sure you’re comparing “Apples to Apples” when shopping for your building.

3. Don’t forget to compare lifetime cost savings of a steel vs. a wood building.

More accurately designed metal and steel templates are generated and manufactured using computer technology. Measurements, fittings and all components are designed and tooled with laser precision. This allows contractors to make highly accurate estimates and virtually eliminates the cost of buying excessive materials and other unexpected expenses in the building process.

Steel-Arch Buildings are also faster to assemble. They arrive at the construction site in ready-to-assemble pieces and building can be done with as few as 4 people and some basic tools and machines to lift the framework. With all the necessary parts delivered to you, they are relatively simple to assemble and provide enormous savings on labor costs.

It may even be possible to save on insuring your steel structure because the risk from fire is greatly reduced. In many instances, insurance companies offer discounts of around 40%.

By design, pre-engineered steel structures are expandable and very flexible. If you start to outgrow your space, simply add another section. If you or your business moves to another location, simply disassemble the building and move it with you.

Finally, they require less maintenance than conventional wood structures. There is no need to paint or seal a steel building, like you would for a traditional wood building.

With this information, you will be better prepared to make the right choice when buying a steel building.

Using RAM Mounts With Your GoPro Camera

RAM Mounts have generally been put to use in the motor vehicle and marine world for mounting GPS’s and cellular phones to cars, boats, motor bikes, buggies and so on. Simply being an extremely universal mounting solution, these excellent mounts have found their way into the Sports Camera marketplace for use with GoPro, Contour, VIO and many other camera brands.

A RAM mount normally has a sturdy aluminium ball attached to the device you intend to mount and a second ball attached to your vehicle. From there, there is the option of 3 different sized arms to interconnect both of those RAM balls, fixing the equipment or digital camera onto your vehicle. With respect to GoPro mounting, RAM’s B type (1 inch) ball is sufficient for your sports action camera. The B type ball is constructed from aluminium, which also has a rubber coating on the exterior of the ball. This ensures a solid hold between the RAM arm and the RAM ball. This particular rubber coating furthermore decreases vibration, giving a very steady video or photo from your Sports Action Camera. This mounting system is universally adjustable, as a result of the using the awesomely engineered ball and arm system.

Normally, to utilize a RAM mount with a GoPro camera, you’ve had to make usage of the ball mount with the 1/4″ UNC stud together with a GoPro tripod adaptor. Following that you’ll be able to utilize any selection of the hundreds of RAM components to attach a GoPro Camera to just about anything at all, just about anywhere. Even though this is an exceptionally durable mounting platform, the bond between your RAM ball stud and the GoPro tripod adaptor, could have a tendency to loosen off, particularly in motorsport applications where vibration and movement is high. This may lead to the camera moving, twisting or even unwinding from the mounting system.

To be able to make your connection between the RAM ball and the tripod adaptor a great deal more consistent, to help reduce the danger of this occurring, you can actually apply a tiny amount of Loctite to the thread before properly tightening up the components. This makes the bond more permanent and shock / vibration resistant.

Using a RAM mount to mount your GoPro Camera, enables you to take smooth and steady video footage without the risks of losing your camera. Although for added security it is also a good idea to attach a safety lanyard to your GoPro, just in case.

RoomBreak: Escape Now!! Game Review and Tips

RoomBreak: Escape Now!! By Gameday

RoomBreak: Escape Now!! is a hefty room escape game for iPhone/iPod/iPad. It consists of 5 episodes, each with 5 rooms, adding up to a total of 25 challenging rooms to escape. Gameday even promises a sixth episode is soon to come.

