Plantar Fasciitis Secrets to Immediate Relief – Part 1

Plantar Fasciitis Secrets of Getting Immediate Relief – Footwear 1

The secrets to getting immediate relief of your plantar fasciitis pain is that making sure your foot is well supported when you are weight bearing and walking and doing your activities. Support for your feet is important as it requires you to make sure that your foot is supported in a fashion that is going to enable you to walk with freedom and ease yet at the same time help to take the pressure off the plantar fascia… a soft tissue structure that is important to holding the foot in it’s correct alignment.

Most problems that affect the feet, legs, knees and hips tend to relate to either, alignment issues or a direct traumatic injury to the area of concern. With plantar fascia injuries direct trauma’s tend to be either during sports, running, jumping or high impact activities such as boxing, aerobics. Though occupational injuries can cause problems as well. Jumping off the side of a truck and landing on uneven ground, drum players in bands, retail workers who work on their feet all day. Construction workers, landscapers and concrete cutters all can sustain this type of injury from direct trauma. Even the home gardener can sustain injuries such as using the humble old shovel/ spade when using soft shoes that don’t support the bottom of your feet. Support for your feet and plantar fascia can come in many different forms. The first and easiest form is footwear.

Footwear runners… joggers, athletic shoes are ideal as they provide total enclosed support for the feet. Supportive runners should include…a stiff heel counter (heel of the shoe) with soft padding. Flexible through the ball of the shoe (that is the toe section of the shoe should bend where the toes bend) and firm through the midsole of the shoe. They should have laces ideally. Why laces you ask…the important thing is that laces can be adjusted to the size of one’s foot. Foot size and fluid volume of the foot vary from day to day and having laces will enable you to accommodate those changes in volume. Then insole, shoe liner or foot bed should be able to be removed. So that if any other style of foot bed needs to be placed inside this can be done very easily.

Footwear Sandals…Many people wear sandals particularly in the warmer climates. There are sandals that are ideal for supporting the foot with plantar fasciitis and there are sandals that are not. I would highly recommend investing in sandals that have a contoured sole and that the sole of the sandal is made from a cork or EVA (ethylene vinyl acetate) base. If you go to many of your specialty shoe stores, outdoor, camping or hiking shoe shops there will be numerous style of sandals you can try on that will help support your plantar fascia. Some of the brand include..Naot, Teva, Keen, Homy Ped, are just some brands that will help support your feet.

One of the important plantar fasciitis secrets is using the correct footwear to help support your feet when you have pain and discomfort. If you find you don’t get the success from shoes alone you may need to visit a Podiatrist (foot specialist) or MD to help you.

Written by Ben Sibley

The Patron Saint of Hemorrhoids

Many illnesses have saints assigned to them like St. Bartholomew for Parkinson’s Disease and St. Vitus for chorea. The herky-jerky ailment was once called St. Vitus Dance. Not to be outdone hemorrhoid sufferers also have a patron. He is an Irish-born monk named St. Fiacre. He hailed from the County of Kilkenny in the province of Leinster in the south east corner of the country in the late sixth or early seventh century. He lived his early life in a hermitage where he became renowned as a holy man, a herbalist, and a healer. Because of these saintly qualities he developed a wide following.

For some reason, Fiacre became unsettled and decided – like so many of his fellow countrymen – to emigrate, to leave the Emerald Isle and settle elsewhere. He crossed the sea and immigrated into Meaux in the province of Brie, France (near present day Paris.) There, he was well received by Faro, the local bishop (now a saint), who assigned him land in Brodolium (modern Breuil.) Over time Fiacre built a hospice, and an oratory, and a separate cell for himself. It is said he lived a life of great mortification – of prayer, fast, vigil, manual labor in his garden, and healing the sick, particularly hemorrhoid sufferers. Hemorrhoids were called “Saint Fiacre’s illness” in the Middle Ages and he may have suffered from them himself. It is said that one day he sat sorrowfully on a stone and that stone softened providing him relief of the sort that can be obtained with remarkable hemzem.

There is also a somewhat different version of how St. Fiacre became the patron saint of hemorrhoids and how hemorrhoids were known as St. Fiacre’s Curse. When St. Fiacre first arrived in Meaux, it is said, Bishop Faro decided to give him land but didn’t much care for him. So he gave St. Fiacre a particularly small shovel and told him he could have all the land he could clear in a single day. St. Fiacre went to work and toiled so hard to maximize his holding that he developed a severe case of prolapsed hemorrhoids. He then sat on a stone and prayed, seeking guidance, and a resolution to his situation. Miraculously his hemorrhoids vanished and legend has it that the imprint of his hemorrhoids remain on the stone to this day. Legend also has it that any hemorrhoid sufferer who sits on the stone and prays today will be cured. St. Fiacre lived in Breuil until his death in 670 and his relics are installed in Meaux cathedral. His feast day is September 1.

It’s not known why an Irishman would have been declared the patron saint of hemorrhoids – apart from the myths recounted here – since the Irish don’t seem to suffer from hemorrhoids anymore than any other ethnic group. By some estimates about 15% of all Irish have the ailment at any given time, and about half of the population will suffer the disease in their lifetime. Anyhow, the Irish belatedly decided to give St. Fiacre the recognition richly due to him some 14 centuries after his death. In 1999, they created a picturesque shrub garden at the Irish National Stud in Tully County Kildare and dedicated it to him. This is very much appreciated by the jockeys who are wont to find respite there.

St. Fiacre has other writs besides looking after hemorrhoid sufferers. He is also the patron saint of gardeners, and cab drivers, especially in France.

Cellulite Cream – Review of Ultra Body Lift 10 Minceur

It all happened during the last summer.

When I took my summer clothing, I observed that my thigh and butt dimples when I wore the shorts on. I was nice on it before but during that time, I was in panic and my heart sank, I began to sweat.

I start to notice signs of cellulite appearing on my thighs area, Cellulite tends to stick around even on the thinnest of legs! Ewe! I search frantically on the internet that very day, and came across a product that as too good to be true. It was a formula Lierac Paris called Ultra Body Life 10. A lipo sculptant Hmmm seem real enough to me. I was desperate!

The packaging read:

Ultra Body Lift 10 Minceur is an anti-sugar; anti-fat and anti water formula and is the ideal treatment for body curving to help put you into an orange-peel skin diet.’ This Ultra Smoothing formula has an active aspartame, glycyrrhiza glabra and caffeint extract to help visibly reduce the sign of cellulite as well as reduce the appearance of orange-peel skin and. The alcohol-free gel-serum texture and its ultra penetrating ability don’t stick and lives no unsightly traces when applied.

Contains a source of Phenylalanine oh… sounds good. Just what I need! I search for the best price and came across a site selling it for $45 at, I added it to my cart, And a waited for my miracle liposuction formula to come in the mail. I really prayed it work, because the price is a bit higher than I am use to.


I was surprise that this formula has a such lovely sent. I figured it would smell all medicine like, but, the sent is actually like a fresh bubble bath. It ring a bell of mr. bubble mix some floral arrangement.


