Electrical Wall Switch Plates

Electricity is expensive these days, and while we are all trying to stretch our energy dollars as far as we can, repeated rate hikes have mean higher than average power bills for the majority of energy consumers. Sometimes we might even prefer to walk in the dark if it means we might pay less for our energy use!

Thankfully, it is not necessary for you to try to function in a dark house. There are a number of things that you can do to lower your energy bills while keeping you safe from stubbed toes. All you need is a little information. Most people will spend the bulk of their energy dollars for heating and cooling their homes. Almost half of a typical power bill is spent on temperature control.

While it is true that this is a necessity, there are some things that you can do that will help to keep your overall power bill more manageable. Setting the thermostat to a different temperature can take a lot of the strain off of the air conditioning and heating units of a house.

It is also important to remember that the temperature is only one of the factors that determines how hard your heating or cooling units are working. If there is a leak somewhere in the house, you could be letting warm air out of your home that could result in a higher power bill.

There are a few places in every home where leaks are likely to occur. One common area of ​​a house where leaks occurs is the attic. Adding additional insulation to your attic will help keep temperatures more constant and your power bills will reflect this.

Then you will want to take a good look at the inside walls of your home. If you are like most people, there will be at least one ceiling light in each room and possibly a ceiling fan to go with it. Small cracks and holes often form around these fixtures and leave gaps between the fixtures and the ceiling. These are all spaces where cool or warm air can escape from the house and have an impact on your heating or cooling bills.

Around the wall switch plate of each room is another area inside the home where leaks can occur that are often overlooked. Check out the wall switch plate in each room. Make a note of the number of switch plates that are in the room. Most interior rooms will have at least one wall switch plate near the entrance so that the lights can be turned on or off when entering or leaving a room.

Also take a look at the electrical outlets, sometimes there is a wall switch plate next to, or near the outlet. There could be a small space between the switch plate and the wall where air is getting out and creating a change in your energy bill.

Although one wall switch plate might not seem like much at first, when you remember that each house could have up to 30 of them, spread through the interior you can see where all this wasted energy can add up fast. Thankfully, taking care of the problem is not difficult. Your local home improvement store will sell rubber gaskets that are designed to fit behind a wall switch plate to fill the gap in the wall and help keep the warm or cool air inside your house where it can do the most good.

How to Use an AGA / Rayburn Cooker

So, you've taken the plunge and bought yourself an AGA / Rayburn cooker. Learning to use an AGA cooker is a very different experience to other conventional ovens, but after a little patience and experience you will be getting the most out of your cooker and cooking delicious meals.

The first step to understanding your new AGA or Rayburn cooker is to understand how everything works. The cooker functions quite differently to a lot of other cookers, so you may have to prioritize the way you cook things. With conventional cookers, the majority of the cooking process typically takes place on the hobs; however, with an AGA cooker you should be using the oven itself as the primary cooking facility.

The reason why you should be cooking in the oven itself wherever possible is because the cooker loses a lot more heat with the hob lids up. AGA ovens also tend to perform better than their competitors as they usually cook more evenly, with less of a tendency to dry out the food that is being cooked.

AGA or Rayburn stoves are designed for slow cooking, so it's not uncommon to leave them unattended for long periods of time. However, you must be careful of spillages because as the oven is almost always on, these stains can dry out very quickly and damage the cooker, meaning that they will require AGA / Rayburn servicing. It's also important that you only use cleaning products that have been approved for the oven otherwise the appearance and the quality of the oven will likely be reduced.

If you own an AGA or Rayburn stove, it's very important to get it serviced regularly. The manufacturers recommend that your cooker be serviced at least every year and that is especially important if your AGA / Rayburn cooker burns oil. Small carbon deposits can build up in the pipes that feed the oil burner which will cause the stove to malfunction. AGA / Rayburn services do apply to all stoves, however, no matter what fuel they burn. It is possible to perform your own DIY service, but in the majority of cases it is wise to hire a professional who has accredited the relevant AGA and Rayburn training courses.

If you are undertaking AGA / Rayburn servicing it is important to note that you have to ensure that your cooker has been switched off for at least 24 hours before an engineer can work on the unit because that period of time is required to allow the cooker to cool down completely.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Laser Stereolithography

Laser stereolithography, or 3d printing for short, is an additive manufacturing process that uses liquid polymer and an ultraviolet laser to make intricate objects. The object is produced by running the UV laser in the photopolymer, a liquid plastic that hardens when it is exposed to UV light. The object is created layer upon layer so it is possible to create objects that are hollow inside.

This process is particularly helpful in the manufacturing industry; as it lessens the time it takes for a prototype part to be produced. In an industry where time is money, it’s better if you can go through research and development faster.

You can create almost any shape you can imagine using 3d printing. As long as you can creates it in any CAD program you can use 3d printing to create a model. And because the whole process is controlled by computers, the possibility of human error is zero.

Though it is a very helpful tool in manufacturing it is not without its drawbacks. One is that you can only make relatively small objects, roughly the size of a 2 foot cube. This is because large scale 3d printing machines aren’t available as of yet, but maybe in the near future it will be possible.

The other disadvantage is the money involved. The photopolymer alone costs $300-$500, not to mention the machine itself which will set you back $500,000.

But nowadays there are a few companies that offer 3d printing services that are pretty affordable.

The advent of laser stereolithography just shows how rapid technology has evolved. Why, just a few years ago manufacturers used knives and modeling clay to sculpt prototype parts, now they’re using lasers. That’s a huge leap.

How To Survive And Generate More Points In Moomooio

Moomoo.io is another online game that is growing in popularity. In this survival style game you need to survive against other players, chickens and cows making it stand out. To survive, you will need to collect crafting items and other resources; the more you collect, the more items you get to unlock including food varieties, weapons, trap and wall upgrades. Building bases where you can survive is however the main way of survival in this game. But then how can you generate all important points to create the kind of base that will withstand foe and monster attacks?

Team up. Teaming up with other players will make it easy for you to build your survival settlements quick. With the combined efforts from other characters you will keep safe for a considerable length of time. You, however need to be careful because there is always the risk of them killing you so as to keep the established areas to themselves.

Build a windmill. There are so many resources in moomooio for building strong settlements. A windmill is one of the best when it comes to generating points. The most important thing when playing is to make sure that you have a strategic place to run and hide so you can also defend your fort. Keep the windmills protected using forts.

Go for grouped resources. Resources that tend to be all together are good for your play. The fact that they are in close proximity one to the other means that fortifying the area is easy and you also increase your chances of growing your base faster. It is so much better to collect them together as compared to collecting one at a time. Scout around until you find the perfect site to get your village established.

