Team Fundraiser: Go For The Gold With These Ideas

Don’t you have good ideas for your team fundraiser yet? Well, you’re in pretty good luck because I’ll be pitching three good fundraising ideas in this article that will be of great help to you in terms of funds production. Let’s go through the details of each one so that you’ll know have a good idea as to how they need to be executed.

The first team fundraiser idea that I have to offer for you in this article is a car wash fundraising event. Car washes have long been proven to be one of the greatest types of fundraisers in every single community. Now, you may think that since this is an effective fundraising idea, you’re going to need a lot of good materials and serious preparations for it. Well, not necessarily. In order for this to be running at full speed in producing funds for your team, all you need are: a high traffic location that has good visibility; willing and hardworking volunteers; and some signs that will catch some good attention from people passing by. The best thing about doing a car wash fundraiser is that you can do this even with short notice. Let’s proceed to the specifics of what you need to do. First, you need to line up a location that has good main road frontage and you need to see to it that your location has good water access. Next, you need to assemble your car wash supplies including wash towels, squeegees, dry towels, buckets, and hoses. You then need to assign an item for your each of your volunteers. The next step is advertising. Make 8 to 10 poster board signs with high contrast colors so that they can easily catch attention. Next, group your volunteers according to 2-hour shifts. Set the date and time schedule for your car wash fundraiser. Doing this on a Saturday is highly suggested.

The next idea that you can do is a yard cleanup. This type of fundraising campaign can be put together really fast and easy. You just need to create a set of instructions for your volunteers about what you plan to offer to your customers; what they should say; and how much they should charge for their yard cleaning services. Like other kinds of fundraisers, your target clients for these would be family, friends, and neighbors. Base the kind of services that you’re going to offer on the age of your volunteers. Your services can range from simple lawn care to mulching flower beds and pruning tree limbs.

If you want to expand the horizons of your fundraising campaign, you can choose to execute a community cleanup fundraising campaign. This is also referred to as a trash bag fundraiser. Through this type of fundraising idea, you can get the chance to both raise funds and send out a positive message about your group as well.

You Can Improve Your Smile With Veneers

Your smile – whether it is bright and shiny or dull and dismal – can dramatically impact your life. Few people take into consideration how vital their smile is to both their career and their personal life. Think about it: what’s your first impression when you meet someone with broken, chipped, or even yellow-stained teeth? Your initial impression is probably a negative one. Regardless of how much you attempt to control your natural, emotional reaction, the fact is that an unhealthy smile will hinder a person’s interpersonal relationships, both in their personal life and their career.

Now, consider meeting someone with bright white teeth that are perfectly aligned. What would your initial impression be towards that person? More than likely you would like this person, even if it is at a subconscious level. Additionally, a person’s smile is closely linked to their level of life enjoyment. Want to improve your quality of life? You should improve your smile!

Veneers are a simple, low-cost solution for stained or poorly aligned teeth. These extremely thin pieces of plastic are cemented directly onto the front of your teeth. In essence, they are a façade, presenting a very healthy set of white teeth to anyone who sees your smile while your real teeth, no matter how unsightly they may be, are kept hidden and out of view.

To install veneers, your dentist will need to trim off a very thin layer of enamel from the front of your teeth. He or she will then permanently cement your custom-crafted veneers to the front of your teeth. You can then walk out of your dentist’s office with a brand new smile.

If you only have one tooth that is unsightly, a crown might be your best solution. A crown (sometimes referred to as a “cap”) is a great solution for a single-tooth problem. If your tooth is chipped or cracked, a crown can not only hide its imperfect appearance, it can also hold your cracked tooth together and keep it from splitting apart altogether.

To install a crown, your dentist will need to trim a significant amount of enamel from your tooth. In fact, he’ll have to remove enough enamel to transform your tooth into a round peg. Once your tooth is in the form of a round peg, your dentist will permanently attach the crown on top of it. Crowns can be expected to last anywhere from ten to fifteen years. Of course, that will require that you take good care of your crown!

If your tooth is beyond repair (or if it’s missing altogether), then a dental implant might be your best solution. A dental implant is not a cheap fix – they can easily cost several thousand dollars by the time the entire procedure is complete.

The first step for getting a dental implant is for your dentist to drill a pilot hole into your jaw. He will then install an implant screw into the hole. After that, it’s up to your body to complete the next part of the process: osseointegration. This process can take up to six months or longer to complete. During this time, your jaw bone will graft to the implant post and permanently anchor it into place. Once the bone has grafted to the jaw, your dentist will install a crown on top of the implant screw. Dental implants can last thirty years or longer.

The above mentioned procedures are available to anyone who wants to improve their smile. If you think your smile could benefit from cosmetic dentistry, contact your local dentist and schedule an initial consultation to learn more.

How To Start Your Car With Your Cell Phone

How to start your car from your phone?

Introduction:

In this article I will show you how to start your car from your cell phone. I already had a car starter installed in my truck years ago but the range was terrible and you had to press the button for a precise amount of time, otherwise it would just ignore it. So instead of pressing a button all day long from 10 feet away I decided I wanted to start my truck from anywhere in the world! I built this a few years ago, and some newer products have come out that integrate cell phones with vehicles, but this still works for older vehicles, and can also be adapted to many other kinds of appliances as well.

This isn’t just limited to vehicles. Many DIY types have attached these to their cabin’s furnace, aircraft pre-heaters, irrigation pumps on farms, servers, routers, and all sorts of other appliances and electronics.

