How a Street Sweeper Works

Aside from keeping streets clean, they also help reduce the intensity of floods during heavy rains, and they help prevent water pollution since they keep toxic waste chemicals on the road from reaching the lakes, streams, oceans, and public waterways.

If the conventional street sweeper works by swishing brooms left to right and collecting garbage in a dustpan and a waste bin, the street sweepers work almost in the same way but in a larger scale and with additional features. Street sweeping trucks come in different types – there are trucks that use brushes to clean the streets, while there are those that clean using air. These trucks are very powerful, and they are capable of finishing the street cleaning in a relatively short amount of time. Because of their intimidating sizes, motors and their mechanisms, these street sweeping trucks are generally noisy when they are doing their job.

Many communities use the conventional type of street sweeping truck. With this kind of truck, water is sprayed through the jets underneath it, in order to control the amount of dust particles that spiral into the air. While that is happening, brushes spin to clean the gutter and the street. After dirt is removed, they will be swept by a cylindrical brush into a conveyor belt that brings the collected waste into a container, or they will be vacuumed into the waste receptacle.

On the other hand, there are also regenerative air sweeper trucks, which are designed to clean paved streets with air. They possess hydraulic systems that pump air from jets to loosen and remove dirt on the road, and then they are swirled unto the center of the truck. The dust is then vacuumed into the waste receptacle. The air in the waste receptacle gets filtered and then reused to repeat the entire process of loosening and removing the dirt, while water is also squirted to keep flying dust particles to a minimum.

Street sweeper trucks greatly benefit neighborhoods, construction sites, airport runways and every paved street in the city that they can sweep; however, their cleaning jobs can only be successful if there is equal cooperation with the residents. Sweeping can be effectively done only on areas of the streets where there are no cars parked and where there are no low hanging trees that can possibly keep them from crossing. It is therefore important that residents should take note of the time when street sweeping will be conducted, so that they will know when they should avoid parking their truck on the street. It is also important that they should keep their shrubs and trees pruned.

Bridging The Digital Divide – No Bridge Without The Digital

The GSM World organization is promoting “Universal Access” projects in developing countries. The goal is to ensure access for emerging markets to mobile technologies. One of the main efforts of the initiative is removal of cost barriers, exemplified by the much celebrated “$20 phone”, or to use the industry buzz word – the ULC (Ultra Low Cost Phone).

Ultra Low Cost Phone

The problem to date with ULC initiatives has been the concentration on voice services only. 2G networks that are capable of some data access are deployed, with more and more 2.5G and 3G data networks becoming common. With no data capabilities in ULC devices targeted to the (majority) lower-end market, the current ULC devices are inadequate in fulfilling the stated goal of “ Bridging  the Digital Divide”. Data Services are essential for ULC devices, leading to the ULC2 Alliance.

ULC2 Alliance

The Mobile ULC2 Alliance consists of Infineon Technologies AG, Jurong Technologies, TJAT Systems and Brightstar Corp. The Mobile ULC2 Alliance believes that the SEP will remove the affordability barrier, while incorporating high-end functions like email, localized services, and Instant Messaging. The ULC2 Alliance believes that the SEP offers both network operators and consumers in emerging markets a groundbreaking new development by combining exceptionally low operational costs with no requirement for additional infrastructure purchases.

Community Benefits

A study from 2005 has shown that an increase of only 10 mobile phones per 100 people increases GDP growth by 0.6%, and these are the voice-only benefits! It is expected that the web based Instant Messaging and Email, together with innovative, localized, programs based on new data capabilities, will dramatically increase the social and economical development of the communities enjoying even modest penetration of the new ULC2 handsets and services.

Examples of the planned services based on the introduced messaging and localized services include:

– Propagation of agricultural information between communities.

– Introduce remote areas to E-Banking, extending bank accounts to new population sectors, and allow for “micro payments” for goods and agricultural needs.

– Job Markets for day laborers and transportation bulletins.

– Local (up to the village level) user generated and managed content.

All this translated into actual participation in the data world, and not just consumption.

The ULC2 alliance is planning to distribute tens of millions of these new data enabled handsets in the next 1 to 3 years, introducing new social and economical benefits derived from being integrated into the world of digital communications, along with huge opportunities for Mobile Network Operators, Handset vendors and Service Providers tapping into new consumer segments when growth in the developed, saturated markets is slowing.

Administrative Provisions of Paris Convention

Party countries to the Paris Convention compose a union for the Protection of Industrial Property. The Paris Convention goes further than a mere treaty establishing rights as well as obligations. It also establishes a legal entity in international law with the essential organs to carry out certain tasks. The Union forms a single administrative entity as well as an administrative link between the different Acts of the Paris Convention.

A state which becomes a member of the Union by acceding to the most recent Act of the Paris Convention becomes bound with respect to all member countries. Article 27(3) of the Convention says that such a country have to apply the Stockholm Act also to member countries of the Union not yet party to it and must recognize that member. The Union has three administrative organs. The Assembly, the Executive Committee and the International Bureau of WIPO headed by the Director General of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

The Assembly is dealt with in Article 13. It consists of all member countries bound at least by the administrative provisions of the Stockholm Act. The Assembly is the main governing body of the Union in which all policy making plus controlling powers are vested. It deals with all matters concerning the maintenance and progress of the Union and the execution of the Paris Convention. It gives directions for the preparation of conferences of revision of the Convention. It reviews and approves the reports and activities of the Director General of WIPO concerning the Union and gives him instructions concerning matters within the capability of the Union. It determines the program, adopts the biennial budget of the Union and approves its final accounts. The Assembly meets once in every second calendar year in ordinary session.

