Hummingbird Myth-Busting

Myths and Misconceptions

Many myths and old-wives tales have evolved about the hummingbird. There are also some fairly strange facts that sound like myths. Here are a number of those myths, either confirmed or BUSTED, and some interesting facts.

  • Hummingbirds migrate by riding on the backs of geese – BUSTED

Probably humans could not imagine this tiny bird flying the distances required at the frantic, energy-consuming pace they exhibit, but in fact hummers could give a goose a few lessons on migration. The Rufous hummingbird has been known to make a round trip of nearly 12,000 miles to Alaska. The adults are the first to leave the nesting area, with the new young following later without any adult guidance.

  • Hummingbirds cannot walk/have no feet – HALF CONFIRMED

In fact, a hummingbird’s legs and feet are virtually useless for anything except perching. A hummer will usually fly up, even to turn around on a perch and will move only very short distances without flying.

  • Leaving feeders out past the usual departure time will cause hummers to stay and perish – BUSTED

The drive to migrate is stronger than any feeder and hummers will depart when nature and instinct say the time is right. In areas of the Southwest some species may be seen year-round, and there is some evidence that the Rufous species migration pattern is changing and some are wintering in the Southeast US. Surprisingly, the hummer is hardy and adaptable and may survive down to 20 degrees F. An article in the December 2003 Southeast Missourian described the confirmed sighting, and banding, of a Rufous hummingbird in southeast Missouri into mid-December.

  • A Hummingbird’s bill is a hollow tube – BUSTED

A hummingbird has two mandibles; the upper half overlaps the lower. They can open the bill but there are limits as to how far it can be opened, about 3/8 of an inch. They can sometimes be seen flicking their tongue in and out – they do this to squeegee food from their tongue. Its tongue, which is forked at the tip, has a central trough. Dilute nectar sticks to the tongue tip and trough via capillarity action.

  • The hummingbird’s tongue is hollow and they suck nectar like a straw – BUSTED

A hummer’s tongue is not hollow. They lap up nectar like a cat laps water and squeeze if off the tongue into the mouth.

  • Hummingbirds hibernate in lake mud rather than migrating – BUSTED

No idea where this one might have come from. Only goatsuckers are known to hibernate. Hummingbirds in cold locales may go into “torpor” by lowering their body temperature and metabolism to conserve energy at night.

  • Hummingbirds only feed from red flowers – BUSTED

Hummers will feed from any flower they find to be rich in nectar.

  • Hummingbirds mate while flying – BUSTED

Hummers mate while perched. What may seem to be mating in the air is a part of the complicated mating ritual.

  • Birds become dependent on feeders and will starve if feeders are empty or removed – BUSTED

Because birds have wings, they instinctively forage for food, visiting many locations during the day searching for different sources. Birds never become dependent on one source and most studies have shown that birds with easy access to feeders use them for only 20% of their daily rations. If your feeders are empty or removed, the hummers will seek out other sources.

  • In the winter, the birds’ feet will stick to metal perches – BUSTED

Birds do not have sweat glands, so their dry feet will not freeze to metal perches in the winter unless they have been wet by some other means.

Problems With Foundations Constructed on Sandy Loam Soil and How to Identify, Prevent, and Rectify

A soil composition primarily known as “sandy loam” is a mixture of sand, clay, silt, and organic matter. Sandy loam is a very stable soil that shows little change with the increase or decrease of moisture and can easily support a slab foundation. Problems occur if the builder added fill to the substrate that was of a different soil composition. If this added fill consists of a higher clay content then expansive conditions can occur if balanced moisture is not maintained around the foundation

Let us identify some readily apparent observations. If your interior doors are difficult to close and you are observing cracks in the sheetrock, or cracks in exterior siding or perhaps masonry; then you may be experiencing foundation problems. Whether your house was built on pier and beam or on a concrete slab foundation these problems can occur.

The most common cause of these problems is due to the perimeter of your foundation being unequally saturated with moisture. Whenever there is a period of several months with minimal rainfall, you will have a variation of moisture saturation in the soil around the perimeter of your foundation. The out of balance moisture will cause stress and movement and if one part of your house settles more quickly than another then you will have problems.

The older your foundation, say twenty or so years, the more you will need to apply the following simple preventive procedures. By doing so you will get many more years of trouble free enjoyment from your home.

The simplest method of prevention and control of this problem is a timed irrigation system around the perimeter of your home that activates three or four days a week for 15 or 20 minutes each day. A well maintained gutter and down spout system is crucial in order to keep balanced moisture around your foundation.

Observe the drainage around your home as improper grading often results in future foundation problems. Grading should always divert water away from your home so as to not allow water to puddle around the foundation. Surface grading needs to be sloped away from the foundation at 5% or greater pitch for the first ten feet from the foundation.

Another worry with sandy loam is erosion, also a good reason you want to make sure you have good drainage around your foundation. Puddling saturates the sand causing it to shift around creating movement which is known as a floating slab.

If your foundation is experiencing excessive settling you must correct this problem as soon as possible because in wet weather the ground will swell and in dry weather it will shrink causing constant stress on the foundation. Over a number of years this recurrent movement will cause extensive damage and will be very costly to repair.

If your house is on pier and beam, a house leveling company merely raises your house, levels it, then makes adjustments to the building blocks it is resting on. If you have a concrete slab you may have to turn to slabjacking to correct damage. The is accomplished by digging footings every 6 to 7 feet under bearing beams and compressing concrete cylinders down to a competent soil layer.

House leveling and stabilizing will need to be completed professionally and inspected by a registered engineer.

After the identification and repairing of the foundation settling problems, hasten to take preventive action as suggested in this article in order to avoid further damage.

4 Benefits of Using Bathroom Ventilation Fans

Ventilation is one of the most important drivers of health and hygiene factors of your bathroom. Using good quality bathroom ventilation fans ensures that you get a bathroom that is free from moisture and stinky smells. Also, selecting the right bathroom fan can improve the decor of your bathroom by an order of magnitude.

There are a number of significant benefits of using bathroom ventilation fans. The primary ones are listed below.

