How to Make a Flute – The All Important Mathematical Formula

Ever wondered how to make a flute? I’m not talking about something cut from a drinking straw with scissors, or put together using a cardboard paper towel tube… I mean make a flute that’s a genuine quality, professionally tuned musical instrument. Whether you use wood, PVC (flutes made from this material sound like blowing through glass – an excellent sound), or copper pipe (also sounds just as excellent) in flute making, there are a few mathematical things to keep in mind, but they all pretty much revolve around, and stem from, the one all-important mathematical formula involved in how to make flute type woodwind instruments, or even those of other types. Do you know what this mathematical formula is? Well, I’ll tell you…

If you want to know how to make a flute, you first need to know two numbers. The first one is the measurement of the speed of sound in inches (or centimeters, etc.) per second. In inches, that would be 13526.5, and in centimeters, that would be 34357.31 – this is how far in linear distance sound travels per second, at sea level, at about 70 degrees Fahrenheit, or at about 21 degrees Celsius. The second number to know in flute making is how many Hertz (frequency of vibration) that a particular given note resonates at. For a brief and simple example, let’s say we use the note “A”. The frequency of “A”, in Hertz, is 440. Now we take the speed of sound in inches (or centimeters) per second and divide that number by the note’s frequency, in this case 440, and we will then have the measured length of the wavelength of the note “A”. This would end up to be 30.74 inches, or 70.08 centimeters long.

The next step in how to make a flute is simple. With an open ended flute, the body of the flute would actually need to be one half-wavelength long to play the fundamental note (the lowest note possible to play, with all finger holes closed) properly, in this case “A”. Due to other variable factors in flute making such as bore diameter, wall thickness and etc., the flute will actually need to be a tiny bit shorter – depending upon the thickness of the flute wall factoring in as well, this is generally about 1/3 of the bore diameter. Shorten the length little by little until the correct note is achieved. How to make flute embouchures, or the blowing edge hole, is to make it half of the flute’s bore diameter wide, measuring the center point of the hole to be a bore diameter’s distance from the inner face of the closed end.

A very convenient part about knowing how to make a flute is in the fact that the above mathematical formula is also how you would find the positions for the finger holes’ center points, according to the notes they are to play. How to make flute finger holes is to start small, slowly making them bigger as you “creep” them up the length of the flute towards the closed end until the right note is achieved. Finding the correct hole placements along the length of the flute’s body is important, but anywhere around the body at that point along the length is fine for hole placements… this allows for the reach of different sized fingers and hands.

Wine Cellar Lighting Information And Management Tips

Aside from humidity, vibration and temperature, lighting is one of the factors that will determine the quality of your cellar condition. The wine’s ability to produce sweet and delicious tasting wine depends on your management techniques of these factors.

The Importance of Proper Wine Cellar Lighting

The selection of wine cellar lighting must be done with utmost care because improper lighting can have an adverse effect on the room temperature and consequently on the wine’s quality and aging process. A good light is necessary in order to stack and organize the wines properly, select the bottles you need, read labels and find your way through the wine storage. If you have a commercial wine cellar, your light fixtures will allow you to showcase your wine collection to your prospective customers. It may not be as indispensable as wine cooling system because wines can thrive well even in dark caves but a proper lighting system can have an impact on the wines visual appeal and the marketability of your product.

Because wines are sensitive to sunlight, most lights used in wine storage have UV ray protective coating to prevent wine spoilage or premature aging. Of all lights, the recessed can light is the most popular because it acts as the main light illuminating all the four corners of your wine storage area. It comes in different sizes, shapes and styles and has the ability to minimize glare and control room brightness.

Another lighting that is easier to install as compared to recessed can lights is the track lighting or spotlight. It is intended for accent lighting in vertical display wine racks and comes in varying lamp styles with movable track heads shining in the direction you like. It can also be mounted on walls, ceilings or cables.

LED (light emission diode) lighting is used by many wine collectors because it is energy saving, durable and has low heat emission and no harmful UV rays. It is a bit expensive though as compared to other lighting materials, but considering the longevity of the product’s life span and its low energy usage, a cellar owner can have more savings by using LED lights.

To be functional and effective, cellar lighting should emit as little heat as possible. This you can do by using incandescent bulbs or other products which has UV protective coating and so they produce less UV lights over fluorescent lights.

Exposure to UV rays, otherwise known as “light shock” can stimulate your wine’s stable organic compounds thus damaging your wine. A few hours of light is fine and this will not likely cause damage to your wine but prolonged light usage tends to exude more heat which could affect your wine’s cooling system. To control the environment, all you need to do is turn off the lights. But then how would you know how much light is enough?

Tips For Managing Your Wine Cellar Lighting

You may use a light timer or switch timer to help regulate light. This is a great wine cellar accessory for controlling your light and is a good safety device. It helps when you accidentally leave on the lights in the wine room.

Use of adjustable lighting or a dim light switch to lower the heat emission of lights thus maintaining the temperature requirement of your cellar. Most of the recessed can lights have this feature.

Provide a switch outside the wine room so that even if you leave the lights on, you won’t have to enter the cellar door once again. With just a push of a button, you can just put off the lights even when you are outside of the room. A light indicator can also be used to remind people in your house or business that there is an unattended light inside the cellar. The added monitoring features that you will install to your wine room can immensely help to achieve proper lighting in your wine area.

Lighting is an integral part of your cellar’s beauty and functionality. The overall mood and décor of your wine room will be enhanced by a good wine cellar lighting design and installation. Your lighting will provide the illumination you need as you store and organize your wine collection and will make the products viewable to your guests.

And so, whether you have a residential or commercial wine cellar or if you’re planning to have one, with proper light and other wine cellaring management techniques, your wine room will not only have an ideal ambiance but it will certainly produce quality wine.

Swag Lamps – What Are They?

The word “Swag” in this lighting context simply means to hang from the ceiling. This definition can be used to incorporate many different lighting fixtures that hang from the ceiling including chandeliers, pendants and others. However, the traditional and most accepted definition is more specific. It strictly points to a fabric lamp shade that has been electrified with one or more electrical sockets/bulbs and hangs from the ceiling usually by a metal chain.

Really good ideas just refuse to go away! Swags were very popular from the 1950’s through the 1980’s. They can be seen on many TV shows and movies from that period. They have remained very popular in many hotels, motels and resorts because they are space saving and economical. Today we are experiencing a huge resurgence in their popularity. They are among the most efficient and economical method of lighting up any area. They are also one of the best reading lights available and can be positioned ideally to put the light right where you want it while saving valuable floor space. They can be direct wired (permanently wired into the ceiling) or they can be portable with a plug in cord just like a table lamp. Swag lamps are being widely used in residential as well as many commercial applications. Large shades are used for large areas and more compact shades for small areas. Swag lamps lend themselves to using a wide variety of light bulb styles especially the very efficient compact fluorescent bulbs. They are truly beautiful with the light beaming through the elegant fabric.

Many features are available such as 1) Pull chain on/off switch 2) In line on/off switch 3) Custom color chain 4) Custom color cord 5) Custom chain and cord length 6) Single or multiple light bulb configuration 7) Chain hung 8) Cord hung 9) Rod hung 10) Diffuser

The shade fabric styles and colors available are nearly endless because practically any lamp shade can be easily made into a portable or direct wire swag lamp.

In summary, swag lamps are very much back in style. They work great near the end of a sofa, behind or beside a chair, over a dining or game table, in a corner, beside or over a bed, over a night stand, over or beside a desk, etc. Use a swag lamp most any place where you want light and you wish to preserve your floor space.