The Assembly has an Executive Committee. It consists of one-fourth of the countries members of the Assembly as well as is elected by the Assembly for the period between two regular sessions with due regard to an equitable geographical distribution. The Executive Committee meets once a year in ordinary session. The Executive Committee is the smaller governing body of the Union. It deals with all the functions which have to be carried out during the period between the ordinary sessions of the Assembly and for which the Assembly is too big a body. It prepares the meetings of the Assembly and takes all essential measures to guarantee the execution of the program.

The provisions concerning the International Bureau are contained in Article 15. The International Bureau of WIPO is the administrative organ of the Union. It completes all administrative tasks concerning the Union. It provides the secretariat of the various organs of the Union. The Director General of WIPO is the chief executive of the Union.

Installing the Best Looking and Sounding Marine Audio System

Anyone that knows their way around cars and boats can go to an electronics store, buy a stereo and some speakers and install them up on a boat, right? Making that install last is a whole other question. Finding the right stereo system for the harsh environment of a boat is no easy task. Now you need to combine that with getting a pair of indestructible but nice-sounding speakers, flush-mounting it in a protected yet accessible spot, running the correct wire to power, breakers and radio along with matching it to a good antenna. I hope you’re prepared for a job that will require all of your patience and skill.

Probably the single, most important element of a marine audio system is its resistance to water damage for obvious reasons. Boats live on water so you really cannot expect to avoid some exposure to water in that environment. It also offers other dangers to an audio system such as humidity, wind, salt, corrosion, chlorine, sun, and so on.

For a quality marine system install, it is the design of the system which is so critical for the components and installation. When designing a balanced sound system, look at a few requirements such as the source, speakers, subwoofers, amplifiers, installation more carefully. Here are a few simple steps to help you with your install:

  • Look over your boat and find areas where audio products can be safely placed so that they do not get wet. Most people put their amplifiers engine compartments in the rear of the boat or sometimes under the dashboard. Put the subwoofers in the compartment under the seats. You’ll have your new stereo unit replace the old, original one. If you have any room in the side panels of the boat or under the dash, then put any and all of your mid-range and mid-bass speakers and tweeters in there.
  • Draw a schematic of the system layout. Think about where you will be putting all of the audio components and where you will route the wires.
  • Make sure you buy audio speakers made with a polypropylene cone. It a cone made from a rigid material which is known for resisting moisture. It’s best to use two 10-inch subwoofers designed for infinite baffle   mounting . Another available option is to include four speaker separates such as four 6- by 9-inch two-way speakers or four 6 1/2-inch two-way speakers. Two-way speakers are great because they include a midrange or mid-bass speaker and a tweeter and the more separates your system has, the louder it will be.
  • Find yourself a good four-channel amplifier. Look for one specifically made for the marine environment. It will have specially treated circuit board enabling it to last longer around water and moisture. Companies like Rockford, Eclipse and Clarion make some nice models. Choose one with a built-in electronic crossover and runs stable with a 2 ohm load because it will be running very hot.
  • Select a stereo head unit that can be controlled by an infrared remote control allowing you to keep the unit safely stored in a dry place, covered in plastic and still handy. Remember that for the remote to work properly it still needs to be in a line of sight to the unit. So part of it still needs to be exposed.

    It is also a good idea to have everything hooked up to a second battery, as well. This battery is used to power the audio system and upgrade the boat’s alternator.

Attaching Wood To Concrete

A very important tip is to use the right tool for each method. When you’re dealing with concrete and masonry, you’re obviously dealing with extremely hard material. Woodworking hammers are too light and steel drill bits too soft. The concrete is also brittle. Hard sharp chips are likely to fly out as you work on it, so always wear safety goggles to protect your eyes.

Nails. Nailing wood directly to concrete is probably the simplest, quickest and cheapest method. Unfortunately, once driven, these nails may jar loose from a few hammer blows to the side of the board. So, they are better for temporary fastening.

You’ll usually find two types of special nails at the hardware store, cut nails and hardened concrete nails. Drive nails with a 2- to 4-lb. hammer. Actually, it’s very hard to drive nails into cured (hardened) concrete, even with a 4-lb. hammer. They work best in concrete that’s only cured for a few days.

Nails can be quite effective in mortar joints, however. Mortar is softer than either the concrete block or brick, and it holds nails fairly well. For best results, drive them right along the joint edge. And here’s a professional tip: for improved holding power, run a bead of glue along the backside of your wood before nailing it up.

Predrilled Fasteners. There is a family of fasteners that can be driven into a predrilled hole. These not only fasten wood to concrete, but will fasten just about anything else to concrete as well.

They install easily, simply drill through the wood and into the concrete and drive the fastener.

Drilling the hole is the only difficult part. Use a carbide tip bit. Because these holes are relatively small, your standard 1/4-inch or 3/8 inch power drill can do an adequate job, although each hole may take several minutes to bore. A hammer drill, however, will drill your hole in a matter of seconds. A hammer drill is expensive, but they can be rented. If you have a lot of holes to drill, they’ll save a lot of time.

It’s a good idea to glue your wood to the concrete or masonry with this system as well, especially when using screws. Once screws are jarred loose, they may not retighten.

Expansion Fasteners. These fasteners are simple, effective and can carry a heavy load. They may be retightened should they be jarred loose.

Because they require a larger hole, you really need a hammer drill to bore the concrete. If you can’t buy, borrow or rent one, try boring a 1/8 inch hole first with a carbide bit. Then use progressively larger carbide bits until you reach the proper size.

Buy these fasteners long enough to wedge into the concrete as deep as the wood is thick. Drill your hole an extra 1/4 inch deep, since the bolt draws back slightly when tightened.

