What is an Inverter Air Conditioner?

You have probably had sales people come into your home and start recommending Inverter Ducted Air conditioning. And chances are you don’t fully understand how it works.

Well here is a basic explanation of Inverter units.

You see, a basic conventional system has a basic engine it it just like your motor car. This engine basically has two speeds. Flat out and Stop.

These systems use a lot of electricity in these types of motors because it takes a lot of energy to start a motor from ZERO. And when your home reaches the temperature that you requested on your climate control thermostat the motor will turn off completely.

With an inverter Air conditioning system, like Fujitsu, Daikin, or Mitsubishi Electric, these motors are designed differently.

You see, when you turn on an inverter, the motor will start up slowly so that it does not use a lot of power, then the motor slowly speeds up to full power on a sliding scale. This way the system uses less power to initially start up.

As the ducted system gets closer to reaching your temperature that you requested in your home, the motor will start slowing down, thus using less electricity. And as an added benefit, the temperature in your home will remain more constant, assuming the heat load has been done and you have sized your unit correctly.

The end result is that the motor does not have to completely stop and because of this you don’t use a lot of electricity trying to overcome inertia trying to make the motor initiate from a complete stop.

They are a very good technology to use when compared to conventional systems, however my personal opinion is that Digital Scroll units will deliver enev more energy savings and temperature control.

ONE WARNING. DO NOT UNDER SIZE YOUR INVERTER SYSTEM OR YOU WILL USE AT LEAST 10% MORE ELECTRICITY THAN A CONVENTIONAL AIR CONDITIONING SYSTEM.

I will talk more about this next time.

How to Use a Compressor or Limiter

Compressors and limiters are used to control the loudness of an audio signal. This purpose of which is to control the incoming level to another audio device. Have you ever heard a video or audio post where the background noise is fine but when the person speaks it is distorted? That is because the level of the persons voice is too loud for the either the next audio device in line or the recorder itself thereby causing it to overload and distort. In the movement of audio from voice to mic to mic preamp to eq to audio converter and then to computer each device has an audio range it can operate cleanly in. (The practice of maintaining an even level through all these different devices is called ‘gain stageing’ and requires one to oftentimes be familiar with each device in use.) While some devices can be driven past this level for a desired warming or distortion effect most often engineers are shooting for a clear and clean tone that is faithful to the original.

Proper gain staging is good, but the random world we live in is not properly gain staged. Often when recording a singer will sing a little, or a lot, louder than than anticipated in your initial level setting or the song itself will vary greatly in soft and loud parts. Bass players too often vary in their playing levels dramatically. Both of these once committed to a final recording will vary so much in level that some parts are too loud while some are not loud or clear enough. Although not a complete solution compressors and limiters can help with this problem.

Simply put a compressor will grab audio that goes over a predetermined threshold level and lessen it by a fixed ratio. This is controlled by the ratio knob. Typical ratios are: 2:1, 4:1, 8:1. After having set a threshold level with, yep, the ‘threshold’ knob a singer would have to sing 4 decibels above your threshold level for their voice to raise 1 decibel above the same threshold. The speed that the compressor grabs the audio is called the ‘attack’. The speed of release of the compressor effect is called the release. These are important parameters especially when dealing with fast material such as drums or piano. If the attack is too fast it will cut off the initial transient of the signal and cause it to be darkened or muddied tonally. This can be heard very clearly if you put a snare sample on loop and run it through a compressor setting about 15db of gain reduction and then vary the attack from slow to fast. You will notice that as the attack gets too fast that all the bite is lost in the first wave of sound. The release knob releases the compressor function. Typically you set release slower for vocals, bass, or anything where the notes are often sustained. This helps it sound natural. Fast release times are nearly always used for any percussive sound such as drums, piano, claps etc.

Wait! My compressor doesn’t have a attack and release knob! Relax. This only means that you have what is known as an optical compressor. These have predetermined attack and release that typically vary based on how hard the unit is driven. The more compression, the faster the attack.

So, typically, we set the threshold to a natural amount (2-4db). Then set the ratio depending on the variance of the material in level. Then we adjust the attack and release knobs for a natural sound. The attack and release tend to affect the overall tonality of the material the most. Driving the threshold, sometimes labeled ‘gain’, can impart some edge (distortion) to the sound. Increasing the ratio control changes the ‘knee’. Knee is how thoroughly the initial sound crossing the threshold is grabbed. A ‘soft knee’ is more of a smooth response while a ‘hard knee’ has a tighter grab. On most compressors that don’t have a separate ‘knee’ simply increasing the ratio will harden the knee and thereby creating a tighter cut off of the sound. And this brings us to what is different about a limiter.