– Jim Hoyle

Why a Boom Barrier Or Security Road Block Is Essential for Your Organization, Office and Industry

Boom Barriers and Road Security Blocks are two major accessories that we think in such a way that they are not mandatory things for our enterprise or organization till you meet a sudden accident or any environmental damage due to natural calamities or the absence of accident prevention security technique. Hiring a security personal instead of an Automatic Security Gate costs you a big amount of Money per month. At the same time, if you once invest for an Automatic Security Gate or a Boom Barrier instead of a security personal, it will benefit to you for years and years.

A human security personal can cause mistakes due to tiredness, ill health, carelessness and more. But an Access Control Security Automatic Gate never causes any mistakes or disorders relating with human disabilities. An Access Control Automatic Gate make you feel safer when letting your children out to play with in your home premises. A Boom Barrier Automatic Gate feels you much safer, while you are realizing that there are no unexpected cars or vehicles are coming up on your office or company territory or the driveway.

Most of the Boom Barriers are made out of aluminum, steel or wood. The more affordable Automatic Security Gates are made with Aluminum. Hardwood and Steel Access Control Automatic Boom Barriers are prettier compared to Aluminum, but are expensive. They are creating an amazing appearance in front of your Factory or Organization. The other wonder from the Boom Barriers is the Sliding Gate. It is not necessary to be the surface that you are fitting this Automatic Sliding Gate to be flat. The idea that the Automatic Sliding Gates can be used in an un-level Area or Ground can help you to reduce the cost to pay for the area to be leveled out. The opening speed of the Sliding Automatic Security Gate is twice as fast as a lift.

Adding an Automatic Security Gate can save your money with Insurance Companies for getting you a discount for the added protection. Studies reveal that an Automatic Access Control Security Gate can add five percent value to your home in the Real Estate Business to speed up the sale of the home. If you are implementing an efficient Automatic Security Gate System at your Organization or Factory, you are certainly preventing costly accidents and environmental damages at your premises. Boom Barriers are of different types such as Crash Resistant Boom Barrier, Security Barriers, Spike Road Blocks, Pedestrian Security Automatic Gates, Automatic Flap Barriers with Card Access System etc.

Human Resource Information System – HRIS

Human Resource Information Systems

The purpose of this paper is to identify other companies who have faced similar human resources issues in regards to information technology. Through benchmarking different companies we can learn how other companies have handled certain human resources issues related to information technology, information systems, new technology, and data security. An overall analysis has been completed using research on IBM Europe, Ameriprise Financial, Terasen Pipelines, Shaw’s Supermarkets, CS Stars LLC, IBM, WORKSource Inc., and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. This paper also includes eight synopses of companies facing similar issue to those in the reading.

New Technology

With the changing world and constant new technology that is available, managers need to be aware of the technology that will increase effectiveness in their company. Human resource information systems (HRIS) have increasingly transformed since it was first introduced at General Electric in the 1950s. HRIS has gone from a basic process to convert manual information keeping systems into computerized systems, to the HRIS systems that are used today. Human resource professionals began to see the possibility of new applications for the computer. The idea was to integrate many of the different human resource functions. The result was the third generation of the computerized HRIS, a feature-rich, broad-based, self-contained HRIS. The third generation took systems far beyond being mere data repositories and created tools with which human resource professionals could do much more (Byars, 2004).

Many companies have seen a need to transform the way Human Resource operations are performed in order to keep up with new technology and increasing numbers of employees. Terasen Pipelines moved its headquarters from Vancouver to Calgary to be closer to the oil and realized a major growth in employees. In the past recording keeping was done on paper and with spreadsheets. Mangers at Terasen realized that there was a need to change to a more computerized system and looked into different HRIS vendors. By making the move to a HRIS system, Terasen is able to keep more accurate records as well as better prepare for future growth. Another company that saw the benefits of keeping up with new technology is WORKSource Inc. To meet the challenge of handling 100 new employees, WORKSource Inc. acquired Web-based technology programs from GHG Corp. like electronic pay stub, electronic timesheet software, time-off system, and human resource information system (“Tips,” 2006). By adapting these new programs, WORKSource was able to reduce waste and cost.

The Internet is an increasingly popular way to recruit applicants, research technologies and perform other essential functions in business. Delivering human resource services online (eHR) supports more efficient collection, storage, distribution, and exchange of data (Friesen, 2003). An intranet is a type of network used by companies to share information to people within the organization. An intranet connects people to people and people to information and knowledge within the organization; it serves as an “information hub” for the entire organization. Most organizations set up intranets primarily for employees, but they can extend to business partners and even customers with appropriate security clearance (Byars & Rue, 2004).

Applications of HRIS

The efficiency of HRIS, the systems are able to produce more effective and faster outcomes than can be done on paper. Some of the many applications of HRIS are: Clerical applications, applicant search expenditures, risk management, training management, training experiences, financial planning, turnover analysis, succession planning, flexible-benefits administration, compliance with government regulations, attendance reporting and analysis, human resource planning, accident reporting and prevention and strategic planning. With the many different applications of HRIS, it is difficult to understand how the programs benefit companies without looking at companies that have already benefited from such programs.

One such company is IBM. IBM has a paperless online enrollment plan for all of its employees. Not only has the online enrollment saved the company 1.2 million per year on printing and mailing costs, the employees enjoy working with the online plan. “Since we began offering online enrollment, we’ve learned that employees want web access,” Donnelly [Senior Communications Specialist] says, so they can log on at home rather than through the company intranet. So the company has been working to put in place a web-based enrollment system that employees and retirees can access from anywhere (Huering, 2003). By utilizing the flexible-benefits application HRIS has to offer, IBM was able to cut costs and give employees the freedom to discover their benefits on their own time and pace.

Another company that has taken advantage of HRIS applications is Shaw’s Supermarkets. In order for Shaw’s to better manage its workforce, the company decided it was time to centralize the HR operations. After looking at different options, Shaw’s decided to implement an Employee Self Service (ESS) system. The use of self-service applications creates a positive situation for HR. ESS gives HR more time to focus on strategic issues, such as workforce management, succession planning, and compensation management, while at the same time improving service to employees and managers, and ensuring that their data is accurate. With this solution, employees have online access to forms, training material, benefits information and other payroll related information (Koven, 2002). By giving employees access to their personal information and the ability to update or change their information as needed, HR was given more time to focus on other issues. Understanding the different applications HRIS has to offer will give companies the chance to increase employee efficiency and reduce costs.

Measuring the Effectiveness of HRIS

The evaluation should determine whether or not the HRIS has performed up to its expectations and if the HRIS is being used to its full advantage (Byars & Rue, 2004). One of the most significant challenges faced by public personnel executives today is measuring the performance of their human resources information system (HRIS) In order to justify the value-added contribution of the HRIS to accomplishing the organization’s mission (Hagood & Friedman, 2002). Implementing an HRIS program may seem a necessary stem for a company, but unless it will be an effective tool for HR operations, it will not help increase efficiency and may hinder it instead.

One company that implemented a HRIS system is Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. (TAMS). TAMS put all employee benefits information online and created an open enrollment option when TAMS changed healthcare providers. Almost immediately upon rolling out the UltiPro portal [new HRIS technology] to employees, TAMS began seeing improvements, with an estimated 70% increase in open enrollment efficiency (Wojcik, 2004). By determining the efficiency of the new program, TAMS was able to realize the benefits of the new HRIS system.

Security of HRIS

The privacy of employee information has become a major issue in recent years. With identity theft becoming a common problem, employees are becoming more sensitive about who sees their personal information, and the security it is kept in. By making sure employee information that is kept in the HRIS is relevant to the company and making sure there is limited access (password protection) to such information, companies can make its employees more secure with the safety of their information. Whether electronic or paper, employee files deserve to be treated with great care. Establishing security and end-user privileges calls for a balance of incorporating, HR policy, system knowledge and day-to-day operations (O’Connell, 1994).

