B2 Fire Rated?

Its not worth the candle!

A B2 Fire Rating on a product does not mean that product can be used for fire stopping or fire proofing.

When we do a fire risk assessment we often make comment on fire stopping. On one recent job we commented that additional fire stopping was needed. The client employed a contractor who used Soudafoam. On the tin its says the product is ‘B2 Fire Rated in accordance with DIN 4102’.

Our client then asked us to up date our fire risk assessment as these works had been done..

Before signing this off we did some further research to establish what a ‘B2 Fire Rating in accordance with DIN 4102’ meant. Din 4102 is the European Classification of building materials in accordance with their flammability. The Classes range from A1 100% non combustible to B3 Easily combustible. This is what we found:

Rating Degree of flammability Examples

A1 100% noncombustible (nichtbrennbar)

A2 ~98% noncombustible (nichtbrennbar)

B1 Difficult to ignite (schwer entflammbar) intumescents and some high end silicones

B2 Normal combustibility wood

B3 Easily ignited (leichtentflammbar)

As you can see from this a B2 rating is not acceptable as a fire stopping material and either a B1, A2 or A1 classification is needed. The contractors’ supplier had thought that classification B2 indicated a 2 hour fire rating and had sold the material to many other contractors who had been looking for a fire stopping material.

Looking for further information on Soudafoam on the http://www.soudalusa.com website we found a list of the suggested uses; heat insulation, sound insulation and several other uses are recommended there are no comments on fire insulation.

The statement B2 Fire Rated is obviously correct but looking on the web for Soudafoam and coming across an advertisement like this

Soudafoam 1Kb2 Fire Rated Aerosol Foam

I think most people would assume that the product does have good fire proofing values.

To make the matter more annoying foam with the right A1/A2/B1 classification is no more expensive that the Soudafoam Product.

To sell something as ‘B2’ Fire Rated whilst factually correct is very misleading. â�¨â�¨I posted this comment as a discussion within the ‘Fire Risk Assessors and Consultants Group UK’ on LinkedIn. I got a very interesting reply from Gordon Alexander of Gordon Alexander Associates which I copy in full:â�¨

Be very aware of the use of PU foams. They must be tested to BS 476: Parts 20/22, BS EN 1366-4 in the case of linear gaps and BS EN 1366-3 for service penetration seals. There is a very big difference between Reaction to Fire PU Foams such as B1 B2 etc and Fire Resistence to Fire PU Foams. Have a look at the ASFP Advisory Notice on Using Polyurethane Foams and ensure that they are applied as they were tested. I have had many an issue with this – in particular Fire Door Installations. Using penetration foam for sealing doors is not a compliant installation… and vice versa of course. When used on door installations the backing should, in many cases, be mineral wool topped off with at least 10mm of intumescent sealant and all as per manufacturers instructions and installed as per test data. You cannot just ‘bang in’ a load of foam – in particular B2.

I hope these comments are useful and help make sure the right materials are used in the right circumstances.

7 Most Effective Variations On The Curl

Big arms are the mark by which recreational lifters and professional bodybuilders inevitably make comparisons. In fact, they have their own lexicon: guns, cannons, firearms. Heck, can you even name the pro bodybuilder with the largest chest, or quads? Probably not, but I'll bet you can visualize your favorite's heavy artillery. In my experience, better gains can come from training rather rather than relying solely on effort and sometimes blindly emulating the programs of the genetically blessed. After reviewing some of the concepts inherent in smart biceps training, I'll point out which are the best exercises and how to include them in your routine.

This is the classic mass-and-strength builder, which hits all three of the major arm flexors (brachialis, lateral and medial biceps), but the medial head will feel most of the emphasis. Go heavy but be strict.

TIP: Keep your shoulders down and back, chest high and focus on the range of motion from 15-115 degrees of flexion. Keep your elbows at your sides to better isolate the muscle, and use a smooth, controlled motion. Use an EZ-bar, with an outer camber grip, if the straight bar causes forearm pain.

When you use heavy weight, this exercise can stimulate serious growth! This movement can also be done sorted, which reduces body English and really forces you to use good form. Supinate whenever you can during curling movements; it's the most natural way to curl and provides the most stimulation to the muscles involved in elbow flexion.

TIP: Start with the dumbbells in a neutral position at height level and bring them up as far as possible, slowly rotating your wrists as you curl the weight.

This is one of the better-kept secrets of bodybuilders who have really huge arms. Essentially, this movement combines some of the best elements of both barbell and dumbbell exercises, involving all three of the major arm flexors, with particular emphasis on the biceps brachii.

TIP: Begin with your hands at your thighs and your palms facing in (neutral grip). As you raise the weight, slowly suvinate your wrists so that your palms face your body at the top of the movement. Keep your elbow close to your body through.

