Let's Break the Sound Barrier

Last week, I was in Connecticut at a workshop for business owners. I sat next to the wonderful Ms. Laine.

We talked about our passion and mission and how so many people let the challenges of life, and the fears in our head, stop us from getting what rightfully belongs to us – whether it's related to our personal lives or our business pursuits.

Then she talked about breaking the sound barrier and that if we could grasp this concept, we would be able to persevere through whatever life throws our way.

Here's why:

Before advances in technology were made, breaking the sound barrier seemed an impossible task. Going from transonic speed to supersonic speed was unheard of in the early 1900s. By the 1940s, many engineers were still saying it could not be done. That there was limit to how high we could fly. That the sound barrier was not meant to be crossed. But some engineers did believe – and worked to prove themselves right.

The sound barrier was broken by now Retired Major General Chuck Yeager. Before his flight, at least two other pilots had attempted and ended up giving their life. Post why? Because during that time, right before you hit the barrier, there was violent shaking of the plane and the pilots made fatal mistakes – they tried to slow down and in so, lost control and the planes crashed.

When Yeager went up. The same thing happened. The plane shook violently as he approached that transition point. And while his first instinct was to let up, slow down, turn around and give up, he said that he instead decided to push harder, go faster and continue full steam ahead. Then, it happened. The famous sonic boom that was heard by those on the ground. He had done it. He had broken the sound barrier.

And you know what he said he felt immediately after that? Smooth sailing.

What's the lesson here?

That to do something great, you are going to have to breakthrough your own "sound" barriers.

  • Yes – people have tried to do what you want to before and failed.
  • Yes – the "engineers" in your life will tell you it's not possible – that your life has a barrier that can not be crossed.
  • Yes – you will feel the violent shaking of setbacks, disappointments, bad choices, frustration, irritation, annoyance and a feeling of being overwhelmed.
  • Yes – you will want to let up, slow down, turn around and give up.

But that's the time to push harder, go faster and continue full steam ahead. The barriers in your life are there to be broken. And once you do, you'll experience smooth sailing.

At least until it's time for you to bust through your next barrier!

The Assumptive Close – Sale-Closing Techniques 101

Before you take the advice in this or in any other article on the subject, the best advice on closing more sales is to get to know your own personal selling process and personality. What works for the author of this article may not work in your industry, or with your personal style. That said, this is perhaps the easiest-to-adapt of all sale-closing techniques as it can be applied rather broadly.

It’s called the Assumptive Close, and it’s actually one of the easiest closes to use. It works naturally, and the method is to make the assumption that your prospect wants what you came to sell. Make the assumption that he or she will buy, and after you close your presentation, you’ll ask for the sale. But the way you ask for the sale is framed in such a way that you’ve positioned yourself in agreement with the prospect that this deal’s going through.

You: (After sales spiel) “Well, Mr. Jones, how did you want to accept delivery for your new fireproof document safe? Do you want to pick up from the dock, or should we arrange delivery to your office?”

Or: “Mr. Jones, would you like that new copier delivered Tues or Thursday this week?”

If you incorporate this method as part of your personal selling process, you’ll have to make sure you practice delivery so it comes off naturally. This shouldn’t sound like a close, it should rather flow easily from your presentation and wind up at the point where it’s obvious–you’ve made your case, and any sane person would want to buy.

Another key point to remember is that the assumptive close denies a “yes” or “no” as a viable answer to asking for the sale. Asking for the sale is simply, “Would you like ‘X’ or ‘Y’ color/quantity/delivery date?” At this point, your prospect will either answer as you’ve set it up, or bring up objections.

For this whole process to work, however, you need to assume the close first, and then answer objections if they arise. When those objections arise, you’ll answer them, and then re-pose the question, “OK, so was that Tuesday or Thursday for delivery?” Of all the sale-closing techniques available, the assumptive close is the easiest to employ and seems to work the best in the author’s personal selling process.

Handy Tips For Redecorating Your Home

Like our wardrobes, from time to time our homes need a new look and whilst this can be achieved by adding some art to the walls or a new rug in the lounge, there are other times when nothing but completely redecorating a room will do.

Along with adding a new look to your home, redecorating is also a great way to increase the value of your home, with it being estimated that a redecorated home can increase in value on average by nearly 3%.

So whether you’re looking to sell your home in the coming months, or you’ve decided it’s time to freshen up your walls, we’ve provided some handy tips to wallpapering and painting.

Wallpapering:

Stripping Wallpaper:

We’re not going to lie to you, stripping wallpaper is a tedious job and it’s one which can be hard work as well as time consuming. But it’s also a must if you want to ensure your new wallpaper sticks to the wall and looks good.

Thankfully there are two ways in which you can make the stripping of wallpaper easier and quicker.

Steam Stripper:

We’ve made no secret of the cleaning powers offered by steam, but it can also be utilised to great effect for stripping wallpaper, and using such a DIY tool is straightforward.

    1) Perforate the surface of your wallpaper with a Stanley knife, being careful not to damage the plasterwork.

    2) Work the steam stripper methodically across the wall, starting from the top and working your way down. Allow the steam to soak into the paper.

