Parry O’Brien – Shot Put Champion

The year was 1951. At three o’clock in the morning, under the dim lighting of street lights on a vacant lot next door, a young man of nineteen stood contemplating the 16-pound shot put in his hand. This iron ball was his barrier, his Everest, his four-minute mile. Despite his copybook style and powerful arms, he just could not put it farther than 55 feet.

That night he decided to explore simple laws of physics. If he could only apply his strength to the shot for a longer period of time, then surely it would go further. No rules specified which direction a shot-putter had to face when beginning the put or the action of his legs. The only rule he had to comply with was that the shot had to be put not thrown using only one hand.

O’Brien examined the 7-foot circle from all angles and then stood at the very rear–not facing the throwing quadrant as he had done in the past, but facing the opposite direction. This meant that the shot resting on his right shoulder would have to travel a full 180E before he released it, instead of the standard 90E that shot-putters normally used.

He sank low with his weight on his right leg, the shot put resting under his chin. Then he executed a long hop backwards while at the same time spinning his torso a full 180E. When he finally released the shot, O’Brien could feel the added momentum behind it.

In the days and months that followed, while attending the University of Southern California, O’Brien refined and perfected his technique. He studied yoga (“to dig deep into what you might call an inner reserve of strength,” he explained), as well as aerodynamics, religions and, of course, physics–anything that might hold the key to greater distance. He became one of the first track and field athletes to lift weights on a regular basis, bulking up to 240 pounds at his peak with a height of 6’3″.

His cutting-edge style became known as the “O’Brien Glide” and it soon brought him to the front ranks of the sport. In 1953, he set a new world record of 59 feet 3/4 inch. In 1954, significantly just two days after British runner Roger Bannister became the first person to break the four-minute mile, Parry O’Brien became the first shot-putter to exceed 60 feet.

He broke the world record 17 times in his career, ultimately raising it to 63 feet 3 inches. By 3 December 1956, he was famous enough to grace the cover of TIME magazine. In the accompanying interview, he says, “My style is geared to allow me to apply force for the longest time before releasing the shot.”

At the height of his career, O’Brien was undefeated in 116 consecutive meets. He won Olympic gold medals in 1952 and 1956, a silver in 1960, placed fourth in 1964 and retired from competition in 1966 at the age of 34. By that time, his style had been widely adopted.

O’Brien’s workouts were legendary. He took 150 practice puts a day and is quoted as saying, “I don’t quit until my hands bleed, and that’s the God’s truth.” Before a competition, to psyche himself up, he would play tapes that he had made to remind himself of the finer tips of form and style. Rumour has it that the tapes always ended with the catchcry, “And beat them! Beat them all!”

On April 21st, at the age of 75, Parry O’Brien died of a heart attack during a 500-yard Masters freestyle race in California. “He was at lap 11, getting ready to switch, and he stayed at the wall,” said his wife Terry. O’Brien had taken up swimming in the 1990’s when his joints became too painful for shot-putting.

We think of a champion as someone who stands first in his events. For many years, Parry O’Brien embodied that ideal of a champion. But in the later years of his life, Parry O’Brien showed the world another aspect of a true champion. As philosopher Sri Chinmoy has written:

“A great champion is he who, owing to the advancement of years, retires from racing or terminates his career happily and cheerfully.

“A great champion is he who longs to see the fulfilment of his dreams–if not through himself, then in and through others.”

Parry O’Brien was that great champion.

Dedicated Servers – Making the Switch

The move to dedicated server web hosting should be planned meticulously, follow these guidelines and the pain will be considerably reduced.

Choosing the type of server – this should be influenced by the type of site or sites that you run. If they rely heavily on databases and server-side scripting then you will benefit from a powerful CPU and increased RAM but will not necessarily require a huge hard disk, if conversely you allow uploads of photos and/or video then hard disk space will be your primary consideration.

Choosing your new web host – There are a plethora of web hosting companies around these days, the best option is to chose an established host that offers a package that suits your needs. One of your main considerations should be the support available especially when you are making the switch.

Back everything up – This cannot be stressed enough most websites are a labor of love and dynamic sites often contain information such as customer forums which cannot be rebuilt if lost. Your website files should be backed up via FTP and your database tables should be dumped.

Sign up – If you are switching hosts sign up for your new server if you are upgrading contact your host and request the upgrade.

Upload your files – Once your new sever is ready (this can take up to a week as your particular requirements may need to be built so be patient) upload your new site via FTP, and import your databases, since you are now using a dedicated server your databases will be hosted on localhost so some changing of your connection settings for your site will be required (more information can be found in my other article ‘Dedicated Servers: Moving your MySql databases to a dedicated server’).

Note. If you are upgrading your website files will usually be automatically transferred, this is not the case with your databases which are generally housed on a separate server and will need to be manually imported.

Once all this has been achieved you are ready to re-point your domain to your new DNS, to do this you need to get the address of your new DNS there are generally two which should look like this:

N1.NEWHOST.COM

N2.NEWHOST.COM

It should be noted that it may take up to 72hrs before the whole switch is complete, as even if the Domain Name Server updates immediately (which is not usually the case) it takes time for the routers around the internet to update their DNS databases.

One your site is up and running and you are happy with it, you can cancel your old subscription.

Teens and Risky Behavior

Studies have linked risky behavior in teens to a variety of factors, including chemical imbalances, peer pressure, trauma, exposure to lead, too much protein and not enough carbohydrates, rejection by peers and television. Risky behavior has also long been identified with race and ethnicity and family income and structure. But in the fall 1998 issue of the Journal of American Psychology, neuropsychologist Deborah Yurgelun-Todd, Director of Neuropsychology and Cognitive Neuroimaging at McLean Hospital Brain Imaging Center, the psychiatric teaching hospital at Harvard University, linked risky behavior in teens to their underdeveloped prefrontal cortexes.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to compare the emotional processing of healthy 10- to 18-year-olds with that of normal adults, researchers focused on the level of brain activity in the amygdala, a region that guides instinctual or “gut” reactions, and the   frontal  lobe, the seat of rationalization and reasoning. They found that “when young adolescents process emotion, the level of brain activity in the amygdala is higher than the activity in the  frontal  lobe. However, as adolescents progress into adulthood, there is an age-related shift: activation in the amygdala decreases while activity in the  frontal  lobe increases,” according to the study’s published results.