The lower the incline, the greater the stretch on the upper biceps. If you typically rotate your wrists during this movement, once in a while try instead to maintain a neutral position throughout the range of motion. This puts incredible stress on the brachialis and lateral head of the biceps, while incorporating the medial head to a lesser degree.

TIP: Curl the dumbbells simultaniously, keeping your head back against the bench and elbows back as best as possible. Supinate and squeeze each contraction as forcefully as you can.

This peak-contracting exercise builds both the brachialis and biceps.

TIP: Keep your elbow squarely against your inner thigh. You can also use a supination movement here by starting with your hand in a neutral position.

The ultimate in strict curls and one of the best biceps-builders. Keep your upper arm perpendicular to the floor by reversing the direction of the bench. For a different feel, try using a barbell, EZ-bar, a cable and dumbbells.

TIP: With a barbell, use a slightly-wider-than-shoulder-width grip. For those last two reps, let your wrists extend back at the bottom and then begin by flexing your wrists to give the bar a little extra momentum.

Providing the optimal position for developing the brachioradicis, neutral-grip hammer curls with dumbbells or cable attachments (such as the rope) put the finishing touch on a biceps workout.

TIP: Keep your upper arms by your sides and hold the peak contraction for a count. Pump out partial reps at the end of your set to super-fatigue the muscle.

Using momentum to accomplish a lift descriptions cause because I see so much of it in arm training. Cheating does have a place in arm development, but probably not for beginners or intermediate trainers because it's difficult to do correctly and effectively. When you cheat, you're by design exceeding the "normal" (concentric) strength limits of the muscles, and the movement is performed ballistically with less stability of the entire torso and shoulder girdle.

Cheating increases your risk of injury and may decrease target muscle overload. Many other equal or superior methods increase overload and exercise intensity. If you cheat, use only enough swing to help you get through the sticking point when you've otherwise been unable to, and always lower the weight slowly to emphasize the eccentric portion of the rep.

Production and Productivity – Factors Affecting Productivity


Production refers to the volume value or quantity of goods and services produced during a given period by a worker plant firm or economy. It is the sum total of results achieved by the various factors used together.


Productivity is not concerned with the volume of production. It is the ratio of output and input factors of an enterprise. It shoes the efficiency of production or the efficiency levels of input factors.

Factors Affecting Industrial Productivity:

Productivity is defined to be some ratio between output and input those all factors which affect output and inputs will also affects the measure of productivity. The following factors affect the productivity.

a) Technological Development:

Technological factors including the degree of mechanization, how raw materials, layout and the method and techniques of work determine the level of technological development in any industry. The principal factor in technological development affecting productivity is

b) The Size of the Plant:

The size of the plant and the capacity utilization has direct bearing on productivity. Production below or above the optimum level will be uneconomical and will tend towards lower level of productivity.

b) Research and Development:

Investment in research and development may yield better method of work and better design and quality of products.

c) Plant and Job Layout:

The arrangement of machines and position in the plant and the setup of the wore-bench of an individual worked will determine how economically and efficiently production will be ferried out.

d) Machine and Equipment Design:

Whether design of machinery and equipments is modern and in keeping with the limitations and capacities of the workers will also determine the production efficiently and level of productivity.

e) Production Processes:

Advanced Production processes involving the use of modern integrated and automatic machinery and semi processed material have been known to help in raising levels of productivity.

f) Power Raw Materials:

Improved quality of raw materials and increased use of power have a favorable effect on productivity.

g) Scientific Management:

Scientific management techniques such as better planning of work simplifications of methods time and modern study emphasis for reduced wastage and spillage have positive effects on productivity.

2. Individual Factors:

Individual factor such as knowledge skill and attitude also affect the productivity of industry. Knowledge is required or acquired through training education and interest on the part of lecturer. Skill is affected by aptitude, personality, education, experience, training etc.

a) Organization Factors:

Organization factor include various steps taken by the organization towards maintaining better industrial relations such as delegation and decentralization of authority. These factors also influence motivation likewise the existence of group, with higher productivity as their goal is likely to contribute to the organization objectives.

How To Do The Parallel Squat – Functional Movement Exercise

The most functional movement that will change the way you look, move, and feel is the Parallel Squat. That’s because we use it constantly throughout our day when we sit down and get up…even when you walk you are taking a mini-squat one leg at a time.

The large, powerful muscles of the entire backside and front of the thighs are used when performing the Parallel Squat.

It is referred to as the Parallel Squat in order to differentiate it from the full-range squat. The full-range squat has given a bad reputation to the squat exercise in general. This is due to the fact that there is more risk than benefit to the increased range of motion for most individuals when performing squats to this below parallel depth range over a period of time.

