Top 5 Reasons You Should Try Silicone Bakeware

Baking is fun, especially when you have fantastic and 'easy to manage' bakeware in your kitchen. Yes! Most bakers will agree on this. If you are into baking, you know how a inapt bakeware molds can ruin your show at baking. However, bakers have better options in bakeware now. With Silicone molds and baking trays available online in wide range, baking has become more easy. Yes! Baking equipment manufacturers have identified the need for better baking tools and have roled out high quality and absolute safe silicone baking accessories in the market. If you are still contemplating whether to opt for silicone baking tools online or not, we give you top 5 reasons in its favor which will help you make your decision.

1. Non-stick
Silicone baking accessories available online are non-stick. Which means no hassles of growing your trays or molds before you put your cupcakes for baking. However, if you are using them for the first time and want to be at the safe harbor, you may use the lubricating spray on the tray. Buy these baking tools online from a reliable manufacturer and you will never have to worry about the quality issues.

2. No Burning or Dark Edges
Silicone bakeware distribute heat evenly across the tray or molds. So, chances of you getting burnt are close to minimal. Beside, the baking is even and you will find no burnt or dark edges on the bottom of the molds or tray. Most of baking accessories you can buy online as well.

3. Offers Flexibility
Silicone bakeware molds are pretty flexible which helps in removing your pancakes are cupcakes easily from them. All you need to do is twist them a bit or pull gently and your baked cakes sides will easily roll out. No worries about broken cakes anymore.

4. Absolutely safe
The best reason to buy silicone baking accessories is that they are absolutely safe. Whether you put them in the freezer or microwave, refrigerator or oven, or even the dishwasher, they can sustain diverse temperature and handling. Do you need more reasons to invest in them?

5. Low Maintenance
Silicone bakeware is easy to wash and store. And unlike your metal baking tools, these do not stain or rust and then, last long. At the end of it, certainly a good investment in your baking accessories.

So, go on. Making baking as admirable as your cupcakes. Buy silicone baking equipment online and have a great time with them. Happy Baking!

Granite Worktops – Attractive and Durable

Granite worktops, also called countertops or benches, have become a leading choice in many applications. Whether used in the home kitchen or in a corporate setting such as a hotel, this style of countertop has become very popular in recent years. It is the hardest available in commercial stone and that makes it a great choice for durability, which also translates into longevity. It is also provides beauty in addition to function.

So what are all of the benefits of granite worktops? For one, they are easy to clean. Note that in the kitchen, a polished and sealed slab is recommended due to bacteria from food. A sealed piece is simply the easiest to keep clean and free of bacteria. Beyond that, the first step in cleaning simply involves removing any debris from food, toiletries or the like. Once this is done, you will want to take a mild soap and water solution and wipe down all of your surface areas. Rinse any traces of soap your cleaning cloth and then repeat the process using plain water. Now you will take a soft dry cloth and buff the counter dry. Voila, just like new. This style of worktop, when well cared for, can last a lifetime. Be sure to follow the retailer's specific instructions for resealing so that it will stay looking like new.

Another benefit is that granite worktops are exquisite and unique. Twenty homeowners on the same block can have a worktop in the same color, yet none of them will be alike! This precious stone is formed by volcanic magma, or molten rock, which has mixed with quartz and feldspar while flowing between the layers of the earth. The amount of other minerals and the rate at which the magma cools is what determines the color, look and texture of your slab. You can find gorgeous varieties of blues, pinks, oranges, browns, reds, greens and even different shades of black and white. With this rainbow of colors, you will be able to coordinate with virtually anything that you would like.

As far as cost is concerned, you will pay more for granite worktops than you will for laminate. Try to think of this as paying for value. Value does not mean the least expensive thing around. Value, by definition is 'a fair return or equivalent in goods, services, or money for something exchanged'. Most would say that a countertop that lasts for the rest of your lifetime would have considered a fair return. When comparing prices between retailers though, do make sure you are getting the most bang for your buck. Be sure to see if the price per square foot includes cutting, polishing, delivery and installation. Also, check to be sure that you are comparing slabs of the same thickness. Most granite worktops are 30mm thick. A less expensive slab might be thinner, therefore making it not as strong as the 30mm. Pay attention and be sure to ask questions. Then, go enjoy the beauty of your brand new countertop!

Bitcoin and Binary Options Trading

Binary options have been becoming more and more popular in the last 2 years. This type of trading has been desired among new traders as they don’t need to actually buy anything, just predict whether the asset will move up or down in specified time frame. Those trades are happening in short time frames (30 sec, 1 min, 5 min) but might be months too. If the trader predicted wrongly, they will obviously lose their money. If the trader was right in his/her prediction, they will receive 80-85% payout, depending on the broker.

