Review of the Mercedes Benz C 220 Diesel

The newly launched 2015 Mercedes C Class 220 is Mercedes' second offering in the C Class segment. The C 200, launched last year, was only offered in the Petrol version, but that was a big hit.

And a large segment of customers were waiting for this baby Merc to be launched with a Diesel engine. The Diesel engine has been launched in two variants: Style and Avantgarde, with the Style being the lower of the two variants.

Exterior Styling:

This baby Merc takes design inspiration from the uber luxurious S Class and the clean and fluid design reflects the same. The C Class sports striking looks and comes out a winner in the segment against competitors like the Audi A4 and the BMW 3 series.

While the earlier petrol version sports the LED high performance headlamps, the same has been replaced by LED Intelligent light system with variable light distribution, active light distribution, active light function, country and motorway modes as well as corner light function, enhanced fog light dynamic beam control and a blue welcome light function in the diesel variants. The LED license plate illumination and LED rear lights is a standard across all variants.

The Style variant sports Panaromic sliding sunroof, where the Avantgarde variant has an electric sliding sunroof.

Let's take a look at what differentiates the two variants , Style and Avantgarde from the exterior. The Style version has the top surrounding of the side windows in matt black where the Avantgarde has it in polished aluminum.

The Avantgarde has a lot of additional chrome finishes in places such as the door sill, exhaust system with non visible exhaust tailpipes and the radiator grille with the usual integrated Star emblem with two louvres in Matt iridium Silver comes with a chrome insert where the same is not there in the Style.

Features such as beltline trim in polished aluminum, chrome handle strip on bootlid, underbody protection and tinted green glass is a standard across all variants.

Interior Design:

The interiors, at a glance give off a very luxurious feeling with the wood and chrome finishing. Merc has used a high gloss brown line structure lime wood in the Avantgarde, whereas a black piano lacquer finish is used in the Style. However, this is a step down from the walnut wood trim used in the C200 Petrol range. The upholstery comes in ARTICO leather and has two options of black / black or black / silk beige.

Starting from the front, the 3 spoke steering wheel has controls for audio and onboard settings. The entertainment console has an 17.78 cm high resolution multimedia screen which is easy to navigate. We will take a detailed look at the onboard entertainment a bit later. But coming back to interior design, lets again put emphasis on the differentiating factors between the two variants. The Avantgarde has ambient lighting with three color options, analogue clock in the dashboard, and electric sunblind for the rear window, where the same are not available in the Style.

Fit and finish is top of the range with emphasis on minute details like the sliver chrome finish on the air vent adjustment knobs. Front seats have "Cobra look" and are electrically adjustable. The rear seats has a 40/20/40 split, with double cup holders and stowage compartment in the armrest. The cabin has sufficient space for storing bottles and other knickknacks as a whole.

The steering column is also manually adjustable for height and reach. An illuminated glove compartment, lighting of footwells, door handle recesses, rear reading lights and courtesy lights in all doors add to the overall bathing in luxury feel.

Comfort, Convenience, Entertainment and Safety

Living upto the Mercedes name the C Class's diesel offering is high comfort and convenience.The front and rear passenger is offered a 4 way lumbar support. Automatic Climate Contol with two inbuilt zones and reversing camera are few of the features which enhance the superiority of this car.

Safety measures such as kneebag for drivers, windowbags, ATTENTION ASSIST to detect drowsiness of the dirver are the few noteworthy features apart from the regular safety features which are present across all variants. Several measures are taken to avoid accidents but just in case an accident does occur, Mercedes has a safety feature to protect the occupants post the event also.

The NECK-PRO® head restraints for the driver and front passenger can be activated in a rear impact: a spring mechanism moves the head restraints forwards and upwards; the head can thus be supported earlier and the strain on the spine can be reduced.

It also includes the automatic engine cut-off or the activation of the hazard warning lamps and the emergency interior lighting. The central locking also opens automatically, and crash joints between the door and the wing make it easier to open the doors after an accident.

The Adaptive Highbeam Assist Plus controls the light to avoid dazzling oncoming traffic while still ensuring that the road remains illuminated perfectly.

Coming to the entertainment unit in the car, it has 2 USB ports in the center armrest for external devices and storage media. Bluetooth interface with HD voice capaple hands free function, cover flow and cover art for displaying album covers, SMS display function, internet capability and whew … as if all this is not enough, it also has a Garmin MAP pilot for navigation. The touchpad with multitouch sensor system is an integral component of the Infotainment system with GARMIN® MAP PILOT navigation (3D visualization). One or two gestures with your fingers – a quick swipe or splay – are all it needs to understand what you want. It can even decipher the letters and numbers traced on the touchpad. Incidentally, the touchpad in the new C-Class is the first ever to be able to control all the functions of an infotainment system based on gestures alone.

Engine, Ride and Performance

The C220 is fitted with 2143 cc inline 4 cylinder common-rail direct injection system diesel engine which produce a maximum output of 125 KW and a peak torque of 400 Nm.

7-speed automatic transmission allow a wide ratio spread with low engine speed increments between the individual gears. The result: quick, smooth and fuel-saving gear changes every time. Skipping individual

gears allows multiple downshifts for powerful, fast bursts of speed.