The two most basic and effective exercises for your complete leg workout are the Squat and the deadlift.When done in the same workout, the “stiff-legged” deadlift will be a perfect opposite to the Parallel Squat. However, the bent-knee deadlift would not be a good choice with this Superset training approach for the legs as it engages the quadriceps, thus incorporating the same squat movement.

Start above a target to which you can lower yourself down to touch.Commonly called bench squats, this target method is used to focus on proper depth of the movement. Often a bench is used, but then there is a tendency to sit down and bounce back up which can be jarring to the spine. My preferred target is not so stable, just an exercise ball chosen for the right height. Once good strength and control is gained, advance to barbell Parallel Squat training where much more weight can be used for even greater strength gains.

Progression can start by performing Dumbbell Bench Squats.Theses are the most functional variation lending to real daily living movement patterns. Holding a pair of dumbbells-one in each hand with arms serving as hangers for the weights will allow you to gradually add weight to your Parallel Squat.

Details and Additional Ways to Perform the Parallel Squat

Performing good functional Parallel Squat movement starts by tilting the pelvis and pushing hips behind you forming a good arch in the low back, as though positioning to have a seat on a chair. Recommended range should not exceed a depth lower than thighs parallel to the ground. Hence, the name of the technique! That is, keep the hip joint no lower than knee level. Risk in doing so outweighs benefit. You can vary the arm position with and without weight. Parallel Squat are known as the king of lower body exercise.

Vary your stance in performing the Parallel Squat to focus the workload on either inner or outer thigh by choosing a wide or a close-footed stance.You can target the outer aspect of the upper thigh and hip area when assuming a close-footed stance with feet about 4-6 inches apart to enhance benefit to the Parallel Squat. However, you will feel more powerful in a wider stance, which recruits more inner thigh.

Another good functional Parallel Squat variation is the split stance, which can be a lead-in to the single-leg Parallel Squat.The same good form and technique applies to all Parallel Squat variations. Training intensity can be increased without adding weight just by progressing to more challenging single-sided variations.

You can perform your Parallel Squat followed by the stiff-legged deadlift and repeat the alternation without waiting for a muscle rest period. These are considered agonist-antagonist muscle movements, so as long as you are not completely out of breath you can go right from Squat to stiff-legged deadlift and back to squat. However, the bent-knee deadlift would not be a good choice with this Superset training approach for the legs as it engages the quadriceps, thus incorporating the squat. This Squat to stiff-legged deadlift sequence is an ideal approach for progressive weight training when applied to the Body-for-Life training method.

The Jaguar XF Motor Car

The Jaguar XF motor car has a modern feel and an air of superior craftsmanship. The center console is high and wide so that it envelopes driver and front passenger. A seven-inch color touch-screen controls most cabin functions, reducing buttons to a single intuitive panel. The dashboard fascia is brushed aluminum and polished wood, flawlessly detailed. Dating back, all Jaguars have had a quality dashboard fascia. A nice touch is that the climate vents rotate out of sight when not in use. Seating surfaces are soft-grained, twin-stitched leather.

The XF employs a unique entry and start-up system. First, there is a keyless entry system that is available on select XF models. The system automatically activates when the Jaguar Smart Key that correlates with the car goes near the car. When the door is opened the car will activate its unlocking procedures. Inside, you will notice the red start button on the console is pulsing like a heartbeat. Press the button and the rotary shifter raises up into the palm of your hand, signaling you to select a drive option. The air vents rotate to open and the navigation system will automatically turn on after this is done.

The engine for the Jaguar XF is one of the most powerful engines among Jaguar cars. This engine is a 4.2L V8 engine. This features thirty two values ​​and four overhead cams. Carshaft phasing can be manually controlled so that different responses can be used for different driving situations. Additional automatic shift modes are programmed for different driving conditions including Drive, Sport and Winter modes. Manual gear can be used as well.

In keeping with the rest of the car industry, computer aided design has been used in the design of the XF's light, but high-strength new generation steel body shell that is torsionally stiff for safe, precise handling. ABS antilock brakes with traction and corner controls reduce stopping distances without sacrificing stability. In addition a computer active technology suspension senses the contour of the road and adjusts the ride accordingly for optimum comfort. Two-stage Dynamic Stability Control manages grip when conditions vary. These active safeguards are complimented by two-stage driver and front passenger airbags, occupant position and weight sensing, front seat head restraints, andsoft-landing' technology in safety belt retractors.

There are all sorts of additional options that can be used for this car. A rear parking camera can be used for parking in tight areas with ease. The rear window has an available sunblind too. The car also uses Bluetooth and iPod integration as well.

Who Parks on Pavement?

