Pool Table Light Installation

Your pool table light must be hung properly to ensure full illumination of your billiard playing area including the rails, cushions and guide point arrows. The average height of your billiard lamp should be 32″ to 36″ above the playing surface or bed of your table to the bottom of your lamp shade. A general method of determining billiard light height is to have your billiard lamp level with the bridge of your nose. Also when your adjusting the height of your billiard lamp turn off any other lights in the room and adjust the light so there are no shadows on your table.

Instructions For Hanging Your Billiard Light:

1. You must find the Center of your table’s Playing Area which is the length and width of the pool table bed only, not the rails. Here are the standard playing areas of billiard tables:

Billiard Table Size

6′ x 3′ table has a playing area of L 66″ x W 33″

7′ x 3’6″ table has a playing area of L 78″ x W 39″

8′ x 4 ‘ table has a playing area of L 88″ x W 44″

8′ x 4 ‘ (oversized) table has a playing area of L 92″ x W 46″

9′ x 4’6″ table has a playing area of L 100″ x W 50″

10′ x 5′ table has a playing area of L 112″ x W 56″

12′ x 6′ table has a playing area of L 124″ x W 62″

2. Next place a small piece of masking tape on the center of your tables playing area. For example: If you have a 9′ x 4’6″ billiard table your playing area is L100″ x W 50″. Now take your tape measure (which should be flush against the inside head rail) and use your middle diamond on the rail as a guide and measure in L 50″ and tick with a small piece of tape and measure the width which should be W25″ and that will give you the center of your tables playing area.

3. Now that you have the center of your billiard table marked with a small piece of masking tape, hold a plumb line from the ceiling and align it to the center of your tables playing area and mark your ceiling when the plumb line is aligned with your pool table center. You can buy a plumb line at any hardware store.

Pool table lights are fairly heavy and the ceiling mounts or hooks should be screwed into a ceiling stud. Use a stud finder to locate your ceiling studs. If a stud is not available you can fasten your billiard light using strong drywall fasteners such as a Toggle Bolt.

4. Measure the distance from the center of your billiard light to the center of the chain on both sides of your billiard light and mark these measurements on your ceiling. This is where our hooks will be screwed into the ceiling. Run your plumb line again to ensure your ceiling marks are aligned and centered to your billiard light.

5. Pre-drill a hole or two holes (if it is a two chain mount) into the stud/studs or drywall. Drill size Tip: A quick technique is to hold a drill bit up to the shank of the mounting screw. The proper drill bit size is the same size as the shank between the threads of your mounting screw. Screw the mounting hooks securely into your pre-drilled holes.

Note: If you need to stand on your billiard table bed to install your light, place a piece of dense foam or a thick blanket on your pool table bed to protect the felt.

6. Count the chain links on both sides to ensure your billiard lamp is level. Once mounted you can adjust your billiard light height for proper illumination of your billiard table. That’s It!

TOOLS NEEDED: Ladder, Measuring Tape, Plumb Line, Small Hand Drill, Screwdriver, Possibly a toggle bolt, Masking Tape and a pencil.

Questions and Answers About LED Lighting – Why LED?

1.Q: What are the advantages of LED Lights?

A: LED (Light-Emitting Diode) Lights offer a multitude of advantages over traditional light sources including lower electricity consumption, much longer lifetime, higher durability, no ultraviolet and infrared radiation, low heat and smaller size.

2.Q: Can I directly replace my existing lamps with LED lamps?

A: The LED Lights we offer are direct replacement of incandescent, halogen and compact fluorescent lamps. This means that you do not have to do any changes to your existing system.

3.Q: Why should I choose LED lamps over the cheaper traditional lamps?

A: Consider not only the initial price of the lamp, but the true cost of light, which includes the cost of energy, replacement and maintenance costs.

– LED lights use much less energy. When installed at applications with long work hours the saved electricity cost can bring the payback time to less than 2 years.

– LED lights have much longer life, from 30,000 to 50,000 hours. Imagine that you do not have to change your lamps for the next 20 years, especially those hard to reach light fixtures.

For commercial applications long life LED Lights mean lower replacement costs and no more group relamping. Taken into consideration reduced maintenance costs, the ROI (Return Of Investment) time for LED Lamps can be less than 1 year.

LED lamps produce very little heat thus reducing the power used by your air conditioner.

LED light has no harmful UV (ultraviolet) and IR (infrared) rays.

LED lamps contain NO mercury like the fluorescent lamps. LED Lights are completely safe for the Nature and can be disposed as ordinary waste.

4.Q: Will the Low Voltage LED lamps work with my existing transformer?

A: Low Voltage LED lamps are compatible with magnetic transformers used with VAC lighting. If you have an electronic transformer one LED lamp may not work due to its very low power consumption. To work properly most electronic transformers require a minimum load greater than the 3-watt used by our LED Spot Lights. When connecting a few LED lamps to one transformer the load increases to a point where the use of an electronic transformer is acceptable.

5.Q: How does a LED work?

A: The LED (Light Emitting Diode) is an electronic light source that works by the effect of electroluminescence. When a semiconductor diode is turned on electrons recombine with holes and energy is discharged as light.

6.Q: What is the color of the light from a LED?

The light color of LED Lamps is measured by Correlated Color Temperature (CCT) in Kelvins. Contemporary High Power LEDs are covered with phosphor to convert light from a blue LED to a wide spectrum white light. Most common LED Light colors used are:

Warm White (Soft White) – 2,700 – 3,300 K – the color of the light of a traditional incandescent light bulb

Cool White – around 4,000 K – similar to moonlight, xenon lamp light color

Daylight White > 5,000K – looks like flashlight, or typical daylight.

7.Q: What is Color Rendering Index?

A: The Color Rendering Index (CRI) is measuring the ability of a light source to simulate the colors of different objects accurately in comparison with the sunlight. Although there are critics of the subjective color rendering in practice, the CRI is widely used as a measurement of the quality of the light. Higher CRI corresponds to etter quality light, in scale from 0 to 100.

8.Q: What is the CRI of LED light?

