Max Kaus – The Second Generation German Expressionist Painter & Graphic Artist

Well known German painter and graphic artist, Max Kaus, was born in Berlin on March 11, 1891. He was the pioneer of German Expressionism, and most of his prints were like the mementos of the nascent beauty of the ‘twentieth century art.’ Max’s initial encounter with the world of art, especially ‘Italian Renaissance Art,’ was through his visit to the Kaiser-Friedrich Museum. Kaus began as a ‘decorative’ artist, and received on the job training. Meanwhile, he also attended the School for Applied and Decorative Arts in Berlin-Charlottenburg. In 1913, he established his own studio to begin his freelance artistic works.

Kaus’ visit to the Art Metropolis at Paris, in the year 1914, drove him away from ‘Decorative Arts’ to ‘Fine Arts.’ Before he could fully develop his interest, however, World War I broke out, and he had to head back home. In 1916, he volunteered to work as an ambulance driver in Flanders. During this period, he met several artists, such as Erich Heckel, Anton Kerschbaumer, and Otto Herbig, who were also serving in the German army at that time. These artists and Erich Heckel, his military supervisor in Ostend, inspired Kaus’ early works, which was marked with meditative imagery, and existential bleakness through his woodcuts and lithographs.

After the end of the war, initially, Kaus supported himself by accepting commissions for his ‘decorative work.’ Later on, however, he took his artistry seriously and started exhibiting his work regularly, after his first one-man show at the Ferdinand Möller Gallery, in the year 1919. In 1920, Max Kaus became the member of ‘Freie Sezession Movement,’ which greatly promoted the cause of the ‘Expressionist Movement.’ Through group, Max met Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Otto Mueller.

In 1921, Kaus joined both, the ‘Berlin Secession,’ and the ‘Munich Expressionist’ Workshops, simultaneously. His work, around this time, re-energized the world of Graphics Art.’ He would blend the grotesque and exaggerated ‘Realism’ together with jagged simplicity, the example of which can be seen in his “Madchenkopf” (1920). By late 1920s, Kaus started losing interest in ‘Expressionism,’ and started teaching landscape painting, nudes, and animals drawings, at the Master School for the Applied and Decorative Arts in Berlin. In 1933, he accepted the position of a professor at the Vereinigte Staatsschulen, Berlin.

In 1927, Kaus was awarded the Albrecht-Dürer Prize of the City of Nuremberg, followed by the Villa Romana Prize in 1929. From 1935, Kaus was oppressed, and ill-treated by the Nazi’s, as they disliked his work. His emphasis on figurative painting at the United State Schools in Berlin also invited negative reactions from the Nazi regime. His works were confiscated in 1937, and in 1938, he was forced to resign from his position at the Vereinigte Staatsschulen. World War II began formally in 1939. In 1943, his studio was damaged in a bombing raid, and later, in 1945, most his graphic work was destroyed.

In the final years of his life, Max Kaus became a teacher at the Staatliche Hochschule für Bildende Künste in Berlin, and remained there until 1968. His style also moved towards ‘Abstraction,’ around this time, as is evidenced in “Temple Ruins II” (1957). Max Kaus died in Berlin on August 5, 1977.

Crystal Chandeliers: Choosing What Fits Your Style

If you are planning add extra spark to your home interiors, consider adding chandeliers. Apart from providing light, chandeliers also offer added elegance and charm to your rooms. There are many options to select from, which may also be requested as custom made. People usually pick the crystal chandelier selection because such an exquisitely done ornament can be considered to be a beautiful piece of art that you can add to your home.

When you are shopping for a chandelier, you may be spending some time thinking around the right crystal chandelier selection that fits your home, not only in size and shape, but in style and charm as well. There are a lot of choices. You have a vast option from crystal chandeliers that sparkle to crystal chandeliers that twinkle. The factors to consider in finding the right fit for a crystal chandelier include the function of the room, the size and color of the room, and the overall motif of the home. The appropriate crystal chandelier selection indeed takes a lot of work, but it will be worth your time.

One option when looking for the appropriate crystal chandelier selection for your home is to look over home improvement stores that are so numerous these days. Often times these stores display a wide selection that you can purchase and take home on the same day. If you do not find what you are looking for there, another option is to look over specialty stores.Crystal chandeliers can normally be ordered if not in stock. Some even allow the customer to make their own personalized design to some extent.

Just as fashion ornaments the way you look, so does your crystal chandelier selection adds a slice of glamor to your home along with the more minimal lines of contemporary furniture. Crystal chandeliers were once fitted only for grander period interiors due to its elaborate style and design. However, in the last few years we have witnessed this home lighting embellishment revitalized with a more contemporary look that can fit with contemporary interior styles and arrangements.

The innovation of crystal chandelier styles is characterized as a merging between more traditional elements with modern furnishings. The way it is popularized by more and more households, makes crystal chandelier selection a normal undertaking when you are planning to decorate or redecorate your home interior.