At a touch of the AGILITY SELECT feature, drivers can choose between comfortable, sporty, particularly sporty and efficient driving styles, or their own individually defined style. Parameters such as the engine, transmission and steering characteristics are adjusted according to the selected transmission mode. 5 transmission mode can be selected via AGILITY SELECT: "Economy", "Comfort", "Sport", "Sport +" or "Individual"

• Standard setting "Comfort": well-balanced and fuel-efficient

• "Eco" mode: keeping fuel consumption as low as possible

• "Sport" mode: added agility and dynamism thanks to a more direct characteristic steering curve, spontaneous throttle response and modified shift points

• "Sport +" mode: further enhanced sportiness and drive system are even more dynamically tuned

• "Individual" mode: individual parameters can be varied as required, using the Controller and the configuration menu in the head unit

• Short-term M mode after using the steering-wheel gearshift paddles: automatic change back from "Manual" into the selected selected AGILITY SELECT transmission mode after a defined period of time

• Confirmation of the selection made is displayed in both the instrument cluster and the head unit

The Merc C220 is a good drive for the cities as well as the highways. The higher ground clearance with taller springs gives a better ride quality.


The Mercedes C220 Style is priced at Rs. 32.90 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi) while the Avantgarde is priced at Rs.42.90 lacs (ex-showroom Delhi). Inspite of being so pricey, once you experience the luxury on offer, you will appreciate the price paid. The car is loaded to the gills with features and is comparable to the next higher trim available. And the drool worthy looks are the icing on the cake.

Parking Lot Pavement – Why Sealcoating is Important

Does your asphalt pavement have excessive cracks or potholes even though it was recently redone?

Houston weather with the excessive summer high temperatures, high amount of rain and year-round moisture take a toll on asphalt parking lots. In addition, leaking fluids from cars in parking lots tend to destroy asphalt as well.

When asphalt is not treated with the proper sealant, oxidation occues and dries out the asphalt binder. When this occurs, the pavement loses flexibility and will start to crack. Oxidation is when the sun's ultraviolet rays harden and dry out the asphalt surface. This accelerates erosion and reduces asphalt thickness so that in just a few years the pavement needs to be totally resurfaced.

As oxidation occurs, then the rain, chemicals and other pollutants see into the cracks and the pavement deterioration beginning to rapidly progress. Once the process starts, the damage has occurred.

Applying a sealcoat protects the surface of the asphalt and reduces the damaging effects of oxidation and the Houston weather extremes. This application will greatly extend the service life of pavement as well as enhance the overall appearance. Sealcoating keeps and will even restore the original dark color of asphalt to greatly enhance the overall appearance of the property.

If you were to look at a cross section of treated and untreated asphalt, you will see the difference that a sealcoat makes.

In addition to the improved physical appearance, the sealed pavement becomes a smoother surface to make sweeping and maintenance easier and less costly. The most important aspect is the ability of the asphalt pavement to resist the damaging effects of gas, oil and chemical salts.

What does asphalt consist of?
Asphalt pavement is a mixture of crushed stone (known as aggregates) and chemical binders that glue the mixture together. Over time the sun's ultraviolet rays break down the binding materials preventing moisture to fill in the cracks and subjecting the empty spaces (known as voids) to expand and contract breaking down the integrity of the pavements. This is most noticeable when pavement changes from black to a dull gray. As the process continues, the binding materials continue to reduce until large visible cracks and potholes develop.

What does sealcoating do?
Sealcoating prevents the adhesive qualities of the asphalt binders from being broken down as quickly. The most important benefit is it's ability to prevent premature pavement wear. Sealcoating is a good investment when applying new asphalt pavement and parking lots or when updating those in need of minor repair.

How is sealcoating applied?
First the paving surface is swept and all visible potholes or cracks are cleaned and filled. The sealcoat is applied using a spray to ensure proper thickness. A high quality sealcoat has the proper ratio of additives and fine sand as an aggregate to make the survey more durable and non-slip. We recommend a second coat on roadways and other high volume traffic areas to ensure longer service life of the pavement.

As we mentioned, it is important to fill cracks to keep them from expanding and causing others to form. We suggest using a rubberized hot crack fill material to provide a flexible that reaches into cracks and crevices. We also recommend that during all pavement repairs that you make sure pedestrians and vehicles are kept away until all materials have had time to completely dry.

You can expect these types of pavement repairs will last for many years of normal use.

Writing Movies – Learning Screenwriting

How many times have you sat in a movie theater watching events unfold on the screen and thought, "I could write a better story." Maybe you can! You'll never know until you try.

Screenwriting is an art and science that is distinctly different from the creation of novels and stories. Movies are a visual medium, and from the first day you start learning screenwriting, you will hear over and over again: "show, do not tell." It is often difficult for story writers to make the transition to writing movies. In a short story or novel, the feelings, thoughts, emotions, and sensory impressions of the characters can be described in great detail. In a script, you must create visual actions that evoke those same thoughts and emotions. Dialog must be kept to a minimum. You will not be able to sell a screenplay where the players spend hours talking about their inner thoughts and emotions. The actors and director need to be trusted to convey their conflicts in actions, not words. In the best dramatic screenplays, every word of dialog exists to drive the story forward. There is no small talk.

