Inside Thailand: A Brief Overview

There is so much to see and do in Thailand that visitors cannot resist returning time and again. The expansive coastline and stunning tropical islands promise wonderful beaches and laidback ambience. Inland and beyond, there are rice paddies, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, lush jungles teeming with wildlife. Predominantly a Buddhist country, Thailand also offers an abundance of golden temples flaunting spiritually-inspired architecture. In stark contrast is the buzzing, vibrant capital Bangkok, which with its neon lights and smog-filled streets, skyscrapers and floating markets can leave you a bit overwhelmed.

One reason why Thailand proves to be an attractive holiday destination is that despite western influence it has managed to retain its distinct Oriental identity. In a way, the country combines the best of the East and West and so whether you are a sun loving beach bum or an adrenaline junky looking for adventure in the river rapids, you will find yourself in for an exotic and exciting experience. There is more good news in store in that Thailand enjoys year round temperate climate which means you can visit any time you choose.

Getting around is fairly easy and safe considering that even far-flung towns are connected with major cities by comfortable sleeper trains. While many people prefer to opt for organized tours, you can miss out on the fun of exploring between attractions and meeting the locals.

Here are some attractions you may like to visit during your trip to Thailand

Ayutthaya

Ayutthaya was the former capital of Siam from around 1350 to mid-18th century. It was at one time, one of the largest cities in the world. However, much of the city was destroyed when the Burmese army, after which the capital was relocated to Bangkok in the year 1768. Ayutthaya is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site and retains much of the splendour of its capital times. A trip by bus from Bangkok to Ayutthaya takes about an hour while a boat trip from the Chao Phraya River can be arranged through the travel agencies.

Chiang Mai Temples

One of the most popular tours in Thailand is the temple tour of Chiang Mai. The old town is considered to be the cultural capital of Thailand and is home to some fascinating ancient Buddhist sanctuaries. One such temple is the historic Wat Pra Singh housing the revered Phra Singh Buddha, which dates from the 15th century. Wat Chiang Man, established by King Mengrai, is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai. The temple is noted for its ancient bas reliefs and massive teak columns. Also worth a mention is the Wat Chedi Luang which boasts a gigantic chedi ruin, said to be the tallest structure in the old town.

Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

The Damnoen Saduak Floating in Bangkok provides a glimpse into the past, revealing the centuries-old way of life of the residents who make their living selling fruits, vegetables and flowers on longtailed boats on the Chao Phraya River. You can explore the market with boat trips, sample the wares of local farmers, and float through one of Thailand’s many river villages.

Where to stay in Thailand

Thailand attracts the year round and whether you wish to visit Bangkok or explore islands such as Koh Samui, Phuket, and Koh Phangna or explore the famous resort town of Pattaya, you will find a range of accommodation options in the destination of your choice from luxury Thailand villas for those looking for privacy and space to resorts and hotels. Being a popular visitor destination, you should book your accommodation well in advance for the best location and deals.

Spray Foam Insulation Project Ideas

There are some spray foam manufacturers and sellers who claim the use of polyurethane foam as an insulator in the home can reduce heating and cooling costs by 30-50%. Of course the actual savings is based upon so many factors, unique in every application, that we couldn’t possibly speculate as to the accuracy of those figures. What we do know, is closed cell spray foam insulation has an R-value of 6.7 in one inch of cured foam. That is a hard fact, no matter what the application.

However, what most people do not know is spray foam insulation can be used very effectively in applications other than walls and attics. It is true, the insulating, sound proofing, sound deadening, moisture resistance, sealing, insect and rodent resistant qualities of polyurethane foam kits are beneficial to so many more areas than most people think. Let’s take a look at all the potential applications for spray foam insulation; no doubt there will be a few that even the most seasoned contractors have not thought of!

Aside from spraying attics and between wall studs, consider insulating the home’s rim joist. By doing so, the interior cavities are better protected from cold/hot air penetration and critter invasions. Crawlspaces are fabulous places for using polyurethane foam; drafts are blocked, insects are kept out, moisture cannot build up and extensive flood damage is prevented. Now how about those older homes where the water pipes are on the outside of the building and at risk of freezing in the cold of winter? Consider the benefits of insulating them with spray foam. Some extreme temperatures will not be suitable (-200F or +200F), but 99% of residential applications will reap huge benefits from this application.

Now contemplate the recreational elements of the home, such as pools, spas, boats, recreational vehicles and trailers. Reducing the costs of heating your pool water by up to half will be easy if the underlying cavity and sides are insulated with polyurethane foam. Campers and trailers are rarely insulated beyond a cursory overlay, resulting in diminished use during the spring and autumn months. Why not extend your annual use of recreational vehicles by adding a layer of spray foam insulation? Plus, don’t forget the spray foam will also help deaden noise from the road. Pleasure boats, dinghies, even yachts can benefit from polyurethane foam. Aside from the insulating qualities, there is added buoyancy. For small vessels like row boats and the kid’s summer dinghy, that could be a great added safety benefit.

In new construction and large renovations there is often a need to fill voids for adding to the structural integrity, sealing up air pockets, smoothing out uneven cavities and insulating HVAC components. Polyurethane foam is the perfect solution for all those needs. It gets into those little spaces and expands until there is nowhere else to go. Even buildings formerly used for storage can be spray foam insulated and converted to residential use. Or how about converting an old van or bus into a recreational vehicle? Insulate it with spray foam and you have a quiet, warm place to sleep while on that summer road trip.

We know one of the qualities of polyurethane foam is the ability to repel moisture, and in turn prevent mildew and mold. In the event of a water problem such as a residential flood or hurricane damage, spray foam will provide a temporary dyke while a more concrete solution can be arranged. Now let’s take that ability to resist liquid one step further, to hazardous materials. Polyurethane foam also resists oil and petrochemicals, which mean it can be used as a temporary hazmat spill containment solution.