    3) Use a wallpaper scraper to remove the wallpaper as you go. If you’ve got any strands of wallpaper left after steaming and scraping, go over them again. Safety Warning: When using the steam stripper make sure you’re using it with an RCD adaptor, and never use it close to switches or sockets

Warm Water:

If you don’t have a steam stripper, the easiest way to remove your existing wallpaper is to use a bucket or warm water with alum, and apply this to your wall using a sponge. It’s recommended to use 2 tablespoons of alum – which can be purchased from the chemist – for every pint of warm water.

Simply apply the mixture to the wallpaper, allow it to soak in and then scrape off using the wallpaper scraper.

Whether you’re using a steam stripper or applying water manually, once the paper has been stripped we recommend you give your walls a scrub – using an abrasive pad and hot soapy water – to remove any glue residue.

Prepare The Wall:

Once the wallpaper has been stripped from the wall, more work needs to be carried out before you’re ready to hang your new paper – and the key is to prepare the wall. This can be done in a number of steps, including:

    • Using a flexible knife to remove any flaking paint or plaster which may be present

    • Smooth the wall by sanding it down, either with a sanding block or electric sander

    • If the wall is showing signs of any defects, from loose / cracked plaster and holes in the wall to signs of damp, these must be treated. To treat mould, we recommend you wash it away using household bleach before covering with a sealer coat of anti-damp paint.

If you’ve had to use filler on the wall, you’ll need to smooth it over again with your sanding block.

Hanging Wallpaper:

Hanging wallpaper is a DIY task which you need to take your time doing, particularly if you’re using a patterned paper. To help you hang your wallpaper to perfection, make sure you follow these handy tips…

    • Measure and cut the wallpaper correctly, key to this is to measure twice and cut once. We also suggest when measuring and cutting the wallpaper you leave an extra 2 inches at the top and bottom for final trimming.

    • Pasting the paper is key to it sticking correctly, and to get this right you’ll need to allow the paste to soak into the paper for the designated period of time (this can vary from paste to paste).

    To help make pasting cleaner, consider pouring the paste into a paint tray and applying using a paint roller.

    • To hang your paper, if you’re using a plain design start in the corner behind the door and work your way around the room, taking the time to measure and cut each piece of wallpaper as you go. For bold designs choose a focal point and start from the centre of this area, before cutting the next piece you’ll also need to make sure the pattern matches with the previous one.

    • When carrying the paper to the wall from the pasting table, it’s recommended to carefully fold it, once you’ve placed the top of the paper onto the wall you can allow the folds to drop and carefully stick the rest of the paper to the wall.

    • Make sure you use a wooden or rubber roller to press down the wallpaper as it dries, as this will help to remove any blisters – which if left can become unsightly and ruin the aesthetics of the room.

Painting:

Painting your walls may sound like an easier option to wallpapering, but to achieve a stunning finish you’ll need to do more than purchase a pot of paint and slapping this onto the walls. Instead, to get a perfect painted finish on your walls, you’ll need to take the time to clean and prepare the walls.

Clean & Prepare:

As when wallpapering, if your walls show any signs of having a defect you’ll need to resolve this – whether it’s filling holes, removing damp patches or patching up plasterboard. In addition to fixing any defects, we also recommend you sand the wall down with a sanding block to achieve a smooth surface.

With the walls ready, you can begin thinking about painting, and along with selecting the colour(s) you’re after, you’ll also need to consider the tools you’ll need for the job.

We recommend you have the following:

    • Dust cover to protect your flooring and any other areas you don’t want painting

    • Masking tape to section and cover the area where two colours will meet.

    • Paintbrush, paint pad or roller – each have their own benefits and drawbacks, but if used correctly all can help you to achieve a professional looking finish to your walls, woodwork and ceiling.

Painting:

With your walls prepared and tools to hand, you’re ready to paint. But this isn’t just about dipping your painting tool of choice into the paint and then applying it to the wall, instead for a professional finish without the price tag follow these steps…

    1) Paint in sequence – start with your ceiling before moving onto the walls and finishing with the woodwork.

    2) When painting, do all the cutting in and edges first, this will not only help the decorating go quicker but will also produce better results. You should also always make sure you start from the top of the wall when painting and work your way down as this will help reduce the risk of drip marks appearing.

    3) Start by the window first and work your way round, and although painting can be time consuming if you do need / want to take a break, wait until you’ve reached a corner as this will give you a great starting point when you come back to painting.

    4) If you’re painting an area where two colours meet (i.e. ceiling and wall), turn to your masking tape and cover the area where the two colours meet. Alternatively, if you’ve got a steady hand you can use a technique called beading.

Simply add a little paint to your brush, turn it edge on and press it flat against the wall, a short distance away so bristles are slightly splayed – this will create a bead of paint.

Taking your time when decorating your home and following the advice outlined above, will help you add a new look to your home, without having to splash the cash.

Stone Floors – The Nine Myths About Stone Restoration

There are a number of myths about stone restoration. It is important that individuals are well-informed when approaching any stone cleaning project. The following content works to investigate detail that will leave you assured that you are up-to-date with the required information.