The bottle itself is a long cylinder shape tube. It is pink with a twist to the side silver lid. Opening the package isy easy. A twist to the right open up the sealed chamber. A twist to the left and it’s close. The labeling is in metallic silver and white.


It’s actually not like a lotion. It’s more like rubbing a pink thin-gel substance.

My use:

I focused on my buttocks and thighs putting on the gel for quite sometime. When I do this, I make sure that it penetrates into my pores of my skin for the best result. When the gel is almost gone and is almost dried up, and left no greasy or sticky residue behind, I can actually feel that the cream is working. At first, there was an odd sensation. However, after the sensation, I could feel my skin tightening and the interesting thing is that I feel it although I don’t see it. In fact, I was not expecting this at all.

After using this for a few months, I can say that a slight difference and improvement shown in my skin. Although the cellulites were still there, my skin was tighter. Since April, I have already been using this but it seems like the results were the same. It has a slight difference but nothing great to be excited about. I go back to original style like wearing my shorts with the same comfort I had. But there is still a small patches of cellulites that are still visible.

Overall results:

It works but I got some good results, it dude out and stop improving my skin. I’m glad there is visible improvement after a few weeks of usage.

Why Do We Go Into Caves, Lookout Mountain Cave, Below Ruby Falls

In 1994 I was treated to a very special trip to Lookout Mountain Cave, below Ruby Falls. We were having dinner at a friend’s home, and at our table we met a couple from Lafayette, Georgia. We started talking about caving and Pettyjohn Cave near Lafayette, when he told me that he was going on a special trip to Ruby Falls. He knew a cave guide there who was taking a group of city official from Lafayette to the lower cave in Ruby Falls on the following Tuesday, April 19th. He invited me to come if I would like. I had to take off from work and drive up early, but I knew that it would be worth it. A once in a life time experience and my only chance to see Lookout Mountain Cave!

When I arrived I was the only one dress in caving gear, the others only had hand held flashlights, but they were impressed as we enter the lobby and the elevator.

After a long slow ride to the bottom, we exited the elevator into a passage of Lookout Mountain Cave. The electric lights were turned on. A string of lights with half of them burnt out and spread far apart. I recall looking carefully at the rusted frame of the elevator and was amazed that it was still working in the wet conditions of the cave.

Although Lookout Mountain Caverns has not been open to tourists for quite some time, the management of Ruby Falls did allow researchers to take the elevator (the shaft excavated in 1928-1929) down to Lookout Mountain Caverns by prior arrangement. This access resulted in the discovery of new passages since Barr’s description was published in 1961. It also resulted in the discovery of prehistoric bones dating back to the last Ice Age (Pleistocene). Many old names and dates in this cave are of great interest to historians. The map of the cave in Barr’s book indicates the existence of “Andy Jackson’s Signature.” Unfortunately, in 2005 the State of Tennessee’s elevator inspectors required the Ruby Falls operators to seal the portion of the elevator shaft below Ruby Falls and the cave is now totally inaccessible in 2006.

One of the first things the guide showed us was the Signature of Andrew Jackson, The protective glass was long gone but the bolts that held it in place were still there, and you could just make out the signature.

The lower part of the cave was flooded and the stairs led down to the water. As we were looking at the passage below, the guide explained that the water filled passage linked up with the dry passage in the direction we were heading. I asked if we could take it and join up with the group at the junction. Two of us, my friend I met at the dinner and I followed the stream passage with the water over our waist. After what seem like a long water hike, we heard voices and joined up with the rest of the group, soaking wet.

We continued through the cave toward the original entrance which is now blocked by the railroad tunnel, we heard one train pass through while we were there. We took a good look at the rock ballet boxes that were along the side of the passage and were told that they were used for early voting. Though hard to believe, they did have a square hole in the top.

In 1905 the entrance to Lookout Mountain Cave was permanently sealed by the railroad tunnel, and in 1928 an elevator shaft was dug by Leo Lambert 420 feet down into the known cave. At the 260 foot level an opening of eighteen inches high and five feet wide, was discovered. This led to the now show cave, Ruby Falls named after Mr. Lambert’s wife Ruby. In 1929 the tours were opened to the lower original cave. A year later Ruby Falls was open to the public. And in 1935 the tours to the original cave were discontinued, in 2006 the rusty elevator was replaced and the shaft to the lower cave sealed off.

Wedding Cake Components – The Single Plate Separator System Completely Defined

The Single Plate Separator System or SPS is a method to stack and/or separate various types of cakes. Previous to the creation of the SPS, most bakers would use the double plate system, with dowel rods inserted into the cake for extra support. The SPS uses only one plate as the columns are pushed through the cake which in turn acts as the foundation. This eliminates one plate and 4 dowel rods. The technique saves the baker approximately 40% of the cost of a double plate system. Many in the home bakers are using the SPS, and are very happy with its ease of use.

Presently, there are 3 major manufacturers of the Single Plate System, Coast, Bakery Crafts, and Wilton. All three of those systems are sold through distributors, that sell cake decorating supplies. The Bakery Crafts’ components are the most generally sold by master cake decoration distributors on the East Coast. The Bakery Crafts Company has plates in various sizes and shapes. The sizes reach from 6″ to 18″. The shapes are as follows: Round Plates, Heart Shaped Plates, and Square Plates. Round frosted plates are fashionable for that crystal look.

The advantages of this technique are: Easy to line-up and designed for one time use. You will discover no more worries about returns. It assures ease and accurateness in centering and sustaining tiers and it eliminates all those plastic pegs and wooden dowels. The plates attach easily and firmly to the columns. The plates can be utilized for tiered or stacked cakes.

Let’s spend a moment and discuss the assorted components on the SPS.

All Multi-Piece Columns consist of a 5″ Grecian scored section, collar and two 2″ extension pieces. The overall lengths of the columns are 9″. The Original Scored Columns consist of a 9″ column plus a collar. A utility saw is sold independently for column sizing. Plates and columns: Center and press your cake board on the plate so the nib makes a marking crack in the center of the cake board. This ensures correct and speedy centering at the time of set-up. Cake boards are highly recommended to prevent sweating. You shouldn’t decorate the cake directly on the plate.

Assembling the tiers is easy to do when you follow these directions. Mark each layer by gently pressing a plate without legs onto the cake top. Next, insert the legs into each plate with a slight twist, securing legs firmly to your plate. Push round collars against each column therefore the flat side will rest on the cake top. Gently insert assembled tier (plate with legs and collars) into the cake. Legs should rest on the bottom plate securely. Carefully slide column collars down to rest on the cake to cover the holes.

Hopefully we have done our job and explained how a Single Plate Separator System works for the cake decorator. For more information visit our cake decorating supply online store.

Induction Cooking – What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages?

While induction cooking has been popular in Europe and Australia for a number of years, this technology is just beginning to become popular in the United States. What is induction cooking? It is often referred to as heatless cooking because it does not require an open gas flame or red-hot electric coils. Instead, heat is generated by electromagnetic currents in the burners that respond to metal cooking pots and pans. When you cook on an induction cooktop, only the pan and food contained within it become hot. As soon as the pot or pan is removed from the burner, the cooktop surface becomes almost cool to the touch.