Now let’s move on to a more creative avenue. Have you ever been to a museum or theme park where there are displays depicting a prehistoric or outdoor scene including large fake boulders or rock walls? Those boulders are probably made from spray foam insulation. How about a spooky haunted house at an amusement park? Many of the goblins and oddities inside are probably sculpted from spray foam. The same can be done for elaborate stage sets for theatrical and film productions. The builder simply constructs a base from wood, covers it with wire or anything the foam can adhere to, and spray the foam on until there is the right amount of thickness. Then the builder can just carve, sand, and cut the foam until the proper shape and texture is accomplished.

We have covered the mundane construction uses of spray foam, the recreational uses, the sound deadening uses, the buoyancy, the HVAC, filling voids, emergency flood control, hazmat clean up and even theatrical uses. There are probably a few more place spray foam can be useful, but we leave it to you to discover them.

What Is a Water Softener and Why Do We Need One?

Water hardness is considered an ever-present problem for everybody and for this reason, most homes install a water softener system to prevent the buildup of lime-scale on bathroom fixtures and in water using appliances.

Though hard water can not be seen, it is difficult to ignore its signs. Water that contains a lot of minerals -such as magnesium and calcium – will leave a mark on anything in comes in contact with, and will leave a pale white or a bit yellowish again on kitchen and bathroom faucets, shower heads plus other surfaces.

When lime-scale accumulates, it will clog nearly all kitchen/bathroom appliances – whether it is a coffee maker or water heater – and this can result to high costs of repair or replacement jobs. Moreover, lime-scale can stain glasses, tap surfaces and porcelain, to name a few.

Water softeners work by means of a process known as ion exchange, which replaces magnesium and calcium ions that cause water hardness with sodium ions. Water softener systems consist of resin/zeolite beads that carry out the ion exchange process.

Reason Why Water Should be Softened

Though hard water does not cause any health issues, it is a serious concern in terms of the condition of water using appliances. However, appliances are not the only things that can get damaged by hard water, but also the plumbing system as well.

When lime-scale builds up in a plumbing system, it can keep water from flowing smoothly to the taps. Furthermore, it also reduces the effectiveness of bath and laundry soap by making it hard for them to completely dissolve.

Soap particles attach to minerals and form scum, which can ruin the fabric of clothes. Since less soap is dissolved, more needs to be added.

Lime-scale deposits that are left unchecked can cause damage to all water using appliances.

It is certainly easier to prevent the buildup of lime-scale than face its consequences. A water softener can solve the hard water problem at the very source by converting hard water into soft water without scale.

Benefits

Installing a water softener system in a home will enable homeowners to keep hard water at bay, which gives the following benefits:

Increase in soap and detergent effectiveness: hard water prevents bar and laundry soaps from doing their job, so without a water softener system, more soap is used. It can also boost the efficiency of all kinds of soaps.

Appliance life is prolonged: a water softener system is critical to expensive appliances. Lime-scale can cause damage to water-using appliances, which can result to costly repair jobs.

Less energy inefficiency: water using appliances with lime-scale buildup may use up more power, become inefficient, then eventually break down.

Softer and cleaner hair, skin and clothes. Soft water is gentle on hair and skin, as well as safe to use in washing clothes. With increased efficiency of detergents, clothes will become cleaner and brighter.

Shiny, stain-free surfaces: hard water stains glass, chrome and porcelain surfaces, making them hard to clean, but soft water gets rid of such problems, which makes it easier to clean a home.

To make the most out of the advantages offered by a water softener system, it is important to determine the water softener that best meets a person’s needs.

SportDog SDF – 100 Electric Dog Fence Review

SportDog makes a lot of equipment for people training bird dogs. They have one dog fence in their lineup, the SportDog SDF-100. It is the longest range dog fence available, doing 100 acres and is strong. The downside is that the collar is not rechargeable, and the whole system is pretty bulky and not at all pretty.

Box Contents

Collar

The SDF-100 is one of the bulkiest dog fence collars. You shouldn’t use this on a dog under 20lbs. It also has this bright orange plastic collar, great for visibility but a little garish for most peoples tastes. The collar takes a regular 9V battery, which is good because you don’t have to buy an expensive proprietary battery, but isn’t as good as a rechargeable battery. To get to the battery you have to undo these four screw which is a bit of a pain. But the upside is that it has great waterproofing. It has a nice set of seals to make this really waterproof. The collar correction level is set at the collar, so you can set a different level for each dog. You unscrew this cover with a coin and then you press this little button. There are a total of five correction levels. Levels 2-5 are progressive so they keep increasing in strength if your dog stays in the correction zone. The probes on the collar can be switched out for either these long probes or these standard size probes.

Where this collar stands out is that it is super tough. It can take a beating and has really good waterproofing. We had a customer a couple of years ago that left the collar outside and found it six months later when they hit it with a lawnmower. They switched out the battery and it worked perfectly.

Control Box

The standout feature of the system is the control box, which can power up to 100 acres, which is nearly 10,000 feet of boundary wire. So if you need something bigger than the 25 acre range on the IUC-4100 this is the one to get. Controls on the box are pretty standard. You can set the boundary width with this dial. The side switch, switches you between beep only, correction plus beep, and correction only modes. Note that there is no battery backup on this one. Like the collar, this unit is big bulky and ugly but it does the job.

Conclusion

One other nice thing about the SportDog is that it comes standard with 1,000 feet of boundary wire. Twice as much as the standard system. Overall a good tough system that is the one to get if you need to go over over 25 acres.

Book Luxury Honeymoon Accommodation – Useful Planning Tips

If you want the magic to continue past your wedding day, then make the decision to book luxury honeymoon accommodations in New Zealand. Whether you are a Kiwi, or someone planning to take an overseas vacation to celebrate your nuptials, starting your life together surrounded by beauty and finery is the perfect way to say how much you love each other.

It can be difficult to decide where you should go, with so many places available. It’s important to think past the first twenty four hours after arrival and consider if you may want to do a little more than escape away to your albeit-rather-beautiful room to enjoy some sights, attractions and even some shopping. Finding a retreat in the midst of a pretty city such as Christchurch can be a good way to have the best of both worlds.

If you are planning a trip here are some tips to make your time unforgettable for all the right reasons:

1. Don’t travel on the day of your wedding

If you need to travel to get to your honeymoon, then stay somewhere local and then leave for your holiday the following day. No matter how many wedding planner’s you put into the pot, it can be a fairly full on day, and arriving overtired is not the best way to start your time together. If you’ve gotten married in Canterbury however, it may just be the perfect place to stop, drop and unwind.