Parts required:

Parts:

-GSM activated relay. This device will contain a SIM chip that can connect to the GSM cell phone network. It’s relays must be able to be activated by phone call or text message. In my first build I used a GSM-AUTO, but found a cheaper alternative on eBay for the Quad Band version (North America) or the Dual Band (Europe, Asia, etc.). it costs around $150 which has 7 relays. Another alternative is to purchase from the online store called Relay Supply. One relay is controlled by phone call and the rest are activated by text message. The relays can be set as either momentary or latched.

-Car Starter Key Fob (the remote control thing on your keychain).

-12V DC cigarette power cord

-Small plastic bag or ESD bag.

-A few wires.

Tools:

-A few screw drivers

-Soldering Iron

Step 1:

Begin with canabalizing the key fob. Instead of consuming one of my existing remotes, I turned to eBay. I found the model number of mine on the back. Its an Auto Start 05-A433. I entered this in on eBay and up popped a bunch of used key fobs that are compatible with my system. WARNING: Some of these remotes may look exactly like the one you want but they come in many revisions. Some revisions are not compatible with others. If you are not sure which to buy on eBay, try buying one new online.

You will have to sync your remote with your car starter. As all car starters and car starter installations are different, I won’t go into detail on how to do this. Whoever installed your car starter can usually do it for a fee but I strongly recommend you Google for the models manual as its a rather simple process. It usually involves either depressing the hood pin in a particular fashion (a pin that detects if your hood is popped), or pressing a button on the side of the remote starters brain under your dash.

Now remove any screws from the case and pry it apart. The circuit inside and battery are not secured in any way and came out easily.

Step 2:

Find the button that corresponds to the “start” button on your remote. Some remotes can require a combination of buttons to be pressed in a certain order, or multiple buttons pressed at the same time. This can be accomplished by soldering up two connections that are both wired through the relay (for multiple button presses) or a capacitor can be added to time delay one of buttons.

The contact in the center of this picture is already powered. When a user pushes the button, the connection is made between the interlocking contacts (they look like interlocking letter E’s) and the starter signal is sent. We will be soldering one wire to each corner of the contact. This takes a great deal of precision to ensure that you do not join the two contacts.

Step 3:

Next, solder a wire onto each connector that supplies power to the remote. Color coding the wires is a good idea. This remote takes a small but powerful 12V battery. Note that if your remote can not handle this high of voltage (some cigarette lighters can pump out around 15V so be sure that the remote can handle this), you will have to continue using the existing battery.

Step 4:

The GSM Relay has 7 relays. The first is controlled by phone call. When called, the relay will open for a set amount of time that can be programmed into the device by text message. Mine is set for 1200 milliseconds.

I would recommend wiring the power cables into the device first. Take the 12V DC cigarette power cord and strip the ends of the cables and slide the cable through one of the ports on the side of the device. These ports can be tightened to ensure the device is weather proof. I fed the wire through the port closest to the power connector, but if your wires are higher gauge this can be difficult. Consider running the wire through the far port. The remote key fob will remain inside the device and its wires will not be run through on of the ports.

GND (ground) is clearly marked as the top most connector. Wrap the negative (black) wire from your remote key fob around the negative cigarette power connector wire and feed it into the GND connector. Screw it down tightly to ensure a solid connection.

Wrap the positive (red) wire from your remote key fob around the positive cigarette power connector wire and insert it into the +12V connector on the GSM device. Screw it down tightly and test both wires for looseness.

Step 5:

Next, run the wires from our “start” button into the relay controlled by phone calls. Each relay is simply a pair, with the first relay being controlled by phone call, and the rest being controlled by text message. Push the wires into each connector and screw them down tightly. Remember, the remote will reside within the GSM devices case, so do not run the wire through one of the case ports.

Once this is done, consider sliding a small plastic bag or ESD bag over the remote key fob to prevent any shorts.

Step 6:

Slide back the metal bracket covering the SIM chip holder to allow it to pop up. Insert the SIM chip as shown and press it down again, securing the metal bracket to hold it down.

The GSM device has 3 LED’s on it:

-One for network connectivity. This LED won’t turn on for the first 10 seconds, and then will blink quite fast when the device initializes. The rapid blinking means its searching for a network to connect to. Once it establishes a connection (this will only occur if the SIM chip is a valid one and the device is in GSM range), the light will blink much slower, indicating that the connection has been made.

-One for indicating power status (blinks regularly to indicate it is powered).

-One for indicating TX or RX. Whenever the device receives or sends a text message/phone call, this light will flash.

Connect the device to your vehicles cigarette lighter! The power LED should be flashing, as should the network LED. Once the device achieves network connectivity, the flashing of the network LED should slow down.

Step 7:

Programming the device is simple. I have attached a PDF to this Instructable containing the instructions. To quickly add a phone number to the list of valid phone numbers that can call the device (also called a white list), send the following text message to the device:

#PWD123456#WHL01=0001112222

PWD is the password (which can be changed), and WHL01 is the first position in the white list. If you wanted to add a second number you would use WHL02, etc. and so forth.

The phone number to be entered should contain the area code and regular phone number with no dashes. Occasionally the international country code must be prepended to the start of the number, but try without this first.