Binary options are sometimes referred to as ‘all-or-nothing options’, ‘digital options’, or ‘fixed return options’ (FROs), which are traded on the American Stock Exchange.

Bitcoin (BTC) is a digital currency which is created and held electronically and no one controls it. “Bitcoin is an online payment system invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, who published his invention in 2008, and released it as open-source software in 2009. The system is peer-to-peer; users can transact directly without needing an intermediary.Transactions are verified by network nodes and recorded in a public distributed ledger called the blockchain. The ledger uses its own unit of account, also called bitcoin. The system works without a central repository or single administrator, which has led the US Treasury to categorize it as a decentralized virtual currency. Bitcoin is often called the first cryptocurrency… “

Bitcoin as a currency in binary options trading

Bitcoin is now widely used currency and many trading platforms accept it as a method of payment for their clients’ trading deposits. There are many benefits using Bitcoin as a currency. The first benefit is “the fact that the cost of transaction is the lowest among all forms of online payment. This is the very reason why Bitcoin was created in the first place, to lower the cost of online transaction. Since there is no central authority managing Bitcoin, no service fee is paid when receiving or transmitting payment.” Another reason for traders to use Bitcoin as a currency is that Bitcoin itself is tradeable and they can earn extra Bitcoins that way.

“By having all the trading transactions denoted in Bitcoin, a trader is able to shield himself from the fluctuation of this crypto currency while at the same time earn more of it through profits earned in trading.”

Bitcoin as a commodity in binary options trading

With a recent popularity of Bitcoin and its acceptance as a currency, many binary options platforms started using Bitcoin as one of the currencies to trade. so as an asset. Stockbrokers are seeing the value in trading BTC against flat currencies, mainly versus American Dollar.

Today there are 2 main types of Bitcoin binary options platforms:

  • First-generation brokers – binary options platforms that allow trading on Bitcoin
  • Second-generation brokers – platforms that offer both Bitcoin funding and Bitcoin trading

First generation brokers – brokers who offer Bitcoin trading:

  • Coinut – only Bitcoin options exchange platform; programmed as a robust and distributed on Linux operating system coinut.com
  • BTClevels – Bitcoin binary options trading platform; with or without registration, hassle free btclevels.com
  • 24 Options – one of the first brokers who started offering BTC as an asset 24option.com

Second-generation brokers – brokers who offer Bitcoin funding and trading:

  • Traderush binary platform – accepts BTC deposits traderush.com
  • Nadex trading platform -accepts BTC funding and allows BTC trading; offers limited risk, short-term trading, transparency and full regulated market nadex.com
  • Satoshi Option trading platform – accepts BTC funding and allows BTC trading; doesn’t require account registration neither personal details. Payouts are near instantaneous and the service is accessible from anywhere in the world satoshioption.com
  • BTCOracle platform – Bitcoin only platform – allows BTC funding and trading offering few wallet options and full transparency btcoracle.com
  • Bitstamp platform – As above, BTC only platform – allows BTC trading and funding but requires login bitstamp.net
  • Bitcoin Wisdom – allows trading 3 digital currencies, Bitcoins, Litecoins, Altcoins versus other flat currencies and requires login bitcoinwisdom.com
  • Beast Option – allows BTC funding and trading of Bitcoins and Litecoins; guarantees fairness in pricing regardless of market fluctuations beastoptions.com

When choosing a Bitcoin broker it is important to check their terms and conditions, paying a particular attention to the information whether their Bitcoin Assets are stored in “Deep Cold Storage”. It means that Bitcoins are insured and stored offline, where they are not susceptible to hackers.

How NOT To Buy A Land-Rover: For Men Only

These notes refer specifically to the purchase of a vintage

Land-Rover, or one built in the years from 1948 until

approximately 1974. At the outset it is best to understand

one apparent contradiction: a good-running Land-Rover is a

wonderfully simple machine, but one in poor condition is

diabolically complex. Why? Because when things go wrong

they can be challenging, time consuming (and costly) to

repair.

Therefore, be advised and observe the following:

Basic Rule Number One:

The older the vehicle, the higher the miles, or the poorer the condition, the more costly will the Land-Rover be to rehabilitate. For this reason it is imperative to have the Land-Rover inspected by a seasoned, savvy Land-Rover expert.

Basic Rule Number Two:

Whatever seems a simple, quick repair never is!