2. Make plenty of lists well before the wedding

You don’t want to be making sure essentials such as passports, money, and that perfect new lingerie is missed out – and leaving it to the last minute when planning a wedding is asking for too much stress on your special day. Plan well ahead, and pack your bags a few days before. Pack for a range of weather, including some sensible shoes and a jacket in case a walk or expedition calls your name. Luxury honeymoon accommodation in New Zealand is just as much about enjoying the fabulous great outdoors as it is about loving the pretty rooms you’ve booked yourselves into.

3. Be clear of expectations when you book

If you have particular needs or expectations it’s best to check the place you book can meet these on booking. Taking your holiday together at a luxury establishment does ensure you can expect a high level of service, but if you have particular needs or perhaps a disability it’s a good idea to check the place you are booking can accommodate you requirements.

4. Enjoy relating to the hosts

Here are people who love meeting new people and sharing some of their world. Talk to them about the best things to do and see, and let them help you make your time a magical one. They’ll duck away when you need privacy, and respect your newly married status, but they’ll also be there for those moments you want to know which restaurant is best, or where to go for a romantic bush walk.

5. Bring home a souvenir

If you’ve had a special time, find a token that will be a reminder of your time together, that you can have in your home. It’s a lovely way to further seal your union together and remind you of that amazing honeymoon and luxury accommodation in New Zealand.

Boutique Hotels – Much More Than Just Accommodation

The main and the most highlighted difference between a boutique hotel and a contemporary five star hotel is the feel of getting a very personal attention in boutique hotels. The staff of boutique hotels shows their deep interest in making your stay more and more pleasant. They are also habitual of providing special attention to their guests. It is often said that if you want to live like an emperor, stay in a boutique hotel. Usually, it is seen that the location of these boutique hotels are so close to the tourism hotspots of that city and this makes very convenient for the guests to visit those sites and come back to hotel whenever they want. These boutique hotels have one aim and that is to make your visit a cherished one.

As told earlier, staff of the boutique hotels take deep interest in your presence their. They are readily available to guide you on outdoor activities you can do in that area, sights you must see and the attractions of that town, city or state. By this, we can guess that when someone stays in a boutique hotel, he will not only enjoy the lavish and very imperial lodging but he also gets an assurance that he is not going to miss any attractions of the particular location.

There is no big story behind the dawn of these boutique hotels. The two very first boutique hotels of the world are the Blakes hotel in south Kensington, London and the Bedford in union square. These were two self-proclaimed boutique hotel and were opened in 1981 whereas the Morgan hotel in Murray hill in New York is believed to be the first boutique hotel receiving official acknowledgement. This hotel was owned by Mr. Ian Schrager and was started in 1984. Since then, countless boutique hotels have been opened all throughout the world.

There is no fix definition of a boutique hotel but major part of experts in this industry say that a boutique hotel should be a matchless style, a peculiarity in its architecture and design. They say that a boutique hotel should be beyond standardization. Its definition should be given by its customers and that definition sets the standard for that hotel.

The size of the hotel also plays an important role in deciding the description of a boutique hotel. A hotel having more than 150 rooms cant be called a boutique hotel because in this situation guests starts getting the experience they get in normal type hotels. This experience does not stand anywhere around the experience one can get in a boutique hotel.

Although every effort is made to make two boutique hotels totally different but still, they share very common characteristics. These characteristics are their locations, product quality, its popularity in market and its approach. If all these factors are of top class then it is sure that a boutique hotel will gain a huge success.

So, in the end, it can be said that in current scenario where no one will hesitate in spending money to get the best, boutique hotel is the perfect answer to all your accommodation needs while holidaying. There is no doubt that a wisely chosen boutique hotel, its comfort and services will coerce you to reiterate your trip every year.

4 Reasons To Hire Custom Home Builders

For the vast majority of America, the largest purchase they will ever make is their house. It is also the case that the vast majority of buyers would change something about their structure or property when they first buy it. If you want to make sure that the property you are buying is exactly what you want, you need to have it built especially for you. Here are four reasons custom home builders are your best bet.

Fit Your Lifestyle

A person’s house is their castle. It serves as a hospital, a shelter from storms, a nursery, and a million other functions. The uses that every residence sees depend on the needs of the person or family that lives in it. In order to ensure that your house can meet all of your needs, you should consult custom home builders. If your family is full of athletes or outdoors people, you can install an outdoor shower or one in the garage. If your neighborhood has experienced flooding in the past, you can put your residence on stilts, or at least raise it by a few feet. In short, anything you want from a house can be built. Many architects can even draw up plans that facilitate changes should your family expand in the future, such as an extra den that will easily convert to another bedroom.

Low Maintenance Costs

One of the best things about custom home builders is that you can be assured that everything in your residence is new. There is no faulty electrical system or leaky plumbing. If there does happen to be a defect in your residence, it will more than likely be under warranty. In fact, other than basic upkeep, a freshly built property will require little maintenance for years to come. This is an important aspect for buyers who are expending most, if not all, of their savings on purchasing the residence.

More Energy Efficient

When buying a house, most people don’t really think about the cost of utilities. While a few hundred dollars a month may seem like nothing compared to the cost of a mortgage payment, monthly utilities can significantly hurt your bottom line. Modern structures can be built with energy efficient materials such as double-paned windows, insulated doors, low water use toilets and dishwashers, and highly efficient washers and dryers. Furthermore, the government offers tax credits for energy efficient homes, which can further help to lower your yearly expenses.

You Can Build It Anywhere

If your house is going to be the result of custom home builders, the only thing that can limit where you live is what lots are for sale. From the center of town to the middle of the country, you can truly build a house anywhere you would like. Since you will have everything else in the house just as you want it, you should have the location just where you want it as well.

So if you are in the market for a residence, consider custom home builders.

Building a Strong Foundation: A 4 Step Guide

When building a strong foundation, stability is everything. More than just holding a house above the soil, it provides the following benefits:

· It supports the building,

· It resists movement of soil underneath the building,

· It provides insulation against cold,

· It results in damage of any sort occurring due to water or moisture.