Call the device and the first relay should loudly clack open and closed for 300 milliseconds (default length of time). The device will never pick up the phone call; rather it merely checks whether that phone number is in its white list, and then either ignores it or acknowledges it. It usually activates itself on the second ring and causes you to hear two rings to occur quickly one after another when it activates.

To update the length of time to one second, use this command:

#PWD123456#GOT1000

Figure out how long you normally have to press the start button for to start your vehicle and then program the relay to open for the proper amount of time.

Step 8:

Time to test our device out. Call the device and watch as the TX/RX LED activates. The relay should loudly flip open, and if you have a small LED on your key fob like mine, you should see this glowing as the “start” button is pressed by our relay. If the timing is correct and the key fob is pressed, your vehicle should start!

The parts I used can be obtained from Rellay Supply. The direct link for the 7 switch device: GSM Remote Control Relay.

If you have any other ideas for projects let me know. I’d love to collaborate or try out new projects!

How to Install New Pickups on a Strat-Type Guitar

I recently upgraded my Yamaha Pacifica 112 guitar with Dimarzio pickups and I thought about making a detailed account here about the project.

So, here’s a step-by-step account on how to remove the stock pickups and install new pickups on a Stratocaster-type guitar, based on how I installed the Dimarzio pickups (DP100 Super Distortion: bridge, DP116 HS-2: middle, DP217 YJM: neck) on my strat-clone. Here it goes!

1. Loosen the strings but don’t remove them from the tuning pegs. When it’s loose enough, remove the neck mounting screws and carefully detach the neck from the body.

* This will save time when putting it all back together, using the same strings. On the other hand, if you’re going to put new strings anyway, then just remove the strings and don’t bother removing the neck.

2. After putting the neck aside, detach the “volume”, “tone” and selector switch caps. Once removed, the volume pot, tone pot and selector switch can now be detached from the pickguard.

3. Remove the pickguard screws.

4. Detach the stock pickups from the pickguard.

5. To totally remove the stock pickups, look for the 3 lugs under the selector switch where the 3 stock pickups are connected. When found, de-solder the 3 “hot” wires from the stock pickups.

* Before de-soldering, try to remember or label WHICH LUG IS FOR WHICH POSITION (bridge, middle or neck).

6. De-solder the ground wires of the 3 stock pickups from the back of volume potentiometer.

* Now the stock pickups are completely detached. Set them aside or store them in a box for safekeeping.

7. Attach the replacement pickups to their respective positions in the pickguard.

8. Check the wiring diagram for the color coding of the new pickup. Usually the new Dimarzios have 5 wires with the following colors: red, green, black, white and a bare wire. (For me, I used the full humbucker *series* wiring for all three Dimarzio pickups).   Solder  tips of the black and white wires together then wrap tightly with electrical tape.

9.  Solder  the green and bare wires together then  solder  properly to the back of the volume pot for grounding. Be sure to use higher wattage  soldering   iron  ( >45 watts ) in order for the  soldering  lead to stick and make a good connection.

10.  Solder  the red “hot” wire from the pickup to its the corresponding position in the selector switch lug as mentioned in Step#5.

11. Repeat Steps #9 and #10 for the other two pickups.

* After all  soldering  jobs, be sure to conduct a visual inspection on all  soldering  connections. All connections should be secure and solid.

12. Return the “volume” pot, “tone” pot and selector switch to their rightful places. Be sure to properly attach their screws securely. Re-place the pots and switch caps.

13. Re-place the pickguard and attach screws on the guitar body. Check for stray wires that may stick out. All wires should stay inside the guitar cavity.

14. Re-attach the neck to the guitar body’s neck joint, then screw tightly.

There you go. Just a simple 14-step procedure anyone can do at home. Hope this helps!

Black Screen or No Picture on Your Wii

Learn how YOU can fix your Wii.

To fix a Nintendo Wii can be very easy

You don’t need a Degree in electronics or microchips to be able to repair you Wii problems any more because there is a way you can learn how to do this on the cheap and without taking it to a supplier to do it for you.

Black Screen/No Picture

This can be very frustrating to trouble-shoot so follow the steps below in order:

1) Eject disc and SD card.

2) Unplug power lead from back of Wii console and then from wall socket. (In this order)

3) Wait for at least 1 hour or overnight if possible.

4) Clear any dust from console by blowing into vents and then get vacuum cleaner and suck up any excess dust via the CD slot.

5) After waiting plug power lead into wall socket then into the back of the console(in this order).

6) Turn on using the remote.

7) Press and HOLD reset for at least 10 seconds if no results.

8) Hold the power button to shut off.

9) Turn on again.

If this does not work then here are another few suggestions:

Verify light are on the Wii when black screen is displayed.

Check that your TV is set to correct channel which allows you to view the game.

Try another TV.

If an error code is being displayed with the black screen then check them against the Wii Fix Guide.

No power coming into the console

This can happen if the power supply to the Wii console is faulty or is a non genuine AC adapter. But there are occasions where the console itself is at fault.

Try these recommendations but please fear the worst.

1) Inspect the power cables, they may not be plugged in correctly. Ensure all cables are inserted fully.

2) Check the wall socket by using another appliance E.G. a lamp or fan. Most sockets have a switch please check this as well.

3) Check that the console is free of dust around the vents as they can overheat and look like no power is coming into it. Ensure the vents are in fresh air and nothing is obstructing them,

4) Mack sure the power supply is genuine. The words Nintendo or Wii will be on them. Non genuine products can be incompatible with the console.