Myth 1 states that vinegar will clean and disinfect any surface. Stones such as marble, travertine, terrazzo, limestone and even some granite will etch when they come into contact with acids such as vinegar. These marks are in fact chemical burns when alcohol, ammonia, or acid comes into contact with the surface of the stone. It appears that the finish or shine has been removed from the surface of the stone and these marks cannot simply be cleaned off. The stone needs to be re-honed or re-polished.

Myth 2 is that there is no reason to seal marble if sealing does not protect against acids. Sealers will not stop acids, ammonia, or alcohol, but it is still recommended to seal stone with a penetrating sealer annually. Sealers are great against oil, grease, coffee, tea, etc. Sealers stop non-acid liquids and oil from penetrating into the stone and prevent dark staining, which is important around areas such as cook tops.

Myth 3 is that new stone installed just two years ago does not need restoring. Natural stone, especially marble and limestone immediately react to acids, ammonia and alcohol, so if orange juice is spilled on marble an hour after installation, it will need to be re-polished or re-honed. Softer stones require more maintenance. Buildings may need monthly, quarterly or annual maintenance. Homes may need refinishing after two to five years.

Myth 4 is that power washing is sufficient to clean exterior travertine, flagstone, slate and granite. Power washing a natural stone is not a good idea. Natural stone requires a more delicate touch and power washing is too powerful for stone. It can erode the surface of granite, slate or flagstone; it can remove fills in travertine and will expose more voids; it can also remove the grout between joints. If exterior stone needs cleaning stick to damp mopping or scrubbing with a soft brush using water and neutral cleaners.

Myth 5 is that refinishing stone is a very dusty process. Restoration and maintenance of natural stone and tile is a wet process. Consequently little dust is created and most companies cover all baseboards and surrounding areas.

Myth 6 is that only the grout needs cleaning; the stone tiles look fine. Many people request only grout cleaning, which is completely understandable. Dirt gets trapped and accumulates in the grout lines over time and this accumulation makes the grout lines darker. However, in order to thoroughly clean grout, it is necessary to clean the stone and tile as well. The best way to scrub clean stone, tile, and grout is by using a soft brush with an effective cleaner. This enables cleaning into all small crevices.

Myth 7 is that the only way to polish ceramic tile is by putting a coating on it. Many janitorial companies have resorted to constantly waxing and stripping and re-waxing ceramic and porcelain tiles to ensure the floor remains shiny. Applying a coating or wax on tile floors may seem less expensive at first, but when added up, all the maintenance it incurs (stripping and constant spray buffing), it becomes a costly option. There is a natural, non-wax compound for the honing, polishing and restoration of most unglazed ceramic, porcelain and quarry tiles. This system gives a long-lasting finish and natural shine to tiles. It does not yellow or scuff and it eliminates the need for the constant waxing and stripping of tiles.

Myth 8 is that plain water cleans stone safely. Water alone does not clean stone. It simply moves the dirt around. There are neutral cleaners available which clean without harming the stone.

Myth 9 is that you only need to re-polish the affected tiles and that you do not need to re-finish the whole floor. When a glass of orange juice (or some other acidic liquid) has been spilled in one large spot on a marble, travertine, or limestone floor it is often thought that just that area needs cleaning. However, when a surface is restored, the stone is thoroughly cleaned then re-polished or re-honed. If only the four tiles in the middle of the floor are restored, those four tiles may not match the rest of the floor. It is difficult to blend those four tiles to the rest of the floor, especially because the entire floor most likely has some embedded dirt, light scratches, and small etch marks as well. The whole area needs restoring in order to give a consistent and uniform finish.

Carefully consider the above information and you too may find that some aspects of stone restoration that you have always believed have, in fact, been incorrect. You are provided with an insight into the field of stone cleaning and restoration.

Waiting for Someone to Pump Up Your Emotions?

Every day we start with a certain amount of energy. We can amplify it by consuming clean, non-processed food, putting a smile on our face and start taking steps that converges with your purpose, our “in-game goal”. Fortunately or not, some days are far better than others and for some people all days are just an average mediocracy, waiting for someone to ruin their day. Do you hold the responsibility of your own emotional ecosystem?

The vast majority of people, grow up in social circles that have as a basic principle of being emotional irresponsible. Have you ever heard people near you or even yourself saying “you just ruined my day, he really pissed my off, I can’t continue my work”?. I bet you can recall a dozen phrases which, incline a person has given the “authority” of his or her own emotions to another human being.

We are so “busy” and at most of the times unsatisfied with our lives, that we tend to blame our friends, our family, boss at work, in effect we start moving in a downwards spiral. We put ourselves as the reaction rather than the action.

On the other side of the spectrum, what we experience its 100% expected, we turned most of the world against us and more importantly we turned our self against us, damaging the self-esteem by not acknowledge the actions we have taken.

Let me remind you that you are responsible for your own emotions. I am sure that there are several people you will encounter today, who will cause you trouble with their actions, they will be mean to you. The world isn’t filled with sunshine and rainbows, you will be let down, disappointed and sometimes feel lost. My point is don’t wait for no one to pick you (emotionally) up, choose to rely on your strengths.

