Danshari: Ditching Materialism for the Simple Life

Michael Hoffman, in an interesting new article in The Japan Times Online, describes danshari, a lifestyle idea that complements three other stuff-minimal concepts, voluntary simplicity, wabi sabi, and true wealth. Voluntary simplicity, you may recall, has origins in the 19th century and calls into question the values of material wealth and status; it focuses instead on frugal consumption, ecological awareness, moral responsibility, and the development of the wisdom to think through-and act upon-what really matters. Wabi sabi, an integral part of traditional Japanese culture, appreciates and accepts complexity even as it values simplicity, tranquility, and naturalness. True Wealth, Paul Hwoschinsky’s persuasive antidotes to rampant materialism, suggests that true wealth is attained by leveraging those nonfinancial assets, different for each person, that invigorate and vitalize: talents, hobbies, close connections with other people and animals, communion with nature.

Danshari-its three kanji characters signify refusal, disposal, and separation-has a literal meaning of tidying up. But the movement incorporates psychological and even religious dimensions; it suggests getting rid of mental as well as physical junk. Hoffman calls danshari “a cure-at least a treatment, a purge-for the disease of our times: excess.” That we need such a concept is clear. As environmental scholar Richard Evanoff has observed, “it would take the resources of at least five planet Earths for everyone to live at the same level as most Americans do now.”

Hoffman is careful to frame danshari as a flexible concept. “Danshari,” he says, “is what you make of it. Think of it as mere housecleaning, and that’s all it is. Think of it as a religious liberation, and it’s that.” And religious scholar Akira Masaki puts the movement in perspective, distinguishing it from either a means or an end: seeing it as either one, he says, “only binds us more tightly to means and ends.” Subduing excess, in other words, can become its own form of excess. Even with danshari, Masaki points out, “the important thing is balance-the Buddhist Middle Way.”

You can read the full text of Hoffman’s article in our resource section. Click here: http://www.shopaholicnomore.com/blogs-articles/

Elements of a Contract

While most people understand that contracts are agreements between two or more parties that outline the terms of personal or professional. Contracts may involve the sale of products, property, or goods, or they may outline the terms of work to be performed. In addition, contracts may be used to guarantee that certain actions will be taken or can protect against the disclosure of important information.

When it comes to business, people often use contracts to guarantee that work will be performed, that employment expectations will be met, or that confidentiality and business practices will be upheld. Contracts can also help settle disputes and are a very useful tool for many businesses and can help make sure that transactions run smoothly for all of the parties involved.

In many cases, business owners or managers will consult an experienced business attorney to help outline the terms of a contract and make sure the document will stand up in court if challenged. In order for a contract to be valid, it must contain clear and concise language outlining the terms of the agreement between the two parties, and must be signed by both entities.

Essential elements of a contract include:

  • Mutual consent over the terms and what is being agreed upon
  • An offer, which usually contains the terms of the agreement
  • Acceptance of the offer
  • Mutual consideration
  • Performance or delivery

In order for a contract to be valid, the parties must outline an agreement (often including the scope of the work to be performed), and must agree to the terms contained within. If a dispute arises, the parties may discuss the offer or make a counter-offer until the terms more closely match the needs of both entities.

Contracts are often used to enforce an agreement made between two parties, and they can help make sure that delivery of the product or service is completed. Failure to do so is considered to be a “breach of contract” and the aggrieved party may be able to take legal action to make sure the work is performed, the goods are delivered, or money paid is returned. In addition, persons or businesses that fail to deliver on a contract may be forced to pay fines or perform additional services.

For assistance with a business contract or contract dispute, visit the website of the Austin business attorneys of Slater, Kennon & Jameson.

Gastronorm Container Guide

The Gastronorm sizes where set up by the European Committee for Standardisation as a way of standardising  container  sizes primarily in the catering industry. Gastronorm  containers  are most commonly made of stainless steel but are also widely available in other materials such as polycarbonate and polypropylene materials.

