How Can You Prevent a Steel Storage Shed From Rusting?

In recent years, steel storage sheds have grown in popularity. This is due to the many benefits they provide such as durability, strength, low maintenance, and security. As well, steel can withstand such weather conditions as strong winds, heavy rain, and snow. They are also resistant to fire. However, it is important that one maintains a steel storage shed that is resistant to rust.

One can prevent rusting of a steel building by purchasing metal buildings that are made from galvanized steel. As well, steel storage buildings can be coated with aluminum elements that will prevent rusting. These metal panels coated with aluminum material can extend the life of the steel for 25 – 30 years. There are metal storage building suppliers that provide hot dipped galvanized steel panels that come with a long warranty against rust that can be about 15 years. This type of steel prevents moisture from affecting the steel. Most aluminum or galvanized steel metal storage building panels are coated with a vinyl finish or baked enamel. If one wanted to ensure they are extending the life of their metal storage building, they can coat the metal every few years with a vinyl finish that is specifically made to cover metal. Many experts recommend that steel structures should be treated with anti-rust coatings every two years. Another method for rust coating steel panel is the use of galvanized zinc that is applied to the steel using a hot dip process. As well, there are vinyl coated storage steel buildings.

If your metal storage building is already showing signs of rust, you can treat the rust areas by sanding it until the rust is gone and then apply a primer to the spot. Once dry, you can paint over it.

Steel storage buildings are very beneficial. When one buys a do-it-yourself steel building kit, they can save a lot of money. As well, installation is not difficult as they come with easy to follow instructions. Metal building kits come in a variety of sizes, designs, and shapes. There is a steel building that meets everyone’s needs.

Steel storage buildings are an investment in protection. They keep water, insects, and wildlife out of the building so you will have peace of mind knowing that your items such as valuables, equipment, home from the home such as clothing, books…etc, are protected. There are even steel buildings that will hold vehicles, large manufacturing equipment, farm supplies, and even farm animals. These buildings are air and water tight to ensure that what is inside is protected. They are also secure enough to keep authorized individuals out. To keep moisture from forming inside a steel building, many experts suggest adding more ventilation.

Steel storage buildings are perfect for personal, commercial, industrial, or small business use. They are a wise investment that requires very little maintenance. Fortunately there are simple things you can do to maintain the life of your steel building by preventing rust from developing. Innovative protective methods have allowed for the construction of high-quality and durable steel storage sheds that can last for many years.

Why the Africans Live in Huts

Whenever one sees a picture of a hut, one thinks of Africa. Indeed, huts have been the defining architectural hallmark of Africa, and throughout the continent, they have been the preferred building style.

Huts are a form of living space. Huts are usually round, with a peaked roof. They are usually made of mud or clay, with a wooden structure to support the building, and a single wooden pole in the centre, which supports the grass-thatched roof.

Many critics of Africa claim that Africa can boast no great cultures south of Egypt. By that, they often mean that there is no architectural evidence of greatness south of the Pyramids. Indeed, architecture or architectural remains are the accepted calling card of the so-called ‘great cultures’.

While most of Africa can boast no such fossil evidence, there is reason to believe that the architectural choices made by the Africans thus far are neither as accidental nor as simplistic as they may seem.

For one, most of Africa is warm to hot throughout the year, without an extended winter period. The most uncomfortable climatic period is the long rains, during which it rains a lot, mostly every day. However, in most of Africa, it showers, rather than rains. That means a quick and voluminous period of precipitation, unlike rain in Europe for example, which may be a slight but continuous precipitation. In addition, most of Africa, which lies at the equator, experiences almost equal twelve-hour periods each for night and day. This is in contrast to for example Europe, where in winter, darkness may be up eighteen hours long.

As such, most of life in Africa is lived outside. A shelter is needed only for the night, against the cold and as shelter from wild animals. There has never been a need to invest as heavily in shelter as has been done in Europe for example. Strictly speaking, there was rarely a situation in Africa where lack of shelter would have been life-threatening. In many African cultures, nomads, hunters, warriors and messengers were often away from home for long periods without having shelter.

Huts are often small, and made of the readily available mud or river clay, plastered over a skeleton of branches. They were completely inexpensive in both materials and labour. In many cultures, the women did the plastering, while the men did the thatching of the roof. Among the Maasai of East Africa, the woman builds the whole structure, which is referred to as a manyatta.

Because of this relaxed philosophy to shelter, the Africans were not enslaved by the acquisition of shelter as is often the case in the modern world. In today’s globalised world, buying one’s home is a lifetime liability that forces one to live chained to a mortgage, under the Damocles sword of a foreclosure. The exploitation of this fear in the U.S.A. contributed to the current worldwide financial crisis.

It is also worthy of note that almost all the famous architectural monuments of the great cultures were built by employing slave labour, forced and semi-forced labour. That has never been necessary in Africa south of the pyramids. In fact, shelter was so inexpensive that the nomads could walk away from their huts at a moment’s notice and walk off into the savannah – the epitome of freedom.

It also meant that no family was ever without shelter because shelter was unaffordable, unlike in today’s world where many families become homeless if they experience a financial upset midway through their mortgage.

In many parts of Africa, the huts were renovated and renewed once a year, after the harvest season and before the next rains. This was the period with the least work and was like a holiday. The harvest was in, and next agricultural season had not yet begun. The women renovated the walls of the huts by plastering with a new layer of mud or clay. White or ochre-coloured river clay was used as a cosmetic finish inside and outside the hut, as well as on the floor. Communities that had no access to river clay used a mixture of cow-dung and mud, or ash.

A good African housewife took this duty as seriously as caring for her own body. A capable wife could be identified by her impeccably-kept hut(s). The regular renovation also served an important hygienic function: river clay is a very clean and wholesome material that discourages the breeding of insects and other pests. Both clay and dried cow dung are similar to ash in this respect. Cooking-fire ash from non-poisonous burnt wood is pure enough to be used as an alternative for toothpaste.

Renovation also gave the woman a creative outlet: she could paint whatever motifs on her walls that she wished. The men re-thatched the hut(s), using grass, such as elephant grass which was mostly cut by the women. Among the Masaai, the women did the renovation work as the men were often occupied with the full-time job of protecting the tribe from lions and other dangers lurking in the savannah.

A very satisfying effect of this yearly renewal was the psychological effect. There was an atmosphere of renewal every year; of new life, of a fresh start, of soul cleansing and a doing away with the past. Every year. This is a very healthy psychological perspective. Festivals featuring dancing and feasting also accompanied this period.

In today’s world, acquiring a home has such a finality to it. A sense of being rooted and captured by one building for one’s lifetime.

Because they were low-cost, huts were also very flexible. One could build a homestead of huts: one for cooking, another for sleeping, another for receiving visitors, and so on. Every time one needed a new hut, one simply built one. Adolescent boys were given a piece of land where they could build their own huts, a distance away from the rest of the family. Their privacy was assured, and their activities within their huts were nobody’s concern. A lot of adolescents today would appreciate the idea of having one’s own hut.

Huts are very comfortable and exactly right for many parts of Africa. This is mainly because of the building materials used. Both clay and grass are good insulators, but are porous, and so allow a free flow of air. It is often very hot during the afternoons in Africa. The hut remains cool and is a welcome resting place. At night, when temperatures fall, the hut retains its daytime temperature, keeping the inhabitants warm.

Huts are also very low-maintenance. A well-renovated hut only needs to be swept once a day with a straw broom. There was no need to wipe, polish or dust. Accidents with liquids were undramatic because the liquid was simply absorbed into the earth. The only real danger was fire, since the thatched roofs could burn very quickly, trapping the people inside.

Recently, an architectural team in Switzerland has ‘discovered’ the virtues of clay as a building material. Clay is a strong, durable material that is easy to work with. Applied correctly, it can be used to build structures that are stable, durable and aesthetic without necessitating the use of paint and cement. Most important of all, clay is healthy. It has now been proven that clay filters out toxins from the environment. Modern building materials like cements, paint, fillers and metals release toxins that compromise human health and well-being. A building made of clay or mud is completely eco-friendly, provided the initial source was safe.

The Africans knew that a long time ago. Huts, made of natural ‘earth’ materials, fitted in with their basic philosophy of drawing on nature for all their needs, and only in the amounts that were needed. For example, calabashes and gourds were used as containers for milk, water, local beer, porridge, honey or any other liquid. Cooking pots were made of clay, as were water pots. Cooking sticks were made of wood.

Water stored in a clay pot has a pleasant, natural coolness, and smells of earth. Drunk out of a calabash, it has an additional woody flavour. Food cooked in a clay pot over a wood fire retains an inimitable earthy aroma, especially fresh beans or meat dishes.

Sleeping mats or sitting mats were woven out of rushes or made of animal skin, as was clothing. Some people constructed a raised clay platform covered with animal skins or rush mats to act as a seat or a bed. Stools were made of wood or woven from rushes. Women wore jewelry made from bone, horn, wood, stone, clay, beads or woven rushes. Foodstuffs were carried or stored in woven rush baskets or clay pots.

This philosophy of living in harmony with the bounty of nature led to zero garbage, since everything was biodegradable. Indeed, until the advent of modernity and urbanisation, Africa was a continent of natural beauty preserved in its entirety.

Sadly, present-day Africans are jumping wholesale onto the bandwagon of expensive homes built of derived materials, which require a lifetime to pay for and a fortune to repair and maintain. The materials used in modern buildings trap heat, smells and moisture and are often derived using procedures that harm the environment. The houses lack the wellness effect of sitting in a hut built entirely out of the earth. They are in keeping with the modern day trends of inflated consumerism, self-definition through possession and a careless disregard for the planet.