A: Generally LED lamps score above CRI 80, which is higher than many other light sources. LED Lamps with CRI above 90 are used for visual inspection tasks.

9.Q: How efficient LED lamps are?

A: The output of light sources is light and heat. The higher the ratio light to heat, the more efficient the lamp. Today’s high efficient LED lights have efficiency of about 50 %, compared to standard incandescent lamp with 2-3% and fluorescent lamps with 15-20% efficiency.

LEDs naturally have directional light, this means that the light is easier to manage with less losses. That presents an even greater advantage in regards to LED lamps’ high efficiency over all other existing light sources.

10.Q: What is luminous efficacy?

A: The luminous efficacy is the light output per unit power input. It is measured in lumen per watt (lm/W). Nowadays commercially available LEDs have efficacy of 130 lm/W for cool white and 107 lm/W for warm white light (CREE XLamp MX-6). This is much higher compared to incandescent bulb that produces 15 lm/W and fluorescent lamp with 60-70 lm/W.

However, the efficacy of a single LED should not be mixed with the efficacy of the lamp. Many manufacturers and resellers state the LED Lamp Light Output as sum of the output of the individual LEDs. This is not correct because there are always losses from light trapped inside the lamp. The efficacy of a LED Light Lamp, also called LED Light Engine, can be increased by better design and using high quality materials.

11.Q: Is the lumen per watt the only aspect I should consider when choosing a LED Light?

A: No, you should consider also the CRI (quality of light) and your individual visual preferences. Some people like the more yellow Warm (Soft) White light that resembles the light from the incandescent lamp. Other prefer the brighter and more true-color rendering Cool / Daylight white.

12.Q: What is the lifetime of a LED Lamp?

A: When properly installed and well ventilated, LED Lamps will very rarely burn. However, the brightness of the LED light fade over time, so LED Lamp’s life is measured by 2 characteristics – how much will it fade after 1,000 hours of exploitation, and when the brightness will reach 70% of the initial value.

Quality LED Lamps are rated at less than 3% light output decrease for the first 1,000 hours, and 30,000 to 50,000 hours for the 70% decrease, which is the standard for commercial lighting applications.

Again, compared to traditional light sources, LED lights are superior regarding lifetime.

13.Q: Does the lifetime of a LED Light Bulb shorten by frequent on/off switches?

A: Unlike the fluorescent lamps, lifespan of LED Lamps is NOT influenced by frequent switching.

Safety Roller Barrier: A Life Saving Innovation

With the number of vehicles on the road growing every year, there has also been a consequent rise in the number of fatal accidents. In this situation, governments all around the world are consistently looking for ways to improve road safety as well as to minimize accident numbers. It’s often been observed throughout the world that certain sections of the road are more prone to accidents to compare to the rest of the roads. A highly effective solution for preventing accidents in such sections is the safety roller barrier.

An innovative design that actually can save lives

Barriers have been used in highways for over half-a-century. Yet, the older versions of barriers made little difference in the number of fatalities or injuries resulting from collisions and accidents. In many cases, the collision impacts on such barriers have been actually observed to be the reason behind dangerous injuries and fatalities. Such concerns are addressed by the safety roller barriers, that actually can save drivers’ lives. The innovative design incorporating cushion wheels and metal fence ensures that the safety roller barrier doesn’t just absorb the force during collisions, but also steers and positions the crashing vehicle at the right side of the lane.

Able to handle collision of heavy vehicles

Ordinary barriers often fail to handle collision from heavy vehicles. It’s one of the reasons why the accidents involving heavy vehicles often translate into fatalities, serious injuries and enormous monetary loss. This can however be minimized to a lot extent by the use of the safety roller barriers. In particular, it have been observed to be resilient even against the collisions involving large sized trucks on the road. One of the early adopters of safety roller barrier, which has reported massive improvement of road safety in sections that were previously prone to accidents.

Minimization of road disruption

Reliable researches have proven that sections using barrier are less prone to traffic disruptions and blockages during accidents, compared to the sections without it. This is precisely because, the level of damages on vehicles following collision against the safety roller barrier are drastically lower compared to the collision damages on other sections of the road. Thus vehicles can often be driven to safety even after crashes, which would be often be impossible to imagine after collision with other surfaces.

Able to resist several impacts

Ordinary barriers can hardly be able to resist more than one accident. Such barriers often twist or break and may need outright replacement after each collision. Yet, safety roller barriers are able to resist several collisions and still function normally for several years. This amazing durability feature that has made the safety roller barrier the solution recommended by modern road safety engineers.

What Is A Jump Drive And How Does It Work?

A jump drive – also known as a USB drive, flash drive, keychain drive, or disk-on-key – is a plug-and-play portable storage device that uses flash memory and is lightweight enough to attach to a key chain. A jump drive, which looks very much like an ordinary highlighter marker pen, can be used in place of a floppy disk, Zip drive disk, or CD.

When the user plugs the device into their USB port, the computer’s operating system recognizes the device as a removable drive and assigns it a drive letter. Unlike most removable drives, a jump drive does not require rebooting after it’s attached, does not require batteries or an external power supply, and is not platform dependent.

Several jump drive manufacturers offer additional features such as password protection, and downloadable drivers that allow the keychain drive to be compatible with older systems that do not have USB ports. Jump drives are available in capacities ranging from 8 MB to 2 gigabytes, depending on manufacturer, in a corresponding range of prices.

With a jump drive, data can be retained for long periods when the jump drive is removed from the computer, or when the computer is powered-down with the drive left in. This makes the jump drive convenient for transferring data between a desktop computer and a notebook computer or for short-term backup of small to moderate quantities of data.

You might be able to get the jump drive to work if you have the correct drivers for whatever version of Windows you are running on the old PC. Many flash drives, however, are not designed to work with Windows 95 or earlier. Some will not even work with the original Windows 98. If that is the case, life gets more difficult. USB support is very limited in many of these older PC’s, so the obvious solution of using some USB device such as a flash drive, external hard drive, CD-R, or some other device may not work.