5) Check all cables for frayed or broken wires (ensure that it is disconnected from the mains first),short circuits can cause the console to shutdown

6) After these checks try plugging the console back in

If these don’t work:

Remove all accessories from the console E.G.discs, SD cards, controllers, cables etc.

Let the console stand for 15 mins to an hour before plugging back in

Once the power indicator is on try plugging the accessories in one at a time starting with the sensor bar.

Turn the system on and continue to plug the accessories in.

If the system fails when you attach an accessory then that accessory could be defective.

Zips and Rars – Opening Archived Files

When a file arrives on your computer, you expect it to open properly once you click on it. Not only that, you expect the correct program to open as well. For example, if a family member sends you a group photos, you expect the images to open, usually in a viewing program of some kind when you click on them. But what if the photos are stored in an archive? Now what?

Before discussing how to open archived files, let’s look at why files are archived in the first place using photos as an example. Today’s digital cameras are capable of creating high resolution photographs. It’s not unusual for a single photo to be 3.5 megabytes or higher in size. Now, imagine if a family member wanted to send you a group of 10 photos, each 3.5 megabytes in size. That single email would be 35 megabytes, well over the file transfer limit of many ISPs. By grouping the photos into a compressed archive, not only would just one file be transferred, the files within the archive will be compressed bringing the overall file size down to a more manageable size. Compressing and archiving photos is done with programs such as WinZip, WinRAR, and BitZipper.

While the user who has compressed the files has good intentions in mind, not all computers are equipped to open the compressed archives. Some users are aware that you may not be able to unzip the file and take advantage of self-extracting features. When this is the case, the file will be an executable file that automatically unzips when you click on it. When this isn’t the case and your computer doesn’t automatically unzip the files, you may be left scratching your head wondering what to do next. The first step is to identify the file extension so that you can then determine which program is needed to extract the files. For example, if the file is named “familyphotos.zip,” the.zip file extension tells you that it is a.zip file, one of the more common compressed archive file types. In this case, downloading WinZip will do the trick.

Many file compression programs are capable of opening compressed files created by other programs. Not only can WinZip open.zip files, it can also open.rar,.tar,.zipx,.7z,.bz2,.gzip,.tz,.taz, and many others. The same is true of programs like WinRAR and 7-Zip. As you research the file extension, you’ll likely find several programs capable of opening the file. Once you download and install the utility, your computer will know what to do with the compressed file and prompt you to “extract” the files.

By knowing the file extension of the compressed file, you have a valuable clue which can lead you to finding the right decompression utility for opening the archive. However, if you decompress a compressed archive, keep in mind that there’s no guarantee that your computer will be equipped to open the archive’s contents. In our example of familyphotos.zip, the.zip file contains photos which are most likely in the universal.jpeg format so that shouldn’t pose a problem. But what if the.zip file contains Excel spreadsheets in the.xlsx format and you do not own Excel or your version is not capable of opening this format? You’re back at square one, researching the file extension to figure out how to open it. With this in mind, it’s not a bad idea to find a good file extension library on the Internet and bookmark it for future use.

Homemade Toys

How often have you seen this happen around the holidays? The parents have spent a small fortune on the latest, greatest toy. After a few grins and giggles, the parents take the toy out of its huge box and proceed to put it together. In the meantime, the child finds the box to be quite fascinating. By the time the toy is fully put together, the child is so engrossed in the box that he or she has no desire to play with the expensive toy.

This scenario is replayed in house after house across the country. The lesson is, children are easily entertained and homemade toys can be created from every day materials that can easily keep their attention. Here are some ideas for easy to create homemade toys.

One idea for a homemade toy is a cardboard box car. Take a large cardboard box and cut a   hole  in the top and cut out the bottom. Decorate it like a car, using paper plates for the wheels and steering wheel. Your child will enjoy “driving” this car around the house!

Create a hand made bubble blower out of a toilet paper roll. Wrap the roll with aluminum foil. Make the bubbles by mixing liquid dish soap with water. Dip one end of the roll in the mixture and blow gently through the other end. You should be able to easily create very large bubbles!

Create a scoop ball game out of a one-quart plastic milk jug. Cut the jug in half and save the handle side. Toss a ball back and forth and use the jug to catch the ball.

Model planes can be made out of the Styrofoam trays that meat is packaged on. Cut out a body, wings and tail shape. Use a knife to cut a slit in the body for the wings and tail. Because the Styrofoam is so light, these planes can soar for a decent distance.

A personalized homemade toy is the homemade puzzle. Have your child create a drawing or other piece of art. Glue the artwork to a piece of cardboard. After it is dry, turn the cardboard over and trace out puzzle piece shapes. Carefully cut out these shapes. Your child will have fun putting together his own artwork. Store the puzzle in a Ziploc bag.

A homemade beanbag toss game is another fun and active toy to create. Take a sturdy piece of cardboard and cut  holes  in it to make the targets. Be sure the  holes  are large enough that the beanbag will fit. Then make some beanbags. Take scraps of material and fill them with beans or pasta. Hand sew them shut. Have your child decorate the target and assign points to the  holes . Then have fun tossing the beanbags at the target!

Whatever toy you decide to make, be sure to include your child in the process of making the toy. Not only will you create a fun toy, but you will also create life-long memories with your child. Using what would be trash to make a fun toy also helps to protect our environment.