Where compressors are meant to control mild (and not so mild) audio peaks, a limiter is meant to limit the audio completely. And so a compressor set to a ratio of 20:1 or more is acting as a limiter. Limiters are very often used where peaks could damage other equipment: radio, the mastering of albums, live performances and their wound systems. Their effect is definitive.

Compressors are very useful tools and are indispensable in the audio world. Many are used, especially in the studio, because of their character (honestly, this is just their individual form of distortion). Knowing how to push certain models creates a certain sound that most will recognize instantly. Learning to hear the effect and ‘learn’ its sound is easiest if done on solo tracks with percussion (piano is a percussion instrument) being the easiest.

Gross Personal Happiness

There is a country between India and China called Bhutan. They measure their Gross National Happiness instead of their Gross National Product. Wikipedia says, “While conventional development models stress economic growth as the ultimate objective, the concept of GNH claims to be based on the premise that true development of human society takes place when material and spiritual development occur side by side to complement and reinforce each other. The four pillars of GNH are the promotion of sustainable development, preservation and promotion of cultural values, conservation of the natural environment, and establishment of good governance.”

Your GPH – Gross Personal Happiness

What if we measured our Gross Personal Happiness? What would your GPH be based on? Let’s borrow the four pillars of Gross National Happiness as a beginning. The first pillar, personal sustainable development, could be to work and live in a way that incorporates and balances all areas of living – work, play, health, fun, relationships, spirituality…etc. What would you add to the list to make this your own guide to sustainability? We could devise a measure for each of these areas to assess our sustainability. For example, health could be ability to run two miles, or weigh between 128 and 133 pounds, etc. The measurements would be set for sustainability, so all parts of life were honored.

The second pillar of Gross Personal Happiness is the preservation and promotion of personal (and cultural) values. Have you ever violated a value – made a choice that dishonored one of your key values? It hurts like a punch in the stomach. I did that by taking a job that really excited me, but kept me away from my family at a time where my highest value was expressed through being a Mom to my kids. Not a happy year. Increase your GPH by honoring your deepest values.

Next is conservation of the natural environment. How does that translate for you into your GPH? It could mean having a home that is beautiful, functional, and green; it could mean recycling and consciousness of your carbon footprint. This ties in with sustainability, the first pillar. Measurement here would be up to each person – size of recycling pile every week; choices of food products, etc.

Finally the fourth pillar is the establishment of good governance. On a personal level, this translates into self governance – being autonomous. Being able to set your own guidelines for conduct and follow them. Saying what you mean and meaning what you say. This would promote personal happiness by encouraging consistency, ease, good habits, and safety. How would this be measured? You might choose 10 “laws” that you will abide by – laws of your choosing that promote the other three pillars. Perhaps you will also govern the voices in your head and whether you listen to the harsh judgment they often deliver, like “you’re too old”, “you did a bad job”, “you’re hopeless”. What would you do to monitor this?

Can you imagine how the world would be if we were responsible for and measured our Gross Personal Happiness based on these four pillars? The world’s Gross World Happiness would surely rise. We would conduct sustainable daily lives, honor personal and cultural values, conserve the environment and live by good self-management. What else would you do or be to have a high GPH?

May you have a high GPH this day, this week, this month and year.

Build Relational Databases in Seven Steps

The following is an ordered list of steps you can follow to create a good database design for your web application.

Step 1- Create a charter for the database

First keep in your mind why you need to create a database and what you are expecting it to do. Database designers sometimes fall into trouble when.

1. They assume that the data exists for its own sake

2. They assume that the database exists for the sake of the Information Technology department.

Both the above are wrong, and the database exists for its users. Before you design your database, find out why the users of your application need the database and what the users expect to accomplish from it. You can think of this purpose statement as a mission statement or a charter for the database.

The more complicated and complex your application is, the more detailed your Charter will be. But always limit your charter to the key points that identify the unique capabilities that the user expects from the database.

The most vital part of this step is to examine how the data is currently being stored and to uncover the weaknesses. If the data is currently being stored in an Excel spreadsheet or is stored in paper form in file cabinets, carefully examine them to see what kinds of data are included in them.