We've all heard of the term parking on pavement but so few of us actually know what the true definition is. The only frame of reference most people have is when they are offered this conspicuous charge when faced with a speeding ticket or some other moving violation. Section 1201 of the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law defines Parking on pavement as the following:

Stopping, standing, or parking outside of business or residence districts. (a) Upon any highway outside of a business or residence district no person stop stop, park, or leave standing any vehicle, whether attended or unattended, upon the paved or main-tracked part of the highway when it is practicable to stop, park , or so leave such vehicle off such part of said highway, but in every event anunobstructed width of the highway opposite a standing vehicle shall be left for the free passage of other vehicles and a clear view of such stopped vehicles shall be available from a distance of two hundred feet in each direction direction such highway.

A typical example would be pulling your car off to the side of the Northway or other major highway and leaving it there to go sight-seeing.

A 1201 (a) is the charge that most people wish to plead to when they receive a traffic ticket, especially when they are facing a charge that involves numerous points to their otherwise "spotless" drivers license.

A charge of parking on pavement is equivalent to a traditional parking ticket, such as parking on the wrong side of the street. The penalty comes with a fine and does not add any points to ones license. Another reason why this charge is so popular to plead to is because this violation does not appear on an individual's driving record. Here, when permissions look at person's drivers abstract, which is basically a "rap sheet" of their driving history, nothing will appear relating to the charge.

Typically if a person has a clean driving record and the charge pending is not too extreme, an attorney can often negotiate a plea to parking on pavement. Some courts will offer a 1201 (a), second offense if a driver has some recent infractions on their license or if the charge is a bit more severe. Parking on payment, second offense comes with a larger fine amount. It is still considered a non-moving violation and carries no points.

So if anyone has ever received a traffic ticket for speeding or some other moving violation and extremely pled to a lesser charge, chances are "You parked on pavement."

Mind Control Techniques – The Art & Science Of Passive Coercion

There are many mind control techniques that are based on specific actions or language patterns. These are popular, because they are easy to try out. Examples of active coercion techniques are putting somebody in a hypnotic trance, using “yes bridges”, pattern interrupts, and so on. It is kind of “talking someone into something”.

However, there is another kind of mind control technique that can be just as effective when it comes to manipulating other people: passive coercion.

Passive coercion doesn’t require you actually doing something – rather, it is about setting up an environment through which your target will have to pass through – and the simple act of passing through this environment will influence his or her behavior.

This might sound rather strange, but it is actually a quite common experience. In fact – whenever you walk into a large shopping mall, you experience it first hand.

The art and science of passive coercion is a multi-billion dollar business. There isn’t a single modern shopping mall in the world that has not been designed with the help of passive coercion specialists. If you want to experience passive coercion in an even more sophisticated environment, visit a Las Vegas casino.

The reason why passive coercion is so effective is partly because it is invisible – we are not aware that this particular environment is very specifically designed to make us perform certain actions, think certain thoughts.

Shopping malls – as well as casinos – have surveillance cameras everywhere. Our usual understanding is that this is simply for security purposes – but these materials are carefully and meticulously analyzed by highly specialized psychologists whose aim is to better understand, and alter consumer behavior. They do this with the help of scent, sounds and light. They create an architecture that influences you to spend more time – and money – in the shopping mall. Even the flooring is designed to create the wished for effect – not just the colors, but also the softness or hardness of the floor has a subtle, but nonetheless very measurable effect on our behavior.

Of course, when you want to influence somebody to do something, you can not spend hundreds of thousands of dollar creating an coercive environment – but being aware of the fact that the environment can either increase or decrease the effectiveness of your persuasive attempts is worthwhile knowledge in and of itself. Because you can thus choose to meet in an environment that will boost your persuasive position.

How to Properly Mount a Blacksmith Anvil

One of the first tools that you must acquire as a beginning blacksmith is the anvil. Anvils come in many styles and shapes and price ranges, but all need to be mounted on a sturdy support to work.

Traditionally the anvil was mounted on a large heavy stump, typically of elm or maple wood. This provided a platform that raised the anvil to working height and would end the pounding of the steel with heavy hammers. In old pictures and paintings you can find many variations of this mounting on a stump. You will often find tools arranged around the stump for easy access.

Today we have more options when it comes to mounting an anvil. Height is just as important as what it is mounted on. I have worked on anvils too short and ones too tall. The actual height can make a dramatic difference in amount of work you can get done and the rate that you fatigue at. The old rule of thumb for anvil height was to stand straight and make a fist and the distance from the floor to your knuckles is the height to the top of the anvil.

If you look at this height from the side you will see that with a hammer in your hand and a piece of steel on the face of the anvil your elbow will have a slight bend to it. This bend is actually a shock absorber. If you have a straight arm at the end of your hammer swing you will stress your elbow joint and the tendon inside. This can be very painful and can limit your blacksmithing severly. I prefer to err a little more on the side of caution and have set my primary anvil at wrist height when I am standing beside it.