If that is the case, you need to do something like install a network card into the old PC so you can network it with the new one. Another option is to take out the hard drive from the old computer, put it in a USB enclosure. You can then plug it into the new PC and use it as an external drive.

You may be able to connect the old drive directly into the new PC, but most new ones use the new Serial ATA attachment rather than the old IDE attachment. If that is the case, you would still need to buy an adapter to make it work. Another option is to buy a USB floppy disk drive for your new PC.

You can not “edit” data on any CD. You can burn a CD and then you and re-write over that data and burn it again. You can not Edit or add to information on a CD. I would suggest a USB Jump (Flash)Drive easily purchased for maybe $30 to $40 US dollars and hold up to one or two GB’s of information. A floppy disk only holds 1.44 kb (1.5mg) not even 1 high density photo. A flash drive is plugged into your USB port and you can work off of it the same way you do your hard drive.

Get too one for your backup that is put in a fireproof box in a different location than your computer and backup to it once a week or so. Look for a USB 2.0 Flash Drive. Portable reusable, storage device. Easily transfer data music and images, from PC to PC.

Primitive Country Decorating – How to Decide Which Wall Treatment Works Best For You

If you’re ready to begin your primitive country decorating experience with wall treatments, but aren’t sure how to get started, here are some things you ought to know. Knowing more about these 5 high-impact wall treatments is going to help you increase your overall satisfaction and create an area you can’t wait to come home to.

Paint – Whether you’ve decided to paint the majority of the interior of your home or just one room, you need to first decide on the color you want for any particular room. Do you want the simplicity of one solid color or do you want to create a decorative faux finish?

The creative possibilities using paint are endless. For instance you might choose to paint the walls in your room one solid color or you might choose to use only one wall as an accent wall that is of a different color. You also might choose one of a multitude of faux finishes.

Wallpaper and wallpaper border – These days your options for wallpaper and wallpaper border are everywhere. You can go to many local stores to pick up sample catalogs and purchase right from your area. You can also find an unlimited amount of options available to you on the Internet.

With this option you are able to mix and match to your heart’s content. You might also choose to paint and then add some wallpaper border. Some people prefer to put the border at the top, near the ceiling and other people choose to put the border at chair rail height or half way down the wall.

Stencils – Many people have chosen to create their own borders and designs with stencils. You can find a multitude of options available to you for stenciling to create the outcome that you wish to achieve.

You can create a personalized border with stencils. You might also find a word phrase that speaks out to you and you might wish to stencil this on your wall.

Wood – Oftentimes when people think about country homes they think of log cabins. While this option may not fit within your budget, it is still possible for you to bring some wood into your décor.

Wainscoting is a beautiful option with an amazing look and feel. You might also choose to use a paneling that looks like wood. Another great option, if you’re wishing to add wood to your décor, is your trim. Baseboards and window and door trim can make a huge impact in the overall outcome of your decorating experience.

Paneling – These days the paneling section of your local home improvement store has grown by leaps and bounds. You can easily find the paneling that will fit the design you wish to accomplish.

Paneling now comes in almost any design you could dream of. You can choose from white to wood to floral to paneling made to go in a moist area such as a bathroom.

So, now that you’ve got a better idea of what wall treatment you’d prefer to use, go ahead and get started. You will be surprised how quickly changing just one room will make a huge impact on your overall decorating plan.

Getting Cheap Laminate Flooring is Easier Than You Think

Cheap laminate flooring is very difficult to come by because of the fact that it’s extremely popular and it has been for a very long time. In other words, it’s not a trendy style that’s here today and gone tomorrow. People have always enjoyed this look and will continue to in the future because it’s gorgeous, it feels good on the feet, and it’s hard to come by. Does that mean you’re forced to settle for a lesser type of flooring material unless you can pay the lofty $2 per square foot price?

That’s how it used to be, and most people had their dreams of seeing a laminate red oak floor dashed to the wall. Now though, it is actually possible to get cheap laminate flooring for less than 50 cents for square foot. In other words, you can change all the floors in your home for one quarter of the price that it normally costs. To get floor materials for this cheap, you need to be willing to shop around. At the end of the day, stores often have small amounts left over that they’re trying to get rid of. By going to different stores at the end of each day, you’ll be able to easily come up with heavily discounted materials.

It’s actually a lot easier than it seems, because if you have just a Home Depot and a Lowe’s in the area, it will only take a couple days to come up with all the cheap laminate flooring that you’re after. That doesn’t even take all the local lumber shops and specialty stores into account. Most people will agree that the amount of money that you’ll save makes this very worthwhile.

How To Bleed A Diesel Engine Fuel Injection System

There are certain rules of thumb when it comes to learning how to bleed a diesel engine. There are dozens of different diesel fuel injection systems running around but the same principle applies to all of them. The main principle is removing the air out of the fuel system. Check out this scenario below.

So you find yourself driving down the road and suddenly your diesel engine starts to knock, lose power and pump out a bunch of white smoke. Finally it dies and after a few cranks you decide to check it out further. You find out the fuel tank is empty. The last time you checked your fuel level gauge it read half a tank, and you realize it still reads half a tank after driving 100 miles. A defective fuel gauge sender (located in the tank) is not an uncommon problem which causes more inconvenience with an engine shut down condition.

So now that you have determined the cause of the problem it is time to top up the tank with diesel and bleed the fuel system. Generally speaking diesels need a high pressure atomized spray that turns into a combustible mixture when combined with high compression. Compressed air heats up enough in the combustion chamber to ignite the mixture and provide the high power thrust that diesel engines are known for.

Step One – How To Bleed A Diesel Engine

The first thing to do is top up the tank and fill the primary fuel filter (closest to the fuel tank) with clean diesel fuel. This filter relies on vacuum or suction from the fuel transfer pump to keep it primed up and moving along to the secondary fuel filter. Diesel fuel transfer pumps are either mechanically driven off the camshaft or electric motor driven. If you are really blessed you might even have a hand priming pump built into the system.