Step 2 – Make a list and double check it

Once you finish Step 1, and you are done with your Charter, start listing the major tables of the database you are going to create.

When you have come up with a rough list of tables and the data items, always keep in mind them as entities that are like real-world objects that the database needs to keep track of.

Step 3 – Add Keys

For every database you create, there should be a column or combination of columns that uniquely identifies each row in a table. This column or combination of columns is also known as the Primary Key of the table.

In this step you will have to figure out the primary and foreign keys for each table design and add appropriate ID fields to overcome the problem stated above.

Step 4 – Normalize the Database

The next step is the Normalization process. Normalization refers to the process of eliminating redundant information and other problems in the database design. In order to normalize the current database design, you need to identify the problems in the design and correct them, often by creating additional tables.

Five different levels of normalization exist, known as the five normal forms.

1. First Normal Form (1NF)

2. Second Normal Form (2NF)

3. Third Normal Form (3NF)

4. Fourth Normal Form (4NF)

5. Fifth Normal Form (5NF)

The following are the corrections that need to be handled:

1. Maintain Consistency – use same field names for fields used as primary keys and foreign keys, and change all tables to plural names.

2. Data Redundancy

First Normal Form – 1NF

A table is in the 1NF when each table is free of repeating data.

Second Normal Form – 2NF

The 2NF only applies to composite a key table, that is if the table contains a primary key made up of two or more table columns. In order to be in the 2NF, every column in the table must depend on the entire primary key, not only a part of it.

Third Normal Form – 3NF

A table is in the 3NF form when the table is in 2NF and every column in the table depends on the entire primary key and none of the other fields depend on each other.

Step 5 – Denormalize the Database

When you come across a situation where you ben the normalization rules a bit, the database will operate more efficiently. For instance having data redundancy in the database can increase the performance of your database. This process of adding data redundancy to increase the efficiency and performance of your database is called denormalization.

Step 6 – Use legal SQL names

If you look back at the data-design process, all the names used were self-descriptive an it was easy to remember what it does exactly and what table and column it represents. It is a good database design practice to avoid SQL dialects with spaces between words like “Product ID” where you can either name it as “ProductID” or “Product_ID”.

Always follow these rules when you choose names for your database:

1. No special characters, other than $, #, and _.

2. No spaces.

3. No more than 128 characters – Keep the names as short and descriptive as possible. Even though 128 character are allowed choose names that are 15 characters or lesser.

Step 7 – Draw an ERD

The best way to represent your data model is by drawing an Entity-Relationship Diagram also known as an ERD. The following is a sample ERD for the database.

Why Are Logo Mats In Vast Demand?

When you step on a  mat , don’t you instinctively look at it? This is especially true when you visit offices, libraries or showrooms. Previously, a  mat  was simply classified as a floor covering that was used to keep the dust and dirt away from a room. But nowadays, it has graduated from a floor covering to an unconventional yet effective medium of advertising.

Surprised? Till a few years back, the concept of using a  mat  as a mode of advertising would be surely laughed at. But the present scenario says otherwise. First of all, what is advertising? It is a method to create an impression in the minds of the public and to make sure that the image stays in their minds. Thus the logo  mats  were born. As is evident from the name, the companies emboss their logos on the  mats  and these are placed at various places. When visitors look at the  mat , they instinctively think about the company and its products and services.

Some are still skeptical regarding the effectiveness of using logo  mats  as an advertising medium. Although it may not directly ensure higher sales, it will help to register a favorable image of your company. It is actually a boon for small businesses that can’t afford to invest millions of dollars for costly advertisement campaigns. Nowadays, LED (light emitting diode) technology is being used to make illuminated logo  mats  that are even more striking. According to recent reports, this method is enormously successful.

A lot of companies these days are manufacturing such types of logo  mats . If you are the owner of a small business, then a logo  mat  placed at the entrance of your office will be the best way to register an impression in the minds of visitors and prospective clients. However, you should keep a few things in mind such as:

1. Make sure that the logo is striking.

2. The design should be appealing yet simple. Intricate and complex designs will confuse people.

3. The logo should ideally be placed in the center of the  mat .

4. If you are using illuminated ones, placing one of these in front of your reception is not a bad idea.

If you are on the lookout for a company who can manufacture logo  mats  for you at affordable prices, then Floormatsystems.com is just the place for you. Do you know that they emboss the logo design absolutely free of cost? You will just be charged for the number of  mats  that you order from them. Don’t miss the opportunity!