Basic Rule Number Three:

If it’s been repaired improperly the cost to correct poor workmanship will be exponential to the original cost, and ALWAYS more expensive than doing it right the first time around.

Basic Rule Number Four:

A “barn find” isn’t always the bargain it appears to be! If a Land-Rover has been idle for decades you’ll need to spend virtually the same money to resusicitate it as it would have cost in maintenance all those years…or more!!!

Basic Rule Number Five:

If you ignore the aforementioned you WILL pay the piper by the end of the day. Therefore the way not to buy a Land-Rover is to do so without solid foreknowledge, or by ignoring all the advice offered herewith.

Basic Rule Number Six:

A Land-Rover of any stripe can have negative value. Strictly speaking this refers to the vehicle from an investment standpoint only. Consequently…

Basic Rule Number Seven:

Do not ever think of a vintage Land-Rover from the standpoint of an investment, because, if you do, basic rule number seven will apply: Think of your Land-Rover as an investment and you’ll be FOREVER miserable!!! Consider yourself forewarned!!!!!!!!!

Basic Rule Number Eight (for men only):

If your significant other is not 109% on your side in this venture, she will make your life FOREVER MISERABLE!!! She MUST be on your side WITHOUT RESERVATION, or you must NOT buy the vehicle under ANY circumstances!!!! Greater men than you have been brought to their knees at the hands of a perverse woman!!!! Hell hath no fury like a woman whose wardrobe money just got spent on ANOTHER Land-Rover repair!

Sample The Atmosphere Of The FA Community Shield Match

On 5th August 2007, the FA Community Shield will return to Wembley for the first time in seven years. As the traditional curtain-raiser to the domestic football season in England, the match is typically contested by the winners of the English Premier league and the FA Cup. Formerly known as the FA Charity Shield, the match was first contested in 1908 between Manchester United and Queens Park Rangers with the match being played at Stamford Bridge – the home ground of Chelsea FC.

Although now contested by winners of the English Premiership and FA Cup, it was not always the case, as during the 1920s the Shield was contested in a match between an amateur team and a professional team before its current format was introduced in 1930. Until 1974 , the Shield match had been played at various club grounds and it was FA Secretary Ted Croker who proposed that the game should be played at Wembley Stadium as curtain-raiser to the new football season.

Wembley Stadium acted as host to the FA Charity Shield between 1974 and 2000 before being closed for redevelopment. In addition to the FA Community Shield, the original stadium also played host to the European Cup Final 5 times, as well as the major domestic trophies in England. It was also one of seventeen stadia to have hosted a FIFA World Cup Final in 1966, which was won by the host nation. The closure of Wembley Stadium saw the Shield, along with the other domestic football Finals being moved to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium – a UEFA 5 Star stadium, before redevelopment was completed early in 2007. The last FA Charity Shield match at the Millennium Stadium featured Liverpool and Chelsea, with Liverpool winning by two goals to one.

The FA Charity Shield was renamed to the FA Community Shield in 2002, but since its inception, the match for the Shield has played a major role in the Football Association's efforts to raise funds for charities throughout England. Among the sources for the funds include the net profits from admission tickets and sales of match-day programs. The funds generated from the Community Shield match are distributed to clubs who participated in the previous season's FA Cup First-round who are then asked in turn to nominate a charity or community-based organization which will receive the club's share of the fund. The reminder of the funds are donated to the FA Charity Partners – charities associated with the Football Association. Recent FA Charity Partners have included the British Heart Foundation, SOS Children's Villages and Breakthrough Breast Cancer.

Although the FA Community Shield has become one of the game's most important occasions and features worldwide TV coverage, the game is possibly best sampled from one of Wembley's 90000 seats. This year, the match will feature Premiership winners Manchester United and FA Cup Winners Chelsea. With an abundance of travel options, from rail to coach travel , Wembley is within easy reach for football fans across the country looking to take in the atmosphere of a live game, herald the beginning of a new football season, and donate to a good cause – all at the same time!

15 Camping Stove Safety Rules

Unless you are the pioneer type, a camping stove will accompany you on any camping trip. While they are very convenient and easy to operate, different stoves work on different fuels and work in different ways. So always read the owners manual. Aside from that, here are 15 rules that should be followed in regards to camping stoves for your protection and mother natures.

1. Being as children are a big part of camping, the use, refueling and storing of a stove should only be done under a knowledgeable adult.

2 – Use only approved, undamaged fuel containers. Keep them far from open flames and any other source of heat.

3 – When you need to changed the compressed gas cartridges, or when you need to refill liquid fuel containers, allow the stove (or lantern) to cool completely.