Step Two – Removing Air From The Diesel Fuel Injection System

Any way you look at it, the main objective is to rid the fuel injection system of air. Loosening fuel lines is a common practice for older diesels. Loosen off fuel line fittings before the injection pump then work the hand priming pump until you see no more bubbles streaming from the loosened off fuel lines. This will assure that there is fuel to the injection pump.

Step Three – Bleeding A Bosch Mechanical Diesel Fuel Injection System

As an example the Bosch fuel injection pump found in Cummins diesel engines has a bleeder plug on the front, right side of the pump body and can be loosened off first while pumping the hand primer found on the driver side of the block. The mechanical fuel injection system on these engines have the fuel lines exposed for easy access. Loosen all of the injection lines at the head. Cranking over the engine will accelerate the air removal process. When the fuel system starts to pick up fuel the engine will try to start and stumble. At this point tighten the fuel lines and keep cranking over the engine, you will have fire power before you know it.

Bleeding An Electronic Diesel Fuel Injection System

Newer diesel engines went to an electric fuel transfer pump. As soon as you turn on the ignition key the pump kicks in and automatically primes the fuel system. Using the Cummins ISC diesel engine as and example, to prime you must fill the primary filter first with clean diesel fuel and install the secondary fuel filter dry. Once the ignition key is on the fuel transfer pump will prime the secondary filter with clean filtered fuel from the primary fuel filter.

Once you know how to bleed a diesel engine and go through it a couple of times you will see the importance of getting the air out of the lines. Air compresses and won’t allow any movement of diesel fuel resisting the build up of high pressures that diesel fuel injection systems require to start and run the engine.

A Lean Office Eliminates Waste and Saves Time

Higher customer expectations, cost cutting pressures, thinner margins and shorter lead times are challenges your organization faces on a daily basis. A management system built around Lean is not only an enabler of achieving operational excellence but also provides flexibility in the way your processes are managed. What you need are robust, waste free, flexible office processes that meet customer needs and enable you to survive in the global marketplace.

Consider that 60 to 80 percent of all costs related to meeting customer demand are administrative or office related functions then it doesn’t take rocket science to conclude that applying Lean to streamline and eliminate waste from your office and administrative processes will result in bottom line savings.

The Benefits of a Lean Office

A lean office management system can impact administrative processes at all levels of your organization:

Enterprise Level Processes– the processes that touch your external customers and suppliers-order entry, customer service, accounts payable, accounts receivables, marketing/sales, research and development, product development and distribution. Lean can streamline and speed up these processes.

Organizational Level Processes-the key support processes in your organization-Information Technology, Human Resources, Engineering, and Purchasing. Lean will streamline these processes and improve process efficiency.

Departmental Level Activities-lean reduces activities that add time but little or no value. It can help create flow at the pull of the customer, reduce hand-offs and improve departmental quality.

Individual Level Tasks-Lean can reduce the paperwork, manual entries and errors standardize work procedures, help improve workplace organization, and clarify individual roles and responsibilities.

Getting Started

Before applying Lean tools to the office environment we must understand the flow of work. Just as we map the value stream and focus on reducing lead time and eliminating waste in manufacturing we must map administrative processes to better understand them and eliminate waste.

Processes like order entry, quoting, planning, purchasing, product development and others are full of waste. As a matter of fact, 75-90% of the steps in service/administrative processes add no value-the lean definition of waste. These wasteful steps cause delays and customer dissatisfaction. Since one of the key principles of lean thinking is to minimize the time between the receipt of a customer order and fulfillment of that order, we must look at the entire lead time. In order to see the waste in these processes we must map them. After we identify the waste (non-value-added steps) and what needs to be worked on, then we can apply the traditional Lean tools such as pull systems, continuous flow, co-location, point of use storage, continuous flow, 5S, visual controls and mistake proofing.

Secondly, you must collect data. If you are like most organizations you collect very limited data on your administrative processes. Office Lean is not unlike manufacturing Lean-it is based on data driven decision making. For office and administrative processes determining what data to include depends on the questions you want to answer about your value stream and how you define the product/service produced by these processes. For example, if your objective is to reduce the number of engineering change orders (ECNs). It would be helpful to define ECNs as the product and identify the total number of ECNs issued, cycle time and queue time for processing, and total cycle time. From this information you can determine where constraints most likely occur and eliminates areas of waste in your “future state” process.

Examples of Lean Office Applications

A client’s value stream map indicated that out of a total lead time of 22 weeks only 1 week was spent doing true value-added work. This steel fabricator found that a large part of the non-value-added lead time was identified as “waiting for approval”. Approvals were built into many stages of the order fulfillment process but were the responsibility of management staff that was often unavailable. The client standardized the work procedures to eliminate the need for many of the approvals and reduced their lead time by 2 weeks.

In reviewing the order entry process for a client we found that a significant amount of time was used to acknowledge the order. Whenever an order was entered, an acknowledgement was automatically printed and then manually sorted and mailed to each customer. The first question we asked was: “Who really wants these acknowledgements?” It turned out that only a few of their customers wanted an acknowledgement, and those that did said an e-mail response would be sufficient The client changed their order processing system to code any customer seeking an acknowledgement, then automatically acknowledging these customers via e-mail at the end of the order entry process. This resulted in freeing up an overworked office staff to allow them to spend more time on value-added activities.

A loudspeaker manufacturer discovered that much of its lead time was attributed to delays in obtaining customer approvals during the design and prototype cycle. There was no effective means of managing the customer approval process. It seemed that once the information was given to the customer, it disappeared into a “Black Hole”. We suggested to the client that they develop a visual management system (a centrally located schedule board) that shows the status of every job in house. This provided visibility for every step of the process and reduced lead-time in the design and prototype process by 50 percent.

As you can see by these examples Lean solutions are surprisingly simple and do not require great expenditure of capital.

Lean is a proven, systematic approach for eliminating/minimizing waste that results in the production of goods or services at the lowest possible cost. It goes beyond the shop floor. Lean is every system, every process and every employee in the company.

Pain Relief – The Psoas Muscle Can Be the Key

What if I told you that this muscle you’ve probably never heard of could be the key to releasing your knee pain, your ankle pain, your shoulder pain and your neck pain? It may be hard to believe, but by the end of this article you will understand why releasing this muscle can relieve pain and tightness from our feet to our heads. Releasing the psoas can be the key to opening up the body and allowing it to expand and relax.