How to Clean Wet Rugs and Carpet

Wet carpet can happen from a range of accidents: your house could break a pipe, a bath tub can easily overflow, your shower or water heater could have a leak… the list goes on and on. Whichever way it happens, your situation stinks big-time. No one likes to come home to their treasured rubber ducky floating down the hallway on their new carpet. But, if this takes place you’ll want to act immediately! Beyond the concern of your escaping ducky, your bigger challenge is the mildew or mold that would LOVE to colonize on your now moist carpets and rugs. This, of course, may lead to other difficulties.

To start, you must look at the situation. If it is a very small amount of water, you may be capable of handling it on your own. It is essential to clear away your furniture, carpets and other things that are damp and bring them away from the wet area. If the carpet in the house isn’t glued or stapled down, move it outdoors. Lay it on your lawn to dry in the sun’s rays. Be certain that it is completely dry prior to deciding to return the rugs to your floor.

If you can’t remove your carpeting, open your windows and switch on any fan you’ve got! Having fresh air blowing over the soaked carpet assists in drying it out. So blow blow blow like Dorothy is depending on you to send her house back to Kansas before she reaches Oz!

When it’s only a small area that’s saturated, use bath towels to mop up the water. Walk across the towels to help them soak up the moisture. Continue this technique until the area is dry. I like to set heavy things like phone books (“what are THOSE things?”) on some areas to help me dry it out. If it’s a bigger area, get out your wet vacuum and then use it to eliminate as much water as possible. If you don’t have a wet vac but you have a carpet shampoo machine you can try using that (without adding any more water). Just do NOT, under any circumstances, use a normal carpet cleaning vacuum!

Your Next Step is to inspect your carpet cushion. If the carpet pad has absorbed lots of water and has become spongy, you’re out of luck. Toss it, and get a new one. I’m sorry, I know this whole things stinks, but don’t give up! If it’s fully waterlogged, you may need to cut it into small sections in order to remove it. Before replacing it, it is very important to clean the floor with bleach to kill any mold or mildew. Allow the floor dry completely. Then you may install a new pad.

How To Take Care of Your Rugs and Carpets

Owning carries with it the responsibility of taking care of the thing being owned. This is especially true when it comes to Oriental and Antique Rugs and Carpets. These are artworks that represent the very rich culture that had been handed down for a number of generations. They are essentially the fruit of a long-standing legacy and take years to make. However, a tiny mistake or error in taking care of these is enough to ruin it for good.

If you plan on investing or you already have a rug or carpet in your home, here are things that you need to do to ensure that it will stay for the years to come-as it was always meant to be:

  • Research, research, research. In the same way that we plan and research before buying a new home, we must also look into the history of the rug or carpet. Each component/material of the carpet requires distinct care that must be taken into consideration to make sure it lasts.
  • Never place it in a room that gets hit by direct sunlight too often. Being constantly exposed to sunlight causes unwanted bleaching of colours-much like what happens to our hair when we’ve been in the sun for too long. Also, temperature changes can make threads brittle over time.
  • Don’t place it in places where there is a lot of damp or where it is likely to be damp. The damp makes the dirt cling more to the thread and accumulate deeply, making it more difficult to clean.
  • Cleaning and washing it on your own is a no-no. Cleaning these is not as simple as placing your laundry in the wash. Doing it on your own would often result in discoloration or stretching that could distort the weave and ultimately ruin it.
  • When you see a stain, don’t try to remove it on your own. The materials and natural dyes used react differently to the usual cleaning agents that we commonly use. They don’t take kindly to bleach either.
  • Carpets and rugs like to be stroked the right way too! This is because each carpet and rug has its own flow or lay. Have you ever tried stroking a cat in the wrong direction and saw that the pattern of its fur gets messy and jumbled? The same applies to carpets and rugs when you stroke them the wrong way, only that unlike cats, it is more difficult to restore it to the way it was before.
  • In this age of do it your own kits, you would think that you are capable of doing things on your own. However there are a few notable exceptions, and the cleaning and repair of rugs is one of them. They are best left to experts who have years of experience and complete array of tools necessary to make the job done.