In short, if the foundation is weak, there is going to be a lot of scope for trouble.

Here is a 4 step guide that you must keep in mind while building a strong foundation:

  1. Soil Inspection

Checking the condition of the soil is the earlier step before beginning any work on it. When it comes to building a strong foundation, the soil type and its condition becomes very important. If the soil inspection is ignored, it can lead to instability in the future. Your structural engineer or your architect may be a trustworthy person to approach for inspecting the soil.

  1. Excavating and Grading Process

Remove all small stones, rocks, pebbles, twigs, roots, etc. from the soil as such waste materials may hamper the process of building the foundation. Removal of waste material is necessary because it may also interfere in maintaining a particular level of slope while grading the soil. Make sure to dig the soil up to the required depth only. For accurate results, an excavation contractor may come to your rescue.

  1. Building the foundation

To begin building the foundation, install the footings. Keep in mind that you would either be pouring concrete into wood forms or directly into the trenches to create footings. It depends on the type of foundation you want and the type of soil.

Concrete needs reinforcement for added strength and crack resistance. It is worth the small additional cost to install rebars (steel reinforcing bars). Once the concrete is beloved, make sure to check that there is no air gap as it will lead to developing further cracks in the foundation. Seal the footings with a high quality sealer.

Remember that the concrete base should be cured of any loopholes before proceeding further. Pay attention to minute details such as the correct mixture of concrete, amount of water in it, depth of the layer to be scattered, etc. Take the help of a quality-minded concrete contractor for building the foundation successfully.

  1. Finishing touch

Last but not the least, make use of concrete finishing tools such as hand float, trowel, edger and hand groover to smoothen the top layer of the foundation. Apply another layer of sealer to get rid of the remaining moisture. You can opt for acrylic-based sealers because they work well as a curing compound as well as a sealer.

Building a strong foundation is a job that requires utmost care. Consult an experienced concrete contractor to help you customized the foundation according to the soil characteristics as well as your requirements. It is useful to obtain expert help because it will ensure a strong foundation for years to come.

Learn How to Be a DJ

Once you have your DJ consol set up ready and you have started the never-ending obsession of collecting music, the next step is to become familiar with the basic principles of mixing. The idea of ​​mixing is to join records so that the music plays continuously rather than as separate tracks. To begin with, do not worry too much about beat matching (except you are feeling exceptionally confident). Instead try to get used to the main functions of the turntables and the mixer and with the idea of ​​moving between the 2 selected tracks.

Cuing Up
Cuing up a record is simply finding the start point from where you can begin mixing. Often this is the first sound you hear, but not always so it would be wise to choose a simple House record that opens with a strong beat to start with.

Listening for the cue point (Fig.1)
-Push the fader up for the channel you are playing on, and the crossfader to the correct side.
-Start the record's rotation with the start / stop button.
-Place the needle on the outer rim of the vinyl surface.
-Wait until the music starts then press start / stop to halt the record's rotation.

(Fig.1)

Lining up the cue point (Fig.2)
-Slowly wind the record back until the first beat slips by in reverse.
-Place hand on the vinyl (usually half way between the outer rim and the label at 8 o 'clock)
-Without applying too much pressure to the holding hand, use the other to start the record's rotation again. (The platter should still be spinning without resistance, but the record should be stationary).
-Manually push and pull the vinyl so that it passes back and forth over the first sound (cue point) and then in your own time release in place of one of the forward pushes.

(Fig.2)

Now repeat the same technique, but try to do it without stopping the record's rotation between listening and lining up the cue point so that the platter is in constant motion.

Advanced Cueing
"I am the one because I know where the one is!" (Bernard Perdie- Drummer)
Some records do not start on the down beat or even with a beat at all! These are harder to use as the cue point is not as easy to define. It is important to listen to records before you try mixing it so you begin to hear the places where you should try dropping it in.

Anacrusis (Up beats)
Anything that precedes the down beat is called an anacrusis (up beat). Imagine a record of the children's rhyme "The Owl And The Pussy Cat"! If you recite this poem, the strong down beat is on 'Owl' not on the first sound which is 'The'. This means that 'The' is an anacrusis. Your cue point on this hypothetical record would there before have to 'Owl' in order for the rhythm to flow correctly.
Sometimes an anacrusis can have several sounds before the down beat, so listen carefully to where the emphasis falls. Usually in Dance music, this is accentuated by the kick drum.

Instrumental openings
Many records open with rhythmicly unaccompanied pads, synth stabs, keyboards or basslines before the entrance of the beat. You can deal with this in two ways. Firstly, play through the intro until the beat comes in then cue it up to the downbeat. If you are feeling a bit more adventurous, try to listen through the record to see how the instrumental elements fit around the beat when it is present, then return to the start and cue up the record. Imagine the beat of the tune as you remember it and then release the record in its correct place so that the instrumental groove fits along to the drums that are accommodating it in your mind. (This is obviously much harder to do and will require a keenly developed sense of internal rhythm).

Fading
On a mixer, you have two main fader options. The channel faders (often called 'up-faders') and the crossfader (Fig.3). The up-faders control the volume of each separate channel, whereas the crossfader moves between the channels passing from one to another with a 'mix' in the middle.
It is probably best at this stage to use the up-faders with their preliminary curve from silence to full volume as the 'blending' faders and the crossfader as more immediate 'switch' between the two channels (assuming your mixer enables you to alter the crossfader curve). This is not a compulsory way of having the mixer set, but if you put a gradual fade on the crossfader, you will have the 2 kinds of fader doing the same job rather than fulfilling separate roles.

(Fig.3)

As well as setting your crossfader to a sharp curve, also ensure that the channels are properly assigned to the two sides. On mixers with more than 2 channels, you will need to design each channel to a particular side of the fader. If you do not do this, or leave the crossfader assigns off, you will not be able to use the crossfader to cut from deck to deck.
Before learning how to beatmatch, you should practice fading between two records in the way that the original DJs did before blending became precalent. You are likely to encounter some rhythmic clashes (known affectionately as 'train wrecks') while perfecting this particular technique, but try not to worry too much about this for the time being.