At recent design shows in London, including Grand Designs Live, contemporary designs such as the Large Willow Crystal light – a crystal chandelier featuring Egyptian crystal droplets draped from sculptural chrome arms – are welcomed by the audience who are now more open to unorthodox and bolder designs. Just some few years ago, matching is a cruel thing when it comes to crystal chandelier selections. Now, people are more approaching to try out radical perspectives and dading styles.

Black is specifically a key trend in crystal chandelier selections, which curiously gives a new spin to traditional crystal. The French Bedroom Company's "Von Teese" – named after burlesque performer Dita Von Teese – captivates the look of this baroque chic. Its largest version ever made has been featured on Channel 4's Big Brother. Black adds a classic taste to crystal chandelier selections. They become not only just another aesthetic agent to the home, but also are made to last through time. In addition, these black crystal chandeliers are highly adaptable. It can be placed where you feel putting them. Such a crystal chandelier design frees up the constants imposed by more traditional selections.

Take the time to find the best chandelier for your home. Consider where it will be and the rooms purpose. Also consider the your tastes and the style of your home. Of course you will be limited by a budget, sometimes, but taking time to look in all the possible places (online, home improvement store, and specialty stores) will give you many options.

Learning How to Play Cut-Throat Spades With Confidence?

It pays to play an intriguing game from the comfort of your home or among friends for money. The main problem however is that not all the people who start the game get to win. In most cases, it is not all about the luck of the player but the tactics he uses that determines the wining. This sorely applies to the online spades. Some people have played for years but still can’t master the game while others make good money a few months in the game. The understanding of the rules governing the game could be a great way of bettering the performance.

The cut-throat spades rules dictate that the game be played among three players else the dealing and biding will not be reliable. Exceeding or going under the required number of players’ bends the rule which results in efficiency. There are a total of 52 cards on the deck which means a standard game should have all the players holding 17 cards. The remaining card after the dealing is kept aside to leave the players working with the cards in their hands.

The dealing ranges lie between 0 (nil) and 17. This is based on the number of cards that each player has. The fact determining the probability of one player wining the game is that not all players can make the same bids. The bids have to be different hence the higher chance of only one player getting a better hand. The tricks used by an individual player also determine the winning hence the need to learn how to play cut-throat spades more reliably.

The cut-throat spades rules require that the player on the left side of the dealer start the bid. He is supposed to play any card except a spade. The game commences clockwise with all the players following the original suit. A player can play any card in hand if in case he lacks the original suit card. The ‘Breaking spades’ is usually the first spades card that is played. The highest spade wins the trick after breaking the spades. However, if no spades are played, the person casting the spade wins the trick. The person wining the first trick is the lead in the second trick.

There are a number of online spades that one can play to better the performance. However, to learn how to play cut-throat spades effectively is determined by the number of tricks that one garners. Be open to learning more.

Plate Licking and Finger Shoveling: Two Tricks to End a Relationship Effortlessly

A number of years ago my friend met a great guy. She thought he might be "The One." He did all the right things to secure her affection and their future together. They met while she was out of town visiting her parents. They began a long distance relationship in earnest. They'd met each other families and were visiting each other on a regular basis. He was in the process of relocating to be with her. Everything seemed perfect. Then, it happened. Unexpectedly and without warning, he blew it.

On one particular visit to New York City he insisted on their having a "special dinner." She figured this might be a significant event, as their relationship was progressing rapidly on all fronts. The restaurant was elegant and upscale. To top off their romantic meal he ordered a fancy desert for the two of them. "Here it comes," she thought, "a ring and the proposal." Her mind raceed with excitement as she thought of their fantastic life together. Upon finishing the last morsel of his desert, he busted his move. He raised the plate to his face and languidly licked the last of its remains.

My friend's ardor for this man morphed to shock and disgust. In that single moment every fiber of attraction had been ripped from her body. Although the minutes continued to play forward, her mind was frozen on the visual image that had just caused her dreams to shatter and extinguish her passion. Fortunately, there was no proposal that night. She found herself making work related excuses that necessitated him having to leave town earlier than planned. She said goodbye at the airport and wondered what she'd ever seen in him.

Social etiquette has relaxed very over the years. Most of us know the rules of comportment but prefer to soften the edges a bit in preference of "being ourselves." Still, there is merit in keeping some semblance of correct behavior in public as well as in private. In the grand scope of relationship deal-breakers, a dining 'faux pas' may seem slight. Yet, this small error can greatly affect a woman's image of a man's worth. I know. I recently experienced this, myself.

I received a phone call from a business associate I'd met several years ago. My remembrance of him was that of a kind, polite and respectful gentleman. I doubted I'd said more than 50 words to him in my entire life, which for a woman is less that one breath. He asked me if my work ever brought me to the West coast. Oddly, I was scheduled to be in his city the following week. He suggested we meet up for dinner and "talk shop." Why not? What harm can be done? It's just one meal, right?

