Diamond Plate

Also called a treadplate or checkerplate, it is a kind of lightweight fabrication with a usual design of raised lines or diamonds on one side, with its reverse side being dull. It is commonly aluminum, stainless steel or steel. Steel kinds are typically constructed by hot rolling, though contemporary producers also build a pressed and raised diamond pattern.

Utilized on catwalks and stairs in industrial situations, the additional texture lessens the possibility of slipping. Because of this, the diamond plate is often applied on an ambulance’s interior and on a firetruck’s footplates. It can also be utilized as a decoration, specifically highly refined aluminum variations.

It can also pertain to the same anti-slip textures.

An aluminum treadplate is a kind of plate that is excellent at withstanding moisture and is tough for lightweight fabrication. This pattern is cosmetically appealing and slip-resistant for a lot of decorative applications. This aluminum diamond tread plate is offered in reflective, highly refine, brilliant shine or a featureless mill polish.

It is simple to weld, saw cut, machine, drill, shear, as well as form.

The uses and applications of this diamond plate include Truck Bed, Tool Boxes, Floor Tile, Dance Floor, Counter Tops, Trim, Wall Panels, e Flooring and many more.

There are lots of plate manufacturers online out there, including the Garage Store. It has arranged the biggest lone source of products of diamond plates. The broad range of these products includes the silver series cabinets which offer an excellent function and value.

Diamond-marked plates can contribute a little spark to a truck or car. However, a lot of diamond plates available are actually made to be just a hanged on the wall or displayed. variations are offered that include college logos, professional teams in sports and more. In addition, there are diamond plaques and plates that celebrate famous ballparks or classic games including Wrigley Field of Chicago. If an individual has specific or unique patterns in mind, there are professionals who can modify almost all materials with diamond pattern. the product is not only used as a decoration, though. Diamond plated chaps, jackets, saddle bags, are made to resist the pounding they can endure when going along with bikers on usual drives. Mud flaps that are diamond plated also has a tendency to be tougher than usual flaps, thus truckers will frequently create particularly plated patterns for their travels.

Specific intentions for diamond plate patterns are not restricted to riders. Within the kitchen, knives that are with these patterns can last longer and endure much more deterioration within the kitchen than usual knives. Paneling of diamond plates is frequently used in order to secure boats, and other watercraft, since they are built to endure the effects of both saltwater and fresh. It can also give added grip on wet areas. These items have popularly grown as style becomes the trend of this generation.

Wood Stove Basics

With the rising cost of fuel, we are searching for a less expensive way to heat our homes. Using wood for fuel could be your best answer. It is relatively inexpensive, can replace a major portion of your heating bill and is a renewable resource.

We purchased a house in the spring of 2005 that had a wood burning  stove . I was not sure what brand it was, but with a little research in the internet, I discovered it was an ‘Earth  Stove ‘. The only other wood burning  stove  we had owned was called a Ben Franklin  stove . It was not very efficient allowing most of the heat to go up the chimney plus it did not seal completely allowing sparks to escape, an extreme fire hazard. We could not leave it unattended for fear of fire.

After our experience with the Ben Franklin, I had some reservations about using the Earth  Stove . When the first cold weather arrived, my reservations were resolved. It heated the house beautifully. The previous owners had left a small supply of wood which I quickly realized would not be enough. I began my research about woods and watching the news papers for firewood. There are many types of wood available with each one having a different characteristic in the way they burn, heat, produce smoke or sparks and the most dangerous thing to watch for: the amount of creosote they produce.

Creosote is the one danger the homeowner should be constantly aware of and do everything to reduce the amount deposited in your chimney, stovepipe or flu. When creosote accumulates to a dangerous level it can catch fire. When it does catch fire, it burns around 2000 degrees. I have been told it roars like a jet engine in your chimney. This can crack your chimney tiles; cause your metal chimney to warp and collapse or even ruin the mortar between your bricks causing the chimney to become unstable. This high temperature can radiate into the structure of your home and ignite it resulting in either extreme damage or loss of your home. The company who cleaned my chimney advised me that if such a fire happened you can extinguish it by opening up the door to your  stove  and pouring a glass of water onto the fire and then closing the door. A Quart of water will produce about 1600 quarts of steam and should extinguish the blaze. If you have any glass windows in your  stove , you must do this with extreme caution. The water hitting hot glass will most likely shatter the glass so if you have to do this please do so with extreme caution. Once this is done, let the fire in your  stove  die and have a professional inspect, clean and repair (if necessary), before you build another fire. The safest way is to have your chimney cleaned by a professional at least once a year and be careful which wood you use. If your wood produces a lot of smoke, you should clean or have it cleaned more often.

There are numerous web sites with a lot of information concerning burning wood as fuel. The main things to consider when preparing to burn wood fuel are the are amount of heat you can expect, amount of smoke which can relate to creosote, how easy is this wood to burn, how easy does it split if you are doing it yourself, does it throw sparks which can be a dangerous situation if a spark lands on a flammable substance undetected.