Advantages of Induction Cooking

Efficiency. The biggest difference between induction cooking and other methods is where the heat is actually generated. Gas and electric stovetops produce heat on a burner. This heat is then transferred to a cooking pan and then its contents. In contrast, induction stove tops generate heat in the vessel. There is no transfer from the burner to the pan. Thus there is virtually no wasted heat. According to studies, induction cooking is about 90% efficient, compared to electric and gas cooking that have 47% and 40% energy efficiency rating respectively.

Safety. Safety is a major selling point. With induction cooking, the burners stay cool (room temperature), eliminating the worry of burning your hands, using hot pads, or dangerous fumes being admitted into the air.

Time-saving. Induction cooktops achieve extremely high temperatures in a short period of time. During the cooking process, any adjustments to the heat are precise and almost instantaneous. Gas heat is fairly precise as well, but it takes longer for the burners to heat the pan to the initial temperature.

Comfort. Induction burners won’t heat up your kitchen. This appeals to chefs, caterers, and even home cooks.

Convenience. Food spills and boil-overs aren’t burned on to the stove and are easily wiped off. Most stove-tops are either easy-to-clean glass or ceramic. In addition, you can leave the pot on the burner after cooking without having to worry about excess heat burning your food.

Drawbacks of Induction Cooking

Cost. Typically, induction cookware is more expensive than gas or electric ranges, often starting at about $1,500. If you cooked with gas prior to switching to induction, you may need to rewire your kitchen to accommodate the 240 volts required for most induction cooktops.

Special cookware. For your pan to conduct energy, it must be magnetic. Induction can heat food only through pans made of steel or iron. You can test your cookware to see if it is compatible by passing a magnet across the pan. If the magnet sticks to the pan, the pan will work. Not all stainless steel cookware is compatible with induction cooking.

Availability. Induction cooking in the United States is still a relatively new concept. Therefore, induction ranges are not as widely available as their gas and electric counterparts. As the demand for induction cooktops increases, prices should begin to fall.

Waterless Induction Cookware

World’s Finest 7-Ply Steam Control KT17ULTRA Waterless Stainless Steel Cookware Set by Maxam offers inexperienced cooks and novices alike the best of all worlds. The waterless aspect makes it possible to cook healthy, nutritional meals for your family. Secondly, this set also allows you to experience the convenience of induction cooking. The KT17ULTRA set is constructed of 304 surgical stainless steel and carbon steel. Carbon steel is a metal manufactured from the elements iron and carbon. Carbon provides hardness and strength. This heavy-duty set was constructed specifically for induction cooktops and is guaranteed to last a lifetime. Its composition makes it slightly heavier than our other waterless sets. The 7-ply construction (including a layer of carbon steel sandwiched between layers of stainless steel) spreads the heat quickly and evenly. The steam control valve makes “waterless” cooking easy and healthier because it eliminates the need for grease or oil in cooking. This 17 piece set includes several saucepans, and lids, a roaster, skillet, double boiler, and even egg poaching cups.

If you are looking for the perfect set to combine the benefits of waterless and induction cooking, this set is ideal. Consider the purchase of waterless cookware an investment in your family’s health. If you have more questions about waterless cookware, induction cookware or waterless cooking or you are just looking for healthy recipes to prepare for your family, check out our site– The Gourmets Cookware.

Fantastic Hot Lobster Dip

Lobster is an extremely good and healthy food for us to consume. Lobster meat is a low fat high protein food that is both tasty and naturally high in the important omega 3 fatty acids.

This recipe is good way to consume more Lobster is as an extremely popular appetizer. Here is the easy recipe that will be a guaranteed success at your next dinner party.

These are all the ingredients that are needed:

  • 1 lb lobster cooked and shelled. The lobster can either be fresh or canned is Okay
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 4 oz sour cream
  • one bundle of green onions or about 6 stalks that are finely chopped
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese

You mix all the ingredients at once into a Crockpot with the setting on low. The ingredients will be a little hard to stir at first. Let everything warm up for a bit, usually it takes about a half an hour, then stir the ingredients completely together and continue heating on the low setting.

Check after an hour and stir the ingredients again. Keep heating until everything is hot and the cheese is melted. If you are running out of time you can turn up the crockpot to high but make sure that you keep a close eye on it because the mix can burn.

You can serve directly out of the crockpot or spoon the mix into a thick bowl to retain the heat. Serve with crackers, small slices of bread or fresh celery.

This amount will serve 4-5 people. Just make sure to have the recipe written down to give out because people will ask and have to-go containers available for anything that’s left. It’s that popular!

The Different Types of Plastics and Their Uses

ABS : a terpolymer made from three monomers, acrylonitrile, butadiene and styrene. Acrylonitrile and styrene provide chemical resistance, butadiene adds impact resistance and makes the plastic suitable for furniture, computer housings etc.

Acrylic: a hard thermoplastic made from acrylic acid or a derivative of acrylic acid. Best known as a glass substitute, typically under the trade names Perspex, Lucite and Plexiglas.

Amino plastics: Plastics made from ammonia based compounds, namely urea formaldehyde and melamine formaldehyde.

Bakelite : really a trade name but frequently used as a generic name for phenol formaldehyde (phenolic).

Cellophane : A Du Pont trade name for film made from regenerated wood pulp (cellulose).

Cellulose : The fibrous matter in all plant cells, with a long chain molecular structure. The most common sources used for making plastics are cotton fibres and wood pulp

Cellulose acetate: A tough thermplastic made from cellulose in the form of cotton linters, treated with acetic acid and acetic anhydride. Used for many domestic mouldings such as spectacle frames, toothbrush handles, and as transparent packaging film.

Cellulose acetate butyrate: A thermoplastic made from cellulose treated with acetic and butyric acids. Transparent, opaque or coloured, with excellent moulding qualities, used where more moisture resistance and dimensional stability than cellulose acetate is required.

Copolymer: A plastic made by polymerizing two monomers, eg styrene and acrylonitrile .

Elastomer: A synthetic plastic with the flexible properties of rubber.

Epoxy resin: A very tough thermosetting resin used as a coating, or reinforced to make mouldings or laminates.

Ester : A compound produced by the reaction between an acid and an alcohol.

GRP : Glass reinforced polyester, ie polyester resin strengthened by glass fibres, making the resin, which has no strength of its own, into a very tensile material. Widely used to build boats, furniture and cars.

HIPS : High impact polystyrene

LLDPE : Linear low density polyethylene, a new type of low density polythene.

Melalmine : Melamine formaldehyde, a thermoset produced by reacting (triaminotriazine) with formaldehyde. A tough glossy plastic usually strengthened with a filler of wood pulp.

Monomer: A simple low molecular weight compound. Polymerization links monomers together to form high molecular weight polymers.

Nylon: Not one material but a group of very tough and flexible materials called polyamides. Thermoplastic and usually found as fibres or used solid, as gears, zips and more recently as dyed jewellery.

Phenolic: abbreviated version of phenol – formaldehyde. Phenolic is usually reinforced with a filler, but cast phenolic has no filler and can be translucent. It can be easily coloured and is used decoratively for jewellery, radio cabinets and all kinds of ornaments.