4 – Refill stoves or lanterns outside away from any other flames or heat source. For liquid fuel use a funnel and then allow any spilled fuel to evaporate before attempting to ignite.

5 – Place your camping stove on a cleared, level surface. On snow, place it on a large piece of plywood. This will keep the stove warmer and reduce the tendency for it to tip over.

6 – Check stoves, hoses and tanks before each outing. Check for bent valves, cracked hoses and stripped treads that could cause leaks and possible explosions.

7 – Keep the fuel tanks as far from the actual camping stove as possible. Always keep your head and body to one side when lighting in case it creates a flare up.

8 – Never leave a lit stove or lantern unattended.

9 – Do not over load the stove. These are not made for heavy duty cooking but transportability. If anything larger then a 2 quart pot is needed, setup a second grill and place the stove under it.

10 – Do not discard empty containers. If they are not refillable, they should be disposed of properly being as the dumpster at the campsite might be disposed of by burning all refusal.

11. Camping stoves or lanterns must never be used inside a tent or any building with poor ventilation.

12 – All canisters should be bright red or at least marked well so they do not get confused with water bottles

13. Carry fuel cartridges away form all foods. This may mean carrying it on the outside of a back pack.

14 – Shut off the supply valve at the tank before disconnecting hoses. Allow the extra gas in the line to bleed off.

15 – All ways read the manufactures guide lines and follow them.

Visit " Camping and More " for more useful information and camping tips.

A Comparison Between the Human and Ruminant Digestive System

THE HUMAN DIGESTION:

The food is taken into the mouth where it is chewed, mixed with saliva which is secreted by glands in the mouth. After mastication a portion of food is collected on the tongue. It is then swallowed and the opening to the larynx is closed off by a small flap of tissue called the epiglottis. This flap prevents the food from entering into the respiratory tract. Should some food stray into this tract a reflux action occurs by coughing to expel the food out.

The food passes from the esophagus into the stomach, contractions of the muscular wall of the stomach ensure further mixing and mechanical disintegration of the food, which at the same time is mixed with the gastric juice secreted by the stomach.

The stomach has a mucous membrane lining and is protected from the gastric juice which contains enzymes and hydrochloric acid. The food is broken down into smaller particles for easier absorption into the bloodstream and the rest of the food passes into the small intestine and duodenum through the pyloric sphincter valve, a muscular ring at the end of the stomach and intestine.

In the small intestine, rhythmic movements of the walls churn up the food and mix it with the digestive juices, which include pancreatic and bile juices (The bile is produced by the liver and stored by the gall bladder) further digestion then takes place as the result of the action of enzymes present in these juices.

Absorption of the digestive nutrients takes place mainly through the mucus membrane of the small intestine. The rhythmic movements of the intestine force the unabsorbed food, and waste matter excreted from the blood into the large intestine, here the water is absorbed by the walls of the intestine and partially dehydrated material passes to the rectum from which it is excreted from the body through the anus as faeces.

THE ALIMENTARY RUMINANT SYSTEM

The name ruminant means ” Chewing The Cud” and it’s a name given to those mammals of even – toed, cloven hoofed, such as Cattle, Sheep, Goats are ruminants.

Other groups of ruminant – like animals include the antelopes, deer, camels, llamas, hippopotamus, sloths and kangaroos.

The ruminant has a stomach consisting of four compartments (camels have three.)

THE RUMEN:

The food is partly chewed then swallowed and it passes into the first compartment called the rumen. The large stomach has no digestive juices or excretory glands present and the food is attacked by large numbers of living protozoa, microbes and bacteria which already are present in the walls of the ruminant stomach. The breakdown of cellulose, which plants are largely composed of takes place in this section of the stomach and the food is regurgitated from time to time into the mouth in small amounts and slowly chewed to a pulp, and when food is swallowed again, it enters a second compartment called the reticulum.

THE RETICULUM:

This section of the stomach breaks down the cellulose further and passes it to the third compartment called the omasum.

THE OMASUM:

The omasum contains large leaf – like structures that increases the surface area for effective water absorption, there the muscles stir and reduce it further until it enters the fourth compartment, called the abomasum.

THE ABOMASUM:

“True Stomach” A stomach much like ours. In this organ gastric juice is secreted, it contains hydrochloric acid which kills most of the microbes and begins digesting them and their contents are then absorbed to provide essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids.