  • Removal of moisture: Removing moisture from your bathroom is important. A moist bathroom is bad for the human health and comfort. It is also bad when it comes to the longevity factors of bathroom components such as wooden doors and wall painting. If you are in a bathroom that is moist, then you would find it uncomfortable during the summer. Breathing becomes more difficult. The mirror would have a curtain of water vapor and that would not let you use the mirror. Fitting the bathroom ventilation fan near the shower would ensure that most of the water vapor causing the moisture and humidity gets removed right after it comes out of the shower. The wall paintings tend to wear off quicker in a moist environment. Also the wooden doors may get expanded, and it is quite common for people to be unable to properly close the bathroom doors due to continued exposure to moisture. So removing the moisture using these fans is important.
  • Removal of stinking air: If you bathroom air stinks, then it is definitely not a healthy place to be in. Also if the air inside becomes stale due to infrequent circulation then it may become hazardous for human health. It may eventually turn out to be a breeding ground for bacteria. So removing the unhealthy air from inside the bathroom is essential. This task becomes easy once you have a bathroom ventilation fan installed.
  • Improved freshness, healthiness and hygiene: Once the stale and moist air moves out, it gets replaced by the fresh outside air by natural laws of physics. So you end up getting the right levels of air circulation and ventilation. This makes the air inside your bathroom fresh and good for health and hygiene.
  • Improved decor: Needless to say, the modern ventilation fans have been designed to look good. So one can easily find great-looking bathroom ventilation fans of good quality at extremely reasonable prices.

Now that you are aware of the benefits of a bathroom ventilation fan, you would be in a better position to judge yourself whether you would want one such fan in your bathroom. Most people want to have it for health and hygiene grounds. It is recommended that you get your bathroom ventilation fans from some well-known brand for better reliability and quality.

Can Glow in the Dark Paints Be Environmentally Friendly?

More than 12 months of research and development by a leading scientist specialising in glow paint technology has resulted in a new eco-friendly glow in the dark paint called Superstarz.

By directly addressing the major worldwide concerns about the levels of VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds) contained in paints the new glow paint contains zero VOC’s which is a first for a paint of this type!

VOC’s emitted from paints as gasses in the application stage and up to 5 years following application are a major contributor to low-level pollution, global warming and short to long term health problems.

The new Superstarz range of paints have been submitted for rigorous testing at a UK accredited testing laboratory and have been confirmed as totally compliant with EU Toy Safety Regulations EN71-3 and have been certified as being 100% VOC Free.

This makes them particularly safe for children to use as well as adults. They are of particular benefit to sufferers of asthma and allergies.

The new paints are suitable for both domestic and commercial applications. Glow paints have been used on a large scale in high rise buildings following 9/11 as safety markings for corridors and stairwells in the event of total loss of lighting. These new high tech paints meet the necessary requirements in terms of brightness and afterglow and now offer an additional advantage by being VOC Free.

The paints are daytime invisible and are available in four colours – Green, Blue, Aqua and Violet.

The new environmentally friendly paints are a major step forward in glow paint technology.

3 Car Garage Plan – Is a Bigger Garage Really Worth the Money?

When you are looking at a 3 car garage plan for your garage addition or new home, pay close attention to size. Building a properly sized 3 car garage can add value to your home while you live in it, and if you ever sell it. Size does matter, and the difference in cost is minimal.

Why do you need such a big garage?

Here are three very good reasons: Vehicle Storage, Home Storage and Resale Value.

1. Vehicle Storage – If you build or buy a home with a small garage, you will likely fill it so full of stuff that your vehicles will be outside. When you compare the value of your “stuff” with the value of your car, you might ask why your $20,000 sedan is stored outside and that $10 box of garage sale bargains is inside. Even if you don’t care about your cars, the next potential owner may. Protect your investment with a properly sized garage.

2. Home Storage – If you are like many Americans, you may have one or more “mini-storage” units filled to capacity, and you are likely paying from $75 to $150 per month for the privilege. By selecting a properly sized 3 car garage plan and weeding out the junk in your mini-storage unit, you could store the important stuff at home and pocket your monthly storage costs.

3. Resale Value – When you eventually sell your home (everyone does), you immediately enter a competition for buyers. With 10 similar homes on the market, the one with the better location, features and layout will generally sell first. Kitchens usually get top billing, but a properly sized, well-organized garage is also a huge asset.

How big is big enough?

The ideal size for an optimally configured 3 car garage is 24′ X 36′. Why? Most of today’s typical cars are about 16 feet long and a little over six feet wide. Add to that the 30″ minimum distance garage planners recommend beside and between cars, and your 30′ wide triple garage gets pretty narrow with no room for added storage.

Here’s the breakdown:

A 36′ wide garage with two foot wide shelving units on both sides instantly becomes 32′ wide. Park three cars inside at 6’2″ wide each (18’6″ total) and you have 13’6″ left. Add 30″ beside and between all three cars and you have a whopping 3’6″ to spare (not a lot). At 30′ wide, that “spare” room becomes 6″. Remember, too, that you may want room for recreational equipment, an extra refrigerator or freezer, a utility sink or other “toys” that take up space.

At 24 feet deep you have enough room for a 16′ long car with one foot between it and the garage door, a two foot deep garage workbench and five feet of work space. If you own a standard cab, full-sized pickup at nearly 19′ long you’re down to two feet of “wiggle room.” Extended cab? Yikes!

Extra Square Footage is Surprisingly Affordable

Let’s do the math. If you purchase a home with a typical 3 car garage plan, it might be 21′ wide and 31′ deep (I’ve seen 20′ X 30′, which is ludicrous). If you have a 30-year, $200,000 mortgage at 6%, your monthly mortgage payment would be about $1200.

Increasing the garage size to 24′ X 36′ adds 213 square feet. At about $50 per square foot, that adds $10,650. A 30-year, $210,650 mortgage at 6% nets a monthly payment of about $1263. For the extra $63 per month you get to say goodbye to your mini-storage and hello to greater investment value for your home. Ahhh.

Even if you never sell your house, the added comfort and convenience of having your cars parked inside, all your stuff in one place and higher (potential) resale value is well worth the extra few bucks (in my opinion). A properly sized 3 car garage plan make all the difference. Just think of the things you could do with the extra room!