Hardwoods are always the best choice and include: ash, red oak, white oak, beech, birch, hickory, hard maple, pecan and dogwood. Softwoods will work but normally produce less heat and a lot of smoke. Excessive smoke is the number one cause of creosote building up in a chimney because smoke is actually unburned hydrocarbons. These build up inside your chimney causing chimney fires. A nice hot fire will normally burn these particles to the point they are negligible and will not accumulate to a dangerous level in your chimney.

Using wood for heating requires a lot of research and consideration before you start. There are a lot of local regulations and national regulations that need to be addressed before any installation is started. The best answer is to talk to the professionals. They should know all the laws and be able to interpret them for you.

Burning wood can be a rewarding experience plus is you cut, split and stack your own wood you will benefit physically as well. The information I have given you is by no means all inclusive or or the gospel truth. It is information I have gleaned from talking to people and from the internet. What I have learned may not be the correct way but from October until March, my heater came on about 7 times. As stated earlier, the internet has tons of information. All you have to do is look and ask. Have fun and enjoy your experience with your wood  stove .

Electric Cooker Vs Gas Cooker

Once upon a time, many years ago I remember visiting my grandparents in their ranch in the middle of the desert. I loved those visits because I love the freedom and mystic of that place. There were many things that seemed a complete mystery to me. My grandfather had been a journalist, a school teacher and a famous politician before moving to that ranch in the middle of nowhere. He had a rifle, which he never showed to me, but my father used to say it was a “carabina”.

One of the objects in that place that always called my attention was an old cooker. All iron-made, heavy and smoky looking. It was a wood powered cooker with a proper chimney and all. My father told me they used to cook on it all the time. Now they kept it as a cool gadget in the house. It had books all over it and it look fantastic. My grandparents now have a gas cooker but before then, they had an electric cooker. I asked why was that. I was told that gas was once difficult to get to the ranch so they had to use an electric cooker, powered by a petrol power station that they used to pump water as well. The problem with the electric cooker, I was told, was that it sucked all the electricity.

It is incredible to realize how things have advanced technologically since then. Now, one does not think about all that when turns the cooker on to make a pair of fried eggs in the morning for breakfast. It is so easy now. However, now at days, choosing between an electric cooker and a gas cooker can be a very common scenario in many cases. For example, in rural areas, where gas is not available, electric cookers are the only option. Even in modern cities, in some buildings gas installations are not allowed for safety reasons or because a whole installation would be too expensive. In other cases, the practicality of electric cooker represents an advantage over gas cookers, for example for cleaning purposes.

There are also differences in the functionality between an electric and a gas cooker. For example, the time in which the hub gets the desired temperature varies. In a gas cooker, it is very short while in an electric cooker takes longer. The same process applies for cooling times after cooking.

Ceiling Panels

These panels are used in the interior of buildings and are not for domestic use. They are lightweight and are designed for use in commercial properties. Most offices built today have metal frames built into the ceilings, these are in fact the base for the panels, the panels are placed upon these steel grids. There are different types of tiles available and depending on the type that you choose they may provide advantages like:

  • Sound Absorption
  • Thermal Insulation
  • Improved Air Quality Indoors
  • Better Fire Protection

Ceiling Panels are also referred 2 as Ceiling Tiles and Drop-Ceiling Tiles. Another advantage they offer is very easy access to plumbing and wiring that is located above the panels, it allows them to be replaced or upgraded when needed with ease. To do this you will need a ladder, once in reach of the panels all you do is simply push the panel up and slide it out, this can be done without mess and can be put back in an instant.

Ceiling Panels are fabricated from plastic, wood, perlite, aluminium, mineral wool, fibres from recycled paper and tin. Most examples of these tiles will have patterns of holes in them; this increases their properties for sound absorption. Panels are not only manufactured in that manner, a lot of them have a moulded surface that gives them, a sculpted look or provides a texture.

If you are replacing your old Ceiling Panels remember that most types can be recycled by landfills and those that can’t can usually be recycled by the manufacturer.

Installing Vinyl Plank Flooring

In today’s market it is hard to tell real wood plank flooring from vinyl plank flooring but there are two advantages of using vinyl instead of the real thing. With the vinyl plank flooring it is waterproof, inexpensive, and easier to install. There are even incidents in which you can just put the plank flooring over an existing surface but you need to make sure that whichever surface you put it on that it is solid and smooth. You can get this type of plank flooring in regular form or self-adhesive but this type is not as durable and is a lighter gauge.

When getting ready to install the new plank flooring you first need to measure the area where you are going to put the new flooring. In order to get a more accurate measurement you will need to remove the baseboards and thresholds first. The square footage of the room will be the width of the room times the length of the room including any closets and nooks. Now you have to total the number of square feet you need and add ten percent more to allow for any errors and trim work.

Depending on the condition of the old floor you may need to strip the existing floor first but remember that the area where you are putting the new vinyl plank flooring needs to have a smooth solid foundation. If you have to remove any old vinyl or carpet you need to make sure that you have removed all of the flooring adhesive deposits are also removed. To get any floor adhesives off you may have to use a sander or a solvent that is citrus-based and a power scraper.