Ruminants have specialized metabolisms due to the presence of digestive bacteria. Protein needs are supplied by the rumen bacteria which use simple substances urea and inorganic sulphates to manufacture these proteins. This is a major difference between ruminants and other animals because they produce their own protein. Protein is a dietary requirement of all other animals.

TEETH:

In most ruminants (Cattle, Sheep, Goats) there is a absence of upper incisors – replaced by a hard “Dental Pad” well formed even lower incisors. Well developed molars and premolars for grinding movement is “Lateral”. The toothless gap between incisors and premolars allows the tongue to manipulate the food. Chewing movements acts as a stimuli, leads to increased salivation, particularly on the side on which the chewing is done. In cattle up to 200 litres may be produced in 24 hours. The saliva is rich in bicarbonate, which serves to neutralize the fatty acids produced by fermentation.

DIFFERENCES:

Ruminants

Specialized tongue and lip for grasping and tearing.

Well developed molars and premolars for grinding, movement is “lateral”.

In most ruminants upper teeth replaced by “Dental Pad”.

A gap between premolars and molars allows the tongue to manipulate the food into small amounts prior to swallowing.

Mouth is taken to food.

Complex digestive system (Four Stomachs).

Regurgitation of cud for chewing at rest, one set of teeth for life, teeth wear flat, with the age.

Protein needs supplied by rumen bacteria.

Herbivores – no meat.

Humans:

Upper and lower teeth movement is “Vertical” Incisors and canine produce shearing action, used for cutting food, premolars and molars for grinding and crushing.

Two sets of teeth – loss through decay and improper nutrition – replaced by dentures (False Teeth).

Food is taken to mouth.

Digestive System (one stomach).

Protein is a dietary requirement and is provided by the intake of various foods.

Vomiting more common in carnivores and omnivores. Forceful ejection of gastric contents from the mouth.

Variety of foods to obtain various other nutrients.

Ill health, weather changes, irritability and stress, may have an effect on digestive processes.

Omnivores – meat and plants.

SIMILARITIES:

Food, water, and oxygen to sustain life, we require similar nutrients and produce waste products.

Golf Bags and Accessories For The Walking Golfer

Golf bags are a necessity on the golf course. Without them players would struggle from hole to hole trying to carry their clubs and other golf accessories. It would take them all day to finish the course and it would not be much fun. Before any golfer tees off, they need to make sure they've bought along the necessary golf accessories to play a good round. Some golfers go for the basics while others go for luxury. Whatever their personal preference, it's what's in the bag that counts.

Golf bags are the number one 'must have' accessory. The market is full of golf bags from those that are ultra-light to lightweight, stand bags, cart bags and those that offer a bit more luxury. Try not to be overwhelmed when choosing a golf bag.

For golfers who will be walking the course an ultra-light or light weight bag is the best option. Lugging around clubs and other accessories can be tiring. Golf bags come with the option of one or two straps. The double strapped golf bag spreads out the weight over the golfer's back making carrying a heavy bag a bit easier and more comfortable.

Handles made for carrying and hip pads made for comfort are strategically placed on the bags. Another option for the walking golfer is to choose a bag with rollers on the bottom. Rollers make it much easier to pull the bag around the course and most can be used over different turfs and wet ground.

Stand bags do exactly what their name implies. Golfers using a stand bag no longer have to lay their golf bags on the ground where they may get in the way. The stands are sturdy enough to hold the weight of the bag and its contents. Each stand bag comes with a weight limit so the golfer knows not to over pack.

Golf gloves are another accessory that most golfers can not live without. Sense of touch is an important part in swinging the golf club and can enhance the golfer's game. The most important detail in any golf glove is its fit. Golfers should try on multiple pairs before choosing a glove. Those who use only one glove need to make sure they are fitting the glove to the correct hand. Left handed golfers need a glove for the right hand and vice versa for right handed golfers.

Golf tees are also an important accessory in any golf bag. Tees allow the player to 'tee off' at the beginning of each hole with the ball slightly elevated off the ground. Tees come in different sizes – some longer, some shorter. Selecting the size of the golf tee comes down to the personal preference of the golfer.

Photography – How to Improve the Quality of Your Photos

Are you satisfied with the photos you take and place, or would you like to know how to take better photos, and place them more effectively in your photo book? I like my photos to be more than just "pretty pictures." I like them to speak, to say something significant about the subject. The message can be enhanced or missed because of a range of aesthetic elements. For instance, some objects go well together, adding to their complementess and aesthetics, and some do not. The juxtaposition of objects in a photo and photos on a page can produce effective synergy, but the wrong combination can spoil the effectiveness of each individual photo. I have put together the following tips that address some of these elements, in the hope that they will help you to improve the quality of your photos and their placement.