“These results suggest that adolescents are more prone to react with ‘gut instinct’ when they process emotions, but as they mature into early adulthood, they are able to temper their instinctive ‘gut reaction’ response with rational, reasoned responses,” says Yurgelun-Todd.

This gut instinct, combined with raging hormones, peer pressure and the stresses of life–especially in these times of terrorism and war–can equal some otherwise intelligent teens doing some stupid stuff, including experimentation with drugs and alcohol, self-injuring such as cutting, racing cars, playing chicken with traffic, unsafe sexual practices, acts of aggression or violence, petty crimes such as theft, etc.

And though in many ways, risk taking for teens is the norm–it is how they grow and develop and try new things–risk taking becomes a problem when it becomes a way of life. Robert W. Blum, MD, PhD, a professor of pediatrics at the University of Minnesota found in the study, “Protecting teens: Beyond Race, Income and Family Structure,” part of the congressionally mandated Nationally Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, known as Add Health, that unhealthy behavior in teens was linked to “having close friends who drink or smoke or who are involved in weapon-related violence, having a friend who has attempted suicide and having problems with school work were linked to” substance abuse, weapon-related violence and suicidal thoughts and attempts (for white and Hispanic students, in particular).

Blum says, “Too many kids–rich and poor–are left to their own devices. Kids need structure to grow and to be healthy.” It is up to parents and educators and caring adults to provide that structure for teens and to help them make safe decisions.

Most teens’ risky behavior peaks between the hours of three and eight p.m., what some child psychologists have termed the “witching hour”. A report from the U.S. Attorney’s General’s Office states, “When we send millions of young people out on the streets after school with no responsible supervision or constructive activities, we reap a massive dose of juvenile crime.”

Other risky behaviors for teens, besides crime, that increase during the after school hours include tobacco usage, illegal drug usage, firearm “play”, drinking and drunk driving and sexual activity, according to the National Center for Health Statistics.

Some parents and health care professionals may think that religion keeps kids from risky behaviors, but researchers at Pennsylvania State University found that “adolescents who were more religious were healthier…Yet, in some cases, oddly, being religious actually increased a teen’s risky behavior…Adolescents with religious parents were more likely to report driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol.” These teens were also less like to wear seatbelts. Researcher Grace O’Neill says, “Logic would say this is backward–but religious people tend to believe, ‘If I’m going to die, I’m going to die.”

So what can parents do to help their risk-taking teens, especially during this time of high stress from terrorism, war, crime increases, etc.? University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers suggest parents start by working with issues that are less controversial and threatening, to provide teens with relatively safe opportunities to practice their decision-making skills. For example, let your teen determine which after-school activities to participate in. This way your teen gets to make a decision for himself and also finds something positive to occupy his time during some of the “witching hours”. Other “safe” decisions you may permit your child to make include hair color, number of earrings, etc.–things that aren’t life-threatening and can be easily changed. By starting with smaller decisions that allow your teen to develop his sense of self as well as his decision-making skills, you are helping him build positive lifelong learning patterns.

Like in some many other areas of your teen’s life, open and nonjudgmental communication can be the key to limiting risky behavior, both in the frequency of occurrence and in the scope (amount of danger) of the behavior. Most of life is about taking risks; it is how we grow, develop, explore and learn. By maintaining a positive family environment and by modeling positive risk-taking, we can help our teens through this risk-taking, prefrontal cortex developmental time.

Why Your Website Will Never Break Into The Top 10 Search Results

The two weightiest factors in search engine algorithms are the initial year of the domain registration and the age of its back links. Those two factors far outweigh any other mumbo jumbo your SEO company claims to perform.

As time marches on, more and more companies will establish their web presence and participate in search engine optimization with the intention of ranking high in the search results for their targeted phrases. The more websites that are built, the more difficult it will become for new websites to acquire rankings for their respective keywords. In fact, I believe that for the most competitive keywords, the current top 10 websites may remain in their current positions for many years to come. While they may jockey around in position from month to month – moving up or down a few places in the results, the current top 10 websites won’t be leaving the first page any time soon.

Let’s use the plastic surgery industry as an example, specifically breast augmentation in New York. Any plastic surgeon that has been performing consistent SEO for the past few years for “New York Breast Augmentation” will become virtually impossible to overtake in the search results several years from today. Where does that leave the future New York plastic surgeon that’s currently attending medical school? By the time he finishes his plastic surgery fellowship ten years from now and decides to build a website to showcase his scalpel skills, the only way he will acquire any traffic to his website will be to buy traffic via the various PPC platforms. Why? Because his website will be invisible to the search engines; he will not get any search traffic whatsoever because the older, more established New York Breast Augmentation surgeon will have the relevant keywords locked up tighter than Fort Knox. The less experienced surgeon will be forced to cultivate new clients through PPC marketing, social marketing, and traditional print/media advertising.

Search engine algorithms place enormous weight on the age of a domain and the age of its SEO work. That will never change. It can’t. If search engines remove the age factor from their algorithms, it would be a giant leap backward for quality search results. The organic results would become highly manipulative, and without quality organic results, the search engines can’t get top dollar for their PPC clicks. Thus, the search engines can never change their age-driven model as it would be highly destructive to their own revenue stream.

What does all this mean for you? It means you need to be smarter when picking your keywords. You need to think ahead when purchasing your domain names.

The internet is still in its infancy and internet marketers are constructing the cyberscape according to keyword demand, and that process is happening at breakneck speeds. Eventually, the potential for ranking organically for any keyword worth more than a couple bucks will be impossible. When that day arrives, there will be a new generation of real estate tycoons, but their properties won’t occupy land or physical space; their real estate will be virtual.