The night of our dinner meeting revealed the true weight of this fragmented alliance. There was no connection to be found, even from a business standpoint. I struggled to try to find the other 50 words I needed to urge the time forward as I shifted from topic to topic. Finally, I came to a hard-earned pause born of utter exhaustion. That was the moment he shoveled pasta onto his fork with his hands. Not once, but several times he repeated this behavior. He then ritualistically sucked the juices from his fingers with delight. One finger at a time and one shovel at a time, my repulsion larger stronger. This was amplified by the knowledge we had just begon our entree.

I too felt a jolt of disgust. I did not have any broken dreams to lose. I did not see my future dashed before my eyes. Yet I felt the horror of the realization that these petty crimes of ill-breeding speak volumes about a person. Any respect I held for this man in business was eroded by the off-duty dude who highjacked his body. But was that the case? Perhaps what I saw that night was the real guy who only wore the costume of a "polite professional man."

For those of us who do not subscribe to pretense, there is a known line we draw between being too rigid and too relaxed. The goal of "being ourselves" is not found designing a false-front contrived for social acceptance. It's found in the relaxed manner of knowing how and when to step away from the "formula of presentation" in the desire to express that which is real and true about ourselves. To do so with a sense of style is to be grounded in the knowledge that we can play with life and play with its rules. The only time to alter a known and workable formula is when we have a better version to present.

For those of you who find yourself in a relationship you seek to end, this is the perfect means to do so. You need not go through the torment of "talking about it." You do not need to resort to a messy affair. Just use these two tricks to effectively kill-off your partner's love: lick your plate and shovel food with your fingers. Licking your fingers at the end is an optional choice that may be employed to cement the deal. Think of it as gaining bonus points. Regardless of using this final deal-breaker, your relationship is guaranteed to end quickly and without bitter commentary. Use these tools with caution as there is no turning back. The effect created is final and full-proof. You will be "officially single" in a matter of minutes. You need not worry about your ex being a crazy stalker. They will do everything in their power to never be on the same continent as you. Knowing you'll be finally free of this burdensome partner, enjoy your meal! Lick your plate with bravado. Shovel your food with your hands and lick your fingers with enthusiasm. You have just learned the secret to eliminating an unwanted affair and have effortlessly acquired what few are able to accomplish, with ease.

How To Keep Your Dog Bed Clean And Hygienic

Living with a dog means caring for it and making it as comfortable as possible. Apart from ensuring that your dog is well-fed and walked, you must create a comfortable sleeping area for it. This is where dog beds come in and they are available in all sizes so you can choose the best one for your small or big dog. A comfortable bed is very important not only in aid quality sleep, but also in helping an ailing dog heal faster or remain as comfortable as possible. After you have selected the right bed for your dog, the next big thing is ensuring that it remains clean and hygienic for the sake of your family and the dog too. A few simple tips can help you achieve just that.

1. Vacuum cover on a regular basis

It may not be possible to wash the dog bed every few days, but you can most definitely keep it in good condition by regular vacuuming. This is a simple way of getting rid of pet hairs, dust and debris that accumulate over time. Regular vacuuming keeps the bed cleaner for longer periods so you do not need to wash too often. It also protects your family from too much pet hair, which can be an allergen.

2. Wash the cover often

Most dog beds come with removable covers so it is easy for you to keep them clean without having to soak the cushion. The covers are usually machine washable, but it is important that you read the tag for washing instructions so you do not end up damaging it. The right water temperatures need to be checked and proper drying done. It can be helpful to re-zip the cover after removing and before washing so sagging is prevented during the washing process. To get the best results and an easy time washing, considering vacuuming the cover first.

3. Check and clean spots and stains

Mud, feces and urine are some of the most common stains you may notice on the dog bed. Considering that washing the cover may not completely get rid of them, you should treat and remove them using a stain remover. Spraying a stain remover directly onto the stains and spots will make it easy to lift them off. It is however important that you use mild remover or ensure that the remover is thoroughly rinsed out so it does not end up harming your dog.

4. Treat insect infestations

The last thing you want in your house is an insect infested dog or bed. Infestations are not only harmful to your dog, but they could end up posing health risks for your family as well. You therefore want to ensure that all potential infestations are eliminated before they become serious problems. You could use boiling water for this or look or other effective options. It helps to keep a close eye on your dog and the bed to cur infestations before they even begin.

5 Fun Things To Do On An Elevator

Technology is an amazing thing, is not it? Just look at the advances technology has made over the years. We have picture within a picture television, which is good if you can focus on more than one thing at a time – like a fly. There are airbags in our cars to prevent us from injury, without, of course, a sharp piece of metal punctures the airbag, during the crash, causing it to deflate and sending the steering wheel column out the back of your head. And there's the elevator. Many jokes have been written about the elevator, like, "The stock market has been up and down more than an elevator." Or, uh, okay, maybe that's the only joke.