First of all your photo will say something about the subject, but what is it you want to say or show in your photo? Archaeological photography for instance should include some tools, or part of the site, so that when someone looks at the photo they immediately think, "archaeology." Care needs to be taken not to lose your subject in a context, because there is no clear focal point or center of interest. To avoid this, make sure the focal point you want is in focus, and the sharpest area.

The subject can also be "lost" by the way you arrange the elements in your photo. These create directional lines that are instrumental in directing the flow of your eyes. I like to use the triangle or diagonal line in my compositions, as they tend to make the photo more dramatic, and can lead the viewer's eye into the photo. Check that your eyes are not led off the page by a strong line, or bright color, but back to the center of interest you have chosen. Your eyes can also be led off the page by the direction your subject is looking, so try and get your subject looking back into the photo and not off the photo.

To improve your composition, try dividing your image into thirds and placing your subject or focal point on or around that line. This is known as the "Rule of Thirds," and can also be used to emphasize your subject.

You can also make your subject noticed by contrasting texture or color with the foreground or background elements. Complementary colors like blue and orange are contrasting colors, and can be used to highlight your subject. But too many different elements can distract the eye from your subject as well. Repetition can be used to create unity within the image. Look for repetition of shape, color or idea.

Before pressing the camera button check the borders of the photo you are about to take, making sure you have not cut someone's feet off or part of a shadow. If an object is too close to the edge, it can draw your eyes off the photo, and possibly give your viewer a feeling similar to annoyance. Are there any other distractions that will lead your eye off the photo or away from your subject? What should be there? Do you need to take a step right or left, squat, or reach up to place your object on a third line, or remove distractions from the edges of your frame?

Last of all, when is the best time to take a photo? A cloudy day after rain is a good time to get clear photos without the glare of the sun, which can cause areas of your photo to lose detail. Sheeting can be used to reduce patchy sunlight. Usually if the sun or light source is behind you, more of the details of your subject will be seen and there will be fewer shadows. If the light source is in front of you, your subject may end up silhouetted. If you do not want a silhouette, try using the flash, which will have an equalizing effect on the light. If the light is high above your subject, you will need to watch the shadows it produces. The shadows produced by side light can be used effectively to show the texture of your subject, but check the color of the sky. A horizontal gradient in the sky can spoil a photo.

Sometimes you do not have time to do anything other than point and shoot. It is better to get the shot and edit it later, than to miss it altogether. Do not be discouraged if you miss the best shot. All photographers have times when, like fishing, the best one got away! Some of the best photos are missed because no camera was on hand. Other great photos are missed because the camera features are not known. Get to know your camera, and take it with you even if you are not planning to use it.

Happy photography! If you would like more tips try my book "Israel Photographed: with photographic tips."

Removing Common Stains From Different Types Of Flooring

Stains are a part of our everyday lives, especially when we consider the different types of flooring options in our homes. You should know that all floors are at risk of getting stained, no matter how careful you are. With food and beverage spills, kids’ activities, pet messes, and foot traffic along with regular wear and tear, your flooring will take a beating. However, there is no reason for you to fret over these stains as long as you are aware of the many ways you can combat them. Here are some great ideas for removing stains from various flooring options.

Hardwood

• If you have children in your home, you have probably already had to face an instance where one of them has used a permanent marker on your floor. The best remedy for this is to apply a dab of toothpaste on the affected area. The stain can be gently rubbed out using a damp cloth for the best result.

• Another common problem of hardwood flooring is water stains. They can be easily characterized by a slightly smoky white coloured patch on the surface of the floor. The first thing to do in such a case is to cover the affected area with a non-abrasive and dry cloth. Next, use a hot iron and go back and forth over the area for 3-5 seconds at a time. Once you have done this, use denatured alcohol to dampen a cloth and gently rub the areas where the stain is still visible.

• You can soak a cotton cloth with hydrogen peroxide to treat general stains. All you need to do is place the cloth on the stains for about 2-5 minutes allowing time for the peroxide to get soaked into the wood. This can help bleach out any stain.

Vinyl

• Various stubborn marks and scuffs can be removed from vinyl flooring simply by wiping them with a cotton cloth using isopropyl alcohol.

• For stains that may result in discoloration such as fruit juice, wine or tomato juice, bleach is the best choice. Use a 1:4 bleach-to-water ratio to dilute the bleaching agent and soak a cloth in the solution before laying it over the stain. Allow it to sit in its position for an hour at least. Bleach may take a bit longer to work but is sure to get rid of any type of troublesome stain.