Gastronorm  containers  are used primarily in the catering industry as a means of transporting, storing, serving of food products and are often used in conjunction with cooling or heating systems.

The  containers  are usually available with or without lids or covers, these can often be provided with or without notches for utensil handles.

Gastronorm Size Scale

Gastronorm  container  sizes are expressed as a fraction for example ‘GN 1/1’ also known as a full size  container  this size measures 530mm x 325mm, respectively a ‘GN 1/2’ size  container  is half the size at 325mm x 265mm.

This gastronorm scale only covers the width and length of the  containers , depth is usually shown in millimetres this means that  containers  of the same GN size can have varying depths and therefore varying capacity.

Below is a list of gastronorm sizes along with there corresponding metric size:

  • GN1/9 : 108 x 176 mm
  • GN1/6 : 176 x 162 mm
  • GN1/4 : 265 x 163 mm (quarter size)
  • GN1/3 : 325 x 176 mm
  • GN1/2 : 325 x 265 mm (half size)
  • GN2/3 : 354 x 325 mm
  • GN1/1 : 530 x 325 mm (full size)
  • GN2/1 : 650 x 530 mm (double size)

Because of there fractional sizing system gastronorm  containers  often interchangeable, for example in place of a single GN 1/1  container  2 GN 1/2  containers  can be used and respectively a GN 1/2  container  can be replaced with 2 GN 1/4  containers .

Gastronorm  containers  are often used in the catering industry in chaffing sets, preparation counters, and bain maries as well as being used for convenient transport and prolonged storage.

Car A-C Problems – Troubleshooting Auto Air Conditioning

Car A/C problems are one of the most misdiagnosed issues when it comes to automobile repairs. The number one problem that auto technicians have to troubleshoot and find, is “why the AC is NOT blowing cold.” When the car’s air conditioner has this problem, it can be caused by one of many things. The most common cause of the air conditioning blowing warm air is a refrigerant leak. No matter if the AC system uses R12, R134A or any other refrigerant; the theory of operation is the same. They all require a full charge of refrigerant to work properly. Refrigerant can leak from any of the components in the system. A car’s AC components are located in different areas in the vehicle – not all together in an easily replaceable unit like a house AC “window unit.” It is critical that the failed part is located and replaced to insure a long lasting repair.

Look for Obvious Signs of Leaks

The first thing that anyone can do, mechanic or not is look for an obvious sign of a refrigerant leak. Most systems will have UV dye in the system which is neon yellowish green. It can be seen easier with a black light, but it can still be visible to the naked eye also. If there is no dye in the system, the leak may trickle out clear oil. Inspect all of the components starting at the service ports. Look at the service fittings for leaks and all of the hoses. Follow the lines each direction paying particularly close attention to the metal ferrules that connect the rubber hoses to the metal lines. Check for any lines that may have made contact with other components under the hood and may have vibrated and caused a hole to be rubbed through. The condenser is located in front of the radiator, check every square inch for signs of impact damage that may have caused a leak. Even without a rock or something hitting the condenser, there could still be a leak – look for evidence of any oil residue especially on all four corners.

Detect a Hard to Find Leak – Troubleshooting

After a quick visual inspection for leaks of the components that are under the hood, it may be necessary to look a little further with the help of a refrigerant leak detector to troubleshoot the problem. If the system has little oil in it, there may not be much residue to see from a leak. With a freon leak detector, the leak can be detected even if it is a very slow one. Go over all of the components as mentioned before, but this time with the electronic leak detector. The evaporator is the component in the passenger compartment, which is NOT visible like the other components from under the hood. Leaks from the evaporator can sometimes be detected through the vents. A common place to detect an evaporator leak is from the evaporator drain. Refrigerant is heavier than air, so it will naturally go out the water drain for the evaporator. Be careful NOT to allow water to enter the tip of the leak detector or it may be damaged.