Fading between two records
-Cue up two records (1 on each turntable) then start to play the first record with the crossfader over to the relevant side for that channel. (Step1)
-Bring the up-fader for the second channel down to zero.
-When the first record has played for a certain amount of time, move the crossfader into the middle and start playing the second record. (Step2)
-Grally bring the up-fader for the second channel up whilst simultaneously bringing the up-fader for the first channel down until the second record is all that is left.
-Move the fader over to the relevant side for the second channel and stop the first record (Step3)

Step1

Step2

Step3

You have just completed your first mix! Now try to cue up a different record on the original turntable and repeat the progress from channel 2 back to channel 1.

It is advisable to choose, if possible, sections of a record where the track breaks down to its musical elements only (ie no drums, but strings / pads, keys etc.) for uncomplicated fades. Even without beatmatching, this will result in a more natural blending of the two records.

Beatmatching

Beatmatching was first introduced by the early Disco DJs such as Francis Grasso, Steve D'Aquisto and Nicky Siano. As the equipment improved, this technique, rough at first, became perfect. Another major step in the history of beatmatching was the introduction of music that used beats manufactured on a drum machine rather than live breaks where drummers' beats were subject to fluctuations in tempo.

On modern turntables (both vinyl and CD) and on software programs it is totally possible to beatmatch with 100% precision. This is one of the principal skills that needs real practice in order to perfect. There are very few people (even trained musicians) who succeeded the first time, so do not be discouraged by any initial failures. You will not be the first or the last person to produce some real 'train wrecks'! Some superb DJs have taken months or even a couple of years to perfect the technique of beatmatching. It is also fair to say that your progress will be very helpful if you team up with a friendly and patient DJ who can already beatmatch. This DJ 'buddy' will be able to show you where you are going wrong, and how to correct the mistake!

Varispeed Controls On Turntables
Fig.1 shows you the basic varispeed functions of a typical turntable. DJ turntables enable you to alter the speed within the margin of + 8 / -8%. Some turntables extend this to + 16 / -16%, but a record played this far away from its original speed will not sound at all good! The varispeed slider controls the pitch in a smooth gradient between these two extremitudes.
You should start by experimenting with the effect this has on the sound of a record. The further into the minus speed you go, the slower the record will play. The key will drop (approximately by a whole tone eg G to F), vocals will sound deaf and more ponderous. In contrast, as you more into the plus speed area, the faster the record will spin. The key will move up (again by roughly a whole tone eg from G to A) and any vocals will sound higher and chirpier.

Fig.1

Records will either run at 331/3 rpm (revolutions per minute) or at 45 rpm This is usually dependent on the length of the track. 45 rpm gives a louder and more detailed cut, but will only allow a maximum of 8 minutes of music per side. 331/3 rpm is quieter and slightly less defined as the grooves are closer and smaller, but allows more running time.

The red strobe light located below the power switch has little use in practical mixing terms, but it is a good way of checking whether the motors of the deck are working properly. With the platter spinning at 0 speed, the largest set of dots will appear stationary. At -3.3, this will be the outer set of dots, at +3.3 the 2nd inner set and at +6, the innermost set. The target light shines across the path of the cartridge and allows you to see the progress of the needle as it moves through the track. All records play from the outer rim into the spindle with the exception of a bizarre early 90's Techno record by Reece called Funky Funk Funk (Network Records 23) that plays from the inside out!

Beatmatching Two Records
There are numerous analogies for beatmatching two records together; one of the best being the idea of ​​two cars driving along a motorway. One may be a VW Golf, and the other a Peugeot 306 (different makes and looks but similar vehicles). The aim is for both cars to drive side by side with their front bumpers in parallel. In order to do this, they will each need to concentrate on their speed in comparison to the other. If one starts to pull away, it will need to come back into line or the other will need to edge forwards to match it. Pre-planned acceleration and agreed speed will help, but extremely it will come to the use of eyes and feel.

Now replace these two cars with two records of a similar style (House vs. D & B is like a VW Golf vs. a Ferrari!) With one on each turntable. The aim is now to align the beats and bars of the two records so that they are riding in parallel (Fig.2).

(Fig.2)

The two records above are beatmatched. Notice how the beat count and all the elements of the drums are falling in exactly the same place; kick for kick, snare for snare and hat for hat. Even allowing for variance in the tonal sound of these elements (ie Record 1 might have a snappier snare, more hollow kick or tinnier hi-hats) these two beats would mold into one.

Headphone Cueing (Fig.3)
-Take two records of a similar style (House is recommended as it will almost certainly be 4-to-the-floor) with a strong, simple beat at the start.
– With the crossfader over and the up-fader at full volume for the relevant channel, start to play the first record.
-Switch the headphone cue to the second deck and begin to play the second record.
-Find the cue point for the second record and manually hold the record ready for release.

(Fig.3)

You will be listening to Record 1 through the speakers and Record 2 in the headphones. To compare the two, have one headphone cup over one ear but take the other cup off.

Comparing Records Ready For The Mix (Fig.4)
-First listen to Record 1 whilst holding record 2 in readiness (This is a little like a relay runner waiting for their partner to give them the baton before they take off on their own stint).
-Release Record 2 in time with the downbeat from Record 1.
-As the two Records spin together listen between 'headphone ear' and 'speaker ear'.

Fig.4

Starting To Beatmatch Two Records
Assuming you are not sufficient enough to have chosen two records with exactly the same bpm. (if this is the case reselect a different tune- this lucky mistake will not help you to learn the art of beatmatching!), there are two possible scenarios.

The first scenario is that Record 2 will start to pull ahead of Record 1, which means that it is a faster track. The second scenario is that Record 2 will begin to fall behind Record 1, which means that it is a slower track.
The bpm difference of the two records will decide how quickly this happens. If Record 2 is only 1 bpm faster or slower than Record 1, it will typically glide out of sync. If the difference is greater, they will fall out even within half a bar. Several seconds later they will be fighting like Tom & Jerry armed with pots and pans!)