• A paste of oxalic acid powder with water can be made to treat rust stains on vinyl flooring. Use a damp cloth to rub the paste on the stain. Ensure that you wear rubber gloves before handling the solution as it is highly acidic and can cause harm to your bare skin. You should also make sure that the room is well-ventilated. Once you’re done, rinse the area well with water.

Stone and Tile

• Flooring professionals have been using muriatic acid for a long time to clean some of the toughest stains on tile and stone flooring since it works best. It’s a heavy duty cleaner so users must wear a respirator and rubber gloves while using it. Also, make sure the room is well ventilated. Use a 1:5 muriatic acid-to-water ratio and dilute the solution. Apply it to the stained area using a toothbrush. You must make sure that you have cleaned up all the solution once you’re done.

• Grout between tiles is very common. A mixture of shaving cream and lemon juice can be put into a spray bottle and sprayed on the grout. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes minimum. Using an old toothbrush, the grout can then be scrubbed.

• For gum stuck on a stone or tile flooring, try freezing it with an ice cube and gently scraping it away.

Stains of any kind of flooring can be any homeowner’s worst nightmare. These outlined tips are sure to cover a large variety of scenarios although it’s relatively easier to prevent stains from happening in the first place.

How a Basement Waterproofing System Protects Against Floods, Leaks, and Humidity

Although many homeowners assume they are protected against flooding or water buildup in their basement, most are not. And the truth is that a basement unprotected from potential water damage could cost a homeowner thousands of dollars in repairs, as well as unnecessary headaches and stress. To keep your basement dry and protected from floods, leaks, and humidity, there are a few important steps one must take. Continue reading to learn how to protect your home with a state of the art basement waterproofing system.

Self-Draining Sump Pump Prevents Basement Flooding

In many homes, a basement is an unused room that one simply passes through from time to time. But with the help of a basement waterproofing system, any territory can be transformed from damp and dreary into a healthy and usable space.

A great way to prevent basement flooding is by installing a self-draining sump pump and perimeter drain system. A sump pump works to collect excess water in your foundation and expel the water outside, away from the home. Without a sump pump or comparable waterproof waterproofing system, water can quickly and easily build up in your home's lower level and cause serious damage.

Speak with a certified basement systems specialist about the type of basement drainage system that's right for your home and budget. And remember to only consider a sump pump with a battery backup system, as it will continue to protect your basement from flooding even if you lose power during a heavy rainstorm.

Moisture Barriers help Prevent Leaks

Basement walls and floors are susceptible to leakage if moisture can easily pass through the lower levels of your home. And unfortunately, this is the case with most basements. Even if your foundation looks dry, there's a very good chance that moisture is continuously entering the area in the form of water vapor.

So what can you do to protect your foundation from water vapor damage and leaks? Hire a certified basement specialist to install a moisture or vapor barrier on your basement walls and floors. This covering will not only improve the appearance of your basement, but also keep it dry and safe year-round.

It is important, however, to install a moisture barrier after installing a reliable basement drainage system, such as a pump pump previously discussed. The two systems go hand-in-hand and are extremely effective basement waterproofing agents.

Energy-Efficient Dehumidifiers Help Prevent Humidity and Mold Growth

One of the most important steps in your basement "makeover" is to install an energy-efficient dehumidifier. A dehumidifier works to remove moisture from your foundation, thus lowering the humidity level. Why is this important? Because mold can not grow in an area with low humidity and can cause such health issues as allergies, asthma, and skin and eye irritation.

Mold and rot can also cause structural damage to your home. A basement dehumidifier can help prevent mold, mildew, and rot by reducing humidity, thus making your basement a safer and more habitable space.

Not any dehumidifier will do, however. Be sure to install a basement dehumidifier that is self-draining. This means that you do not have to empty the collection tray numerous times each week. Instead, the dehumidifier will run on its own, empty on its own, and you will not need to think twice about it!

Contact a Certified Basement Specialist Today!

If you'd like to have a basement that is not only dry and safe but also usable, contact a certified basement specialist today. He or she can help save you potentially thousands of dollars in water damages by protecting your infrastructure against flooding, leaks, and / or humidity!

Columbus, Ohio – The Capital Building and Topiary Garden

Today we drive to Columbus, OH to see the State Capital. Being Sunday parking was ample on the streets and the parking meters do not have to be fed. The Capital is really two buildings; the older one being neo-classical and the newer one was French Renaissance. Both buildings are connected by a covered breezeway, affectionately called Pigeon Alley. The dome does not have a cupola, because the building would have been taller than the capital in Washington, DC, a no-no at that time. Abraham Lincoln was giving a speech to the General Assembly, when news came that he had won the 1860 election. One other interesting aspect of the State Capital is that there are no metal detectors in sight. The reason given is that nothing of national importance happens there.