Top Ten Places That One Must See in Varanasi

Varanasi, while being a city that is famous all over the globe as one of the top destinations in India, is largely perceived as a pilgrimage city where one can capture glimpses of strange Hindu customs, the pilgrims bathing in the incredibly polluted Ganges, saffron-clad Sadhus selling pseudo-spirituality to gullible foreigners, burning dead bodies on the ghats, the dope hungry hippie crowd, and to possibly experience a ‘spiritual awakening’ in one of the many temples of Varanasi. Varanasi however, has much more to offer to a traveler who is willing to shed the dump of prejudices and biases triggered by blatant misinformation. The list of “top ten places that one must see in Varanasi” attempts to unfold and unravel the rich kaleidoscope of colours that decorate the cultural,social and spiritual fabric of Varanasi. The list is not comprehensive and is only indicative of the rich historical landscape of Varanasi and includes some of the “Best Places That You Must See in Varanasi”.

1) Varanasi Ghats: The ghats on the banks of the river Ganges are the soul of Varanasi. The ghats are virtually the kaleidoscope of belief, customs and traditions that constitute the philosophy that is Varanasi. There are 84 ghats in number – huge rectangular stairs that lead to the river edge. Some of them were built as early as the 12 century while others have a more recent origin.

2) Kashi Vishwanath Temple: Originally built in 1776 by Maharani Ahilya Devi of Indore, the towers of the temple were gold plated by the Maharaja Ranjit Singh in 1835 who donated 1000 kg of gold. The ‘shivalinga’ in the temple 60 cm tall and 90 cm in circumference housed in a silver altar.

3) St. Mary’s Church: St. Mary’s is probably the oldest Protestant Church in North India outside Calcutta. The foundation stone was laid on 29th April 1810 by Daniel Corrie. This beautiful Church is situated in 11.25 acres of land and has historic background which will be seen from the monuments in the campus of British soldiers who died in action. St Mary”s Church is situated in the cantonment area of Varanasi. This church has a low tower, spire and projecting portico. There are three simple louvered doors beneath plain cornices alternating with two bays, each with white plaster niches. Above each doorway is a rectangular fanlight, protected from the glare of the sun by a plain timber canopy – a simple device which has a major architectural impact.

4) Manikarnika Ghat: Also known as the “Mahashamsana’ or the ‘ Great Cremation Ground of the World’, Manikarnika ghat is where dead are brought from all over the country to be cremated by fire. There is a ‘sacred fire’ that has been burning since centuries and it is the fire from this that is used for the cremation. It is believed that those who are cremated at Manikarnika ghat attain moksha and their souls are set free from the endless cycle of birth and death.

5) Bharat Kala Bhavan: An archaeological museum built in the campus of the Banaras Hindu University. Established in 1920, the museum has vast collection of over 100,000 artifacts like paintings, textiles, costumes, decorative arts, Indian philately and literary and archival materials. The first floor has Numismatic Gallery (collection of coins), Archaeological Gallery, Decorative Art Gallery, Benaras Through the Ages Gallery and Galleries on Alice Boner and M. K. Gupta. There are some proposed extensions of galleries like the Gallery of Archive and Literary Materials, Gallery on Textiles and Costumes and a Gallery of Metal Images.

6) Ramnagar Fort: This fort-palace was built in the eighteenth century and is the home of the king of Kashi( or Varanasi). Built in red sandstone, the fort has a museum displaying the Royal collection which includes vintage Cars, Royal palkies, an armory of swords and old guns, ivory work and antique clocks. Also, on display are ornate palanquins, gold-plated howdahs and weapons.

7) Chunar Fort: Built by Maharaja Vikramaditya, the king of Ujjain(in Madhyapradesh), this fort had been the stronghold of Babar followed by Shershah Suri, Humayun, Akbar, Aurangzeb and finally,’ the Britishers. Chunar fort is constructed at a height of 80′ to 175′ from the land level of Chunar. The fort area is approx. 3400 Sq. yard, its length is 800 yard & width is 133 to 300 yard. The Chunar Fort is located at a distance of 42 kilometers fron Varanasi city. Worth seeing inside the fort are the Sonva Mandap, Raja Bhartihari Samadhi, Bavan Khamba & Solar Watch.

8) Sarnath: A small town barely 12 kms from Varanasi rail junction, Sarnath is one of the most important Buddhist pilgrimage and heritage site. This is where the Lord Buddha delivered his first sermon. Sarnath is home to the excavated remains of the ancient Buddhist monasteries, the famous Lion capital – India’s national emblem, a archaeological museum, huge stupas including the Dhamek and Chaukhandi Stupa and many Buddhist temples built here by missions from Japan, China, Tibet, Cambodia and others.

9) Nepali Temple: This unique temple is situated on the Lalita Ghat on the bank of the river Ganges. The temple was commissioned by the King of Nepal and is built in the Nepali style of architecture by workers who were brought from Nepal to create this marvel. The wood used in the temple is also found in Nepal. The specialty of the wood used in the temple is that termites do not eat this wood. The temple features magnificent wood work and there are erotic wooden sculptures built in to the external columns and facades.Due to the erotic sculptures, it is also called ‘mini-khajuraho’. Another popular name for this temple is the ‘kaathwala’ temple.

10) Lakhania Dari Caves and Waterfall: Located at a distance of around 45 kms from Varanasi are the beautiful small hills of the Vindhyanchal mountain ranges. Ensconced in the hills is a mesmerizing waterfall that drains in to a small clear water lake. This is the Lakhania Dari. A small stream originates from the lake and huge boulders are strewn all over the two km long trek that leads to the waterfall from the lake. Ancient rock caves can be seen on the rocky face of the hills that surround the region. A visual treat for nature lovers and adventure seekers.

The Best Hotels in Puerto Rico

What are the Best Hotels & Resorts in Puerto Rico?

Rio Mar Beach & Spa- (a Wyndham Grand Resort) is nestled between the Atlantic Ocean and the EL Yunque National Forest; it features balconies with mountain or ocean views. This resort is home to two championship golf courses, three ocean side pools, a spa, fitness center, on-site dive center, and water sports center. It also has 12 restaurants offering a variety of cuisine options from Asian, to Italian, to Mexican, and authentic Puerto Rican. There is a kids Club, casino, and game room on the property.

Hix Island House- Hix Island House interestingly combines indoor space with outdoors, giving you easy access to tropical trees outside your patio, exotic birds chirping, cool island breezes to put you asleep and beautiful sunrises to awaken to. Atop the landscaped roof a canopy is the perfect place to enjoy the sunrise or sunrise. The atmosphere at Hix Island House is casual, relaxing, comfortable, and restful.