Some elevators feature security cameras, many have digital floor readings and some are even voice activated. "Thirty-ninth floor. Please watch your step." I can only imagine that it will be just a matter of time before elevators, in tall buildings, will be featuring stewards handing out meals and showing in-flight movies. "Today's presentation will be 'The Towering Inferno.'"

One thing that has not changed about the elevator is Elevator Etiquette. People will get an elevator, like voicemail mannequins, staring up at the numbers of the floors as they pass by and hopping that someone in the elevator does not speak to them.

Has Society become that rigid that we're afraid that someone is going to speak to us in an elevator? I say, "Yes." I also say, "Lighten up." We're all on this crazy planet together, so why not be a little less rigid and a little more pleasant? That's why I've developed the "Handbook of Elevator Etiquette in the New Millennium." Here are some fun things you can do on your next elevator ride.

1. Even if you are spoken to on an elevator, most elevator trips are only about thirty seconds long. It's not likely you are going to develop some lifelong relationship with that person. And, what topic would you most likely be discussing? The effects of American involvement in the Middle East? I do not think so. Most likely, you'll be discussing the age old favorite – the weather. Here's a simple conversation even you could initiate:

You: Nice day out there.

Them: Beautiful.

You: May rain tomorrow.

Them: I hope not.

You: Well, this is my floor.

Them: Have a nice day.

You: Take care.

Almost nauseating, is not it? But, a real no-brainer. You've been courteous, informative and, yet, no threat of any future involved with that person.

2. If you would like to make the conversation a little less impersonal and sometimes even get you a laugh, you can say something like, "Is not it amazing that this elevator was made by the same guy who used to get drunk on Saturday nights and would lock himself up in the jail on 'The Andy Griffith Show?' "

3. If you're feeling dearing the next time you are on a crowded elevator, get a sing-a-long going with the music being piped in from WDUL. Of course, it will be necessary for you to know the words to "Tie A Yellow Ribbon", "Somewhere My Love" and "Muskrat Love."

4. If you're really feeling daring, call the radio station from the handy, emergency telephone that the elevator supplies and have them owe a song to the group on the elevator. "Alright, this is Bobby Boring on WDUL dedicating the next number to those wacky folks on Elevator Number Three, in the Hitchcock Building. Here you go guys, it's the Fifth Dimension and 'Up, Up And Away.'"

5. Speaking of using the telephone, if everyone on the elevator has the time, hit the Emergency Button and let everyone have a chance to call someone and ask them if their refrigerator is running. It will loosen things up and make for a memorable ride for everyone.

If you follow these suggestions, this should make for a less rigid Society and a lot more fun for all. (Incidentally, if the building custodian should complain about the misuse of the elevator, the next time, use the emergency telephone to have a dozen pizzas sent to his house.)

3 Ways to Nickel Plate

Nickel plating is a practical and affordable way for the DIY hobbyist, model builder or automobile and motorcycle restorer to plate their own projects without the need to send them out to a professional plating shop. Hiring out a planning company takes extra time and money, coupled there is a certain satisfaction that comes when a project can be taken from the beginning to end without needing to bring in a third party. This is what working on a weekend project is all about, the ability to take on all the steps of the project so that the builder or hobbyist can learn all aspects of the overall process and build their own know-how and experience.

There are three main ways to nickel plate at home. It should be noted that no matter the type of nickel plating kit that is used wherever it is a nickel electroplating kit or an electroless nickel kit the base metal that is going to be plated must be cleaned thoroughly in order for the plating to take properly. Cleaning the object can include scrubbing off of dirt or grease with a cleaning solution or it may require the entire object to be submerged and left for a period of time in a chemical bath in order to work on any contaminants that may be present on the base metal object.

Remember to look up instructions on any metal that is being cleaned prior to plating in order to use the right cleaning solution. A cleaner that may work great on some thing like stainless steel may chew up and damage an aluminum alloy. Neverheless, it's vitally important although to make sure the object is free of grease and fluids. Nickel plating simply will not work if the material is dirty.

The three ways to electroplate nickel are the brush plating technique, the tank kit or the electroless nickel plating kit. Brush plating looks to be the simplest way to plate but will take longer to plate larger pieces such as a motorcycle fender. The nickel tanking strategy means more equipment and a larger work area but will create a setup that can handle a variety of sizes. Both brush and tank plating require a power supply like a battery or AC plug. Electrolating plating means no electricity and this is useful because there are no shadows where the clips are needed to attach on to the anode and cathode. Although electroless requires a heating source and that the nickel solution be heated to a very high temperature which can be dangerous if not managed correctly, it is known to add a more universal and uniform plate.

Consider these three options before choosing a plating kit. Always read about the different ways to nickel plate at home and become familiar with the procedure before buying a kit online.