If the sub-floor that you are putting your vinyl plank floor on has any holes or cracks you will have to use a patching compound along with a coat of primer in order to seal it against any moisture. Now that you are ready to lay out the floor choose a wall that is in the main line of sight. It is usually the wall that is opposite the main entrance. Take the planks and lay a line out along the wall, using a T-Square to make sure that they are even and parallel to the wall. What you are doing is squaring off the room so your new floor will look attractive and be put in properly. Put a line on the floor to use as your line guide.

Make sure that you start in one corner of the room and follow you’re the line guide you have there. It has to line up exactly so it looks right. Once you finish one line you start another line with half of a plank to give it an alternate look. If there are any gaps in the flooring after laying it down you can use wood putty to fill them in. Make sure that all the vinyl planks are bonded to the floor firmly and then you can replace the baseboards and thresholds that you moved before you did your measurements.

Business Plan Pro Review

Business Plan Pro is a software program that helps guide you through the process of creating a business plan. Because a business plan is a pivotal component for any business to have, especially a start-up, ensuring that your plan is up to par is critical. For those who don’t know how to write a plan from scratch, plan writing software can be a life saver.

Business Plan Pro has two different software programs the Standard and the Premier. Both the Standard and the Premier include such features as:

• 9,000 plus industry profiles.

• Over 500 sample plans.

• Two different business planning e-books.

• The ability to import data from Quicken.

The Premier edition also includes:

• The ability to import from Microsoft Excel.

• A business evaluation analysis.

• Cash planning that is visual.

• A program that let you do a plan versus actual financial tools.

Depending on how in depth you want to get with your plan and of course how much you want to spend will determine which version of the software is right for you. Just as with any other piece of software, Business Plan Pro has pros and cons. Before deciding whether or not you want to use the plan writing software it is worth checking out both sides of the story.

Because Business Plan Pro has been around for 15 plus years they have over one million customers who have used their program. Most would agree that the software was easy to use and did a more than adequate job in helping them create their plan. You can read through some of the actual reviews on the company website.

They have also been voted the number one plan software for the past ten years straight by NPD Group and they have been featured in the Wall Street Journal as well as Inc.com. Best of all though, they offer a 60 day money back guarantee so if you get the program and don’t like it you can go through the process of getting your money back.

As far as those who left reviews of Business Plan Pro there were not too many complaints, but the software does come with one big negative selling point, which is its price. The Standard edition is just under $100, which is comparable to many other business software programs in the industry, but the Premier Edition that comes with all the bells and whistles is just under $200. While the software very well may be worth every nickel, it is still one of the higher prices business plan software programs available.

The ultimate decision is yours but whatever you decide you must be sure to write the best possible plan that you can so your business has the most amount of potential and a chance to going on to do great things. Remember, investors and many vendors expect to see a well written and articulated plan so be sure that is what you deliver them.

A Stainless Steel Handrail Set Can Last You a Long Time With Proper Care

While balustrades are aesthetically pleasing to look at, their main purpose is to serve as a safety and support device for stairways and balconies. They come in different designs that vary depending on the environment in which they are used in and also on the builder’s budget. If you are renovating your home, or are in the process of building one from scratch, it is important to understand the benefits of a stainless steel handrail. Glass, for the longest time, was a popular material used in the construction of these. Today, there are many advantages that steel offers. Let us examine some of these.

A stainless steel handrail is the most durable choice in the balustrades market. Because it is extremely strong and durable, you can be assured that your handrail will give you the support and the safety it is meant to. Most steel handrails are finished with a galvanized coating that will not corrode and a powder coating for an attractive finish that will last for years.

The cleaning process of your stainless steel handrail set should be scheduled. If you have young children or pets in your home, you will want to make sure that someone will be around to care for them. This will save you from any possible delay and accident that are caused when you have children and pets running around your home. If your balustrades are located outside the house, check your local weather forecast. The last thing you want to experience is getting drenched in the rain with all your equipment ready.

What materials are needed to keep your brand new stainless steel handrail set in prime condition? A simple microfiber cloth and vinegar solution will do. An older set of handrails that is showing signs of rust will require the use of a foam brush, spray bottle, anti-rust agents, dishwashing liquid, and some clear coat paint. These materials will help not only in cleaning the surfaces but also in preventing and removing rust. Have some cotton rags handy in case any of these liquids spill while you are cleaning your balustrades.

In order to get started cleaning your stainless steel handrail set, dampen your microfiber cloth with the vinegar solution and wipe the entire surface area clean. Once you have done this, apply the clear coat paint as a protection against fingerprint marks. For handrails that already have signs of rust setting in, use the spray bottle with vinegar to loosen up the rusted areas. After you have done this, scrub the rusted areas with a foam brush to remove the corrosion. The rusted areas should be then wiped dry with the microfiber cloth immediately afterwards. As a last tip, make sure you use gloves and a facemask whenever cleaning balustrades so you do not inhale the liquids in the process.