Night Owl Optics

Are you are planning on going out to do some night fishing, boating or just to do some nature watching? Or do you have a job that involves night time surveillance, search and rescue work or managing a large piece of property? If you said yes to any one of these questions then looking into something like night owl optics would be a move in the right direction. The reason is that they can greatly improve your vision at night time. As the name suggests, it is an instrument that can give you the ability to see when darkness falls, just like and owl.

Night owl optics are sophisticated instruments which are known as optic-electronic devices that help viewing in night time by magnifying light. They are different from telescopes and binoculars in that they do not magnify objects situated at a distance. There are several different varieties of nigh owl optics. they are, scopes, goggles, rifle scopes and other types of night vision accessories. The monocular type of scope is the basic night owl optic. There will be different types of lenses available to increase the power of the scope. This will obviously improve the observation range of the scope.

Another useful feature of such optics is that you can get camera adapters to attach on to cameras and get night vision photos and videos. Night owl binoculars are the easiest ones to use which is why it is recommended for first time users. If you are buying one for the first time and only intend to use it for recreational purposes then a simple product will be enough. When using night owl optics the user should be careful not to use them where there is a lot of bright lights and they definitely should not be used in daytime, as it can damage your eyes. These optics also have something called phosphor screens in them which will last anywhere from 1500 to 2500 hours. So if you are guying used ones, then check and see how much time is left in them. Without it, the optic will not work.

The prices of night owl optics like any other high tech device will vary greatly from model to model. One of the cheap models would be the Noneexgen-W monocular which costs around 230 dollars. This one will have a field view of 70′ at a distance of 200′ with infrared field of illumination. A typical example of a more expensive night owl optic would be the EliteNGNM4X Monocular. This one is priced around 400 dollars and has generation 1 technology and 500X ambient light amplification and powerful infrared illumination.

HMI Lighting

Lighting is everything! Whether it’s natural sunlight, subdued ambiance, perfect practicals or complex Hollywood style lighting, the image owes all of its power to light. An expensive but required type of light in most higher-end video production projects is HMI lighting. For pure lumen power, HMI’s are hard to beat. They can be temperamental, flickery and a pain to move but when you need them there is no substitute.

HMI’s come in many different types but the main differences come down to a few simple things. Ballasts. Newer, more expensive ballasts are electronic. Older, cheaper ballasts are magnetic. Electronic ballasts are lighter, more energy efficient and can be flicker-free which makes a big difference when using different frame rates. Magnetic ballasts are bigger, heavier, use more power and can lead to big issues when not shooting at 1/48 or 1/60 shutter speeds. The choice is simple if you have the money but magnetic ballasts can work just fine in certain situations.

Lens/Globe – The basic two types are Fresnel and Par. Focusable Fresnel heads which provide less punch but an-all-in one unit that are adjustable to a finer degree are good in certain situations where a little less light is needed and you don’t want to carry around lenses. Par heads are better for a wider degree of adjustment by swapping out lenses from an external case and an often times more powerful overall output. If I had to choose one head I would most definitely take a Par.

A unique aspect of HMI’s that make them significantly better than tungsten sources in many situations is that they are naturally balanced to sunlight. This means that the light they emit is between 5000 and 6000 degrees Kelvin and will match direct sunlight. Adding full or 3/4 CTOrange gels to an HMI to match tungsten lighting at 3200 Kelvin will only take away 2/3 of a stop but adding full CTBlue gels to tungsten lighting will take away 2 stops from a source that is already far less powerful per watt. If you are adding supplemental daylight colored lighting then HMI’s are definitely the way to go.

In the last 10-15 years technology has given us a couple more options to compete with HMI’s but at this point they are still limited with their uses. LED’s and Fluorescent lights such as KINO FLO’s are amazing lighting tools but they do not have the same sort of ‘punch’ that HMI’s do. Fluorescents are inherently softer but have less throw than HMI’s while LED’s of the spot variety can muster a decent amount of throw it will still take an expensive array of LED’s to compete with even a 20 year old, used HMI.

If you’ve never used an HMI I urge you to go to a store that sells them, rent one from a rental house or check out one from a friend. They are amazing lights and despite their complexities they offer something no other instrument can.

Age is Not a Barrier to Learning

Before we support or oppose any of the opinions whether or not age is a barrier to learning, I want us to critically consider and examine with all intent the meaning of the three noun words that made up the sentence – Age, Barrier and Learning.

The first among the words is Age. Age has to do with period, epoch, mature, grow old or become old. As a man, we should not forget that growing old or maturation is attached with a lot of responsibilities.

Now let us consider barrier. Barrier is synonymous with fence, blockade, obstruction, obstacle, hurdle and difficulty. Note that of all these synonyms, there is none of the words that can permanently put a stop to a determined mind. With determination, they are seen by winners as challenges and not the end of a road. I belong to the category of people that sees those words as challenges but not a final end. In fact the only final end that I recognized is death. And any body that stops leaning whether death or alive is death in as far as I am concern.

Learning on the other hand means education or acquisition of knowledge. If you agree with me that leaning is synonymous with education and can some times be used interchangeably without penalties, leaning could also be classified into three types like education: Formal education, ( formal leaning), non formal education ( non formal leaning) and informal education ( informal learning).