Camping Equipment – Camping Stoves & Utensils

Getting ready for camping season? Need to still buy some camping equipment? What kind of camping stove do you have or need? What type of food and how much are you going to prepare? There are several types to choose from, which will suit your need? Are you lost when it comes to camp cooking? Do you just make the same boring meals time after time on camp-outs? Want to learn how to cook better when camping and backpacking? Great! We can help.

A lot of people think camp cooking has to be difficult and boring. Fortunately, it does not have to be that way. First of all it is best to cook with a stove compared to a campfire. There are a number of reasons stoves are my primary choice for camp cooking: Stoves leave little or no impact on the land while improper fires can scar the land for decades, stoves are less likely to get out of control, stoves are more convenient. You do not need to gather kindling and wood. Just turn on the fuel, light it, and you're ready to go. When you are finished cooking all you have to do is turn the stove off and let it cool. When done cooking with a fire, you must take the time to put the fire out completely and make sure that it is completely out, no hidden embers, stoves are cleaner. You do not have to worry about ash getting into your food when you're doing the camp cooking, stoves are easier to cook with. You have more control over the flame and the amount of heat output with a stove, stoves can often be used where fires are not permitted. Always check with local land agencies prior to leaving for your trip. No campfires are enjoyable and I am not saying you should not have one, just evaluate your location and know how to make a well controlled fire.

Lets talk about the different types of stoves available to campers and backpackers: Canister stoves, liquid fuel stoves, and what we call family camping stoves.

Canister stoves run on canisters filled with propane, butane, or a butane-propane mix. They are a great choice for backpackers because they are quite small and very lightweight. On top of that, canister stoves are so easy to use. All you have to do is attach the stove to the canister, turn the gas on, and then light it. There is no need to prime them, and they require almost no maintenance.

If you want to make these stoves even easier to operate you can often purchase an automatic ignition device to attach to the stoves. Then all you have to do is turn the fuel on, press the button, and you've got a roaring flame.

There are some negatives with canister stoves. First of all, their performance in extremely cold environments is not as good as liquid fuel stoves. If you are going on an expedition where you will see very cold weather, you may want to do your camp cooking on a liquid fuel stove instead of a canister stove. One other draw back is the fact that most models have canisters that can not be recycled.

Some models, however, use canisters that can be recycled. When the canisters are empty you can almost completely collapse them, which saves a lot of space in your pack. Then the crushed fuel canisters can be recycled after your trip.

Liquid Fuel stoves are also a good choice for backpackers. They are heavier and a little more bulky than canister stoves, but they are still small enough for backpackers. Liquid fuel stoves are often called "white gas stoves" because most models work best when using white gas or called Coleman fuel, but some models burn a variety of fuels. They are reliably easy to use, and they work very well in all conditions.

Even though most liquid fuel stoves are more powerful and provide great heat output than canister stoves, they are not as convenient. Most models require pumping and priming. One other negative to these stoves is that they are often more expensive than their canister counterparts.

Family camping stoves are much too large and heavy for backpackers. They are ideal for people that go car-camping by driving to a secluded spot or to a designated campground and unloading all of their gear from the car or truck. Family campers have more room and they do not have to worry about how much the stove weighs since they do not have to carry it on their backs. Family Camping Stoves are great for camp cooking because they offer high heat output and a large cooking area. You can have two or three things cooking at once, depending on which model you choose. Once you decide on what kind of fuel you want to use, you will then need to decide how many burners you want. There are two-burner and three-burner models, and there is even a grill-stove combination. These stoves offer great flame control, too. You can simmer on one burner while you are boiling on another one. Or if you choose the grill-stove model, then you can grill some hotdogs while you boil the noodles for the macaroni and cheese. With family camping stoves you have a lot more options. If you are a car camper / family camper that has a lot of people to cook for or you need to make more than one dish at a time, then these stoves are for you.

Now you will need pots and pans to do your camp cooking. There's a lot of cookware to choose from, so maybe this will help.

Probably the most used materials for cookware among campers and backpackers is stainless steel and aluminum. Stainless steel is extremely durable, fairly lightweight, fairly cheap, and conducts heat well. Aluminum is quite a bit lighter, conductors heat very well, but it is not as strong as stainless steel. That is until recently. There is a new form of aluminum that is just as strong as stainless steel, yet it is lighter, conducts heat better, and is easier to clean. It is more expensive and if it is not in your budget than stainless steel works great.

How many people will you be cooking for and what type of meals will you be preparing? If you have 3 or 4 people to cook for then a 5 piece Cook Set will get the job done. If larger groups then you will need to plan accordingly and get a larger set and also look at what your stove can handle. You can purchase camping cook sets for camping and hiking. A lot of the cookware can also double as something else for cooking, like the lids used as fry pans. The stainless steel fry pan / lids work pretty well, but foods tend to stick and burn if you are not careful. The anodized aluminum fry pan / lids work even better and they are a cinch to clean.