Chillers – Vapor Compression Basics

A chiller is a device that removes heat from a liquid, usually water, through a vapor compression or absorption refrigeration cycle. Chillers are used to cool air and water in a variety of areas, such as large industrial sites, commercial facilities, and even institutional buildings. These machines can also utilize their heat rejection to warm water supplies where necessary, such as in Canada’s cold climate. This article will provide some basic information on how chillers work, and the process by which vapor compression cools water.

Vapor compression chillers compose the four major aspects of the vapor compression refrigeration cycle, meaning that they have a   compressor , an evaporator, a condenser, and a metering device. A chiller can cool a very large building or complex, and can make use of cooling towers to increase their effectiveness. There are four types of  compressors  used in vapor compression in water chillers – reciprocating compression, scroll compression, screw-driven compression, and centrifugal compression are mechanical compression types. Let’s take a look at how these various types of  compressors  work.

Centrifugal  compressors , sometimes called radial  compressors , work by achieving pressure by adding velocity to a continuous flow of fluid (in the case of chillers this is generally water) through a rotor. This slows the flow of fluid through a diffuser, thus increasing the static pressure. They have several advantages, such as fewer rubbing parts (thus cutting down on maintenance), energy efficiency, and a high efficiency. Reciprocating  compressors  are  compressors  that use pistons driven by a crankshaft to create pressure. Intake enters a suction manifold, and then flows into a compression cylinder to be compressed by pistons moving in a reciprocating motion, and is then discharged.

Another popular type of vapor compression in chillers is the scroll  compressor , often called a spiral  compressor , a scroll pump, or a scroll vacuum pump. The concept of a scroll  compressor  can be a little difficult to explain, but imagine two spirals, one set inside the other, spiraling in the same direction but twisted so that the tail of one spiral is opposite the other. If both spirals are going clockwise, then the inner spiral will also move clockwise, thus pushing fluid towards the center of the spiral. Rotary screw  compressors  work in much the same fashion as screw pumps, using a screwing motion to push fluid towards a single point, without giving it the chance to go back out the other way.

Experience Tranquility and Spirituality on the Sarnath Bodh Gaya Tour

Bodh Gaya is an ideal destination for those who seek solace. It is renowned as the most sacred Buddhist pilgrimage destination situated near the Gaya city in Bihar. This is the place where Gautam Buddha attained enlightenment under a pipal tree. The place is most revered by Buddhists. For devotees this place is a must- see destination during their Sarnath Bodh Gaya tour.

Some of the popular tourist attractions of Bodh Gaya are:


This temple is a popular UNESCO world heritage site. It is known as one of the four sacred sites related to Buddha’s life. This beautiful temple was built by the great emperor Ashoka in the 3rd century B.C. This structure is made up of bricks. Inside the Mahabodhi temple the walls are carved with the scenes related to the life of Lord Buddha.

Durgeshwari Cave Temples

This temple is located 12 km north-east of Bodh Gaya. It is popularly known as Mahakala caves. These caves enclose Buddhist shrines where Lord Buddha meditated for a long time during his enlightenment.

Bodhi Sarovar

Nestled in the western part of the sacred Bodhi Temple, this is the pond where Gautam Buddha took bath before he started mediation. It is a beautiful place having great spiritual significance for pilgrims who come here to experience the mysticism of this place.

After attaining enlightenment Buddha came to Sarnath and delivered his first sermon. Since then Sarnath is known as a sacred place which is visited by many pilgrims during their religious tours to India. It is situated about10 km away from Varanasi. This is the place where Lord Buddha chanted the mantra Buddham Sharanam Gachhami for the first time. During the Sarnath pilgrimage tour tourists can visit the following popular tourist attractions:

Ashoka   Pillar 

This  pillar  is also known as the Sarnath  Pillar . It was built by the great emperor Ashoka. This  pillar  is elegantly carved out of stones and grabs attention of the tourists through its 50 meters majestic height. The carvings of this  pillar  depicts various phases of Buddha’s life. The national emblem of India is taken from the sculpture of this  pillar .