Fencing Distance

The combination of distance, timing, tempo, and technique define fencing tactics. In this mix, distance, the actual separation between the fencers, is critical in that it establishes the minimum footwork requirements for any tactical application. To better understand the implications for tactics fencing coaches and authors of fencing textbooks have always defined distance based on the characteristics of the attack.

Fencing masters in the classical period up to World War II defined three distances as the basis for their teaching:

… Short – the separation at which the opponent could be hit by a simple extension from the guard position. This was sometimes referred to as extension distance.

… Medium – the separation at which a lunge was needed to hit the opponent with an attack. This was sometimes referred to as lunging distance.

… Long – the separation at which an advance was needed to bring the fencer into lunging distance. This was sometimes referred to as advance lunge distance.

These definitions originate in the second half of the 1800s when fencing was done from engagement. They made sense in the context of a sport in which bladework was more important than footwork. However, times have changed with a faster, more athletic game in which distance and timing is everything and footwork is the basis for scoring.

The three classical distances remain, but have been expanded with the addition of:

… Infighting – the distance at which unusual body and blade positions are needed due to the minimal separation between the fencers.

… Marching – the distance at which multiple steps and footwork maneuvers are required to bring the opponent to the distance at which an attack can be mounted.

At the same time changes in how all three weapons are fenced mean that the classical definitions require revision. With elite level fencers, the outer half of Medium Distance is becoming an Advance-Lunge Distance in which an accelerating footwork movement is needed to get inside the opponent’s reaction time, decision loop, and ability to step back out of range.

The classical Long Distance now requires multiple steps or footwork traps in preparation and is more accurately identified as Preparation Distance. The advance now simply gives the opponent the opportunity to maintain the distance by retreat.

This creates a more complicated picture, with the following scale of distances:

… Infighting

… Short

… Medium

… Advance-Lunge

… Preparation

… Marching

Operationally any distance effectively includes not only the distance between two fencers but also the distance available to the opponent in the retreat within the duration of the attack. As the speed of the sport has increased, any attack must consider where the opponent will be when the attack arrives, not where the opponent was when the attack started.

In addition it is important to identify which target is defining the distance you are considering in all three weapons. Differences in the target zone selected create differences in where the attack has to be launched. For example, Medium Distance to the advanced target or to the head or torso in epee or sabre are significantly different distances.

In this list the boundaries between Medium and Advance-Lunge, Advance-Lunge and Preparation, and Preparation and Marching Distances are fuzzy and are subject to individual reaction times, the fencers’ level of concentration, and several environmental factors. This means that a neat division is very difficult, and probably impossible, to develop. Some coaches would disagree with these divisions (and many still operate with the original three), and I should note that they are based on my experience with their names and descriptions being mine alone.

Regardless of how you classify and describe distance, it is a critical factor in modern fencing. I encourage you to think about distance and its impacts on tactics and to include distance problems in your teaching.

How to Build Wire Fence

I will show how simple and fast it is to build a barbed wire, electrical wire or chain link fence. Barbed wire is the easiest and most economical. It does not require any electricity or special equipment. You start by pounding metal or wood fence posts usually every 8 feet. On each end of the fence you pound 2 posts 3 feet apart and later nail a post on a diagonal starting at the top of the end post and fastening to the bottom of the second last post. It then stops the last post from bending when the wire is tightened.

Then roll out the wire usually 3 or 4 strands depending on what will be inside the fence. Tighten the wire and staple it evenly spaced to the posts. How to build wire fence? Electrical wire is the fastest fence to build although requires an electric fencer to create electric shock. Generally insulated posts are used that way the wire does not have a path to ground. Te posts are pushed in and one or two wires are rolled out and clipped in the slots in the posts. Tightened and hooked to an electrical source creates a quick means of containing animals.

Chain link fences are more difficult to build. First you pound or drill the metal posts in the ground all to the same height. Then roll out the wire and tie wire it to the posts. Caps are put on the posts as well as brackets to hold a top rail which is attached to the top of the wire. All three methods of fencing can easily be done, once you decide which type best suits your situation and a little bit of figuring you will have no trouble how to build wire fence.

5 Star Hotels – Going Beyond Accommodation

Do you feel the need to indulge and pamper yourself every time you travel overseas? Have you ever longed for a hotel stay that goes beyond comfortable  accommodation  but actually delivers an experience that you will never forget? Then a stay in 5 star hotels might be for you. There is no other type of  accommodation  that offers luxurious  accommodation , state-of-the-art amenities and services, extravagant decor and above all, unparalleled service that anticipates your every need and desire.