Happily, some are rediscovering the enchantment of huts. They have been re-designed in some cases to be much larger, with large windows, or combined in intersecting or interconnecting structures. A famous hotel in Nairobi, Kenya is built using this concept, with treated straw used for thatching.

Indeed, more and more people are re-discovering why Africans lived in huts.

Health and Nutrition During Pregnancy

Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a nine month journey … It is a time in your life to feel happy, excited, serene and joyful. However it is also quite normal to experience anxieties about the birth and worrying about whether you are nourishing yourself properly, exercising, keeping, calm, positive, loving thoughts and emotions within your being.
Pregnancy lasts 39 weeks or nine months from conception and is looked at in three stages.

Health & Nutrition During Pregnancy

To ensure that your baby develops in a healthy environment, you should keep your body as fit and well nourished as you possibly can. Do not think in terms of devising a special diet for pregnancy, it is more to do with eating a good variety of the right foods which are those that are rich in the essential nutrients.

Weight Gain

The amount of weight put on by women in pregnancy varies between 9 – 16 kilograms, with the most rapid gain usually between weeks 24 and 32.
Do not "eat for two". Some 46 percent of women gain too much weight during pregnancy.

Diet During Pregnancy

You Are What You Eat therefore Your Baby Is What You Eat!

What You Eat affects your baby's future. What you eat in the following nine months can affect your baby's health, as well as your own, for decades to come.

A good diet is vital to health during pregnancy, and to the normal development of the baby. The time to pay attention to diet, and if necessary change it for the better, is several months prior to conception and not when pregnancy is confirmed.

During the critical early weeks the normal, healthy development of the embryo depends on the mother's state of nutritional health and also her toxic state.

Mineral and vitamin imbalances which would probably go unnoticed in a child or adult can have a disastrous effect on the developing baby.

This is because the cells in the embryo are growing at such a rapid rate, causing an exaggerated response to any harmful effects.

A natural, organic, whole food diet is the only one which will adequately serve during pregnancy.

A high quality diet is needed to maintain your health and the best possible conditions for the baby to develop.

As our environment becomes more polluted and the soils more depleted of nutrients, going 100% organic, if possible, is the best thing you can do for oneself, and for a developing fetus, and last but not least; the environment.

Pesticides, herbicides, and other forms of pollution interfer with the metabolic pathways of many nutrients and thus indirectly interfer with the development of the immune, endocrine, and neurological systems.

Eating as many of our foods in their live, raw form preserves 70 to 80% more vitamins and minerals, 50% more bioactive protein, and up to 96% more bioavailable vitamin B12.

Grains, nuts and seeds are the most potent health-building foods of all. Eaten raw or sprouted if possible (some grains need to be cooked), they contain all the essential nutrients for human growth, sustenance, and ongoing optimal health.

A well balanced diet is based on whole cereals and grains (brown bread, rice, pasta, buckwheat, rye, oats), nuts and seeds, pulses and beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, pure unrefined oils such as cold pressed olive oil, with some fish and eggs if required.

Fruit and vegetables are all excellent sources of vitamins, minerals and trace elements provided they are eaten in the right way.

They should be fresh, either raw or quickly cooked, steamed or stir-fried, and preferably consumed immediately after they are harvested.

Salt is needed to maintain the extra volume of blood, to supply enough placental blood, and to guard against dehydration and shock from blood loss at birth, (except in cases of kidney and heart problems) Suggested form of salt is Himalayan Pink Salt.

Proteins

• Form the basic building blocks of all our body tissues, cells, hormones, and antibodies.
• Food must fuel the growth of the uterus, which can grow to 30 times its original size over the nine months gestation period Add the development of breastfeeding, placenta, development of breast milk, the baby's body.

Proteins are divided into complete and incomplete:

Complete proteins contain significant amounts of all the essential amino acids, you find them in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, milk and soya bean products.

Vegetable proteins are incomplete and contain only some of the essential amino acids. Some vegetarian sources of complete protein are: buckwheat, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flaxseeds, and almonds.

Plant proteins are easier for our bodies to digest and produce less toxic waste than animal proteins. The fiber in plants also has a very beneficial effect on the bowel; it ensures healthy bowel movements and the correct bacterial population in the gut, and anticipates the buildup of putreactive bacteria produced by excess animal proteins.

Eating meat and meat products also carries the risk from chemical and hormonal residues found in intensely reared animals. Also soya beans or soy products are mostly genetically engineered, it is wise to stay clear of them.

Pregnant women need about 60 to 75 grams of protein a day.

The best and cleanest sources of protein are green vegetables, spirulina, seeds (hemp, flax, sesame, poppy, sunflower, chia, quinoa, amaranth).

Real strength and building material comes from:

• green – leafy vegetables, seeds and superfoods. They contain all the amino acids we require.

Essential Fatty Acids are vital to:

• the development of the baby's nervous and immune systems. They build the cell walls in all our tissues, and so that trace elements and fat-soluble vitamins (A, E, D, and K) can be absorbed.
• EFA's are needed to make adrenal and sex hormones, and to maintain a healthy population of bacteria in the gut.
• They are also essential to the normal development of the fetus's brain: 70 per cent of all EFAs go to the brain.

The Best Fatty Foods include:

Avocados, Borage Seed Oil, Raw Cacao Beans (Chocolate Nuts), Coconut oil / butter, Flax seed and its oil, Grape seeds, Hemp seed and its oil (cold pressed), RAW Nuts of all types (cashews must be soft to be truly "raw"), Nut Butters (almond butter is excellent), Olives and their oil (stone pressed or cold pressed), Peanuts (must be certified aflatoxin free), Poppy seeds, pumpkin seeds and their oil (cold pressed), Sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, tahini (sesame butter), or even better if you can get hold of it at a health food store unhulled tahini (an alkaline fat, high in calcium), Young Coconuts (young Thai coconuts are available in the US at Asian markets), Coconut milk, coconuts (mature).

SUPERFOODS

Superfoods are foods with extraordinary properties. Usually they contain all essential amino acids, high levels of minerals, and a wide array of unique, even rare, nutrients. I have included the superfoods in the nutritional tips below.

Some prominent superfoods to include:

1) Himalayan Pink Salt – offers 84 minerals exactly identical to the elements in your body.

2) Spirulina (a spiral algae consumed for thousands of years by indigenous people in Mexico and Africa)
-It has the highest concentration of protein on Earth. 60%
-It is also very high in Iron, and many other vitamins and minerals.
-It is one of the highest sources of gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) on the planet. Only mother's milk is higher.
-It is recommended to take more Spirulina during breastfeeding because of the GLA.
-Spirulina is very high in human-active B12.

3) Blue-Green Algae (Klamath lake algae wonderful brain food). It is high in protein, chlorophyll, vitamins, and minerals and enhances the immune system.

I value it in pre-pregnancy, pregnancy, and lactation for its enhancing effect on brain function.

4) Bee Pollen (wild pollen, not orchard pollen, should be used and should come from ethically harvested sources where bees are treated respectfully. Bee Pollen is nature's most complete food) All amino acids, immune system, brain, eyes.

5) Flax, Sunflower, Chia, Sesame and pumpkin seeds are the best to use. Flaxseeds are excellent and the highest vegetarian source of omega-3-essential fatty acids, important for the immune system, nervous system, and brain development. I recommend one to two tablespoons daily of the uncooked and unheated oil or three to six tablespoons of freshly ground flaxseeds. (Use a coffee grinder). You may also grind the other above mentioned seeds and add them to salads, and fruit salads.

6) Wild young coconuts (not be confused with white Thai coconuts found in markets, wild coconuts are one of the greatest foods on earth. Great in smoothies.

NUTRITION TIPS

Here Are Some Nutrition Tips that will help you both:

1) Get Enough Folic Acid. 400 micrograms (mcg) daily. Folic Acid reduces chance of birth defects such as spina bifida. Especially in the first 6 weeks of pregnancy.

2) Best Food Sources of Folic Acid are: RAW Green leafy vegetables, including spinach, kale, beet greens, beet root, chard, asparagus, and broccoli. Starchy vegetables containing folic acid are corn, lima beans, green peas, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, artichokes, okra, and parsnips. Oats are high in folic acid as well as whole wheat brown bread. Many fruits have folic acid such as oranges, cantaloupe, pineapple, banana, and many berries including loganberries, boysenberries, and strawberries. Also fresh sprouts such as lentil, mung bean sprouts are excellent sources. REMINDER: Folic acid is available from fresh, unprocessed food, which is why it is so common a deficient in our culture's processed, cooked food diet.

3) Eat Your Fish. Getting enough DHA (found in abundance in seafood and flaxseed) is one of the most important things you can do for you and your developing baby's health. DHA is the omega-3 fatty acid that can boost baby's brain development before birth, leading to better vision, memory, motor skills and language comprehension in early childhood. Eat at least 12 ounces a week of low-mercury fish, or take a DHA supplement such as Krill Oil.

• Avoid large, predatory fish such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel and tilefish. (As big fish eat smaller fish, the larger, longer-living ones accumulate more mercury).

• Seaweed and Cilantro remove heavy metals and radioactive isotopes from the tissues.

4) Avoid Alcohol – The main risk of consuming alcohol during pregnancy is the development of "fetal alcohol syndrome" (FAS). mother .. NO AMOUNT IS SAFE. AVOID TOTALLY.

5) Avoid Caffeine: In high amounts causes birth defects and still births, miscarriages and premature delivery.

6) Avoid Drugs – As far as possible all orthodontic drugs should be avoided during pregnancy, especially in the first three months. Consider natural alternatives and visiting a medical herbalist or nutritionist prior to conception.