I have been hearing lately from numerous of people that they can’t stand being alone, they always looking for company. When they go home, they pick up the phone, or start texting in order to suppress their emotion of loneliness. Consciously or unconsciously, they are waiting for others to pump up their emotional state, forgetting they have the skills which can guide them to achieve happiness and fulfillment. They have put their selves in a position, where it stands extremely difficult to acknowledge the strengths that one can have, by creating a habit of emotional dependency.

When you encounter such an invisible for all those years habit, is to fully accept the fact that is an expression of your self, be friends with it. Only then you can be sure that when a time passes and the habit will come back, at your doorstep, you will be able to face her again.

Still waiting for Someone to Pump Up your Emotions?

Collagen Muscle – A Look at Collagen and Lean Muscle

When you hear someone talk about collagen the first thought that may come to mind is injections to the face, smoothing out the wrinkles or plumping up the lips. In fact, collagen is much more than that, it does help with a youthful skin, but there are many other benefits to it and it is an important protein especially when it comes to your health. Collagen and muscles come hand in hand if you want to maintain your lean muscle and have a healthy body.

Collagen in the body is a main protein that is an important part of our bones, tissues, and skin. This is needed for painless joints and lean muscles. Studies have shown that as you age, you lose collagen. Women always have a lower amount than men no matter the age, which may explain why the wrinkles seem to show up first. But it is also an important part of healthy hair and nails.

This protein is an important part of our body’s structure. Ligaments, bones, tendons, and muscles are all held together by collagen. Collagen fibers are sturdy bundles and ropes that work alongside keratin to keep skin youthful and wrinkle-free. It is the main component in connective tissues and what cushions the joints and keeps the muscles strong.

Because as you get older, the body loses its ability to create natural collagen, many are taking collage supplements to help retain and restore lean muscles. These supplements are believed to give the body the amino acids necessary to create and support collagen.

Bodies lose muscle content and gain fat as you age, so you end up with a lower muscle to fat ratio. So any added collagen your body takes in is effective in helping it to regain its shape and tone as well as ridding it of fats. This also helps that you don’t gain excess weight and keeps your body sculpted and healthy.

The specific amino acids in collagen help preserve and build lean muscles, which in turn help to regulate and increase the metabolism. That is why fat can be burned as energy to help the body repair itself. But you need to use it as a total body program, healthy eating and exercise is needed to make it a powerful tool in fat loss and body toning.

Athletes are not the only ones that can benefit with collagen supplements. The many benefits for your body and your health as a whole are numerous. There are growing studies on the effectiveness of collagen and it has been proven to help with lean muscle and control weight better. More and more people are using these to improve their overall look and how they feel.

2008 Doral 170 Sunquest Review

This is a sleek and speedy runabout with the look and feel of a much larger boat. There is plenty of passenger room and storage space packed into a small frame. From bow to stern there is everything that you need for a fun trip, with all kinds of entertainment for yourself and friends.

The Sunquest comes with a fiberglass hull and a 115 hp 23 gallon outboard single engine that is fast and reliable. Standard features include: marine grade 316 stainless steel, tilt sport steering wheel, twin adjustable swivel bucket-seats, and Clarion stereo.

Many standard features for the Doral 170 Sunquest.

* Marine grade 316 stainless for extra strength and durability

* Tilt sport steering wheel, for smooth steering at speed

* Twin adjustable swivel bucket-seats, suitable for fishing, photography, sightseeing

* Extensive storage space

* Clarion stereo

Specifications

* Engine Max HP: 115 hp. If you replace this you should verify – for insurance reasons – the maximum horsepower for your boat

* Model  170 Sunquest

* Color  White/Black/Custom

Measurements

* Length (feet)  16

* Length (inches)  10

* Length (meters)  5.13

* Length (LOA)  16 ft. 10 in. (5.13 m)

* Beam  6 ft. 10 in. (2.08 m) * Deadrise  19°

* Weight  1,300 lbs. (590 kg)

* Hull Type  Modified Vee, formed with 316 stainless steel gunwale molding and 316 stainless steel marine hardware

* Deck Formed with 316 stainless gunwale molding and 316 stainless steel marine hardware

* Hull Material  Fiberglass

* Windshield The windshield is formed from curved walk-through safety glass

Engine and Drive Chain

* Fuel Type  Gas

* Fuel Capacity  23 gal. (87 l)

* Drive Type  Outboard

Extras Features include flotation foam, integrated non skid swim platform hand, lay-up construction and stainless steel swim ladder.

The cockpit has marine stainless grab handles with bow seat storage, side panel storage, vented rubber lined floor storage, plus there’s a full aft lounge seat and several small extra touches such as the designed glove compartment, beverage holders and plush marine grade pile carpeting.

The BumbleRide Flyer Stroller: A Smart Investment For Families

The BumbleRide Flyer stroller is great for parents with one child. You need to have a stroller that works well in any environment, inside or out, and this stroller from bumbleride does both with ease. The BumbleRide single stroller is lightweight coming in at only nineteen pounds, and carries a capacity weight of forty-five pounds. You can easily bring this stroller out from storage to use everyday. The stroller comes well equipped with a hood, a spacious shopping basket underneath, and an adjustable handle. A BumbleRide rain cover is also available.