Fundamentals of Screenwriting

As a beginning screenwriter, you will most likely create "spec scripts", or scripts written "on speculation" as opposed to scripts written on assignment. You are speculating because you will devote several months or years to writing the screenplay with no guarantee that it will ever be sold. After you became an established and known screenwriter, you may be offered writing or rewriting assignments for fees negotiated in advance.

Standard Manuscript Format

All scripts submitted to readers must adhere to proper and established manuscript format. Improperly formatted scripts, no matter how good the story, will be rejected without ever being read.

Fortunately, there are numerous software products to facilitate and enforce proper formatting. "Screenstyle" is an affordable plug-in for Microsoft Word used by many beginning screenwriters. Professional packages include Movie Magic Screenwriter and Final Draft. Each product is excellent and has its own cadre of industry professionals eager to tell you why it is the best choice.

Show, do not tell

This bears repeating. If you are already a writer of stories or novels, you have habits that must be un-learned before you can express stories as proper screenplays. In a story you may tell about a character feeling a stab of fear while crossing a rickety bridge. You are free to describe the rush of adrenaline they feel and the panic and vertigo they must fight as they look down into a chasm.

In a screenplay version of the same story you must establish actions to show the same excitement and tension and to evoke them in the viewer. You may show a frayed suspension rope beginning to give way, or a drop of sweat from the hero's brow sitting a cracking board at his feet.

This is the challenge of good screenwriting; to fashion a compelling narrative that tells a complete story in about 110 pages in primarily visual form with as little dialog as necessary. Doing it well can easily be as difficult as writing a 500 page novel.

Selling your Scripts

The business side of movie writing is equally important to the creation of great scripts. You may write a brilliant screenplay worthy of multiple Oscars, but if the manuscript merely sets on your desk it will never be made. Established screenwriters are able to sign with agents. Starting out, you have to pay your dues by writing several solid scripts and selling at least one or two on your own before any agent will give you the time of day.


Every script must have a logline. A logline is a simple description of the story, usually one short sentence that encapsulates and distills the plot or theme. The logline must grab the reader's attention and compel them to start reading the script. A great script with a weak logline will not be read, and can not be sold.


A treatment is a summarized expression of a movie script in a synopsized short story form. It is critical that you be able to pitch your script in an effective and well written treatment form if asked. Many screenwriters create a treatment as part of the planning andlining process while writing the script.

Query Letter

Simply sending your screenplay all over Hollywood in hopes that someone will decide to read past the cover page is futile. You need to be able to write a persuasive letter explaining what your script is about and why you believe it will be an attractive and marketable project. The goal is to get responses from buyers asking for a copy of the script so they can read it. Sometimes a writer will send out query letters based on a concept, before the story is even written, just to test the water and see of there is industry interest. That can be risky, and you clearly have to be ready to deliver a script in a timely manner if you do get interested responses.

The Pitch

As if just writing a great screenplay is not enough, there is a sales effort required above and beyond capturing a buyer's interest. You must be ready and able to make a convincing "pitch" to the buyer. Making an effective pitch starts with truly believing in your story and having the conviction that it will make a profitable movie that people will want to see.

Getting Started

Screenwriting is challenging and takes time and practice to learn. If you can write, and most importantly if you can conceptualize and express stories in a visual way, you can do it.

Some Assembly Required

I am not a big fan of buying anything that requires assembly. I would much rather pay a little extra and have the job done for me. Sometimes that is possible and at other times it is not. Often the only way to get what I want is to participate in the assembly. I believe this is true with life as well. Although it does not come with a warning label, hands-on assembly is required if you want to create your life to be just the way you want it.

Life requires require assembly. None of us is born with a life that is completely put together. The pieces are there, but it is up to you to choose how you put it all together. Because directions are not included, life often has to be assembled and reassembled several times before you get the life you desire. When visiting friends who recently purchased a home, I was reminded of the reassembly process. When we arrived, the husband was down in the basement assembling a rocking chair. He had been working on the project for a couple of hours. When we arrived he was in the process of taking the chair apart and reassembling it. By mistake, he had put the chair together with the slats upside down. He actually did not have to take the chair completely apart; he just had to adjust a few of the sections of the chair. His wife told him he did not need to change it, it looked just fine the way it was. However, he wanted to make the adjustments to the assembly so that it would be exactly the way he wanted it.

Such is life. There are times when, after putting your life away, you will need to take it apart and reassemble it. This can become necessary by personal choice or it can be motivated by an outside event that creates the need for new assembly. Regardless of the reason that it happens, reassembling can be an opportunity to create a new and improved you and a more satisfying life in the long run.

The thing about life is that it does not require just one assembly. You will indeed assemble and reassemble your life many times during your lifetime. Sometimes this can be a fun and exciting time and, sometimes less so. However, if you always keep the attitude that reassembly is a chance to improve the life you already have, you will be able to stay positive throughout the process.

Stand to Mount

We can not start our ride until we can get on our horse and for some that can be a long and tedious ritual. The good news is that it does not need to be a struggle and we can teach our horses to wait patiently for us to get into the saddle no matter how clumsy we may be. We need to start with an understanding that horses are lazy by nature and we will use that in our favor. We also have to remember that the horse is like a computer and we can not get out of the horse something we did not put in. With that in mind, lets program our horse to stand for mounting.