FOODS THAT MAY CAUSE INFECTIONS

Although the chance of contracting one of these rare infections is limited, you will reduce this likelihood even further if you follow the basic guidelines given here.

Listeriosis – caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, this is a very rare infection. Its symptoms are similar to flu and gastroenteritis and it can cause stillbirth.

Toxoplasmosis – usually symptomless (apart from mild flu symptoms), this can cause serious problems for the baby. Caused by direct contact with the organism Toxoplasma Gondi, it is found in cat faeces, raw meat, and unpasteurized goats' milk. Soil on fruit and vegetables may be contaminated.

Salmonella – Contamination with Salmonella bacterium can cause bacterial food poisoning. This does not typically harm the baby directly, but any illness involving a high temperature, vomiting, diarrhea, and dehydration could cause a miscarriage or preterm labor.

HERBS TO AVOID DURING PREGNANCY.

Herbal remedies are for the most part quite safe to be taken during pregnancy; some are useful alternatives to drugs both in chronic illness and acute minor problems such as may arise during pregnancy. It is still prefer to take NO MEDICATION whatever in the first three months, unless there is a specific problem that needs treatment.

There are many Herbs which should never be taken in pregnancy – their emmonagogue or oxytocic properties may, in large amounts, cause uterine contracts and thereby risk miscarriage: I will only mention a few as there at least twenty on the list.

Nutmeg Myristica Fragrans
Thuja Thuja occidentalis
Calendula Calendula officinalis
Sage Salvia officinalis
Thyme Thymus vulgaris
Marjoram Origanum vulgare
Lovage Levisticum officinale
Rosemary Rosmarinus Officinalis
Rhubarb Rheum sp.

Herbs that are safe to eat to take in culinary doses but not as a medicine during pregnancy include:

celery seed, cinnamon, fennel, fenugreek, oregano, parsley, rosemary, sage and saffron.

If you enjoyed reading this article and would like to read the full version of this e-book called 'A Natural Approach to Pregnancy', visit my website http://www.easyconsciousliving.com or e-mail me at: barbara @ easyconsciousliving .com

————————————————– ————————————————– ——–

"The Doctor Of The Future Will Give No Medicines, But Will Interest His Patients In The Care Of The Human Frame, In Diet, And In The Causes Of Diseases."
– Edomom Edison.

Why Are We So Fascinated By Koi Tattoos?

One of the principal reasons people get tattoos are in order for them to symbolize something significant in their lives through art on their bodies. It is quite literal like wearing one's heart on one's sleeve or back or where it is one happens to have a tattoo placed. That is why tattoos of koi fish are so popular. It is because these fish are laden with symbolism in the Japanese and Chinese cultures from which they come.

The meanings associated with koi are generally those of perseverance, aspiration, advancement, non-conformism or downright good luck. Perhaps this is because there is an ancient Chinese koi myth about these fish being the only one of their kind to swim up the waterfall towards the "Ryumon" or dragon gate at the upper edges of China's "Huang He" (Yellow River). It is at the dragon gate that it is said, the carp were transformed into dragons. From hence also comes the Japanese idiom, "koi-no-taki-nobori" or "carp swimming up the rapids," which is used to describe success in life sometimes in the same way that we use, "going against the grain."

Tattoos of koi fish are also taken to mean "love." This may be due to an old Japanese chronicle called the "Nihonshoki" which tells of how the Emperor Keiko fell in love with Princess Otohime (meaning Shy and Modest princess) and tried to make her visit him at Kukurinomiya Palace. The Emperor was known for taking pleasure in viewing his koi pond at the palace for this was common practice among the aristocracy of the Heian period (794-1185 BC). To the emperor's delight, the princess who happened to share his same pastime, could not help but finally pay him a visit. This paved the way for romance, all thanks to the koi fish.

Another symbolism for tattoos koi fish is that of masculinity, bravery and heroism. In Japan, koi are called "bushyi-go" or "Japanese warrior fish" because of their serene and determined manner of swimming, sometimes even jumping out of water. It is also said, that much like a samurai, koi fish do not flinch under the knife.

Tattoos of koi fish are often accompanied by backdrops of streams. To some, a koi swimming upstream or in rough water might mean one is struggling with a challenge. If the fish is swimming downstream it may mean that one has failed that challenge. Oftentimes however, koi representations are those of victory. Which is why even celebrities such as Cherliize Theron and her mother both sport the same tattoos of koi fish after their successful battle with cancer. Others like the late Alexander McQueen had a koi tattoo on his chest; popular singer John Mayer also wears one on his right shoulder.

Finally, a depiction of five golden koi may mean increased wealth or good luck, five being considered a lucky number in the East. This would be reason enough for anyone to have these beautiful carp close by. By having tattoos of koi fish one can be certain this is always the case.

How to Write a Business Plan That Works

Key components in and organisation’s success will depend on a great degree on how well you;

  • can gather and interpret information
  • adapt to change
  • manage staff and resources
  • promote your business
  • look after customers and more.

This is where forward planning can help you.

A colleague once told me that ‘even a bad plan is better than no plan at all’. A bad plan at least shows that you have given some thought to the direction you want to go in.

A good plan takes time and effort, especially the first time you do one and many business owners or operators think they don’t have the time, or don’t see the value in it. But believe me… it is worth the time and effort!

It is an opportunity for you to build solid foundations for your business, based on known facts and these allow you to:

  • be very accurate in your plans and future projections.
  • avoid unforeseen pitfalls and crisis situations
  • spend your money and/or other resources in the most effective way
  • stay ahead of the market
  • make the most of every opportunity
  • be pro active and choose your own course rather than be reactive and follow everyone else
  • stop wasting time, effort and resources on inefficient processes and more

Good business planning involves:

  • looking at what you’ve done in the past few years
  • looking at where you are now
  • drawing conclusions from the above two points
  • based on that information determining your objective for the coming year/s
  • setting key strategies to help achieve the objective

Analysis of Past Performance

In this section of a business plan you look at the past year (or two) to take a good look at what worked and what didn’t. Where you came from is every bit as important as where you are going. You need to look at:

  • What promotional activities did you run– for example did you have any discount deals, special offers etc?
  • What worked? What didn’t?
  • Why did the activities work so well, not so well – find the reasons
  • Advertising campaigns
  • (again) What worked? What didn’t?
  • Why did the campaigns work so well, not so well – find the reasons
  • What mediums did you use? (ie Newspapers, magazines, radio. List the actual companies you used as you may have used a number of different ones.)
  • How much did you spend on them?
  • Which ones generated enquiries and which ones didn’t?
  • Did you keep track of the enquiries, if so, what were the results?

Keeping statistics on where enquiries come from can help you to use your advertising budget in the most effective way. There’s no point in spending a lot of money on advertising on television, for example, if most of your enquiries come from newspaper ads or word of mouth. Asking customers where they heard about you and keeping a record is the best way of determining advertising effectiveness.

  • Were there any noticeable or unusual increases or decreases in your business? If so, why did they happen?
  • Were the increases/decreases at any particular time of the year, or did they affect any particular product or service. If so why? Do a detailed analysis of product and service sales. How many of each individual product or service did you sell? Break these figures up by month (as shown in the graph above) as this will, again, show up regular high and low periods which will then allow you to forward plan. For example in high sales periods you know that you will have to order more stock and put on more staff whereas in low demand periods you order less. You can plan for these peaks and troughs in advance… because you have statistically shown that they are coming. An example of a detailed sales analysis is shown on page 15.
  • Did your competitors do anything that impacted on your business? If so, what was it?
  • How did it affect you?
  • Are they likely to do it again?
  • What did you (or could you) do about it?
  • Budgets – income and expenses. This is extremely important and we will look at this in detail later in the document. Over the years these statistics will build an extremely accurate picture of your expenditure habits and sales that will show trends. With this information you can anticipate what is going to happen and proactively avoid any pitfalls or take advantage of upcoming opportunities. You can forecast – with a fairly high degree of accuracy – how much you will earn and spend in the coming year. While you might have an accountant to look after the “book keeping” for you, it is essential that you know exactly where your money is being spent and what your income is made up of.

The answers to these and any other questions relevant to your particular industry and business will give you a solid base upon which to build your plans for the future. Knowing how you got to where you are now can show you where you went right… and where you went wrong and gives a clear

Conclusions

Looking at the above information – what conclusions can you draw? For example:

  • What will you do again next year and why?
  • What won’t you do again next year and why?
  • What will you do differently and why?
  • Were there any lessons to be learned?
  • What were they?
  • Did you spend money on areas that were unsuccessful / unsuccessful?
  • How much?
  • Was this money well spent? Why / why not?
  • Which products sold well / not well?
  • Will you expand your product line?
  • Are there any products you should discontinue?

Overview of Current Situation

It is very important to have a firm grasp of your current business environment. This is where you look at what is happening around you right now. Things that are happening that could potentially have an impact on your business. This will:

  • give you a clear idea of any issues that might get in the way of your plans in the foreseeable future
  • give you the opportunity and the time to take proactive action on any of these issues. This is much better than having to “react” to a change or problem that you didn’t anticipate.

It’s like having a high powered torch in a tunnel as opposed to a match!

A good overview of your current situation will involve looking at:

  • the business environment in which you are operating
  • your strong and weak points
  • what your competitors are doing.

Business Environment Analysis

What exactly does “business environment” mean?

At its widest view point it can mean the sum total of a number of external and internal factors that affect you and the organisation you work for.

External factors could include such things as:

  • Political issues. The stability of the Government can have a dramatic affect on the country’s or state’s economy.
  • Legislative issues. New legislation can have an impact on your particular industry.
  • Economic Trends. Are people spending money? What are they spending it on and so forth.
  • Social Trends. What’s in.. what’s not? Safety & security issues as well as environmental protection issues etc are considered here.
  • Competitors. What is your competition doing and how does that affect your business?
  • Technology. This is an area that is constantly changing and can have quite an impact on the way business is done.