The Flyer stroller handle moves either direction easily changing baby's' view from front to back. The stroller looks great either way and works just as well from birth to the time the child reaches forty-five pounds. The BumbleRide stroller comes well equipped with a hood, a spacious shopping basket underneath, and an adjustable handle. The handle can switch from side to side and lengthwise increasing the strollers overall maneuverability. Whether you are short or tall this stroller fits you comfortably and you actually want to push it. Plus, it comes with interchangeable fabrics, which gives you a whole new look quickly and easily.

You can change fabrics when one gets older or dirty, or simply change when you want a new look. The BumbleRide Flyer stroller is great for second and third babies of either gender because changing the look is simple and fast. This stroller will work in any environment indoor or out, and will maneuver well in both situations.

There is even a sunshade for your lengthy afternoon or morning walks with your little one. With several options you can zip it up completely or leave some room to see your baby's face. The sunshade zips off when needed as well. The sunshade even has a hole to watch your baby inside the stroller as you happily "stroll" around.

The cup holder comes off when you are not using it and makes it a bit easier to fold down and store. The BumbleRide Flyer stroller truly is great for new moms that want the best of the best for their bundles of joy. It will grow with your family and be something you can use for the rest of your time as a mom. You can use it with any infant seat you wish because the car seat adapter is universal. This means that you can carry your newborn with you in any car seat you happen to have. The Flyer stroller from BumbleRide will hold your newborn without an infant car seat or inside the car seat of your choice.

With unlimited options and maneuverability, the BumbleRide Flyer stroller is truly a smart investment for any family on the go.

How to Write a Restaurant Review

The point of writing a review is to give information about the good & bad aspects (if any!) about the dining establishment.

What should be the style of the review?

It should be in a chatty style to make it fun to read & not in a boring formal style.

What aspects should be emphasized in a review?

All aspects are important – the location, the exterior, the ambience, the decor & furnishings, the menu, the table settings, the service, and, of course, the food.

What are the ways to describe the various aspects?

* The location: Is it easy to locate with some major landmark nearby? Is it a busy commercial area? Is it primarily a residential area? Is there parking space?

* The exterior: Does the restaurant have indoor & outdoor space? If only indoor space, is there seating space outside for waiting diners? Is there any overhead awning? Is a staff member outside to take reservations or parcel orders?

* The ambience: Is the atmosphere a cheerful one or is it a dull depressing place?

* The decor & furnishings: What is the lighting system – soft/dim/harsh/garish lighting? Are the walls covered with some kind of paintings or other decorative designs? What is the seating arrangement?

* The menu : Was the menu design anything extraordinary? What is the least expensive & the most expensive item listed in the menu? What is the variety of cuisine listed? Is there a separate wine list?

* The table settings: How is the table top – glass, wood, Formica, etc? Were glasses, & table napkins already set?

* The service: How was the attire of the staff (e.g. if a festival is on-going, then the waiters could be in traditional clothes matching the festival)? Did the waiter come quickly to take your order? Did the food come to the table quickly? Was any food item not ordered brought to your table? Did the waiter hover around the table in an irritating manner?

* The food: Was it bland, spicy, salty, too sweet? What exactly did you / your group eat? Were the prices worth it?

Additional Tips:

Be creative: Basically in writing a restaurant review you should use different kinds of words when describing the decor and the food. You cannot use the word ‘nice’ and ‘tasty’ or ‘delicious’ repeatedly! To find different kinds of words and not sound like a parrot, type out your review in a Word doc. on your computer; check out other similar words by using the computer dictionary [Tools-Language-Thesaurus].

Enhance your review with photos if possible. If you have a digital camera with you, you can take photos of the food too. It is very important, however, to always ask for permission to take photos inside the restaurant. Some establishments are very strict about taking photographs and you must always respect rules & regulations. If at all you are asked why you are taking a photograph, you can simply say you are trying out your new camera! Naturally, you should not state that you are going to write a review too – then it is guaranteed that the management will go out of their way to please you & you will not get the real picture!

Longboard Speed Control for Beginners

For the beginner longboarder, gaining speed can be very intimidating. If you are going too fast and feel you cannot control your speed, this can lead to panic. When you panic, you usually wipe out. Not knowing how to control your speed can be really frustrating. Let’s discuss some basic ways you can control your speed on a longboard.

Running It Out

Running it out is pretty self explanatory. This involves jumping off the board and running in order to decelerate. This has its obvious risks but can be better than the alternative of wiping out at a high speed on your longboard.

Carving

Carving is one of the easiest ways to control your speed on a longboard. When you carve, you make a wavy pattern as you descend a hill. This involves going from your toe edge to your heel edge, back and forth. As you are carving, you are slowing your speed a bit and giving yourself a sense of control. Instead of going straight down a hill, which causes you to accelerate faster, try carving instead.