Today I will explain how I address the problem using the bridle. I start with a full check snaffle bit and continuous round rope reins. I do not use nylon as they can burn your hands and round is easier to hold then flat. Remember to praise often and look for every opportunity to praise, it makes the lesson go faster.

Next, I take my horse to a safe enclosed area such as a round pen or arena. It is easier on you and your horse if you have already tried your horse 1) a go-forward, stop and back up cue, 2) how to move the hips and shoulders over and 3) all while softening to the bridle reins. From here you will all those cues as corrections when the horse does not stand still.

Take your horse to the block or place you will be mounting. Line him up using the previous cues you already have taught your horse. If at any time the horse moves, take him away from the mounting area and with energy work on his hips, shoulders, back-up, and go-forward cues. When he is soft and responsive, walk back to the mounting area and set him up again. Continue in this manner until the horse stands calmly. Then you are ready to add mounting.

With the horse standing quiet, place your foot into the stirrup and then remove it. If the horse stands still, praise him. If he moves off, take him away from the block and work with energy on his shoulders, hips, and other cues. When he is soft and responsive go back to the block and let him stand. When he will stand still for you to put your foot in and out of the stirrup, start adding weight to the stirrup. When he will stay quiet for that, actually mount up, but do not ask him to move forward. At this point if the horse moves you will work the previous cues from the saddle. When he is soft and responsive, ride him back to the mounting area and dismount. Continue uploading and dismounting until the horse will stand and wait for the go forward cue.

Take your time, it's OK to spread the lesson through the day or even days. Have fun, because if the teacher is not enjoying the lesson how can the student? It is when we try to be somewhere we are not that we find ourselves in a wreck. If you do not get it today, it will come tomorrow. And the great news is when you are done, not only have you taught your horse to stand quiet for mounting, but you have also gotten your horse softer and more responsive to his bridle, his shoulders and hips lighter, his go-forward and back up cues stronger, and tought him to wait for your cues.

Treat Hammer Toe Deformity and Look Better

A bent toe, called Hammer Toe Deformity, is an eye sore. The sooner it is corrected the better. Genetics is the most important factor causing this disorder. Other factors are side effects of other ailments like arthritis. Another man made factor which is self made is wearing ill fitting shoes. Arthritis can not be invented. Genetics is inherited.

Hammer Toe deformity, though not good to look at does not need immediate treatment. But when there is pain it is better to get it corrected. Also wear the correct shoes. Getting corrective surgery done may be an option. It is not recommended as the time to heel after surgery may be a little too long. It may take a month or two to heel completely. A rehabilitation plan is needed for the post surgery period.

Surgery for Hammer Toe Defercity severely restricts all activity for about 15 days. The foot has to be kept at a high place. Care should be taken to see that during the rehabilitation period the affected foot is kept completely dry. Particular care should be taken, till the stitches are removed. More severe cases, involving a great deformity, the surgery procedures may be a little more complicated. The surgeon introduces a pin in the toe and keeps it there for about one and a half months.

Hammer Toe Deformity develops in high arched or flat feet more easily than in normal feet. This is due to the abnormal shape of the feet. This happens because of the tension tendons between the top and bottom of the toe, in the case of high arched feet. Because of the high arch the toe will naturally get dropped down and cause a deformity. This is something which is unavoidable without the high arch of the foot can be straightened. Treating the affected toe may be an easier proposition.

Flat footed people also have a great possibility of getting affected by Hammer Toe Deformity. As in the case of high arched feet this is the result of the tension in the tendons at the bottom and at the top of the toe due to the deformed shape of the foot. A possible way of preventing or slowing down of getting affected this way is to use supports in the shoe in the arch of the foot. This prevails the tensions causing the bending of the toe. Whatever the measures measure the deformity of the toe will occur due to natural causes and the progress can only be slowed down.

Troubled by pain and hurt, Hammer Toe Deformity does not require any medical treatment. It can be left to itself without a person getting an inferiority complex because of the deformity. A podiatrist may be consulted for suggestions. Arch supports are available in shops dealing with sports goods. Any artificial measures taken other than surgery will be cumbersome and may interfere with daily activity. It is better to leave Hammer Toe Deferity unattended if there is no pain.

Teaching Young Children Mosaic Art

Teaching children how to create a mosaic can be difficult but only in the sense of neatness. Kids love to see the different colors and patterns of a finished mosaic. They love the many options that they have available when creating their own work.

When describing what a mosaic is, always reference a puzzle. Every child has put together a puzzle and can relate closely to this. Explain that a mosaic is the same as a puzzle, there are a bunch of small pieces that they put together to form a large overall picture. Kids are thrilled to know that they have created their own mosaic before. Also make sure to bring in a few finished mosaic pieces so that they can get a good visual.

Choose a very simple project for young children to start out on. Creation of a coaster is perfect. Provide 4 "square ceramic tiles for the base. For children 10 years and under, it is not recommended to use any sort of glass cutter, instead use 3/8" mini tiles. These do not need to be cut but are small enough that the kids can still choose a variety of colors. One hundred tiny tiles will fit perfectly on a 4 "tile with 1/16" grout joints.

If working with a large group of children, pour some Weldbond into a bowl. Provide cotton swabs for them to dip into the glue. This will make applying glue to the large tile easier. Keep in mind that they will most likely need some swabs each.