Know the resources available to you. In this game the major materials that you should aim to collect are stone, food and wood. They of course will be around stony areas, berry bushes and trees that are around where you are. Gold is another resource, but it may not be as valuable as the others. Aim to collect as many resources as you can and continue building your settlement with survival in mind. The more items you have to build, the easier it will be to keep other players out as you harvest other goods.

Choose the right weapons. The weapons that you select should be dictated by whether you are offensive or defensive. For example a shield may be a better weapon when you are defensive whereas a bow will be great for offenses. You just need to know exactly where you will be applying the weapons so you choose that will work to your advantage.

Be careful with boost pads. They may be great, but when used in tight areas there is risk of enemies spiking down and hence trapping you until you quit. You may make a few mistakes as you play, but at least you will start getting familiar with the game and develop tactics that work for you.

Which Do You Prefer Dental Insurance or Discount Dental Plans (Fee for Service)?

Good dental health, as well as correcting dental problems, is essential to overall health. Many Americans are finding themselves without effective dental coverage to treat and maintain their dental needs. This is due in part to businesses increasingly cutting-back or offering inferior dental coverage for prices many can’t afford. So what are people to do? As a result, people have started looking for alternatives for their dental coverage needs especially online. The #1 question people are asking is, “What’s the difference between Dental Insurance and Discount Dental Plans?”

There are distinct differences between the way dental insurance plans and discount dental plans work. Usually, dental insurance is used by large groups and businesses to cover their employee’s dental care. Dental insurance is true insurance where monthly premiums are paid for defined coverage. Dental insurance is not readily available to individuals and families, unless provided by their employer. The pitfalls of dental insurance include annual benefit maximums, deductibles, waiting periods for procedures, and limitations and exclusions. There are also claims forms to fill out and submit. Dental insurance a lot of times doesn’t even cover the cost of preventative measure until deductibles are met. You are able to use any dentist but the monthly premiums for dental insurance may be as much as $30 per month for individuals and over $100 per month for family plans.

Discount dental plans or “fee for service” plans, on the other hand, are available for everyone whether or not you are covered by a group plan. Fee for service plans are designed to provide clients dental networks at reduced rates or better yet, pay a certain amount and only that amount for services performed. Discount dental plans are affordable and are the most widely available dental programs for individuals and families. These discount plans work differently than dental insurance plans, yet provide consumers with real and substantial savings on most dental procedures. Discount dental plans are membership-based programs that usually provide coverage on an annual basis.

Consumers pay a membership fee in exchange for secured discounts on most dental services, such as dental exams, routine cleanings, fillings, extractions, root canals, dentures, crowns, and braces. These plans typically save the consumer ten to sixty percent off most standard out-of-pocket fees when visiting a participating network provider. Most discount dental plans provide a “fee schedule” with the discounted fees listed out in the membership materials to ensure consumers will receive their promised savings.

While there are several differences between traditional dental insurance plans and discount dental plans, they can also be used together in certain situations to maximize savings. Gulf Breeze Insurance Inc. offer both plans but prefer to off the fee for service plan for the basic fact our clients like to save money and most need dental coverage now with no waiting period or stipulations on the money they spend. The fact that you know exactly what you are getting and saving is enough to prefer these plans over any other. Many dentists will even tell you at the time you checkout how much you have just saved.

Rustic Chic Vs Industrial Decor Style

In interior design and home décor, there are many styles that one can choose from. There are the “pure” styles and then the mix-n-match styles. Two of the more common styles are the rustic chic look and the industrial look. Many people think these looks are one in the same. I’m here to explain why they aren’t the same style. First, a couple of questions.

What do you think of when I say rustic chic? Do you think of a farmhouse, wooden cabin feel with wood tables and exposed beams? Or do you think of quilts, repossessed distressed wood with chicken wire and galvanized metal? Both of these descriptions are correct when talking about rustic chic.

Now, what do you think of when I say industrial design style? Do you think of hardwoods, pipes and other metals? Maybe dark, neutral colors, old typewriters, and wood burning stoves? If so they have the right idea of industrial design.

Both the rustic chic design and the industrial design have common elements but they have their distinct difference too. Let us look at each one individually and then maybe we can really see the difference.

Rustic Chic

The rustic chic design is lighter, more feminine, and focuses on natural wood colors or light stains. Like light colored paints and distressed woods. Décor items would include mismatched hardware, chicken wire, galvanized (rusted) metal, exposed wood beams, and wood specific furniture. The easiest way for me to remember rustic chic is to think of a perfect little farm house on a prairie with its simple colors and used items.


The industrial design is darker and more masculine. It has dark neutral colors and dark woods. It incorporates a lot of polished or brushed metals. Common features include exposed ducts, pipes, and basically anything we usually try to hide when building a house. Décor items include old metal items, hardwood shelves, and things that remind you of the hard working industrial era of America. An easy way to remember this design would be to think of a warehouse or commercial kitchen made into a house or apartment.

These two design styles have many things in common like their uses of woods of metal but the colors and finishes of those woods and metals are different. It is very common today to find people who mix and match between these two styles to create a rustic industrial style house. They complement each other very well and make for a cozy, yet practical home. You can find many great pictures of rustic industrial houses on the internet for more detail on how they work together.

Whether you decide to style your house one way or the other or mix them together for an even broader spectrum of opportunities just make sure your house speaks who you are. Your home is a place where you can be you! Let it be a perfect window into your soul and show off your rustic or industrial home with style. Have fun decorating your home with your newfound knowledge.

Starburst Deck Railing For the Contemporary Design

Put Some Variety in Your Deck

Decks and porches have risen in popularity in recent years with more people spending their spare time outdoors, while relaxing and cooking out with the family or entertaining friends. The deck is a place everyone likes to relax on warm sunny days. Decks are built in more than the traditional style today. A popular style for those that enjoy a contemporary look is the starburst deck railing. Starburst deck railing is also the railing of choice for those that want a little more privacy.

Starburst Railing Design

For those that are unfamiliar with the looks of the starburst railing design, it's a unique design where the balusters are arranged in a way that makes them look like spindles are coming from the center of the bottom railing. They fan out as they go up to the top rail. They have a very distinguished look and are often used in combination with other railing styles.

Although wood or wrought iron are the most commonly used materials for the starburst railing design, other materials such as aluminum are also used. If you are making your own starburst railing design, you'll find that it is quite easy using wood as the material for your construction. The first step is using screwing 2 "X2" wood spindles next to each other in the center of the bottom railing between each post. Make sure they are even spaced along the top rail. Certain building codes may apply in your area so check these out before you begin your construction. For instance, most codes require no more than 4 "between the bottom rail of your starburst and the deck floor.