Now that these words had been considered and clearly elucidated one can now comfortably hold an opinion whether or not age is a barrier to education, however I will be indifferent to support or oppose in a hast because as a pragmatist, I believe in saying things the way they are but not the way they look like. Considering a formal leaning system which is an organized way of learning in a four wall of an institution, age could be a barrier. For instance, It is an extremely determined person that can enroll in a formal system of education at the age of forty. A forty years old person is already saddled with a lot of responsibilities which could constitute a barrier to leaning in a formal system at that age. At this age some of the barrier could be marriage, children, funding, as well as work.

According to Age Concern Northern Ireland policy position paper, older people should have equality of opportunities to further their education, develop new skills and talents. That means there are some opportunities that older people supposed to be exposed to or share with the young ones but are denied due to their age. Having said that, it is not enough to admit that age is a barrier to learn, because formal learning is just only one aspect of learning.

Since leaning comprises Formal, non formal and informal learning, learning could be seen as part of life, an occurrence that takes place from cradle to grave. It means that one starts to learn as early as possible until death.

Considering that learning is from cradle to death, we have to take some illustration to prove the point. A child learn how to cry, drink water and even suck breast right from the very day he/she is born. The child continues to learn like that until formal learning age when the child will be registered in a formal school system.

Age is not a barrier to learning because some people that dropped out of school due to one reason or another often register for public examination such as General Certificate for Education (G. C. E.) even at forty and still go back to school for further studies. If age is a barrier to learning, those that left school before 1970 in Nigeria would not have known how to use computers, because computers were not taught in Nigeria schools before 1970.

Further more, some people learn and acquire one or two skills even at their late fifties. It could be game, or any other pleasurable skills.

In addition, Professor Pat Utomi said in one of his media interview with AIT that a professor that did not attend up to two seminars per annual is not qualified to stand and lecture in any classroom because what he will be giving out to learners will be staled, obsolete and poisonous to the nation. According to him every lecturer, whether a professor or not should be sponsored to attend two or more seminars every year either by the government or his or her employer. This connotes that even as a professor who might have been forty and above is still mandated to learn by the law of dynamism.

Who? Whether infant or adult, young or old that has not learned one or two things today. A man dies right from the very minute he stops to learn. In the office we learn, in the religious houses, learning takes place, in the market places we learn, and even at home we learn. Traveling and tourism is also part of learning. How can age be a barrier to leaning when learning never stops until man dies?

In conclusion, you can agree with me after going through the points about age and learning hitherto elucidated that no matter age may try to be a barrier to formal system of learning, it is not enough to say age is a barrier to leaning. The only thing that is permanent in life is change, and it is only learning that sustained change in that status.

Reasons To Own A Fireproof Safe

Although more and more data is stored digitally these days, much of your vital information is still recorded on paper: Deeds, birth certificates, tax receipts, and wills are examples of documents containing information that might need to be retrieved when least expected. These articles could be lost in a fire or some other disaster with no way of easily replacing them. Preservation of sensitive documents is only one of many reasons to own a fireproof safe.

At one time it was thought that only a bank could adequately protect important materials by storing them in safety deposit boxes. While this practice is still followed, it can prove inconvenient and unduly expensive for some. Making a trip to the bank to get the articles and paying monthly fees for using safety deposit boxes have led many families to consider alternatives like buying a safe for their home.

In addition to protecting vital papers and documents, a safe can hold valuables like jewelry and precious metals. Gold can melt easily, damaging both its appearance and value. Heat and fire can damage pearls and precious gems. Heirlooms can be lost, destroying family traditions. And while certain heirlooms do have a high monetary value, such items are often viewed as priceless due to their sentimental value.

A fireproof safe can also preserve stamp collections, coin collections, rare books, sports cards, and comic book collections (Superman might be made of steel but his comic books are made of paper). Collectible dolls, toys and items like vinyl records can easily melt or burn.

If you’re licensed to carry a firearm, your family’s safety could be compromised should the weapon be lost or damaged due to fire. And there’s the risk of injuries, possibly severe, should the intense heat cause ammunition to discharge in your home. You can minimize the chances of such a hazard occurring by keeping the firearm stored safely.

While you won’t earn interest on it, keeping cash in a fireproof safe can be a good idea. There might be transactions that can’t be paid for with a debit or credit card (repaying a loan to a friend, for example) and it isn’t always convenient to run to the ATM. In the event of an emergency or a disaster it can prove beneficial to have cash on hand for food or medicine. (Don’t advertise the fact that you’re keeping cash in your home. Losing valuables to a thief can be as devastating as losing them to a fire.)

If you decide to buy a fireproof safe, choose one that can be installed under the floor or in the wall. Select a location in your home that’s inconspicuous but easy to reach. Check the warranty to see what kind of replacement policy is offered should the safe be damaged. Make an inventory of your valuables and determine the storage space that best fits your needs.

With a safe in your home your vital information and valuables are always nearby and protected from calamity. For many, the security and peace of mind afforded are the major reasons to own a fireproof safe. For others, it’s the assurance of knowing they won’t see their information and valuables go up in smoke.

How to Hang Wallpaper

Creating a feature wall with wallpaper is a great way to add colour, texture and personality to your home. Choose a wall that has maximum impact when you walk into the room. You can create a feature wall in your entrance hallway, your bedroom, living or dining areas. So many choices!

If you’re a handy type of person, then you’ll probably have no trouble hanging your own wallpaper. Here are some instructions to help you hang your wallpaper and create a beautiful feature wall.