RoomBreak is pretty challenging game for the genre. One might even say that it’s a hardcore game. What makes it different from others is that there is an exhaust meter for every room. If you’re the type of person who likes to relax and take your time exploring a room and solving the puzzles, it may be a very frustrating game for you. You’ll likely have to replay most of the rooms at least once before you complete them, since it’s so hard to discover everything before the timer runs out. There are also some mini-games involved, which get increasingly harder as you progress. The two games are connected to the knife and the hammer. Using the knife requires you to watch as a sequence of slices flash across the screen. You then have to copy them in the right order in order for the knife to work. The hammer is even more challenging, as it requires you to tap on circles as little yellow rings appear on them. It’s a bit like that old-school game called Simon. It gets pretty hard in the 4th episode, and can be incredibly frustrating to complete. However, if you’re someone who likes these kinds of challenges, or can forgive them, you’re in for quite an experience.

It’s easy to tell that a lot of love went into making this game. The 2D graphics are reminiscent of a graphic novel, all drawn superbly well. The music is also done well, with plenty of variety from room to room. The puzzles are challenging and will have you stumped at times. But this means you won’t be finishing the game in one day. There are hours worth of gameplay here.

If you have any trouble, here are some tips:

1. For the knife tool, write down the direction of the arrows so you don’t forget them. You can try as many tines as you want, because the exhaust meter is not affected while you have a puzzle open.

2. For the hammer, you need to tap each circle as the yellow ring hits it. The game is very unforgiving, so you must be exact. In Episodes 4 and 5, I don’t recommend playing while you’re half asleep, as the puzzle gets quite elaborate. Again, like the knife, you can keep trying until you get it without having to worry about the exhaust meter.

I hope that helps you. Good luck escaping!

The Glory of Roman Mosaics

The Romans were not the first to use tiles and small stone blocks to create designs and patterns to adorn the floors and walls of ancient buildings, such as temples and palaces. It had been done before, in both Greece and in the Ancient Near East – but the Romans can be said to have truly perfected the technique of mosaic making and developed it from a decorative craft into a magnificent art form. Roman mosaics were both attractive and long lasting and were eminently practical for a variety of architectural applications.

Around two thousand years ago the Romans developed a skill in making high quality cement mortar and concrete that was both structurally very strong and also waterproof. This technological innovation allowed for considerable scope and flexibility in developing architectural forms and led to the widespread use of mosaic panels for enhancing the looks and utility of their buildings. To make their mosaics, they used tiny, squared off blocks of natural stone, marble or tiles, called tesserae, embedded in mortar and with the joints between them grouted up with cement, to provide extremely durable concrete floors, walls and arched roofs. Besides being attractive, correctly laid mosaic tiles rendered floors waterproof, hygienic, easy to clean and equally importantly, also reflected light – essential properties for public buildings such as the bathhouses of a people obsessed with bathing. But hand in hand with advances in technique and innovative applications of practical utility, so also went the development of a tradition of artistic excellence. We have many splendid examples of both abstract and representative Roman mosaic art that is truly outstanding by any standard.

Roman mosaic designs are very distinctive and display worthy examples of both abstract and representative art. Although always immediately recognizable as Roman, many different style and themes are used. Black and white (dichromatic) highly stylized mosaic representations of dolphins and sea monsters adorned the floors of public baths, whilst in the seclusion of their villas, the rich favored more colorful realistic mosaic representations of gods, gladiators and gracious ladies at leisure. However a great deal of purely geometric mosaic decoration and bordering was used in repetitive patterns. There were also many mosaics of pastoral and culinary themes in somewhat random, but pleasing depictions, especially in dining rooms and reception areas.

It is wonderful that numbers of fine mosaic panels, many still in excellent condition, can be found all over the numerous lands that Rome once ruled – vivid reminders of a time when her mighty empire stretched from Britain in the West to Israel and Iraq in the East and from Germany in the North to Morocco and Egypt in the South. The extensive mosaic record of Rome that has been unearthed from all over Europe, North Africa and the Middle East is a wonderful legacy. We are fortunate that so many fine examples of this unique art form can be viewed in numerous museum exhibitions and also insitu in a multitude of heritage sites. Many of these distinctively Roman works look as though they were laid out only yesterday – their magnificence undiminished after the passage of twenty or so centuries. This is indeed a lasting tribute, both to the durability of the medium and also to the fine craftmanship of the original Roman mosaic artists.