This gives me a little more cushion on the impact. Another consideration is the type of work that you will be doing on the anvil. Small light work, we tend to bend over to look closely at the detail as we are hammering it. This places a strain on the low back. Heavy work, we tend to be more upright allowing more power to be provided. Usually on large bars accuracy is not required until we get to the refining stage.

If you work consistently on large bars your anvil could be set a bit lower. If you work on small mailing details then a slightly higher anvil can make a huge difference.

The actual mounting system of the anvil is very important and often over looked. If you go into an old traditional blacksmith shop, the anvil is often just sitting on top of the stump and not even tied down. This is the worst scenario. The anvil will move around with each hammer blow and eventually you have to reposition it to keep it from falling off the stump.

Some smiths have used bent steel as staples driven around the feet of the anvil. This will keep it on the stump but the staples ever loosen and it rattles around.

The best solution is to bolt the anvil as tight as possible to the stand or stump. Although not traditional I have seen heavy metal 3 legged stands work very well for blacksmith anvil bases. The point of bolting the anvil down is that you are effectively adding the mass of the stump or the stand to the weight of the anvil. In general the heavier the anvil the better as more of the force of the hammer stroke goes into the bar instead of moving the anvil. So if our stump weighs a 100 lbs and it is bolted tightly to the anvil we are effectively adding a 100 lbs to our anvil. Of course it should be a good anvil to start with.

What I have used effectively is a thin strip of steel front and back of the anvil. Flat bar inch inch thick by 1 inch wide works well. These strips are lag bolted with heavy lag bolts into the stump. In the middle of the strip there is a regular bolt and nut. I have a chain going around the waist of the anvil and over laps at these bolts. I can tighten the nuts until I have tremendous pressure pulling the chain down around the anvil holding it secure on top of the wood. This has worked well for me for many years. There is an added benefit that it will dampen down the noise of the anvil if yours happens to ring a bit loudly.

Another idea for mounting an anvil is to make a plywood box that is the right height for the anvil. Then fill it with concrete and 8 bolts welded together to a frame. The bolts will need to stick out of the concrete so that you can position your anvil between them and then bolt it down with straps over top of the feet. Make sure your concrete is level and you should have a completely secure base. Be cautious with this because you may never be able to move your anvil due to the weight.

Some people have suggested a plywood box but filled with sand. I have never liked this idea since since you work on the anvil it tends to move around and you are constantly leveling it again. The other problem is there is no effective way of bolting the anvil down to the mass of the sand.

With a little foresight in constructing your anvil stand and using a height of about wrist height and bolting the blacksmiths anvil tightly to its base you will be able to use your anvil to its full potential. Make sure that is level and that the base is heavy.

Mosaics: An Ancient Art Form

Mosaics are an art form that has been around for thousands of years. What we recognize as a mosaic today, pieces of glass or ceramics set into patterns in concrete or grout, had its beginnings in ancient Greece. Before that, people made things that were similar to modern mosaics, but were different in a couple of vital ways.

Most experts agree that the origins of mosaics started in the Orient. One example of this is in Chaldean society around 2000 BC. Instead of glass, the Chaldeans used small cones of painted clay that were set into surface of columns for decorations. Fused glass was first discovered by the Egyptians and they began decorating everything with it, including their ships. From Egypt, the use of fused glass spread slowly across the world. Early on, in Greece, mosaics were crafted out of pebbles that had been worn down in water. The pebbles (or ciottoli) were set in the pictures carefully so that shading and designs were created to make the pictures more realistic. They also used thin strips of lead to highlight and define lines in the pictures. Often these mosaics were used for floor decorations, so your entire floor could be one huge mosaic. Not only was your home more beautiful and interesting, it was functional as well.

By the 4th century BC, the art of mosaics changed greatly. The Romans expanded on and made changes to the art that had been passed on to them by the Greeks. The Romans began to use smaller pieces of both stone and glass. Because they were using smaller pieces, the pictures could be more detailed and complex. Mosaics could be found everywhere from floors to ceilings to even walkways where mosaics were made from stones and pieces of marble.

In due time, the Romans passed their mosaic making skills onto the Byzantines who took it to even greater heights. The number of mosaics and the skill and intricacy involved in them are phenomenal during this period in Byzantium. With the fall of Byzantium in the 15th century, however, mosaic making fell out of favor and was not practiced much if at all until the 19th century. Since then mosaics have persisted in one form or another.

Today, mosaics are alive and well. It is an easy art to learn, but it can take a lifetime of infinite possibilities to master. The variations and potential for so many different pieces is infinite. You can buy items for your mosaics, including pre-cut tiles or glass. You can use broken dishes from around your house, or even random items you find such as shells or rocks. Inspiration is all around you, from historical examples to more modern mosaic art. Many examples of ancient mosaics still exist, some of them remarkably intact and well kept. You could attempt to recreate a drawing or painting that you like into a mosaic, or you could take a historical example and try to recreate it. The possibilities are endless and the scope of your project could be huge or small, depending on what you plan on using it for.