One company that faced a major security issue was CS Stars, LLC. CS Stars lost track of one of its computers that contained personal information that included names, addresses and social security numbers of workers compensation benefits. The bigger problem was that CS Stars failed to notify the affected consumers and employees about the missing computer. Though the computer was retrieved and no information seemed to have been harmed, many employees lost their sense of security with the company. New York’s Information Security Breach and Notification Law, effective in December 2005, requires businesses that maintain computerized data which includes private information to notify the owner of the information of any breach of the security of the system immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization (Cadrain, 2007).

Another company that experienced a breach in security is Ameriprise Financial. In late 2005, a computer that contained personal information on clients and employees was stolen. Because many of the employees at Ameriprise take their computers between work and home, the company determined there was a need to put more security into those computers. Ameriprise made sure all employees had the new security suite installed on their computers. By responding quickly to the need for more security, Ameriprise made sure all information is being kept secure. Making sure employees information is kept as secure as possible there will be more trust in the company and the HR employees working with that information.

Conclusion

IBM, Terasen Pipeline, CS Stars LCC, and Toshiba America Medical Systems, Inc. are good examples of companies facing issues similar to human resources information technology and human resources information systems. All of these companies know the importance of new technology, human resources information systems, and data security. The remainder of this paper provides synopses of more companies facing human resources issues, how the company responded to the issues, and the outcomes of the company’s responses.

Companies Benchmarked

IBM Europe

The Situation:

IBM is a global organization offering research, software, hardware, IT consulting, business and management consulting, ring and financing. It employs around 340,000 people, speaking 165 languages across 75 countries, and serving clients in 174 countries. In January 2007, IBM established a separate “new media” function within its corporate communication department. IBM main goal is to educate, support, and promote programs that utilize social media. IBM Europe decided to expand internal communication by blogging guidelines. The recognition was that blogging was already happening among IBMers, just in an unregulated way. In a similar way, institutionalizing a function to deal specifically with new media is not a corporate move, or establishing from scratch. It’s a response to the issues already emerging in the company. Now that those technologies are here, people are using them, they’re growing and there here to stay-we’re just going to put some structure around them so that we can try to optimize their use.” The users decide what technologies they want to use and how they want to use them. That main idea is that IBM understands that they must remember to respect the fact that social media are social. IBM had the need to connect its 340,000 global employees more effectively.

The Response:

IBM’s intent around social media has now been officially formalized. From January 22 2007, the company established a separate “new media” function within its corporate communication department. “Its remit: To act as expert consultants inside and outside IBM on issues relating to blogs, wikis, RSS and other social media applications. The main idea is to educate, support and promote programs that utilize these tools. IBM has a history of being a t the forefront of technology based corporate communication. From the multimedia brainstorming “WorldJam” that made news headlines back in 2001 in which 50,000 employees worldwide joined a real time, online idea-sharing session about the company’s direction. IMB has always prepared itself to use breakthrough technologies to establish a two-way dialogue with its employees. The need for social media was necessary and could no longer wait.

The Outcome:

In the last few years IBM has been recognized as being the vanguard of social-media use: IBM was on of the first Fortune 500 companies to get behind collaborative wikis, published internal blogging guidelines as far back as 2003, and is now moving fast beyond RSS and podcasts into videocasting and “virtual world” technologies like Second Life. The intranet search facility extends to all areas of the site, including new media aspects. When an employee logs onto their portal an executes a key word search, the results they get back not only come from the main intranet pages, but include results from IBM forums, wikis, blogs and podcast/videocasts tags. IMB has an understanding that employees are no longer staying in a company their entire lives. It’s just not like that any more. In Belgium for example over 50 percent of 2,300 employees have been there fewer than five years. The company has come to the conclusion that with an increasingly young and mobile workforce, the likelihood is that an employee population full of a younger generation, for whom these tools are part and parcel of life, is not that far away. In years to come IBM will have to deal with employee base for which blogging is just the natural way to interact over a web platform. IBM has created centralized platforms for most tools that fall under its remit, which includes wikis. For Philippe Borremans, new media lead Europe for IBM, has the potential business applications of a wiki cover two broad benefits: Collaborating and knowledge sharing. IBM has scored some notable successes on both fronts in the near 5000 wiki pages now up and running in the organization. The company has been a huge pick-up in interest in podcasting over the last 18 months writing can seem such a technical skill, whereas people feel they can talk more freely than they can write. One of the most consistently popular IBM podcasts, with over 20,000 downloads a week.

Ameriprise Financial

The Situation:

The Department of Justice survey estimates that 3.6 million U.S. households were victims of identity theft in 2004. Trafficking in personal date goes beyond U.S. borders: the New York Times reports that stolen financial information is often distributed among participants of online trading boards, and the buyers are frequently located in Russia, Ukraine, and the Middle East. One reason clients are concerned about data security is the widespread publicity generated by breaches at financial services firm. In late December 2205, an Ameriprise Financial employee’s laptop that contained unencrypted data on approximately 230,000 customers and advisors was stolen from a car. Other financial services firm, including Citigroup and Bank of America, also acknowledge large-scale customer data losses in 2005. President of NCS, Rita Dew, a compliance consulting firm in Delray Beach, Florida, says that the Securities and Exchange Commission requires investment advisors to have policies and procedures that address the administrative, technical, and physical safeguards related to client records and information.

The Response:

Ameriprise Financial had to fight back and had to implement “layers of protection.” It is important for employees who their primary business computer, and employees regularly transport the computer between home, office, and meeting sites. The vulnerability of this arrangement and the need for a safety software program is much needed.

The Outcome:

Employees who are transporting lab tops should install the Steganos Security Suite on their computer. This software allows employees to create an encrypted virtual drive on the laptop that serves as data storage safe. Employees stores all client related data and tax preparation software database on the encrypted drive, which employees has set up with one gigabyte of storage space. The best thing is that when an employee turns off the computer the information is stored “safe”, the software automatically encrypts the virtual drive’s data. The software also generates encrypted backup files, which employees store on CDs in a fireproof safe. This should keep the data secure if any employee’s laptop is stolen or if the drive is removed from the laptop. Other financial advisors are relying on encryption both in and out of the office. Other programs that are being used to protect client’s information are RAID Level 1 system to store data on the drives that are encrypted with WinMagic’s SecureDocs software. Encryption ensures that anyone who steals the computer will be absolutely unable to read the data, even by connecting it to another computer as a “slave drive. This has given many financial advisors the greatest peace of mind.

Terasen Pipelines

The Situation:

Terasen Pipelines is a subsidiary of Terasen Inc. located in Vancouver, Canada and is located in several provinces and U.S. states. In 2001 the company changed its headquarters to Calgary to be closer to the oil. With the big move, the company went through a growth spurt. With the company in many different locations and the growing numbers of employees, the HR department saw a need to find a new system to keep more accurate records.

The Response:

In the past Terasen had kept records on paper and with spreadsheets and with the growth of the company, this system does not work as well as in the past. In order to compensate for future growth, Terasen began to look into HRIS companies to help with the HR operations. After researching different companies, Hewitt’s application service provider model with eCyborg was found to be the right fit.

The Outcome:

Although there was difficulty adapting to a new way of recordkeeping, Terasen was able to find a system that will help support the current and future growth of the company. Fortunately, some of the HR staff had experience working with an HRIS and were able to help their colleagues imagine new processes, as aided by a system. One theme often voiced throughout this process was: “You guys don’t know how hard we’re working when we can make it so much easier with a system that could do a lot of this for us. You don’t always have to run to the cabinet for the employee file just to get basic information. It can all be at your fingertips.” (Vu, 2005). In order to help Terasen ease the HR burden of implementing a new HR system, the management of Terasen was convinced to look for a vendor to help implement and maintain a HRIS system. This system has helped Terasen better prepare for current and future growth.