Inventive designers and builder prefer using a stainless steel handrail set because the design is sturdy yet elegant and eye-catching at the same time. If you are on a mission to beautify your home or office, you can choose to order a pre-made set or have one custom-built through a reputable manufacturer. Not only will you improve the inner and outer appearance of your home, you will also increase its safety features once these are installed.

Metal Balusters – Improving Your Deck

Whether you choose aluminum, iron, or steel, metal balusters can offer you several advantages over conventional materials when building your deck. One of the biggest advantages, of course, is simply that it is versatile enough to allow you a myriad options to choose from in your quest to build the best deck possible. These options mean that you don’t have to be held to a certain standard look or aesthetic quality that wood brings to the table. You can feel free to branch out and try new things, all the while implementing accessories that are stronger and more durable than wood ever thought of being.


You won’t find many materials that give you as many style options as metal balusters. This is in stark contrast to what most people think when they hear that word. They think they will be stuck with plain, metallic-looking posts that seem as though they would be more appropriate for a jail or an institution than a home. But, nothing could be further from the truth. Even those that still retain a strong metallic quality can be woven into as many styles and shapes as you can imagine, imparting their own unique, rustic charm. But you can go much further, bringing in a variety of colors that will obscure the fact that you went with aluminum or steel in the first place, if that’s what you would prefer.


There will be plenty of occasions to treat your deck with the tender loving care it deserves. If you’re using any type of wood in the construction, it is eventually going to become susceptible to mold, moss, and possibly even termites. You may not want to make your entire deck out of aluminum to avoid these eventualities, but at least metal balusters will ensure that you can have one aspect of the patio in need of little maintenance. Get them coated with rust-resistant materials and you won’t even have to worry about that in the future. They will get dirty like anything else, but cleaning them should be a breeze as long as you stay on top of it.


While most homeowners entrust a project as large as a deck or patio to a contractor, there are still those holdouts who derive immense satisfaction from doing things themselves. If you fall into this category, you need pieces that will be as easy to install as possible. While not all metal balusters will fit the bill, many will. Look for suppliers who can talk to you about your project and recommend products that you can install without professional assistance. Of course, aluminum and steel railings are just as appropriate when installed by a contractor as they are when put in by a homeowner.

What is a Better Option – Wooden Or Stainless Steel Balustrading?

A baluster is a moulded shaft, square or of lathe-turned form, in stone or wood, and at times in metal, standing on a unifying footing and supporting the coping of a stockade or the handrail (also known as a banister) of a staircase. Reproduced in this way, they form a  balustrade . Individually, a baluster shaft may explain the turned form, taken by a brass or silver candlestick, an erect furniture support, or the stem of a brass chandelier.A baluster is a moulded shaft, square or of lathe-turned form, in stone or wood, and at times in metal, standing on a unifying footing and supporting the coping of a stockade or the handrail (also known as a banister) of a staircase. Reproduced in this way, they form a  balustrade . Individually, a baluster shaft may explain the turned form, taken by a brass or silver candlestick, an erect furniture support, or the stem of a brass chandelier.

Wood is the most flexible material used to make turned and simple horizontal  balustrades . Apart from conventional, you can give a modern look through the wooden  balustrades . Timber is a popular material for designing staircases and  balustrades . Wooden  balustrades  can be skilfully crafted to balance your existing staircase. These are unique in both antique and modern styles. Besides the safety features, a wooden  balustrade  adds style and a classic look to your home.

The wooden  balustrades  are also designed delightfully. Wide varieties of colours are available in wooden  balustrades , which make it easier for the clients to select from, according to their own choice or the one which suits the building.

The use of wood has reduced in manufacturing of  balustrades  and handrails. People have become aware about saving the environment, and therefore, the use of wood is frowned upon by some people.

Stainless steel balusters are uprights, constructed of iron and used to support railings, such as the rail on a banister. While balusters can be composed of other materials such as wood or concrete, stainless steel is often a great way to add a decorative touch, while retaining the vigour and support required to support the railing. Stainless steel balusters may be used in houses or for exterior areas.

One of the more widespread applications of stainless steel balusters has to do with the balconies. A series of thin stainless steel balusters can elegantly support a handrail as well as a bottom rail that outlines the edge of the balcony. The presence of these stainless steel balusters, as the connection between the two balcony rails, ensures that the balcony is safe, and it is possible to enjoy the exterior space without fear of falling off the balcony.

Stainless steel balusters are a beautiful alternative to wooden balusters or spindles for the design of a stairway. Because the stainless steel balusters can be very plain or be moulded to curve or can have complex designs, the look is often outstanding and adds one more layer of texture to the stair area. The stainless steel balusters are also strong and are likely to need less maintenance than their wooden baluster.