Scenario A Record 2 Is Faster (Begins To Pull Ahead Of Record 1)
Fig.5 shows you what happens when Record 2 is faster than record 1. Notice how, since starting together, Record 2 is moving through the beat count and (unexpectedly its hits-points) faster. By the end of the bar, Record 2 is out of sync with Record 1.

Fig.5

In order to correct this situation, you need to do two things.

Correcting The Pitch Of A Faster Record (Fig.6)
-First manually restrain Record 2 so it comes back into line with Record 1. This only requires you to stroke the record against the flow, not actually pull it back. You may wish to apply light pressure to the side of the platter where the strobe dots are.
-Secondly, move the varispeed slider back so that the record is now also spinning a little slower than before. (You have to estimate the amount required. Sometimes you will change the speed too much or not enough requiring you to repeat the process).

Fig.6

Scenario B- Record 2 Is Slower (Begins To Fall Behind Record 1)
Either because it starts out slower, or because you have overstepped the mark in correcting a faster record, Record 2 way start to fall behind (Fig.7). Notice how, since starting together, Record 2 is moving through the beat count (and probably its hits-points) slower. By the end of the bar, Record 2 is again out of sync with Record 1.

Fig.7

Again, in order to correct this situation, you need to do two things.

Correcting The Pitch Of A Slower Record (Fig.8)
-First manually push record 2 forwards so it catches up with Record 1. This only requires you to gently encourage the Record with the flow, not actually shove it forwards. Too much push and it will lurch ahead.
-Secondly, move the varispeed slider forwards so that the record is now also spinning a little faster than before. (Again, you need to estimate the amount required. Sometimes you will change the speed too much or not enough requiring you to repeat the process).

Fig.8

You may well need to perform the above steps numerous times; each time becoming more and more accurate until you hit the correct speed. Correcting the speed to match the beats of two records is a process of elimination; trial and error until you have it.
Sometimes you will end up with the two turntables spinning 10% away from each other; other times the difference may only be%%
Even when you think you have the two records running in sync, you will need to keep focusing on the beat alignment incase one starts to drag behind or pull ahead of the other.

Performing A Mix (Fig.9)
When you are happy with the result, bring Record 2 in using the fading technique. If you have got it right, the two records will be mixed as one. If you have gotten it wrong, they will clash in an alarming way! Every DJ has done this many times, so do not worry. Simply re-cue the records and have another go! Often it is sensible to re-cue anyway so that you can choose a good place to drop your mix.

Fig.9

It is advisable at all stages to keep the headphones on your head so you can reference the second record as you mix it in. Many DJs lose a mix because they take their headphones off just as they bring it in. Unless you are very experienced at 'ambient mixing', this is a foolish thing to do. You may well correct the speed of the wrong record if the mix starts to slide out, therefore making the clash worse!

Remember, beatmatching is a challenge, so do not be disappointed if you struggle to mix two records at first. It takes time, and when you finally get it, you will have every reason to feel that you have achieved something!

Perth Western Australia – Why You Should Visit This Beautiful City

There are so many good reasons why you should visit Perth in Western Australia. I will tell you why in the next few hundred words as a 'local boy' who has lived here for the past 25 years. I believe Perth is still one of those hidden gems that many tourists know nothing about, or confuse as being the same as Australia's better known Eastern capital cities such as Sydney & Melbourne.

The truth is, Perth is very very different from these larger larger cities that are comparable with other major cities in the world such as London & San Francisco. Perth is simply not in the same size bracket as these cities. Perth is a small city of approximately 1 million people & is the size of many large towns in other parts of the world.

This much smaller size, coupled with the remoteness, the pristine beaches & coastline, world class wineries & surfacing breaks, magnificent caves, tall timber forests, & an excellent road system to get these places within a half a day from the CBD, makes Perth a fantastic city to visit & live.

I moved here with my family from Sydney looking for a better quality of life with my young family, seeking to get out of the rat race as so many people do. What we found was a much slower pace of life, with significantly less traffic, allowing us to travel much greater distances in much less time than a city the size of Sydney. The people were much more relaxed & very friendly & welcoming. There is a saying in the other major Australian cities that WA (Western Australia) stands for 'wait awhile', sarcastically suggesting that the pace of life is too slow, & the locals too laid back & relaxed.

Well I think this is exactly what Perth's unique appeal is based on. We are not a thriving metropolis with a population of millions of people, living in a predominately over-crowded city with an infrastructure that is struggling to cope. Instead, there is room to spread-out, with a spacious feeling that is best demonstrated on local beaches & tourist destinations that are often sparsely numbered with visitors during the week, & even on weekends there is plenty of room for all. Contrast this with common scenes of packed beaches, zoos, & other tourist destinations in other capital cities around the world.

As a tour operator I probably get to appreciate more than most these unique benefits of living in & visiting Perth. I take visitors on wine tours through the week, & many times we are almost the only ones at some locations. The roads are almost empty with traffic allowing a most enjoyable trip & the ability to fit so many more stops into the trip. I do fully appreciate how fort I am as I often take time-out to look up at the clear blue sky on a beautiful sunny day as I sit outside with a tour group, & say Thank you for my great job in such a great city . I get to share this experience over & over again with many different people, all agreeing what a great time they have had while visiting this lesser-known and under-appreciated tourist destination.

What Are the Benefits of Using Wood-Plastic Composite?

Wood-plastic composite (WPC) is a type of material that blends thermoplastic and wood fiber to create a very durable option for construction projects. It is an extremely versatile material that can provide a wide range of uses, such as doors, windows, masks, decking and flooring. Let's take a look at a few of the most pleasing qualities of this material:

Water-resistant

The ability to blend thermoplastic and wood fiber makes it highly water-resistant. This means it is useful for outdoor applications. It is particularly useful as a construction material for decking and fencing, as well as tables or benches that will be used outside.

Low-maintenance

The high strength and durability of this material means that it easily stands up to outside weather conditions and needs very little care. It is less attractive to bugs than 100% timber, so needs less time to maintain. Also, for an outside product like wall cladding, this material can maintain its like-new appearance for a lot longer than painted timber, so this will also reduce the maintenance work.