Chaukhandi Stupa`

While traveling from Bodhgaya to Sarnath Gautam Buddha met his disciples at a place which is known as Chaukhandi Stupa. The temple stands in the lush green surroundings where you can experience tranquility, peace and spirituality.

Sarnath Museum

Enriched with some of the wonderful specimens of Buddhist art this museum is worth a visit. Here tourists can catch glimpses of the old era through its preserved artifacts like sculptures, excavated ruins and images.

Different Types of Journalism

Journalism helps to explain the events that impact our lives and is developed in a number of forms and styles. Each journalistic form and style uses different techniques and writes for different purposes and audiences. There are five principal types of journalism: investigative, news, reviews, columns and feature writing.

What form of journalism are you interested in?

Investigative. Investigative journalism aims to uncover the truth about a particular subject, person, or event. While investigative journalism is based on the basic principle underlying all journalism-verification and accurate presentation of facts-investigative reporters must often work with uncooperative or recalcitrant sources who do not wish to divulge information. Renowned investigative journalism, such as Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein’s uncovering of the Watergate scandal, can upend major institutions significantly influence public life.

News. News journalism is straightforward. Facts are relayed without flourishes or interpretation. A typical news story often constitutes a headline with just enough explanation to orient the reader. News stories lack the depth of a feature story, or the questioning approach of an investigative story. Rather, they relay facts, events and information to society in a straightforward, accurate and unbiased manner.

Reviews. Reviews are partly opinion and partly fact based. The review needs to accomplish two things: one, accurately describe or identify the subject being reviewed, and two, provide an intelligent and informed opinion of the subject, based on research and experience.

Columns. Columns are based primarily on the personality of the author, allowing him or her to write about subjects in a personal style. Column writers can take a humorous approach, or specialise in a particular subject area or topic. It’s important for columnists to develop their own voice that is recognisable by their readership. Columnists can interpret events or issues or write about their own personal experiences or thoughts. Columns are usually published weekly.

Feature Writing. Feature writing provides scope, depth, and interpretation of trends, events, topics or people. Features aim not only to thoroughly explore a topic by conducting interviews with numerous experts or the key people involved, but to offer a previously unseen perspective on an event, issue, or person. Feature writing commonly wins prestigious awards when it manages to achieve this goal. Features usually have the highest word count of all journalism types.

If you’re interested in pursuing any of these different forms of journalism, there are a number of journalism courses available. Journalism courses teach a wide variety of journalistic, ethical and research skills which form the foundation of all journalism. Writing courses will also help budding journalists improve their grasp of the written word. If you have a love of words, and a keen interest in the world around you, then journalism could be the career for you.

Which form of journalism interests you?

Anti Fatigue Mats – Preventing Back Pain

If you are looking to purchase an Anti Fatigue Mats then you should read this and then click on the link at the bottom of this article to find the best place to purchase Anti Fatigue Mats.

Harry worked on an assembly line of a famous pharmaceutical company. His job involved overseeing the packaging and the distribution of the medicines. He had to stand for long hours. As a result he developed lower back pain and other medical problems.

In the beginning, he did not pay much attention to it, thinking it would go away on its own. However, over a rather short period of time the pain in his back became much worse and he began having a very hard time at work due to his back hurting so badly. Standing had become an ordeal for him and the only relief he got from this crippling back pain was to lie face down on his stomach. Ultimately, Harry’s condition deteriorated and he had to undergo back surgery.

This is one example of what has been happening to millions of workers all over the world. Employees, whose job involves standing for hours at stretch often, suffer from back problems, varicose veins, fatigue, headaches and debilitating conditions like spondilisis and slipped disc.

However there is a very simple solution that can change all this and prevent many back problems from occurring. The cheap and simple solution to this problem is to provide all workers with an anti fatigue mat.