Imagine the city of Beverly Hills when it still belonged to Mexico before the California Gold Rush. There wasn’t much more than dirt, tumbleweeds, rolling hills, and an unobstructed view of the Pacific Ocean. Imagine galloping onto the scene on your dusty horse and laying claim to the exact chunk of land at the future intersection of Rodeo Drive and Wilshire Blvd., at the exact spot where Tiffany & Co. would build their Beverly Hills store. Sure, you won’t be alive by the time the land is worth a gazillion dollars, but you know that your descendants will benefit from your foresight.

Fast forward to today.

There is a new gold rush occurring but this time it’s happening in cyber space. Instead of staking a land claim, savvy marketers are staking keyword claims. Sure, it might be another ten or twenty years before their foresight pays off, but when it does, that piece of virtual real estate will be worth a fortune. From pool service to plumbers, florists to dermatologists – the future internet will be the virtual, mirror image of today’s brick and mortar business world: business owners will be forced to pay the landowner monthly rent in order to showcase their wares to potential customers. However, instead of signing a triple net lease for prime store frontage at the corner of Wilshire Blvd. and Rodeo Dr. in Beverly Hills, a jeweler will be forced to pay top dollar to a website owner in order to showcase his precious metals at the intersection of the phrase “Beverly Hills Jeweler”.

In the not so distant future, all business professionals (regardless of their industry) will be forced to purchase search and content market traffic. The online success of their business will be at the mercy of two entities: the search engines and the website owners who control the top organic positions for highly targeted phrases. In the not-so-distant future, business owners will allocate a portion of their funds to leasing virtual real estate much in the same manner they currently lease commercial real estate.

Here are five potential solutions for business owners that want to avoid the impending keyword-bottleneck:

(1) Hire a full service SEO firm – this will cost wheel barrels full of money, upwards of several thousand dollars every month (probably a lot more). However, you will get results. This option is really only for established companies that have excess capital to invest into their online future. The potential drawback is whether or not the SEO firm honors the work they performed once the business relationship fizzles between the website owner and the SEO geeks. I know several professionals who attempted to sever their monthly fee with their SEO firm only to find that their business website lost all of its rankings within a few short months of stopping their monthly payments. The lesson to be learned with this option: choose a reputable SEO company!

(2) Hire a freelance marketer to help with your SEO – this won’t cost you nearly as much as hiring a full service SEO firm. You can find plenty of these budding search optimization freelancers on Craigslist for anywhere from $40 a month to $1,000 per month. Do they know what they’re doing? In most cases, probably not, but you might get lucky and find a reputable marketer that won’t damage your site’s reputation by performing unethical work. The reason why these internet marketers are so inexpensive is because they don’t have the overhead that full service SEO firms have. More than likely they’re working out of their home on a shoestring budget. Always ask these freelancers about current rankings for websites they are promoting (be sure to find a link on said website that clearly states the name or business that is promoting the site).

(3) Do it yourself SEO – this will cost you much more than trying to hire a freelance marketer or a full service SEO firm. The reason why it will cost you more money is because you’ll be spending time learning a new trade while ignoring the day to day operation of your business. Many small businesses owners attempt this option only to fail in total frustration. While SEO certainly isn’t brain surgery, it’s best if you leave the work to a professional that knows how to get the job done. It took me almost 2 years of 50 hour work weeks before I began to seek the light. Do you have an equal amount of time to invest? Do you have the natural, mathematical skill set that is necessary to delve into the countless layers of work that needs to be performed to acquire rankings? Probably not.

(4) Accept your inevitable fate and start buying traffic – this is a pretty good solution so long as you know what you’re doing when it comes to managing your pay per click campaigns. Unfortunately, most people don’t know what they’re doing when it comes to managing their pay per click campaigns and they quickly rack up enormous click costs without getting any results. If you have the budget to spend $500 or more on pay per click traffic, then be smart enough to hire an experienced pay per click marketer to manage your campaigns. PPC marketing can produce amazing results but there is much more to the process than just picking great keywords. Proceed with caution.

(5) Don’t rely on your internet presence to drum up new business – this isn’t a bad solution either. If you’re a brick and mortar business that has survived many years without having an internet presence, why start now? If it isn’t broken, what are you trying to fix? There are many industries that simply don’t need a web presence to survive. As long as you have a solid system in place for keeping contact with old customers and you’re receiving word-of-mouth referrals, you probably don’t even need a website.

If you really want to acquire top 10 rankings for your business website, you’ll need to hire a professional SEO marketer or a full service SEO company. Be prepared to spend a minimum of $500 per month for an experienced, online marketing professional. When it comes to search engine optimization results, the old adage “you get what you pay for” definitely applies.

Jack La Lanne Power Juicer – Most Affordable

If you have been looking for an affordable way to enjoy the health benefits and fresh flavors of freshly squeezed juice at home, you may be looking at the lower-end model of Jack’s juicer machines. “Jack” is, of course, the legendary fitness expert Jack LaLanne. For decades, he was known for inspiring generations of Americans to improve their health through eating a more nutritious diet and getting more exercise. While Jack may be gone, his legend lives in. He has an excellent line of juicer machines available, and they are generally priced between $99 and $149. If you are on a budget, as so many people are, you may be wondering if the least expensive model of Jack’s juicer is a good buy.

Everything You Need

When you are considering buying a quality juicing machine, you want to make sure that it has truly functional features. You likely plan to use your Jack’s juicer machine on a regular basis and possibly even on a daily basis. So you want the machine to be easy to use and to give you great results. This machine boasts safety features as well as dishwasher-safe materials, which are “musts” for most people. It also features an extra-large chute that means you don’t have to spend a lot of time cutting up your fruits and veggies into small pieces, and it offers a higher extraction than most other juicers on the market as well as a pulp collector. So you can see that it really does offer the features you need most.