Polycarbonate : A very tough thermoplastic, usually found as a substitute for glass, eg: vandal proof telephone kiosks,bullet proof shields, baby bottles and picnicware.

Polyesters : Complex ester compounds which are thermosetting and can be polymerized at room temperature, eg GRP.

Polymer : Another word for a plastic material: one which has been made from chains of molecules of one or more monomers. Polymers (plastics) are organic substances, made from hundreds or thousands of molecules linked together in a repeating chain pattern (also known as macromolecules).

Polymerization : The chemical process of linking monomers to form new compounds called polymers. For example,ethylene is polymerized into polyethylene, (polythene for short).

Polypropylene : A thermoplastic polymerized from propene, very close to polythene in molecular structure, but harder, stronger and less flexible.

Polystyrene : A brittle.water white thermoplastic polymerized from styrene – (phenylethylene). The brittleness is overcome by adding some butadiene, which results in toughened polystyrene also known as high impact polystyrene (HIPS), a copolymer of butadiene and styrene. Expanded polystyrene is the rigid white foam used for packaging.

Lower Back Exercises – Your Keys to Love Handle Reduction and Back Pain Prevention

The lower back is often a concerning injury prone area for many people, and a lot of the problems are due to a weakness of the core, particularly the lower back muscles. In men particularly, fat has a tendency to gather as ‘love handles’ around the lower abdomen, and lower back areas. This is a very good indication that there is not much muscle in that area, since if there was a lot of muscle, fat would be a lot less likely to build up in that area, due to the muscles requirement for calories for energy.

Don’t misunderstand – you cannot just build up your core by itself, and do no other exercises and expect the fat in the midriff to disappear – it won’t, simply because there needs to be a demand for calories from the whole body, so that it then takes that energy from the localized area around the core. Let me illustrate – how many people have you seen with massively muscular limbs that are also very fat? It doesn’t happen – the fact simply collects in places where the demand is lower.

Our sedentary lives do not require us to use our core and lower body generally, and due to this fact, we build up fat in these areas, as well as creating problems such as back aches, pinched nerves, slipped disks and other debilitating injuries that may be avoided with a muscular core from using lower back exercises and core exercises.

In conjunction with an effective lean muscle-building program, using whole body workouts, plenty of compound exercises, a good diet and high intensity, performing lower back exercises and core exercises will really burn away the fat in that area. Strengthening this area of your body will also mean that you will find day-to-day tasks much easier, and you may also feel as though you have a lot more energy, because these muscles do not fatigue quite as easily.

You can focus in this area if it is particularly weak, but once it becomes stronger, you must target it as part of full body workouts, rather than trying to isolate the area. In this way, all the supporting muscles get a chance to become equally as strong, and any functional movement can then become easier.

Before we get into some suggestions for lower back exercises – you should go and see a chiropractor if you have problems in this area, as your spine may also be out of alignment due to the weakness, and you would not want to cause any damage, and seeing such a professional is likely to make you feel much better and lead to long-term solutions. We will assume here that you do not have chronic pain, because if you do, it is better than you see a chiropractor or medical professional to ask advice.

So what sorts of lower back exercises can you do that will strengthen your back and core?

  • Bridge where you lie on your back with your feet on the floor, and push your hips up in the air until your hamstrings and abdomen form a straight line. Hold this position if you can do
  • Plank – Toes and hands in contact with the floor, in a push up position, hold for as long as you can, with your back straight, and your abdominal muscles tight and pulled in. Your back should not sag as you do this. If this is too hard try dropping to your elbows – the exercise should be performed in exactly the same way
  • Side Plant – Lie on your side, with your elbow and forearm on the floor, your feet together, and the side of one foot on the floor. Straighten your body so that it forms a straight line from foot to shoulder, and hold. Perform a few holds, and repeat for the other side of the body, on the opposite elbow and foot
  • Knee to elbow plank – This is a more advanced version of the above. Hold the plank in a push up position, then move your right knee to your left elbow, touch and back to the start position. Swap to the left knee, and right elbow. Do this exercise as fast as you are able, and make sure that your back stays strong – you can slightly stick your butt up for this one, as that will also engage the abdominal muscles a little more
  • Prone Cobras – Laying on your stomach, with your arms above your head, slowly lift your head and bend back, as your simultaneously move your hands back, keeping your arms straight, so that you end up in something like a crucifix position on your front, but with your arms as far back as you are able and your back arched and shoulders up and back
  • Bicycle crunches – make bicycle movements with your legs, as your upper body turns first left, elbow touching right leg, then right elbow touching left leg. This is a great exercise that will increase your strength in your oblique muscles as well as your abdominal muscles too
  • Resistance band rotation – Using a resistance band held on the left on your body, rotate your trunk to the right with your arms straight holding the resistance band handle. Perform sets for both sides of the body
  • Straight legged deadlift – with your legs straight, hold onto a barbell or dumbbells, with the weight at your shins, keeping the weights in contact with the shins, slide upward, keeping the back stretched, and the abdominal muscles tight. This is likely to be uncomfortable if you are arching your back – aim to stick your butt out as this will help you to keep your back straight and avoid the discomfort
  • Deadlifts – This is a generally great exercise to be able to do once you have strength in your lower back. Do not attempt to do this exercise if your feel discomfort in your lower back. It means that you are probably arching your back – instead strengthen your back with the other lower back exercises, particularly the stiff-legged deadlift, until this becomes comfortable, as your back is able to stay straight.

Having a strong lower back through lower back exercises is going to benefit in a large number of ways, including reducing injury, preventing back aches, reducing the risk of spinal injury, as well as giving you more energy and potentially a lower body fat percentage. The additional stability gained in the core is really going to benefit you if you wish to continue training, and build lean muscle, and get six-pack abdominal muscles.

House Plan – It’s Importance to Building a New House

A house plan is a must for building a home before its construction begins. It is helpful for planning home space, estimating the cost of the expenses, allotting the budget, knowing the deadline of the construction and setting the schedule of meeting with the architect, designer or home builder. So if you are planning to build a new house without it, then it’s for sure, the house will have a low quality structure and design and also cost you more money in the long run because of the mistakes that may arise once the construction starts.

When making a house plan, there are many important points to consider. One is the location where the house will be built. It is usually best to buy a land before you start to make a house plan. Knowing the area and the type of terrain you chose to build on is helpful to properly plan the house and maximize the space of the land area. It’s also necessary to consider the lifestyle and the size of the family to see how many number of rooms and bathrooms needed, what kind of style and design of the living room, kitchen and dining room and how much space is needed for each of them. You also need to consider the number of your vehicles for you to plan well how much big your garage should be. It’s best to discuss these details with your family to make sure that your new house will meet your standard of living.

There are lots of ways to obtain a desired house plan for your new house. You can search it through the internet and choose from various websites that feature display homes with their corresponding house design plans. Searching for some examples of house plans can be an efficient, smart and fast way of getting and refining ideas in planning and making your own one.