Power Fasteners. These are extremely fast, powerful and dangerous. They are primarily professional tools which any untrained homeowner should steer clear of until they fully understanding the safety precautions. With power fasteners you can quickly nail into just about any concrete or masonry surface. Both the air and the power-actuated systems drive hardened nails through the wood and solidly into the concrete in one shot. Flying metal, wood or concrete are certain hazards, so eye protection is essential.

Glue. Over the past ten years construction adhesives have improved and become more specialized. You can securely glue just about anything to a wall now. Since glued wood must be held tightly in place until the glue sets, it’s handy to use an adhesive with another fastening system for mutual reinforcement; the glue dampens the vibration and jarring that may weaken the fasteners, and the fasteners hold the wood tightly until the glue sets.

Proper preparation ensures a good glue bond. Be sure the wood and the concrete surfaces are clean and dry. Loose paint, surface chalking or moisture will cause the bond to release. When working with a very rough surface, apply a generous bead to bridge the wider gaps between the wood and concrete.

Ancient Greek Art-Delos Island Museum – Hellenic Sculptures

This room contains many typical examples of late Hellenistic sculpture, from the heyday of Delos, in other words from 166 to 88. The majority of these works adorned private residences, while only a few were made for public buildings or sanctuaries. This era is characterized by an admiration for the sculpture of the Classical period, and even of the Archaic period, and as a consequence led many artists to a sterile imitation of earlier styles and trends, with dubious success. Nevertheless, there are some original works on display here, as well as copies of well-known works of the Classical period, but made by mediocre artists. Most of them date from the second half of the second century and the beginning of the first century.

There is an interesting series of statues on the east side of the room associated with Dionysos: an actor dressed as Silenus holding young Dionysos in his arms; the god Pan shown holding his syrinx (Pan pipes) and with an animal hide thrown over the left shoulder; a Herm with the head of a Satyr; a god sitting upon a nice throne, perhaps Dionysos or Apollo, with a snake beside his left foot, found in the Sanctuary of Dionysos; two actors dressed as Sileni, wearing a goat-skin vest beneath their costumes and holding a wine-skin in the left hand and a tambourine in the right one, also found in the Sanctuary of Dionysos; a Satyr holding a wine-skin; a statuette of a Satyr with a frog. Two Herms with the head of Harpocrates, the first of which is holding the cornucopia, the symbol of abundance, in its right hand. Harpocrates is the Greek form of the Egyptian god Horns and was worshipped as protector of Statue of a Nymph, the house. The head of a goddess that a copy of an original work of the 4′ century. It was found shows a Syrian influence. A Herm in the form of a in the House of Heroes.

Hermaphrodite, from the Theatre District. Another Herm, which was found in the House of Hermes and after which the house was named. This very fine head of Hermes, made in the archaic style and found in 1948, was inspired according to some scholars by Hermes Propylaios by Alkamenes, although some others see an influence from an original work by Kallimachos; notice the perfect styling of the hair and beard. Another Herm made of Pendelic marble, rather badly eroded today, comes from the Propylaia (Propylaios Hermes) and is perhaps a faithful copy of the Hermes Propylaios by Alkamenes from the Acropolis of Athens. A full-size copy of the well-known `Little Herculanean’, a work by Praxiteles, discovered in the Agora of Theophrastos. The statue of a Nymph in very good condition from the House of Hermes; the fact that the left side was much better worked shows from which angle it was on view.

On the west side of the room there is a series of statues associated with the cult of Apollo and Artemis. The largest and most interesting one is the 1,44 m. high statue of Artemis the deer-slayer. The goddess is shown wearing her hunting outfit and holding in her left hand the antlers of a deer that she is about to slay with a spear that she was holding in her right hand, while her left knee holds the animal still. The work is in a very good condition, has movement and well rendered folds of the tunic on which traces of the original coloring remain. Notice the contrast between the violence involved in the act, the strong movement of the body and the expression of serenity on the face of the goddess. The statue of a Nymph, perhaps Amymone, a hand (perhaps Poseidon’s) can be discerned on the right pulling away her garment to reveal her naked back and well-formed buttocks. The statue of a pensive Muse, maybe Polymnia (A 351), from the House of Dionysos; she is shown leaning on some kind of support, with her left hand to her chin. Notice the complexity of her garments and the fine way in which the folds have been worked. A statuette perhaps of Aphrodite, from the House of Hermes, with traces of the original coloring. Another statue of Aphrodite in the style of Praxiteles’ Aphrodite. A headless statue of Apollo, very well preserved, from the House of the Masks. An Apollo from the Theater District, who was holding a guitar in his left hand; some coloring is still visible on his garments. An Artemis with an outstretched right arm, which probably held a bow; the folds of her peplos have been very well rendered, also from the Theater District. A statue probably of Leto from the Theater District. A statue perhaps of the goddess Tyche, who may have held the cornucopia, the symbol of abundance, in her right hand. A headless Artemis wearing a full-length chiton gathered at the waist, the left sleeve falling to the forearm to reveal her naked shoulder, and with a deerskin worn over it. In the southwest corner of the room there is an archaistic relief from the Hellenistic period with Hermes, Athena, Apollo and Artemis, from the House of the Lake. The bodies, hairstyles and garments of the three gods are done in the old archaic style, while the decoration with garlands and bullheads in the upper part of the work are typical of the Hellenistic period.

The large mosaic which covers the entire north wall of the room was found in a house in the Islet of Jewels and was transferred to the museum in 1968 due to its delicate condition. In the center of the mosaic there are three figures: Athena on the left, holding a spear and an owl, Hermes on the right, holding a caduceus, and between them a seated female figure too damaged to be identified. It may have represented Hermes bringing the young Dionysos to the Nymphs. A border with floral motifs, comic masks and bullheads in the four corners, frames the scene. There is also a non-identified portrait in the upper part of the border.