Is It Worthwhile to Go Up on Price?

It’s often difficult to tell if the price is worthwhile unless you compare features of another model and price. The middle-of-the-line Jack’s juicer, the Deluxe, is priced at $119, so it is about $20 more than the most affordable model. The Deluxe offers just a few other features that are not found in the least expensive model. These include a blade of higher quality, a more advanced extraction system, and a non-drip spout. The $120 model also has a stainless steel   facade , compared to a white  facade  with the less expensive model.

Other Bonuses

Even the least expensive model of these juicers, like all of the models available, comes with some bonuses. You will enjoy a lifetime warranty on the motor, and a 60-day, money-back guarantee. If you are thinking that a more expensive model may be better suited for your needs, you should also know that all of the models are available with payment plan, too. This makes it easier to pay for the model you really want.

Owning a Jack’s juicer machine can really add some tremendous benefits to your life. The machines are designed to make it easier for you to enjoy a tall glass of fresh juice with your family, and with how easy they all are to use and clean, it’s simple to get that glass of juice every day if you want. Couple that with the health benefits of fresh juice and a great payment plan, and you will see that whether you choose the least expensive model, the most expensive model, or one of the models in between, this is a great machine to use at home.

Welding Jobs Available In Many Industries

The prospects for welding jobs should be excellent in the near future. The idea of joining two pieces of metal together to manufacture automobiles, planes or ships is enticing to many adults. Welding requires steady hands and a the knowledge of how to apply modern technology in a creative way.

Welding jobs can be found in agriculture, construction and architectural and structural metals. Welders are people who don’t mind getting dirty and have pride in their workmanship. Some welding positions require general certifications in areas such as inspections and robotics. About 65% of all welding jobs are found in the area of manufacturing, with a heavy concentration in fabricated metal products, transportation equipment, machinery, architectural and structural metals, and construction. Two of the most popular welding careers are underwater welders and boilermakers.

Underwater welding combines welding and underwater diving. Welding jobs for underwater welders include working on oil platforms in the open ocean and in shipyards, repairing ships hulls among other tasks. Underwater welders are expected to master a number of skills, including fitting steel patches, concrete stripping and beveling. Salaries for underwater welding jobs vary, depending on the type of job and the number of projects they complete.

Boilermakers are responsible for making, installing and repairing boilers or other types of large containers that hold liquids and gases. A boilermaker’s duties include inspecting pressure gauges and valves, supervising the cleaning and maintenance of boiler parts using welding equipment and blow torches. Boilermakers should also have the ability to read diagrams and blueprints. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average salary for boilermaker is $56,000.

Welding jobs can also come from diverse fields such as metal art and sculpture, aluminum welding, cross-country pipeline construction, motor sports such as Nascar and motocross, robotics applications.

Applied welding areas are used to increase energy efficiency, improve weld quality, increase productivity in manufacturing, improve portability, reduce downtime and reduce welding costs.

Being a welder requires hands-on training. Welders and boilermakers are required to complete a formal apprenticeship or they may enroll in a certification program at a vocational or technical school. The military utilizes welding in many ways and is also a good source for welding training. It is also possible to find welding classes and training opportunities online.

Welders in the military perform various duties. They weld, braze or solder parts together and they repair automotive and ship parts. Shipboard welding includes installing and repairing pipes and vents, boilers and engine blocks. Aircraft work is a more delicate skill, particularly for jets and other high-velocity vehicles. Welders working with aircraft need to be very precise in their work and know how to follow designs and schematics perfectly to ensure all of the moving parts of an aircraft do their jobs correctly.

Once a person has the training and experience under their belt, an experienced welder can work with steel, titanium, and plastics. They will have mastered various welding techniques and types of applications.

Prospects for welding jobs will vary with the welder’s skill level. Welders trained in the latest technologies and innovations should have good prospects. Welders without up-to-date training may face stiff competition for job openings. All welders are more likely to get a good welding job if they are willing to relocate and receive additional training.

How Can I Fix My Laptop? DIY Laptop Repair

“How can I fix my laptop?” is a common question among laptop users. The job is not as hard as the repair personnel might lead one to believe. While individual problems might vary between laptops, some of the problems are common to all makes and models. The answer to the question: “How to fix my laptop” can be found by using a little intellect. This article aims to provide some helpful tips for fixing laptops.

Perhaps the most common problem occurring in all laptops is overheating. It leads to hang-ups, shutdowns and even hardware damage. A very good solution is to purchase an (often) inexpensive laptop cooling pad. Also, if comfortable with the procedure, one can open up the laptop and clear any dust that has accumulated in the cooling system. Dust hinders the cooling system.

Being portable is a blessing and a curse. People have a habit of eating and drinking with their machines. A spill can ruin the keyboard. What to do in this situation? The first thing is to turn off the machine, and then try to get rid of the spill. If draining is needed, it must be done at the CD/DVD drive side of the laptop as it has less electronics. After drying, reboot the system to make an assessment of the damage. If needed the keyboard must be replaced.

You may also experience a problem with the battery – it may be recharging quickly and discharging quicker. Well the bad news is that you can’t do much about it. Consider this a myth buster if you want but reconditioning or repacking services are just a waste of money. The best option is to buy a new battery pack whenever the need presents itself.

Some users frequently ask how to fix my laptop power jack. It seems that the power jack in some laptops wears out with constant use. Well if the problem is with the soldered components of the jack, a soldering iron is all you need to open your laptop and fix the problem. Replacing the jack is required if the problem is with the jack itself.

Listening to a lot of stuff on your laptop, can leads to another commonly encountered laptop problem: wearing out of the headphone jack. Many times this happens due to loosening of the headphone jack’s solder points. Soldering back the loose points is often enough to make them functional again.