Certainly, a house plan is necessary in building a house. It helps you visualize how the house should look like when it’s fully finished. Seeing the overall layout and house design will make you sure that the architect has met your exact requirements on its structure, features, designs, styles and all other important details in building your house. It also gives the home builder a good overview on its house design and guides him all the way through the entire project. So it’s imperative to not be rush in making a house plan to ensure that all your requirements are met and to avoid mistakes. Ideally, preparing a house plan should take several weeks and need a lot of discussion with your architect or home builder. Doing this gives you a sense that your hew house is built safe and also assures you its quality and excellence.

Why is VoIP Replacing PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network)? Fiber Optic Communication Tutorial

The History of Traditional PSTN

The traditional PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) has been continuously improving since its inception by Alexander Bell. There are valid reasons why PSTN exists in its current state.

What is Ring-Down

At first, Bell developed a ring-down circuit, which means no dialing of numbers. Instead, a physical wire connected two phone devices. You simply pick up the phone and the other person is on the other end directly and there was no ringing at all.

Basically this structure fell flat when more and more users joined the network. Since based on this concept, you will need a wire between any two person who wants to have a phone call. With more customers joining in, this became a messed up mesh network which was very costly and impossible to construct and manage.

The Inception of Switch

That was the time when the concept of a switch came to play. Each user only needed one cable to connect to the central office switch, the switch can then connect the user to any other users.

Initially, the switch was manually operated by a telephone operator. The operator connected the caller to whoever he wanted to call by manually connecting the voice path.

Later, the manual labor switch was replaced by electronic switches which was much faster and had much more capacity.

Limitations of PSTN

PSTN has actually done a pretty job: switching voice calls, that is, until now. With more data traffic than voice traffic on the network, the traditional PSTN network just is not flexible enough to keep up with the new technologies and customer requirements. Here are some simple explanations.

1. Data traffic has overtaken voice traffic. The current status is: data traffic is actually running on top of networks that were built for voice. However, data traffic has its own characteristics which makes it simply not efficient running on top of a voice network.

The industry trend is to build networks with a data-centric approach. Then all traffics including data, voice and video can all run on this network.

2. PSTN is not capable of keeping up with customers’ new demands. PSTN was designed as a one-company show. Only vendors of the PSTN equipment can develop applications for that equipment. With modern ever changing demands, it is simply impossible for any one company to meet all the needs of all the customers. A more open infrastructure which allows many vendors to provide applications is required.

3. Current PSTN cannot support Data, Video and Voice altogether. In the backbone of PSTN, the convergence of data, voice and video is has been happening for fairly long time. However, it still takes some time to make it to all the homes. With high speed broadband access, such as DSL, cable or wireless, the convergence of data, video and voice to the home is finally happening.

4. PSTN was simply not designed for carrying data traffic. Because the bearer channels, call control and service logic are tightly bound in one closed platform, it is not possible to make minor changes that might improve audio quality.

Sinus Infection Symptoms – How to Identify and Classify Them

Acute Sinus Infection Symptoms (Sudden Onset)

Sinus infection Symptoms vary somewhat, depending on the type of sinus and whether the infections are acute or chronic.

The most common type of sinus develops in the largest sinus cavities in the skull, and those are situated in the cheekbones. Typical symptoms are as follows:

Maxillary Sinusitis (in the cheekbones)

  • Red or swollen cheeks that feel tender when touched.
  • Painful upper jaw and aching teeth.
  • Pressure headache focused across one or both cheeks and below the eyes.
  • Prolific nasal discharge with occasional plugs of thick yellow or green mucous.
  • Post-nasal drip (down the back of the throat), sometimes accompanied by a sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Low-grade fever is fairly common.
  • Pain and pressure is worse when upright or bending forward and better when lying down.

Frontal Sinusitis (in the forehead)

  • Severe pressure sinus headache in the brow area on one or both sides.
  • Thick yellow or green tinged nasal discharge.
  • Post-nasal drip, occasional sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pain eases when upright and intensifies when lying down.
  • Low-grade fever is common.

Sphenoid Sinusitis (behind the eyes)

  • A cap of dull, deep pain that seems to encircle the head, starting at the back and continuing round to just behind the eyes. Pain in the top of the skull.
  • Double vision, tunnel vision, bright flashes, eyesight goes in and out of focus and other disturbances may be experienced. These indicate that sinus pressure extends to the membranes lining the brain (a rare and dangerous condition).
  • Thick nasal discharge with plugs of yellow or green mucous.
  • Post-nasal drip, occasional sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pain intensifies when lying on the back or bending forward.
  • Low-grade fever is common.

Ethmoid Sinusitis (between the eyes, just above the bridge of the nose)

  • Pressurized pain in the corners of the eyes close to the tear ducts, or down one or both sides of the nose.
  • Pressure headache in one or both temples.
  • Sinus congestion with occasional prolific nasal discharge containing yellow or green plugs of mucous.
  • Post-nasal drip, sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pressurized pain intensifies when coughing, sneezing or lying on the back, and eases when standing or sitting with the head upright.
  • Loss of smell can occur.
  • Low-grade fever is common.

Please Note: Acute sinusitis is considered to be an infectious disease.

Do not Underestimate the Dangers of Sinusitis

On rare occasions infection could spread to the meninges surrounding the brain and sometimes right into the facial bones themselves. The infection can also cause an abscess to develop in the eye socket, facial bone or brain.

Sinus infection symptoms related to the eye socket can start with swollen or droopy eyelids, fixed dilated pupils, inability to move the eyes and vision problems. These complications are associated with ethmoid sinusitis.

A person experiencing any of the above would become totally incapacitated and dangerously ill.

Immediate hospitalization and specialized care would be essential; these conditions could lead to permanent blindness, coma and even death.

Chronic Sinusitis Symptoms (Long-lasting and Recurrent)

The cause of repetitive sinus attacks is largely unknown. However, careful observation has shown that the condition often occurs in people suffering from asthma.

If this turns out to be a major cause of chronic episodes, then one must assume that the reason for many attacks could logically be traced back to either allergic reaction or to fungicidal causes. This argument is supported by the fact that most asthma sufferers have allergies.

Maxillary Sinusitis

  • Dull pressurized pain below the eye.
  • Pain increases with allergic reactions, colds or ‘flu.
  • Dull, aching toothache in the upper jaw, (known as “sinus toothache”).
  • Discomfort builds up during the day and culminates in nighttime coughing.

Frontal Sinusitis

  • Persistent low-grade sinus pressure headache in the brow area.
    This is a sign of abnormal anatomic variations inside the nose, such as a deviated septum that restricts the nasal passages.

Ethmoid Sinusitis

  • Congestion.
  • Chronic nasal discharge.
  • Persistent background pain across the bridge of the nose.
  • Pain on bridge of nose intensifies when wearing eyeglasses.
  • Post-nasal drip.
  • Chronic sore throat.
  • Bad breath.
  • Pain worse in the late morning.

Sphenoid Sinusitis

    Continuous low-grade headache in most patients.

Unlike the acute variety, chronic sinusitis is not considered to be infectious.