Application of Trowel Blades

Trowel blades are the components fitted on power trowels in concreting works used by construction companies, contractors and architects. They have the function of enabling the concrete to set and for the slab to have a smooth and fine finish. There are several companies making trowel blades and supplying them to power trowel manufacturers. They are also supplied as spares and replacement to contractors as and when required by them. Many of them are on their regular list of suppliers to original equipment manufacturer.

Trowel blades have three different functions, all essential for a durable and well finished concrete slab. The three different functions are leveling of the concrete surface, then smoothing and giving it a good finish. Because of the nature of their duty, trowel blades differ in constructional details although not very much. They are the float blades, finish blades and combination blades. Essentially the application of trowel blades is only as contribution factor in the use of power trowel to effect the three operations on a concrete slab, mentioned above.

The first application of the trowel blade of the power trowel is the leveling of the concrete also called the floating operation and uses the floating blade. This is done after the concrete is set enough to bear the weight of the trowel without a dent being created. The floating blade makes contact on the concrete slab surface, when the trowel is run. This process opens up the surface crust and enables it to set. Floating removes humps and also fills up all the pits on it. Compaction of the concrete is also achieved by large aggregate being pushed benefit the surface. They are clip on devices and do not require bolts and nuts to fit them on the trowel. The same is the case with the other two blades also. Float blades are broad one with the edges turned up and used flat. The floating operation brings the water to the top.

The second and third application of smoothing and finishing is done by finish blades. They are narrow six inch blades. The length varies according to the diameter of the machine on which it is to be fitted. They are reversible and can be turned end for end. Finish blades are tilted to small angle and are usually run with the machine at full speed. Used when the concrete has just begun to set, they make the concrete surface hard and give it smooth finish and sometimes glossy. Usually, trowel with the blades is run as many times as required, from one end to the other. It is also run across, with a motor at a higher speed and the blades exerting more pressure. This operation is done to cover any filling which might have been missed in the earlier run. Combination blades are used for doing both floating and finishing operation. This blade is not reversible.

Book Review – The Kiss by Sophia Nash

From the very first page you are drawn into The Kiss with Ms. Nash quickly turning things around so that you're off on adventure you did not see coming.

This is the story of Georgiana Wilde and Quinn Fortesque, childhood companions separated for many years until family business brings Quinn back into Georgiana's life. After a long absence Quinn is called home to set right the family fortune and challenge Georgiana's new title of marchioness.

Georgiana Wilde is a wonderful heroine with lots of layers. She is not perfect, but you love her for her strength, intelligence, wit, and determination – my kind of gal. Quinn, our hero, has past issues that prevent him from having the life he wants. What could have been a typical plot of why the hero and heroine can not be together, is instead a story of two people who have a past peppered with mysteries and unspoken truths. This is where The Kiss shines. I was never hit over the head repeatedly about the hero's past, or how it haunted him. Or constantly told of the heroine's difficulties and how they molded her. Instead, through superb dialogue and prose we're told a wonderful story of love lost and love found.

This is not your add water, shake and stir romance novel. No, this is a multi-layered story with relationships that are created, nurtured and come to life in three dimensions.

I was more than happy to take the journey toward the happily ever after because of the rich layers, the surprising turns and the warmth and depth of all the characters in The Kiss .

Ace Expressionist & Meditative Artist – Alexei Von Jawlensky

Russian 'Expressionist' painter, Alexei von Jawlensky or Alexej Georgewitsch von Jawlensky or Aleksey von Jawlensky, was born in an aristocratic family on March 13, 1864, near Torschok in Russia. In 1874, Jawlenskys migrated to Moscow. His father was a colonel and this fact propelled Alexei to join the cadet school in Moscow. In 1880, the artist got an opportunity to see the Moscow World Exposition, which inspired him towards art. As a lieutenant, Jawlensky managed a transfer to St. Louis. Petersburg, to study at the Academy of Fine Arts under the guidance of the reputed Russian painter, Ilya Repin. At the Academy, Alexei met the painter, Marianna von Werefkin, who provided instrumental in promoting his art in the later years.

Although, Russian by origin, the painter's work ground was Germany. His artistic journey in Germany began in 1896. That year, Alexei von Jawlensky quit the military service as a Captain, and migrated to Munich along with Werefkin and his house cleaner, Helen Nesnakomoff, with what he later tied knot. In Munich, he attended the Art Academy, owned by Anton Azbe. He was introduced there to its director and one of the founders of Abstract painting, Wassily Kandinsky. Alexei von Jawlensky developed a strong rapport with Kandinsky that lasted lifelong. The artist traveled extensively through Europe, and met the artists of high repute, such as Van Gogh, Cezanne, and Matisse, who works a major role in molding his artistic thoughts. On his return to Munich, the painter joined the artistic group, 'Neue Kunstler Vereinigung Munchen (New Munich Artist's Association),' which had artists like Paul Klee, Franz Marc, and Kandinsky, as its members.