Why LED Lighting Is Not In Your Home Yet

Conventional LEDs have been used for indication and display applications for several decades. The inherent benefits of LED technology are well-known and documented, and include, maintenance and power savings, as well as performance features that are taken for granted by electronics-savvy consumers such as durability, reliability, longer life span, and consistent color and brightness levels. These benefits, combined with society’s growing environmental concerns and subsequent demand for green, energy-efficient products, have continued to drive the development of LEDs for challenging new industries and markets, such as general illumination for commercial and residential buildings. With the escalating demand for solid-state lighting, LED manufacturers are motivated to develop high-lumen LEDs while LED lighting companies are working hard to integrate the latest technology into retrofit packages and luminaries. However, new perspectives may be necessary for people to adopt LED technology as an illumination source in new installations, or incorporate LED technology in existing light fixtures.

Are LEDs suitable for commercial and residential lighting applications?

LEDs are arguably the most energy-efficient light source available. Case in point, LEDs have created upwards of 80 percent energy savings in the traffic signal industry. However, in this application, the LEDs had two natural advantages:

1. LEDs are monochromatic, so almost all of the light generated is used. In contrast, the white light generated by an incandescent bulb needs to transmit through a colored filter. Light outside of the frequency of the colored lens is wasted.

2. LEDs are directional, so almost all of the light generated was emitted towards the lens. In contrast, light from an incandescent bulb needed to be reflected toward the lens, resulting in loss of efficiency.

Commercial and residential lighting applications stand to gain similar, if not more, energy-savings by converting to LEDs. However, most applications are not as straight-forward as stuffing a PC board with a bunch of directional red, amber or green LEDs. LED light fixtures and retrofit packages have to be designed to distribute the directional light generated by the LED over wide areas. Moreover, white LED technology, while continuously improving, does not yet have the optical color and brightness that consumers have become accustomed to with incandescent lights. However, the power savings can be significant, for example, in California the energy commission has adopted efficiency standards for residential and commercial buildings. These standards, Title 24, have accelerated development of LED illumination technology.

Why LEDs are not in your house?

Unlike incandescent bulbs, high-power LEDs cannot be simply plugged into a wall   socket . Several companies are working to overcome the technological and economic challenges by developing LED light fixtures and retrofit LED lighting products using high-power LEDs. Thermal management, complex drive circuitry, optics, and packaging are challenging hurdles for developers to contend with. There are also educational barriers to overcome in the development of commercial LED illumination products. Getting users to adopt new types of fixtures, understand the illumination characteristics of LEDs, choose the appropriate viewing angle for a given application, select the appropriate intensity for a given application, and understand the limitations of LED color temperatures are pivotal to developing the market for LED technology in commercial and residential lighting.

Thermal Challenges

For the past couple of centuries, traditional luminaries have consisted of a light bulb and lamp  socket  that enables consumers to continually replace bulbs that have burned out. Whether it is an incandescent, compact fluorescent or fluorescent light bulb, it will simply screw or drop into an industry-standard  socket  and the luminary will continue to be operational. A few LED lighting companies have developed high-flux LED bulbs that retrofit into existing  sockets ; but this approach is less than ideal. For example, a traditional light bulb  socket  provides a very poor thermal path for cooling an LED light source. Incandescent light bulbs are basically heaters that produces visible light, and the  socket  it is screwed into is designed to protect the lamp base and wiring from that heat. With high-power LEDs, most of the wattage consumed is converted to heat and, if it can’t be dissipated through the lamp  socket , will dramatically shorten the LED life.

Complex Drive Circuitry

To protect the LED from degradation factors, such as heat and voltage spikes, the drive circuitry design is critical. Ideally, LED circuit designs should be tailored to the specifics of the application because mechanical and economic constraints make it difficult to design a “catch-all” circuit. Most LED indication or lighting designs operate from a high voltage AC power source. Since LEDs are DC-driven, utilizing a specific AC to DC power supply to achieve a DC source voltage is often the most cost-efficient and reliable LED lighting solution. To ensure efficient LED operation, DC-to-DC LED driver circuitry may also be required in conjunction with the primary power supply. In addition to providing the necessary power and protection from current fluctuations, LED drive circuitry also generates heat – adding to the thermal management challenge. And, generally, the greater the volume of light that is required, the more LEDs are needed, leading to more complex the circuitry, packaging challenges, higher heat flux, etc.

Optics: Illumination Angle

LEDs are extremely energy-efficient from an illumination efficacy standpoint, i.e., lumens per watt. Upwards of 95 percent of the light can be directed at the target area of illumination whereas a typical incandescent bulb may be only 60 percent effective. In other words, a lot of the light produced by an incandescent bulb does not go to the intended target. Incandescent bulbs require reflectors, louvers, and/or diffusers to compensate for unnecessary light. Fluorescent bulbs are more energy-efficient than incandescents, but the ballast may consume up to 20 percent of the electrical energy going into the fixture. Retrofitting LED technology in traditional luminaries is tricky because most fixtures are designed to overcome the limitations of traditional spherical light output. Reflectors, cones, masks, shades and diffusers help bend, redirect, or shield the light emitted from incandescent, fluorescent and halogen sources, but it creates unnecessary physical barriers for implementing LED technology. Designing specific forward-fit LED-based luminaries can produce several times foot-candles on a given area per watt than other traditional incandescent bulb technologies. Because of the directional illumination pattern that LEDs provide the light can be directed to the specific area that needs to be illuminated.

Optics: Light Color

Over the years, fluorescent bulb manufacturers had some challenges getting users to accept the white color produced by fluorescent technology. Because of the limitations of phosphor technology, the fluorescent industry introduced subjective terms such as “cool white” or “warm white” to draw comparisons to incandescent white. Not coincidentally, white LED manufacturers face the same challenges since white LED technology is based on phosphor energy. To put things in quantitative perspective, LED manufactures have referred to Color Rendering Index (CRI) which is a measurement of a light source’s ability to render colors accurately. The higher the CRI, the more natural the colors appear, with natural sunlight having a CRI of 100. However, this may not be the best metric for comparing light sources. Originally developed in 1964, this index is based on color models with broad spectral distributions. White LEDs are narrow-band sources. Color Temperature may be a more suitable tool for comparison because it is a less subjective measure, based on degrees Kelvin. Presently there are several white emitters to choose from in the 3,200 degree-Kelvin and 5,500 degree-Kelving range. No matter how the color is measured, LED manufactures have made great strides to match the warm white glow of an incandescent bulb with high-quality LEDs due to the tremendous demand for incandescent white tones.