It makes it easier if you have some designs already made up. These would consist of grid paper cut to 10 squares by 10 squares. You would just color in different squares to make a pattern. Each 3/8 "tile will be used to represent a grid square so keep it simple at 4 or fewer colors. , provide the older students with their own grids and colored pencils. If timing is an issue, have them do their coloring before they come into the class.

To set up the grid on the 4 "tile, have the children spread glue across the top row of the large tile. on, make sure they spread the mini tiles out to have a grout joint between each one. This is difficult for the students as they want to make each tile touch instead. students will still have their tiles touching by the time they finish.

Next they will put a glob of glue down the side and replicate the pattern. Please note that they will need to use a large amount of glue. Too little and tiles will pop off like crazy when grouting. To much and the glue will squish up between the tiny tiles. They want to use enough to create a bed of glue for the tiny tile to sit in. Students are taught to conserve glue and you have to show them that they need to use a lot and continuously remind them.

Now that the grid is set up onto the larger tile, the children can fill in the large tile by replicating their pattern. Remind them not to start putting tiny tiles in the center because they will not line up at the end. The first row and column they created are used as guides for where to put the next tiles so that everything lines up and looks something straight.

You will find that it is easier for the group to use only 9 tiles across and down. This is fine but the end coaster looks more sporadic and messy. The design seems to get lost. This works well with 6 year olds and younger though. Another option is to have the youngger students create a border around the outer edge and then just randomly fill in the center with a variety of colors and not try to keep things lined up.

After the students have finished their tiling then set their project someplace safe to dry. Allow to dry overnight. You can let older kids (10 and up) grout but it is still difficult for them. They tend to be rough on the mosaics and knock off the tiny tiles. This is very frustrating for them and you as the teacher. If you can, grout these yourself. It does not take long and you can glue on any tiles that fall off as you go.

This project can take up to two hours so you may need to cut some corners. Having the designs already finished is a great way to shave off 30 minutes. You will have to constantly push some of the kids to keep working because they will get bored quickly.

If you do have plenty of time, then spend some of it talking about the history of mosaics or even the mathematics involved. Print out some pictures of ancient mosaic art to show. The kids are fascinated by the thought of using tiny pieces to create an image of a man. Turn this project into a math lesson by simply talking about symmetry. The designs you create will most likely be symmetrical so you can describe rotational, reflective, or translational symmetry by showing your designs. If you are working with a school, they will appreciate the added educational lesson that you can provide.

The main thing to remember while working with youngger children is to have patience. You will have to repeat yourself constantly and will consistently help every student in the class. However, it is very rewarding and with some parent volunteers, everyone will walk away happy.

Grouting Tile – More Tips To Improve Your Tile Finish

Is this your first time grouting tile? There are a few tips and short cuts to achieve a good tile finish. Skip these and your grout could end up a disaster.

# 1. Get organized before you start. You will need three large buckets, clean water in two of the buckets. A sponge with rounded corners, a grout float, a grout trowel, grout powder and a dust mask.

# 2. Make sure the tile setting adhesive has been given enough time to cure before grouting. Use a utility knife to remove any excess adhesive from the tile setting.

# 3. Plan the work. You do not want to walk on any newly grouted tiles. Also, concentrate on a small area like 10 square feet, finish applying the grout in that area before moving on to the next area.

# 4. Mix the grout in small amounts, about enough to cover a 10 square foot area. That way you'll have time to apply it before it sets. Mix it thoroughly. It should have the consistency of toothpaste when mixed correctly.

# 5. Apply the grout using the float. Dump some grout onto the tiles and pack it into the joints using a 45 degree angle. Keep the float moving. Grout will set in around 30 minutes.

# 6. Once you've packed the seams with grout, use a 90 degree angle on the float to remove excess grout. Follow up with a damp sponge.

# 7. When the grout is no longer soft to the touch, it's time to clean up. This could be around 15 to 30 minutes. Use a clean damp sponge to wipe the tiles in a circular motion. Keep rinsing the sponge clean and ring out until it is just damp. When you are left with a light haze on the tile, switch to wiping diagonally across the tiles until the haze is cleaned up.

British Nobility – Peering at the Peerage

"Be noble! And the nobleness that lies in other men, sleeping, but never dead, will rise in majesty to meet thine own."
~ James Russell Lowell

Do you know the difference between a baron and a lord? Is a marquis higher in rank than a duke? I'm here to give a look at British Nobility.

The nobility is called the peerage, the noblemen themselves known as peers. There are five ranks of peers.

The duke is the highest ranked nobleman below the King or Queen and royal children. The land they exceed is a duchy or Dukedom. It was originally a title for a military commander. The female equivalent or wife of a duke is usually a duchess, though there have been a few accounts of female dukes. Duchesses are referred to as "The Duchess" or "Her Grace".

The next rank is marquess (British spelling) or marquis (N. American and French spelling). A woman is titled marchioness or marquise.

The third rank is earl or count. They were initially the governor of a county or shire. The wife or widow of an earl is a countess.

Viscount is the fourth tier, usually the eldest son of an earl, holding this title while their father is still alive. It can also refer to the person administering a district as the representative of an earl. The female equivalent is the viscountess.