Thus, when you stay at any of these hotels, you are guaranteed not just a first-class stay in a stylishly-decorated setting, but also a memorable experience that results when you experience all that the hotel has to offer. Whether you are a business or leisure traveler, a luxury hotel goes out of its way to complement your visit with a host of specially-tailored amenities and services which are designed to refresh your body and mind, as well as broaden your horizons. Hence, if you have the money to spend, and are not just looking for a mere stay but a wholesome and enriching experience whenever you travel overseas, do seriously consider staying in a premier or deluxe hotel. You will certainly not be disappointed. Read on for more information about these hotels and also a recommended website for booking luxury hotels that offer value for your money.

Staying in a luxury hotel is considered as a sign of wealth, prestige and success to many. It is no wonder many travelers are attracted to the trappings of luxury  accommodation  even though they can easily find cheaper alternatives elsewhere. Luxury hotels come in all shapes, sizes and forms, from lovingly-restored colonial buildings, to large-scale resorts, to the most sleek and technologically-advanced skyscrapers. They are often complemented by centrally-accessible locations which afford their guests close proximity to business and financial districts or major tourist attractions. Thus by staying in such hotels, you get to enjoy the best of both worlds – luxury and convenience. So what sets luxury hotels apart from the rest?

Rooms

Luxury hotels boast rooms which provide the most holistic experience to guests, pairing luxurious elements with the ultimate functionality that make each room a truly self-contained haven for guests. Step into any of these rooms and you are bound to be amazed by the most extravagant and plush furnishings that complement a wide range of amenities such as plasma TVs, large bathtubs, multiple telephones and even connections for iPods. All in an impressively spacious area that feels more like a condominium apartment than a hotel room. To create a truly memorable experience, these rooms are also often fitted with complementary extras such as antiques and paintings in a historical hotel, or the most cutting edge technological features in a modern one.

Service

If you need anything during your stay in a 5 star  accommodation , you can be rest assured that your needs will be more than well taken care of. The competent level of service provided by the staff will not only ensure that all your doubts are clarified, but every form of assistance will be delivered with a warm and personal touch. You will also enjoy quick and efficient check-in and check-out procedures, and 24-hour room service with hot food. On top of it all, your touring and entertainment needs in the city are also not neglected as the concierge are well-trained in disseminating helpful information and even making dinner or concert reservations for you.

Amenities

A dazzling array of services and amenities is often the crown jewel of luxury hotels, offering guests everything that they would need to satisfy their needs and truly immerse themselves in luxury living. Whatever need you may have, the hotel is sure to have an answer to it. Business executives will find the state-of-the-art business centre and secretarial services a welcome solution to their working needs, while fitness enthusiasts can work up a sweat at the well-stocked health club and large swimming pool, which is often complemented by poolside chaises. What if you are tired after a long day or work, shopping or touring? You can visit the spa which often provides a decent selection of the latest facilities and treatments designed to make you look younger or feel rejuvenated. Longing to tickle your tastebuds with an appetizing selection of international cuisine? You would be able to find the best names in quality gourmet fare right in the premises of your hotel. Hence, whatever your fancy or desire, it can be easily satisfied whenever you stay at a luxury hotel.

Green Iguana Surf Camp – Guaranteeing A Great Vacation

Want to be a part of something fun while doing some learning in the process? If you said yes, then the Green Iguana Surf Camp is meant just for you.

The Green Iguana Surf Camp has been around for some time now, teaching guests to be pleasured by the surfing experience, not just ride the waves with no regard to the power they bring. It’s the lifetime experience of keeping you well and good while you are on Costa Rican waters.

The Green Iguana Surf Camp can be found in the heart of Playa Dominical where waves are constant in Costa Rica. The camp tenders to the one of the kind adventure idea for both the young and the young at heart. This can be good for the surfing fanatic to the typical vacation junkie or even the lifetime thrill seeker and even the weary traveler.

Camp Attractions

Imagine yourself at the beach with the ability to look out over the entire ocean. The Playa Dominical and the surrounding shorelines and reefs provide the perfect picture setting. The ones surrounding Playa Dominical area Playa Guapil, Playa Dominicalito, Playa Hermosa and Playa Ventanas.