Also known as a PLESCT Analysis this is a thorough look at the world around you and the influences various issues may have upon your customers, suppliers and therefore your business. Doing this type of research means that you should not be caught unawares by new legislation, trends, changes or advancements. PLESCT stands for: Political, Legislative, Economic, Social, Competitor and Technology and looks at each of these sectors and how they may affect you positively – or negatively .

Doing a PLESCT Analysis

Some of the issues to consider when doing this analysis can include such things as:

Political issues. Here you should look at the general political stability of the country or state.

  • Is there an election due? People get nervous around election times and are cautious about spending / investing their money
  • Has there just been an election? In which case is the new government likely to make changes to the status quo – and if so, how will this affect you?
  • International economic and social environment – how stable is the situation?

and so on….

For example changes in government often have an impact on businesses dealing with health, education and employment as existing programs are often changed or discontinued after an election, or new programs are introduced. International economic crises often have a big impact on our own market as does the increasing threat of terrorism or conflict situations.

Legislative issues

  • Have any new legislations been passed / or amended that affect your industry?
  • If so, what will you have to do to comply with them? How will these changes affect:
  • staff?
  • resources?
  • policies and procedures?
  • costs?
  • Do you need to obtain any licenses or permits?

For example all staff working in the childcare industry, or dealing with under 18’s, must have a Blue Card, while industries dealing with tobacco or alcohol have very strict licensing laws.

Economic issues and trends

  • What is the current economic climate?
  • Does the current international climate have an effect on us?
  • Are people spending more / less money?
  • What are they spending it on?
  • Are they likely to spend it on your product or service?

For example, the cost of living is currently rising faster than wages – things such as petrol prices and interest rates are increasing rapidly and people are thinking twice about spending their hard earned money.

Social issues and trends

  • People will often be influenced in their purchase decisions by “what’s IN”, or may wish to keep pace with friends
  • Environmental issues such as water saving, conserving energy and so on can have an impact on people’s purchasing decisions and so need to be considered
  • Cultural issues also need to be considered – people from different countries and backgrounds have views and customs that may dictate how they make their purchasing decisions.

Competitor information – This is a very important part of your business environment analysis – you need to know as much as you can about your competitors. Questions you need to ask are:

  • Who are they?
  • Where are they located?
  • How big are they (compared to you)?
  • Do they have any affiliations?
  • What are their promotional activities?
  • How do they advertise?
  • What do they advertise?
  • How does their product range compare to yours?
  • How do their prices compare to yours?
  • How does their service compare to yours?
  • What impact do they have on your business?

The answers to these questions will give you an overview of how you compare to them and what you can do to improve, and therefore win extra business.

If practical, a product/price comparison grid is an excellent way of keeping an eye on how you are faring against them.

It’s also a good idea to also do a SWOT Analysis on your main competitors (next section) – you need to be able to:

  • counter their strengths
  • take advantage of their weaknesses
  • take advantage of the same opportunities and
  • maximise their threats.

Technology –

  • Is there any new technology available that will have an impact on the way you do business?
  • Is it viable for you to adopt this new technology from a cost point of view?
  • Can you afford not to adopt this new technology from an efficiency point of view?
  • What impact does the internet and electronic means of communication have on your business?

Internal influences also need to be taken into considerations and could include:

  • The overall economic state of your business. Is it doing well or not?
  • Change of ownership or management of the business. This could have a big affect on the internal workings of the company and the company morale.
  • Change of direction for the business. Are you offering new services or products?
  • Updating or upgrading of the business. New premises, new equipment etc.
  • Down or Upsizing. Are you laying off staff or hiring more?

Looking at the PLESCT Analysis and your internal influences in detail will give you a firm understanding of what is going on around you, and will help you:

  • avoid unpleasant surprises that could be costly and damaging to your business
  • stay a step ahead of your competitors
  • help you take advantage of new opportunities quickly
  • minimise the impact of negative trends…..

SWOT Analysis

A SWOT analysis allows you to have a deep down, honest look at your organisation in terms of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and to look at ways to make you stronger.

Strengths

What are your organisations strong points? For example:

  • Do you have a great location?
  • Is it easily accessible?
  • Is it a long established company?
  • Does it have an excellent reputation?
  • Does if offer anything unique?
  • Do you have a lot of repeat business?
  • Are your prices the best?
  • Are you a market leader?

and so on.

Weaknesses

What are your organisations weaknesses? For example:

  • Is it a newly established business and not yet well known
  • Is the infrastructure in the surrounding area poor making it difficult for customers to get to you?
  • Are there any problems with suppliers or staff?

and so on. A point to remember is that not all weaknesses are negative and could be viewed as opportunities for improvement.

Opportunities

What opportunities are there that you could take advantage of? For example:

  • New legislation opening new markets to you
  • New housing or business developments bringing new customers into your area
  • New technology that will make your production or processes more efficient
  • Introduction of new product or service lines that will increase revenue

and so on.

Threats

What things could stop you from achieving your goals? For example:

  • A new competitor in the marketplace
  • A change in legislation that will mean major changes to your business practices.
  • Re-zoning of your area or roadways changing and taking customers away from their current routes (where you are located)

and so on.

Conclusion:

When looking at your SWOT Analysis what areas need to be addressed?

  • Strengths – what can you do to capitalise or maximise on them?
  • Weaknesses – what can you do to minimise or negate their impact. Which of them can be turned around to become a strength?
  • Opportunities – what do you need to do to take advantage of these opportunities? How can you ensure you get your slice of this opportunity?
  • Threats – what can you do to avoid or minimise the impact of the threat?

The answers to these questions will form part of your business plan.

Objective for Next Year

Having looked at your past analysis and current business situation you should now have a solid grasp of your business and where it needs to go to remain successful. Your endeavours to date will now give you a clear direction – or objectives – to aim for in the next one to three years.

One overall objective will have a number of Key Strategies – each of which will, in turn, have a set of tactics designed to help achieve each strategy and therefore the ultimate goal.

  • Your objective is WHERE you want to be in a given period of time (ideally 1 – 3 years0
  • Your Key Strategies are WHAT you need to do to achieve the objective and
  • Your Tactics are HOW you are going to go about actually making it work

Key Strategies

The objective, as stated, is where you want to be. The key strategies are the issues you need to address in order to achieve the objective; WHAT needs to happen. For example if your objective is to increase your revenue by 10% over the previous year, then typical key strategies could be:

  1. Introduce a new product range to fill an identified market need
  2. Decrease expenditure by 15%
  3. Increase your customer base by 10%

All of which would work towards achieving the overall objective.

Obviously strategies will be determined by your own business and industry needs, so think about the things you need to do to achieve your goal.

Tactics

Each strategy will have a series of tactics (or steps) that need to be taken to make that strategy work. As mentioned, these will outline HOW you will go about each strategy. For example.

Key Stratey 2: Decrease expenditure by 15%

2.1 – Review all current suppliers to ensure we are getting the best product for the best price

  • 2.1.1 Offer tender opportunitities to new suppliers
  • 2.1.2 Research new suppliers via web, phone calls etc
  • 2.1.3 Review all suppliers on an annual basis.

2.2 – Introduce new procedures regarding unnecessary printing of emails and other documents to decrease amount of paper being used

2.3 – Re-use single sided documents as scrap paper / memo pads to save paper

2.4 – All electrical equipment and lights to be turned off when not in use

2.5 – Review discounting policy and determine if this could be replaced in a more cost effective manner

2.6 – Review consumable usages

and so on.

Once again, the tactics will depend entirely on what strategies you need to fulfil and should be as detailed as possible. These tactics will form part of your action plan. If there is a cost involved, or extra resources, then detail them here.

Sales Forecast for Next Year

Forecasting is neither as scary nor as complicated as it sounds – if you keep accurate sales records!

Sales forecasting means making an “educated” guess on how much revenue you will earn in the coming year and for this reason accurate records are essential and indispensable. You need to know where your sales came from – by product or service and even by month or week of sale. This may seem overkill but eventually this data will give you a complete and detailed picture of exactly how your business is performing. For example spikes (up or down) in sales figures don’t happen for no reason – detailed statistics can show up these spikes which might be due to such things as:

  • Promotional or advertising campaigns
  • New trends
  • New products
  • Competitor initiatives
  • Seasonal fluctuations
  • Economic climates and so on….

For example – the Tourism Industry is very much affected by high and low seasons. They usually know well in advance when demand will increase or decrease. Travelling to Europe in their winter is low season and demand is not as high as going in their spring or summer time. Knowing this tourism operators can plan for these periods by developing specific products designed to increase sales and take advantage of increased demand in high season. They can also accurately forecast revenue because they have a solid knowledge of who their customers are and when they travel on a month by month basis.

The same may well apply to your own industry.

A review of past years sales statistics can give you an excellent idea of how your sales happen on a month by month basis. You can read the trends like a story – allowing you to estimate with a large degree of accuracy what sales you can expect to make and know how much you will need to spend in the next year.

But what good does all this do you in forecasting? When you have collected this data for a number of years you can start to build up a picture of:

  • peaks and troughs in your sales
  • popular and less popular products,
  • popular times of the year
  • effects of advertising and/or promotional campaigns and so on

Sales figures rarely drop (or increase) for no good reason.. the trick is to be aware of what is going on around you so that you know why increases or decreases happen. This is where your PLESCT and SWOT prove valuable.

Armed with all this accurate and well researched information you should be able to make a reasonably accurate prediction on how many of each product you will sell in the coming year.