Along with a gorgeous appearance and practical applications, stainless-steel balusters are often a cost-effective way of creating a  balustrade  for use in outside or inside areas. In most cases, the stainless steel construction will cost much less than similar wood construction; it requires less maintenance over the years and is comparatively easy to replace in the event that one or more of the stainless steel balusters require replacing.

How to Lose Weight Quickly

People seem to be always in a hurry nowadays, many people even want to know and discover how to lose weight quickly. There are many ways to lose weight but losing weight should not be hurried, it’s a tedious process that should be done slowly and surely.

When working on losing weight, the best way is to slow down and take your time while eating. Though your feel really hungry, it will be gone soon as you’ve eaten enough. It usually takes about 10 to 20 minutes before the brain gets the message that your stomach is full, so take it easy and slowly enjoy your meal. The longer you sit and polish off your slice of pizza, the faster you will feel full. Rather than having bite after bite, concentrate on each bite, don’t fill your fork up while you are still chewing and lay it down until you are done with the first bite and ready for the next bite. Doing this will slow down your eating and make you feel fuller quicker.

Less is More

People eat a lot because they fill their plates full. Especially during buffet meals, people tend to get bigger portions and fill up their plates. But if you really want to know how lose weight fast, you have to take into consideration the phrase about one’s eye being bigger than one’s stomach. Try taking smaller portions of what you think you can consume. Once food is on your plate, you’d have a harder time passing it up and you’d end up having more than your fill.

Another thing that will help on how to lose weight quickly is to eat plenty of vegetables. Though many people pass up having veggies or rather don’t like eating vegetables, you have to know that eating green is really beneficial especially when it comes to your weight loss diet. There is a wide variety of vegetables that you can choose from and help you find out how to lose weight quickly. Use dieting as a start off on your newest food exploration. You may even find a new veggie dish you can add on your favorite list.

When losing weight, it is important that you don’t rush on losing as much as 10 or 15 pounds in a week or two. You will only lose muscle mass and gain weight back and maybe even more. Keep focus of your goal weight and the end result and slowly work your way towards it. It may be easy to falter on your diet but don’t let those times distract you. Get back on your diet and focus, don’t linger on the things you think you are missing and soon you’ll be enjoying having a healthy diet. Sticking up on a diet is one of the hardest steps in learning how to lose weight quickly.

Anatomy of Belief – In Fitness (Part 3)

To continue this 4 part series on the anatomy of belief in fitness, I’d like to talk about the second moving part of a belief. But before I do, a quick recap.

In Part 1 I broke down the 3 moving parts of a belief and touched on;

Part A) References: These are the pillars that hold up a belief

Pat B) Filters: These are what determines what we perceive based on the references accumulated and the emotions that arise from those references.

Part C) Incentive and punishment: What lies at the core of every belief is the question,

“Will this situation, person or thing hurt or benefit me?”

Then in Part 2, I went into references and pointed out how each one of them are birthed by either a memory, an experience or a learning. I also expanded on the implications of identifying yourself as those references.

Now, for part 3.


A filter is a lens that dictates and determines exactly what information, interpretation and conclusion we are open to receiving.

Once there’s a build up of references to draw from about what you believe, that tends to be the guidebook by which you use to determine how to process what you see, hear and feel.

You may have heard of the impact in the mindset of many runners after Roger Bannister broke the 4 minute mile. No one had ever ran a mile in under 4 minutes before, therefore due to the lack of reference to support the possibility, the potential to run a mile under 4 minutes was filtered out of people’s minds.

Bannister created that reference of possibility for all runners after. 46 days later, Bannister’s time of 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds was beaten by John Landy at 3 minutes and 57.9 seconds. Landy was just the first of a flood of runners since to have beaten the 4 minute mile.

What’s interesting is the emotional charge that comes from the references you form towards our beliefs. In fact, it’s the emotions that you have about something that determine your filters. Once you feel strongly about something, you are more likely to perceive it and conversely, if you feel strongly against something, you are more likely to block it out.

Furthermore, you may even use past reference of what you know or have experienced to justify how you feel about something.

In fact, there are a lot of techniques to address your emotional charges that keep you stuck in any area of life and its amazing how just releasing some negative emotions can dramatically change how you perceive things.

In your fitness, performance or physical activity, what might be some things that YOU feel strongly for or against?

How is that feeling effecting your view of what’s possible for you?

Is it keeping you from performing at a higher level or putting in the commitment or intensity that could bring about greater results in your fitness or weight loss goals?

Or do you have something working for you in how strongly you feel for it that’s giving you an edge over yourself?

Next time, I’ll be going into Part 4. Incentive and punishment: the core of all belief.

‘Til then, remember, what you think is possible and what you think isn’t has more to do with what you feel based on the references that have accumulated in your experiences, memories or learning.

Inspired by fitness,

Clinton Boucheix


Diamond Switching

Some people will tell you this never happens. I’m here to tell you it does happen because it happened to me, and at a jeweler I trusted and everyone in the area told me could be trusted.

The diamond switch can be done very fast by someone with a lot of practice. Don’t believe anyone who tells you a minute or two “isn’t enough time.”