There are many different kinds of waves to ride from the easy breakers to death defying odds, the places talked about above have no flat surfs. This is the reason that it makes a wonderful place for surfer wannabes to get started on their surfing skills.

For the more intermediate and advanced surfers, Papas Point is available to further their surfing abilities. For many native residents, this is often termed “The Point”.

Despite the name, there are other activities that can be taken advantage of. A person wanting to explore can take in the sights of the beaches and the rainfall canopies. Tours are offered along with kayaking and rappelling. For those that just need a relaxing time, can sit back and watch the sunset while laying in a hammock, outstretched. They can listen to the roar of the waves as they come crashing to shore.

Camp   Lodgings 

The Green Iguana Surf Camp offers two kinds of  lodgings  for its guests: beachside  lodgings  and rainforest  lodgings .

– Diuwak (pronounced “Dee-you-wak”) Resort is for those who wish to be next to the ocean. This resort lies 100 feet from the sea and is elegant, rustic and very comfortable. Diuwak has two packages to its rooms:

* Package A is a standard room with single or double beds, a private bathroom with a heater, telephone and with an electric fan or air conditioner.

* Package B is a deluxe room with all the amenities from the first package but it is bigger. It also has a television set and a mini refrigerator.

– Rainforest  lodgings  is, as the name states, in the forest. Those who choose to be here can be surrounded by a profound silence of only nature. Should you want to be taught how to surf in Costa Rica and do some self-reflection, then this  lodging  is the one you want.

Other Camp Features

For people who wish to do more than surf, there are tour guides who will show you the different beaches and surfing areas around the area. They will even take you to see the waterfalls. You can get surfing lessons by experienced teachers and lifeguards as well as getting a CD featuring photos from your surfing instruction. You’ll get a Green Iguana shirt, a Reptile Park trip and transportation to and from the airport. This includes all meals and even a massage.

Does this sound like fun? Then you need to book your trip today!

Affordable-Housing Advocates Feeling Overlooked

Late last year, the Obama administration convened a conference aimed at addressing national housing policy. The 12-member panel discussed financing and affordability, among other things. Though many agree that the conference was necessary, many affordable-housing advocates feel the discussion panel lacked diversity.

Two separate panels were convened; Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner led one, the other was led by HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Panelists included six corporate executives, five members of academic institutions, and just one member from a civil rights organization.

The main complaint affordable housing advocates had with the conference was the lack of community organizations. Not one community organization was represented on either panel. The lack of representation has some advocates worried that housing policy changes would focus on benefits to big business and wealthy investors, rather than the low- and middle-income people who need access to low-income housing, especially since some of the panelists have been heavily involved in mortgage-back securities investments.

Excluding community organizations means the entities through which a large portion of low-income housing dollars are funneled played only a small part in the discussion. Though most HUD money is allocated to city, county and state governments, a high percentage of affordable housing projects are funded through non-profit entities that receive grants from local municipalities.

The criticism is an unusual turn for affordable-housing advocates who have historically praised the Obama administration for favoring the advice of community organizations over corporations and academics with regards to affordable housing strategy. It’s also an unusual turn for the Obama administration, which has often championed the need for affordable housing.

Andrew William, a spokesman for the U.S. Treasury Department said “a number of consumer advocates” lent their voices to the panel discussions, but he didn’t specify who those advocates were.

Wall Assembly Comparison

When one takes a look at the five-in-one construction components provided by insulating concrete form (ICF) construction, and combine that with the major performance benefits of building with ICFs, it becomes evident that ICF construction is a better way to build. Here is the breakdown:

Five-in-One Construction

The 5-in-1 wall assembly provided by insulating concrete forms means you complete five steps – steel reinforced concrete walls, furring attachment, insulation, air barrier and vapor barrier – all at the same time. Any other wall system would require additional material (and labor) added to the wall to achieve what one inherently achieves with the ICF wall. For example, a wood or metal framed building would still need to be insulated, as well as have the air and vapor barriers added to the wall, and a comparable masonry wall would need to be furred out and insulated.

Major Performance Benefits

R-Value

Typically ICFs have a steady state actual R-Value of R-22. While this does not include the thermal mass and lower infiltration rate effects that add to the overall energy performance, it is still a higher R-Value than the other standard wall assemblies. A wood or metal stud wall will typically be insulated with an R-13 to R-19, and an un-insulated masonry wall will have an approximate R-Value of R-2.