With the outbreak of World War I, Jawlensky had to leave Germany, owed to his Russian nativity. He settled down in Switzerland, and put his hands on landscape paintings, carving out a niche for himself. This shot him to fame and glory. The artist also painted several large 'Cubist' style heads called "Meditations." His works mainly mainly on landscapes, portraits, and still life. He believed in portraying his experiences, emotions, and convictions through his art. In effect, his paintings were an amalgamation of realty, and imagery, with a generous use of strong colors, and bold shapes, having thick contours. "Hyacinth" (1902), "Portrait of the Dancer Alexander Sacharoff" (1909), and "Vase and Jug" (1909) are some of the hallmarks the artist produced during this phase.

In the year 1916, Jawlensky met Emmy Scheyer, who became his student. Scheyer was in charge of organizing all of Alexei's exhibitions in Germany. She even took the initiative of forming the group, 'Die Blaue Vier (The Blue Four),' in 1924, as a platform for exhibiting the works of Jawlensky, Kandinsky, Klee, and Lyonel Feininger in the United States. In addition, she was actively involved in the advertizing and promotion of their creations, until her death in the year 1945. In 1929, Jawlinsky suffered from arthritis, and this forced him to paint with both his hands. By 1937, he became very incapable of painting. By then, the Nazis had declared his art as 'degenerate,' and most of his works were confiscated. The competent painter died on March 15, 1941, in Weisbaden, Germany.

(1928), Cornfield near Carantec, and Fir Tree, Girl with Flower Hat, "which was featured as a cover art by the jazz music group, 'Acoustic Ladyland' for their album, Skinny Grin, in 2006. Alexi's contributions to the field of art later on came to be known as 'Meditative Art.'

Cleaning Your Chandelier – Safety Tips

Chandeliers are essential accent pieces in dining and living rooms of homes. Chandeliers bring life to holidays and special occasions, and nothing beats an elegantly set table with crystal, china, silverware and linen like having an equally sparkling and gleaming chandelier.

However, despite its allure and stature, many chandeliers suffer from neglect and improper cleaning. Since these pieces are sensitively intricate, people would resist cleaning them until it's absolutely, positively necessary to do so.

If a chandelier is dirty and filled with dust, grime and cobwebs, it is time to clean it before that special occasion arrives and when you should be in a hurry, you could cause some of the crystals to drop, or probably damage the fixture itself .

Be sure to your chandeliers in advance before any major event, so it will be ready when the special occasion comes.

Ways to clean chandeliers

There are a lot of ways on effectively cleaning chandeliers, however there are two standard methods used when it comes to cleaning a chandelier. The methods refer to the way you clean the fixture and the 2 choices are either to wet clean or dry clean them. Should one have an ornate and opulently designed chandelier or one that is placed too high too clean, you may probably have to wet the fixture.

If you have a particularly fine crystal chandelier, you must first contact the lighting center of your choice, or where you purchased the fixture, and inquire about the proper way to clean it. It is also advisable to ask for advice from a lighting professional or an electrician. However, it is also recommend that one uses a spray cleaner or try individual hand cleaning. If one has any concerns at all, hand, or dry cleaning could be the best choice.

Safety tips for cleaning chandeliers

Before proceeding with cleaning your chandelier, take note of the following safety precautions:

– Turn off the electricity first at the circuit breaker box, to prevent electrocution.

– Plug another light at another outlet, on another breaker switch, to lighten the area and guide you when cleaning the chandelier.

– Move anything breakable away from the cleaning area.

– Use a tall ladder so that you will not have problems reaching inner areas of the chandeliers.

– Put a mat or a large of plastic on the floor to serve as a catch basin for any drips, and also place a soft blanket or cloth on the floor to catch any crystals, should one fall

For the proper and thorough cleaning of chandeliers, it would be best to follow these important procedures:

– Take out all bulbs and put them away.

– Lay a large towel above the bottom of a sink or dishpan. Fill this halfway with medium hot water. Add soap, detergent and swish up to create suds.

– Fill up a large container or pan with clean hot water for rinsing and pad this up with a towel to keep fine, crystals or glass from breaking.

– Take the crystal drops and saucers off of the chandelier and wash a one at the time. Wipe the frame of the chandelier with a cloth filled with suds.

– Continue washing, and re-changing parts of the chandelier until the whole fixture is clean. Afterwards, wipe them dry and put them back into their sockets.