Shaw’s Supermarkets

The Situation:

Shaw’s Supermarkets is the second largest supermarket chain in New England. With a workforce of 30,000 located at 180 stores throughout six states, Shaw’s HR staff is responsible for managing employees’ personal data. Their employee mix includes approximately 70 percent part-time employees, consisting of students, senior citizens, second-job part-timers, and career part-timers. One third of the workforce is made up of union associates, and Shaw’s staff oversees the company’s involvement with three unions and six separate contracts (Koven, 2002). In order to help manage the workforce, the HR staff became interested in centralizing its HR operations.

The Response:

In order to centralize HR operations Shaw’s decided to implement an ESS (employee self-service) solution. The use of self-service applications creates a positive situation for HR. ESS gives HR more time to focus on strategic issues, such as workforce management, succession planning, and compensation management, while at the same time improving service to employees and managers, and ensuring that their data is accurate. With this solution, employees have online access to forms, training material, benefits information and other payroll related information.

The Outcome:

Shaw’s has had positive feedback since implementing the ESS solution. “The reaction from our employees has been extremely positive,” Penney, VP of Compensation and Benefits, says. “We even had a significant increase in our medical coverage costs, and it was almost a non-issue because the online enrollment featured the plan choices, the employee cost, and the company subsidy. An employee self-service application makes it very easy for them to understand their contributions and coverage options. I received several e-mails from employees saying this was a great change and how easy ESS was, which the case is not often when employees are selecting their benefit options.” (Koven, 2002). By giving the employees more access to their information they are able to see the benefit choices available to them. Employees are also able to update their information online, which helps reduce the paperwork of the past. Shaw’s has also seen improvement in productivity because employees are updating information at home, not during work hours.

CS Stars, LLC

The Situation:

New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has announced that New York State has reached its first settlement with a company charged with failing to notify consumers and others that their personal data had gone missing. Cuomo’s office, which enforces the state’s 2005 Information Security Breach and Notification Law, charged CS STARS LLC, a Chicago-based claims management company, with failing to give notice that it had lost track of a computer containing data on 540,000 New Yorkers’ workers’ comp claims.

The Response:

The owner of the lost data, which had been in the custody of CS STARS, was the New York Special Funds Conservation Committee, an organization that assists in providing workers’ comp benefits under the state’s workers’ comp law. On May 9, 2006, a CS STARS employee noticed that a computer was missing that held personal information, including the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of recipients of workers’ compensation benefits. But CS Stars waited until June 29, 2006, to notify Special Funds and the FBI of the security breach. Because the FBI declared that notice to consumers might impede its investigation, CS STARS waited until July 8, 2006, to send notices to the 540,000 New Yorkers affected by the breach. On July 25, 2006, the FBI determined an employee, of a cleaning contractor, had stolen the computer, and the missing computer was located and recovered. In addition, the FBI found that the data on the missing computer had not been improperly accessed.

The Outcome:

New York’s Information Security Breach and Notification Law, effective in December 2005, requires businesses that maintain computerized data which includes private information to notify the owner of the information of any breach of the security of the system immediately following discovery, if the private information was, or is reasonably believed to have been, acquired by a person without valid authorization. The law affects not only businesses in their dealings with their customers, but employers in their role as custodians of employees’ personal data. (Cadrain)

Without admitting to any violation of law, CS STARS agreed to comply with the law and ensure that proper notifications will be made in the event of any future breach. The company also agreed to implement more extensive practices relating to the security of private information. CS STARS will pay the Attorney General’s office $60,000 for costs related to this investigation. (Cadrain)

IBM

The Situation:

IBM’s paperless online enrollment system, introduced in 1999, has proved to be a winner for both the company’s 135,000 active U.S. employees and the company, according to Cathleen Donnelly, senior communications specialist at company headquarters in Armonk, N.Y. The company saves $1.2 million per year on printing and mailing costs alone, Donnelly says, and the employees’ can take advantage of a variety of technologies to learn about issues, research program information and access decision support tools from their desktop computers. (Heuring, 2002)

The Response:

One of those tools, a personal medical cost estimator, enables employees to calculate potential out-of-pocket health care expenses under each of the plan options available to them, Donnelly says. Employees log in personally and are greeted by name and with important information regarding their benefits enrollment, such as the deadlines and when changes take effect. They automatically get access to health plans that are available to them, and the calculator lets them compare estimated benefit amounts for each plan.

“Employees can select the health care services they expect to use in a particular year, estimate expected frequency of use, and calculate potential costs under each plan option,” Donnelly says. “The feedback that we’ve received from employees tells us that this tool has really helped them to make a comparison between plans based on how they consume medical services.” The calculator shows both IBM’s costs and the employee’s. (Heuring, 2002)

The Outcome:

“Since we began offering online enrollment, we’ve learned that employees want web access,” Donnelly says, so they can log on at home rather than through the company intranet. So the company has been working to put in place a web-based enrollment system that employees and retirees can access from anywhere.

Employees can get summary information on the plans, drill down into very specific details and follow links to the health care providers for research. Donnelly says the system has received high marks for convenience because employees can “get in and out quickly.”

WORKSource Inc.

The Situation:

To meet the challenge of handling 100 new employees, WORKSource Inc. acquired Web-based technology programs from GHG Corp. like electronic paystub, electronic timesheet software, time-off system, and human resource information system (“Tips,” 2006). These tools enabled CEO Judith Hahn to handling payroll procedures efficiently and effectively.

The Response:

WORKSource has eight workforce centers, with approximately 108 employees, located throughout a six-county region. Previously, payroll, benefits, and human resources for those employees were processed and managed by a Professional Employer Organization. The company also has 52 administrative staff in its headquarters office. When the contract with the PEO terminated on June 30, 2006, those 108 employees were immediately moved to the payroll of WORKSource, which meant Hahn’s workload more than doubled effective July 2006 (“Tips,” 2006).

Hahn, in an interview with PMR, said she relied on LEAN to help get a handle on what needed to change for her to manage the increased workload. Two years earlier, Hahn’s CEO had introduced her to LEAN, a Japanese management concept of eliminating wasteful steps and motion when completing processes. “I began to read as much as possible about LEAN and joined an HR LEAN focus group” (“Tips,” 2006).

The Outcome:

Mastering the concepts of LEAN led Hahn to develop and apply her own acronym of “REASON” to her department’s payroll and HR processes. Review the process: map payroll tasks from start to finish. Eliminate waste: determine how to complete a payroll task most efficiently without unnecessary steps. Analyze alternatives: research and evaluate the applicability of new technology. Sell innovations to management: document the return on investment of each innovation. Open the lines of communication: communicate openly—and often—with all stakeholders, including employees and top management. Never allow negativity: make change simple and fun. Give employees plenty of encouragement and time to learn (“Tips,” 2006). Judith Hahn was able to implement the right human resource functions using information systems.

Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc.

The Situation:

Lynda Morvik, director of benefits and human resources information systems at Tustin, California-based Toshiba America Medical Systems Inc. (TAMS), thought it would make sense to add a benefits communication component to it. By having all the benefit information online, the TAMS employee handbook would also be a living document, enabling Morvik to make changes when necessary. Such was the case halfway through the project, when TAMS changed health care plans from Aetna Inc. to United Health Group Inc (Wojcik, 2004).