You can find other aspects of the history of mosaics at the web page “Roman Mosaics”

Techniques For Bonding Sandstone

As there are many uses for sandstone around the home (including flooring, wall cladding, fireplaces, and countertops) it is sometimes necessary to bond the stone to many different surfaces. Depending on the surface that you are bonding the pavers to and the agent that you want to use for the process, you will need to follow a number of different steps to ensure that the sandstone remains adhered to the surface well into the future.

Cement and Mortar

Step 1: Give the surface of each stone a thorough clean to remove oils, dust and other dirt. Begin by brushing the sandstone down with a wire or plastic brush, then give it a wipe with a de-greasing solution and water using an old rag. Finish by soaking the sandstone in water to ensure that their pores are sealed.

Step 2: Mix together a cement mixture by combining one part cement with three parts sand and adding water. Spread this mixture onto the area where you will be laying the pavers, using a screed to make sure that the surface is even. As a side note, do not use lime cement when working with sandstone, as it can be damaging.

Step 3: Lay down the sandstone pavers in your desired pattern, using plastic separators to define the gaps (if you want any). Once you’ve finished, use a trowel to fill in these gaps with some extra cement and to wipe any excess mixture away.

Epoxy, Acrylic and Polyester Adhesives

Step 1: Use a metal brush to rough up the back of the sandstone cladding or pavers, as this will increase its adhesive strength. Then, give the stone a thorough clean to remove any oils, dust and dirt that may have accumulated using the same process as the above method.

Step 2: Prepare the adhesive according to the instructions of the particular type you are using. Epoxies are made by mixing an epoxy resin with a hardening agent, then spreading the solution onto the back of the sandstone. You can then push the paver into place. Acrylic and polyester adhesives are loaded into a caulking gun, applied to the back of the sandstone and pushed into position.

Step 3: After you have applied the sandstone paver to its designated spot, make sure that you hold it in place according to the time specifications provided by the manufacturer. This will ensure a strong and lasting bond.

When using either of these methods, you may like to wear protective clothing – such as safety goggles, respirators and gloves – to ensure that you are protected against the sharp edges of the stone and the poisonous substances in the adhesives.

6 Facts About Oil Paint

1. The earliest known paintings that were done in oils date back to the 7th century BC. These paintings were Buddhist murals that were discovered in caves in Western Afghanistan. Oil paint didn’t become widespread for use in art works until the 15th century, when it became popular throughout Europe. Jan van Eyck, a 15th century Flemish painter, is widely believed to have invented it, though in reality he did not invent it, instead he developed it.

2. Oil paint is credited with revolutionising art. One of its key properties is that it’s very slow to dry. It gave artists a lot more time to work on their paintings and it allowed them to correct any mistakes they might have made. Oil paints allowed for artists’ creativity to flourish more because artists could devote more time to each painting. Many of the most widely praised paintings were done in oils.

3. For a few centuries artists had to store their oil paints in animal bladders. This was because the paint tube wasn’t invented until 1841. It was invented by John Goffe Rand, an American painter. Before the tube was invented, artists would have to mix their paints themselves before painting. They would have to grind the pigment up themselves, then carefully mix in the binder and thinner.

4. The most basic type of oil paint is made up of ground-up pigment, a binder and a thinner, which is usually turpentine. For the binder there are lots of different substances that can be used, including linseed oil, walnut oil and poppy seed oil; each of these gives the paint different effects and has different drying times.

5. There are modern versions of oil paint that can dry a lot more quickly than the standard version. The way that it dries is not by evaporation, but by oxidation, the process where substances gain oxygen. It is generally accepted that the typical painting done in oils will be dry to touch after about two weeks, though it can take six months to a year before the painting’s actually dry enough to be varnished.

6. Oil paint is very durable and tough, so it’s used as a finish and protector. It can be used on wood and metal and in both cases, it can be used internally as well as externally. It’s often applied to wood during building construction and can be found on metallic surfaces on things like planes, bridges and ships.