Education

Users have come to understand the brightness of incandescent and fluorescent light bulbs in terms of watts; however a watt is technically the unit of electrical power used by the lamp during its operation. Consumers know from experience how much light a 40, 60, or 100 watt light bulb will produce. The same cannot be said for LED assemblies, as LED lamps are generally designed to meet the specific targeted illumination requirements of a given application. For example, it is possible to compare an LED equivalent to a 50 watt MR16 bulb as this type of lamp is used as a directional light source. However, a typical 60 watt incandescent bulb produces a spherical light pattern. An LED lamp that could provide equivalent light in all directions would be tricky to design in the same mechanical envelope. With present technology, multiple LED emitters and/or secondary optics would be required to achieve a 360-degree illumination pattern.

But the bigger issue is, the light intensity benchmark for an LED lamp is not the watt. Traditional LEDs used for simple status indication and displays come in small epoxy packages and their light output is measured in candelas because this is a measurement of direct-view luminous intensity. With the recent development of high-power LEDs for illumination purposes, the lux or lumen (one lux is equal to one lumen per square meter) is a more suitable unit of measurement to compare the LED light output to traditional sources because we are more concerned about the volume of light rather than the directional intensity.

These terms are certainly known in the LED and lighting industry, but not by the general commercial and residential consumer. And the question is how willing is the consumer to learn new terminology and understand their lighting needs?

Summary:

High quality monochromatic LEDs can provide 70% of their original lumen output at 100,000 hours if designed properly. White LEDs degrade faster because the degradation rate of the phosphor, but if properly thermally-managed, can provide upwards of 50,000 hours of operation. In addition, experienced LED lighting designers understand how electrical or thermal deficiencies in the overall solid-state light design can cause catastrophic failure or accelerated degradation and develop robust designs accordingly.

Market demand will continue to drive understanding, and ultimately, standardization of LED form factors for commercial and residential lighting. Adopting application-specific solid-state designs will enable LED designers to provide customers with green benefits and a redefinition of maintenance standards that are measured in years rather than hours. It is only a matter of time.

Assisted Opening Knives

Comparing an AO knife to a switchblade

Although you may think an assisted opening knife (often called an AO knife) is the same as a switchblade, they are in fact quite different. A switchblade is seen as an “automatic opening” knife and are considered illegal in the United States. A switchblade is opened via a spring that is released with a button on the handle. Regardless of the fact they were romanticized in the 1950s, they were outlawed by the 1958 US Switchblade Act. Even most police and military organizations have moved away from true “automatic” knives and towards the “assisted” opening knife.

Under the 1958 law, a switchblade is illegal to carry – but not an assisted opening knife. Beyond their legal differences, the way an assisted opening knife works is very different. Switchblades fall into one of two categories: out the front and out the side. The switchblade blade itself is usually double sided, whereas an AO knife is blunt on one side and only opens via the side.

Further, as previously mentioned, a switchblade has a trigger release button that opens the blade through an “always on” spring. This means the blade releases (fully) the moment the release button is pressed. An assisted opening knife only has a button that is designed to start the blade opening from the handle. The user is required to complete the motion of opening the knife. The blade itself is not under constant tension like a switchblade and is held in place by one or possibly two contortion bars. Therefore, an AO knife do not pop open like a switchblade. Instead, an AO blade opens about 45 degrees by the user before the internal mechanism finishes the opening process.

Portrayed in films of the time, switchblades became quite popular. They were soon associated with street crime and gangs and were quickly outlawed. Assisted opening knives on the other hand are legal to own and carry in the United States and Canada. They are particularly popular with outdoorsmen and “first responders” like police and fire fighters, although an assisted opening knife can also be used for self defense.

Considerations to keeping your Assisted Opening Knife rust-free

  1. Stainless steel does NOT mean “never rust”. Although your assisted opening knife may have a stainless steel blade, it still contains carbon which can rust.
  2. The best way to reduce the possibility of rust on the blade is to make sure you dry the blade whenever it gets wet. Moisture is the cause of rust on metal. This is especially important before you store your knife for extended periods between use.
  3. Lastly, the best long term insurance for a rust-proof and corrosion-proof knife is to keep alight coat of oil on the blade.

Remember, all other metal parts of your knife are also susceptible to rust – be sure to care for the entire knife – not just the obvious blade.

Cyprus Golf

The beautiful island of Cyprus is fast becoming a golfer’s paradise. Here on the island the ideal Mediterranean climate makes golf a game that you can enjoy all the year round. The island has three international standard 18-hole golf courses all set in tranquil surroundings away from the busy tourist resorts. All of the courses are located in the Paphos area on landscaped hills that are easily accessed from the surrounding areas.

Aphrodite Hills Golf Course

The Aphrodite Hills development estate includes the award winning 18-hole championship standard Aphrodite Hills Golf Course, a luxury five star hotel, luxury villas and apartments, a village square with restaurants and shops, a tennis academy and a spa. Located near the legendary birthplace of the Greek mythological goddess of love, the golf course is built on two plateaux which are separated by a deep ravine. Designed by Cabell B. Robinson, an acclaimed course architect, the course offers amazing views over the Mediterranean, challenging pot bunkers, beautifully manicured fairways of lush Bermuda grass ad tiered greens. The 7th hole is the course’s signature par 3 hole which plays steeply down across a canyon onto a large green which is nestled in an olive grove. The course also has a double ended 350 metre practice range, four target greens with bunkers, short game practice facilities, three residential professional golf instructors and three academy holes. The clubhouse has a bar and a restaurant with terraces overlooking the green.