Using Starburst Railing Designs With Other Designs

There are many variations you can use when creating a starburst railing design. One version involves fixing the bottom ends of the spindle to the periphery of the wood and shaping them in a half circle, which is fixed to the bottom rail. The shapely spindles on the top are attached to the top rail to portray the starburst shape. Make the cap rail large enough for drinks, glasses or ashtrays.

Starburst rail designs are beautiful whether they're used as a style on their own or in combination with other styles. The starburst deck railing can be added to a basic deck to give it a more contemporary feel and look. Although you may like the appearance of the starburst deck railing, the amount of starbursts you'll use will be determined by the size of your deck.

Construction Materials for your Starburst Deck Railing

As we said, wood and wrought iron are the most commonly used materials for starburst deck railings in addition to aluminum. Aluminum is great because of its strength and durability. It's also very easy to maintain. Wrought iron and wood railings seem to blend harmoniously with any decorating style. Since your Starburst deck railing will be outdoors, the most important factor in selecting your material should be the resistance to certain weather conditions such as extreme heat, humidity and moisture.

Dubrovnik Churches: The St Blaise Is the Favorite Church for Wedding Ceremonies

The St. Blaise church, in Croatian "Sveti Vlaho", in Dubrovnik old town is undetected the most beloved of all churches to tie the knot. There is not a church as chosen as this one for a Roman Catholic wedding ceremony; it is the strong favorite among the other also very beautiful churches.

The reasons are quite obvious.

When couples from abroad plan their destination wedding in Dubrovnik, they usually plan their wedding for a far smaller amount of guests compared to having their wedding at home.

So a smaller sized church is usually a preference, and seeing that the St.. Blaise is the smallest of the 4 best located churches in Dubrovnik it has already a big advantage over the others.

It is also the church crowned by the patron saint of the city of Dubrovnik: the Saint Blaise.

The location of the church is of course in the car free city center right at the main street the Stradun, easy to find for anyone from out of town.

It has a lovely small but ornate altar and beautiful balustrade in front of the church.

Having your wedding at a busy church also has it disadvantages …

When you have planned for a wedding ceremony on a Friday or Saturday afternoon in the summer months from June to September, chances are great your guests are arriving at church when the wedding party just before you is still having their pictures taken on the church steps.

By avoiding weekends you have a bigger chance of being the only wedding party that day.

Most likely, there will be a crowd of tourists seated on the steps of the church and not all of them feel it is "needed" to move away as they see the bride approach or the bridal party taking position for their groups picture. This is always a huge hurdle for wedding planners as we try to make way for the bridal party.

In fact, I would like to appeal to all those readers that see this post and ask them for the courtesy of allowing the bride and groom a bit of space just as they are entering the church and when they are exiting it. It is just a matter of being polite, so they can have a few moments and have a few pictures without ice cream licking tourists in the shots. It never ceases to amaze us (and I believe I speak for all wedding planners in Dubrovnik) how some just do not seem to care that this is somebody's wedding day.

The opening hours of the St. Louis Blaise Church in Dubrovnik

When you are visiting Dubrovnik you will find the church opened every day until 12.00h and from 17.00h. Since most weddings take place in the afternoon, the church will be opened for the ceremony only and then closed again until the regular opening hours begin.

Comparison the St. Blaise Church with the Cathedral

Just around the corner of the St. Blaise Church you can see within few 100 meters the cathedral, an important landmark of the city. Since the Cathedral does not close in the middle of the day we find it is visited by many groups.

Aside of the obvious differences in size and lay out, we are often asked what would be the main difference between having a wedding at the Cathedral and the St.. Blaise.

Well … from a practical point of view it is actually very useful for us planners to have the St. Louis Blaise Church closed as we arrive, because it means the church is empty. When planning a wedding at the Cathedral, it is not easy to ask all visitors to leave the church in order for the wedding ceremony to start, as some visitors may argu it is a house of God and they are allowed to pray. Which they are.

Due to this, it is very unquestionably that you will have an empty Cathedral at the moment the wedding ceremony begins.

During the ceremony at the St. Louis Blaise, we can close the front doors to avoid being disturbed. The Cathedral has two major entrances, which are harder to control because of how they are laid out, so chances are very likely visitors will enter: the sound of slamming doors and talking of the unknowing visitors will disturb a wedding ceremony.

We also feel that in order for the Cathedral not to feel empty you should have 100 guests or more, because it is a monument created for larger groups of Catholics.

Dress code for a church wedding ceremony

Like in all churches, a respectful dress code applications.

We know Dubrovnik has really hot summers so it is tempting to dress "light", which is OK, as long as it is respectful. If you plan to wear a dress or a top which is strapless or showing bear shoulders then you are risking the priest commenting about it.

Avoid even the chance of such an embarrassing evening and just dress as you would at home or bring a shawl and cover your shoulders appropriately. In fact, we recommend ALL LADIES to make sure they bring a light shawl or pashmina for the ceremony.

We asked the priest once what he considered the right length for a dress, to which he answered that just above the knee was acceptable, anything shorter did not belong in the house of God

When you prefer to avoid busy churches …

Then you should consider carefully if either these options is the best option for you. I have seen many couples choosing the St. Louis. Blaise Church and then changing this after they had visited Dubrovnik in summer because they felt it was just too busy in July and August.

They are both located on the main street in Dubrovnik and in the summer this is a very busy street. During the Dubrovnik Summer Festival there is a large chance that seating arrangements have been built up to allow for performances of all kinds.

So if you plan your wedding during the period of the festival: 10th of July until the 25th of August, then you should be aware that the city might build some sort of podium or area for spectators right at the door.

I hope these wedding tips will help you when you plan for a church wedding in Dubrovnik.
Happy Planning Everyone !!

Finding Joy Behind the Mask of Parkinson's Disease

I have been living with Parkinsons disease for ten years. It is degenerative neurological disorder for which there is currently no cure, and at this time the progress of the disease can not be slowed down. At best the symptoms can be managed.

What are the symptoms of Parkinsons Disease?

Classified as a 'movement disorder', Parkinsons disease is characterized by muscle rigidity, hand tremors and slowing of movement. Many people with Parkinsons disease in its more advanced stages also have impaired balance, a stiff facial expression, shuffling gait, muffled speech, and small, cramped handwriting. Some experience memory loss, others struggle with disease-induced depression


My memories of D-Day ("Diagnosis Day") remain viable. "You have garden-variety Parkinson's Disease," announced the neurologist casually, leaving me fighting back tears as I tried to maintain a dignified front. "Garden variety Parkinson's disease?" I repeated to myself then, and for months after, as I tried in vain to deny my new reality. I devoured copious bits of information on disease progress, impact and management and in the hope that knowledge would empower me. Instead, it filled my mind with images of a future truncated by rapidly-spiraling physical and mental deterioration. I was utterly devastated .