I Am A Belief-O-Holic

Hi, my name is Will, and I am a belief-o-holic. Beliefs have always been my best friends. I used beliefs to feel better, to ease my pain, and to end my loneliness. Sometimes I believed in public, but most often, I believed alone. I’ve suffered horribly, and caused others to suffer, because of my addiction to beliefs. I put beliefs ahead of my family, friends and community. Beliefs made me do things that I am ashamed of, and almost destroyed my life.

Beliefs started off by being my best friends, and ended up being my worst enemies. What I once considered as my friends, made Aztecs rip out hearts, provoked Polynesians to throw sacrificial victims into lava, let Christian crusaders feel all warm and fuzzy about slaughtering Muslims, sanctioned Hitler’s extermination of the Jews, and convinced terribly confused men to fly people filled jets, into people filled towers, in a people filled city.

I reckon that beliefs are much like houses built on sand. They appear safe, solid and secure, until they weather the storms of time. Then they collapse and vanish, only to be quickly replaced by new ones. Beliefs allowed me to feel like I was better than other folks, when really, only my circumstances were. Beliefs fed my greed, concentrated my conceit, and proliferated my pain. Beliefs allowed me to feel good, even while doing things that were very, very wrong. Beliefs were the false front of my soul, an incredibly fragile fanciful fabricated facade that I hid behind, trembling like a two year old cowering behind its mother’s leg.

I wore beliefs like control-top pantyhose, and for much the same reasons. Beliefs hid what I didn’t want others to see, rearranging my bits and pieces to form an attractive false front. I used beliefs as foundations, not the ones used in construction, but rather in cosmetics. I troweled them on to mask deep emotional wrinkles, and to disguise discolorations of my soul. They were the Maybellines of mean, Cover Girls of greed and Estee Lauders of lies. Beliefs allowed me, as a little boy, to close my eyes and run as fast as I could before leaping into the air, making believe that I had flown. But, just because I believed that I had flown, didn’t make it so.

Beliefs affect each of us differently. Some people get all goofy and happy when under the influence of beliefs, others get all nasty and mean. A belly full of beliefs made me feel like an invincible superhero, but it was only an illusion. I realize that not everyone who believes becomes a belief-o-holic. I understand that there are people who can have one or two beliefs without it negatively affecting their lives, but I ain’t one of them. For me, one belief is one too many. Beliefs drove me to my emotional bottom.

So, for today, I choose to accept that I am powerless over my addiction – that my life has become unmanageable. I know that when I walk out of this place, beliefs are going to be there to tempt me, and I’ll always be just one belief away from falling off the wagon. Thankfully, these doors are always open, the coffee’s always on, and because of you, I’m not alone anymore. Thank you for listening. My name is Will, and I am a belief-o-holic.

Moms Love Laminate Floors

It’s no wonder why many moms choose laminate flooring for the busiest rooms in their homes. Laminates are durable, stain-proof, fairly easy to install, pretty and comfortable to walk on. Laminate flooring is awesome for high traffic areas like hallways, dens, offices and playrooms. They make the job of being a mom a whole lot easier.

How durable is durable?

Laminate floors are made up of a combination of laminated layers glued and hard-pressed together that form a solid, long-lasting flooring material. They’re a lot like the laminate counter-tops you would find in a kitchen.

If you did actually manage to scratch your laminate flooring, you would find that the coloring of the floor goes throughout the laminate material. So, it helps to hide any accidents, plus laminate floors also have repair kits available to match the colors if you want to fill in a deep scratch.

The impact resistance levels of a laminate floor will vary by brand and with quality, but typically a laminate floor resists pressure of at least 4,250 pound per square inch. That’s tough!

They say laminate floors are stain-proof, and that’s a fairly accurate statement.

Laminate floors resist most stain causing chemicals and in addition, their UV resistance is also very high. That means that you can install your laminate flooring in a room that gets direct sunlight and not have to worry too much about the sun fading the floor’s coloring. Do remember that sunlight does take a toll on all materials over time, but with laminates it’s going to be a very long, long time. In fact, the wear layer warranty for many laminate floors is up to 20 years.

How easy is laminate to install?

Laminate flooring installs easily over most common flooring substrates, including wood, vinyl, tile and wood strip floors.

As a floating flooring system , laminate is not fastened to the substrate. The flooring planks or tiles are installed over a thin layer of foam placed on the floor. On some laminate floors, the planks are glued at the tongue-and-groove joints. While on others, it’s just a matter of snap and go.

The installation is completed when you install base boards to cover the gaps between the laminate floor and the wall.

While it definitely is a home project, keep in mind that installing a laminate floor is easier and faster than traditional wood floorings.

The good news about installing laminate floors, is that it’s easier, and the flooring adapts to some irregularity in the subfloor. That’s a big plus by comparison to other floorings.

Will mom like how her laminate floor looks?

Laminate flooring planks and tiles are available in a huge variety of styles and colors to match every mom’s personal tastes. Laminate planks are engineered to mimic the color and grains of various types of woods. You can find laminates that look a whole lot like oak, birch, walnut, mahogany, driftwood, etc. Laminate floors even resemble ceramic and stone tiles with grouted joints.

Laminate flooring may be the perfect flooring material for you. Installing a laminate floor is a great project for the do-it-yourself home owner.

Mom’s everywhere find laminate floors very comfortable to live on, while at the same time being stylish to look at.

Want to make mom happy? Give her a laminate floor.