You have two psoas muscles, one on each side. The psoas is your hip flexor. It is attached to every vertebrae of your lumbar (low) spine. It descends into the pelvis and joins with the iliacus muscle in your hip socket and then dives down to attach to your femur in the back, near your sits-bone. It is the muscle that lifts your leg when you walk, run, and bike. It also does a little bit of rotation of the leg and can bring the low back closer to the pelvis and legs. If tight it will pull the legs up and into the hip sockets at a slight rotation. It will also pull the back down and forward, compressing the joints and tilting the pelvis. This pull can cause repercussions in the knees, feet, shoulders and neck. If I compared you body to a bicycle wheel, the psoas would be the center, and if the center gets warped the outside will get warped too.

When the psoas is tight it will rotate the femur. Of course we walk with our feet straight which puts a twist where? That’s right…the joint that really doesn’t like to twist. The knee. It has been my experience that knee problems that aren’t caused by blunt force (i.e. a ski accident), are often a result of a chronically tight psoas muscle. And even when there is a traumatic reason for a knee injury, releasing the psoas can ease extra strain on the knee and result in faster healing and decreased pain. I have a regular massage client who is in his 50’s, in good shape, plays basketball and golf, but was plagued by pain in his left knee. He even thought about quitting basketball, but after releasing his psoas and maintaining that release, (I see him every six weeks or so), he really has no knee pain and has been able to continue and even increase his exercise regime.

The psoas can also pull the whole upper body down toward the center. Our body is all interconnected. One thing pulls another thing, which pulls another thing. A tight psoas can pull the shoulders down and in, which can cause everything from sore upper back muscles, to arthritis, bursitis, bone spurs, and torn rotator cuff muscles. This shoulder pull will also affect the neck, pulling it down and forward.

The psoas muscle is the muscle that pulls us into a fetal position. We tend to hold a lot of trauma there, and in our bellies in general. This is one reason we often have trouble with this muscle. Of course sitting all the time doesn’t help either. We spend much more time in flexion, (at our computers, in our cars) than we do in extension. When our psoas gets stuck in flexion it will tilt our whole pelvis and puts extra stress on our spine which we tend to feel in our neck and low back. This cronic pelvis tilt can also cause tight hamstrings, which you can never seem to stretch. You can’t stretch them because they’re already stretched do to the pelvic tilt.

There is hope! There are many wonderful ways to release your psoas muscle. You could see a massage therapist that is comfortable working on the psoas (just ask them before you make the appointment). There are great stretches to be done and something called creative rest where you lie on your back with your feet up on a chair and allow your low back to fall on the floor and your hip sockets to release. Yoga and Pilates can be effective ways to work on the psoas.

Being successful in decreasing our pain and stiffness lies in treating the cause, not just the symptoms. Once you release the pull (which is often the psoas) everything else can release. Now that you know what the problem might be you will be much more successful at finding solutions.

Homemade Projector Screen – The Principle & How to DIY

Projector screens are generally divided into two types base on their functionalities: reflection projector screen and transmission projector screen. It can be also divided into soft and hard screen base on the materials they are made from.

Home theater generally uses soft reflection screen. My brother-in-law originally wanted to buy a ¥1000 (~$150) so-called “import screen”, but a friend of his who sells projector screens told him that it is hard nowadays (in China) to distinguish the genuineness of an import screen, it is hard even for himself. Some of them that are labeled with ‘import’ or ‘joint capital’ were actually manufactured somewhere in the south of China. He felt that he’d rather to buy a ¥300 domestically manufactured screen with good feelings than buy this kind of “import screen”. What this friend said makes perfect sense. But after doing some research, my brother-in-law found that all screens on the local market are made from high gain Bolivian bead that is used for projecting newspaper clips, they are simply not suitable for video frequency.

Theoretically speaking, a white wall with one smooth side actually is the best “screen”. Because its gain is 1, meaning that the light projected can be completely reflected out, which is an ideal state of being “no absorption, no gain”. Unfortunately, for the purpose of absorbing and proliferating the sound wave, he already made the wall a background wall with sound-absorbing material and plywood installed. making it impossible to serve as a “projector screen’, he had to find another solution.

You might be wondering at this point: why do people still bother purchasing expensive screens if we can all use white walls?

Well, there are always benefits and advantages of using a professional screen: convenient, artistically beautiful and dignified, good screen can also make up the insufficiency of a projector and improve visual effect. Among the expensive screens, one type is “gray screen” (cost about ¥15,000, roughly $2000). This kind of screen probably was originally designed for liquid crystal projectors. The biggest problem with liquid crystal projector is that the color appears dark and grey, insufficiently calm. This is its “congenital defect” that is caused by its liquid crystal board and path of rays.

Regarding gray screen, we all know that gray is merely a lighter black, and black absorbs all visible light. Gray can only partially absorb visible light, it is like brightness of the picture is reduced. If you have used any picture processing software’s “brightness / contrast gradient” option, you should certainly have noticed such phenomenon that reducing brightness is equivalent to increasing contrast gradient? Same concept, since the brightness has been reduced, it in turn increased its contrast gradient. The black effect gets improved due to the bigger contrast. We can also experience the same effect when we look out through the sunshade glass of our car. In fact, there are many ways to just reduce the brightness, you don’t have to use gray screen. There are magazines recommending putting the light gray filter of a photographic camera to the projection lens, the principle is the same. You can even use more simpler method, namely you need to adjust the projector’s output brightness or increase the contrast gradient. No need to spend a cent, you may achieve the similar effect, but the premise is that showroom must be dark enough.

Back to the bottom line, if a gray projector screen cost you $2000, definitely it is not just because the screen color is changed from white to gray. Speaking from the optical principle, I’m afraid there’s a lot more behind. I’m guessing probably certain chemical compositions have been added to the material of the screen that changed the reflection or absorption intensity of different wavelength of light, thus changed the luster and the contrast gradient of the entire image, that, makes up the inborn flaw of liquid crystal board after all. In addition to this, what other tricks do you think they can play? It doesn’t seem to be possible with the meager knowledge of physics that I have.