Fighting the Good Fight

As the initial shock began to wear off I resolved to fight this strong adversary with every fiber of my being, and to uphold my joyful disposition, despite the challenges ahead. the E

The Effects of Parkinsons Disease

My movements have become slow and deliberate and my fingers clumsy. My handwriting is now illegible, even to me, and I scratch my head in bewilderment as I try to decipher what I've written. But as the disease marches on, striving to gain victory over my body and mind, I have learned to see humor in illegally places. I now use voice-activated software to type because my fingers move stiffly and slowly over the keyboard. The software exists that my name is 'Patel' not 'Adele'. My body moves slowly, like a movie stuck in slow motion … sometimes I want to yell out "Hellooo! I'm still in here!"

I tread cautiously down the stairs, holding tightly on to the banister. I notice that my children are watching me in case I should fall, and I see concern in their furtive backward glances. Slight unsteadiness has gradually crept into my new reality, and I no longer remember how it felt to scurry down the stairs. I begin to realize that I am living with disability, which has insidiously crept into my life

Tak king Charge

Taking charge of my couch-potato self I hired a personal trainer. Wonderful! I lost weight and felt energized, such that I enthusiastically began to scour travel magazines for adventure-style vacations. But my formidable opponent sneaked in and tempered my newly-acquired agility.

So I joined a dance class devoted specifically to people with Parkinsons disease. For one hour each week my inhibitions take flight as I move with rapture and abandon, and momentarily forgetting what brings me there

… until I look around at some of my fellow participants and catch a glimpse of my future. I allow my imagination to run free as I weave stories about the people behind the expressionless masks and unblinking eyes that identify the individual with more advanced Parkinson's. This one might have been a professor professor … that one an aeronautical engineer … another a classical guitarist. The expression of dazed simplicity conceals their emotional and intellectual depth as the Parkinsons mask freezes their once-automatic facial expressiveness.

And the Parkinson's Shuffle is still the most popular dance step amongst this crowd.

Hoping to delay the inevitable for as long as possible, I ingest an impressive array of medicines. I remember how I used to watch little old ladies fishing for their pillboxes in their crammed purses. I am now one of them – except that I am slightly alone (unfortunately!); nor am I old (though I hope to get there!).

My greatest fear is the possibility of losing my intellect – for me this would be the ultimate insult (but would I know?). Even now, simple words elude me, so I try to describe what I am trying to say when I can not find the word. It's there … on the tip of my tongue, but it does not come to me until (if I'm lucky) someone else figures it out. So a cardinal becomes a 'red bird' and a weeping willow 'the tree that criesa "

Living With Parkinsons Disease

It helps to be able to laugh at myself. How else can I deal with forgetting simple words, or being called "Sir" on the telephone because my voice has become deeper and softer … or being relegated to the male section of the choir?

I may be joyful, but I am also human. There are feelings and fears that drift in and out of my psyche … the trepidation that permeates my being when I picture myself with advanced disease … the sadness that pervades when I remind myself that my beloved grandchildren will never know the person I was … the anger I try to suppress each time my body betrays me … the shame I experience when passers-by assume that I'm stealing a handicapped parking spot … the embargo of holding up the line in the grocery store as I fumble in my wallet … the anxiety I feel as I walk slowly down the stairs, holding on to the banister so that I do not fall.

When frustration builds and I need a good cry – I have a loving husband and good friends who open arms soothe my soul. And – always – a visit with my wonderful grandchildren guarantes unadulterated joy.

Until recently I had shared very little of my inner world with my five children, despite the close relationships we enjoy. In part, I did not want to burden them, but a lesser altruistic reason was that I wanted to be viewed as strong … brave … uncomplaining. But then I realized how this was preventing us from achieving the integrity that emanates from openness and authenticity. And – to be fair – there was a part of me that wanted my children to know and understand my experience.

And so we laugh together and cry together … and I quietly thank my lucky stars for the many wonderful people in my life who walk this road with me and give me every reason to be joyful.

Inventions – How To Get Your Invention Idea Into The Right Hands

Whatever your goal is to land a licensing deal with a major manufacturer, sell your product to Walmart, or find an investor with deep pockets to fund your project, you will need to create a proposal to convince someone to do something.

Your proposal must convince your target that your product will benefit them somehow. Entrepreneurs lose sight of this when trying to sell or license their products. No one wants to know how cool or great your idea is, they want to know that people will buy it.

Step 1: Research your target

You first need to determine what your target's needs are by researching their history from beginning to end. You can generally find a summary of a company's history at the library in the periodicicals section or online. You can search Google, Yahoo, or go to Hoovers.com. You can also locate the company's website and look up their 'about us' page. Look at their press releases, especially the most recent ones.

Through these sources, you can determine the direction a company is going, and whether or not your product fits their current or future product line.

Step 2: Locate the decision maker

Find out who the key decision makers are. This is usually the product manager, Vice president, President, or owner. The best way to find out who is in charge of licensing or adding new products to a company's product line is to call and ask. Many companies have departments for this now.

Whether it is a department or individual, someone is waiting for your call. Most companies are looking for new products, and even if your target company is not actively seeking out new product ideas, No one will turn down a money maker. Good ideas never have a hard time finding a home, especially if they come professionally present.

Step 3: How to contact your target

After you have researched some companies in your preferred market and determined which ones you want to present proposals to, begin contacting them. Phone calls are more effective and quicker than emails. Call and ask for the name of the person in charge of adding new products to the product line. Ask the name of every person you talk to, starting with the receptionist. That way, you can say, "Hello Mr. Downs, Marianne said that you are the person to talk about about adding new products to your company's line."

If you do this in a natural tone, it comes across as a referral from Marianne. Now, you do not want to be dishonest, but perception is quite important, and you want to appear confident and in the loop.

Step 4: Making your initial pitch

Once you reach the right person, introduce yourself, and say, "my company has developed an item that we feel will fit your current product line. Then just listen and write down all the key information and follow it to the letter.

To avoid feeling intimidation if you have never done this before, keep in mind that they are expecting to receive a phone call from someone who really does have a unique money maker that will increase their company's revenue and make them look like trend spotters.

So tell them that, "I believe this product will significantly increase your company's revenue." Every company loves to hear that phrase, and it immediately piques their interest. Now you can tell them what product category it fits into, but you do not need to describe your invention.

Step 5: Confidentiality Agreement

Ask him / her to sign a Confidential Agreement, or he / she may ask you to sign their. Either way, enter an agreement that says that you will show them confidential information to be considered for their company's product line.