Art Miniature Painting On Lacquered Caskets

Summarized briefly, miniature painting is a form of painting that is deeply rooted in many cultures and spans centuries. Miniature painting is a traditional style of art that is very detailed, often referred to as painting or working “in miniature”. Because of their origins as illuminations, they are also painted to have as smooth of a surface as possible.

In spite of the fact that the church demanded to fulfill precisely every element of icon, Palekh artists did it in their own manner of writing faces, figures, elements of landscape, buildings, carriages and so on. On the icons you could see some domestic details such as furniture, clothes, arms, horse harness. Some of them have been kept in today’s Palekh miniature art painting somewhat changed creatively.

Palekh painting wasn’t born accidentally. It was a result of century-old traditions in new historical conditions based on the knowledge of icon-painting handicraft of many generations. Their methods were rich and varied. From the very beginning Palekh artists had been studying and keeping old Russian art traditions. Therefore at an icon and a product executed in the spirit of palekh miniature have much common. After the 1917 Revolution, when the icon business went into the deepest of declines, Palekh masters tried their hands at decorating art wood tableware, kitchen utensils, toys, dishes, porcelain and glass. As it turned out, the most interesting way was the painting of paper-mache boxes that became the black-lacquered miniature.

The varnish miniature is executed by tempera paint on a papier-mache. Colour of palekh painting is based on a combination of three colours – red, yellow and green. The Palekh miniatures usually represent characters from real life, literary works, fairy tales, bylinas, and songs. They are painted with local bright paints over the black background and are known for their delicate and smooth design, abundance of golden shading, and accurate silhouettes of flattened figures, which often cover the surface of the lids and sides of the articles completely. Poetic magic of the Palekh characters, decorativeness of landscapes and architecture, and elongated proportions of the figures go back to the icon-painting traditions. The miniatures are usually set off with a complicated pattern made with gold dissolved in aqua regia.

Palekh lacquered miniatures are painted on articles – caskets and boxes, brooches and hairpins for ties, a panel and ashtrays and great number of other little things made of papier-mache.

The process of making Palekh articles is the following: The first operation in the making of these gems of folk art is the cutting out of the cardboard. The strips of cardboard are covered with flour paste, placed on circular or rectangular moulds and pressed. After that the material is given a coating of warm linseed oil. The carefully checked pieces are handed to the joiners. Then the undercoat is applied to the article with a steel palette knife. The outside of Palekh articles is painted with black lacquer. The inside is painted with red lacquer. The final operation before painting: about seven coats of transparent oil varnish is applied to the outside and inside of the article. Every coat applied is dried in the furnace for 9 hours at 90°C.

The articles are now ready to be handed to the artists. The work of the artist begins with preparation of the paint. In Palekh the paints are mixed with egg emulsion. The yolk, separated from the white, is returned to the shell where a mixture of water and vinegar is added. Then the emulsion is stirred with a special brush. Before painting the article, the artist draws on the design. Then the composition is outlined in white lead with a very fine squirrel brush and the colours are then applied in strict succession. The work of the miniature painter requires not only creative inspiration, but also extreme care and precision which is why Palekh painters frequently make use of a magnifying glass. When the painting is over, the artist begins the gold work. The gold must be polished to give it the necessary shine. After having signed the article the artist coats it by transparent oil varnish and polish by hand.

The village of Palekh is situated in 65 km to the east from Ivanovo town on the bank of the Paleshka-river, which flows among the hills covered by leaf-bearing forests. In the 15th century it was a part of the Vladimir Susdal lands and was one of the first ancient centers of the icon art. In the 17th and 18th centuries Palekh’s craftsmen rose to become the most famous in all of icon art. They developed a unique style identifiably distinguished by the fine line tempera drawing saturated with gold of their own. These art works were valued for the depth of the images, the subtlety of color placement, their intricate and minute attention to detail as much as for their fairy-tale-like ornamental design. Palekh artists are universally regarded as the most highly trained of the Russian miniature painters. The discipline and masterful technique of the ancient art of icon painting is readily seen in works of the various artists. It is amazing that what started out as a true folk tradition over hundreds years ago is still thriving and remains basically true to its roots, albeit on a more organized scale.

Adventures In Peru – Working On the Chain Gang

For some time there have been plans to start a Christian radio station here in Cotahuasi. It took ages for the license to be approved but we finally have it. There is an unused tower up on the rim of the high plain, that belongs to some government agency. After of couple of years of trying to get permission to either rent or buy the tower, all of the positive promises turned to nothing, so the plan is now to build our own tower. Ironically it will be right along side of the unused one. Claro (cell phone service provider) has recently built a tower for their cell phone antenna, which is about ¼ mile away. Currently there isn’t any electricity up there, but they are working on that. As I understand it, the plan is to share the cost with Claro, and when they get the power line finished, we will have electricity.

Last Sunday in church, Fredy asked me if I would be able to help him and some of the other brothers who were going up there on Wednesday. I understood that they were going to gather rocks to use for the foundation of the radio equipment building, that will be at the base of the tower. I wasn’t sure what exactly would be involved but agreed to go and help, as well as provide transportation up there in my van. As we were loading the six of us and tools into the van, I soon found out that this was going to be a rock breaking expedition. The large pry bars and 18-pound sledge hammers were a clear confirmation of that. At least it gave me a great high-altitude workout to help prepare for my upcoming mountain guiding next month.