Horned Dorset Primavera- has panoramic sea view, and an aristocratic Spanish/European style setting. This elegant property opens unto a secluded private beach, it’s private rooms equipped with queen side sofa beds, luxurious linens, and Persian rugs. Some of the units have private pools; others offer private verandas or sun decks. The hacienda comes complete with seaside terraces, cascades of flowers, and wicker armchairs. It houses two restaurants, three outdoor pools, free kayaking, a bar, and fitness center.

Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan- Is located in the center for the trendy Isla Verde tourist district of San Juan. The hotel is adjacent to shopping, casinos, beaches, and the islands night life. There are 25 restaurants within walking distance. This San Juan hotel consists of two towers connected by a lobby with a glass wall overlooking the swimming pools, Jacuzzi, and tropical garden. Enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast daily, as well as a fitness center. For Corporate travels, there are meeting and banquet rooms with audio/visual equipment. Very reasonably priced suites.

Bahia Marina Bondo Resort- this resort is above a bay and harbor, bordering a nature reserve and the Caribbean suites. What is wonderful about this resort is that it has both Villas, and Suites. All which have private balconies, full kitchens, and sleeping capabilities in the living room. There is access to a secluded beach, lagoon, and barrier reef. Enjoy nearby mountain biking, kayaking, snorkeling, and excursions to uninhabited islands.

Ritz- Carlton: San Juan Spa & Casino- is ideally located on eight acres of prime beachfront property in beautiful Isla Verde, and just minutes from historic Old San Juan, The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan offers five exceptional restaurants, a 24-hour casino, conference and banquet facilities, as well as a 12,000 sq ft Caribbean spa with 11 treatment rooms

Interview: Duval Love

Duval Love is a former Offensive Lineman who graduated from UCLA and played 11 years in the NFL for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and Arizona Cardinals and made the Pro Bowl. I was honored when he agreed to meet with me to answer some questions for the website.

Who did you idolize in the NFL while growing up?

Well, I was a huge Dallas Cowboys fan and a Minnesota Vikings fan. It’s kind of funny that I wasn’t really a Rams fan. I liked the Cowboys because the offensive line would do that little pause and go up, so I was immediately attracted to that. I was a huge fan of Harvey Martin, Too Tall Jones, Randy White, and Pat Donovan and those types of guys. I always liked linemen. One of my favorite players was on the Miami Dolphins, Dwight Stevenson. He always kind of catered to the linemen. Growing up, I always watched the linemen and as I was getting older I wanted to see if I was reaching 6’2 or 6’3. One day, if I got that tall, I’d be able to play in the pros.

From High School to College to Professional, who was the one person who had the biggest impact on your life?

I’ll tell you the biggest impact is my dad. There’s no doubt about it. To see where he came from and the way he works and what he taught me is amazing. He didn’t go to school, just had a sixth grade education from the south. I’m the only child and my dad’s been there every step of the way, good or bad. I’ve got to take my hat off to him. My parents have been married 45 years and they’ve been real supportive through the good times, bad times, getting into the pros, the Pro Bowl and being indicted. I mean they’ve always been there. I have great parents and my dad’s always been there. He’s been like my big brother and a dad. He’s never let me down. He’s my role model.

A 10th round draft pick makes it. How often did you remind your teammates of this?

First of all, when I got drafted in the tenth round, I was devastated. Everybody was like, “Oh you got drafted!” and I felt like, “Tenth round. WOO. Let’s take off the zero and make it a one.” But you know, after you look back, I was fortunate enough to get drafted but I had my work cut out for me. It seems like in my life I have to do things the hard way. Nothing comes easy. I don’t have that luck of things just dropping in my lap. I always have to do things the hard way.

They had four Pro Bowlers on the line and three adequate back ups. My chances where slim-to-none and slim had just walked out. I lay on the bed that night looking at the roster and I thought, there is no way…I was in the gutter. Then I went to camp and I worked my butt off. Hudson Houck was my line coach. He’s one of the best line coaches in the NFL. He’s the Miami Dolphins line coach now. He had recruited me to go to USC as line coach so we had some history together. He drafted me in the tenth round. I worked hard. I got cussed out every day and I made the team. I was shocked and dismayed but I made the team.

To back up, when I went to Ram Park there was a guy named Ray San Jose. Ray stood out in the parking lot and as you got out of your car he’d call you over and say the head coach wants to talk to you. That meant you were gone. You were cut. And so I remember that final cut, getting out of my car, Ray standing there, bless his heart. I was thinking, “Man if he calls me over there, it’s over.” I took one step, two steps. He looked at me, I’m looking at him. I took a step closer. “Are you gonna call my name or what?” He gave me the old thumbs up. “You made it.”

I walked in the locker room with my chest high and I then saw my lockers because the lockers for rookies were put in the middle. You get these little fake lockers in the middle of the locker room and when they take them down, that meant you were out of there. So I named those lockers “Death Row” because one by one, they were picking you off and you were gone. And mine had a little piece of tape that said Love 67. Then I saw my locker was right next to Jackie Slater with my name on for real and then I knew I was there to stay. I stayed there seven years.

So then you went on to Pittsburgh where you made your first Pro Bowl?

Yeah, I played 7 years for L.A. 1985 to 1991 and then I went Plan B free agency to Pittsburgh. It was Bill Cowher’s first year. Chuck Knoll had retired and Bill Cowher got the job. (Former Defensive Coordinator for Kansas City) Interesting story is you never know who’s looking at you. When I was with the Rams, we played Kansas City in Germany and we were over there for a week. Coach Cowher was the Defensive Coordinator and he had noticed me because we were scrimmaging ever day. Over there in Germany, some guys, no wives, no girlfriends, we were drinking a lot. I was still single. A lot of guys didn’t practice because they were hung over and every day I came out and practiced. Swinging away, fighting, no matter what I did the night before. I came out and I was hustling because I knew I needed to make the team and I wasn’t as secure so I had to go out and bust my butt. And Coach Cowher noticed me and said, “Who’s that guy with the fight?” Every day he comes up with his lunch pail and he’s working his butt off and he noticed me.”