The Response:

TAMS, an independent group company of Toshiba Corporation and a global leading provider of diagnostic medical imaging systems and comprehensive medical solutions, such as CT, X-ray, ultrasound, nuclear medicine, MRI, and information systems, had been using a payroll service bureau and an in-house solution for HR that didn’t include easy-to-use consolidated reporting or an employee portal. After evaluating UltiPro alongside several enterprise resource vendors, TAMS selected Ultimate Software’s offering and went live in September 2002 after an on-time and on-budget implementation. Almost immediately upon rolling out the UltiPro portal to employees, TAMS began seeing improvements, with an estimated 70% increase in open enrollment efficiency (Wojcik, 2004).

The Outcome:

In an effort to expand the usage of the Web beyond the benefits enrollment process, TAMS has posted a library of documents and forms on its HR portal, including the benefits handbook, which garnered a 2004 Apex Award for publication excellence. That same year, Business Insurance magazine also gave TAMS the Electronic Benefit Communication (EBC) award for outstanding achievement in communicating employee benefits programs over the Web. To continue elevating its use of Ultimate Software’s HRMS/payroll solution, TAMS modified the UltiPro portal to meet the imaging company’s unique needs (Wojcik, 2004). It was completely integrated with several proprietary applications created to address compensation and performance management issues so that TAMS employees have a central location for comprehensive workforce and payroll information from a Web browser that they can access with a single sign-on (Wojcik, 2004).

References

Byars, Lloyd L. & Rue, Leslie W. (2004). Human Resource Management, 7e. The McGraw-Hill Companies.

Cadrain, Diane (2007). New York: Company Settles Data Breach Charges. Retrieved June 3, 2007 from [http://www.shrm.org/law/states/CMS_021505.asp#P-8_0]

Clarifying IBM’s Strategic mission for social media (2007). Strategic Communication

Management. Retrieved June 1, 2007 from

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?index=17&did=1263791161&SrchMode=1&sid=2&Fmt=4&clientld=2606&RQT=309&VName=PQD.

Friesen, G. Bruce (2003). Is your client ready for eHR? Consulting to Management, 14(3), 27. Retrieved June 3, 2007 from ProQuest Database.

Hagood, Wesley O. & Friedman, Lee ( 2002). Using the balanced scorecard to measure the performance of your HR information system. Public Personnel Management, 31(4), 543-58. Retrieved June 3, 2007 from ProQuest Database.

Heuring, Linda (2003). IBM: Laying Outing Enrollment Options. Retrieved June 2, 2007 from [http://www.shrm.org/hrmagazine/articles/0803/0803heuring_paperless.asp]

Koven, Jeff (2002). Streamlining benefit process with employee self-service applications: A case study. Compensation & Benefits Management, 18(3), 18-23. Retrieved June 2, 2007 from ProQuest Database.

O’Connell, Sandra (1994). Security for HR records – human resources. HR Magazine. Retrieved June 3, 2007 from [http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m349] 5/is_n9_v39/ai_16309018

Protecting Client Data (2006). Financial Planning. Retrieved June 1, 2007 from

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1066464321&Fmt=4&clientld=2606&RQT=309

&VName=PQD.

Tips on Using Technology to Streamline Payroll Processes – and Cut Costs (2006). Payroll Managers Report, 6(10), 1-9. Retrieved June 2, 2007 from EBSCOhost Database.

Vu, Uyen (2005). Contracting out HRIS easy call at Terasen Pipelines. Canadian HR Reporter, 18(4), 5-9. Retrieved June 2, 2007 from ProQuest Database.

Wojcik, J. (2004). Toshiba Employee Handbook Goes Online. Business Insurance, 38(49), 18.

Retrieved June 2, 2007 from EBSCOhost Database.

Ways to Decorate a 3-Ring Binder

3-ring binders are some of the most useful – and most neglected – organization tools in existence. Of course, if you scrapbook, collect photos or recipes, or engage in other creative pursuits around the house, then you probably already know how useful a good 3-ring binder can be.

For some, the most fun part of these types of projects is the decorating, and the creativity this allows. In that vein, if you are making a new recipe book, photo album or other 3-ring binder project, here are some fun ideas for ways to decorate your binder.

3-Ring Binders with Presentation Windows

If your 3-ring binder has a clear plastic presentation window on the front, it opens up the possibility of including loose items in your creative binder cover, but this approach also restricts you if you’d prefer more texture. Of course, you always have the spine of your 3-ring binder to work with when it comes to texture.

If you have a presentation window, though, your cover can include sequins, glitter, leaves, feathers… the opportunities to customize your 3-ring binder are endless. As for the spine of your binder, you can spell out your title with plastic gemstones or glitter and glue, use textured paints, glue on beads or decorate the spine in whichever way most suits your project and your creative impulses.

Covering your Entire 3-ring Binder

If you are looking to cover your entire binder for a cohesive look, paper and fabric are probably your two primary options, but you can also get a bit more creative. Either can work quite well, and open up a world of choices for the overall look of your project.

For paper 3-ring binder covers:your primary concern should be the weight and strength of the paper you use. Use something too thin and your cover is likely to rip. Go with something too thick and you’ll have a hard time getting good, attractive folds.

Since you also need paper that comes in much larger sheets than standard, consider using a paper that’s not really paper at all: contact paper or wallpaper.

Both of these choices are designed to be sturdy enough to withstand the use and abuse your binder may take, and both are easy to apply. With contact paper, the self-adhesive will likely work well, while wallpaper will respond well to tape or glue and folding.

In either situation, fold your covering material as you would a book cover for a schoolbook. If you never did this in school, you should be able to find instructions online quite easily.

For fabric 3-ring binder covers:look for a fabric with very little stretch. Upholstery fits the bill here, and is also quite sturdy. Flannel also works well, and certain weights of denim make excellent covers. Fleece, on the other hand, should be a secondary choice, as it is easily stretched and will be difficult to seat appropriately.

To affix the fabric to your binder, you can use a few different methods. For a stiff upholstery fabric you may be able to follow the school book cover pattern as you would with wallpaper, replacing the glue or tape with stitches. For softer fabrics like flannel, combine stitching with a small amount of fabric glue at the inner corners and along the spine.

Be Creative with Your 3-Ring Bonder Cover

More important than how you choose to decorate your binder is the purpose behind the project: fun and creativity. If you keep those things in mind, your 3-ring binder project is sure to be a success.

What to Look for When Shopping for Laminate Flooring

The first thing that you should look for when buying laminate floors is if the product offers a warranty. The longer the warranty that a product offers the more durable you can assume the product is. Generally you should be able to find laminate floor warranties that last between 10 and 15 years.

The second thing that you should look at when buying laminate floors is the thickness of the laminate floor product. The thicker the plank the sturdier it will be. You should be able to find the thickness measurement of the plank on its label or in the product description. Laminate flooring planks typically come in 6mm, 7mm and 8mm thicknesses. The price of the laminate floor plank will be related to its thickness. The thicker the plank the more it will generally cost.

The next thing that you should look for when buying laminate floors is that it has a good AC wear rating. The AC wear rating is a rating given to laminate flooring that illustrates how durable the product is and what applications the product is appropriate for. An AC1 rating means that the product is fine for moderate traffic in a residential setting. An AC2 rating is a good rating for a product that will be used in the living room. An AC3 rating means that the product will be able to handle just about any residential traffic. AC3 rated products are also great for small offices and moderately business commercial settings. AC4 rated products are great for cafes, retail boutiques and other moderate to busy commercial locations. Finally an AC5 rating is appropriate for heavy traffic commercial settings.

Core density is the next thing that you will want to take into consideration when you are buying laminate flooring. You will want to look for a high density core. This high density core helps to reduce noise and it also acts as a shock absorber.

The final thing that you may want to look for when shopping for laminate flooring is that it is hand scraped. A hand scraped plank means that each plank is scraped out by hand. This makes each plank unique. This is a great option if you want a really unique floor.