Elea Golf Course

Designed by Nick Faldo, the world-class Elea golf course is part of the Elea Estate where you will find a boutique hotel, luxury apartments and villas, spa facilities and a great choice of dining options. The course has an excellent location with breathtaking views of Paphos Town and the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Weaving its way through the rolling countryside where weathered outcrops of limestone add character and contrast, golfers of all levels can explore and unravel all 18-holes of the course. This is a challenging course that meanders through olive groves where some holes are surrounded by Mediterranean grasses, native flora and wild herbs. Next to the golf house there is the Elea Golf Academy which features a full length driving range with bunkers and target greens, a putting green and a short game practice area. The stunning putting green offers amazing views across the whole of the golf course.

Secret Valley Golf Course

The Secret Valley Golf Course is located in a beautiful valley about 12 miles from Paphos near to ‘Petra tou Romiou’, the birthplace of the mythical goddess of love, Aphrodite. Offering wonderful panoramic views of the area, the course is set in scenic hills and is surrounded by mature trees and dramatic rock formations. This 18-hole course also offers tuition by a PGA qualified resident golf instructor, putting greens, chipping areas, fairway bunkers and a large driving range. The recently renovated clubhouse includes locker rooms, a sports shop offering equipment for hire or sale, bars and a restaurant with terraces overlooking the course and artificial lake.

Minthis Hills Golf Course

The recently refurbished Minthis Golf Course was founded in 1994. The club is set in the grounds of a 12th century monastery and is surrounded by vineyards and orchards. Nestled in a small valley on the outskirts of Paphos, the course sits at an altitude of 550 meters above sea level and is therefore blessed with cooling sea breezes during the summer months. A recent refurbishment of the greens by British golf course architects Mackenzie and Ebert has included all tees being rebuilt and expanded, bunkers reshaped and new bunkers added. The new club house is under construction and is in a traditional Cypriot architectural style with lots of glass and wood as the dominant features. With golf becoming an increasingly popular attraction on the island, there are lots of holiday deals to Cyprus available throughout the internet.

Pioneer Avic D3 Review

Wouldn’t it be great to watch a DVD movie, see current traffic weather, make/receive phone calls and listen to your favorite music all from one system? One of the leading electronic companies has put all these features and more into one in-dash car system, the Pioneer AVIC D3.

Pioneer Electronic’s is one of the top consumer electronic producers in the world; they have created a new top of the line head unit for auto stereos that will forever change the way you commute/travel in your vehicle. The Pioneer AVIC D3 will surpass all the requirements a driver will need in their vehicle. With its 6.1 inch touchscreen display the Pioneer AVIC D3 may function as a GPS navigation unit, DivX playback and as well as DVD video/movies. Using the touchscreen display you may select music, navigation details, DVD video, Bluetooth settings, etc. The Pioneer AVIC D3 in-dash car system comes with maps of North America which includes over 11 million points of interest. Also monitoring your local traffic will be made easier than ever by integrating the optional tuner for XM’s NavTraffic service that offer real-time updates of traffic status.

The Pioneer AVIC D3 is extremely will designed with perfect placement in your vehicles dashboard; it will fit most modern vehicles and it will give your car or truck that factory look. You can even customize the screen   illumination  color, which gives you the option to choose from 8 preset colors and 5 graphical user interface colors, to match your vehicles dashboard. With all the features mentioned the Pioneer AVIC D3 also includes a CD-BTB200 Bluetooth adapter so you can receive cellular calls hands free (your phone must be Bluetooth compatible for this function to work). With the units embedded microphone you can also listen and talk through you vehicles speakers. The D3 also gives you the option to save phone numbers to make calls even easier. Pioneer has put all these great features into one in-dash head unit and producing one of the best systems in its class.

We also recommend the Pioneer AVIC-D3 Bypass guide to unlock all features.

Aquarium Plant Lighting

Plants are significant to the balance and beauty of aquariums. They are unparalleled in the completeness that they offer to any freshwater setup.

What plants do is provide a good looking backdrop to your tank, but it is important to leave space for your fish to swim in behind them. Some types of plants look better in different arrangements, tall, thin ones appear better in rows while plants with feathers are best planted in circular groups.

For visual appeal it is also important that the water level in the aquarium does not fall below the top angle iron of the tank, so that it appears there is no water in the tank. When the viewer can see the top level of the water it looks like the tank has water in it.

All plants differ in the amount of light they require, when factored in with other combinations it is impossible to come up with an amount of light that will always work. Therefore it is a matter of trial and error to get the amount of light you need. Having not enough light will not allow your plants to grow enough, but too much light will turn your water green.

You don’t just have to use artificial lights though. If you use natural lighting the ideal way to do so is by placing the aquarium near a window facing north. You do not want direct sunlight, reflected sunlight will offer a good amount of light.

Lighting fixtures look great if they are housed in a wood housing above the tank. If you are just using artificial light then you will need to have the lights on for about eight to twelve hours per day. For the best effect, try to have the light enter the tank from the back.

Jersey Barrier Field Tested

Jersey Barrier-a term that is seldom heard, but the item itself is very often seen. In fact, these barriers are responsible for saving lives every day. They populate the nation’s roadways providing protection to all its drivers. they are seemingly simple and mundane concrete fixtures that are most commonly used as median dividers. Making its debut on California highways in 1946, these barriers were developed at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey; hence the name “Jersey” Barrier. Even though these structures may appear to be simple and less than aesthetically pleasing they are actually very carefully engineered to serve a very specific purpose. Jersey Barriers are designed, as highway medians, to minimize damage to vehicles and injury to passengers in the incidence of an accident as well as prevent crossover into opposing lanes of traffic. When a vehicle strikes, it is designed such that the vehicle will roll, ultimately limiting injury to the driver and passengers. Additionally, they are constructed primarily of concrete with embedded steel and are incredibly portable, though they are designed to be made into permanent fixtures if needed.