So my name came up on Plan B when he became the head coach of Pittsburgh and he said, “I want that guy on my team.” I was the first guy he signed as the head coach of the Steelers. So the story is you never know who’s watching you. If I decided to take a couple days off because I was too drunk or had 3 or 4 girls the night before, you know. But I came out swinging away every practice, no matter how many beers I was pounding in Berlin because that’s what I love, football. I made an impression on him. I had a great 3 years there. I went all pro.

What one moment do you remember the most from the Pro Bowl?

The one moment was that our center made it, Dermontti Dawson. I called him up and he was two doors down from me. I said, “Hey, what are you gonna wear?” And he said, “What do you mean?” and I said, “I don’t know what to wear.” He said, “Man, we’re in Hawaii, put on your flip flops and wear shorts and your tank top and go down there,” and he hung up on me. I was nervous. Dan Marino, John Elway, Emmitt Smith – all of these great players and now I was one of them. It was kind of hard to imagine myself as one of them sitting in the same room, we’re all Pro Bowlers. It was my first one so I was excited.

So I went down there…I was nervous and I couldn’t talk. I felt like I was tripping over the carpet. I sat down and I said, “Be still.” I was shaking and all the great players came in and I was one of them. I mean hell, you know. It was a great moment. I finally made it. All that hard work had paid off. You know working out 3 times a day, running at 9 o’clock at night, paying the price, all of the things I needed to do. I’d run at 9 o’clock at night when I lived in Laguna Niguel. I’d work out at 6 o’clock in the morning then at noon and after my son went to bed I went out and start running at 9 o’clock, 6 or 7 miles every night. I was in great shape. A lot of nights I didn’t want to run but I was determined because I wanted to be the best. I’d be running and sometimes I’d be crying because I’d be so mad at myself, I’d be like “I don’t want to do this.” I’d start acting like a big baby and I was crying thinking, “There is nobody else running this time of night. I’m the only player in the NFL that’s running this time of night up a hill that’s paying the price. I’m paying the price.” I’d visualize myself. “I’m gonna be in Hawaii. I am gonna be in Hawaii.” And I’d just visualize that when I’d run up those hills I’d think, “This is why I’m running, because I want to be in Hawaii. I want Pro Bowl by my name.”

Being a UCLA graduate, what is your opinion on whether kids these days should stay in college or be allowed to take the money and enter the NFL early? In particular, the Maurice Clarett situation that happened.

I think Maurice made some mistakes, obviously. He probably should have stayed in school. Now his reputation is ruined and he’s not as good a football players as people might think. For a while, they thought he was a really good running back and all a sudden now, his stock has really dropped. He might not even get drafted. It’s hard to say. When you’ve got that type of money out there it’s hard to say no. Especially for some of these guys that don’t come from a lot of money. You just have to make the right choice. Of course you need your education. You can always come back. But if you’re good enough and you’re able to go in the first round, and you have $10 or $15 million sitting there when you sign your name, it’s hard to say no. I don’t think anyone can answer that question unless you’re put in that situation. You have to make a wise choice.

Steroid use has been the big negative issue surrounding Major League Baseball over the last year. As a professional athlete, what’s your opinion on this issue?

Obviously Steroids are illegal and you shouldn’t use them. Obviously some players have and I think it’s obvious. You can tell who the players that have used them are. Some guys use them to enhance their performance so they can play longer. They might not have the God given ability to play so they need to do all they can to make sure they are able to compete with other people. Especially if you’re a young player behind a guy who’s, for example, is hitting 45 home runs and you know he’s on steroids and you’re sitting there hitting 10 home runs and you’re going to be in the minors. It’s a tough call. You want everyone to be on a level playing field. Steroids are bad and can’t be a part of the game. They just cannot and I think the long term effect you’ll see are guys dying at an early age. You can’t really run from it.

What’s your favorite NFL team now?

My favorite team? That’s a good question. Honestly I like the Steelers because I played for them. I used to cheer for the guys I knew but as I’m getting older, all the guys are retiring pretty much. I’m just a football fan in general so I cheer for them all.

Favorite Coach? Bill Cowher still?

Yes, because he coached me. I always wish him well. You know, I like to see the Steelers do well. 15 and 1 last year. It’s hard to have a season like that and then you lose in the playoffs. You do everything right, you know you’re 15 and 1. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

After football, what’s your favorite sport to watch?

I love basketball. I’m a huge Lakers fan. Shaquille O’Neal fan. I’m a little disappointed he got traded. Unfortunately, he and Kobe could not get along. It just disappoints me as a Lakers fan that the two egos could not put that behind them and just play basketball. They had a great thing going on. It’s a horrible season. It’s hard for me to watch them. I know Jerry Buss will turn that thing around because I don’t think he likes to lose.

After leaving the NFL, you like many others, have had your share of problems. What would you have done differently while in the NFL to prepare you for life afterward?

I kind of did everything right, it’s just after I left I made all the wrong moves. House paid for, money in the bank, cars paid for, I was ok. I just made the wrong decision trying to go into business with different people and trusting them to run the business and not know what they were doing. Assuming they could make me money, believing the false dreams and making the mistake of listening to them. If I could do it all over again, I wish I could have just took one year off, lost weight, got my knees operated on and started my coaching profession. I wish I would have done that. My wife had told me to do that but, I decided to listen to myself and go into business and I made a crucial mistake. It’s OK. I’m going to rebound from it. It’s like being on the bottom of a pool…you go all the way down and you just have to bounce up and get back to the top.

I’m sure the media has gotten their facts crossed from time to time. If you could address just on one item, what would it be?

I’m sure that there’s a lot of things out there that people have said and I haven’t really heard yet. What they say behind my back, I don’t know. As far as me giving the money to the guy, I made the crucial mistake of trusting him. He lied to me and I gave him the money and he did other things with it. I got in trouble because of that business deal. You know, I trusted one of these people who lived in my community. I was naïve and made poor judgment in trusting these guys and now I know better.

As a young adult, you set your goal to play in the NFL. Fast forward 10 years . . . what goal have you set for yourself now?

I’d like to be an assistant coach in the NFL and that’s my goal. Just to be a coach to help the young kids who come up the ranks and help them not make mistakes like I made and just be happy.

In conclusion, for fans out there that followed you from the Rams to the Steelers, watched you in the Pro Bowl, is there anything you want to say to the fans about how you’re doing right now?

You know, it’s been tough. I’m a survivor. A weaker man probably would have done different things but I know I’m stronger than that. So I just stay positive. No matter what happens I know it’s gonna get better. Just know Duval Love is a fighter who will rise to the top again.