Polaris Ranger and RZR Fuel Pump Problems – Is Your Polaris Ranger Running Poorly?

We really like the ride of the Polaris UTVs. Unfortunately, we have noticed that Polaris built the RZR, RZR-S, and Ranger XP with an unreliable fuel pump. In fact, the fuel pump is one of the main problems we see at our service and performance shop. The symptoms you typically experience when your pump is failing are poor upper RPM performance, a loss of top speed and poor acceleration. This definitely makes your Polaris much less fun to drive, but even more importantly, a fuel pump problem can cause your engine devastating damage by not supplying enough fuel. When your engine doesn’t receive the required fuel it will run lean.

This creates heat which can cause detonation in the combustion chamber. The worst case scenario (and we have seen this many times) is that the intense heat will actually melt a hole in your piston. Here is what happens. After some usage the pump will wear and then drop from the factory PSI setting of 39 psi, to the low 30s. When your upper revs are sluggish you just aren’t getting any fuel. To test this install a fuel pressure gauge at your tank outlet. You can buy these at NAPA or PEP Boys. It is necessary that you rev your engine when testing because many times the pressure will be good at idle but not at the upper RPMs.

To replace your pump with the OEM fuel pump you will need to spend upwards of $600. The high price is because it is only available with the complete fuel tank assembly. Fortunately you can purchase a replacement fuel pump which will work on most Polaris S X S vehicles. Replacement pumps come with color instructions and include everything you will need for installation. Generally they can be installed in about 30 minutes with simple hand tools. The pump plugs right in with no wiring needed.

If you are experiencing poor performance with your Polaris Ranger or RZR this may be your problem. Check out your fuel PSI and if needed get a replacement fuel pump. You bought your Polaris to have some great times. Now you can get back on your UTV and enjoy its top performance once again. As a sidenote this same problematic fuel pump is used in many of the fuel injected Polaris quads. If you own a Polaris ATV and you are having similar symptoms simply follow the same procedure for testing the PSI. Replacement pumps are also available for the Polaris Sportsman.

Benchmarking for Lean Six Sigma Businesses or Processes for Projects

Benchmarking Overview:

In 1912, Henry Ford of The Ford Motor Company watched men cut meat during a tour of a Chicago slaughter house. The carcasses were hanging on hooks mounted on a monorail. After each man performed his job he would push the carcass to the next station. Less than six months later, the worlds first assembly line started producing Magnetos in the Ford Highland Park Plant. In other words the idea that revolutionized modern manufacturing and automotive history was imported from another industry.

  • Benchmarking is simple as a concept but much more involved as a process. The ultimate payoff is that you can become the best of what you do, and continuously improve upon that superiority.
  • Benchmarking is a means of identifying best practices and using this knowledge to continuously improve our products, services, and systems so that we increase our capability to provide total customer satisfaction.
  • Today our performance is not of the same world-class standard as a benchmark business. The delta is the competitive gap
  • Benchmarking and improving our business as a result means a surge in business performance and a Competitive Advantage.

Key Point: Do Not Just Copy, Adopt and Adapt and then Advance

Define Performance Objectives:

What does it mean to Define Performance Objectives?

A performance objective is a statement of your projects output performance level that will satisfy the project Critical-To-Quality CTQ(s). It is the projected reduction in defects you plan to achieve for your process or product. Typically, this is stated in terms of defects per million opportunities (DPMO) reduction and a corresponding target Z-value. In the Lean Six Sigma Measure Phase, you determined the current process performance. In the Analyze Phase you will state what the end results of the Lean Six Sigma project will be by statistically defining the goal of the project. In addition, an estimate of financial benefits is due in Analyze.

Why is it important to Define Performance Objectives?

It is important to identify your improvement goals in measurable terms in order to define the level of improvement you wish to achieve and provide a focused target toward which you can direct your efforts.

If I benchmark, performance standards are based upon:

  • Closing the gap with the competition
  • Exceeded projected competitive performance
  • Similar performance in dissimilar businesses
  • Gathering best practices from multiple sources to become best in class
  • Becoming as good or better than a substitute product/service

If I do not benchmark, performance objectives are based upon:

  • For a process with a 3 Sigma Quality level or less, decrease percent of defects by 10x and for greater than 3 Sigma Quality level, decrease % defects by 2x
  • If your process is in statistical control (Run Chart or Control Chart), the next improved performance objective comes from a capability investment as in facilities, equipment, digitization, etc.
  • Corporate mandate
  • Compliance/legal
  • Voice of the Customer (VOC) data

Key for best results:

  • Be creative and think out of the box
  • Consider all organizations, not just corporations
  • Review all sectors such as Private, Public and NonProfit
  • Study domestic and International organizations

Benchmarking is the process of continually searching for the best methods, practices and processes, and either adopting or adapting their good features and implementing them to become the best of the best.

Key Point: Benchmarking is a continuous process of measuring products, services, and practices against the toughest competitors and/or those companies renowned as the leaders

Example: In the 1980s the Remington Rifle Company, a division of giant DuPont Corporation, had a technical issue it was struggling with. Market Research showed that customers wanted the shells of the bullets to be shiny. Plant Managers pay little or no attention to this CTQ, after all Remington had been making quality guns for a very long time. Nearby the plant in Arkansas was a Maybelline cosmetics plant that produced shiny lipstick cartridges about the same size and shape of the rifle shells. Remington realised that the company may have useful information to impart and made a site visit. And thus the problem was solved.

Benchmarking is:

  • A continuous process
  • A process of investigation that provides valuable information
  • A process of learning from others; a pragmatic search for ideas
  • A time-consuming, labor-intensive process requiring discipline
  • A viable tool that provides useful information for improving virtually any business process

Benchmarking is not:

  • A one-time event
  • A process of investigation that provides simple answers
  • Copying, imitating
  • Quick and easy
  • A buzzword, a fad

How is Benchmarking Used?

  • Compare performance of an existing process against other companies best-in-class practices.
  • Determine how those companies achieve their performance levels.
  • Improve internal performance levels.
  • A performance objective is determined by using Zbench, short-term, benchmarking, or defect reduction goals.
  • Benchmarking is a process of identify best practices, measuring our own practices against those best practices, and adapting the appropriate best practices to our own processes.
  • Revenue & cost implications are also due for benefit analysis.

Process Benchmarking:

Example: A billing and invoicing process. Citibank is has several clients. They have a robust process for billing and invoicing, adopting their process is called process benchmarking

Piloting: Implementing the solutions/ improvement plans on a small scale to find if there are any adverse impacts

Cost benefit analysis: when there are investments required in implementing a solution, the return on investment is calculated to judge the benefits got and in what duration

Key Point: Benchmarking is a process used to identify, establish, and achieve standards of excellence, standards based on the realities of the market place. It is a process to be used to manage on a continuous basis.

Identify the Process to Benchmark

How to

  • Select process and define defect and opportunities
  • Measure current process capability and establish goal
  • Understand detailed process that needs improvement

Select Organization to Benchmark

  • Outline industries/functions which perform your process
  • Formulate list of world class performers
  • Contact the organization and network through to key contact

Prepare for the Visit

  • Research the organization and ground yourself in their processes
  • Develop a detailed questionnaire to obtain desired information
  • Set up logistics and send preliminary documents to organization

Visit the Organization

  • Feel comfortable with and confident about your homework
  • Foster the right atmosphere to maximize results
  • Conclude in thanking organization and ensure follow-up if necessary

Debrief & Develop an Action Plan

  • Review team observations and compile report of visit
  • Compile list of best practices and match to improvement needs
  • Structure action items, identify owners and move into Improve phase

Retain and Communicate

  • Report out to business management and Lean Six Sigma leaders
  • Post findings and/or visit report on local server/6s bulletin board
  • Enter information on your business Intranet benchmarking project database

Key Point: Benchmarking draws upon the integration of competitive information, practices, and performance into the decision-making and communication function at all levels of the business.