Lowest on the list is baron, although in Great Britain they are addressed with Lord. During the Middle Ages, a baron held lands directly from the king. The woman is a baroness.

Lord comes from loaf-guardian (loaf-kneader for Lady), the land holder providing food for his followers. It is a term for anyone in power and authority, not a specific rank. Anyone below a duke can use the informal title "Lord X".

In modern day Britain, these titles are mostly formality. They are not all landlords or military leaders.

Titles of wives and children of peasants are technically courtesy titles, not held in his / her own right. Children of barons and viscounts are prefixed by "The Honourable". Sons of dukes and marquesses may use the title Lord. You can tell the difference between a courtesy title and a peerage title by the way their name is introduced. Peerages do not use first names. If the "Lord" comes before the first name, it is a courtesy title. If it comes before the surname, it is a peerage. An example of the latter is Alfred, Lord Tennyson.

A peerage is only inherited, and only when the previous holder dies. Courtesy titles, on the other hand, can be granted by birth or marriage.

Franz Kline – An Abstract Expressionist Painter

Franz Josef Kline or Franz Kline was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania on May 23, 1910. Franz Kline was the second of his four siblings, and was named after an Austrian Emperor, by his father, Anthony, and mother, Anne E. Kline. In 1917, at the tender age of seven, his father committed suicide and after three years, his mother remarried. On March 21, 1919, Kline was admitted to Girard College in Philadelphia, which was also an orphanage. As a teenager, he drew sketches on drawing pads, after his class. In the year 1931-32, Franz left home, attended him at the Boston University, and attended classes at Boston Art Students League. In 1935, the artist moved to the United Kingdom to study art and enrolled at the Heatherley's School of Fine Arts, London. Here he met his future wife, Elizabeth Vincent Parsons, a British ballet dancer.

In the UK, Franz Kline was inspired by the painting styles of Rembrandt, Hokusai, and Charles Keene, an English caricaturist of the 19th Century. Most of Kline's works had an 'Expressionist' undertone. The artist came back to the US in 1938, and settled permanently in New York, where he initially worked as a window display artist for women's clothing store. During 1943-44, Kline displayed his work at the annual exhibitions of the conservative, National Academy of Design and won major prizes. The same year, he met Willem de Kooning who influenced him in many ways and introduced abstraction in his art. Owing to this, he got associated with the 'Abstract Expressionist' painters in and around New York.

In addition, Franz's interest in music and ballet helped him pick up and understand the nuances of "Abstract Art" easily. By the year 1949, the figurative subject matter of his formative years metamorphosed into abstraction. Franz Kline had a very spontaneous style of painting, which was on display in two of his works, a "Self-portrait Sketch" & "Studio Interior," in 1946. In the year 1947, Kline experimented with abstract, two-dimensional flat shapes with "The Dancer." Some of the Kline's best 'Abstract Expressionist' works are done in black & white for eg, The Bridge in 1955, Mahoning in 1956, and Riverbed & Caboose in 1961.

Most of the works by Franz Kline have Asian influence, especially Chinese Calligraphy and had a trademark 'black & white' grid. Franz Kline passed away in a hospital on May 13, 1962 in New York due to rheumatic heart problems, which had weakened his heart muscles over the period.

Elegant Chandeliers For Your Home

If you're looking to add a touch of elegance to your home decor consider adding a chandelier. Chandelier light casts a lovely warm glow in any room. These days they're not very expensive, and they come in all sorts of varieties and finishes. You can go to any lighting center and find a chandelier that suits your decor for under $ 100. Of course there are more expensive chandeliers, and depending on your budget you may want to go into a higher price range.

You may decide that your home needs a unique touch and an antique chandelier might just fit the bill. When you are shopping for antique lighting fixtures be prepared to spend a little more to get it rewired. The last thing in the world you want is to have an accident or a fire due to old wiring. It will not cost very much, and in fact, you may be able to install the new wiring yourself. With a little bit of research you may find a chandelier, a new chandelier, that has an antique feel. There are even places online that specialize in custom chandeliers so take a look around before you buy.

Crystal chandeliers, in particular, can add a classic feel to your home since the first chandeliers were decorated with drops of lead crystal. There is something about the look of the tear drop crystals as they reflect the chandelier's lighting. It will add elegance and style. Many people install chandeliers in the dining room. There's nothing special about dining room chandeliers in comparison to say a chandelier in the bedroom – it is all about what works with your design.

Before you go shopping for that chandelier, think about the room, think about the size of the room, how high the ceilings are and what sort of fixture you're looking for. If the room is too large and the chandelier too small, not only will the chandelier look funny, but the chandelier light will be lost in the shadows. The opposite is also true: too big a chandelier in too small of a space is no better.

The key is to do some research ahead of time so that you know your price range and the style and size chandelier you want. Armed with this information, you will have a quick and easy time shopping for your new light fixture.

The Essential Beach Toys – The Bucket And Spade

If you are planning on taking your child to the beach, then almost certainly one of the first things you'll have checked that you had, or bought, will be the traditional bucket and spade. There can be no more classic idea than a small child crawling about on the beach making sand castles, digging holes andorts, burying dad and collecting interesting stones, shells, bits of seaweed and small things that skuttle around at the bottom of their bucket. If you managed to get all the way to the beach without having purchased this essential equipment, then you'll probably have been reminded by the parade of brightly colored shops and stalls all along the sea front selling a range of buckets and spades that will astonish you.