Native American Astrology – The Snake Totem

The Snake

If you were born between October 24th and November 21st, you were born under the sign of the snake. This article will describe what is likely to be your personality and character traits and offer ways in which the snake totem can help you as a spirit companion.

Spiritual Growth

In Native American spirituality, the snake represents the opportunity for transformation and healing. It brings rebirth and resurrection, and offers wisdom and initiation into a new life. As we release that which no longer serves us, it dies in our lives, making way for something new to be created, to be born in us.

Look for what needs to heal in your life and then call on snake to help you heal it and weather the transition that ensues. Transitions are likely to come quickly and resolve quickly.

Snake can help awaken your creativity, stimulate deeper perception, greater insight and more accurate intuition. It can help you see into the hearts of others and know them more truly than you were able to before. Trust the insights that come to you about others. They may seem strange but are usually right.

Snake Totem Character Traits

“The feelings of people born under the sign of the snake can be intense, but these people are also cautious. They avoid revealing their weaknesses to others. On the surface, they are bold and confident people, but this facade masks insecurity and a need to protect their feelings. Those born under the snake sign have the ability to sum up others at a glance and see right through charlatans almost before they have spoken.” -Deborah Durbin, Simply Native American Astrology

They are able to do the same thing in new situations, knowing almost immediately, on an intuitive level, whether the situation is a good one or a bad one. They may have an interest in the occult, but want proof before they believe any particular claim.

They make great strategists, so if they are headed somewhere in life, you can bet they have a detailed plan for getting there.

Trusting the people they love, and even coworkers and friends, is an important need for them. They will do whatever is needed for someone they trust, but once a situation proves that they cannot trust someone, that trust is gone for good!

Because they are determines, passionate and intense, snake people work hard and play hard. They can take on a huge workload and will be there before anyone else arrives, getting it done. But they also love to have parties and to travel, playing as intensely as they work. They are good at organizing and reliable problem solvers.

Using their intuitive ability, they often see a problem coming down the road long before it actually manifests, and usually, they are right.

Though they are kind and generous with the people they love, they also argue intensely and sometimes do not realize what impact they are having on other people. Others may leave or reject that overbearing, insistent manner and then they wonder what happened, what they did wrong that led to losing the relationship.


People born under this sign are great in positions of leadership and authority, and in jobs or careers where they can feel like they are doing something of value and can help people sort out their problems. This offers a variety of possibilities, including police work, medical professions, sports trainers and others.

How to Build a Gaming-Racing Wheel Yourself to Play Your Favorite Computer Games

Hello friend. Ever wished you could drive the cars the way we do it in the real world? Here I will give you a brief guide for building a steering wheel which has got not just a steering brake and gas pedal, but a Clutch, and yeah a gear box too. It wont cost you more than $10, if you have the most essential tools readily available like saw, screw driver and the like.

It’s not only damn cheap, its very much like the same gaming / racing wheel that you purchase for 100+ dollars. The only major difference is that our gaming / racing wheel has got no force feedback mechanism. Its no big deal unless you are a very serious gamer and has got enough money to spend on a Logitech G25 or the like. Here go the highlights and features that the gaming / racing wheel you build will have

· Steering wheel with around two full rotations (720 deg) in both directions as in a real car

· Separate Gas, Brake and Clutch pedals

· A gear box with sequential shifting

Constructing the Steering wheel:

Fetch a plastic / PVC pipe of 2cm diameter (approx) and length 80cm (approx). Light up a candle and heat the pipe from one end to the other end. While heating, slightly bend the tube in increments so that when the whole length gets heated and bent, it takes the shape of a gaming / racing wheel, with open ends. Now heat one of the open ends of the pipe and push it on the other end, so that the ends overlaps and the pipe closes into a wheel. Let it cool. Now wash the pipe and dry it with a towel. Apply super-glue to the joined ends to strengthen the bond.

Take a plywood piece of length 20cm and width 5cm and place it at the center of the wheel. Use M-seal or any similar hard mass forming adhesive (used in plumbing) to fix the plywood to the ends of the gaming / racing wheel.

Constructing the Steering Base:

Now that the gaming / racing wheel has been made, lets build the steerings base. Take a card board box of approx 30cm x 20cm. Make sure that the box is firm enough. Now take two metal pipes (aluminium preferably). The larger pipe should have around 3cm diameter and the smaller one having 1cm diameter. The larger metal pipe should have a length not less than 20cm and the smaller pipe should have a length not less than 30cm.

Make a hole at the center of the box and pass the larger pipe through it so that only 1/3rd of it remains outside. Place the pipe slanting slightly upwards. Fix the pipe on to the box using the hard adhesive (Mseal). When the adhesives cures, you can pass the smaller metal pipe through the larger one attached to the box. Attach the smaller pipes outside end to the wheel’s plywood base. Now you should be able to rotate the wheel freely on its base. If the rotation is not smooth, you can put more adhesive and file it up near the contact points where the larger pipe meets the smaller one.

Building the steering wheels Internal Assembly:

For constructing the steering wheels internal assembly we need a few more components. We need a 10K potentiometer and a pair of gear wheels. The 10K POT you can purchase from any electronic spare parts shop. The gear wheels you can either purchase or get from some old toys. The gear wheels should be such that one is at least four times larger than the other, but at the same time their teeth should couple well.

The large metal pipe extends to about half of the boxes inside. Cut plywood pieces and fix them on to the box using adhesives to support the metal pipe very firmly. The plywood has to be extended to the other end so as to support the potentiometer. The smaller gear wheel has to be mounted at the end of the small metal pipe (passing through the large metal pipe). A thin but strong metal rod can be made hot and pierced through the gear wheels other end so as to act as a pivot. This pivot rod should extend out through the other side of the box. The potentiometer needs to be mounted on the plywood using metal braces. The larger gear wheel has to be glued to the handle of the potentiometer.

Solder a pair of wires to the POTs terminals (center terminal and either of the other). Once the smaller gear wheel is fixed, we can align the larger one so that the teeth are coupled properly. First rotate the larger gear in both directions and find the approximate center position of the potentiometer. Keep the potentiometer at that position. Now adjust the plywood pieces used as support so that the teeth of both the gear wheels are aligned for a proper coupling. They should be tightly coupled. Using sponges below the base plywood support, can give adequately pressured coupling between the teeth.

In order to give the steering a spring force to keep it centered, attach a pair of rubber bands to the pivot that protrudes out of the other side of the card board box.

Building the Pedals:

All the three pedals of the gaming / racing wheel are identical. A 50cm x 30cm plywood piece will be needed to make the pedals base. Three 10cm x 10cm plywood pieces are required for making the pedals. Also three 10K potentiometers, small hinges and three 10cm long thin rectangular wooden bars are needed.

Place the pedals using a hinge to a base plywood piece. Attach one potentionmeter to the hinge of the three pedals, so that when the hinge rotates, the potentiometer also gets rotated. Attach a rubber ball below the pedal so that it provides a spring action. Solder wires to the potentiometer.