Consequently, in recent years, the Jersey Barrier has found broader applications, demonstrating its continued utility in ensuring public safety. Over the years engineers have made alterations to the design and implementation as vehicle designs evolve, roadways are modified, and drivers develop. Due to this constant refinement, the Jersey Barrier has progressed to become a sophisticated piece of equipment. It has now become a standard fixture on a multitude of public construction sites such as roadway repair areas and commercial construction zones. Its purpose in these instances is much the same as the Jersey Barrier’s use as a highway median: directing traffic and protecting drivers and pedestrians. However, the Jersey Barrier has proven to be a valuable tool in a variety of other scenarios. Over the years the Jersey Barrier has developed to be an incredibly versatile tool. It has done so in a variety of ways and its applications seem to be ever expanding.

As demonstrated, the overarching purpose of the Jersey Barrier has always been and still remains safety. This is supported by its efficacy as a highway median and construction site blockade. This has led to the expansion of the barrier’s concept to other materials. Plastic and lightweight metals such as aluminum are just a few among several adaptations. The varied materials have allowed for Jersey Barriers to be used in a variety of ways. For instance, other more recent applications of the include a number of safety functions. One such purpose is crowd control. These barriers are placed to indicate which regions are permissible to spectators or whoever else intends to be in the area. It helps prevent bystanders from getting in the way of the respective proceedings, and more importantly keeps bystanders out of any potential harm’s way. Another use is for general protection, more specifically for the protection of important persons. Jersey Barriers can be placed to limit threats to individuals who require high levels of protection and security. A third, novel use is an extension of the Jersey Barrier’s original purpose, protecting vehicles, and pedestrians for that matter, from other possible dangers. In other words, this includes any opportunities for an accident to occur that is not posed by other vehicles. These are a few of the continually expanding applications of the Jersey Barrier.

What Are UL Ratings on Fireproof Safes?

If you’ve been looking for a fireproof safe, but aren’t sure where to start, you may want to start with the basics in understand what type of fire protection each unit offers. Did you know that just because a safe is labeled as fire resistant, that it may not be completely fireproof?

Many models are tested and rated to withstand a fire for a specific amount of time. One good rule of thumb to realize is that the more fire protection a model offers the more expensive the unit will be due to the extra materials that are involved in constructing the safe. Below is a brief definition of some of the most common fire resistant UL ratings.

UL 1/2-Hour Fire Endurance Test – This UL rating means that the safe protected its contents when subjected to temperatures of 1550 degrees F for 1/2 hour and that the interior remained below 350 degrees F during that time.

UL 1-Hour Fire Endurance Test – This UL rating rating means that the safe was able to protect it’s contents when the safe was subjected to temperatures of 1700 degrees F for 1 hour and that the interior remained below 350 degrees F during that time.

UL 2-Hour Fire Endurance Test – This fireproof safe rating is one of the highest available in fireproof safes. To earn a UL 2 hour rating, a fireproof safe must be subjected to temperatures of 1850 degrees F for 2 hours and that the interior remained below 350 degrees F during that time.

If you’re looking for a fireproof safe, be sure to evaluate the potential risks you face and what you need to protect. If you’re protecting media, data, or important corporate files, you will probably need to spend the extra money to purchase a safe that offers maximum fire protection. If you’re only seeking to protect small valuables, a 1/2 hour or 1 hour fire rated safe may be a cheaper alternative.

When purchasing a fireproof safe, be sure to purchase a brand that has been around for a while from a well known manufacturer like Sentry Safe, FireKing, or Honeywell Safe.

Interior Design Trends: DIY Wallpaper

In recent years,  wallpaper  has been making a grand entrance back into the interior design world and for good reason. Today’s  wallpaper  manufacturers are accommodating the hipper, younger crowd and producing prints that are elegant, sophisticated, bold, flashy and just about everything in between. Plus,  wallpaper  is great for a variety of spaces: bedroom designs, bathroom designs, even kitchen and living room designs. Unfortunately, all these flashy new designs and an increase in demand means a huge price hike. Here are a few tips and tricks for DIY  wallpaper .

Make Your Own  Wallpaper 

It could actually be incredibly costly to design and print your own  wallpaper  for any given space in your home. That being said, there’s no reason you have to use actual “ wallpaper ” to recreate a beloved pattern you’ve seen right onto your walls.

To start, you’ll want to clean and prep the area. Wipe down the walls with a mild soap and warm water solution to remove dirt and debris. Don’t forge to get rid of any cobwebs, as those won’t look good when they stick in the paint!

Once you’ve cleaned the walls, you’ll want to paint them a crisp white hue if they’re not already a white. Next, you have one of two options: wall decals, or hand painting. Wall decals can be a great option if you don’t have a steady hand and you desire a very specific look for your living room designs, bedroom designs or other space in your home.

You can find wall decals in a variety of patterns, colors, shapes and styles, so don’t be afraid to shop around until you find the right one that compliments your decorating ideas. Then make the purchase and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly put these items up onto your wall.

For the hand painting method, you can use any combination of methods: painter’s tape, stencils or freehand. Depending on your pattern, you may find that a certain method works better than the other. Don’t be afraid to purchase a small sheet of plywood and practice your method on there before moving on to your walls.

As an example, we’ll consider a geometric pattern. To start, you’ll want to use your painter’s tape to mark out the pattern on the wall. Use a level and rule to create straight lines. Apply the paint and remove the painter’s tape right away. If you are adding a secondary color, you will want to let the paint dry before you apply the second color. Continue until your desired pattern is completed.

For stencils, you may find the process a bit more time consuming but the end results might be worth it, especially when creating a unique look for your interior design. Whatever method you choose, the key is to have patience and take your time. If you don’t get it all done in a single day, don’t fret. Good design takes time.

You can create your own DIY  wallpaper  in every space of your home: bedroom designs, bathroom designs, den designs and so forth. So don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods until you find the one that works best for you.