The anti fatigue mat benefits all employees who need to be standing during the course of their work.

People who can benefit from an anti fatigue mat are

1.Assembly line workers

2.Laboratory assistants

3.Chefs and cooks

4.Nurses and compounders’

5.Security personnel

Since it’s a well known fact that prevention is better than cure, anti fatigue mats can actually prevent crippling conditions like back pain. What are the other advantages of anti fatigue mats? Why should a company invest in ant fatigue mats?

Well here are the reasons why a company needs these mats:

o These mats are scientifically designed and hence increase circulation and prevent “pins and needles” syndrome in the foot.

o They are also useful in reducing the exposure to extreme heat and cold for workers who work in furnaces or deep freezers.

o These mats are based on the principles of ergonomics and hence reduce spinal compression.

o They also reduce the weariness and pain in feet legs and ankles due to long periods of standing.

o Since these mats are instrumental in providing comfort, they also help in reducing the back pain.

o Last, a healthy employee is instrumental in boasting the work place environment. These mats help people to nip many a problem in the bud and have a better life.

Back pain is one of the most crippling pains known to man. There are times when the employee has back pain that can spread to cause headaches as well. An employee that is unwell decreases the enthusiasm of other employees and reduces productivity. Moreover, an employee that is unwell can also cost the company money in terms of hospitalization and other expenses. Hence, it’s better to nip the problem in the bud. Invest in anti fatigue mats and let your employees be healthy. Anti Fatigue Mats [http://www.antifatiguematsite.com] will boost employee health and as a result employee productivity will also increase. Indeed a healthy employee makes the company wealthy!!

Creating Your Own Special Style

There is no need to know country from shabby chic, modern from vintage. You may be happy with a mix and match, or eclectic style. It may not be easy to pick a style but it’s easy to know whether you prefer sleek chrome and glass or a big stuffed chair. You can easily tell you like soft, neutral colors rather than, for example, bright orange and purple. So, how do you pick your style? You don’t. You pick your preference.

It helps to be able to describe to a salesperson what you like. Be prepared to tell him or her your favorite color or point out pieces you like. If you already have a chair or table, show them a picture to give them some guidance in helping you find other things that would go with what you have.

Since a rug or carpeting can be more difficult to choose and often is a greater expense, it may be wise to choose this first. Especially the choice of plain or pattern can determine your options for furniture coverings. Floor covering anchors the room, and because it is usually a major investment, it pays to get something of quality that you feel you can enjoy for years to come. You may recall a room you have visited or seen in a magazine that was especially to your liking. It is definitely all right to borrow ideas that appeal to you. Remember that walls can be painted more cheaply than replacing flooring – not to mention the hundreds of shades available in paint!

The final personal touches in a room are the accessories. In this area, perhaps more than any other, you can use items simply because they are special to you. You may choose family heirlooms, art, framed photos, vases, candle holders, lamps, tables, collections and a myriad of other things to complete your special look. If you love it, get it. You will find a place for it. Even in your modern loft you may tastefully display your family pictures by using frames of one color with simple lines. Set up a vignette for your collections. Pick up a color from that antique rug with a sleek table lamp.

Remember, there is no need to stress over style. Trust yourself. It is your room and you should be comfortable in it. If you are pleased with the outcome you have been successful. You have created your own special style.

Floral Area Rugs – Add Color and Elegance

Floral area rugs add color and elegance to any home décor. You can use floral area rugs to create a focal point in a room or to enhance the present room décor. Traditional rugs or contemporary rugs with floral patterns will add an elegant touch to any home décor style.

Add Class to Any Room

Rugs with beautiful floral designs and patterns bring the outdoor beauty of nature into your home. With trendy colors and natural designs, floral area rugs add class to any room in your home. You can use floral area rugs to add charm and elegance to any room including hallways, dining rooms, bedrooms, guest rooms or any other room. They are available in different styles including Asian, tropical, garden, floral, Greek and Roman, rustic and more.