Building the Gear box of the gaming / racing wheel:

For building the gear box, you would need a sufficiently large and stable card-board box. (Go for a plywood box if you can afford it). Make sure that the box has sufficient height so that the gear knob will be at a comfortable position when you start racing. Also get a handle like thing (old joystick handle) to act as the gear knob. You need to make a small rectangular slit on the cardboard box for the gears metal stick to slide up and down in it. Attach two metal plates at the top and bottom ends of the slit so that when the gears metal stick touches it when you shift up or down, they act as switches.

Use a thin metal pipe as the gear stick of the gaming / racing wheel and attach the gear knob on top of it. Provide a hole in the gear box for taking in the wires, if your joystick handle has buttons on it.

Provide sufficient support to the gears shaft at the bottom and arrange rubber bands or spring mechanisms to keep it centered.

Steering Wheel Interconnection:

The steering wheel that we build is basically a joystick and hence it connects to the game port of your computer. The gameport has a 15 pin D connector and is located at the back side of your system (mostly near the audio jacks). The pin diagram of the gameport you can find in my websites detailed step by step tutorial to build the wheel. (My website address you can see the the references section or in the authors details)

You need to buy a male gameport connector (DB15 male) to plug into the female connector present at the back of your cpu. The joystick (gameport) interface is a very simple – to – implement interface which houses a few switches and axes. All you need to do is connect your potentiometers to the axes X1, Y1, X2, Y2 and switches to S1, S2, S3 and S4. See the table given to the left. The variation in potentiometers when you turn the wheel or press gas pedal will be measured by the game port and can be used to control your game. You can assign the axes of the gaming / racing wheel and configure them using the windows control panel.

Switches S1, S2, S3 and S4 can be used for connecting to gear up, gear down, horn and hand brake switches respectively. When you shift the gear shaft up, the metal comes in contact and switch gets closed. Similar is the case with the other switches. +5 is nothing but the 5V dc that is available from the game port and G stands for ground.

Configuring the Steering wheel:

The first step is to assemble the three units of the gaming / racing wheel together. Mount the steering unit on to your PC table. Keep the pedal on the floor and the gear box to your side. Connect together the units to the gear box using connectors (relim connector or the like). Connect the 15 wire cable with the male DB15 connector attached, to the gameport at the back of your computer. Once the position is set well, we can proceed to configure the steering wheel in Windows.

Open Control Panel in Windows and open the Game Controllers. This brings up the Game Controllers dialog box. Please note that the steps being mentioned vary in different versions of windows. Hence illustrative diagrams are not given.

In the Game Controllers dialog box, click on Add. This brings up the Add Game controller dialog box. Click on Custom. In the dialog box that appears, choose Race Car controller. Choose the Axes as 4 and Buttons as 4. Enter a name of your choice in the Controller Name field and click OK. Now the new controller should be displayed in the previous dialog box. With the new controller selected, click OK.

If the device works fine, the game controller dialog box will display OK beside the controller’s name. If anything went wrong, a ‘Not connected’ status will be displayed for the device. If that is the case, read the section in the yellow box below. If the gaming / racing wheel is working well, click on Properties button, with the device selected. This brings up the Testing and calibration dialog boxes. If the wheel is not centered in the test area, go to Calibrate and follow the instructions to complete calibration.

Parrot Cages – Metal Toxicity in Parrots

Bellow listed common and not so common metals and their alloys that can be found in cage materials (wires, frame), hardware (screws, padlocks, hinges), parrot toys and common stuff around your house. Some of them if ingested may have adverse affect on your parrot’s health.

All birds are very sensitive to toxins because of fast metabolism, delicate skin and respiratory system, small size, and digestive system with gizzard (pH 2.0, and 42C) that allows some non-food items sit there for prolong time releasing toxins or causing obstruction, impaction, bleeding and death. Natural curiosity and cleverness that pushes parrots to reach for, to chew and taste any usual and unusual objects and strength of its’ beaks put parrots even at greater risk of being exposed to toxins not only when ingested, but through skin contact or when inhaled. Toxins (like heavy metals) get usually deposited in brain, bones, feathers and some in muscle tissue; and may damage many different organs causing non-specific signs of illness.

Paint used on your bird’s cage is the main concern. Powder coating is much stronger than regularly applied paint that easily flakes and can be ingested and let the cage rust.

In short – ingesting any paint or any kind of metal is never a good thing – doesn’t matter how safe it is, especially there are no standards for safe levels of toxic metals established for birds.

Lead and Zinc – highly poisonous for parrots. Exposure to paint or alloys in cage wires containing metals, as Lead and Zinc is the most dangerous to parrots since they naturally not only chew on everything but also use their beaks to climb. If your cage material or hardware contains these metals it more likely will cause heavy metal poisoning in your parrot. Also your family could be exposed to lead in a dust from your parrot’s activity around the cage. The most common signs of poisoning in birds besides subdued behavior and shutting down – with lead poisoning – seizures and falls from the perch, with Zinc – falls from the perch. If you have any suspicion – contact your bird avian vet immediately. The bigger the parrot the bigger the danger – the large birds can easily scratch, shave or detach by chewing up some pieces of softer metals or paint.

Beside paint Lead may be used in paint primers, in soldering metal – soldered joints in cage (distinguished from welded joints), foil on wine bottles, champagne wire, fishing weights, curtain weights, rifle bullets and pellets, stained glass, in PVC and caulk.

Industry standards for Lead refer for the safe standards established by federal government that currently allow less then 600 ppm (parts per million parts or 0.06 % by weight) of Lead in household paint.

Check with manufacturers regarding Zinc, as there are no federal regulations for its content in paint.

Zinc is essential trace element, playing important role in enzymatic activity, but if ingested in uncontrolled amounts from non-food items may lead to high accumulation and toxicity. Zinc is not only used in paint but also may be used in plating – galvanization of cage wires, hardware and some metal parts of bird’s toys (galvanization is term used only for zinc coatings to protect cage metal or hardware from oxidation and make it look better). This is extremely toxic for parrots as described above.

Not to mention Zinc galvanized wire or mesh in outdoor aviaries. Don’t treat outdoor aviaries with vinegar to guard your parrot against zinc poisoning – what it actually does it will etch upper very accessible oxidized zinc layer (dull whitish coat – zinc rust) and zinc coating underneath oxidized layer to some point – not necessarily remove all of it but thin it enough to make underlying metal prone to oxidation and rusting which is also not good. This procedure may be sufficient to protect small birds from zinc poisoning but it seems as the best bet to avoid zinc around parrots altogether. Other zinc and its’ compounds applications: UV protection in plastics, Sun protective creams and lotions, fire retardants, wood preservatives and agricultural fungicides.

Copper is an essential trace element required for hemoglobin formation and is a component of several enzyme systems. Copper is soft metal usually used for plating (not only US Mint cent coins – copper 2.5% plated zinc 97.5%, but also hardware and decorative elements on your cage), kitchen utensils, copper wire, welding. Copper can be potentially poisonous to birds – usually oxidized copper causes troubles – storing acidic food in copper containers or slightly acidic water from copper piping may contribute to elevated levels of this metal in your bird’s diet and it’s easy to avoid. Copper is a popular algaecide and fungicide (used in commercial and residential pools as well as to spray vegetables and grains to prevent fungus and algae growth).