Foot Braking

Foot braking is another basic way to slow your speed on a longboard. Foot braking involves lowering a foot to the pavement and scraping the sole of your shoe along it to slow you down. At first, you may feel uncomfortable trying this technique, but with a little practice, you will be learning to slow yourself in no time. Just be sure to practice on a nice flat area first. Also, be aware that foot braking can cause significant wear on the soles of your shoes.

Sliding

Sliding is a more advanced way of speed control. Sliding, also known as a power slide, involves twisting your board around in a controlled manner. This maneuver skids your wheels along the pavement and slows you down. Sliding can be performed by either placing your hands on the ground and performing a toe slide or Coleman Slide, or by standing up completely to perform a stand-up slide. Toe slides and Coleman Slides are the easiest ways for a beginner longboarder to learn how to slide. Be sure to buy a good pair of slide gloves to protect your hands if you want to perform these slides.

Air Braking

Air braking is a fairly simple way to get some control of your speed. Downhill longboarders use this method to slow themselves down at high speeds. Air braking involves using wind resistance to slow your momentum. This can be done by spreading out your arms and chest to give the wind a large surface area to slow you down.

All of these methods take some time and practice to learn how to control speed properly. There is no specific method of speed control for every situation. Always be sure to wear a helmet and practice these techniques before getting yourself in a situation where you will be gaining high speeds. Now that you are familiar with these methods, get out there and have fun!

The I-35W Was A Bridge Too Far

There are some tragic news stories that reflect weather and nature related catastrophes like the death and destruction due to droughts, floods, hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes. There are sad, tragic stories like accidental drowning, car accidents, and heart attacks.

Then there is the story of the collapse of the I-35W bridge over the Mississippi River in Minnesota on August 1, 2005 at 605pm. (CDT). There were thirteen deaths due to this bridge collapse and the victims, eight males and five females aged 22 months to 60 years, who were all Minnesota residents.

They were probably returning home after a day of work and were caught in rush hour in a traffic jam, moving slowly across the bridge in a limited number of lanes when the central span of the bridge suddenly gave way, followed by the adjoining spans. The bridge structure and deck collapsed into the river and onto the riverbanks below. Approximately 100 vehicles were involved, sending their occupants and several construction workers up to 115 feet down to the river and onto its banks. Northern sections fell into a rail yard, landing on three unoccupied and stationary freight train cars.

Why is this tragic story so different from floods, hurricanes, drought, accidents, and earthquakes? Because this story should never have occurred and the thirteen people who lost their lives returning from work that August afternoon should never have perished. The bridge collapsed and thirteen people lost their life because this was a bridge too far removed from the oversight of a competent and fiscally responsible state and federal government. Lets examine the record of the I-35W bridge:

In 1990, the Federal Highway Administration gave the I-35W bridge a rating of "structurally deficient," citing significant corrosion in its bearings.

Since 1993, the bridge was inspected annually by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. In the years prior to the collapse, many different reports cited problems with the bridge's structure, yet the state of Minnesota relied on patchwork repairs and stepped-up inspections.

According to a 2001 study by the civil engineering department of the University Of Minnesota, cracking was discovered in the cross girders at the end of the approach spans. The main trusses connected to these cross girders and resistance to motion at the connection point bearings was leading to unanticipated out-of-plane distortion of the cross girders and subsequent stress cracking. The situation was addressed by drilling the cracks to prevent further propagation and adding supports struts to the cross girder to prevent further distortion. The report also noted a concern about lack of redundancy in the main system, which meant the bridge had a greater risk of collapse in the event of any single structural failure.

In 2005, the bridge was again rated as "structurally deficient" and in possible need of replacement, according to the US Department of Transportation's National Bridge Inventory database. The federal National Bridge Inventory database of inspection records show that the I-35W bridge ranked near the bottom of federal inspection ratings nationwide. The I-35W bridge was given a rating of 50 in the year 2005. Out of 104,348 heavily used bridge structures (those with more than 10,000 vehicles traveling on them per day), only 4,227, or 4%, scored below 50.

Problems were noted in two subsequent inspection reports in 2006. The inspection carried out June 15, 2006 found problems of cracking and fatigue.

So what was the reaction by Minnesota state officials when the I-35W bridge collapsed? "We thought we had done all we could," state bridge engineer Dan Dorgan told reporters not far from the mangled remains of the bridge. "Obviously something went terribly wrong."

Minnesota Governor Pawlenty must have been equally shocked since he said in August of 2006 that his interpretation of the bridge inspection reports indicated that the bridge "would last until 2020 or beyond." Unfortunately, his prediction was proven wrong by thirteen years and thirteen premature deaths.

Repairing bridges is not as politically attractive as other community projects for state politicians seeking election. In fact up to twenty percent of state transportation spending goes toward more visible community projects like museums and bike paths. Minnesota has used transportation spending on ninety miles of dedicated bike lanes and off street commuter trails.