Long life span

Wood-plastic composite has a very long life span. It can easily cope with most weather conditions, including bright sunshine, wind and rainfall. The long life span makes it a really good choice for outdoor fencing. This material will last significantly longer than a timber based fence which will naturally start to break down after 8-10 years.

Slip resistant

The slip resistant quality of this material makes it a practical choice for many different uses. It makes a very reliable option to install floor deck around an outside pool. Also, it is just as good to use for normal patio decking.

Color choices

This material can easily be colored at the manufacturing stage to make it available in a wide range of colors. This coloring effect is permanent and will last a lot longer than applying a coat of paint to a timber fence or cladding.

Are there any negatives?

In addition to the many benefits of using the wood-plastic composite, there are also a few negatives. Since this is still a reliably new material, the cost is still a little higher than comparable materials, such as plain timber which can make a more cost-effective option for many projects. When it comes to certain projects, such as outdoor furniture, the material may not give the desired look because it lacks the natural wood texture. Also, it is not practical to use in an environment that constantly has to end extreme temperatures.

Institutional Pros in Exchange Traded Funds

ETF or the exchanged traded funds are an investment vehicle for trading on the stock exchanges, such as Stocks. EFT is used to hold assets, eg commodities, stocks, bonds, and trades in the same price bracket and as a net asset value underpinning assets during trading days. ETF helps investors track index, eg MSCI EAFE and S & P 500.

Exchange traded funds is a good investment because of the low costs and tax efficiencies. It is a good investment options because of its stock like features. ETF is popular in the exchange traded products line. The authorized participants are popular institutional pros and investors. The traders buy and sell shares of ETF from fund managers.

They use these buy / sell methods to create units and larger blocks of ETF shares in tens of thousands of dollars. These shares are then replaced on an in kind system with baskets that have underpinning securities. Authorized participants or Pros may opt to invest in exchange traded fund shares on a long-term basis. Usually the pros act as what is known as market makers. They open the fundamental assets.

Individual investors use retail brokers to trade shares in secondary markets. Exchange trades combine valuation features of unit investment trust and / or mutual funds. These investments are bought and sold at the end of each trading day. Net asset value is traded, which offers tradable features of closed-end funds. These funds are traded daily at various prices below or higher than net asset value.

Closed-end funds are not ETF shares since those closed funds are traded on an exchange market. Since 1993, the US offered investors ETF trading options, and since 1999, Europe has been offering ETF trades. Europe became the first country to cooperate amid BGI, smaller independent distribution companies, and MSCI. It is known as the Funds Distribution Incorporation.

This distribution company historically moved on to become iShares, which is known globally. Traditionally, exchange funds were dubbed index funds. Today, it is known as actively managed exchanged traded funds established by the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Investors can join the trading industry to gain access to pools of securities, as well as assets. Investors can buy or sell Exchange funds daily from brokers or dealers. Redemption's and purchased units are in-kind rather than sold or redeemed as shares at NAV, or net asset value. The institutional pro investors contribute and receive baskets of securities. Sometimes investors have to purchase or redeem shareholders, substituting it for cash in exchange for securities.

Mood Management

Moods play a major role in our lives. They govern our feelings and actions and if not managed well, they can create havoc and chaos in our minds leading to depression and other mental illnesses. Do you find that something as simple as the weather or the morning headlines can alter your mood?

Moods are basic psychological states that can occur as a reaction to an event or can surface for no apparent external cause. A mood is an internal, subjective state. It is also a relatively long lasting emotional state. Moods differs from emotions in that they are less specific, less intense and less likely to be triggered by a particular stimulus. People speak of being in a good mood or a bad mood and this often memories for days and not hours as in the case of a feeling or an emotion. Moods also differ from temperament or personality traits which are long lasting.

Moods can manipulate how individuals interpret and translate the world around them, and can also direct their behavior. In a study done by Niedenthal and Setterlund (1994), research showed that individuals are tuned to perceive things that are congruent with their current mood. Both the pessimist and optimist will prove themselves right as they manifest what they have interpreted through the lens of their mood!

According to psychologist Robert Thayer, mood is a product of two dimensions: energy and tension. A person can be energetic or tired while also being tense or calm. According to Thayer, people feel best when they are in a calm-energy mood, and worst when in a tense-tired state. The low energy arousal coupled with tension, as experienced in a bad mood, can be counteracted by walking. Thayer suggests walking as a means to enhanced happiness. (Wikipedia, 2011)

Research has shown that, contrary to the stereotype of the suffering artist, creativity is enhanced most by positive moods and happy thoughts.

People have often used food to regulate mood. Take for example chocolates, yes that dark gold bar of pure happiness! The benefits of dark chocolate come from resveratrol, an antioxidant and immune system booster. It also has the ability to boost brain levels of endorphins as well as serotonin, a mood-altering chemical on which many antidepressants act. The recommended dose however is only one ounce per day, so remember not to over indulge. Wine has been used for eons to create a romantic mood.

German researchers studying garlic's effect on cholesterol discovered that participants being treated with garlic experience an elevation in mood. Now this does not necessarily mean good mood, it also implies that one can become e-motional – 'energy is in motion' and sometimes not one in control! Pilots are advised not to eat garlic up to 72 hours before flying as it slows down concentration and doubles or triples reaction time. Knowing what to eat is an important part of food-mood management!

Music can also alter moods. Niedenthal and Setterland used music to induce positive and negative moods. Sad music was used as a stimulus to induce negative moods, and participants labeled other things as also negative. This proves that people's current moods tend to affect their judgment and perception in all areas of their lives. Surround yourself with music that will uplift your spirits and not one that will strip the light of your aura.

People who tend to be moody are less predictable and difficult to work with. They are needy, stroppy, self-centered, procrastinators and intolerable to sulking. People are less bothered to want to work with them as the other party is not always sure of how they may react and so they hesitate to even ask them for favors. People who have a stable and consistent mood make the best leaders. They have a focus and consistently keep their vision well oiled.