Do you go for small chubby plastic spades, longer handled spades, plastic ones or metal? And what about buckets – is this one too big, too small, is a square bucket better for castles or is a round one easier to use? The choices and decisions make this seem easy task one that requires great thought. After all, the whole beach trip's success may depend on the type of bucket and spade that you choose.

For very small children there is a charming array of buckets and spades, although frequently there are fewer spares than there are forks or rakes. This is for a very good reason – small children, such as toddlers, tend not to be very good at realizing what they're doing with all the sand that is on their spade blade. Generally, anything that needs to be gotten rid of can be hurled into the black void that is the invisible space over their shoulder. This is otherwise known as your lap, the picnic or mummy's head. A toddler armed with a spade will wreak devastation with sand flying everywhere, and this wildly fantastic game is likely to end only when either one of the family wrestles the toddler to the ground, removing the spade with, of course, the resulting flood of tears and wails, or when the toddler themselves hurls a ball of sand into their own face, and then this results in tears and wails.

Rakes, on the other hand, are slightly safer, with the toddler less able to hurl great wads of sand around, but a few flurries. Hopefully they will be more interested in the patterns they can make with it in the sand.

Of course, as a child gets older, spades are necessary as all children love digging holes, and a good sturdy spade will be required. Metal blades are much better for getting through wet sand further down, but are also very good at being used to attempt to slice of toes – whether intentally or not. Therefore, these are best left for the older children who have a much better grasp of where their toes are, and the need to keep them attached.

As for buckets – a strong handle is all you need, since wet sand or water weighs quite a bit, and you do not want this dropping suddenly and either landing on your child's toe, or over your items. For instant satisfaction with small children a smooth sided round bucket will produce good castles fairly reliably and easily, whereas the more complex ones that have currents are good for older children who are happier to out a bit more effort into them.

Do Heated Snow Melting Mats Make Shoveling Obolete?

Depending on your point of view, the frigid months of December through March usually elicit One of two reactions: either one of anticipation or dread! The people who enjoy a skiing, ice skating, snowmobiling, and a white Christmas look forward to the snow coming down; while the rest of the population – the ones who recoil at the idea of ​​having to shovel the snow or drive on it- feel otherwise.

To keep yourself and others dry and safe, it's necessary to not only shovel walkways and stairs, but also to sprinkle rock salt or other chemicals to prevent slippery, dangerous ice from forming. For people who own or manage a business or public facility, the problem increases in direct proportion to the number of visitors that pass through their doors, every day. Business owners not only want to make it convenient, inviting, and safe for customers to stop by, but there's also the issue of legal liability.

Heated Mats May Offer a Viable Alternative

A solution that many people are unaware of is the use of snow-melting traction mats. They're available in a variety of sizes and price ranges, and can reduce or eliminate the need to shovel snow or sprinkle rock salt on walkways over and over again. The price of operating heated mats is minimal – as little as 60 cents a day – and they can usually melt snow as fast as it falls, assuming it's not a blizzard! The HeatTrak snow melting mat for sidewalks can handle up to two inches of falling snow per hour, which would be considered a moderately heavy snowfall.

Snow melting system may range in price from about $ 328 to $ 2025. The low end of the price range will buy a heated outdoor mat from one manufacturer that's two feet wide by five feet long. That's not going to make your life all that much easier, since it would only cover the outside entrance area of ​​a building. If your objective is to drastically reduce or eliminate the need to shovel walkways, it may be necessary to opt for the longer, more expensive versions of the product. With mat sizes as large as three feet by 20 feet, it's possible to cover the entire front walkway of some commercial and residential buildings. For some public buildings and facilities, multiple snow melting mats may need to be purchased.

Another snow melting product that's especially geared for public buildings and businesses is heated aluminum stair treads. In addition to melting the snow and ice, they also have traction features. There's also the economic rubber stair treads for industrial use that generate enough heat to melt snow at a rate of two inches per hour.

You can roughly estimated the savings heated showers would provide, in terms of lower snow removal costs, rock salt expenses, snow blower gasoline, and even even insurance liability premiums; but what you can not put a price tag on is the feeling of looking out the window and seeing a clear sidewalk that does not need to be shoveled or salted, in spite of snow or sleet falling from the sky.

How to Use Self Hypnosis to Achieve Your Goals

Self hypnosis can be used to change a great many things in your life. You can use self hypnosis to remove negative emotions associated with bad memories. You can use self hypnosis to remove negative beliefs and create new ones and you can also use self hypnosis to achieve goals!So, if self hypnosis is so powerful how come some people don’t get results from it?

Well the simple answer is that they aren’t using self hypnosis correctly!

In order to get the most from any self hypnosis session you have to know why you are using it. You must have an intention prior to trying self hypnosis or the only thing you will gain from it is deep relaxation. Set a self hypnosis goal!

This self hypnosis goal should be concise and precise. By writing down your statement of intent you solidify the idea of what you want in your mind and give your subconscious mind something to work towards. You create a self hypnosis goal!