What happens is you take your diamond for cleaning or to have the prongs adjusted – or something. Maybe you browse the showcases while it’s being done. Whatever you’re doing, you aren’t watching the bench jeweler who is doing the work on your jewelry. It doesn’t take them long to switch your diamond for a similar-size CZ.

The reason this works so well is because they have complete deniability by the time you realize a switch has been made. In most cases, a good-quality CZ will fool you for months, possibly even years (the brilliance of CZs fades over time – eventually you will notice the difference). The more time that passes between the switch and its discovery, the more deniability they have. Quite simply – you can’t prove anything unless you discover the switch while you’re standing in the store.

How do you prevent this?

  • Never let your diamond out of your sight. When you take it for a cleaning or a prong adjustment, let them know that you insist on watching the entire time. If the jeweler protests, go to another jeweler. No reputable jeweler will refuse this request.
  • If you must leave it for more extensive work, go over the anatomy of the diamond with the jeweler before you leave it. Let them know you’re familiar with your diamond and how it looks. If you don’t have a certificate, go over the qualities of the diamond with them and map any inclusions. If you have a certificate, that’s even better – take it with you and show it to them, go over the inclusions and make sure both of you agree that the diamond you are leaving matches the certificate. The whole idea of this exercise is to let the jeweler know that you know what your diamond looks like. When you pick it up, repeat the process to make sure you are getting the same diamond back.

Many jewelers have a device that “pings” the stone and beeps to let them know it’s a diamond and not a CZ. Don’t trust this process. The device may not be accurate or it may be rigged. The only way you can tell you are leaving the store with the same diamond you brought is by following one of the steps above. My Story I’ve had a lot of people ask me “how could you not know?” My diamond was a very high-quality, GIA-certified diamond. One of the remarkable things about it was it had a lot of flash. On the theory that it’s hard to lose something you wear all the time, I rarely took my ring off, even to wash my hands. I used a toothbrush to clean the diamond and a couple times a year took it in to the jeweler for cleaning. Because I wore the ring all the time, the band frequently needed adjustments – I’d gain weight, lose weight or the band would become misshapen. The jewelry store was one of the few places I took off the ring.

I did notice something different about the diamond but it never occurred to me that a jewelery I had gone to for years couldn’t be trusted and at that time, I didn’t even know that switching is a very common scam. I had hit the ring very hard on a metal door frame and one of the prongs was loose. At the particular store I went to, they used the device that beeps if it’s a diamond. However, they didn’t do this if you weren’t leaving the stone – so for cleaning or just tightening a prong, there was no check of the stone. I believe the stone was switched when I took it in to have the prong tightened.

Over the next few months, I noticed the diamond looked different, but I attributed it to a need for a good cleaning. Approximately a year after the prong adjustment, I took the ring in to the jeweler’s to have the band adjusted. Because that required me to leave it, they “pinged” the stone – and told me it was not a diamond. I was shocked. I told the owner that was impossible – the only place I removed the ring was in her store. She insisted that I must have taken it somewhere else and forgotten. It was my word against hers.

Still, I had difficulty believing that this had actually happened. I did not leave the ring with her that day. I took it and went with the certificate to a forensic jeweler in the area, who removed the stone from the ring and weighed it. CZs weigh more than diamonds and that is the fastest way to determine the difference. Indeed, the stone weighed over 3 carats, when it should have weighed 1.01 carats. I was a victim of one of the oldest jewelry thefts in the business.

It wasn’t just the loss of a high-quality, expensive diamond that upset me. That diamond was the first gift my husband gave me. It was my engagement diamond and represented over 18 years of marriage and our commitment to each other. It had a lot of sentimental value. A replacement might look the same, but it would never be the same.

You can report the theft to the police, but there won’t be anything they can do about it. The only reason for filing a police report is so they can see if there’s a pattern established with that particular jewelry store.

You should also be aware that your homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover this theft, as it doesn’t take place in your home. If you have a rider on your policy to cover your diamond(s), make sure it covers all types of losses.

Hypnosis and Addictions

Hypnosis has been commonly recognized as an effective intervention in the treatment of obsessions, compulsions, and addictions. It may not be for the reasons that we normally think. Too often efficacious findings are coupled with head scratching admissions pertaining to the lack of understanding of the causality. Modern findings and recent discoveries by neuroscientists may open the door for understanding the relationship between hypnosis and the treatment of addictions. Suggestions of relaxation and slow, calm breathing as promoted by hypnosis, meditation, and yoga are significant factors in the treatment of addictions.

Compulsions and obsessive behavior can be linked to self-medication through addictive behavior and the absence of inhibitory influences from the brain’s executive function. Essentially, compulsions largely start with overactive cingulates, which are the medial substrates in the   frontal  lobe where the two cerebral hemispheres meet. In particular, the anterior (forward) cingulate gyrus (ACC) is overactive when obsessive and compulsive thoughts are present. (The ACC serves as the switchboard for your thoughts. Over activity means compulsive and obsessive thoughts. Under activity is related to attention deficit.) This ACC over activity can occur simultaneously with a level of under activity in the  frontal  lobes. This is especially a concern when it is coupled with an Orbital  Frontal  (over the eyes) Syndrome, which results when semantic markers fail to prevent negative behavior. In layman’s terms, this means that we try to quell the pain of obsessive thoughts with addictive behaviors which are not stopped by our normal inhibitions.