Action Plan

Points for your action plan will come from the tactics. By putting them into an actual action plan, detailing what needs to be done, by whom and by when, you can ensure that each task (or tactic) is done on time and will therefore take you that step closer to reaching your objective.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is basically it!

By following these logical steps you can:

  • gain a greater awareness of the environment in which you operate
  • avoid major pitfalls that may come your way
  • realise your strengths
  • overcome weak points
  • take advantage of opportunities that are presented to you and much more

Templates for building a better business plan can be found on www.lptraining.com.au

How to Get Rid of Moths the Easy and Effective Way

While moths seem harmless enough, there are actually a couple of diseases instigated by these critters. Just like all flies and mosquitoes, they tend to visit very dirty places such as sewage, gutters and moldy walls. They transfer the bacteria, germs, virus and other micro organisms that they carry from these places into your food or your walls of your home. These micro organisms can trigger a number of illnesses.

There are also cases wherein moths and their caterpillars cause skin diseases. These creatures actually have very tiny spurs on their legs, especially the larger moths. If the moth happens to land on any part of your skin, some of the spurs in their legs will stay on your pores. This may sting or lead to a case of dermatitis.

Certain species of moths are also capable of biting your skin just like ants. If you hate ants and use ant killer, you should also consider ways on how to get rid of moths. Some moths are also a lot like fleas, in that some types of moths can even feed on human blood.

The spurs in the legs of moths may also cause allergic reactions. They can trigger the excessive production of histamine that may cause difficulty in breathing, enlargement of the tongue or tonsils, swelling of the skin and lips and even blisters. Eye infection caused by hair or spurs of moths may also be experienced when it gets in contact with the eyes.

If you go the extra mile in buying ant killer, you should also consider getting a good moth repellent. The most common moth repellent used by many is the mothball. They come in packs. However, not many people like the pungent odor of these mothballs. They certainly do not want to use them in keeping moths away from their clothes. While it does a good job in keeping moths away from clothes, they also tend to make the cabinet and the clothes smell bad.

To learn how to get rid of moths, you should consider consulting the professionals. If you are already dealing with an infestation in the attic or the bedroom, it should be left to the experts to prevent moths from coming back.

The thing is, treatments really depend on what they are feeding on and how large the affected areas are. For instance if you are getting rid of fleas, you have to go beyond the infected pet. Some of the most common treatments for infestations are fumigation, use of smoke generators and use of insecticides.

There is also the problem of the eggs. While adult moths can be easily killed with the use of insecticides, the eggs are a mite more resilient. They require special insecticides that will be placed in the areas where the adult moths laid their eggs. After the initial infestation has been treated, you can proceed to the task of finding good quality moth repellents that you can stick to in order to prevent future infestations.

Just like when getting rid of fleas or buying ant killer, learning how to get rid of moths can take a lot of initial work. You have to first inspect signs of infestation and determine what species of moth has attacked your house. This way, you can really find good quality treatments that will do their job.

Just like when getting rid of fleas, make sure you also look for high quality moths pest control products. While there are many products and insecticides in the market, not all of them will really work for you.

One of the most preferred solutions for getting rid of moths is moth traps. They look like your ordinary fly trap. They are mostly used to get rid of pantry moths. To make the moth traps more effective, you can purchase pheromone squares which actively attract moths. So if you are having infestation in your pantry, this should be an ideal solution.

We can not do anything to completely stop the existence of pests. There are many ways to control them by using ant killer pesticides or natural pest killers. Getting rid of fleas , moths and ants can be easier if you know what exactly you are dealing with. Especially with moths, you have to know what the species you are dealing with is, so you have a better idea on how to get rid of the moths.

What is a Soft Splint?

A soft splint can be wrapped around the joint limb of a patient. The interlinked soft and elongated fabric sleeves are joined flexibly at the edges of the sides that create a uniform structure. These sleeves make up for the individual pockets that are full of lightweight and flow able extended from beads partly or in any other material that does not absorb moisture and where the air and moisture can pass freely in the structure.

This lightweight structure makes for the soft splint that has to be wrapped around the affected area of ​​the patient and should be secured in place by means of quick fastening.

You can remove and install this splint easily. The sleeve members when compressed resist bending in order to maintain your limit in an unflexed extended position. This lightweight construction allows the passage of air and moisture through it quickly and it dries fast after washing. About 3-4 sleeve members, are linked together to make a splint that has suitable size.

o These soft adjustable splints with polystyrene bead filled splint positions of the wrist, knee and elbow are used in order to immobilize passively protect your joints and prevent pressure applied on the bony prominences. Adjust the splint simply by adding or removing the beads from the invisible zipper opening. There are Velcro closures that enable easy removal. These splints are very comfortable to use with a white cotton lining and gray vinyl mesh covering. The fill is radiolucent and it is machine washable.

o A soft splint cast is a kind of a splint that is made from soft cast material made by 3M for casting. It can be used similarly like Fiberglass cast. But, in soft splint cast, the casting material is not set as firmly as fiberglass cast, thus enabling one to make some movements. The more number of materials used, the more rigid the cast becomes.

o A soft cast splint is very comfortable to wear. It is unsuitable for immobilizing the limit, in case of a fraction. But is a great help in cases where one needs support preventing some movement. Such soft cast splints are used to treat transition from rigid splinting to nothing at all and tendinitis. The splint limits your movements and thus, protects the injured tissue.

Many different materials are used to make a splint. It depends largely on the type of injury, the person who requires a splint and tier goals of immobilizing. Many people prefer these soft splints because of the comfort it offers and it's softness.

Where Africa Casts Its Spell – Limpopo Province Revisited

The real Africa, the Africa that casts a spell over its visitors, is closer than we realized. We, my son Jonathan and I, had a date with a game reserve only 170 kilometers from Johannesburg. On our way we called at our local supermarket to load up with meat for a braaivleis (Afrikaans for "burnt offering", or "barbecue"), and other perishables like milk, cheese, bananas, etc. Then we hit the N1, the Great North Road, that stretches from Cape Town to the Zimbabwe border at Beit Bridge. Getting through all the traffic on the way to Pretoria was a nightmare. The freeway is being expanded from three to five lanes in each direction, which will be a relief once it is completed, but at present it is a nightmare.

Once we were past Pretoria the traffic thinned out, the road was fine, and it was a joy to travel. We were thrilled at the prospect of visiting Limpopo again, the province in which I had done so much evangelical work. On reaching the Total Petroport we decided to take a lunch break as recommended on a road safety billboard at the side of the road. It is considered good practice not to drive more than two hours without a refresh break. On long trips I tend to fall sleep at the wheel, so for me it is good practice to have frequent stops to freshen up. On this occasion Jonathan was doing all the driving. I had to stay awake to make sure that he did not fall sleep.

This Petroport is a haven of useful facilities for the traveler. There is a service station, a shop called Bon Jour, and a Steers Restaurant which spans the double highway. While having lunch I took a photograph of the highway, looking south towards Pretoria. This was for the benefit of friends in America, who are interested to see conditions in South Africa.

Refreshed, we continued our journey. Shortly after leaving the Petroport there was a sign welcoming us to Limpopo. With the change of province the road surface improved, becoming very smooth. For the whole distance of 100 kilometers the road is almost dead straight, having only three light bends. The condition of the road is excellent, probably the best in South Africa. The road crosses a vast plain known as the Springbok Flats. There are only gentle undulations, no hills of note. According to the history books this plain used to be home to large herds of springbok and to many lions. There is still a lot of virgin bushveld, so that that it is difficult to believe that springbok once roamed there. Springbok like open country like Botswana and the Northern Cape. There is also much farming activity. Cattle are to be seen, as well as fields of maize, wheat, and grain sorghum. Cotton is also grown here but we did not see any.

We left the N1 at the Bela Bela off ramp and proceeded towards Settlers on the R536, a distance of 4 kilometers to the main entrance to the Sondela Game Reserve. Here we were given a blank receipt form for an unspecified conservation fee, which would have to be paid at reception, which was 4.1 kilometers from the entrance. The speed limit in the reserve is 30km / h. The road winds through the dense bush. I had just remarked to Jonathan that we had not seen any game when a herd of black wildebeest emerged. Their road manners were excellent; they waited for us to pass before crossing the road. Shortly after that we had two impalas dancing along the road in front of us. Arriving at the reception center we were treated to a glass of orange juice and a pancake by a beautiful blue-eyed young lady with long blonde hair. We handed in our receipt for the conservation fee. After paying the R100 it was stamped and we were informed that it was our gate pass. Without it we would not be able to leave the reserve.

On the way to our chalet we passed some people near a kudu. Jonathan remarked with astonishment that they were feeding it. At our chalet was a neat carport with an A-section roof of shade cloth. As we were unloading, three kudu's came to inspect the new arrivals. They were very inquisitive and very tame. The large bull kudu stand a little distance away, keeping watch. Every now and again he would tap lightly, silently, on the ground with his right foot, apparently a signal understood by the two kudu's that had their noses on the wall of our verandah. First one kudu came timidly and put its nose on the wall, then the other, seeing that the first was safe, came and joined in. Considering that we had seen a group of people feeding a kudu we thought it safe to feed the kudu's that had approached the wall of our verandah. First we gave them some cauliflour. That went down very quickly. It was followed by some broccoli and then by a piece of apple. Those disappeared fast. The kudu's were remarkably disciplined. They showed no sign of fear and allowed us to stroke their noses without flinching. Unfortunately, that was the last we saw of them.