A good starting point is asking customers, suppliers, and distributors whom they rate as doing the best job. In addition major consulting firms have built voluminous files of best-practices.

Directories, Annual Reports, Brochures, and Press Releases are good sources of historical information, but they are often not good enough if a company hopes to compete against a recently introduces product or service.

  1. Watch the small companies in your industry and related industries. True innovation often comes from small, inconspicuous companies.
  2. Follow pattern applications. Not all applications need to lead to products or services. Still, pattern filings indicate a companies direction. Pattern application information can be found in various online and CD Rom databases.
  3. Track the job changes and other activities of industry experts. Seek the answers to such questions as: Whom have the competitors hired? Have the new hires written papers or made presentations at conferences? What is the value of their expertise to the competitor? If the company gains this expertise, will it affect your firms competitive position?
  4. Be aware of licensing agreements. These provide useful information about where, how, and when a company can sell a new product or service.
  5. Monitor the formation of business contracts and alliances.
  6. Find out about new business practices that are saving your competitors money. What does it mean if a competing insurance company has bought thousands of laptops and portable printers? Very likely, that its claims adjusters soon will be writing estimates and generating checks on the spot, saving time and overhead.
  7. Follow changes in pricing. For instance, when luxury items become cheap enough for the mass market, they supplant some of the more expensive equipment, as when camcorders supplanted home movie cameras in the late 1980s.
  8. Be aware of social changes and changes in consumer tastes and preferences that could alter the business environment. Consumers are fickle. During the past 15 years, jogging has given way to aerobics, and now walking is the preferred leisure activity. By anticipating changing fads, some shoe companies were able to introduce new types of athletic shoes.

Key Point: By exposing organizations and people to new ideas and approaches, the benchmarking experience often spurs extraordinary insights and Breakthrough thinking.

Ethical Conduct:

Because discussions between benchmarking partners can involve competitively sensitive data, conceivably rising questions, about possible restraint of trade or improper business conduct, the Strategic Planning Institutes Council on Benchmarking and the International Benchmarking Clearinghouse urge all individuals and organizations involved in benchmarking to abide by a code of conduct grounded in ethical business behavior.

The code is based on the following principles and guidelines:

  • In benchmarking with competitors, establish specific ground rules up front, such as We don’t want to talk about those things that will give either of a competitive advantage; rather, we want to see where we either can mutually improve or gain benefit. Do not discuss costs with competitors if costs are an element of pricing.
  • Do not ask competitors for sensitive data or cause the benchmarking partner to feel that sensitive data must be provided to keep the process going. Be prepared to provide the same level of information that you request. Do not share proprietary information without prior approval from the proper authorities of both parties.
  • Use an ethical third party to assemble and blind competitive data, with inputs from legal counsel, for direct competitor comparisons.
  • Consult with legal counsel if any information gathering procedure is in doubt (e.g., before contacting a direct competitor).
  • Treat any information obtained from a benchmarking partner as internal, privileged information. Any external use must have the partners permission.

Key Point: The tough part of benchmarking is not whether or how to do it but rather gaining access to the information about other companies practices and costs

Look at a similar process in the industry. How are they doing? Can we do the same?

P90X and Back Pain: Causes and Solutions

P90X, or Power 90 Extreme, is an intense, 13-week exercise program gaining popularity among those seeking to get fit fast. Many people experience great results with this exercise program, but it is important to be cautious when starting any new physical activity. The strength and flexibility demands of P90X can result in back pain for those who do not already have a high level of fitness when they begin the program.

P90X comes with 12 DVDs that focus on strength training, cardio and stretching. The program can be individualized by selecting the rotation of DVDs that supports your workout goals.

Internet forums are full of people asking for advice on avoiding back pain during P90X. The following exercises are identified by many as the main causes of back pain.

Ab Ripper X

This 15-minute workout is performed 3 times a week. It entails a number a exercises designed to build your abdominal muscles fast. Many exercises that focus on the abdominal muscles cause back pain by creating strain in the lower back.

One exercise in particular performed during Ab Ripper X can create tremendous strain on the lower back and hips: the Fifer Scissors. The exercise entails leaning back on the floor with your back slightly off the ground and your legs in the air doing a scissor kick. The weight of your legs creates resistance in your abdominal muscles, building strength. The abs are also working to hold your upper body off the floor.

When your legs are in the air, your hip flexor muscles and not just your abs are working hard to hold them up. The hip flexor muscles pull on the pelvis, forcing it to tilt forward which increases the arch in the lower back. This can cause significant strain to the muscles of the lower back.

See the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftk8ZtAcTsg for a tip on reducing pelvic tilt during the Fifer Scissors exercise. In general, it is a good idea to tailor Ab Ripper X to your individual needs, performing less repetitions at first, pausing the DVD when needed and eliminating exercises that cause pain.

Dreya Roll

The Dreya Roll is an exercise at the end of the Core Synergistics segment of P90X. You can see it performed here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOb3RLgZOgc. This is a very high-intensity workout that, according to many reviewers, cannot be done at first. The strength required to push your body from a sitting to a standing position is supposed to come mainly from your core. This presupposes a lot of core strength; when that strength is lacking, you’ll likely find that you bend at your lower back to push your upper body forward and get the momentum to push upward. This strains the lower back muscles.

Many people report leaving this exercise out completely until they have advanced in the program and developed significant core strength. If lack of strength requires that you alter your form in order to perform an exercise, it is best to leave the exercise out until it can be performed correctly.

Plough Position

YogaX is part of the P90X program. While this may sound like an easy and relaxing component, it is full of poses that only advanced yoga practitioners could pull off. One of these is the plough position. From a shoulder stands, you lower your legs over your head to the floor until the top parts of your lower legs are on the floor and your knees are next to your head.. This requires tremendous flexibility of the spine and the muscles and ligaments from the lower back to the neck and shoulders.

Attempting to do the plough pose your first few times with YogaX can result in muscle and ligament strains throughout your upper body due to overstretching. Many other yoga poses require strength that you may not have at first. Respect yoga as a form of exercise and don’t go into it thinking all poses are attainable at first.

Muscle strain is the main danger to your back during P90X. If you continually overexert, you risk damage to your spinal joints and discs as well. Tailor the workout to your needs, and don’t attempt to keep up with the video’s instructor at first. Take your time, pause when needed and eliminate workouts that create excess stress on the back.

Fitting Seitz Windows in Caravan Campervan Motorhome

Seitz S4 Framed Windows: A complete window for motorhomes, caravans and camper vans. Supplied as an assembly, ready to install, with grey acrylic double glazed pane, black outer frame, integrated roller blind and flynet. The practical, central, one-hand control system combines both flynet and blind for easy movement into various positions.

Simply and quickly installed, to wall thickness from 1 mm (sheet metal thickness) up to 53 mm, using suitable timber strips.

Seitz S4 framed camper van motorhome caravan windows are installed by screwing the inner frame to the outer frame. The window is ready for installation to a wall thickness of 26 mm. For wall thickness from 1 mm to 25 mm a supplementary frame will have to be fitted to the window aperture. For wall thickness from 27 mm to 42 mm, the inner frame will have to be trimmed. For wall thickness from 43 mm to 53 mm, the outer frame will have to be fitted with timber strips. All these modifications and additions are fully and simply explained in the installation instruction supplied with the window. Seitz S4 campervan motorhome windows for replacement or van conversions. Care must be taken when measuring exact size.

The following guide will help ensure correct sizes.