The difference between a response and a reaction is that a 're-s-ponse' is thought out or pondered over where a re-action is to re-enact something that has taken place previously. For example … you begin your day with an argument with your spouse. As you drive to work, you mull over this incident in your mind. By the time you get to work, the receptionist greets you with a big bright smile (as she is trained to) and at that moment you ask her in an irritated tone, what she got to smile about! The anger built up from an earlier incident is brought forward to the present incident; you have brought forward the anger. Part of learning to manage moods is to be able to segregate liabilities in our mind and not to let them overlap.

Sickness and ill health can also make a person short fused and less tolerant. We become vulnerable and susceptible – knee jerk reactions. When the body is sick, we have to ensure the mind is not! And so for times like this, we need to be sure that we have acquired enough power through meditation that will assist us at a time of need. The healing process will be faster if we maintain the right attitude!

Hormones also play a major part in understanding why certain moods erupt at certain times. Coupled with modern day stress, it creates anarchy in the soul. Learning to understand the workings of the mind and body is the key to prevention.

The atmosphere of a place can also indicate certain moods. Walk into a church or hospital, funeral parlor or shopping mall and you certainly will not be feeling the same way inside. Know what you want and surround yourself with healthy and positive people and be selective about the places you frequent.

It's time … to take responsibility and not allow external factors to affect your mood. As a master of your mind and body, take time to understand what triggers your moods. Play some light music every day to soothe your soul. Eat your meals in a mindful state. And slow down before you end up in a mood ditch that is hard to get out of!

6 Tips for Choosing a Suitable Contract Manufacturing Partner

The contract manufacturing business has witnessed much higher growth rate as compared to the market for pharmaceutical or biopharmaceutical industry. Recently according to a contract manufacturing market research study, it was stated that the global market for contract manufacturing is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.91 percent during the period of 2016-2020. The demand for this sector is quite immense in today’s time due to its effectiveness and expansion benefits. One needs to get familiar with these six pointers for finding an apt manufacturing partner.

Need for a Manufacturing Partner

For people who are not ready to reach out to a contract manufacturer, do not feel left out as there are numerous firms which follow this path of ignorance. Small companies operate under cash constraints and possess narrow product development options. This makes marketing tough without the presence of a proper marketing department. Moreover, expansion into adjacent categories also become hazy adding to the number of obstacles. The need for finding a manufacturing partner comes into effect in order to solve this misery. The preferred partner would help you get over the dip and balance your production.

Planned Decision

The decision to select which manufacturer you will work with is counted as one of the most important decisions for your firm. This choice should be given stern importance or it might surely backfire. What can go wrong after you choose a wrong manufacturer? You can have production troubles as a result of poorly-maintained equipment or due to their priority for a larger customer population ahead of you. Also, process aberrations and operational slipups can be upsetting to your reputation in front of the customers. Above all, manufacturers can get trapped into raw material quality problems due to poor vendor management. Such issues might be a minor headache for a huge company, it can prove fatal to a startup which is struggling to acquire brand recognition.

Responsiveness

The next factor which should be taken into consideration is the manufacturer’s responsiveness. Do the contract manufacturers share the same sense of urgency as you do? Do they reply to your phone calls whenever you are in need at any time during the day? Apart from responding in a timely manner, would act flexibly when the unpredictable happens. You need to judge their presence and methods after entering a contract with your firm.

Who Are Their Customers?

– Always keep a tight check on the manufacturer’s current as well as past customers. Also, analyze have they worked with other customers in a similar fashion as they are to you, or is your firm the first of its type and size they are working with? Do they preserve customers for the long term? These are some questions which should be asked before making the knot too taut.

– Be wary of fixing business with such a manufacturer who isn’t happy to offer you a positive connection with other customers as part of active references. Do not hesitate, but ask for a list of the manufacturer’s past customers. Do not miss on the task to call their past customers and analyze the reason why they stopped doing business with your preferred manufacturer.

View the Total Landed Cost

While looking at the contract manufacturing market analysis, you must focus on the pricing of various manufacturers. This will give you a brief idea about the total cost which consists of different components such as the manufacturing fee, packaging/materials, ingredients, yield loss, storage and transportation.

You need to confirm that your manufacturing fee is all-inclusive and nothing more will be added in the later process. It is important to note that, the individual firm’s yield loss should permit around 3% on ingredients along with a percent or two linked to packaging materials. Moreover, also ensure that the total landed cost should include procurement, storage, waste disposal and quality assurance.

Look at the Team

Keep a note that an ideal manufacturer will manage an entire team which is full of well-informed competent people who are valued and well-respected in the company. Try to find out how long the employees been working with the company, and whether the company has acquired a good reputation in the concerned industry or not.

Hire Auto Transport Services for Easy Move of Your Sedan

When you want to move your car or cars to lengthy distances, from corner to corner, across countries, overseas or air, appointing Auto Transport Services is the best solution. You may have different variety of cars ranging from small trailers care to classic vintage cars or most modern luxurious car to move, driving it individually all by yourself to a novel location does not sound like a good idea. This can be dangerous surrounding being uncomfortable and uneconomical.

Thus, it's always wise to hire professional Auto Transport Services. These companies are there for you, to assist you in moving your all sorts of cars safely to long distances. The two standard types of transport presented are open and closed methods of transport. Usually, the vehicles can be transported either by rail or by car carrier trucks.

One need to be extra careful while selecting land transportation of a cars, vehicle or autos. The sedans are much vulnerable to easily getting damage. An open container hauler can merely leave your sedan at the sympathy of road wreckage and squally weather. And in a case of a vintage car, the harm could be almost irreparable. Even the sheer act of loading and unloading the motor vehicle into a closed container can result in spoiling it. Still open container is an economic and inexpensive option for short distance relocation.

But, you must always remember to compare the different Auto Transport quotes prior to choosing the most appropriate Auto Transport Services for your destination move. These companies do not always offer exorbitant services, but rather provide valuable assistance at smart prices. The prices are usually based on the mass and the size of the automobile to be moved. Also, it may depend on the spot of origin and destination. So, they may actually save you a couple of bucks, over driving the coupe all by yourself.

So, you need first seek out such companies and then, compare the Auto Transport quotes of them and choose the most appropriate company, which provides maximum services though at reasonable rates. Evaluating always helps in smooth, easy, and stress-free move of your sedan to a novel location.