Floral rugs blended with natural themes and earth tones are a distinct decorating option for your home. A wide array of natural rugs featuring various flower designs such as palm, cala lily, sunflower begonia, tulip, orchid and more are available. Modern floral rugs featuring contemporary garden and flower designs are best suited for the modern home interior.

Several Options Available

Floral rugs are available in several colors, sizes and patterns. You can choose floral rugs from a variety of shapes including round, square, rectangle, octagon and more. They vary in quality, ranging from economical to costly, from which you can make a choice. Floral rugs made of wool are more durable and costlier than those made of other materials. Natural rugs made of cotton, jute and bamboo, as well as a variety of synthetic carpets such as nylon and olefin rugs are also available.

UPC Bar Code Software

UPC bar codes are used in the United States of America. Like many other kinds of bar codes, they are made up of numbers. The scanners interpret these symbols and the data is sent into the system. All American products get either UPC – A or UPC – E bar codes. The bar code generators are also capable of generating 2- to 5-digit supplemental codes.

A UPC-A bar code consists of 12 digits, and a UPC – E bar code consists of 8 digits. The UPC bar codes are numeric-only codes that may vary in height, width and spacing to represent various item codes. UPC bar codes include the checksum bar at the end of the code as the last digit. The checksum calculation used in the UPC bar codes is complex compared to other bar codes, but it is wise to include it in the bar code.

UPC bar code software suites are similar to other bar code software suites. They include the entire font, templates and other options that allow the user to generate a code and allow VBA functions for spreadsheets and database utility. Almost all of these software suites are equipped with the BARUP.exe that is essential to calculate checksum and formatting of the UPC bar codes, along with the checksum option.

UPC bar codes do not have the actual price of an item, similar to other codes. They are coded with the specific item code whose value would be picked by the software from the database consisting of all such related data.

Any manufacturer needing to get a bar code for a new product needs to get a manufacturer number from the Uniform Code Council. The manufacturer then assigns the product number. A combination of the manufacturer number and the product number makes the number for the bar code. It must be ensured that this number is equal to 11 digits, as the 12th digit would be the checksum code. Each product can thus be given an individual and unique UPC code as the manufacturer can decide the second half of the bar code even though the first half, which is the manufacturer number, is the same for all the items made by that manufacturer.

UPCTools is one option to make a UPC bar code. Also, their plug-ins can be used to make multiple UPC bar codes in no time. This software would help with the design of the bar code and also generates the checksum amount automatically. As with other bar code generators, this can be used to create a unique bar code complete with the start, stop and checksum bars within the bar code. The same can be used to define the height and size of the bar code, depending on the product that needs to be labeled.

Cockapoo – Dog Breeds

Group: Not yet recognised

Weight: 6-19 lbs

Height: 14-15 inches


The Cockapoo was developed by crossing the American Cocker Spaniel and the Miniature Poodle. This breed is originally from the United States where they were bred during the 1960s. The first dogs were from accidental mating, but lately as their popularity has continued to grow, the matings have become deliberate. Like the Poodle, the Cockapoo is an intent spectator, not going to the hyper extremes of many American Cocker Spaniels.


In general the Cockapoo is affectionate with a laidback nature. Although they are alert, they also have a very sweet nature. The Cockapoo is a very energetic and sociable dog that is very eager to please its owner. This breed makes wonderful companion dogs, and will get along well with children and when under supervision. It is vital for the Cockapoo to be trained from puppyhood onwards; otherwise they might struggle with anger later on in their lives. These dogs will get jealous if their owners pay attention to other animals and people. The Cockapoo is very trainable, and also a very intelligent dog. These dogs are the perfect companion pet as they are smart, trustworthy and easy to care for.


The Cockapoo is a fairly high maintenance dog, and should be brushed and combed on a daily basis. The Cockapoo does not shed too much, and if they are brushed often, they will even shed less. These dogs are therefore ideal for someone struggling with allergies. It is advised that the Cockapoo should be clipped at least once during the year.