They loaded one other thing that didn’t have anything to do with breaking rocks. They said that the last time they were up there they saw four deer, so this time they were taking a gun along. On the switchbacks up to the rim, one of them shouted out that he thought he saw a deer. They all jumped out and Santiago grabbed the rifle. I couldn’t see the whole gun but saw him getting small pieces of cloth and then he stuffed them down the barrel – it was an ancient muzzle loader! We never saw the “deer” again but did see some cows and burros in the brush. I’m glad they didn’t fire that relic anywhere near me, I was afraid it might explode.

One of my summer jobs during college in Hawaii was with a masonry construction company. The company did everything from single family homes in subdivisions to large multi-story apartments and hotels. One of my favorite jobs was when I was helping a crew building a retaining wall out of large rocks. To get a flat face for the wall, the rocks had to be split in half. We would drill a hole in the middle of the rock with a pneumatic hammer/drill and then drive a splitting wedge in there and the rock would crack in half. We also used sledge hammers to break some of the smaller ones. As a 25-year old it was fun to see who could break the rocks with the least number of hits and with a nice even split.

As I learned last year on my PCT hike, I am not 25 anymore. Those heavy sledge hammers don’t swing as easily as they used to. I tried a 12-pound sledge but that just bounced off the rocks like a toy. Part of the problem is that they were all lava rock, most of which were quite porous, like petrified sponges. We also didn’t have an air compressor and a pneumatic drill. The next to the last nail in my coffin was the fact that we were working at an elevation of 13,630 feet! Needless to say, I spent more time carrying the broken rocks over to the road rather than breaking them.

I was able to get in four or five good swings before I was gasping for breath and had to take a break. I also learned that all rocks are not created equal. Some of them were much less porous and were a lot easier to break. Also the thinner flat ones were fairly easy to break. The hardest ones were the large thick ones, that were usually the most porous as well. I left those for the young ones.

Except that the best rock breaker wasn’t one of the younger ones. Santiago is about 45, probably about 5’3″ and solid muscle. I enjoyed watching him teach a few weeks ago when we went to San Sebastian; he showed another of his many talents yesterday. He would pick a rock about two or three feet in diameter and study it, rolling it over and looking at all sides. They came in all shapes, with dips, knobs and flat spots. I know enough to look for cracks and faults, which makes it easier to break the rock, but these rocks didn’t have them. I don’t know how he did it but he would break up a rock in about half of the hits of anyone else. And he rarely took a break like the rest of us. He would just keep on slicing off chunks until it was all usable pieces. We had two large sledge hammers, and I think he was using one of them for about ¾ of the day. The rest of us took turns using the other one, and his when he wasn’t using it. His hands were a bit chewed up by the end of the day, but no blisters.

There is a great lesson to be learned from breaking rocks. A easy small rock might break in just one or two well placed hits. The larger ones are a different story. You might hit it five or ten times and it doesn’t look like you are making any progress and you are ready to give up (or at least take a break or two). Then on the next hit the rock will split, as if by magic. But each one of those previous hits was needed to reach the point where the rock would break. Of course consistency is a key, you need to hit the same place or the same line, each time to make it count. Rarely, a fine crack would appear to let you know the next hit would break the rock. Santiago could sometimes tell by the sound change that the rock was ready to split.

The lesson? Keep on keeping on, watch for signs of hidden progress, and don’t quit one hit before the victory.

Roof Construction

When it comes to family, the father is the head of the home. When it comes to the home, the  roof  is the head of the house!

The  roof  is no doubt the father of your shelter, protecting your home rain or shine, 24/7. It’s important that you value having a  roof  over your head because without it, you’ll have no protection from dangerous elements, and you won’t be feeling safe and secure.

A stable  roof  equals a responsible father, guiding and protecting you and your family, day and night, making sure that everybody’s safe and happy. Without it, you will have to endure scorching days and freezing nights. Thus, it’s a must to have a quality  roof  in your home.

But then again, just like a father, the  roof  is nowhere close to perfection. It has its shortcomings and misgivings. Due to expected events or circumstances, the head of your home can also be hurt and be broken. As a matter of fact, in a year, your  roof  suffers blows from catastrophes and hence, needs constant repair or replacement.

In another note,  roof  construction costs a lot. Money is truly hard to find these days thus, all of us would try to fit our budget. With so many things to pay, most times,  roof  repair or replacement is something our budget can no longer afford. Perhaps this is the reason why most of us would go to the extremes of fixing our own  roofs , even if we don’t really know how to. Doing it ourselves though impossible seems so much better than spending too much to have someone else fix it.

So okay. You’re the head of the family and you got your pay last week and took care of bills to pay. You know your  roof  is leaking but all you have left is a few bucks. What do you do?

Most likely, you’ll drive your way to the nearest supermarket and buy a  roof  repair kit. You go home, take out the packing and read all instructions carefully. You do all of the steps and you’re confident you did it right. When night falls, you sleep soundly thinking you’ve fixed the problem and everybody’s safe and happy. You’re about to close your eyes when suddenly your wife shouts. It’s raining outside and your  roof  is still leaking. You sigh, a frustrated one, knowing you failed as the head of the home and that the  roof  failed you as the head of the house. What do you do next?

Of course, the next step would be to hire a  roof  contractor. But then again, you have a fixed budget. You’re looking for a cheap yet quality  roof  construction. Can you find one?

Choosing the Right Materials for Your Backyard Shed Is Critical

When choosing your backyard shed you are faced with a number of choices before finally making a decision. These start with the size and style of the shed and also include color and material. Of all of these choices, what you finally decide to build your shed out of may be the most critical of all. This one choice affects how durable your shed will be and how long it might last in your yard.

While all the various materials available for sheds have certain advantages, wood is still the number one choice by most homeowners for many reasons. Even though metal and resin sheds are still sold for certain applications, a wooden shed is the clear choice for most installations that require a larger shed that you want to be able to use for decades.