If you purchase a cook set that does not have built in handles, then make sure they come with pot grabbers. A pot grabber is a small tool that allows you to grab the pots without burning your hand. This is an item that is easily misplaced, so be careful. Dutch ovens are simply wonderful for camp cooking. They are usually made of cast iron, but they can also be made out of aluminum.

And lastly, you need something to eat with. Utensils. You will obviously need some sort of bowl. You can use a Tupperware-type bowl with a lid. It's durable, lightweight, easily cleaned, and you can use it for storage when not eating out of it. They also come in a ton of different shapes and sizes to suit your needs.

You will also need something to eat with. If you are family camping, you will probably take a whole set of cutlery and tableware since you have room in the car or camper. Backpackers, on the other hand, need only a spoon. We can not really think of any food that requires a fork instead of a spoon. If you do not like that idea then try using a spoon and fork combo. Lexan is also a great material for utensils. It is lightweight and durable yet it is nearly impossible to melt. And you can always use the stainless steel variety, but they are a little bit heavier.

A knife is also needed. There are thousands of uses for a knife in addition to using it for camp cooking. If you want even more use out of your knife, then we suggest looking into getting a Multi-Tool.

Of course plates to eat off of. Paper plates are great and no clean up, plastic ones are also great and lightweight. Just remember you have to clean it, so if that is not on your agenda then go with paper disposable. Just remember to put trash where it belongs. An then cups. Again plastic, styrofoam is too hard on the environment. Finally, you will need some odds and ends to do some serious camp cooking. For example, you may want to take a spatula, or serving spoons, or anything else that depends on your menu.

Hopefully this helps you in planning what type of cook stove, pots & pans, and utensils you will need to consider before going camping this year.

Simple and Affordable Kitchen Tools for Healthy Cooking

I do a fair bit of cooking demos and I’m glad to say I don’t bring a lot of fancy health-cooking gizmos along. Just some simple, affordable basics. It’s best to stick with natural materials- wood, bamboo, glass and ceramic/stone. Not only are they more natural and risk less contamination to your foods, but they lend more natural beauty to your kitchen as well.

So what are some of the essential wholesome eating kitchen tools that I recommend, that most anyone can afford?

Wooden or bamboo cutting boards– avoid plastic and synthetics. I like having a small board designated for onions and garlic, and a larger board for fruits and veggies. Alternatively you could mark one side of a board for onions/garlic and the other side for fruits/veggies.

Bamboo cooking utensils– quite inexpensive, easy to clean and so attractive in the kitchen!

A large chef’s knife– great for cutting onions and large fruits and veggies. Mine isn’t anything fancy- just from a department store. Maybe a $75.00 knife is worth it, but I just can’t bring myself to make the investment to find out.

Smaller serrated and paring knifes– for cutting fruit and veggies

Vegetable peeler– theOXO brand peeler is great.

A garlic press– I love my Pampered Chef garlic press.

Glass or ceramic mixing bowls– don’t interact with the ingredients in the bowl.

Glass measuring pitchers– a 2 cup and a 4 cup. These are really handy for measuring ingredients, for measuring water and to use when mixing up small amounts of ingredients or the wet ingredients for a recipe.

Measuring cups and spoons– in general, I don’t like any fancy measuring tools- especially not the adjustable measuring cups and spoons. They might be handy to use, but can be miserable to clean. I keep two sets of measuring cups plus two to three sets of measuring spoons in separate small bins in a drawer at my island (where I do most of my food prep). I toss the “1/2 Tbsp.” measures (they take up space and are used so infrequently).

Glass canning jars (1/2 pint for drinking, pint for drinking and storage and quart-size for storage and sprouting)

Spoonula– so handy for mixing and scraping. This is the only silicone tool I use (I’ll probably convince myself out of using it soon).

Salad spinner– a little pricier purchase, but definitely worth it if you’re going to be preparing salads regularly. I recommend the OXO brand.

Baking stones– a little bit of a splurge here. These are not the cheapest items, but are a wholesome addition to your kitchen and allow for easy clean-up. Check online and at yardsales for good buys on these.

And, last but not least, one of my favorites: the push-up measuring cup! This is great for oily or sticky ingredients (nut butters, coconut oil, honey, molasses, etc.). You simply draw the inner cup down to the marking for the amount you desire, add the otherwise messy ingredient and then push the inner liner from the bottom. No scooping and scraping out of a traditional cup. Also, you can continue to reuse it for more messy ingredients in the same recipe without washing. And it cleans up easily in the dishwasher.

Where can you find one? Kitchen stores, container stores, online or through kitchen tool parties (like Pampered Chef).

Wholesome eating should be simple and affordable for all!

Business Cards: How Thick Is Too Thick?

In today’s vast marketplace, choosing a suitable business card for your company may seem like a daunting task. There are many color options, gloss options and card thicknesses available.

So how thick should your business cards be?