Step 6: Send your proposal

Now you can send your proposal with the comfort of knowing that:

1) they are expecting it,

2) they want to see it, and

3) they are not going to steal your idea.

Always remember to be professional, well informed, and flexible to negotiate. Send your package with a cover letter restating what was discussed. Stamp or print 'REQUESTED MATERIAL' on the package, and then call to let them know that it is on the way. Contact the company about two to three weeks later, plenty of time for them to review, digest, make judgments, and arrive at concluding.

What Are Sinuses and How Do They Get Infected?

There are millions of Americans suffering from sinusitis every year and we spend so much money on medicines that promise relief of the symptoms.

Sinusitis is a condition where the sinuses become infected or inflamed.

Sinuses are simply hollow air spaces in the body. There are about 60 sinuses through the human body, but when you talk about the pain and symptoms of a "sinus attack", you are referring to the four pairs of sinuses known as the paranasal sinuses.

These sinuses are located in the skull surrounding the nose. The four pair includes:

1. Frontal sinuses are located over the eyes in the brow area
2. Maxillary sinuses are inside each cheekbone
3. Ethmoid sinuses are found behind the bridge of the nose and between the eyes
4. Sphenoid sinuses are deeper behind the ethmoids behind the eyes

Each sinus has an opening into the nose for the free exchange of air and mucus. To function normally and stay healthy, each sinus cavity must drain adequately and continuously and must contain air and have a free exchange of air with the nose.

Anything that causes swelling in the nose whether it be a infection or an allergy, can also affect the sinuses.
Air trapped within a blocked sinus, along with pus, may cause pressure on the sinus wall. Also when air is prevented from entering a paranasal sinus because of some blockage, a vacuum can be created which can be painful.

Where is your sinus pain? That depends on which sinus is affected. Pain when your forehead is touched may mean the frontal sinuses are inflamed.

If your upper jaw and teeth ache and your knees become tender to the touch, it may be your maxillary sinuses that are infected.

Pain around and between your eyes may indicate the ethmoid sinuses are inflamed. Earaches, neck pain and aching on top of your head could have inflammation of the sphenoid sinuses.

However, most people with sinusitis have pain in multiple locations. Other symptoms of sinusitis could be fever, weakness, heavy cough at night and congestion.

The postnasal drip may irritate the throat and upper windpipe. Rarely, severe complications cn be seen in sinusitis like brain infections.

Keeping it simple, sinusitis is either acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis usually starts with a common cold where the cold virus inflames the tissues. Typically both the cold and the sinus inflammation usually go away within a couple of weeks. The inflammation caused by a cold may cause congestion and swell the nasal passages.

When the sinus openings become too narrow they can not drain properly. The mucus builds up and becomes a perfect medium for bacterial growth. The upper respiratory tract contains bacteria like Streptococcus pneumonia and Haemophilus influenza which can invade the blocked sinus and multiply, causing an acute sinus infection.

Occidentally, fungal infections like Aspergillus can also cause acute sinusitis.

Chronic sinusitis is more difficult to determine. They are frequently the result of allergies, pollutants, immune status and asthma.

Diagnosis of acute sinusitis may include a physical examination, symptoms and occasionally CAT or MRI scans. If culture is required, aspiration of the sinus for culture is best.

You may be treated after diagnosis with decongestants, pain relievers and antibiotic if required.

For chronic sinusitis, steroid nasal sprays may be prescribed over long periods, however long term safety of these medications are not fully understood. Things you can do at home are inhaling steam and saline nasal spray to give some comfort.

Sometimes, surgery is the only way to treat chronic sinusitis. Removal of adenoids in children usually solves the problem. Frequently the adenoids block the nasal-sinus passages.

The University Of Louisville Libraries – A Library of the 21st Century

Whilst in Louisvlle attending a seminar on contemporary American literature and touring various sites of cultural interest the University Library was one of those sites that had a never-fading impression on my mind not only for its unique architectural plan but for other inexpressible qualities that make it an ideal place for quiet and serene study. My first visit was when the Director of our program led us there for an induction into the use of computers and the internet in literature research. The room we were led into for the class was fully equipped with computers in all the over fifty desks for students and a master screen monitor for the instructor. Many other rooms including the state of art auditorium were equally well equipped.

I passed through the library on many other occasions. But the most significant one was when on my way from the University post office the thought occurred to me of recording the beautiful vistas of the campus in pictures as well as in mind and one such was the Ekstrom Library which represented to me the focal point of all the other libraries scattered at various ends of the expansive campus.

I took about two views of this building and I was still gaping in wonder especially at the bewitching splendor of its frontage with readers combining eating and relaxing. I was specifically bothered by its inviting, comfortable, and open space teeming with students and bustling with activity, a lovely terrace equipped with outdoor furniture, facing a pleasantly inviting green outdoor space, exploiting the favorably warm climatic conditions here for enjoying nature. Taking advantage of the generally mild Kentucky weather with its ample, inviting green space, students can study or just catch a break at a number of outdoor tables on the terrace. On nice days, there are a few better places to study-and certainly it makes for an inviting entry

I found myself wandering in to get a better view. As I wandered through I remembered my mission of seeking support for our resources-starved university libraries in Sierra Leone. My search for the head led me into the office of Mr David Hogarth who immediately became an able facilitator of my mission enabling me within a week to meet the Dean of libraries.

Whilst awaiting my appointment with her I was led on a tour of various parts of the Ekstrom library. This library, I learnt, holds more than 1.1 million and 5,100 journal subscriptions supporting research and curriculum in the humanities, social sciences, business and education. It also contains large collections of microforms, government publications, multi-media and current periodicals, the Granville A. Bunton Pan African Collection, the Barbara S. Miller Multiracial Children's literature Collection and the Bingham Poetry Collection.

The Rare Books and Photographic Archives provide rare research sources for scholars and other researchers. African American collections, English, European, and American Literatures collections together with the substantive space given to reference and reserved books make this library a very significant research as well as information distributing tool. But it is also a repository and exhibitor of many prized manuscripts and other documents like for example the outstanding 1482 first printing of Euclid's Elementia and a copy of the Principia with annotations in Newton's hand. The working collection of Richard M. Kain, and the first editions and manuscripts of James Joyce and WB Yeats reserve much of Irish Literary Renaissance heritage. There is also quite a good collection of Modern English and American writers with noteworthy editions by 1890's authors and books as well as autographed letters from members of the Bloomsbury Group.

A famous and ever-growing and rich collection of special materials, archives and photography include:

Roy and Dela White Collection of Edgar Rice Burroughs.

Arthur J. Slavin.Collection of English History.