It sounds more like it to throw in a ¥150,000 screen if your projector cost you ¥15,000. But adding a ¥15,000 screen to a ¥15,000 projector doesn’t make much sense at all. If I have to buy a ¥15,000 screen, then it would simply work better if I put the money together and buy a ¥30,000 higher level projector to achieve better effect without any extra effort. A ¥15,000 screen is a crazy price to my brother-in-law (imagine his monthly income is merely ¥3000). Also if he buys a name brand Japanese gray screen, then he actually spend most of the money to pay for the labor which he personally doesn’t feel comfortable.

The ideal screen for the DLP projector that my brother-in-law purchased should be like a white wall, just let the project light reflected completely without any “reservation”. He figured that he really didn’t need such costly screen. So he finally decided to make one on his own.

Exactly how did he do it? You may not believe how simple and inexpensive it really was! He spent a bit over ¥10 (about $1.50) in a home decorating store on a self-adhesive pure white matted formica PVC panel with dim grains, cut the right size, pasted to his original background wall, that is it, flat and smooth! With such PVC screen, he doesn’t need to worry about the ‘curl-up’ phenomenon that may occur to a regular projector screen after around 12 years of use, he also doesn’t need to worry that it would turn yellow one day due to natural oxidation. But remember it requires some pasting techniques to make it work perfectly for you. The result? Great!

Here are couple of self-made projector screen photos from my brother-in-law as ‘evidence’:



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Tips for Selling Books at Festivals, Fairs, and Outdoor Events

In today’s world, authors have to be clever, think outside the box, and reach far beyond Amazon, libraries and brick-and-mortar book stores to sell their books. More and more authors are trying their hands at selling their books at country fairs and festivals-events that can draw thousands of potential buyers and be a fun, lucrative venture.

Considering selling your book at a fair, festival, or other outdoor venue this year? Here are some tips that may help you.

  • PARTNER WITH ANOTHER AUTHOR-Partnering allows you to share entry expenses and also share tasks and equipment. At a recent fair, I brought the tent, sandbags for the tent, the easels for our posters, a phone charger, and a decorative tablecloth. The author I partnered with brought a folding table, two folding chairs, a table scarf, and other supplies. I enjoyed having a friend to talk to when no patrons were stopping by the booth.
  • NEGOTIATE WITH ORGANIZERS-If the booth fee is too high for you to make a profit, contact fair organizers well in advance, explain the tiny profit margins of books, and ask for a different deal.
  • PROMOTE BEFORE AND DURING-Hopefully, the festival organizers will promote the event in advance. However, about a week before the event, start posting on social media and tell people you will be there selling books. Write a short press release for the newspaper or community newsletter. Ask for a guest spot on a local radio show to talk about your book and your participation at the fair. Also, during the event, take photos of book buyers and splash the photos all over social media to remind people of the fair.
  • TAKE POSTERS AND SIGNS-A good poster or sign can help lure people into your booth. Place your posters on easels so they are eye-level and easy to read. It’s also a good idea to have signs in the booth saying things like,”Local Authors,” “Ask Me About My Book,” and “Signed Copies of Books Available.”
  • MAKE A LIST-Make a list and be prepared. Some events provide a table and chairs, and others do not. Beyond books, business cards, posters, and money, you may need tape, scissors, a pen, paper, a few basic tools, a jacket, a hat, sunscreen, water, hand sanitizer, tissue, paper towels, a change of clothes, a hand truck, phone charger, and trash bags.
  • SET UP A TENT OR AWNING OVERHEAD-A tent will protect you from the elements (torrential downpours, burning sunshine, etc.) If you opt to use a tent, you may want to tie weights or sandbags to the legs to prevent the wind from blowing it away. Also, a can of WD-40 may come in handy since metal frames rust sometimes making legs and braces hard to slide into position.
  • STACK BOOKS ON THE TABLES-Stack a few books on the table so passersby can read the spine of the book. Also, prop one book upright so patrons can see the cover from several feet away. If the weather is wet or humid, don’t take too many books out or the pages will swell and buckle.
  • BE NEAT-Keep your table nice, neat, and presentable. Clutter is distracting. No one wants to see crumpled candy wrappers and trash on the table top.
  • GIVE STUFF AWAY-One way to draw people into your booth is to give away inexpensive freebies. At the fair I attended, I gave buckeyes to dozens of people as they contemplated buying my book. I’d smile and say, “Put it in your pocket for good luck.” The buckeyes were great conversation starters. Be creative. What about a clear vase full of Tootsie Rolls? Or bookmarks? And as always, have business cards on the table for people to take home.
  • HAVE OTHER RELATED THINGS TO SELL-Have other things for sale, too. A friend of mine who is currently marketing a book about farming and relationships, also sells jars of yummy vegetables at her events.
  • POSITION YOUR TABLE CLOSE TO THE FLOW OF PEOPLE-You want to be as close to the people traffic as possible so you can make easy eye contact. If you place your table deep within your booth, a potential customer has to walk all the way in, which may deter people from stopping.
  • SET SMART PRICES-Don’t sell your book for an odd price requiring coin change. Make it easy on you and the buyers and round the price to the nearest dollar.
  • HAVE CASH AND YOUR SQUARE DEVICE-Have plenty of cash on hand. At the fair I attended recently, I sold copies of my book for $16, so I made sure that I had plenty of one dollar bills in my cash box. Also, make sure that your Square device (or other credit card processing device) is working and ready for the day. Pre-program the items you will be selling on your Square app so you don’t have to remember the prices during the transaction.
  • KNOW YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH-An elevator pitch is a thirty-second description of your book. Every author should have one, and every author should practice saying the pitch over and over again. If you partner with another author, make sure you know how to pitch his or her book, too.
  • PREPARE FOR CHIT CHAT-“So, are you from around here?” “I love your boots!” “Do you read nonfiction?” “Do you have keepsakes or heirlooms at home?” “You look familiar to me.” “I think the rain is over for a while. Have you seen the radar?” Also, if you find out a patron is involved in a particular school, library, club, or group, inquire about speaking to the group about your book. Seize the moment and ask, and don’t forget to get his or her business card or contact information.
  • DON’T HOUND PEOPLE-Not everyone reads, and not everyone wants to buy a book at a country fair or fall festival, so if they keep walking, let them walk away. Don’t call to them. Don’t badger them. Let them go.
  • WEAR COMFORTABLE, APPROPRIATE CLOTHING AND SHOES-Sorry, four-inch-heeled Manolo Blahnik shoes and skin-tight pencil skirts aren’t appropriate articles of clothing for a country fair or street festival. Think comfort. Consider jeans and a nice top. Wear comfortable shoes.
  • WEAR A NAME BADGE-A name tag will help people know who you are so they can call you by name. It will also reinforce your brand.
  • SMILE AND BE FRIENDLY-No one wants to buy a book from a grumpy author. Smile. Be friendly. Be inviting. Be helpful. Be respectful. Let people know you are approachable and you want to be there. And be excited about your book.
  • WRITE A THANK YOU NOTE-In today’s world, a simple thank you goes a long way. Sit down and write a thank you note to the event organizers and ask them to keep you in mind for other events.