Cockapoos are very clever dogs, and this can make the training of these dogs very easy. These dogs will do very well when it comes to obedience, and if the training is presented in the correct manner these dogs will do extremely well. Cockapoos should be handled in a firm manner – training however should be very consistent but also very gentle.

Health problems

Some Cockapoos are fairly healthy, and others are not. They have a potential risk of some health problems, and these include hip dysplasia, progressive retinal atrophy, epilepsy, allergies, skin and ear problems, Legg-Calve-Perthes, luxating patellas, hypothyroidism, cryptorchidism and gastric torsion. Like any dog, the chance of avoiding health problems is increased if the dog’s ancestors and relatives are screened for genetic disease themselves.

How to Winter-Proof Your Home

The UK was unprepared last winter for the coldest weather for 100 years, which lead to expensive energy bills and even damage to many of our homes. Here are some quick tips on how to make sure your home is energy efficient and winter-proof ahead of plummeting temperatures.

Central Heating

It’s important to service your boiler and all gas appliances at least once a year to ensure they’re working correctly and not leaking any poisonous carbon monoxide gas. Unfortunately many homeowners wait until their systems fail to book a service and are left in the cold as they struggle to find an available engineer during the busy winter period. With the high costs of last minute repairs, it’s also no surprise to discover that Brits ended up paying £450 million on boiler repairs alone in 2010.

A simple way to protect yourself from unexpected repair bills is to purchase boiler cover. Most policies should include an annual central heating service, during which the engineer should also be any test for any carbon monoxide leakage.

Drafts and Ventilation

Draught-proofing your windows and doors can help to prevent expensive heat from escaping. Hang heavy, lined curtains at windows to help keep the warmth in and if you have venetian blinds tilt the blades so they face down.

Most homes now have double-glazed windows for energy efficiency. Whilst these strong seals protect buildings against external weather conditions, they also unfortunately adversely affect your home’s ventilation.

Condensation quickly builds up during cooking, showering and even breathing. House dust mites thrive in warm and damp houses that have low levels of circulating air, particularly in the winter. Leave your windows slightly ajar on warmer days whilst in the house and invest in an extractor fan for the kitchen to divert steam and help remove unwanted cooking odors. Keep the bathroom window open whilst taking a shower and leave the door closed to prevent the condensation from escaping to other parts of the house.


Many homes only have 100mm of insulation. Insulating your loft with at least 270mm of insulation could save around £145 on fuel bills. Installing cavity wall insulation could also save you around £110 a year.

Improving the insulation in your home will not only help to save your money, it can also prevent water damage from burst pipes. The most common single cause of home insurance claims is ‘escape of water’, which can cause thousands of pounds of damage in collapsed ceilings, saturated furniture and destroyed electrical appliances.

Protect your pipes from cracking in freezing conditions by keeping them well lagged; wrap exposed outside pipes with insulating sleeves and make sure that water tanks get insulation too. In case of a major flooding emergency, make sure you know where your stopcock is to help you switch off your water supply as quickly as possible.

RV Repair: Not Always a DIY Job

Living on the road can be wonderful, but just like any home, from time to time, your RV is going to need some repair. The good news is that you may not need to call in a professional, and a little TLC can go a long way in keeping your recreational vehicle in tip-top shape. Many parts in a recreational vehicle are made from molded plastic and tend to have a high failure rate just because of the additional weight and movement of a motorhome. That means that you probably need to keep an eye on things or have a professional give it the once-over at least once or twice a year.

First Things First

When you discover that a minor RV repair is required, you may be able to handle it on your own, depending on the source of the problem. The first thing that you should do is see if your motorhome repair is covered under any warranty or insurance. Next, give an honest assessment of your own skill level and the complexity of the RV repair you are considering.