From the Capital we went four blocks to the Topiary Garden on the grounds of the School of the Deaf. What makes this place so special is that it is a 3-D version of George Seurat's "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte." What other adaptation of that painting has been made? The topiary began in 1989 and is still a work in progress. Some of the metal forms are still visible for the taller figures and the boats are being added on a pond.

Our final stop for the say was "The Horseshoe", Ohio Stadium at Ohio State University. The streets were pretty crowded with a great police presence. The reason was that it was "Move In" day, the day more than 5,000 freshmen move their possessions into theorms. The stadium is very impressive, but Big Blue at Ann Arbor, MI still is the best.

The answer to the above question is the musical by Stephen Sondheim, "Sunday in the Park with George".

Wheel Bearings

The most common types of bearings are wheel bearings. Motorcycle wheels have them, so do skateboards. The bearings help give you a smooth ride.

Proper maintenance of the ball bearings is the key to ensuring they do not give you any problems. Bad bearings usually are the causes of the clunking noises you hear as you turn the wheel, or the gritty feel on the wheel. If you're wondering what these wheel bearings look like, you might have actually seen them in your broken bicycle or if you have tried to repair your wheels. Most types conceal the balls in these bearings. These balls are made of special alloys of stainless steel.

It was no less than Renaissance man himself, Leonardo Da Vinci who described a type of wheel bearing in his studies in the beginning of the 16th century. The invention of the wheel bearing, alongside the otherventions of the rebirth, is one of the most significant heirlooms of the era that have changed little over time. Leonardo da Vinci is said to have described a type of wheel bearing around the year 1500.

One issues with ball bearings is that they can rub against each other, causing additional friction, but this can be prevented by placing the balls in a cage and heavy lubricate them.

To find a good lubricant, take a look at the back of the can and make sure that they are made of proper oils that will not destroy the metal of your wheel bearing. The bearings tend to wear over time, and you can not really do anything about it but to replace them. It is advised that you find the same quality, as some lesser quality wheel bearings may not keep up with your original ball bearings, and you may end up ruining your skateboard or motorcycle wheels.

House Lifting for Better Home Protection

House lifting has been done for quite some time. It’s commonly done to homes that are at risk of flood damage. However, house raising may also be done to repair serious foundation repair. Most homeowners would rather get up and move then have their homes raised and placed on stumps. Thinking about the unattractive sight their home will bring to the neighborhood is enough to make people think that house lifting is totally out of the question. Besides house raising sounds awfully expensive… isn’t it?

Not going to sugarcoat it… but yes; yes, it’s pretty expensive. You could be looking at anywhere from $80,000 to $150,000 and that’s just if everything goes well. Is your home worth the much needed repair? Is your home worth taking this necessary precaution? Would it be such a hassle to pack up everything and move away? This is a big financial decision that you will need to think over and discuss.

Major Foundation Repair

Major foundation repair should be done almost immediately before any more damage occurs. There is no way to really tell when a home is about ready to cave in on itself. And if you can tell, that’s when it is too late to attempt any repairs anyway, and the home must be condemned and then demolished.

Flaking concrete walls in basements is a sure sign that some kind of attention is needed to the homes foundation. Basement walls that bulge out, crack and crumble mean that the home is sinking in. Moisture from the ground on the other side of the basement walls has penetrated through and softened the concrete to an unstable state. In some cases, lifting a home to do major foundation repair is not necessary… but only in some cases. Usually when a basement wall shows the first sign of damage, a homeowner will blow it off thinking that the house is just settling and that no more damage will occur. This is a big mistake.

As soon as you notice the basement walls looking a little bulgy, that’s when you need to make the first move and call a foundation repair specialist.

Avoid Flood Damage

Flaking concrete walls does not necessarily mean that the moisture from the ground outside is affecting the walls. It could also mean that your basement was flooded at one time and stayed flooded for quite some period before it was drained empty. How well do you know your homes history? Did you just move in? Did you check or were you told that you live a in a “flood risk zone” and if obtaining flood insurance is mandatory?

90% of homeowners that live in a flood risk zone and are without a basement consider placing their homes on solid and secured stumps and building the earth up to it. It seems to work, but now some cities are making it against some code they’ve developed. You may want to look into your city’s building codes before beginning such a lengthy and quite costly project.