Our chalet was very comfortable. The center part furnished the lounge, dining room and kitchen. Each wing contained a bedroom and a bathroom. The dining room table was set with six places. Each place had enough dishes for a five course meal. The chalet was served each morning by three maids, members of the local Tiwana tribe. As we were only two, we never had to wash dishes or make our beds or clean the house. Visitors would be well advised to include a fly spray in their baggage. That was something we could have done with, but had overlooked when packing.

As we were having supper, Jonathan thought he could hear a monkey in the loft room above the kitchen. He proceeded up the wooden staircase in semi-darkness. When he came down he reported that there had been a monkey there. The fanlight was open and the monkey jumped out when it saw him. He closed the fanlight. The next morning our maid informed us that it was not a monkey but a bushbaby. She referred us to a notice on the refrigerator door, which stated that bushbabies (Lesser Galago, the world's smallest primate) were often found in the chalets, and this was considered a privilege for the guests.

We spent a comfortable night and had a late breakfast. We decided to braai our meat. There were two braai facilities. The one on the verandah was built into the chimney. There was a warning warning us not to use it as there were owls nesting in the chimney. Inside the chalet was a fireplace with a similar warning. So owls had right of way in our chalet. The external braai facility was very suitable. We had with us a very good boerewors and some excellent lamb chops. I had expected them to last us the whole week but Jonathan had other ideas. Come bedtime we had ate them all

During the day we had visits from a number of nyala's. They were not as obliging as the kudu, rarely keeping still long enough to be photographed. They were happy to have us in their mid but unlike the kudu's they did not allow us to touch them. They romped about in the vicinity and we found their presence companionable. I did manage to get a few photographs. A male declined to scratch his hip with his mouth and still still long enough for a photograph. The nyala were our most frequent visitors and we certainly enjoyed their company. The birds also made us feel welcome. The bird life was not as prolific as at some of the other reserves but there was a good variety. There were hoepoes, gray louries, mousebirds, hornbills, and many that we were not able to identify. The guinea fowl and pheasants were ubiquitous but difficult to photograph as they were always on the move. It would have been a good idea to have bought one of those many "Birds of South Africa" ​​books with us, something else we omitted to do.

Having finished our meat the previous day, we decided to visit the local shop, which was in the reception complex. On the way we passed a large sign reading "Owls!" We did not see any but this is another place where they obviously enjoy right of way. The shop is called Bosveld Kombuis (Afrikaans for "Bushveld Kitchen"). Here we obtained a supply of meat and soft drinks. As we emerged from the shop we noticed a game viewing vehicle. It is typical of the vehicles used in the game reserves for game viewing. They are not very comfortable. The passengers sit high up and have large roll and pitch moments. On previous trips to other game reserves we have occasionally taken a ride in one of these vehicles. In mountainous country they often follow 4X4 tracks, which are very uneven and make for an uncomfortable ride. The passengers cling to the handrails to keep themselves steady, the only exception being Jonathan. Jonathan served with 1st Parachute Battalion during the South African Border War and he has an uncanny ability to keep his balance. He is also very observant, his sense of direction is always correct, and he always knows exactly where he is, without using a GPS. He is very good company in the bush.

Jonathan was enjoying the scene while sitting on the verandah, when a bushbaby perched on some of the woodwork supporting the roof and stared at him. Talking of bushbabies, the script on the refrigerator door says that they can jump 7 meters (23 feet). They jump around in the trees at lightning speed, jumping from tree to tree in long flat trajectories. They move so fast it is almost impossible to photograph them.

Jonathan was preparing to get the braai going when it started to rain. At first there was a fine rain swirled around by a strong wind. Then with lightning flashes and loud crashes of thunder it rained very heavily. The paths become fast-flowing rivers. There was also much hail. Hailstones sliding off the roof of the verandah piled up in large heaps on the ground. Soon, as far as the eye could see, the ground was covered with hail. Several times, for short periods, the electricity supply was interrupted, then, with a great flash of lightning and crash of thunder, the electricity supply cut out completely. It was 4:30 in the afternoon. The sky was dark with clouds but the rain was abating slowly. Jonathan was determined to braai the meat. I went to bed while it was still light enough. A flashlight should be considered essential on these trips, another area in which I had folded up. I could smell the delightful aroma of meat on the braai. The lights came on at 03:39 on Friday.

A word of warning about Africa's spell. Women in midlife are particularly vulnerable. Perhaps it is because the remoteness and the adventure of being there with the wildlife gets to them. They feel they have missed something, now is the time to start a new life. One form is known as "game ranger fever." Many a handsome game ranger has been attacked by a woman with this malady. Most treat it as a joke but it could lead to a charge of sexual harassment, or even rape, or even worse, to marriage. Women be warned.

A good pair of hiking boots is essential if one intends to walk the hiking trails. They should be worn the boy scout way, with hiking socks and an inner sock. I have found that pure silk socks, obtainable from suppliers of men's evening wear, make a good inner. Turning the hiking socks down so as to cover the tops of the boots, will ensure that no little stones can enter the boots.

To avoid sunburn, and possible solar skin damage, a wide brimmed hat should be worn and the exposed skin treated with a sunscreen cream. This is important owing to the low latitude and high altitude. Failure to take these precautions could cause you to end up with skin cancer, requiring cosmetic surgery, as in my own case.

We agreed that what we liked most about this trip was just being there in between the animals and the bush. Once again Africa had cast its spell. There was the sensation of being one with God and His wonderful creation, of latent adventure, of remoteness from the turmoil of modern city life, of Africa calling, "Come and I will reveal my hidden treasures to you."

Understanding the Art of Dale Chihuly

One of the things that can define a culture is the different types of artwork that are created. Throughout the years, there have been many different styles and types of famous artwork that have made a statement on different cultures. One style of art that is very popular is sculptures.

One of the great things about sculptures is that they can be created from a variety of different materials. Another aspect of sculptures is that they can either be abstract or realistic. One popular artist who uses sculptures to make a statement is Dale Chihuly.

The type of material that Dale Chihuly uses to create his sculptures is glass. What separates Chihuly from other artists in the same field is his use of color. In 1967, Chihuly was one of the first artists to begin using argon, neon and blown glass to create his magnificent sculptures. His different styles of art lead him to be co-founder of the Pilchuck School in Washington. He also served as the director of the school from its inception in 1971 until 1989.

Dale Chihuly and his associates have helped to forever change the art of creating sculptures from glass. Chihuly and his associates have created new shapes of blown glass and have also been able to redefine some of the existing shapes of blown glass.

What makes Chihuly's sculptures different from those of other artists is how he arranges the different parts of the sculpture. The first technique that he used to create his sculptures was to create each individual piece of the sculpture and then attach all of the separate pieces together. He later created a method of forming molds that could later be used to create art pieces which possessed ribbed motifs. He is also well known for his use of brightly colored glass.

Starting a Cleaning Business, Get Free Cleaning Logo Ideas!

Did you recently get an LLC for your cleaning business but having a terrible time coming up with any logo ideas to go on your website and business card?

Have you been looking for free cleaning logo samples for weeks and all you can think of is a bucket and a broom or a mop?

Have you been surfing websites with pictures related to cleaning for your brand identity but to no avail?

Small startups face these issues because they do not have the appropriate knowledge and expertise of designing a logo but they still try to design it on their own. A well-designed logo has 3 key elements: Imagery, font, colors.

Here they are in detail …

Here Are 3 Free Cleaning Logo Ideas That Will Get Your Creative Juice Flowing ….

1) Best Color Combinations For Your Logo

Usually cleaning companies use shades of blue and white in their logos because these colors are associated with hygiene and purity. Not only this, blue color also symbolizes trust and dependency. Tans and grains appear good on a business card, but they do not really send the message of 'clean' like white does. Cleaning businesses are now increasingly using green and lemon color to signify the freshness and environmental-friendly element.

Green, brown, and some shades of yellow can give a feeling of dirt or grime, something you definitely want to avoid in a cleaning company logo.

2) The Imagery For Your Logo

Ensure that your logo makes sense. For example, a logo for a dry cleaning company that includes aircraft imagery serves no purpose, and will not be memorable. It does not mean that you should not be creative.

A leaf logo could be a great option if you focus on green cleaning. Just make sure that your imagination appeals to your target audience. The image to be used in your emblem depends upon what you want to covey to your target audience. It can be anything from shimmers, sparkles, glints, water, mop, duster and other cleaning equipment.

3) Logo Fonts

Decide one and stick with it. Make sure that it's very easy to read from a distance. Traditional font for details / small print is always easier to read than a script one, 'copperplate' is very businesslike. Select a crisp, elegant font but not a display font. Nothing bold. When designing your logo, use a different font for your tag line.

Once you have your logo designed, use it on every piece of marketing -no exceptions. Use the color palette from your logo to create your other marketing collateral. Get your cleaning business off to the best possible start by viewing free cleaning logos samples and getting cleaning logo ideas including carpet, window, house, dry cleaning, green, and blur business logos.

Pros And Cons Of Sewing Machines

From budget basic to modern marvels, the hunt for the most indispensable of sewing tools.

Sewing is so different from what it used to be, and so are the machines on the market today. With so many different sewing machines, shopping for one can be daunting.

The following list of machines are worth a test drive, dividing them by the sewing skill level, the kind of sewing they are suited to for, and the pros and cons of each category. Use it as a starting point in you search, then head to your local dealer to try them out in person. The only way you’ll know which machine is the one for you.

STARTER SEWING MACHINES; They are no-frills, sewing-only machines. Most will include automatic buttonhole features and a basic selection of utility stitches. Some are electronic rather than computerized, with dials or buttons for machine settings rather than touch screens. These machines are basically for the beginning sewers, kids and anyone who plans to do only basic garment construction, mending, or home decorating and craft projects.