The self-medication of unhappiness (i.e., obsession and compulsions) affects the entire body. As the ACC is in the medial portion of the brain and sits astride the Limbic System, the emotional center of the brain and our link to our autonomic functions, it should be obvious that an overactive ACC is related to bodily sensations. Addictive behavior then affects how our body reacts and craves certain sensations. When the body is “trained” at the cellular level to expect these behaviors, it is even harder to reverse the desire for self-medication.

Add to this the inability of the  frontal  lobe to combat these self-medicating tendencies. If functioning normally, the somatic markers of the pre-frontal cortex will stop addictive behaviors. (At this point I am not discussing the inability of the front lobe to react due to brain trauma.) While such a low activity in the  frontal  lobes is normally associated with ADD and ADHD, when coincidental with an overactive ACC, a more complex problem arises. Some psychiatrists call this problem Overactive ADD.

If someone actually has Overactive ADD, they must seek medical treatment. Such treatment normally includes medications, low protein/high (good) carb diet, and exercise. Psychotherapy should also be part of the equation as a meds-only approach is generally not advised. Furthermore, although being diagnosed as Overactive ADD is a medical issue requiring medical care, it is my contention that many of the clients and patients seen by hypnotherapists, psychologists, and psychotherapists have similar profiles without having reached the level of pathology requiring licensed medical treatment as the primary intervention. This would include people who have smoking, sex addictions, and eating disorders.

Simultaneous overactive ACC’s and under active front lobes make the treatment of addictions is very difficult. The ACC wants peace and quite and the rest of the front lobe wants stimulation. Too often the serotonin increase brought about by addictive behavior, such as smoking, is the only solution to calm the ACC. (Note that this is why ex-smokers gain weight as they acquire the increase in serotonin by eating unhealthy carbs.) Meanwhile the bored  frontal  lobes are craving more stimulation while getting insufficient nutrition and oxygen due to the increased demands of the ACC. Addictive acting out produces such stimulation by promoting the basal ganglia to create sudden rushes of dopamine, which is the excitement neurotransmitter. This often fatigues dopamine production and leaves the addict too burned out to pursue productive behaviors. In summary, addictive acting out results in a simultaneous burning desire for calmness and excitement leading to the lethargy. It is like smoking while drinking your fourth cup of coffee and then feeling so drained (and probably regretting your behavior).

In looking at the biology of addictions the overactive ACC and under active front lobes must be addressed. In the former case the overactive cingulate can benefit from focused attention and suggestions of relaxation. As the well-balanced ACC is also the center of attention in the brain, being able to calm the mind through hypnosis and meditation is a significant intervention. Additionally, by regulating the breath, which also is happens in hypnosis, meditation, and yoga, this stimulates the brain stem to increase serotonin flow. (The brain stem is the primary regulator of breath and a major producer for serotonin, which is the calming neurotransmitter of the brain.) It is my contention that the most overlooked benefit of hypnosis in combating addictions is the necessity to relax the mind through focused attention thereby tuning down the ACC. This releases necessary blood flow to other parts of the brain to include previously starved  frontal  lobes, thereby curbing excessive stimulation-seeking and allowing the executive (and thus inhibitory) functions to re-emerge.

When addressing additive behavior, such as smoking, eating disorders, gambling, and sex addictions, too often the only focus is on the content of guided imagery and hypnosis when in fact the process may be the primary mode of intervention. There have been extensive research and discussions related to the ill effects of stress and the role of the hypothalamus-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis with too little emphasis on the rest of the neural system. Hypnosis is normally mentioned as a primary stress-fighting tool due to the apparent impact on the HPA. Regardless, scientists normally do not probe further into the impact on other neural substrates. Increased understanding of the biological basis of the process skills of focused attention and rhythmic, relaxing breathing, both of which are components of hypnosis, may indeed provide greater understanding of the positive benefits of the science and art of hypnotherapy.

Dancing on Your Treadmills

Treadmill dancing will add the dimensions to the workout in that it has the cardio benefits, it will increase balance and also improve your stamina. When you are dancing on your treadmill, you have to make sure to keep your treadmill pace lower that when you are walking normally. Use upbeat music in order to increase the energy levels and keep the body on the rhythm.

You can start the dancing treadmill by walking slowly on your treadmill for two or three minutes as the warm up. You can hold your arm rests with your both hands, keep the top of the body facing forward, but keep angle the hips and your legs to the right. Step your right foot to the right side, and then you can cross the left to the front of it. You should repeat this step for several times then you need to turn crossing your right foot in the front and behind.