Resin sheds are a relatively new style of shed for homes. These sheds were initially used for smaller applications and have grown over the years to rival some of the medium sized alternatives. While these resin sheds provide a durable material that can withstand the elements, they lack the charm and style choices that other materials like wood provide.

Resin is a tough material but has a much lighter weight, these sheds tend to be smaller than other styles as well. This means that if you need a larger shed in your backyard to store a few bikes or even a lawn tractor, resin may not be the best choice. This weight also makes these sheds very susceptible to high winds and if they are not anchored adequately they will move off their foundations over time.

Metal sheds are another option for your backyard and even though they have been available for decades as an alternative to wood, they have their limitations.

This type of shed is typically sold in kit form and assembled by the homeowner on their property. Their construction is usually based on corrugated steel sheets that are used for both the walls and the roof. While this provides a durable construction, the walls and roof are very thin and may warp out of shape over time.

These metal sheds also suffer from rusting and other weather related damage and will need to be replaced more often than other shed types. They are also smaller in design than many wooden sheds but do a decent job of storing your items if you’re not too concerned with aesthetics.

Wooden sheds provide the best choice for most homes and offer both durability and good looks. Because they can be built in all shapes and sizes you’re sure to find one that meets you needs. You also have a wider selection of colors and materials than with the other shed types, which makes it easier to match you d├ęcor.

There are far more plans available for wood storage buildings than other styles and therefore you have a much broader selection to choose from. You can even customize most of these plans to add another window or door if needed. Most homes that install a wooden storage building can expect to use it for decades and keep all of their bikes and garden items safe.

New Paint Technologies

It’s true that creativity thrives in adversity. The financial downturn has spurred the development and release of innovative paint technologies that has industrial coatings contractors all abuzz and rubbing their hands in anticipation.

What are the newsworthy trends in painting products that are making their way into the hands of industrial coating contractors and right into facility premises? Environment-friendly zero-VOC formulations are still leading the pack. Energy-saving solar-reflective innovations are also out in the market. Long-lasting and sustainable high-solids are rolling out manufacturers’ labs. Self-cleaning paints sound too futuristic, but are actually being developed in research labs and may be used by industrial coatings contractors soon.

Cool Roofs

Cool roofs, or zero-VOC and energy-efficient roof coatings, are preferred by industrial coatings contractors not only for their zero-VOC emissions, but also for their above-average SRI or solar-reflective index. Solar reflectivity is an important property for roof coatings, because it indicates the coating’s ability to reflect sunlight back and away from the facility. The less of the sun’s rays being absorbed through the roof, the cooler the interior will be, thereby lessening cooling and energy costs.

Cool roof products offer more than energy efficiency and environmental benefits, they continue to deliver high quality expected of standard paints, such as high-adhesion, strength, and durability. They still provide tough protection against water exposure, and impermeability against toxic acids and harsh alkali from oil leaks and greasy spills, to the delight of industrial coatings contractors.

Three-wet Paint

The 3-wet paint technology simplifies the process of paint application, eliminating the time- and energy-consuming paint preparation of applying primers, paint bases and enamels. Paint preparation used to be applied manually by industrial coatings contractors, following a set drying-time schedule. With 3-wet paint technology, the process involves no manual procedure, and the paints can be applied while still wet. The resulting product, can save on time by about 20%, according to data from Ford, who implemented the 3-wet paint technology on a global scale for its painted vehicle shops.

The high-solids solvent-borne paint formulation where Ford’s technology is based also produces fewer harmful emissions than regular paints, and successfully met all industry standards in chip/scratch/etch resistance, durability, and performance.

The benefits of 3-wet paint technology are numerous, from the elimination of costly equipments used by industrial coatings contractors, to time-savings, to lesser emission of environmental pollutants, to lesser energy consumption gained from faster processing time — a clean and sustainable process overall.

Self-Cleaning Paints

Still in the design board of UK’s DSTL labs, but showing much promise, are the new types of paints able to decontaminate itself and resist chemical attacks. The experimental paints are currently applied in strips and designed to soak up dangerous air-borne chemicals, making the nearby air safe for humans to breathe. The future enhancement of the paint is to imbue it with catalytic enzymes to process the soaked-up chemicals, thereby decontaminating itself.

The technology is flexible for industrial coatings contractors. It can be engineered to change color to indicate contamination and decontamination, and to be sunlight-reflective for purposes of camouflage. And like ordinary paint, these “sci-fi” paints can be applied using standard rollers or sprays by industrial coatings contractors, for ease of use and removal.

Anti-Two Block Crane Safety Solution

Anti-Two Block System – Safety Always Comes First!

At some point of time, all of us involved in the heavy construction activities have seen workers being carried in their man-baskets using the hook of a crane. The whole process surely does look dangerous but is that in reality the case? The answer would be a yes. Construction workers sometimes put themselves in great danger while getting their tasks done, even if it means being lifted in a crane to great heights to reach and come back to/from their working points. Though we don’t condone this man lifting, it is a reality of construction work and as such requires a great deal of safety forethought and equipment.

The anti-two block system

One device which aids the safety of the workers being carried in the man baskets (as illustrated above) is an anti-two block system or A2B system for cranes. To know what an “anti-two block system” is, you must first know what a two block is.

What’s two-block?

Two-Block is described as the very dangerous occurrence during which the lower load block (or hook assembly) comes in contact with the upper load block (or boom point sheave assembly), interfering with safe operation of the crane to a great degree. When this occurs, life-endangering forces are applied on the hook which carries the workmen, creating a strong probability of them (the load in the man-basket) falling off thereby putting the life of the men and the safety of the surroundings in a great deal of danger.