If you have the basic skills and tools, and it’s something as simple as a leaky window seal, then you can probably pick up the materials for a relatively quick fix at a home improvement store. Be advised, though, leaks are something you really need to look at quickly.

Handle Leaks Quickly

Just like any roof leak in a traditional home, the longer you wait, the more damage water can do. That means that if you see any evidence that there is a leak, make sure you get to it as soon as possible (or promptly hire someone to handle the RV repair for you). In the case of a leaky window, you may want to call an auto glass specialist, but be advised that many do not work on motorhomes. If you are comfortable with tools and choose to do it yourself, it can be a simple procedure. First, you will need to find a replacement window, either from a parts dealer or a junkyard. A simple online search can help you locate the part, but make sure you call first and double-check to see if it is still in stock.

Next, you will need to clean and prep the area. You can remove any excess caulk with a putty knife. Whether the glass is cracked or not, you should still wear gloves to protect your hands and safety goggles when you are taking a window out or putting one in. Once you have applied new caulk or putty, you need to carefully replace the window and tighten the screws. Be sure to double check that the seal is flush and watertight.

Don’t Get in Over Your Head

While at first blush, you may feel a bit apprehensive about going it alone, with a little research and an online video or two, you should be able to save yourself a lot of money and handle many of your RV repairs yourself. If you do get in over your head, don’t hesitate to call in a pro to handle the job right.

The Origins of a Fashion Classic: Jeans

History of Jeans

Jeans originated in the USA in the late 19th century. Originally, they were worn as work trousers by miners, factory workers and soldiers. They were particularly common as work clothing during World War II. At this time men’s zippers were placed at the front of the garment, while women’s ran along the right side.

Later on, in the 1930s they became popular among the cowboy population. Jeans were a popular souvenir for anyone visiting the West’s dude ranches. Hippies continued the denim trend in the 1960s. Jeans were very hard to find in non-Western countries so they were a common postal item.

During the 1970s the garment became more widespread as they begun to be produced in southern sweatshops. With cheaper production came cheaper prices.

By the 1980s jeans had become a fashion staple. Designers started to experiment with different styles and fabric variations. Sales continued to rise and rise. The garment is to this day a popular casual clothing choice, and is worn by kids, women and men alike.

Origins of the Name

Even the story of how jeans got their name is an interesting one. At one point they were known as waist overalls! Jean was a material made in Europe. It was named after sailors in Genoa, Italy who reportedly wore clothes made out of the fabric.

Now we more commonly refer to the material itself as denim. The history of this term can be traced back to France. Serge was a kind of material originating in the town of Nimes. “Serge de Nimes” is the French way of saying serge from Nimes. De Nimes would explain the coining of the term denim we use until this day.


Back in the day jeans had a nasty way of disintegrating in the pocket area. In the late 19th century a tailor called Jacob Davis came up with the genius idea of using metal rivets to keep the pockets intact, and safeguard them from ripping.

Keen on applying for a patent, but lacking the funds for it, he turned to Levi Strauss with a proposition. Strauss accepted and so production of the new riveted trousers began.

Celebrities and Jeans

Jeans became a fashionable item and a symbol of youth rebellion in the 1950s after James Dean was seen wearing them in the movie Rebel Without a Cause. This association led the garment to be banned in certain public buildings like schools, theatres and restaurants. At this time the fashion item was sometimes referred to as “jean pants”.

In the 1970s mens skinny jeans became popular among the punk community. Bands like The Sex Pistols became ambassadors of the trend.

The 1980s saw the introduction of acid washed jeans. Many people’s idol of the time, Madonna was a keen advocate of the trend, and was snapped wearing jeans many times.

The rise of hip hop in the 1990s came hand in hand with the growing popularity of wide leg or baggy jeans. Artists like Tupac were rarely seen sporting anything other than their beloved denim trousers.

In this day and age jeans are worn by many celebrities from the Duchess of Cambridge to Kylie Minogue. They are an undying trend.