The large expenditures of fixing and building infrastructure like bridges can often be to cumbersome for state and local governments. This is where the Federal Transportation bill comes into force. However, this bill has been a large part of federal government waste for years. This is the bill that was the sponsor for the infamous "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska. In fact, the Federal Transportation Bill has been a significant part of the two hundred and fifty two billion dollars of federal pork barrel spending (Citizens Against Government Waste) since 1991 that our career federal politicians have feasted on to help insure their reelection. (See Pork Barrel Spending Wastes Tax Dollars in the National Journal on this site).

So, what had the federal government done to help Minnesota with the I-35W bridge repair, since the 1990 Federal Highway Administration Report deemed the bridge "structurally deficient"? What had the federal government done to help Minnesota with the ongoing recognition of the structural problems with the bridge by the US Department of Transportation? The answer is that the I-35W bridge for sixteen years was not a federally funded infrastructure project despite several federal reports indicating severe structural problems, which would lead to the tragedy of August 1, 2007.

State and Federal Government officials need to fund infrastructure projects on priorities and needs and not the political expediency of the next election. Government needs to address issues of bridges and dams and highways long before they structurally collapse.

The I-35W bridge collapse of August 1, 2007 was a result of incompetent state and federal government oversight. The bridge collapsed because it was not crucial to any congressional politician's election need or special interest group's agenda. The I-35W bridge did not receive proper structural repair because it was a bridge too far removed from the way the political process in this country now works.

D-SNAP Technology – An Innovative Fixing and Assembly System

D-SNAP technology illustrates how this innovative fixing and assembly system for the sheet metal and panel building industries can save time and money without using tools for construction of enclosures and mounting of hardware such as handles, hinges etc.

Snap technology applied to enclosure hardware provides a unique alternative to traditional fastening methods. It is currently used in the assembly process of specialist industrial enclosures and has the potential for use in many other areas; for example, household appliances, industrial machinery, HVAC equipment, automotive and furniture industries. Fasteners that incorporate snap technology can be manufactured easily, they are quick to install, very secure and extremely economical. They also offer a high load-bearing ability. Snap technology in these applications offers many advantages when compared with traditional fastening techniques. Especially in the case of high-volume production it is possible to incorporate snap technology into products for blind assembly, and then to integrate the products into an automated assembly process using robots.

Because it can be installed as a single piece, the snap fastener offers many advantages for the user. The main advantages are time and money savings in the assembly of a wide variety of enclosures and switch cabinets – however additionally, when the need for the costly storage of panel parts is eliminated, the overall manufacturing process speeds up. Other parameters may also be improved eg storage outlay for fasteners used in process is noticeably lower, since the snap fasteners are delivered as pre-assembled components and are immediately ready for installation. Over and above this, the user profits from the superior functionality afforded by a system where no parts can get lost after installation.

Combining snap fasteners with functional components such as locks, hinges, handles etc., – plus the special design of the snap fastener itself – creates a much larger range of applications that can go beyond just the joining of panels to include the complete enclosure assembly and finishing stages.

This unique modular technology requires only rectangular hole punching to suit the relevant component which can then be pushed into place by hand to achieve a firm positive fit. The system can be used to fabricate complete cabinets by means of joining elements which can hold sides to back, panels to frames – other components then complete the assembly with snap-in hinges and door closure / security items and so on. The technology that enables this involves careful use of detail design criteria and spring utilisation to ensure a "locked-in" tight fit once installed and a robust assembly when in use.

An excellent example is the 40mm long cast hinge with 180 ° capability and sealing capacity to IP65 with RH or LH operation which are particularly applicable where full door opening is required, either for maximum door clearance, eg for insertion of equipment – or for access to the rear of the door. They may be used on standalone enclosures / racks or on suited style side-by-side installations with three versions available – with M5 cast in screws, with screws on one leaf and SNAP-LINE® fitting on the other leaf – or with SNAP- LINE® (D-SNAP®) technology on both leaves to enable a simple "blind" push-in fitting that does not require access from the rear – this can provide up to 90% savings in hinge assembly time.

The D-SNAP® range of panel assembly joiners, locks, hinges etc. is designed to enable specialist cabinet builders to quickly fabricate housings with flat sheet into a robust structure. These specialist joiner components operate to fasten two or more sheet metal panels together by simply pressing and snapping the joiner into prepared panel cutouts. They are ideal for fastening cabinet components, eg removable top or base and for robust firm fixing of panels of similar or varying thickness, eg multi-component motor control cabinets.

D-SNAP® joiners will adjust to varying thicknesses of panel and use standard 30x10mm cut-outs enabling rapid assembly after painting. Where removable panels are needed then pull-off forces may be chosen from 15N / 30N / 50N dependent upon component.

As a finishing touch a low profile SNAP-LINE® swinghandle is ideal for enclosures and control panels where "no-tools" snap-in fitment and resistance to vibration will be appreciated. Features of this D-SNAP® technology unit include clamping ranges from 0.7mm to 5.3mm, LH and RH application and blind assembly, which – like the D-SNAP® hinges – can save up to 90% of assembly time compared to other swinghandles . Fitment is by means of a simple 110x25mm cut-out – removal is also accomplished quickly and without tools.