You will need:

  • Glue – prepare as directed
  • Paste – prepare as directed
  • Measuring tape
  • Box cutter/stanley knife
  • Large steel ruler or spirit level
  • Paint roller
  • Paint brush
  • Soft cloth

Step 1. Preparation

Your wall must be clean, smooth and dry. So sweep away those old cobwebs and get rid of dust, dirt and grime. We find that washing your walls with sugar soap and a one of those big fat orange or yellow sponges you use to wash your car is a great way to clean them.

Sand away any irregularities. Putty any holes. Always remove old wall coverings before applying new wallpaper.

Step 2. Prepare the Glue and Paste

Most glue and paste mixes require some time to set before applying them to the wallpaper, so prepare the mixture first to save yourself some time.

Follow the instructions on your packet of glue and paste.

Typically, paste is to be applied to the back of the wallpaper and glue is to be applied to the wall in a border around where the edge of the wallpaper will be applied.

Step 3. Measure and Cut the Wallpaper

This is the most difficult step if you have a pattern that repeats and needs to be matched. Always make sure you start with enough wallpaper to allow for an occasional mistake.

Measure the height of your walll. Allow an extra 5cm (2 inches) for trimming. Roll out the wallpaper and note where you have to cut it. Carefully cut the paper using a box cutter or stanley knife against a steel ruler or large spirit leveller. Roll out more wallpaper and match the pattern. Cut the wallpaper and discard the unmatched portion.

Continue measuring, matching and cutting the wallpaper until you have all the pieces to complete your feature wall.

Mark points vertically along your wall so that as you are hanging the wallpaper, you can check to make sure it’s in a straight line.

Step 4. Apply the Adhesive

Use a paint roller to liberally apply the paste to the back of the wallpaper, from top to bottom. After you have applied the paste, fold the wallpaper in on itself and again until it is only 30cm or so wide. Put it in a large plastic garbage bag and set it aside for 30 minutes to allow the paste to absorb into the wallpaper. Continue with each strip of wallpaper. Keep folding the wallpaper until it is a size that will comfortably fit in a plastic bag or garbage bag. Remove the air from the plastic bag and seal it to help prevent the wallpaper from drying out as it will be some time before you’re ready to hang the final strip.

After you have waited the requisite time for your paste to set, apply the glue to the wall in a border around where the edge of the wallpaper will be. Use the pencil marks you made earlier to guide you. Your border should be about 10cm (3 to 4 inches) wide.

Step 5. Hang the Wallpaper

Start at the top and we usually work from left to right. Don’t forget your extra 5cm (2 inch) trim at the top! Use your hands and soft sponge to smooth the wallpaper against the wall. Then use a plastic lathe to lightly smooth the wallpaper and remove the air bubbles and excess paste. Use the marks on the wall to make sure you’re hanging the wallpaper in a straight line.

Use a soft cloth to remove any excess glue from the edges.

Match the wallpaper edges exactly. If you find there is a small gap between each wallpaper strip, work from the centre of the strip and gently massage the wallpaper in the direction of the gap. Use your hands or a special wallpaper roller. Do the same from the other side.

It is important to smooth the surface of the wallpaper while it is still damp from the paste to ensure all air bubbles are removed. Keep removing the excess glue, too and keep an eye on any air bubbles that may arise as the paste dries.

When you have hung each strip, cut off the excess trim at the top and bottom.

After you’ve cleaned up, it’s time to step back and admire your handy work!

Asbestos – Nature’s Magical Substance

Believe it or not, asbestos and its peculiar properties were known and used to some extent many centuries before Charlemagne reigned. In fact, the ancients found many uses for cloth woven from this rock fiber. Among the most curious of old-time uses was the custom of making sacred lamp wicks from asbestos cloth. These wicks were for the lamps that burned “eternally” in temples and on altars. The lamps were fed continually with oil, and the wicks were not consumed with fire, so there was a perpetual flame, much to the mystification of the people who worshipped in those pagan temples. Small wonder, then, that asbestos was considered a magic substance even in early times.

Some twenty-five hundred years ago the Greeks used asbestos cloth as a funeral shroud for their kings. Thus, when a Greek king died, he was wrapped in the cloth of stone and cremated, after which the ashes were carefully removed from the asbestos wrapping. The shroud was then returned to its storage vault until the next king died. Indeed, the name, asbestos, comes from a Greek compound word meaning inextinguishable or   incombustible . The ancient scientists and philosophers, however, never found out just what asbestos really was. In fact, one of the most learned Romans of all time, Pliny the Elder, stated that asbestos cloth was obtained from a flower. This flower, he hastened to explain, grew in the desert, and became so habituated to the desert’s fiery temperatures that it could resist heat and flames.

Actually, asbestos is a mineral…and one of the most remarkable inorganic products in Nature. It usually occurs in veins, most often in serpentine rock, although in its natural state asbestos is so dense and heavy that it resembles common stone. Mineralogically speaking, most varieties of asbestos are complex compounds made up mainly of the oxides of magnesium and silicon. Its fire-resisting properties come mainly from the silica in its makeup. Of all the many minerals that Nature has compounded out of similar materials, asbestos is unique in that it is the only one with a fibrous, flax-like structure. This fiber structure, however, is apparent only after the hard, compressed asbestos “rock” has been picked-or “teased”-apart. It then breaks down into a mass of delicate, interlacing, light-colored threads, which closely resemble silk fibers and are somewhat soapy to the touch. When a strand of asbestos fiber is viewed under a microscope of good resolving power, the smallest fiber visible will show a “branching out” at its ends, which is evidence of a still further parting into finer and ever finer fibers. Geologists are fairly in accord that the characteristic structure of asbestos is due to the fact that, at one lime, the original rock (which was not then fibrous) was heated until nearly liquid. Then the rock cooled, shrank, and later was squeezed under heavy pressure. This combination of forces, acting upon the original rock, is believed to have brought about the formation of the silk-like fibers.