Thousands of people ramble around and spend money at outdoor festivals, fairs, and events when the weather is nice. Be ready to pitch them your book. Happy book selling!

The Benefits of Choosing a Career in Risk Management

What is risk management:

Risk management is the process of identification, assessment and treatment of risks that seeks to minimise, control and monitor the impact of risk occurrence through the cost effective utilisation of resources.

Where does risk management apply

Risks occur in every walk of life, in every industry and in every service delivery enterprise, both private and public sectors. The severity of risks occurring depends upon many factors. In order to quantify such severities most organisations traditionally employ some sort of risk processes to assess the likelihood of risks occurring and their perceived or calculated impact. This enables risks to be prioritised and resources applied to meet the overall best interests of the organisation and its internal and external stakeholders.

Risks, great and small

In today’s connected and integrated world risks and their impacts can and do translate across international boundaries. No longer are they confined to departments and within individual companies. Economic boundaries and geographical structures are such that companies now need to assess risks in a world where a volcano in Iceland can cause the closure of a manufacturing plant in Japan.

Equally at the individual organisation level the importance of undertaking health and safety risk assessments in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of it’s employees is a legal obligation for many companies. Product manufactures will undertake design risk assessments in order to ensure that the ultimate users are protected from any safety related design hazard.

Local authorities are required to ensure that they provide safe highways and passage for the general public. For example, they will need to assess the amount of sand and grit they will need to ensure they can cope with the pressures of harsh winter weather to protect the individual motorists and the unsuspecting pensioner on an icy pavement.

All of the above and in many more private and public sector industries and services there is the basic requirement for someone or some persons to identify a potential risk, to evaluate the likelihood of the risk occurring and to calculate the impact or consequence of the risk in order to best minimise its impact.

Risk management – does it work?

Armed with the knowledge that risk is everywhere but that there are robust systems and processes to manage them is it safe to say that such systems and processes work?

Certainly there are many examples of where risk management has worked. If the available systems and processes didn’t work then they simply wouldn’t be used. Risk departments and risk mangers would be unlikely to exist and an irresponsible attitude to risk would likely be prevalent.

Risk management however does not work in all cases. It’s impossible not to be tempted to assert that the BP oil well catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico could have been prevented if the risks had been fully evaluated. Similarly the lack of controls to adherence of risk processes that has resulted in global financial problems has been laid at the doors of some of the worlds largest financial institution and banks.

Another dimension to risk management

With the proliferation of risk management tools, the use of highly complex modelling techniques and experts and specialists in their fields of expertise, why is it that risks of the magnitude and scale noted above, to the trip hazard on the local pavement, to the vulnerability of the child in a local authorities occur?

It is simply that risk management is not just about rules and regulations. Successful risk management needs a culture and a set of values that ensures that it becomes part of an organisations DNA. If corporate culture is perceived as resentful towards those who raise risks then any risk process is useless. People will hope that the problems just go away. The culture must allow for honesty and openness that allows for maximum benefits to arise from the tools and modelling techniques.

Why choose a career in risk management?

Risk managers and people whose job it is to minimise the occurrence of risks are experts in their field. Their value contribution to any organisation is immense. Qualifications in risk management for some specialised industries – for example insurance – is sometimes necessary and will certainly add to an individuals self marketing capability. However a large number of active risk management individuals do not consciously set out on a career path of risk management. They some how stumble in to it. At this point there is a choice. Do you stick with the tools and techniques or do you grasp the risk agenda and take it forward? The emergence of enterprise risk management aligned to systems thinking; the inescapable link between successful risk intelligent organisations and culture; the in depth knowledge of an organisation and its independencies are immeasurable assets in a world where some have developed a low tolerance to risk. A career in risk management can be as dull as it can be exciting. The choice is yours.

But remember, risk is about taking the opportunity to grow, expand and compete more effectively. Without risk, there is no reward – for the organisation or for the individual.

Top 5 Facts About the Williamsburg Bridge

Even though it is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Williamsburg Bridge is just as noteworthy. Some Williamsburg Bridge interesting facts might be surprising. Following are five fun facts about the Williamsburg Bridge.

1. Groundbreaking Design

The Williamsburg Bridge was the first bridge to eschew masonry towers in favor of steel. This choice made the bridge both faster to build and cheaper. It also meant that the towers needed smaller foundations and could be reinforced if need be at a later time. No weight is carried at all by the cables between the towers and the anchor points. The ends of the Williamsburg Bridge are supported underneath by trusses instead. This reduced the cost of the bridge, and makes it unique among suspension bridges.