PROS; easy to use, affordable and capable of turning out quality clothing and decorating projects.

CONS; decorative stitches are limited or non-existent. Tension may not be set automatically. Buttonholes may require manual manipulations.

SUGGESTED MACHINES ARE; Singer Feather weight 11; Brother NX-200; Elna’s Debut 2110 or 2130; Euro-Pro’s Intelli-Sew; Bernetta from Bernina; Husqvarna Viking’s Scandenavia 100

MID TO HIGH-END SEWING MACHINES; These machines are performance oriented machines geared to garment and home decorating sewing. They handle a wide variety of projects and fabrics with ease. Some are electronic, but some are computerized. They feature a wide variety of utility stitches, automatic tension settings, self-threading and multiple automatic buttonhole settings. Some have built-in decorative stitches for embellishment. These machines are for serious sewers focused on dressmaking, tailoring and home decorating projects.

PROS; touch screens or electric settings take care of tension setting and indicate the correct stitch length and presser foot. Multiple automatic buttonhole settings and styles, precision sewing speed control, better handling of fabrics and hundreds of built-in utility and decorative stitches. Instruction manuals are stored in the machines memory and can be accessed from the LCD screen.

CONS; pricier than basic models. The wide variety of features and options may intimidate those not comfortable with computerized functions. These can be rectified with practice and lessons from the dealer.

RECOMMENDED MODELS; Singers Quantum 9940; Brother’s NX-600 Janome’s Memory craft 6500; Elna Quilters Dream Ultra 6003 QT

COMBINATION SEWING/EMBROIDERY MACHINES; these high-tech machines offer the best of both worlds. You can stitch up garments, home decor, and accessorize to your hearts content. They have a switch presser feet and snap on the embroidery attachment to decorate y our designs with professional embroidery. The designs are built into the machines memory, supplied on flash cards or similar devices. Some models you can download designs directly from the internet to the machine by way of a USB port.

PROS;Offer almost unlimited creative embellishment potential.

CONS; These machines are expensive, but as the technologies advance manufacturers are introducing lower-priced models that offer many of the same functions as higher-end machines.

RECOMMENDED MODELS; Singer Quantum Futura; Brother’s Innov-is 4000D; Janome’s Memory Craft 10001; Bernina’s Artista 200E; Artista 185 Quilters Embroidery Edition

EMBROIDERY-ONLY MACHINES; These machines are dedicated to machine embroidery. These machines are for mostly for someone starting a custom embroidery business, crafters interested in embellishing read-made items.

PROS; Since embroidery is their sole function, these machines turn out designs more efficiently. Higher speeds than combination sewing embroidery machines.

CONS; You can’t sew on these machines.

RECOMMENDED MODELS; Brother’s PR-600; Babylock’s Embroidery Professional; Bernina’s Deco330.

Now you are ready to head out to your local dealer and try out some of the machines before you buy.

Alternate Uses for Jewelry Boxes

The primary use for jewelry boxes is right there in the name: to store and organize your jewelry collection. However, it is possible, in a pinch, to use your jewelry boxes for other purposes. That is, of course, assuming that you have any room to spare in your jewelry boxes for anything other than necklaces, rings and other beautiful trinkets. If you’re a pragmatist who uses whatever is to hand to solve your problems, you might find this advice useful. Jewelry box purists might be horrified, so be warned. These are only ideas. We never said they were good ones.

Extra Hardware: At the best of times, many of us have at least a couple of screws loose, or a nail or a bolt or two. If you’ve got an extra couple of drawers available in your jewelry boxes, you could devote them to storing the extra hardware you accumulate from putting furniture or toys together, or simply the ones you buy because you think you need them and then need a place to put them that will keep them from being on the floor and then being stepped on by your bare foot. Jewelry cases are great for keeping small things like earrings from going all over the place, so they will keep all your nuts and bolts squared away also.

Memory Loss: If you have a digital camera or another data storage device, it likely uses one of those powerful but annoyingly tiny and thin SD cards. They are slim, fragile and possibly your closest equivalent to a family photo album so you need to keep them somewhere safe. Jewelry boxes are perfect for this because, once again, they are perfect for storing small, fragile items. The soft suede or velvet lining in many jewelry cases will keep your memory cards (and by extension, your memories) safe.

Power Source: Batteries, like screws and nails, are other small things that are necessary but sometimes troublesome to store. Some are quite large, like Ds, while others, like those for watches, can be frighteningly small. Jewelry boxes can help out with all of these, keeping them all stored, organized and ready for when they need to be plugged into a device and power it up. The smaller batteries can be stored in rings rolls or the small compartments you will find in jewelry cases while the larger ones can be kept in one of the larger drawers or in some watch compartments, once you take the pillows out. Wait, now what do you do with the pillows?

Well, it looks like there are lots of things that could be kept in jewelry boxes. You could even use them to store office supplies, like paper clips and staples, or hot beverage items such as sugar packets and tea bags. However, it’s probably best to use them the way they were intended to be used, to provide dignified and safe storage to jewelry that is just as beautiful as the boxes themselves. Using jewelry cases to store something other than jewelry just seems wrong, somehow, as though it diminishes the boxes in some way. Better, in this case, to leave things the way they are.

Mezcal, Methanol, Moonshine and Myth

It's hard to separate fact from fiction from fear-mongering, when trying to understand the relationship between the Mexican agave-based spirit mezcal, and methishing poisoning resulting in blindness or death as the worst case scenarios. The purely physical science treats are in large part beyond my level of comprehension. At the other end of the spectrum one finds lay literature without references backing up claims and allegations regarding the likelihood of hangovers, headaches and the much more serious harmful effects; it's all cloaked in words and phrases like "as little as," "likely" and "probably." And it ignores aspartame.

Introduction

Is it appropriate to equate mezcal which has been produced essently safely and without incident by families in the southern Mexico state of Oaxaca for generations, with American moonshine, with deaths due to carefully adulterating a spirit for purely profit motive, with concoctions created by naive youth , or with reports from third world countries in which ignorance of safe spirit production results in imprudent means of production or the use of equipment which contaminates? It is suggested that the alarmists draw their data from such sources.

For the past 25 years I've been drinking mezcal sold at small, family owned and operated artisanal distilleries (palenques as they're known in Oaxaca), without incident. And so have my Oaxacan friends and compadres, hundreds of thousands of villagers who have been patronizing their neighborhood producers (or palenqueros), and more recently visitors to Oaxaca angry to sample and take home what they can not find at their local bars or source from retail liquor outlets.

Otherwise all I have to rely on is my cursory review of online literature (including but not restricted to International Center for Alcohol Policies, UPI, Methanol Institute, National Institute of Health / US National Library of Medicine, World Health Organization; a list of links referenced is available upon written request), and my background in social anthropology. It was my Darwinian academic training which lead me to an internet search so that I might be able to prove what I considered to be a reasonable hypothesis, and put into perspective the tall tales I was being reading. Regarding the latter, I have read that mezcal not certified by a regulatory agency is fake, illegitimate, results in hangovers, and may even lead to blindness or death from methanol poisoning. Have imbibers of agave-based spirits been extremely lucky all these years, decades and perhaps even millennia?

The two lines of thought relating to the origins of distillation in Mexico are that indigenous groups learned to distill long before the arrival of the Spanish, or, that the Spanish learned distillation from the Moors and so bought that knowledge with them in the first half of the 16th century. The former theory gives more credence to my thought process, although 450 years of trial and error and perfecting safe distillation is nothing to sneeze at.

Just like the early Zapoteco natives of Oaxaca learned to dye with the cochineal insect, and in due course presumably through trial and error that the mineral alum served as the best available mordent or fixer, it is suggested that so too did the invaders and the indigenous peoples of Mexico learn how to distill safely. Following the same analogy, it is likely that long ago wool dyed red with cochineal dramatically faded from the sun or through washing, until the best available mordent was found; and so possibly dating back hundreds of years indeed native Mexicans (and Spanish) succumbed to unwise distillation practices. They have learned the benefit of using alum; and of taking off the methanol, and using predominately clay or copper or other "safe" metal compounds during and for distillation respectively.

Methanol Explained

Even the healthiest among us, and that includes those who do not imbibe alcohol, have methanol in their bodies. Humans get it in small amount from eating fruits and vegetables. It is not only absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract, but also through the skin and by inhalation. Methanol is metabolized in the liver, converted first to formaldehyde, and then to formate (formic acid). As a building block for many biological molecules, formate is essential for our survival. On the other hand, high levels of formate buildup after excess methanol take can cause severe toxicity. An EPA assessment reported that methanol is considered a cumulative poison due to the low rate of excretion once it is absorbed.

The primary uses of methanol are for industrial and automotive purposes. It is found in antifreeze, canned heating sources, copy machine fluids, de-icing fluids, fuel additives, paint remover or thinner, shellac, varnish, windshield wiper fluid, and more. This is known as denatured alcohol. Government regulations in fact dictate the inclusion of high levels of methanol as a compound in such products, knowing its toxicity and wanting to ensure that the public buys its liquor (in which levels of methanol are controlled, as opposed to other alcohol), in order to maintain healthy tax revenue.

But Government dictates do not prevent the drinking of denatured alcohol or it being used to fortify other beverages. In fact the literature on non-commercial alcohol, which is sometimes referred to as unrecorded alcohol, cites these "surrogates" or non-beverage alcoholics, as one of three categories of drinks which potentially create health risks. They are drunk alone (ie the classic skid row cases), and used as "cocktails" when they are added for example to fruit juices. The other two are "counterfeit" products and illicit mass-produced drinks, and traditional drinks produced for home consumption or limited local trade (license or illicit). It is suggested that artisanal mezcal falls into the second part of this third category. So yes, there is the possibility of health problems arising as a consequence of consumers imbibing Mexican mezcal with higher than "safe" levels of methanol.