Ensure you don’t include what you don’t want in any self hypnosis program. Make your self hypnosis goal positive and success-affirming. For example saying something like “I am no longer overweight” or “I no longer have unpaid bills” is not how you should word your self hypnosis goal. When you focus on not being overweight your mind creates a picture of being overweight. When you think of having no unpaid bills you must first think of unpaid bills. This is true of anything in life but it becomes extremely important in self hypnosis!

The mind works with images! To illustrate this point I would like you to think of your kitchen. Where is the cooker? Do you have a refrigerator? What colour is it? Does the door open to the left or the right?

Can you see that to answer these questions you must call up a visual memory of your home?

Therefore you must create a written statement that only includes the things you want to have and it must not concentrate, in anyway, on the things you no longer wish to experience. Examples of using the positive statements would be “I achieve my ideal weight with ease” rather than “I am no longer overweight”.

By following this advice you ensure that the only picture your mind forms are positive. During self hypnosis, when you recall these pictures, you are instructing your subconscious mind to help you create them.

Now that you have your written statement that outlines what you want from your self hypnosis sessions you can get more specific. By creating a specific, detailed, image of what you want you can re-program your mind using it during a self hypnosis session.

Now, read the statement you created and become aware of the pictures you are seeing in your mind. Make them larger, brighter and more emotional. Alter the mental scene until it becomes exactly as you would want it to be in reality. Keep changing it until it makes you feel really great.

The written statement and mental picture along with the positive emotions becomes your blueprint for success that you will program into your mind during self hypnosis.

There are a multitude of great self hypnosis recordings available for specific needs (and also a multitude of bad ones) and once you have your intention it should be fairly easy to find one to suit your needs. However, should you chose to try self hypnosis without the aid of a recording you can follow the self hypnosis script below. Just keep practising your self hypnosis everyday until you reach your goal.

Self Hypnosis Script:

Before you begin your self hypnosis session position yourself comfortably, either sitting or lying down. Make sure you will not be disturbed.

To start the self hypnosis session look at a spot on the wall or ceiling that is just above eye level. Make sure you keep your head straight so the you have to lift your eyes so it.

Now tense your toes for several seconds and then release the tension allowing them to relax. This lets you notice the difference between tension and relaxation. Next tense you lower legs and release, then your upper legs and release. Do this for all the muscle groups of your body until you have even relaxed your face and scalp.

After only a few moments, due to the strain on your eyes, they will begin to feel tired and you can close them. This is a part of the self hypnosis induction. In your mind count down from ten to one while you take deep breathes. Then imagine that there is a steep staircase in front of you and walk down them into the darkness. Now count down from five to one.

Now imagine there is a winding staircase in front of you with 10 steps. Walk down the staircase while breathing deeply. By this stage you are in a state of trance and your self hypnosis is well underway.

While in this state of self hypnosis you are going to program your subconscious mind. Bring to mind the mental picture you created earlier. See it in all its detail with you in it. Now run the image like a movie and see yourself interacting in that scene. Once you begin to feel positive emotions step into the movie. Walk right into the imagined you and take over their role. How does that feel to be living that image?

Allow yourself to stay in the mental movie for as long as it feel s comfortable. Once you are ready to leave the state of self hypnosis simply count up from one to ten. Start to become aware of the room around you and any sounds that may be apparent. Then open your eyes. Your self hypnosis is complete.

Ensure you take the time each time to perform your self hypnosis. Do this for a month and you are guaranteed to manifest your mental picture!

Residential Elevators – Provide Convenience For Aged

These days, residential elevators are becoming more popular as these provide convenience for organized and physically handicapped individuals. These are a practical solution if you want to move groceries, luggage, laundry, furniture and other items from floor to floor with ease.

In multistoried buildings, residential elevators offer safe and reliable floor-to-floor transport. Home elevators come with various advantages including space efficiency, affordability and easy installation. These residential elevators are available in a variety of car configurations, ceiling finishes, features and designs and would clearly increase the resale value of your residence.

Safe and Efficient Elevator for Residential Use

Different manufacturers offer different kinds of home elevator models in varying sizes and speed. ThyssenKrupp Access, Savaria Concord and Federal elevator are some of the reputable manufacturers of home elevator systems. Residential elevator models such as Panorama elevator, Renaissance elevator, Eclipse elevator, Infinite Luxury elevator, Prolift Voyager and Telecab increase the value and uniqueness of your home. These models are equipped with all the safety features such as cable safety devices, emergency light, alarm, door interlocks, phone, backup system, handrails and lots more.

Choose Prolift Voyager – A Heavy-duty Model

To make the ride more pleasant, you can choose the Prolift Voyager. This accessibility equipment comes in a variety of colors, finishes, sizes and other options. Featuring 1: 2 cable hydraulic drive system, this model has submersible hydraulic pump to provide smooth, safe, sufficient and dependable operation. It comes with various standard features:

o Travel 40 feet distance
o Automatic emergency cab lighting
o Variable two-speed valve
o Large standard cab platform size of 35 "(890mm) wide by 60" (1525mm) deep
o Attractive digital floor indicator
o Solid ceiling with four recessed incandescent down-lights
o Automatic time lighting
o Emergency alarm button and stop switch

A More Efficient, Effortless Way to Move from Floor to Floor

Select an elevator model that is right for your residence. There are several firms that provide installation and maintenance services. With the help of installation service providers, you can install a home elevator with ease.