Return to the standard forward walking. You can step with your right foot, kick your left food   frontage  and hop with your right foot. Get your left foot back and place your weight of your body onto your left foot. Then kick your right foot and hop on your left foot. Place your right foot down and kick again your left foot and then hop on the right. Continue this way for several times.

You can add other exercise elements with arm motions. It is necessary for you to use it with ahead stepping sequences just like step kicks and only if completely relaxed with footwork. You should keep your treadmill pace slowly.

Ancient Greek Theatre Architecture

The ancient Greek theatre was shaped by the literary evolution of the plays. Threshing floors, where the rural Dionysiac troups first held their feasts, constituted the early pattern of the round orchestra (playing area) in subsequent theatres. In the centre of this orchestra was the thymeli, the altar of the god, demonstrating the origins of the theatre in ritual. In the initial dithyramic assemblies, devotees stood around the threshing floor. In the theatre, the spectators’ seats filled the amphitheatric auditorium which was built into the natural slope of a hill and usually divided into two horizontal diazomata (sections) and many wedge-shaped kerkides (blocks of seats) the number of which changed according to the size of the orchestra. The tiers in the upper section were twice the size of those in the lower. The auditorium covered 2/3 of a full circle, making it necessary to build retaining walls to support the side sections. The seats were semicircular rows of steps. The first row had comfortable, throne-type seats with backs, places of honour. When women were permitted to attend a certain performance, then they sat in a separate section. The places in the upper diazomata were for foreigners. Slaves did not appear to have the right to attend performances.

The orchestra (playing area) was the soul of the theatre. All the other parts grew up around it, as its final circle was surrounded by the auditorium. The altar, which was right in the centre, had to be equidistant from all sections. The side doors beside the retaining walls of the auditorium were called the parodoi, through which the spectators entered the theatre. The appearance of actors through these entrances was significant for the plot of the play: the public was aware of the convention that when an actor entered from the right-hand door, he was coming from the city; the use of the opposite door meant that he was arriving from some distant place. The members of the chorus always stayed in the orchestra, even later when a platform and stage buildings were added to its open side. There was a strict mathematical relationship between stage, altar and auditorium, which was related to the effort to perfect the acoustics.

With the creation of the stage, steps were built leading up from the orchestra to the logeio (platform), where the actors recited their parts. At the back there was a large wooden   facade , movable and painted, which depicted an outdoor backdrop. This  facade  was always the same according to the play: in tragedy an official building was shown, usually a palace or temple; in comedy smaller, rural buildings tended to be used; in satyric drama, the scenery required a cave entrance. As the performances were held during the day, no artificial lighting was necessary, although there were various sound effects used, such as metallic containers full of water to increase the volume of the speeches, and pebbles were shaken around in bronze jars to sound like thunder. The technicians who wielded these vessels would either stand behind the scenery or along the sides of the platform, in the side-wings. In the stage building behind the platform, there were areas where the actors changed their masks and costumes and where these props were kept after the performance.

The architecture of the theatre was perfected in the 4th century, the primary example being that of Epidaurus. But all around the Mediterranean, theatres of all sizes bring back echoes of ancient Greece.

In neighbouring Rome, performances of drama began in the middle of the 3rd century at the Hippodrome, on movable platforms. Stern Roman senators were not particularly fond of free-thinking Greek plays, and thus the building of permanent theatres was expressly forbidden, until Pompey visited Mytilene and was so impressed by its stone theatre that he built a similar one in Rome in 55 BC. But the all- powerful Senate forbade the building of seats, and for this reason the first spectators had to bring their own chairs. During the years that followed, given the influence of Hellenic education on Roman society, many theatres were built which differ in many ways from those of Greece.

In Roman theatres, the auditorium covered only half of a circle and the rows of permanent seats were initially intended only for senators. Later other rows of seats were added for minor notables, even though social differences were very strict. The upper sections filled with crowds. Above the last row of seats there was a covered portico around the entire semi-circle. The seats were raised well above the orchestra, since this area was frequently flooded with water for the presentation of mock naval battles, as Roman spectacles were gradually replacing classical Greek works of philosophical simplicity.

Another innovation was that in the place of the ancient Greek side entrances, boxes were built for the emperor on one side and the Vestal Virgins on the other. At the end of the performance, the curtain would fall between these boxes. But the stage, too, differed from the Greek shape, because Roman presentations needed more space to accommodate those taking part in the pantomimes and grandiose plays with large casts. In Rome, the wooden scenes of the Greek theatre became a three storey wall, with openings and niches for statues, the height of which was the same as the height of the portico above the last series of seats in the auditorium. This feature made it easier to install a movable covering and machinery to spray perfumed water to refresh the public on hot days.

The spectators enjoyed the performances free of charge, as part of the infallible “bread and circuses” measures for controlling the crowds. But in the harsh Roman society, where circuses were stronger than bread, the public preference always lay in the amphitheatres, in the oval arena where combats with wild beasts and doomed gladiators prevailed.

Astor Hotel, Esperia Palace and Plaka Hotel are great Athens Hotels.