Spirits Health Risks in Mexico and Internally

In central Mexico, as born out in the literature, much more than anything else the singular health problem related to mezcal and other traditional alcohol consumption is alcoholism resulting in liver cirrhosis.

In an article centering upon global methanol poisoning outbreaks, the World Health Organization cited examples of adulterated, counterfeit and informally produced spirits in Cambodia, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, India, Indonesia, Kenya, Libya, Nicaragua, Norway, Pakistan, Turkey, and Uganda. Mexico is conspicuously absent from the list.

In an article centering upon the quantification of selected volatile constituents in the Mexican spirits sotol, bacanora, tequila and mezcal, while methol was the most problematic compound and at times the samples taken were far above the levels recommended by international as well as national standards, two points are particularly noteworthy: methanol levels were not toxicological relevance; and, other legally acquired drinks such as German fruit spirits were found to have significantly higher methanol levels.

In an article entitled "Noncommercial Alcohol: Understanding the Informal Market," the International Center for Alcohol Policies reported that much of the perceived health risk stems from patterns of drinking such as chronic consumption and binging, use of low quality ingredients, adulteration, and lack of control during production or storage. In Russia and other republics in the former Soviet Union samagon is cheap and easy to make using household equipment. Kenya's poor fortifies its grain spirit, chang'aa, with surrogates. Brazil's national drink cachaca or pinga is sometimes fortified using industrial alcohol, some of which have been noted above.

And what about the United States' reowned moonshine, the unusually high alcohol content spirit typically made using corn mash as the main ingredient? Poorly produced moonshine is contaminated primarily from materials used in still construction, such as employing car radiators as condensers (glycol from the antifreeze or lead from the connections). In addition, methanol can be added to the spirits to increase strength and improve profits.

The 1994 reported poisoning from ingesting mezcal produced in the Mexican state of Morelos cite the spirit having been spiked with methanol. It is suggested that this was an aberration, though of course is noteworthy. Somewhat surprisingly, there was slightly little reported about the incidents, and they have not to my knowledge received attention in the brochure English literature centering upon methanol poisoning.

As suggested, methanol is not the only potentially harmful constituent. Lead as well as other toxic metals can poison not only as a consequence of employing unsuitable distillation equipment but also through the use of a contaminated water source. Volatile compounds such as acetaldehyde or higher alcohol can be produced in significant amounts due to fault in production technology or microbiological spoilage. There have been occurrences of certain fruit and sugarcane spirits containing the carcinogen urethane.

When is Methanol Safe?

Returning to methanol, one must now ask what is the safe maximum level of its ingestion. It was only in 1981 that the sugar substitute aspartame was approved for dry goods, and two years later for carbonated beverages. It is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol which makes up a whopping 10% of its composition. The absorption of methanol into the body is sped up when "free methanol" is ingested, and this form of the chemical is created from aspartame when it is heated to above 86 degrees Fahrenheit (ie when making sugar-free Jello). In 1993 the FDA approved aspartame as an ingredient in numerous food items that would normally be heated to above that temperature.

The EPA recommends consumption of no more than 7.8 grams of methanol daily. While the amount of aspartame in a diet soda can vary, it has been reported that a single can produce 20 mg of methanol in the body. It is no wonder that aspartame accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA. Chronic illnesses can be triggered or worsened by ingesting aspartame. The range of afflictions reported is alarming.

The current regulation for the maximum amount of methanol in mezcal is.3 of a gram per 100 ml. It is an arbitrary standard. Query how much mezcal one must ingest to reach the EPA maximum limit of methanol of 7.8 grams daily. The FDA states that as much as.5 of a gram per day of methanol is safe in an adult's diet. Should the Mexican standard be higher, or lower?

It is no wonder that the study referred earlier identifying volatile constituents in Mexican spirits, did not find toxicological relevance in the face of analyzing samples far above recommended levels. Furthermore, as distinct from household foodstuffs and drink containing aspartame, ethanol (ie mezcal) serves as an antidote for methanol toxicity in humans.

Conclusion

There is indeed confusion in the literature concerning recommended maximum levels of methanol and at what level health risks kick in, both dealing specifically with Mexican spirits, and where they are noted purely tactically or not at all. However there is also considerability:

1. There is a paucity of reliable research and resulting literature stemming in large part from the fact that statistics regarding non-commercial spirits are essentially non-existent for various reasons (ie unrecorded since no precise government or other reliable quantitative figures exist);
2. There is a lack of collaboration between local authorities, NGOs and international experts;
3. Methanol poisoning is reliably rare in circumstances where traditional, safe distillation processes which have been passed down through generations are practiced (ie through Mexico, current United States moonshine operations, etc .; subject to 1., above);
4. There are umpteen other reasons why there are health risks associated with both license and illicit spirit production;
5. There is a concern that strict government controls encourage the consumption of non-commercial or informally sold alcohol and increase harm;
6. High quality artisanal non-commercial traditional spirits are by and large safe, both away from and notwithstanding the issue of quantity of methanol;
7. They often determine an extremely important part of local culture, often with ceremonial significance (ie consumed in a plethora of rite of passage events), and provide a source of national pride.
Aside from my Darwinian suggestion that the days of dangerous mezcal production have long passed, and acknowledging the issue of still construction, it is noteworthy that almost all artisanal distilleries in Oaxaca consist of either copper alembics or similar production equipment made in equally standardized and carefully monitored workshops and factories; Egypt in clay pots. In both cases they are essentially free of harmful levels of chemical compounds.

If there is a lesson to be learned, it is that one should never drink artisanal mezcal, commercial or otherwise, while consuming government authorized products containing aspartame.

How Structural Analysis of Buildings Works

Structural analysis is one of the most significant elements in Building Structural Engineering. Structural analysis is used in quite a big amount for steel detailing, reinforcement detailing, concrete detailing and industrial region. Structural analysis needs massive concentration and strategy planning.

Structural -analysis of buildings combines current and emergent technologies to produce accurate prediction of different types of reinforced concrete structures, residences and other building structures for different end uses. Structural- analysis basically works out as a method of prediction of behavior of any building structure.

Structural -analysis works according to set of certain laws of physics and engineering mathematics required to study and predict the behavior of building structures. Structure analysis consists of predicting the behavior of any building’s structure. This covers following:

– How your building -structure is going to handle loads

– How capable your building- structure will be when it will face stresses

– How your building -structure will withstand external forces and loads

Structural -analysis services can workout brilliantly in followings:

– Reinforced Cement Concrete Structures like buildings, tanks, retaining walls etc.

– Structural Steel plate girder, truss girder, gantries, industrial sheds etc.

– Deteriorated structures

– Wooden structures like fish repair centers, sheds, residential structures etc.

– Composite structures

– Pre-stressed and Post-tensioned structures like parking structures

Here structural- analysis mainly focuses on computation of deformations, internal forces and stresses as far as above mentioned things are concerned. It is to drive the building design process or prove the soundness of a building’s design without a dependence on directly testing it.

The Importance of Flexibility for Gymnastics

You have to be flexible to be successful in gymnastics for three main reasons:

  • There are some skills that you just won’t be able to do if you are not flexible enough.
  • There are some ways to learn skills that can only be done if you are flexible.
  • And, there are many skills that look good only if you are flexible.

    Flexibility Speeds Learning!

    Most top level training programs require that you meet minimum gymnastics flexibility (and strength) requirements because it speeds the learning process when you are flexible enough to learn any skill and keeps gymnasts from developing bad habits from working skills incorrectly.

    Flexibility Can Be Improved!

    Flexibility is fortunately one of those physical attributes that can be improved simply by spending time working on it. In general, the more time spent the more flexible you become.

    Train Both Statically and Dynamically

    There are two types of flexibility most commonly used in gymnastics training – static and dynamic – and those are also two of the ways you can work on your flexibility. An example of static flexibility is sitting in splits. Split leaps are an example of dynamic or active flexibility. Other examples of static and active flexibility are kicks (active) and scales (static).

    Body Weight Stretching

    In splits, not only are you static, but the weight of your body can also help push down your splits. A backbend is also a static flex position but your body weight doesn’t help the stretching effort.

    Strength at Full Range

    Strength through the whole range of flexibility is often important in gymnastics. Even if a gymnast is able to kick their leg to a 180 degree split to the back does not mean they are strong enough at that degree of flexibility to hold their leg at 180 degree separation in a scale.

    Shoulder Flexibility Equally Important

    While leg flexibility primarily contributes to the appearance of dance skill on floor and beam, shoulder flexibility is important in the correct execution of acro skills on every event.

    Develop Flexibility Evenly

    In both shoulder and leg flexibility, even bi-lateral (left and right side) flexibility development is a requirement. Inflexible gymnasts sometimes develop habits like turning to their more flexible side when they do front and back walkovers. This habit is a disaster for beam consistency, not to mention an unattractive way to do those skills.

    Be Creative and Do Whatever You Have To Do

    Flexibility is one of the few aspects of gymnastics you can work outside of the gym. Many gymnasts have found interesting ways to work on their splits and flexibility. Some gymnasts sit in splits whenever they watch TV. Some gymnasts never bend their legs when they bend over to pick up things off the floor to improve their pike flexibility. We have even heard of gymnasts who have slept in their splits.

    Judges Will Notice Excellent Flexibility

    Judges will take special notice of gymnasts who have 180 degree plus split leaps and jumps, even though 180 degrees (or less in compulsories) is all that is usually required. So if you to not only want to avoid deductions, but want to gain general impression points for being extra flexible, work your splits.