How it works?

The A2B System is an electrical device which has a built in sensor. It facilitates the task of preventing the hook from coming in contact and colliding with the sheave. This effectively mitigates the chances of the workers or load crashing to the ground.

The technicality behind this can be explained in simple words. The anti two-blocking device comprises of a weighted ring round the hook line; this ring is suspended on a chain which can be traced to a limit switch which is attached at the boom tip. When the hook assembly comes in contact with this above mentioned suspended weighted ring, the switch opens and triggers an alarm in the cab. This warns the man operating the crane to stop hoisting further to mitigate any danger to the lives of the people involved. Some switches also activate a lockout solenoid that automatically prevents further hoisting.

Check if your crane has the device installed!

All the modern cranes incorporate the compatibility of an anti-two block system. As a matter of fact, if your crane does not, it is highly unsafe and may well be prohibited by the project/infrastructure/construction rules of the site. Furthermore your insurance may be negated if you have an accident without one installed.

The varied uses

The benefits of this A2B system to a crane are numerous. Apart from increasing the safety of your crew, it also makes sure that when you lift extremely heavy loads up to heights which test the maximum capability of your crane, the load does not fall off due to rope breakage.

Modern anti-two block systems come as wireless devices with great battery lives. However, apart from having an anti-two block system in place, you must also ensure that the ground-level operators and the crane-operator keep their eyes open to any encumbrances that might occur on site.Choose what’s right! For more information take a look at some good Anti-Two Block systems on the LSI Wireless site. These are excellent, fully certified anti-two block switches and anti-two block displays which are fully wireless. You can order them with ease and it will ship within days!

How to Scatter Cremated Remains (Ashes)

You may envision going out to a beautiful spot and scattering your loved one’s remains. While this can be a beautiful, ceremonial and a very healing way of returning a loved one to nature, it can also be a disaster. The following guidelines, will make the experience a positive one and make the final wish of your loved one, “I just want my ashes to be scattered” to come true.

To begin, often the word “ashes” is used to describe cremated remains. The media portrays it as light ash. The reality is the remains are bone fragments that have been mechanically reduced. They normally don’t gently flow into the air. It is more like heavy sand That being said there is some dust or ash that can blow in the wind, so when scattering cremated remains make sure to check the wind so they don’t blow back in people’s faces or onto a boat.

You will also want to consider the legal requirements to scatter remains. In no state is it legal to scatter remains on private property without permission from the property owner. Many parks also have rules and permit requirements so you will want to check into the requirements.

If you do plan on scattering the remains, many people are choosing to keep some of the remains in a keepsake container or mini urn. Some people feel they still want a part of the person and sharing the cremated remains is a way to still have a part of the person with you. Keep in mind, you will want to make sure the partial remains are in a sealed plastic bag inside the keepsake or mini urn. A funeral director can handle this for you. Many products are also available such as diamonds that are made out of the remains, jewelry that is designed to hold the remains or hand blown glass paper weights.

Techniques for Scattering


Casting is a way of scattering where the remains are tossed into the wind. As I mentioned previously, you will want to check the direction of the wind and cast the remains downwind. Most of the remains will fall to the ground and some of the lighter particles will blow in the wind forming a whitish-grey cloud. One person in the group may cast the remains or scatter some and hand the container to the next person so everyone has a chance to ceremonially cast the remains. Another option is people are given paper cups or casting cups and they cast simultaneously in a sort of toasting gesture.


 Trenching  is digging a hole or  trench  in the ground or sand and the remains are placed into the  trench . The remains can be placed directly into the  trench  or placed in a biodegradable bag or urn. At the end of the ceremony survivors often rake over the  trench . A deceased name can be drawn in the dirt or sand- perhaps inside of a heart. The remains could also be placed inside this name and heart. You may consider taking a photo of this for a memory book. If done at the beach, it can be timed that the tide comes in and ceremoniously washes it out to sea. Family and friends may want to join hands and form a circle. If not too windy, candles may also form a circle around the site. The candles are then given to each person as a keepsake.


Raking involves pouring the cremated remains from an urn evenly on loose soil and then raking them into the ground at the conclusion of the ceremony. It is important to keep the urn close to the ground when pouring out the remains due to wind. Survivors may wish to take turns raking the remains back into the earth. If you choose to do this at a scattering garden at a cemetery this is how they will perform the scattering.

Green Burial

This is done either at a “Green Cemetery” or at a traditional cemetery. Often cemeteries will allow you to place a biodegradable bag or biodegradable urn on top of a gravesite or a family member as long as it is buried. Obviously, you will want to check with the cemetery and see what their requirements are.

Water Scattering

Water scattering involves placing the remains into a body of water. A biodegradable bag or urn is recommended. This is most often when cremated remains can blow back into a person’s face or get washed up onto the side of the boat. Both experiences can be traumatic and not the everlasting peaceful memory you envisioned. If you search on the internet or in the phone book you can find people that have boats and are experienced. There are urns on the market designed to gently float away and then quickly biodegradable into the water. Many people throw rose petals or flowers into the water after the urn. If the remains are in a biodegradable bag they may sink so you also may wish to throw a wreath of flowers into the water and watch the wreath drift away.

Air Scattering

Air scattering is best performed by professional pilots and air services. The airplanes are specially designed to handle the cremated remains. Some professionals will arrange for family and friends to be on the ground watching as the plane flies over and a plume of remains can be seen from the ground. If survivors are not present, the service will provide the specific time and date of the aerial scattering. Often it can be arranged that close family and friends fly along.

While scattering cremated remains can be emotionally very difficult, hopefully by knowing your options and being informed it will make a difficult time a little easier.