  1. Check for sizes etched on window pane
  2. Check exact cutout size of aperture/hole
  3. Check exact size of overall size of outside frame Width x Height in mm

Seitz S4 hinged window comes supplied with telescopic arms and safety catches.

The S4 framed windows are supplied to the following colour scheme:

Outer frame black RAL 9005.

Inner frame cream white RAL 9001.

Blind has grey interior with an aluminum coating to the outside.

Flynet is un patterned white.

Acrylic pane is grey.

Hinge windows open up to a maximum of 80°

Seitz S4 sliding window comes supplied with safety catch to stop the window being opened from outside. Left and right hand versions available (as direction of travel). In both cases the sliding section must be fitted to the front of the vehicle.

The S 4 framed windows are supplied to the following colour scheme:

Outer frame black RAL 9005.

Inner frame cream white RAL 9001.

Blind has grey interior with an aluminum coating to the outside.

Flynet is unpatterned white.

Acrylic pane is grey.

Pest Control to Ensure Food Safety, Part 2

Good housekeeping practices are very important to prevent pest infestation. Tightly fitting lids on bins ensure pests are not attracted to the property. Regular maintenance on the outside of the building is important to ensure that no holes or cracks allow entry of the pests into the building to compromise food safety.

Ensure all foodstuffs are placed in pest proof containers will help with this prevention. It is also preferable to make sure that any external vegetation such as grass, do not come up to the building structure. A pavement or pathway extending at least a metre from the building will further help in pest prevention.

Other ways of preventing access is by keeping doors and windows closed.

Always check for wear and tear of doors especially around framework and the bottom of the door. A brush or rubber strip might have to be fitted where the door doesn’t go straight to the floor. Check the pipework or plumbing to ensure no holes or cracks are present which would allow pest entry. Check the condition of the window framework for for cracks and holes. Doors and windows can be left open for additional ventilation provided that devices are utilised to prevent entry. This includes internal or external insect screens on windows and hanging chain curtains on doors.

There are two methods of control pests.

We can use a physical or chemical methods. The preferred method of control is to use physical methods, which includes electronic fly killers, traps, sticky flypaper is also used and mist netting which is used to prevent birds entering the premises. The last preferred method is the use of chemicals such as rodenticides and insecticides. By using physical methods we ensure capture, either alive or dead. Chemical methods are not preferred for several reasons.

  • Chemicals pollute the environment.
  • If small business users, use chemicals, there is the possibility of contaminated food product, especially if the owner does not know how to handle the poisons. Rodenticides come in two types, acute acting and chronic acting.
  • Acute acting poisons act quickly and the rodent might die in an unreachable place. Chronic acting poisons take longer to kill rodents. If a female rat is pregnant after ingesting a chronic poison, and gives birth before dying it is likely that the baby rats will be immune to the same poison if used again, due to genetic mutation.

There are four things that must be done if pests are recognised on the premises:

  1. inform manager or supervisor
  2. dispose of contaminated food
  3. protect any other food that has not been contaminated by placing in pest proof containers
  4. contact pest control.

It is imperative that all food businesses, regardless of size, have pest control contracts. This, however, does not absolve the owner, management or staff of their responsibilities to check for signs of pest infestation.

For more information on pest control go to Food Safety

Cheap Bridge Dental

A dental bridge is a factitious tooth, which is fused between two porcelain crowns to fill in the space left by a missing tooth. Two crowns holding it in place are attached onto your teeth on each side of the factitious tooth. This is often called a fixed bridge. This method is used to replace one or more missing teeth. Fixed bridges can not be removed of your mouth as you might do with removable partial dentures.

In space left by a missing tooth in your mouth to narrow down stress, such as your front teeth, a cantilever bridge may be used. Cantilever bridges are applicable when there are teeth on only one side of the open space. Bridges can dampen your risk of gum disease, help correct some bite issues and even improve your speech. Bridges bear your commitment to serious oral hygiene, but will last as long as ten years or more.

If you have a space from a missing tooth, a bridge will be custom made to fill in the space with a false tooth. The false tooth is attached by the bridge to the two other teeth cling the space – bridging them together.

Who is a candidate for having dental bridges?

If you have been losing teeth and have good oral hygiene practices, you should discuss this procedure with your dentist. If spaces are left unfilled, they may cause the abutting teeth to drift out of position. Additionally, spaces from missing teeth can cause your other teeth and your gums to become far more liable to tooth decay and gum disease.

How much do dental bridges cost?

The average cost of a single fixed bridge depends on many factors, from which region or country you're in to how many and which type of bridges are needed. Dental bridge cost usually ranges from $ 500-900 per tooth. Dental insurance ordinarily pays for about half of the cost of the bridge. This is a cost per tooth in the bridge only. You have to pay extra the costs for any anchoring crowns on either side of the bridge.

What Are Steel Detailing Drawings and Steel Erection Drawings?

Steel Detailing Drawings:

In the steel construction industry, Detail drawings are considered as the legitimate shop drawings. Detail drawings represent the members of each assembly and contain step by step instructions on how to fabricate each piece.

In detail drawings each detail piece is provided with a separate number so that the shop fitters know how to keep the assembly of detail pieces together into shipping pieces. Detail drawings also show a final bill of material (BoM), so any extra pieces not contained in the BoM are either added to the initial purchase order or are purchased from sources other than the mill.

To ensure the Project manager that the steel detailer and fabricator have followed their instructions as per the designing requirements, it is essential that the fabricator submits its detail and erection drawings for approval before erection process commences.

Steel Erection drawings:

Erection drawings provide the erection team with the direction of how to put together the steel assemblies. They appear very similar to the structural steel drawings generated by the structural engineer with a few major variations. Here, each assembly shipped to the field is assigned a shipping piece number to identify it. This number is depicted on the drawing & is also stenciled onto the real steel assembly. On the erection drawings, each assembly of steel is shown, no matter how minor or insignificant it is.

The erection drawings also depict how the connections will be fabricated. Since these drawings are created first (before the detail drawings), they should accurately illustrate the position of each members such that the geometry of the connections remain intact and error-free.

To know more about steel structure drawings and to get free estimate for your specific requirement email us at info@autocaddraftingindia.com

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Outdoor Electronic Signage Mounting Alternatives

When an electronic outside marketing solution is used, one of the main alternatives is how to mount the LCD screen and the equipment as well as the LCD enclosure.

With the increase in popularity, the need for mounting these units is essential that they are sturdy enough as the monitor can weigh up to 58 lbs with the enclosure weighing up to 100 empty, so getting the right mount is critical for both security and health and safety.

Free standing LCD enclosure mount.
As you can imagine the total weight for an outdoor electronic marketing can have a maximum weight of 150lbs, so the mounts offered that compliment the range of Monitor enclosures is intended to take these weights and are made for outdoor use.

The mounts come in numerous sizes and the base plate fastens to the floor, and the heavy-duty steel section that makes up the column is variable at 4 "intervals, the bracket is variable to take screens with a maximum VESA of 600 x 400.

Ceiling mount Flat screen casing Bracket.
The ceiling bracket fastens immediately to the ceiling and the pillar again is adjustable at 5 "intervals, the mounting frame will take screens from 26" up to 60 "in size and there is a solution for a back to back layout.

The mounts are deliberate for strength and for the external use, you will never see any chrome on our goods that will discolor in the sun light and will spot with the rain.

If any part of a bracket is chrome you have to question if this for out-of-doors, as chrome brackets and stands are installed in the home not out-of-doors and if put outdoors the chrome plating will strip due to the elements .

Wall bracket for Flat screen enclosure.

Constructed from heavy gauge metal, this unit bolts straight to walls were the dynamic advertising needs to be tilted to the consumers, this heavy gauge wall mount gives all the strength and support desirable for screens 26 "to 44".