The most common card stocks available are 100lb cover, 10pt, 12pt, 14pt and 16pt. 100lb cover is the equivalent of an 11pt card stock. There are even heavier printed stocks available, such as 30mil PVC plastic. 30mil translates to a 30pt stock, which is an extremely heavy card stock.

So, would you rather make your first impression with a flimsy, disposable card or a thick, durable card?

A thick business card gives the impression of strength and longevity. This is a representation of your company. A symbol of strength. You could also say a flimsy card symbolizes a weak, impermanent or fly-by-night organization.

Personally I always recommend a minimum 14pt stock or preferably a 16pt card stock. The price difference between a cheap 100lb or 10pt stock and a much thicker 16pt stock is negligible, but the difference in feel and marketing value is immeasurable.

30mil Plastic Cards are also an amazing investment but are a bit more costly. These extremely heavy, durable plastics offer the same thickness as a credit card and many similar options are available, such as magnetic stripes, barcoding, signature panels, variable data, scratch-offs with pin numbering, embossed sequential numbering and holographic foils. Many marketers are willing to justify the added expense for a truly impressive credit card thickness.

Ready to upgrade to a thicker business card?

Plank – A Great Alternative to Crunches

Many people have a rather misguided belief that in order to get an awesome six pack, they need to perform endless amounts of crunches. Performing vast amounts of crunches can build strong abdominal muscles, however this can lead to a muscular imbalance. The abdominals will become strong and the lower back muscles will be reliably weaker. This can cause a hunching over of the body due to the relatively overdeveloped abdominals and could lead to lower back pain and injuries.

Are crunches really so effective for developing a strong core if they can cause a body imbalance and potentially crippling back pain? Is there a way to develop the abdominals while improving posture and strengthening the lower back. Say hello to the plank.

The Plank, also known as the bridge, could have considered a static modification of the push up. Taking the standard push up position, hands slightly more than shoulder width apart with the feet together, the body in a straight line from toe to neck. Drop from your hands to your elbows, and brace your abdominals to maintain good straight form. This can be difficult to achieve for a long period of time in the beginning, sometimes holding for 10-15 seconds initially. As you develop your core strength, you will be able to maintain the bridge for longer, building up to over a minute.

The plank stretches the abdominal muscle, rather than a contracting in a crunch, and develops the obliques and lower back muscles which are also utilized to maintain the stability when holding the bridge position. This exercise conditions the abdominals while your body is straight, which can lead to improvements in your posture.

Your abdominals will be effectively traced to "tensed" when your spine is straight; this will allow you to better view your well developed core proudly when you are walking around with your head held high. The plank can be made easier by dropping from the toes to the knees. This will reduce the load imposed on the abdominals and make it more achievable for beginners. I would recommend starting on the toes and dropping to the toes to allow you to complete your determined hold time.

Placing your elbows on a medicine ball, will further reduce the stability and engage your core more, allowing those with more developed abdominals to maintain a continuous progressive overload of the target area muscles. The bridge offers an alternative to crunches and is considered one of the most effective exercise for developing both the abdominals and obliques.

Functions Of Management

Performance of management is necessarily a subject to its functions. Earlier management was segregated into five functions which were-

o Planning

o Organizing

o Staffing

o Directing and

o Controlling.

With changing times and increasing business complexes, the functions of management also increased and functions like reporting, co-ordinating, budgeting etc. was identified. Primarily, this step was taken to ensure departmentalization of management functions so that efficiency and efficiency could be enhanced. However, different management thinkers differ on the numbers of functions. Essentially a creative problem solving methodology, the purpose of management is achieved through these functions. The basic objective of these functions is maximum utilization of resources available at company's disposal so that organization's mission and policies could have been achieved in the best possible way.

As we delve deeper in every function, planning is the first function which is basically a logical thinking process that decides what needs to be done in order to achieve organization's goals and objectives. It focuses on the leader's perspective of the business as well as taking into consideration, the tactical methods to get the desired results.

Organizing is about setting up and maintaining the internal organizational structure in accordance with objectives mentioned in planning stage. It also involves assigning tasks to various individuals for the larger goal of organization's missions and objectives.

Staffing is the process of choosing right people for organization. It can be associated with human resource management and involvements recruitment, hiring, training and compensating the work.

Directing is guiding people in the organization through the means of counseling, instructing, motivating and various other modes of communication. It helps in channeling the activities and conduct of employees so that organizational goals can be accomplished.

Controlling is the sum total of process which ensures all the plans are executed and implemented in the desired way. It also writes about about whether certain corrective and preventive methods need to be taken. It is meant to ascertain problem areas and remedial measures.
Apart from these, minor functions include reporting, budgeting and co-ordinating which are designed to perform specific functions.

Stainless Steel Handrail Shapes Available Vs Aluminum Handrail Shapes

When choosing a handrail or balustrade system for a deck, stairs, Juliet balcony or a regular walk-on balcony, the shape of the hand rail can play a crucial part in your choice.