2. Record Setting

The main span of the Williamsburg Bridge, at 1,600 feet, was the world’s longest until the Bear Mountain Bridge was completed in 1924. When the bridge was built, only one bridge in the world was longer – Scotland’s cantilever-designed Forth Bridge. When it opened, the Williamsburg Bridge supported the heaviest load of any bridge in the world. It provided two elevated railway tracks, four streetcar tracks, two lanes of road in each direction, and foot and bicycle paths above the trolley tracks.

3. Heavy Metal

The trend-setting metal towers of the Williamsburg Bridge are 333 feet tall and made of over 3,000 tons of steel each. Roughly 17,500 miles of wire, weighing over 8,000 tons, were used to make the eight 18-inch-thick cables suspending the bridge. That’s enough wire to wrap around the Pentagon over 20,000 times, or to put a six-strand electric fence the entire way around the state of Texas. The massive structure of the bridge brings more than 140,000 vehicles, 100,000 subway riders, 600 cyclists, and 500 pedestrians across the East River every day.

4. Spotted in Popular Culture

Williamsburg Bridge interesting facts include its appearance in movies such as The Amazing Spider-Man,American Gangster, The French Connection, Johnny Suede, Live and Let Die, The Naked Brothers Band: The Movie,The Naked City, Once Upon a Time in America, Scent of a Woman, Serpico, and The Siege. It’s referenced in novelsThe Alienist, City of Bones, The Last Olympian, and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. Jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins would practice on the bridge, and named an album, The Bridge, in its honor.

5. Celebrations

New York went wild for the bridge’s formal opening. There were parades in Brooklyn and Manhattan, a fireworks display, and a flotilla of 200 ships on the East River. To mark the 100th anniversary in 2003, Domino Sugar made an enormous cake – consistently described as “truck-sized” – as part of a celebration that included musicians, street vendors, exhibits, and a parade of dignitaries across the bridge. The American Society of Civil Engineers designated the Williamsburg Bridge as a National Civil Engineering Landmark in 2009.

Cable Assemblies Vs Wire Harnesses – What’s Different?

On the outside, it may seem that there are no major differences between cable assemblies and wire harnesses. Oftentimes you will hear the two terms used interchangeably by experts and professionals alike, which can lead to confusion, not to mention the potential for wasted time and money. Some of the main differences are highlighted here so that you will have a clear idea of what exactly makes cable assemblies and wire harnesses so distinct.

Wire Harnesses

As the name suggests, in order to assemble this you will need a wire, which is also referred to as a conductor. The wire can be an individual strand or a group of strands which is then covered by sheathing, which is usually a type of thermoplastic or thermoset. These groupings of wires need to be bound together and held in place with either a cable tie, tubing or woven braiding. One of the slight drawbacks of wire harnesses is since the wires only have one layer of sheathing, protection from natural elements such as rain is limited.

A major upside is that it is much smaller in size and weight than a cable assembly. This means that you will save money on both material and labor costs. If you are not concerned about environmental vulnerability and exposure, or your installation is minimal, then this may be the preferred choice for you. More often than not, a wire harness will be found inside items such as vehicles, computers, control cabinets and electronic assemblies.

Cable Assemblies

These are found in various places and more often than not they are exposed, unlike wire harnesses. You can found cable assemblies in medical devices, military electronics, industrial controls and security products, just to name a few. One of the advantages of a cable assembly is that, unlike a wire harness, there are extra layers of plastic sheathing which will provide more protection against the elements. This is especially important if you are working in volatile environments. Having all of your conductors in one neat bundle also makes it easier to work around and transport.

With assemblies, you also have the bonus of being able to allow connectors on the ends of the cables to be over molded. This essentially seals the entire cable off and further protects against wear and tear and potential damages. The main drawback to a cable assembly is due to all the extra layers of sheathing, the size and weight will be considerably increased. In certain situations this will make transportation and assembly more difficult and the cost for materials and labor will increase. However, the money you will save from environmental damages far outweighs these initial investments in security.

While there are many differences between cable assemblies and wire harnesses, they are both extremely useful and necessary in today’s world. No matter what profession you find yourself in, more than likely you are using both of these items both in the workplace and at home.

Rack Mounting Structures for a Server

A server is an intricate piece of technology that can be somewhat large in size, and awkward in shape. A server is argued to be the most necessary piece of our computer system, and we rarely remember that it even exists. Servers have capabilities far beyond what they initially had upon their basic creation. Even now, said to possibly be able to predict possible earthquakes and tsunamis, this grand structure is in need of a mounting structure to support it.

Thee are several mounting structures that currently exist for servers. Some are used because of space limitations, while others provide for easy access from the IT department. Whatever the needs of IT management, mounting structures for servers can vary dependent on what is necessary in your data center.

The most common mounting structure that exists for a computer server that is created to be 'shelved' in some way, uses a: rack, rack mount, or rack mount instrument. These structures are also known as relay racks, as they were initially used for railroad signaling relays.

A specific formatting of a 19-inch rack unit is pretty standard these days. It is used for structures including audio-visual equipment, telecommunications, computer servers and entertainment equipment, generally. These structures keep data systems from taking up excessive floor space; and leaving room in the data center for an IT specialist to move about.

Rack mounts were composed of a type of reinforced plastic in the mid nineteen sixties. Now, the best rack mounts are constructed of carbon fiber and thermo stamp composite that is also used in the military and other commercial products.

As far as mounting is concerned, there is now a boltless mounting technique that is currently being used. This specific rack mount design is known as the square-hole rack. Less expensive, as it uses fewer parts, this new technique is catching on. Although older versions of the rack mount are still in use, which include cage nuts or tapped hole racks.

How is it that this equipment and the IT professionals that maintain it, are kept safe? The rack mounts are often secured into a the actual data center itself. This means that they are literally bolted to the structures they work within.

Some areas actually have these securing requirements built into their building codes. It protects the equipment from toppling over, but it also protects any data center employees from having pieces of equipment fall on them. Handles are sometimes also provided on the front of the rack mounts to allow for easy access to the backside, top, or bottom of the computer servers.

Each rack differs dependent on the machinery it holds. Some can be only a few inches high, while others can stand unit upon unit. In protecting machinery that contains so much information for our homes, businesses and corporations, rack mounts are an important component to the entire computer server system.