Raised Access Floors: Four Benefits

Here are four reasons you’ll love Raised Access Floors:

Cooling

Since maintaining a highly optimized temperature is critical, raised access floors provide unique cooling capabilities. Basically, raised access floor can act as a plenum for cool, conditioned air to distribute uniformly beneath the equipment center. They reduce contact between the floor and the concrete foundation, and allow conditioned air to be dispersed upward more effectively and accurately through carefully-spaced diffuser tiles and ducts. Cool air can also be harnessed from chilled pipes running beneath the floor.

Fire Suppression

Let’s face it-what’s inside your data center is precious and often mission-critical, and you can’t just rely on smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, and sprinkler heads to protect it. Unfortunately, since data centers require such an enormous amount of power to run continually, and since the centers maintain such a high density of cables and circuits, fire-risk will almost invariably be high. 

Raised access floors help suppress fire risk in two primary ways:

  • The flooring is noncombustible, providing an excellent fire barrier between the equipment up top and the cables below. Automatic fire shutoffs can be installed underneath to keep fires from spreading.
  • The floors provide exceptional copper grid grounding capabilities and electrical continuity.

Flexibility

Since most raised access floors are built with a series of lightweight and interchangeable tiles, the design provides a tremendous amount of flexibility and adaptability. In data centers, where equipment is frequently added and updated, this flexibility makes it easy to improve, modify and adapt data center design without a major disruption to operations. Wire management and repairs can be done without ladders.

Professionalism

Raised access floors are modern, sleek, and clean-providing ample space for sub-floor power cabling-which is especially important for facility tours with important clients and customers. In other words, instead of a mass of tangled cords and power lines, your data center will look efficient and professional.

Cerebral Palsy Therapy

There are many forms of physical Cerebral Palsy therapy that can help reduce the disabilities associated with this disorder. Each person with Cerebral Palsy will often need a specialized kind of therapy.

The Maribelle exercise assist system, otherwise known as the MEAS is one option that people with Cerebral Palsy may be interested in and has had very beneficial results.

The MEAS is an exerciser that is suspended from the ceiling with a body support. This allows people that have little or no use of their legs to actually be put in an upright position (supported standing), or a sitting position where they can move or move with assistance. For example, swinging.

The benefits of this are many, including much enjoyment for the user just from being in an upright position, or from the swinging and other possible movements. Remarkably, the movements in the MEAS result in LESS spasticity! 3 to 5 minutes of gentle bouncing, followed by swinging, invariably will relax tight elbow joints and clenched hands will open up. The Neurophysiological reasons for this change have been well documented in research studies about using rebounders.

Progressive treatment goals, which have been achieved in varying degrees by the regular use of the MEAS in an eight week or longer program include:

1. Eye contact, tracking, eye-hand coordination, focusing, dramatically improved vision.

2. Increased attention span, improved learning skills.

3. Social awareness, interaction with peers, self confidence

4. Vocalization, improved speech.

5. Independent purposeful movement, muscle development.

6. Head Control, trunk balance, independent righting.

7. Improved circulation, improved bowel function.

8. Reduction in flexon spasticity, relaxed open hands.

9. Reduction in extension spasticity, less startle reflex

10. Release of frustration, improved morale, enjoyment.

11. Easier to feed after exercise, better appetite

12. Self feeding, finger foods, spoon, fork.

13. Desensitization of skin areas, particularly the soles of the feet, starting by letting the user splash their feet in warm water, shaving foam etc.

14. Crawling, independent mobility, knee walking, running.

15. Reduction of Athetoid movements allowing the person to control their electric wheel chair independently after exercising in MEAS

Therapists have reported that clients who were fearful when they were placed in a hammock are much less afraid of doing Sensory Integration and Vestibular Stimulation techniques using MEAS.

Meas is used for

* Sensory integration

* Vestibular stimulation

* Gait training

* Desensitizing soles of feet

* Occupying a child while tube feeding to distract the child from yanking tubes

* Encouraging weight bearing in hypertonic children

* Allows wheelchair-bound adults to move in upright position.

* Early recovery periods after injuries

Besides Cerebral Palsy, the Maribelle exercise assist system will also be of benefit for people with

* Low muscle tone

* Poor balance

* Spastic cerebral palsy (CP)

* Impaired vision/blindness

* Fearfulness & insecurity

* Sensory deprivation

* Hemiplegia

* Athetoid cerebral palsy (CP)

* Congenital dislocated hips

* Leg length discrepancy

* Fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS)

* Limited motor abilities

* Failure to thrive

* Poor head control

* Hyposensitive vestibular systems

* Cerebral cortical atrophy

* Hydrocephaly

* Agenisis of corpus collosum

* Microcephalic

* Developmental delay

* Intractable seizure condition

* Epilepsy

* CDH (congenital diaphragmatic hernia)

* Deafness

* Scoliosis.