Basic Math Facts – Exponents

Exponents comprise a juicy tidbit of basic-math-facts material. Exponents allow us to raise numbers, variables, and even expressions to powers, thus achieving repeated multiplication. The ever present exponent in all kinds of mathematical problems requires that the student be thoroughly conversant with its features and properties. Here we look at the laws, the knowledge of which, will allow any student to master this topic.

In the expression 3^2, which is read “3 squared,” or “3 to the second power,” 3 is the base and 2 is the power or exponent. The exponent tells us how many times to use the base as a factor. The same applies to variables and variable expressions. In x^3, this mean x*x*x. In (x + 1)^2, this means (x + 1)*(x + 1). Exponents are omnipresent in algebra and indeed all of mathematics, and understanding their properties and how to work with them is extremely important. Mastering exponents requires that the student be familiar with some basic laws and properties.

Product Law

When multiplying expressions involving the same base to different or equal powers, simply write the base to the sum of the powers. For example, (x^3)(x^2) is the same as x^(3 + 2) = x^5. To see why this is so, think of the exponential expression as pearls on a string. In x^3 = x*x*x, you have three x’s (pearls) on the string. In x^2, you have two pearls. Thus in the product you have five pearls, or x^5.

Quotient Law

When dividing expressions involving the same base, you simply subtract the powers. Thus in (x^4)/(x^2) = x^(4-2) = x^2. Why this is so depends on the cancellation property of the real numbers. This property says that when the same number or variable appears in both the numerator and denominator of a fraction, then this term can be canceled. Let us look at a numerical example to make this completely clear. Take (5*4)/4. Since 4 appears in both the top and bottom of this expression, we can kill it—well not kill, we don’t want to get violent, but you know what I mean—to get 5. Now let’s multiply and divide to see if this agrees with our answer: (5*4)/4 = 20/4 = 5. Check. Thus this cancellation property holds. In an expression such as (y^5)/(y^3), this is (y*y*y*y*y)/(y*y*y), if we expand. Since we have 3 y’s in the denominator, we can use those to cancel 3 y’s in the numerator to get y^2. This agrees with y^(5-3) = y^2.

Power of a Power Law

In an expression such as (x^4)^3, we have what is known as a power to a power. The power of a power law states that we simplify by multiplying the powers together. Thus (x^4)^3 = x^(4*3) = x^12. If you think about why this is so, notice that the base in this expression is x^4. The exponent 3 tells us to use this base 3 times. Thus we would obtain (x^4)*(x^4)*(x^4). Now we see this as a product of the same base to the same power and can thus use our first property to get x^(4 + 4+ 4) = x^12.

Distributive Property

This property tells us how to simplify an expression such as (x^3*y^2)^3. To simplify this, we distribute the power 3 outside parentheses inside, multiplying each power to get x^(3*3)*y^(2*3) = x^9*y^6. To understand why this is so, notice that the base in the original expression is x^3*y^2. The 3 outside parentheses tells us to multiply this base by itself 3 times. When you do that and then rearrange the expression using both the associative and commutative properties of multiplication, you can then apply the first property to get the answer.

Zero Exponent Property

Any number or variable—except 0—to the 0 power is always 1. Thus 2^0 = 1; x^0 = 1; (x + 1)^0 = 1. To see why this is so, let us consider the expression (x^3)/(x^3). This is clearly equal to 1, since any number (except 0) or expression over itself yields this result. Using our quotient property, we see this is equal to x^(3 – 3) = x^0. Since both expressions must yield the same result, we get that x^0 = 1.

Negative Exponent Property

When we raise a number or variable to a negative integer, we end up with the reciprocal. That is 3^(-2) = 1/(3^2). To see why this is so, let us consider the expression (3^2)/(3^4). If we expand this, we obtain (3*3)/(3*3*3*3). Using the cancellation property, we end up with 1/(3*3) = 1/(3^2). Using the quotient property we that (3^2)/(3^4) = 3^(2 – 4) = 3^(-2). Since both of these expressions must be equal, we have that 3^(-2) = 1/(3^2).

Understanding these six properties of exponents will give students the solid foundation they need to tackle all kinds of pre-algebra, algebra, and even calculus problems. Often times, a student’s stumbling blocks can be removed with the bulldozer of foundational concepts. Study these properties and learn them. You will then be on the road to mathematical mastery.

Correct Way to Use a Metal Hook

What is a metal hook? Maybe you have seen it in our daily use. Have you seen the hand tool for fishermen to fish? The hand tool is such called a metal hook. Furthermore, it generally refers to a functional device to hang or connect items. It means that this mechanical component play an important role at connecting. In most cases, a metal hook is used to joint things such as the coats, curtains, metal fastenings in needlework or other hanging plants. In words, this mechanical device has been mostly used to connect mechanical parts.

In order to meet various requirements, this mechanical device can be made in various sizes and varieties. Some of them and the relative using ways would be introduced in the following.

Firstly, the coat hooks are most common in our daily life. They can be made in a wide range of types to meet the requirements. It can be from the most practical types to novelty types. No matter what, the screwdriver is needed to place each on a wooden panel or door.

Secondly, the ornamental hooks are also popular, especially for a masonry wall. For placing them on the right places perfectly, a masonry drill and a hammer is needed, as well as a plastic plug and some proper screws. Ensure the point to drill a hole by making marks with a small cross. Afterward, insert the plug into the hole and put the required hook into the position.

Besides, there is a metal hook which is secured in the position by twisting the screw end of it into a wood base panel. The screwdriver can do great help. This one has been widely used in our houses. They can be used for hanging many things, including the dressing gowns, hats, coats and other light things.

At last, a metal hook can occupy some other functions except from the connecting benefits. They can be used to any position according to your reasonable plan. For example, it can be used just for decorative ornamentation.

Make Concrete Blocks And Garden Ornaments – A Business Opportunity

Manufacturing concrete blocks and garden ornaments is an excellent business opportunity. You can start this business part time in your garage at very low cost. Using hand made molds, and simple production methods, you can make a wide variety of concrete products. The concrete block, used in so many different types of building projects, is a basic commodity of the building trade. You can turn out 100 cement blocks per day easily with hand made molds.