Brass is alloy of copper and zinc and usually used in padlocks – it’s probably OK for small birds that are unlikely to chew the padlock, but should be avoided around parrots. You can find few documented cases of metal toxicity in parrots that chew brass padlocks.

Nickel could be potentially toxic to your bird. Even though there are little documented evidence could be found clarifying nickel toxicity for pet-birds and parrots in particular, few articles clearly show that nickel is moderately toxic to wild birds as well as poultry (especially in young actively growing birds – in experiments growth of chicks to 4 weeks of age was significantly depressed at 700 ppm nickel and above). Nickel is commonly known as human allergen (causing dermatitis upon skin contact) and its insoluble salts and soluble aerosols are highly toxic to everything live. Nickel commonly used for plating as it prevents metal corrosion (on iron and copper usually). So even if you decided that it’s OK to have nickel-plated stuff around your parrot check it frequently, as it may chip and expose underlying metal to oxidation.

Tin is soft metal considered by many experts as not toxic for birds unless it’s “galvanized tin” (which is misused term for galvanized sheet metal (galvanized steel) or some small galvanized iron containers) – if in doubt – consult manufacturer. According to Wikipedia metal tin itself is non-toxic but most tin salts are, as well as some organic tin compounds – TBT (tributyltin) for example. TBT is very toxic – thin layer of this polymer may serve as a protective coating on non-food glass and ceramics. Tin resists corrosion from distilled, sea and soft tap water, but can be attacked by strong acids, alkalis and acid salts. Tin is present in various alloys, such as soldering tin & bronze, pewter, bell metal, Babbitt metal and dental amalgams. Organotin compounds are used as fungicides, insecticides and bactericides and they are well known for animal and human toxicity. Additionally, these are applied as PVC and PCB heat stabilizers.

Steel /a.k.a. Wrought Iron is hard metal nontoxic (mostly because it’s hard and very difficult for parrot to detach and ingest piece of it) to birds, but rust – is, so be careful as cage coating wears off and corrosion starts – consider powder coated cages versus pained. Powder coating is much stronger and structured surface of this coating provides better grip for birds.

Stainless Steel (SS)- is very hard material, that will not shave or scrape easily, will not rust under normal indoor conditions. It doesn’t require any coating, plating or paint, very easy to take care for – you can power wash (just remove your beloved bird!:) and wipe the cage dry – basically nothing to worry about. Couple comments on Stainless Steel:

Some stainless steels may stain and rust if left in humid acidic environment for prolong time or if bird’s droppings accumulate in some places that also keep moisture;

You can find many references saying that SS is not magnetic – this is not exactly correct. Stainless steel is any alloy that contains 10.5% or more of chromium and iron in excess of 50% and other components. Its magnetic property depends on what other components of this alloy are – nickel, magnesium, carbon, nitrogen, molybdenum…Any steel alloy with nickel is not magnetic (nickel strengthen stainless characteristic of iron and chromium alloy). Medical grade SS usually uses nickel and chromium so it’s not magnetic. Alloys only with chromium (no nickel) are magnetic. Different combinations of components define magnetic power of alloy.

Some parrot’s owners say that bright super glossy SS cages (shiny almost mirror-like looking surfaces) made their parrots very exited (even agitated) – it may make sense to look for SS cages that have less lustrous finish – polished surface with subdued mat tone – electro-polishing usually does just that.

Aluminum is a soft metal and by many considered as safe for birds. However few studies indicated that some birds’ species in aluminum-laden habitats with high Aluminum diet have elevated aluminum level in bones and laid deformed eggs with soft shells leading to reduced hatchability. Other studies bring concerns with bone grows and body weight gain in growing chicks with elevated aluminum in the diet. So it’s probably more safe not to let your parrot put his beak on aluminum stuff around your house and to avoid it in bird’s toys (just as mere precaution – you never know what reaction your particular bird will have)

Most of parrot aluminum toxicity cases that were documented connected to heated aluminum foil – which is mostly attributed to fumes from its non-stick polymer additives.

Selenium, mercury, cadmium, arsenic, thallium and cobalt are potentially toxic to birds. Poisoning causes by these elements have been well documented in wild birds due to environmental exposure and infrequently diagnosed in pet birds but it seems prudent to know main sources of household exposure to these elements.

Selenium is another required dietary element that can be toxic if ingested in high amounts. Selenium used in electronic industry, glass and rubber production, photographic processing, pesticides and shampoos – avoid your parrot contact with these chemicals. Interpretation of selenium toxicity is complicated by its interaction with other metals, particularly with mercury and arsenic that may reduce selenium toxicity.

Mercury is nonessential very toxic heavy metal. It affects the immune system, alters genetic and enzyme systems, and damages the nervous system, including coordination and the senses of touch, taste, and sight. Since most of the household hazards associated with mercury were recognized and eliminated while ago – until you are feeding your parrot fish and mercury containing thermometers it’s highly unlikely that your bird will have exposure to the most toxic mercury form – Methyl-mercury or elemental mercury.

Cadmium – is found in some batteries, pigments, used in electroplating, soldering, alloy manufacturing and plastic production. Cadmium and its compounds are extremely toxic even in low concentration. If ingested, bird will accumulate it in liver and kidney causing kidney damage, reduced egg production and altered behavior.

Cadmium is long known as carcinogen. Besides possible cadmium exposure through food (most of the plants have high level of absorption and accumulation of environmental cadmium – one more reason to feed your parrot organic food), burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil and smoking are other dangerous sources of cadmium exposure – since lungs absorb cadmium much more effective then guts. Do not smoke around your parrot and never let it to reach for you cigarette butts, don’t burn coal or use oil lamps. Keep your artist paints (if it applies to you) out of reach of your parrot. Cadmium Yellow, Orange & Red pigments used in artistic colors, in coloring plastics and some specialty paints, in color glass and ceramic glazes (Tiffany lamps, red stoplights) also contain cadmium.

Arsenic has been used to control agricultural pests, to pressure treat wood for outdoor use (until 2003) and in chemotherapeutics. If ingested different organic and inorganic arsenic compounds accumulate in kidney and liver and may cause anemia, nervous disorders and immune system suppression. Hopefully your parrot exposure to this hazard is very limited.

Thallium sulfate (salt of heavy metal Thallium) used as rodenticide (to control rats) and household insecticide (ants and cockroaches) – is highly toxic to mammals, birds and insects used only by professional exterminators – very unlikely your parrot will be exposed to any of this unless you store and use this chemicals in your house.

Cobalt and its salts are used in nuclear medicine, enamels and semiconductors, grinding wheels, painting on glass and porcelain, hygrometers and electroplating, in vitamin B12 manufacture, as a drier for lacquers, varnishes, and paints, and as a catalyst for organic chemical reactions.

According to Wikipedia although cobalt is an essential element for life in minute amounts, at higher levels of exposure it shows mutagenic and carcinogenic effects similar to nickel. After nickel and hexavalent chromium (VI), cobalt is a major cause of contact dermatitis in people.

Play it safe – check all metals in your bird cage and on your birds toys regularly for chipping, peeling, rust & oxidation.