Hattie Winston Collection of African-American Scripts and Screen Plays.

Irwin Hilliard Archive of Fine Bindings.

Billy Davis 111 Collection of Aerial Photography.

Other special collections include the James Chandler World War Posters and Lafin Allen's Kentucky Maps.

The photographic archives houses more than 2 million photographs and manuscripts as well as fine art prints. It also offers printing services and a rotating series of exhibits.

The Roy Stryker Papers include photographs and manuscripts from documentary projects directed by Stryker at the Farm Security Administration, Standard Oil Company and Jones and Laughlin Steel. The Cautfield and Shook Royal Photo and Lin Caufield collections consist of photographs from Louisville's past. Whilst the Lean Thomas, Matlack Studio, Arthur Y Ford and Henderson Settlement School collections document life and culture in Appalachia. 2,000 prints by many notable American artists such as Paul Caponegro and Gary Winogrand institute the library's Fine Print Collection.

The library also serves a much wider community beyond the campus.Through e-mail, phone or in person one could request and receive help or even fix a session with a search librarian here. A Cardinal card enables you to check out up to 99 items at a time and renew books on-line. Visiting academies are entitled to inter-library loans of up to 15 books. A University of Louisville student enjoys the privilege of searching for items reserved for his class on-line. Minerva gives on-line access to catalogs and gateways to many collections. University of Louisville distance learners could access off-campus through their ULINK username and password both library assignments by their professors and electronic databases of library resources for self-directed research from non-University of Louisville internet addresses.

Ekstrom Library houses and lends resources to the Delphi and the Writing Centers. The Delphi Center helps professors use technology in their teaching and prepares them to teach courses online. The writing center assists students, professors and staffs with writing projects and holds workshops on improving writing skills. Throughout this center an appointment with a writing consultant could be scheduled and important writing resources found.

The University of Louisville libraries a conglomerate of libraries stocking books on few selected disciplines such as music, visual art, health sciences, engineering, physical science and technology at the time of my tour was in the process of moving in to Ekstrom the main library, the over 149,000 volumes constituting the engineering, physical science and technology books and journals.
Beside the William Ekstrom main Library, the University library network consists of: The Kornhauser Health Sciences Library; The Dwight Anderson Music Library; The Margaret M. Bindwell Art Library; and The University Archives and Records Center.

The Kornhauser Health Sciences Library is a comprehensive and the most current health sciences information resource center is also a "Regional Resource Library" in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine. It represents a significant resource for the entire health sciences community of the Louisville metropolitan area and the western half of Kentucky. It has over 250,000 volumes, 2,700 journal subscriptions, audiovisual materials and a variety of electronic formats. It stocks numerous items relating to health care in Kentucky and the Trans-Appalachian West, including historical collections, the medical school archives, book manuscripts and physical objects.

The Dwight Anderson Music Library providing user-centered services offers seamless access to information resources in all formats and serves as a center for teaching and learning which supports the University of Louisville School of Music curriculum and research. It houses the largest academic music collection in Kentucky including the Gravemeyer Collection of Contemporary Music comprising all submissions to the internationally renamed Music Composition Award as well as a large assortment of sheet music containing thousands of Louisville imprints celebrating the history of music publishing in the city and the "Traipin Woman" collection with its emphasis on American folk song.

The Margaret M. Bridwell Art Library with its more than 80,000 volumes is a gateway to information for teaching, research and scholarship in art, design, art history and architectural history. It subscribes to over 300 domestic and foreign journals and museum bulletin boards. It has also hundreds of videos and provides access to the major electronic and print indexes. Subjects covered here include painting, drawing, sculpture, print-making, photography, architectural history 45, interior design, graphic design, art education, pottery, fiber arts and decorative arts. It also holds approximately 3,000 rare and scarce volumes and about 150 linear feet of archival materials.

The librarians strive concordedly with academic staff to meet the information literacy and research needs of a diverse population recognizing that libraries are an essential tool in the University's mission to become a premier nationally recognized metropolitan university.

The University of Louisville Libraries is guided in all its undertakings by its vision that libraries are the academic heart of the university and a place for discovery and learning outside the classroom and the lab. They therefore seek to participate as active and integral partners in meaningful learning, outstanding teaching and effective research. Users are there before always being proven on information availability and use. Services and resources are tailor to suit the varying needs of users. Library staff so identify, evaluate and select materials of varying formats to develop collections that meet user needs. They also apply technology, research and instructional innovations to enhance services and access to traditional and electronic collections.

Rapid expansion in stocks, rapid technological advancement including the introduction of a robotic retrieval system has enabled more books than could be retained in the library halls being stuck in the trays which are accessed by computers on user request. The system gives the library enough space for over three million volumes. The less frequently used volumes will be loaded into the system, and students can still browse titles in open stacks in the old wing of the library. Books stored in the RRS are identified as such in MINERVA, the library's catalog. To request the item, patrons click on a live "request" button onscreen, and then a robotic crane is sent off to find the item, moving each racks of steel bins holding books and journals from which the robotic arm selects, grabs and delivers the appropriate bin to a pickup station where a library attendant pulls the exact item and deliveries it to the circulation desk within minutes. The entire process which I witnessed myself takes only minutes and handles numerous simultaneous requests.

Having the RRS, I was told, also saves the library the cost of a courier service and the additional library staff needed to operate a remote storage facility. The Ekstrom Library's RRS stands out in how artfully it is built into the central design of the new addition. With numerous windows on the system, students can actually stand at the circulation desk, make a request, and actually see the system fill their form watching it work serving almost as a piece of 21st-century art, a book fountain of sorts, whizzing and whirring volumes past the windows. In all, the Ekstrom addition contributions a hefty 42,500 square feet of space to the library

The library's robotic retrieval system (RRS) has freed up significant space for exhibits in the library, like the one by Split Rock Studios, St. Paul; designer, Lisa Friedlander that highlights the year of Kentucky's finding and features a statue of Henry Clay, Kentucky senator from 1806 to 1850. The desk is a replica of the desk Clay used when he was in the Senate-the actual desk is in the office of Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell, who endowed the Ekstrom expansion and the McConnell Center for Political Leadership.

The libraries now seem poised to attain the ambitious goals of the university of becoming a premier metropolitan university that is nationally recognized for advancing intellectual, social and economic development. The library's massive atrium allows light to pour into the building and over the circulation desk.

The libraries' technological resources have developed to state-of-the-art electronic information centers for the campus community with more than 550 computer workstations from which one can borrow laptop computers for use anywhere in the libraries. Advanced wireless technology enables laptop users to access the internet and the libraries' vast electronic resources. Researchers could access 25,000 full-text journals and hundreds of electronic databases.