The top selling garden ornament is concrete bird baths. There is a huge demand and they sell readily. You can make a variety of these easily with hand made molds and you can sell them to local building supply or garden stores. Transporting these heavy items from a distant supplier is expensive. These businesses will be happy to find a local supplier who has low costs and competitive prices. With no transportation costs you can make an excellent profit from your work.

You can also make many other types of concrete garden ornaments and garden furniture from available plans. Vases, large and small, including ‘Ali Baba’ style vases, are easy to make without molds. You can learn the simple production methods quickly and make a wide variety of these. They are very popular decorative items for patios and gardens. Your basic business of concrete block making can be supplemented by these items. They are easy to produce and very profitable.

You can make many other types of garden ornaments from either hand made or commercial molds and you will find a ready sale for your products. By starting part time, in your garage, you eliminate all risk. Plywood and sheet metal are the only materials needed to make your cement block molds which makes starting cost low. The appropriate concrete mix is made from Portland cement, gravel, sand and water in the correct proportions. As your business builds you can decide to go full time when you are ready.

For volume production of concrete blocks you will need a concrete block making machine. Commercial models are available. They are quite expensive however. The other option is to build your own machine. Plans are available for an excellent machine made from sheet metal, used auto parts and a few odds and ends. You can build one of these at very low costand it can turn out all the blocks you will need very easily.

As business grows you will probably need to rent premises large enough for the racks needed to store your cement blocks for drying. You will also need a helper to move the blocks from the machine to the racks. At this stage however your business will make enough profits to more than justify the extra costs. You can start your own concrete product business on the proverbial shoestring. With hard work it will rapidly grow into a full time very profitable business. You can give up your job and be a full time concrete products manufacturer. The sky is the limit in this business. Demand never dies for concrete products and you can have an income you could only dream about while working at a job.

Care Bears History and Facts

The lovable Care Bears were first created by the American Greetings company in the year 1981. They were intended to be used on greeting cards and become very popular to the public. Artist Elena Kucharik was the very first to create the images of our beloved Care Bears and by 1983 they were made into a series of plushy teddy bears popular amongst kids. Later on they were given their own cartoon series that lasted from 1985 to 1988 and then they got three major motion picture cartoon movies called, The Care Bears Movie, Care Bears Movie II: A New Generation, and The Care Bears Adventure in Wonderland.

Each of the Care Bears comes in a different color and they have colorful graphics on their bellies. The Care Bears are able to make magical power beams shoot out from their bellies to help fix a lot of problems. Each of the Care Bears has a different beam that shoots out from their bellies and holds the all of their love and special care. Each Care Bear has a different specialized graphic and a different special care. For example, Bedtime Bear has a sleepy crescent moon on his belly. He is able to send out a beam of special sleepy time care. And Cheer Bear is a happy fellow who can help others feel happier with his beam of cheerful energy.

Even today the Care Bears are popular among the kids. They just love to cuddle with their own special Care Bear. The Care Bears have all kinds of merchandising and entertainment available. You’ll find them in cartoons, books, music, classic Care Bear toys, and video games and even in comic books. They still feature the Care Bears on greetings cards too, so you can send a Care Bears card to someone special on their birthday.

How to Put a Hole in a Glass Bottle

Over the years, I have found my self in situations where I have needed to put a hole in glass bottles or just glass. From craft projects for the kids, fixing up the garage, or helping my friend make soda bottle wind chimes we have settled on our top 3 methods! Here is how to put a hole in a glass bottle! Remember all methods will require some patience, so make sure you have set aside some time to complete your project!

Method 1

By far the Diamond drill works best! YOU can purchase these from several different places, we have found eBay to be the cheapest! Make sure you cover the bottom of the bottle in tape and leave a circular shape open in your desired location. Proceed using your drill on a very low speed! Be patient! You can also pick up some drilling oil to help with all the cutting. *water works too!

Method 2

Using a Round Tapered file and Drill. My husband refers to it as the rat tail file. Anyway, you need to get some turpentine and place some into a small oil can that has one of those squirt tops. You will use this to apply applications in between filing. This is a slow process so make sure you use the slowest setting on your drill. Remember to let the friction of the file do the work, don’t try to rush the process by pushing down firmly.

Method 3

Duct tape and lighter! I have not personally tried this, but my friend swears by it. She makes a lot of glass wind chimes and says this is the only way to go. Its easy and nearly costless! First, cover the bottom of your bottle in duct tape. Remove your desired circle, then make sure you wet the surrounding edges of the tape, along with your fingers. *She suggests to keep a glass of water handy, so if your fingers get hot you can just dip them in the glass. Next, use your lighter and heat up the bottom of the bottle, and once it gets super hot place it directly in cold water. Sometimes your circle will not break out all the way, but you can Finnish off with a file, or a ball peen hammer!

All of the above methods, will take some patience! There is no quick way! I have heard of other methods, but these are the safest for your bottle. Any method containing alcohol or acetone combined with lighting will cause major stress points or fractures in your bottle. I hope that you will find this useful and have some new knowledge of how to put a hole in a glass bottle. Remember slow and steady always wins the race!

History of Construction in the United States

The Empire State Building, the White House, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the United States Capitol – all have one thing in common (except for the obvious fact that they are all situated in the USA): they all testify to the rich history of architecture of the USA.

The architectural timeline of the USA can be divided into 5 different periods viz.

* The Colonial period (1607-1830)

* The Federal Age (1789-1865)

* Victorian Era (1837-1914)

* Arts and Crafts (1860-1920)

* Modernism (1920 and beyond)

In the 1600s, USA was mainly occupied by immigrants from Europe who settled in various parts of the country. Thus, the buildings built by them mainly constitute the architectural timeline of this period. Early colonial architecture varied considerably from region to region, based on the nationality of the settlers. What is now commonly called as folk architecture is normally a direct effect of uncomplicated motifs of the homelands of the builders finding their way into the architecture. Important constructions of this era incorporate Virginia state capitol (one of the leading examples of Georgian architecture) and Pennsylvania state house.

Federal constructions were a usual find in the post colonial era, from the creation of the US constitution to the starting of civil war. Federal architecture predominated government buildings and was heavily found in American settlements (mainly New England).

Federal period architecture is generally based on the English form of architecture. However, a renewal of Greek forms is also noticed, signifying the architectural freedom of America from the European heritage. With the commencement of the Civil War however, the acceptance of the Federal form died down. The United States Capitol was built in this duration.