Mounting Solutions For The Average Joe

For most people that have their Big Screen TV’s, Wide Screen Projector, LCD Monitors and the like, they have professionals that can install the various Mounting Solutions available in the market right now. There are wall, desk, ceiling mounts and many others. Each type of mount caters to a specific kind of device. These kinds mostly points out to the current generation of TV’s, Monitors and projectors. With the combination of mounts and devices available, people have found a way to enjoy their viewing experience to the next level. So what does the Average Joe know about the many kinds of mounts that are made available for them? Almost none.

To fix that, here’s a quick rundown of the many Mounting Solutions that the Average Joe can know about:

1. Wall

The Wall Mount is about getting a Mounting Solution that can be installed on the wall. There are many kinds of Wall Mounts such as a Stationary, Single Arm, Multiple Arm, and even Full Motion. Most of these are made for LCD TV’s and Monitors based on the current generation of slim TV’s and LCD Monitors.

2. Ceiling

A ceiling are the ones that can be installed on the ceiling. This type usually has a single design and purpose, but there are also the types that comes with a single pole and a single or multi arm mount can be combined with it. This kind usually caters to a projector, usually for an office setup and even a home theater.

3. Freestanding

Since most apartments do not allow any kind of modification to the walls and ceilings, most people cannot install a ceiling or wall mount. To address this issue, a Freestanding mount is tailor made for this purpose. It can still mount the TV’s and Monitors with it’s own mounting solution, but the mount is placed on a rolling or table-like setup.

4. Desk

This are the ones installed on Desks for Computer Monitors. This usually comes with a Monitor Arm and a single pole or a wide base.

With these four types of Mounting Solutions to choose from, the Average Joe can choose what fits with their own device and can plan around them when they actually purchase their own.

Hammer Better With These 7 Tips

1. Improve swing

Starting with the basics, improving your swing can help reduce your chances of bending a nail. One way to do this is by reducing the amount of swings it takes to drive the nail in. Reduce them down to three. When holding the hammer, use the bottom part of the hammer. Do not grab the hammer in the middle. Use your arm like a pendulum on a clock, and keep your wrist stiff while delivering the blow.

2. Start the nail with one hand

Using one hand to start the nail allows you to have one free hand for grabbing other things. One of the ways to do this is by inserting the nail into the back of the hammer. Place the head of the nail against the base of the hammer, with the end going through the claws. When you swing the hammer, the nail will drive in as far as the claws. Simply remove the hammer from the nail and drive it in the normal way.

3. Alternate way to start a nail

Another way to start a nail is by holding the nail tightly between your fingers. Wrap your hand around the hammer, with the head of the nail pressed against the side of the hammer. Simply drive the nail in using the force of your hand.

4. Drive in small nails one-handed

Small nails can usually result in smashed fingers if you are not careful. This handy trick will allow you to drive in a nail without hurting yourself! Place the nail into a sheet of paper that has been folded in half. Go through both halves of paper with the nail. The paper will act as a holder while seating the nail. Before you drive the nail all the way in, tear the paper away.

5. Protect your surfaces

When hammering in finished nails, it is a bummer to miss your mark and mess up the surface of your work. A good way to prevent this and protect your surface is to use perfboard. Perfboard has holes that nails can go through when hammering. Once you have the nail seated, simply remove the perfboard.

6. Telephone books as work surfaces

Telephone books can serve as great work surfaces. They help to deaden the sound of hammering and offer good protection.

7. Convert your hammer into a mallet

If you are scared that you will damage wood when tapping a joint together, you can convert your hammer into a rubber mallet. Cut a tennis ball into an X shape, and place of the head of the hammer.

Glass Mosaics

Glass mosaic tiles are one of the many mosaic tiles available for use in making mosaic arts, mosaic pools, mosaic tables, etc. Glass mosaic tiles come in a variety of designs: metallic, iridescent, mini, vitreous glass mosaic tile and swirled.

Usually, a glass mosaic tile is measures ¾ "x ¾" x 1/8 ", which is the industry standard. Because there is an industry standard, glass tiles from different manufacturers can be used for the same design. However, it should be kept in mind that stone and ceramic tiles are usually thicker than glass mosaic tiles.

Glass mosaic tiles have a flat face, with the back embossed with small ridges to facilitate the faster bonding of glue. When cutting glass mosaic tiles, it is important to use a mosaic glass cutter that has wheel-shaped blades; these blades help cut the tiles more cleanly and precisely than a tile nipper.

Iridescent glass mosaic tiles are usually found mounted on a removable mesh sheet, with about 36 tiles per sheet. Larger sheet sizes are available, but the tiles themselves are available in one size. The mesh is placed to ensure consistent grout spacing between the glass mosaic tiles and can be removed by soaking it in hot water.

The finest Italian mosaic glass tile is fired at high temperatures in the presence of mineral salts to give it an iridescent finish that shimmers like mother of pearl. In the case of metallic glass mosaic tiles, there are tiny metallic flakes that are swirled throughout the glass to give a stunning overall effect to the tile. In the case of swirled glass mosaic tiles, the tiles are marbleized with swirls of different colored glass. These tiles are molded into individual tiles that are ready to use "as-is" when required, with no cutting.