Two teaching laboratories enable librarians to conduct classes in the library with instant access to the online world. The library's three new, modern instruction labs equipped with wireless technology and state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment, emphasize the library's continuing expanding role in teaching and learning. Instructional Lab 1 and Instructional Lab 2 have become extremely flexible spaces hosting a version of the 3M Road Show for Kentucky librarians.

The university community can access thousands of electronic information resources from hundreds of computer work stations in the libraries and also from anywhere: their offices, classes or home. Minerva, the online catalog indices and accesses the many items held within the libraries. Through its access to national and regional electronic networks one could search many library catalogs and databases around the nation and even around the world.

The University of Louisville Libraries is a member of the Association of Research Libraries, the most prestigious and influential library association in North America. Strong financial support from the University administration has propelled it up to national prominence and impetus in strengthening its ties with Metroversity, a consortium of higher education institutions in metro Louisville, Kentucky, Virtual Library and other library thus adding significantly to the materials made available to its students and faculty and to students and institutions from other campuses.

It has established Kentucky's first library chair, the Evelyn J. Schneider Endowed Chair For Scholarly Communication under the estate of a longtime university librarian and the state's Research Challenge Trust Fund. The first chair holder, Dwayne K. Butler is a highly qualified expert in copyright law, particularly that related to educational and electronic resources.

Oversee all these developments for the past eleven years has been a charismatic, energetic, ingenious and visionary woman, Prof Hannnelorewery Rader, Dean of Libraries, which I had the privilege of talking to. Prof Radar bought to Louisville a wealth of experience. For seventeen years she headed the Cleveland and Wisconsin university libraries and held various positions at Eastern Michigan University for almost twelve years. She has written broadly in her field and attended many professional conferences. She was always named in 1999 Outstanding Academic Research Librarian.

Through Dr Radar's innovative ideas, her drive and direction together with the expanding library collection, upgraded resources, a more inviting environment, helpful and innovative library staff and academies library usage has recorded a 60 percent increase thus exceeding the 2 million per annual mark. One of her striking innovations is the Tulip Coffee Shop in the spacious lobby where readers enjoy tasty sandwiches and other relishing rolls with cups of tea, coffee orange juice or diet coke as they read or scroll through the internet. The Tulip Tree Café has become so popular that it may soon need to add another cash register.

Louisville offers one of the nation's best information literacy programs. Louisville libraries are no longer just places for research, but are now like other libraries today places of active instruction.
According to Prof Radar, her philosophy is to cater for the needs of the mostly non-traditional studentship mostly adults of varying ages and non-residential for increasingly comfortable atmosphere and facilitating the processes of accessing information. This explains her introduction of the snack bar and the constant restructuring and redecorating of the concessions.

"We wanted to have a space where students could learn and do research but also socialize. … We wanted to offer a library space for all of those things," for as she stressed "Our students are urban, many are part-time and do not live on campus. We want them to be on campus. " To accomplish that, she says, they completely reimagined their library for the 21st century.

"Space was an issue," Rader says. "We were running out of space for our materials, and that's pretty much a problem for most academic libraries." Today, the library space is more than repository but a place for instruction, to showcase unique holdings and exhibits, and to foster student collaboration and all forms of interaction, both with information sources in all formats as well as with librarians.

With space a key concern, the highlight of the Ekstrom Library expansion is its robotic retrieval system, a unique system made up of more than 7000 steel bins, offering climate-controlled storage for up to 1.2 million volumes. Rader was already familiar with how efficient the system could be, coming come from Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, one of the first to install such a system. "We never really considered an off-site storage facility," as she said. "We do not want to store the books miles away, send for them when a student needs them, and then wait to have them delivered to campus." For as she notes, the robotic system can retrieve and deliver a book in a matter of minutes while off-site storage can sometimes take days.

The University of Louisville being a public institution, open to the general public, it is, according to Rader putting an even greater premium on space and efficiency. So rather than filling the space with immovable objects, such as banks of PCs, it is completely wireless and filled with flexible seating, from stuffed, comfortable chairs and small tables to wooden chairs and large, roomier tables for students to spread out their work. "Students can bring their own or check out laptops at the circulation desk." Meanwhile, 600 traditional workstations remain in the old wing for those who wish to use them.

The Libraries in their heritage, the Dean told me, hold millions of print volumes from many countries, electronic books and databases and thousands of electronic journals, reference materials, other library resources, library guides and services.

In addition to increased room for student collaboration, the library expansion features three new library instruction labs, where formal or informal classes are held, and the charming new 150-seat Elaine Chao auditorium, all handicapped accessible, and equipped with the latest technology, including wireless Internet access and state-of-the-art AV equipment.

With digital resources offering access to information, much of the library's space is freed up for the library's more unique holdings. An ambitious slate of lectures, seminars, conferences, exhibits, and displays, all designed to engage students, faculty, and the community in the library have been laid out as ongoing activities. Chao, who serves as Labor Secretary under President Bush, spoke recently in the auditorium that bears her name.

In addition, the library is home to the McConnell Center for Political Leadership, featuring the papers and exhibits of Kentucky's Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. The bipartisan center sponsors a range of programming, including lectures and seminars. In fact, the Ekstrom expansion owes a great deal to the McConnell Center-the $ 14.2 million project was funded by federal grants earmarked by McConnell.

The Elaine L. Chao auditorium is named for the current US Secretary of Labor and plays host to a full slate of lectures and seminars. The space between the rows is exceptionally wide, preventing cramped knees or contourions to allow people to pass. The acoustics in the auditorium are "perfect," making the space the university president's favorite venue for press conferences presenting a great location for TV cameras, press feeds, etc. Chao herself recently spoke there, as has Sen. Edward Kennedy (D-MA).

To Radar though it's still a library storing information, it is also a place for people to hang out, a place for the whole university, a space to be, a space for events, for special teaching and learning sessions. "A 21st-century library. "

There's Hidden Value In The 'Nice Factor' When Negotiating – Negotiation Tip of the Week

"I do not know why I made those concessions. The other negotiator was so nice! Something made me want to be nice in return." Unbeknownst to the speaker of those words, subliminally, he was affected by the nice factor.

Have you ever considered the hidden value of the nice factor when negotiating? Being nice is perceptive, depending on who you're negotiating with. Neverheless, it has a place at some point in every negotiation.

The following are ways you can deploy the settlement ally of the nice factor to enrich your negotiation initiatives.


Negotiators set the tone for the negotiation at its outset. Note: The outset starts before you're at the negotiating table. They may set a tone to suggest you should not take them lightly or one that assumes they'll go along to get along.