Combine the higher R-Value with the thermal mass and lower air infiltration rates, and a building with exterior ICF walls will significantly lower the heating and cooling costs.

Strength

There are a couple of different ways to look at the strength of a wall, such as lateral and axial capacity.

Example: If you take a 10 foot wall, braced at the top and bottom, and apply a uniform 25 psf lateral load to the wall, the axial load capacity of an 11 inch iForm from Reward Wall Systems is 22,000 pounds per foot, and the 13 inch iForm has a capacity of 50,000 pounds per foot. A 2 x 4 wood stud wall with 16 inch spacing has a capacity of 425 pounds per foot. A 2 x 6 wood stud wall with 16 inch spacing has a capacity of 3,220 pounds per foot. A 3 5/8 inch and 6 inch 18 gauge metal stud wall has capacities of 500 and 1,775 pounds per foot respectively.

Looking at just the lateral load capacity, a 10 foot tall 11-inch iForm wall has a 65 psf capacity without any axial load applied. In comparison, a 2 x 4 wall has a lateral capacity of 37.5 psf.

Fire Resistance Ratings

Depending upon which ICF wall assembly is used for the building, it will provide a two to four hour fire resistance rating. In comparison, a wood or metal stud wall typically provides a 30 minute to one hour fire rating (depending upon the wall assembly and gypsum board), whereas a partially grouted masonry wall will provide around a two hour fire rating.

Sound STC Ratings

Sound ratings provided by the base ICF walls also out perform other wall types. A Reward ICF wall with gypsum board on each side will have an STC rating of 44 for the 9 inch iForm and 51 and greater for the 11, 13 and 15 inch iForm. A wood frame cavity wall will have STC values in the low to mid 30s, and a metal stud wall will lie in the mid to upper 40s. One thing to keep in mind is that the difference of sound ratings is exponential when it comes to actual sound transfer.

In directly comparing wall assemblies with the ICF system, it is easy to see that ICF construction not only inherently provides more, but also outperforms. When you add five-in-one construction to the comparative performance benefits, the already impressive ICF wall becomes even more attractive.

Cast Iron Radiators and the Environment

In the modern day, emphasis is made on the need to adopt more eco-friendly options as a solution to decreasing pollution to our environment. People are, therefore, encouraged to think wisely in an effort to decrease the carbon fit print as much as possible.

Many might not know that the choice of radiators in their homes may be one of the many ways that we can reduce our carbon foot print. In the market today there are a variety of eco-friendly boiler systems that make use of natural fuels yet very little is known about the environmentally friendly radiators.

For the purpose of environmental conservation, the modern radiators are the best option for use in comparison to those that are made out of aluminium or and steel. These radiators were 200 years old and despite their age, their revival has seen the increase of efficiency in our homes. Perhaps this is due to the fact that old is gold and in the case of the cast iron radiators, it is very true.

The fact the cast iron radiator is the best is supported by the fact that the iron in the radiator has very high heat capacity and can therefore hold a lot of heat for a long time. The modern radiators are the complete opposite of the cast iron radiators in that they have a lesser heat capacity and hence do not fulfil their purpose efficiently. Such radiators include the aluminium and the steel radiators.

Unlike the modern radiators that do not have consistency, the radiators possess that quality. In the case of the modern heat source, when the radiator is switched off, it will lose heat rapidly. When the cast iron radiator is switched off, it will not lose its heat rapidly but rather lose it gradually giving the users a sense of comfort.

The cast iron radiators can also make use of the natural sources without the user having any problems that relate to ground heating. Many of the people that have made use of the natural heating sources have realized that the heat that originates from the cast iron radiators is more consistent and the drying effect is less.

The cast iron radiator can also make use of an electrical element that is running independently to the hot water system. This brings on board even more advantages in that it will increase the efficiency as well as saving cost and such a process is eco-friendly. You can save on energy by switching off the heat supplied upstairs if you are operating from downstairs and if the rooms can be heated one by one when the radiator is placed on a timer switch. The ability of the radiators to regulate heat in different rooms at the same time makes the cast iron radiators the perfect choice for promotion of eco-friendly purposes.

If you want to contribute to the promotion of the environment to secure the future, the best way to do that is by making use of cast iron radiators for your homes.