The Pros and Cons of Spade Terminals


'Should I use spade terminals to connect my speaker cable to my audio equipment?' That's the question that a lot of people are asking themselves. Visit any kind of audio-visual forum or website on the internet or pick up any kind of specialist audio magazine or newsletter and you are sure to come across this question being raised time and time again.

It seems that people just are not sure about using spades, and one can only assume this uncertainty is caused by the confusing and often contradictory information that is available – of course it does not really help that raging through the audio -visible community about whether it is best to use spades, banana plugs or bare cable.

It seems to have gotten to the stage where all matters to each 'side' is seeing who can shout the loudest, so if a consumer was not confused enough before they now have to wade through all of the half truths and misinformation caused by this dispute.

The simple truth is that deciding whether or not to use these connectors is actually quite an easy task, it's just that a lot of people out there make it much harder than it needs to be, so with that in mind, let's quickly talk about the main pros and cons of using them so that you can make an unbiased decision.

The Pros

The main reason for using spade terminals, or any other type of terminal for that matter, is convenience. Wrapping bare speaker cable around a binding post and ensuring a secure connection is a satisfactory and awkward task at the best of time, but by fitting a spade terminal hooking up a connection is a simple matter of placing the spade lug around the binding post and tightening it down.

Spade terminals also features a reliably large surface area, meaning that there is more metal coming in to contact with the binding post, therefore helping to maintain the strength and quality of the audio signal being delivered.

Spades are also a popular choice of termination when space is at a premium. Other types of connectors tend to add extra depth to the back of the component, ie they stick out a long way, spade terminals on the other hand can be fitting in such a way that they sit almost flush against the back of the component making them idea to use with equipment that is either wall mounted, or housed within a cabinet or stand.

Finally, another bonus is that spade terminals are a great way of protecting the ends of your cables from corrosion. As you know the copper wires inside speaker cables are notoriously vulnerable to corrosion, which can have a detrimental impact on the performance of your system, but seeing as most spade lugs are gold-plated your cable should be fully protected.

The Cons

The main drawback to spade terminals is that they increase costs. The individual spade terminals are reliably cheap, but buying multiple pairs can soon mount up so consumers with an extremely tight budget may need to think twice before buying.

It can take a fair amount of time and effort to properly install spade terminals on the ends of all your speaker cables, except of course you buy cable with spade terminals already installed – but again this cable is likely to cost more than 'naked' speaker cable.

It's also worth noting that some people have experienced problems with spade terminals accidentally slipping out of place. If the lug is not tightly secured then gravity along with the weight of the cable can cause the lug to work itself loose over time. This should not be a major issue, but it's a good idea to always make sure the spade terminal is tightly fastened down and to give the connection a quick check every couple of weeks or so.

Shovel, Blower, Or Plow?

The most powerful Snow Storm of the season hit in Northwestern Ohio today – and since I try to find a lesson in everything I do – this is what come to me while clearing the driveway and sidewalks. In many ways – dealing with a Snow Storm is a lot like the way you deal with tasks in business.

In this example – we'll call our tasks the content of writing articles, making videos, and / or creating Blog Posts.

Doing Everything Yourself

If you plan on tackling the drifts on your own – when you first know a Snow Storm is coming – you rush out and get all the supplies necessary to help you weather through everything. You know the usual suspects that go along with doing everything yourself – Warm Clothes, boots, salt, a Snow Shovel, and LOTS of time and Sweat Equity.

In tackling the above mentioned content – you do similar things. You gather all your tools – usually free ones – and do with them what you can and you do so with 100% of your own effort.

Utilizing Tools

If you're lucky – you might be able to start employing tools that make the job A LOT easier! They still require time and Sweat Equity – but less of it. You'll still need many of the supplies above – but now the list may include include a Snow Blower or a Snow Blade that can be attached to the front of a Lawn Tractor. These tools and supplies require you to invest money in the equipment, gas, and maintenance in order to keep them running properly.

This time around – conquering the content can be a little easier. Because now you're using tools and / or services you've purchased that make completing everything easier and with less time involved on your part.


And lastly – if you're too busy, unable to, and / or just do not want to remove the snow yourself – then you might consider finding someone who does it for a living. Hiring someone still requires telling them what it is you want done. And each part of the job will probably cost you extra. For instance – simply clearing your driveway might only involve driving up and pushing all the snow away with a plow. But if there are areas that can not be reached with the truck – they might have to get out and use the same tools you would have in the examples above. This will add to the cost of the job. In addition – there may be maintenance required in keeping the snow off the affected area – which means you may need them for an extended amount of time.

In this stage of the game – your telling someone with the tools needed what you want and they're doing it all FOR you. This allows you to concentrate on more important tasks – and / or provides you with Time Freedom.