Some negotiators project a stern persona to convey the sentiment that they're not to be dallied with; this persona can also be invoked to protect the veneer of insecurity. That's worth mentioning because you should be watchful and asses if such a demeanor serves that purpose. That can remember the personality type that you're really dealing with.

In some cases, a stern type of projected position is advantageous. But, if you do not consider the negotiation style of your negotiating counterpart, it can be the uncoupling of the negotiation before it starts. Thus, you should be mindful of the persona you project at the beginning stages and through a negotiation. You do not want to turn the other negotiator into a more abstinent opponent if he's not already one. If such occurs, attempt to mollify him by modifying your demeanor. Be nicer.

Soft Negotiators:

Soft negotiators will display their demeanor by presenting a broad smile upon meeting you and a handshake that is appropriate for the encounter (ie not too hard, not too soft). As you engage in the negotiation, assess to what degree this may be a façade. You can accomplish that by noticing the slight changes in her personality when discussing points of disagreements. If she's quick to placate you, make sure you let her win points, too. Doing that will enhance the nice factor.

Hard Negotiators:

Hard negotiators may present more of a challenge when attempting to invoke the nice factor. Depending on the degree of their hardness, moderate to obnoxious, the nice factor may not be appropriate. Instead, you may want to adopt a person that meets the style of the other negotiator to get him to modify his demeanor. If he does, at that point you may consider implementing the nice factor. Depending on the severity of his modification, being nice can serve as his reward.

Negotiation Reset:

Most negotiators do not like strong tensions in a negotiation. When tensions reach a certain level, negotiators tend to be more dogmatic about the positions they've adopted. So, if you find yourself in such a contention, consider employing the nice factor. This may be in the form of making a concession. If you're not sure if doing that will ease tensions, preface your offer with an 'if' statement (eg If I do this, will you do 'x'?). The point of using the nice factor at this point will be an attempt to reset the negotiation to a less pretentious position.

The more positive the experiential endowment you invoke within the other negotiator, the easier the flow of the negotiation will be. That will lend itself to an enhanced negotiation engagement, which in turn should lead to a greater negotiation income for you … and everything will be right with the world.

Remember, you're always negotiating!

Jewelry-Making DIY Basics – What is an Earwire?

Position yourself as a jewelry making professional by knowing the names of different jewelry components.  You will know better how to impress potential customers and how to speak with jewelry shop owners and potential suppliers by knowing the industry terminology.

Definition of a Jewelry Finding

In jewelry terms, a “finding” is a component of jewelry less than a finished piece.  Findings include jewelry closures such as clasps and toggles, Tiffany mounts and bezels for setting stones and crystals, headpins, eyepins and earring findings.

Definition of Earwire Findings

One type of finding used for earrings is an earwire.  As the name implies, an earwire is for the ear and is made of wire.  An earwire normally goes through an ear where it is pierced, although there are large earwires or earcuffs that fit around different parts of the ear.  The area where a dangle or wire wrap is hung is often called a “loop”.

Earwires are also known as “french wires”, “earring hooks” or just “hooks”.

Earwire Designs

The simplest of earwire designs is a round wire shaped into a curve, with an open loop at the front of the wire to hold a dangle or wire wrap.  When sections of the earwires have been flattened, they are called hammered earwires.  Very traditional variations of earwires include earwires with coils, with a tiny coil of wire above the loop or ball-and-coil earwires, which have both a bead and a coil above the loop. “Ball-end” earwires are shaped wire with a ball soldered onto the front end; the loop is usually more of a “U” shape than a circle.

Fancier earwires will incorporate granulated beads, bezel-set crystals and other embellishments to enhance their appearance.  The use of a twisted wire, with optional oxidizing, is another enhancement made to earwires.

Earwire Materials

Earwires are produced in precious and base metals.  The materials most often used by the DIY jewelry community will include:

  • Gold-Filled
  • Sterling Silver
  • Silver Plate
  • Gold Plate
  • Antique Brass Plate
  • Bright Copper Plate
  • Antique Copper Plate
  • Gunmetal Plate (Hematite/Hematine)
  • Black Oxide Plate (Matte Black)

The plated earwires are most often made over brass or surgical steel.  People with nickel allergies will want to avoid many gunmetal plates, which are defined as “black nickel”.  U.S. and European-standard sterling silver will be nickel free.  Many people look for earwires which are both nickel free and lead free.

Earring Stops

Rather than risking the loss of one or both earrings, earring stops are recommended.  For earwires, the stops are usually a white rubber cylinder with a center hole or clear plastic of a similar design.  Stops are inexpensive insurance for those who sell earrings or give them as gifts.

Tools Recommended for Assembling Earrings

Jewelry-grade chain nose pliers or flat nose pliers are recommended for assembling earrings using earwires.  (Wire wrapping the dangles or creating your own earwires will require additional tools.)  These pliers will be smooth on the inside to minimize any marks transferred to earwires or dangles.  An upgrade from normal jewelry pliers to nylon-jawed pliers will prevent accidental marking even more.

Earwires are one set of inexpensive jewelry findings that will let you unleash your personal creativity in jewelry design.  The variety of earwire designs available will keep you from getting bored while making earrings.

Health Benefits of One of the Oldest Spices – Black Pepper Or Piper Nigrum

After morning meditation, I drink hot fresh ginger tea with crushed black pepper. The way I make it is by peeling ginger and placing a chunk in a mortar and pestle with 3 whole black peppers. I crush the contents, pour hot water into the mortar and transfer the contents into a tea cup. I started adding black pepper to ginger tea when I read the ingredients of one of my most favorite packaged teas. Ever since I have been adding black pepper, I have felt better. Here is what I have found by paying close attention to my body.

Black pepper induces sweating, urination and it aids digestion. It adds an element of fire to the digestive system. It signals to the stomach to generate hydrochloric acid for proper digestion. This acid keeps food from remaining in the stomach too long, thereby reducing intestinal flatulence and stomach irritation.

Black pepper is a cleansing agent. With it’s anti-inflammatory properties, it helps clear sinus problems and nasal congestion. During allergy season, if you experience a dry cough, suck on black pepper to reduce irritation in your throat.

Aside from improving digestion and clearing sinus problems, it provides nutrients such as manganese, vitamin K, iron and dietary fiber.

The outer layer of pepper helps break down fat cells, which can reduce weight and provide energy.

The best way to enjoy black pepper is by crushing whole pepper in a mortar and pestle. Store the extra ground pepper in a sealed container and use throughout the day. It is much more pungent when it is freshly crushed. And it is very satisfying to engage in the crushing process via a mortar and pestle.

The only disadvantage is that black pepper is very acidic. Therefore you need to watch to make sure your diet is full of alkaline foods.