The standard shapes out there are mostly circular sections of varying diameters, starting from 40mm which is comfortable for holding onto a stair railing, going up in diameter to 55mm-70mm.

The more interesting shapes out there are more intricate and include elliptical shapes of varying sizes and rectangular or square shapes.

Stainless steel handrail shapes are very limited, due to the extremely expensive tooling require to extrude or roll form these shapes the market tends to follow what is existent and very little room is available for architects to influence the shapes of the handrails. Many times architects will choose a stainless steel balustrade system or a stainless steel balcony and will want to have a "special" shape for their project, which will soon find the cost of this to be inhibitory, as well as in many cases unavailable to be done at all.

This is not the case however with aluminum handrails and railings. In fact as opposed to stainless steel balustrades, with aluminum railroads the ability to influence the shape by the architects on the project is making these systems the preferred solution. In fact on a recent project I visited, a project in the Docklands in London, I found that the company that made the glass balconies allowed the architects to create three separate handrail shapes for three different areas on the project. One of the handrail was 120mm wide.

There is also a finish out there called "Royal Chrome" which looks like stainless steel but it is actually a special finish on the aluminum and there fore still allows the flexibility of shapes that the aluminum railing systems allow.

In summary stainless steel handrails are more limited in the availability of shapes, whereas aluminum handrail systems allow an inexpensive potential of shapes.

How to Fix Timber Balustrades and Hand Rails on an Upper Family Room

Family rooms are resting living areas usually located on upper floors in a home. These rooms are used for watching television. These areas do not have walls on the side next to the stair well. This requires weddings and balustrades to be fixed on this part of the room without walls. The balustrades are fixed and blended with the floor finish. The method of anchoring to the abutting wall and floor is crucial to the strength of the railroads.

The fixing of timber balustrades on an upper family room, is done before the final floor finishes. The reason for this is to avoid drilling holes onto the timber and concrete floor after the finish is done. In a home where it is done as a replacement, the area of ​​the wall and floor is first stripped of the finishes. There are different timber balusters used in the construction. The shapes can be square or round. The timber used is hard wood for durability.

The family room timber balustrades are fixed onto a four by two timber screwed into the concrete. This timber is laid on the four side to have a rise of two inches. It is drilled and screwed into the concrete along the edge of the stair well. The balusters are made with a steel dowel that will be screwed onto the four by two flat timber. This balusters are spaced at one foot center to center. They are there inches thick. The hand rail is fixed on top.

The height of the timber baluster is three feet. The hand rail is fixed into the wall at least three inches inside. The length is the same as that of the stair well. Once the hand rail is in place, the railing boards are then fixed. These are six by one inch thick. They are spaced at eight inches center to center. After they are in place, varnishing can be done to the desired effect. After this wall and floor finishes are then transported out as desired.

Glass Balustrades – Enhancing the Overall Look of Your Property

Looking for a material that can be used for enclosing staircases and provide an elegant look to your living space? Why not beautify your home with stylish Glass Balustrades and increase the worth of your property straightaway!

Stairs play an imperative part in people's life as they not only provide safety, but also improve the overall persona of a house or a building. At first, stairs were made from wood, but as the time progressed, new and fresh techniques were introduced, which made the concept of stairs even more safe and attractive. That was the time when people discovered the perfect material for carrying out their home beautification projects, ie 'Glass Balustrades'.

Whether you are thinking of installing a fence around your pool, renovating your existing staircase or providing a spacious look to your office interior, Glass Balustrades can fulfill it all! They are well-known for their style and transparent look that give a luxurious feel to your living space.

What exactly are Glass Balustrade Systems?

These systems are made by mixing toughened glasses with handrails and steel frames, designed in such a way that it compliments your home decor and make your stairs or balcony look stylish and inimitable. So far, it is considered the most beautiful and cost-effective way to make the most of the overlooked space by providing a modern touch of sophistication and ample security to these spaces which include balconies, staircases or decks.

Why choose these Balustrades?

Glass Balustrades have a wide range of benefits, which are mentioned below.

Variety of Designs
• Differ in Types
• Unique Style
• Easy Maintenance
• High Durability
• Clear view
• Easy to install
• Highly secure
• Cost-Effective
• Can resist any scratch, shock or weight

Types of Glass Balustrades

They are of three types, which include:

1. Framed
2. Semi-Frame
3. Frame-less

Framed balustrade systems consist of Glass Panels, Steel Frame and Handrail system. They use toughened or laminated glass, which can either be colored or clear. The frame used here can be made of materials like stainless steel or aluminum. Furthermore, the handrails can be made of materials like wood, brass, stainless steel, aluminum or PVC. This type of system is more tough and safe as compared to other types which include semi-frame and frame-less systems.

Frame-less systems are well-known for their elegant and modern approach. They consist of glass panels, channel tube and steel base, handrails if required. This is the most complete modern design and beautiful in the system types.