In 1837, Queen Victoria started her command in United Kingdom. The early decades of the Victorian era witnessed the enlargement of the industrial revolution. Mass production began to set in, thus lowering the price of materials and handling time. Houses started to shift out of their squarish shapes and box like structures, paving the way for more complicated floor structures and confused architecture. As the luxury of American cities spread, a widespread demand for a today’s (according to timelicurrent (according to current (according to timeline) shape of architecture was noticed. This led to a widespread tradition of the Victorian form of architecture. However, inception of World War 1 in 1918 marked the ending of this period.

However the increasing industrialization of the Victorian age had a frequent feedback as well. People started returning to craftsmanship, instead of heavily relying on machinery. Spanning the whole of Victorian age and going beyond the World War, the age of Arts and craft was a notable duration throughout the whole world. America was no exclusion.

Modernism in American architecture is simple, and notional. Going beyond the 1920s and more, modernism is heavily influenced by futuristic designs. With examples of giant skyscrapers like the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center, modernism has given America the pet name of the melting pot. The roots of the background is expressed, while a substantial move towards more futuristic designs is maintained, signifying the fact that variation is absolute.

Morning Heel Pain – 20 Tips For Treatment

Pain in the bottom of the heel at the first step in the morning is a common sign of plantar fasciitis. The plantar fascia is a band of connective tissue which supports the arch. It starts at the heel bone and extends to the toes. Excess stress on the plantar fascia results in tearing and inflammation and the development of plantar fasciitis. The pain is usually localized at the bottom, inside of the heel, but can extend through the arch.

The pain may be sharp, dull, achy, burning or feel like a "stone bruise". The pain is generally worse when walking barefoot and after activity. Side to side sports, such as soccer and tennis, impact sports such as running and jogging and simple activities such as gardening will all aggravate plantar fasciitis.

Identifying the factors which contribute to the development of plantar fasciitis is the key to treatment. There is almost always a change in activity, a change in shoes, a change in job or walking surface that has preceded the development of the condition. A traumatic event or twist injury rarely causes the condition, but a simple activity such as walking through an airport in a poor quality shoe can easily cause the condition in individuals preone to development. Those with faulty foot mechanics, collapsing arches and over-pronation have a higher chance of developing plantar fasciitis. The following are steps for treatment:

1. Identify the cause : The most important step. There is most likely a certain activity or pair of shoes which contributed to the development.

2. Avoid impact activities : Impact activities such as jogging and running and sports such as soccer, baseball, and tennis will stress the plantar fascia. Cycling and swimming are great ways to maintain fitness without aggravating the plantar fascia.

3. Eliminate aggravating activities : Activities which place excess stress on the plantar fascia will aggravate the condition. Reduce the use of stairs, avoid hills, minimize squatting, lifting heavy items and avoid walking on uneven terrain.

4. Water bottle ice massage : Freeze a sports water bottle and roll your foot over it for 20 minutes, twice a day. Icing is most effective the first few weeks after the fasciitis develops. You can also ice directly on the heel for 20 minutes twice a day.

5. Roll your arch over a ball : Using a softball, tennis ball or rolling pin, roll your foot over the ball to stretch the plantar fascia. Do not do this if it causes pain.

6. Contrast between hot and cold : Ice for 5 minutes and then use a heating pad for 5 minutes and alternate between the two for a total of 30-40 minutes.

7. Avoid massaging the heel : It's tempting to press and push on the sore area of ​​the heel. Many individuals like to rub and massage the area, but this will only aggravate the heel, increasing inflammation and pain. Once the infection has decreased, a physical therapist can perform a friction massage on the plantar fascia. But, this should be avoiding during the early stages of the condition and when the heel is inflamed.

8. Morning calf stretch : Stretch the calf in the morning, before you step down. Use a stretch band, or belt and wrap it around the ball of your foot. Keep your knee extended and pull back on the foot, stretching the calf. Hold for at least 1 minute.

9. Plantar fascia stretch : A stretch specifically for the plantar fascia can be performed by placing the affected foot on the opposite knee. Grab the toes and pull back, stretching the arch.

10. Stretch every hour : Stretch the calf and the plantar fascia for 1-2 minutes every hour. The more often you stretch, the faster the healing process.

11. Take anti-inflammatory medications : Medication such as naproxen and ibuprofen will decrease the inflammation. They can work well in the early stages of plantar fasciitis and should only be used in conjunction with other treatments. Do not take if you have a stomach ulcer.

12. Lose Weight : The more weight on the body, the more force and stress through the feet and the plantar fascia. Even a small amount of weight loss will decrease the stress on the plantar fascia and help with the healing process.

13. Wear supportive shoes : This is one of the most important steps. Soft flexible shoes will only cause more problems, please how comfortable they may feel. Shoes should be worn from the time you get up in the morning until you go to sleep at night. Avoid going barefoot.

14. Use a heel cup : In the early stages of fasciitis, when the heel is tender, heel cups can increase shock absorption and add comfort to the shoes when walking. They should only be used in conjunction with other therapies and are not helpful in the later stages of the condition.

15. Use heel lifts : A heel lift placed in the shoe, or a heel on the shoe (up to 1 inch) will decrease stress on the plantar fascia.

16. Use anti-fatigue mats : If you stand in one place for an extended amount of time at work or at home, an anti-fatigue mats will add shock absorption and decrease stress through the heel.

17. Strengthen the foot muscles : While separated, place a thin towel on the floor in front of your feet. Grab the edge of the towel with your toes and pull the towel under the foot. This exercise strengthens the small muscles in the bottom of the foot.

18. Foot strapping : Taping the arch with sports tape in a fashion to support the arch can reduce stress through the plantar fascia and accelerating healing.

19. Use a night splint : A night splint will stretch the arch and the plantar fascia. Although they are called night splints, the splints can be worn in the evening or during the night. Night splints can be rigid or soft and are a simple, affordable, effective therapy.

20. Wear off the shelf orthotics : Prefabricated orthotics are designed to control abnormal foot motion which places excess stress on the plantar fascia. They are not soft and flexible, but semi-rigid and supportive. Certain foot types may require custom made orthotics, but most will do well with an off the shelf orthotic.

If your symptoms persist, make an appointment with your podiatrist.