Personal Protective Equipment For Hot Work

When working in a high heat environment – including gas welding and cutting, electric arc welding, and carbon arcing or plasma arc cutting – you are exposed to a number of hazards, specifically:

  • Molten metal,
  • Toxic gases, fumes, and vapors
  • Harmful radiation
  • Excessive noise
  • Electrical shock
  • Fire hazards

Personal Protective Equipment is an important step in protecting against these hazards (and in most situations, is an OSHA requirement). The type of work being performed will dictate the safety gear that needs to be worn. However, there are five categories of equipment that should be considered when doing all hot work.

  • Respirators: Respirators provide protection from the inhalation of harmful gases, fumes, and vapors. Respiratory protection needs to be considered when hot work is performed in confined or enclosed spaces. Air-purifying respirators should be worn when doing hot work on surfaces containing lead, cadmium, or mercury. Supplied air respirators (air-line respirators) should be used when hot work is performed on beryllium. Respirators may also be necessary when working on surfaces covered with toxic substances, such as solvents or paints, since the high temperatures involved may vaporize these materials.
  • Eye protection: Using appropriate eye protection is important to protect your eyes from both ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation. Welding, cutting, and burning goggles which are shaded are used to protect from UV and IR radiation. To protect your face from flying materials such as slag, a face shield should be used in conjunction with goggles. Welding helmets with shaded glass viewing ports are used during carbon arc welding to protect the face, neck, and eyes from UV and IR radiation. When selecting eye protection for hot work, it is very important to ensure that the proper lens shading is used for the work performed. (And remember that anyone working or standing near the work area should also wear appropriate protective eyewear.)
  • Protective clothing: Hot work (obviously) produces heat, creating a burn risk. Protective clothing helps to reduce the chance of burns from sparks and slag. For high temperatures, the best protective clothing is leather or fire retardant garments. When wearing leather or fire retardant garments, it’s important to remember that the protection they offer will be compromised if they are soiled with oil, grease, solvents, or other flammable or combustible substances or if they are in poor condition (holes, fraying, etc.). Pants should not have cuffs. Also, if garments have open pockets, the pockets need to be Velcroed or taped shut to prevent sparks or slag from entering.
  • Foot protection: Heavy objects (metal plates, for example) and falling sparks and slag can cause foot injuries. High-top leather boots or low-top leather boots in conjunction with leather spats provide protection from sparks and slag. In order to protect toes from heavy objects that are dropped, the boots should be safety (steel-toe) boots.
  • Hand and wrist protection: Hand and wrist protection are also important PPE because high temperature tasks expose your hands to cuts and burns (both from heat and UV or IR radiation). Leather welding gloves generally provide the necessary protection during hot work. Leather gloves also provide a degree of cut resistance-an important factor when handling sheets of metal or other sharp materials. For carbon arc welding, long-cuffed leather gloves are most appropriate, and for welding, cutting, or burning, short-cuffed welding gloves. Like protective clothing, in order to provide adequate protection, leather welding gloves need to be in good repair and free from flammable and combustible materials such as oils, grease, and solvents.

Other PPE to Consider

Other PPE that should be considered depending on the task and work area including:

  • Hearing protection for environments with very loud intermittent noise or persistent loud noises.
  • Head protection (i.e., a hard hat) for work areas where there are potential overhead hazards from falling objects or materials.
  • Personal floatation devices when working in an area where there is potential for falling into the water.
  • Fall protection systems such as positioning systems or personal fall arrest systems for work performed at heights.

How to Replace Your Timber Shed Base

It's that time of year when everyone starts to venture back out into the garden only to find that their shed base has gone past the point of repair. Timber bases are designed to last for up to 5 – 10 years so it's quite common for these to fail before the shed. This means it's sometimes necessary to replace the base before the shed.

Quick guide on how to install a timber shed base

You will need:

  1. A Spirit level
  2. A Mallet Hammer or Sledge Hammer
  3. A line with pegs (for marking out)
  4. Landscape Barrier cover (to prevent the weeds coming through)
  5. Pea Shingle (to keep the landscape barrier in place)
  6. Shed Base to suit the size of your current shed
  7. Screws suitable for exterior use
  8. A friend to help

Removing your old shed

Installing a shed base is definitely a job for dry weather as you'll need to find alternative accommodation for all the sheds contents. If it's good weather just lay a ground sheet in alternate spot and start moving out. Once done you'll need to take the shed off it's original base. Typically the shed panels are screwed or nailed into the base. Start by taking off the roof, this is done by removing the original shed felt to expose the original fixings, which will need to be removed. Once these are out take the roof off in the separated panels taking care not to break any of the panels, as these will need to go back in the same position once the base is in place. Once the roof is off, remove the 4 panels of the shed, again these will be either screwed or delivered to the base.

Once all the shed panels are removed you should be able to see the damaged areas of the shed base and floor. Keep any good floor timber for use again once the base is in position.

Once you've saved any good timber remove the old base, put in a skip or take to your council tip.

Put your new base together

Timber shed bases normally come in kit form. They're typically easy to put together using exterior screws. Lay the outside bearer down first then fit on the longest bearers across the frame before finally screwing in the cross bearers. Once the frame is complete put it in position and mark out with the pegs. The loading pegs normally sit inside the peg frame, so tightly hammer these into position in the ground. You may wish to concrete your loading pegs into the ground, If your shed carries heavy items this could be a good idea. Once your pegs are in position remove the frame.

Getting a level Shed Base

With all your pegs in position it's time to find your levels. Always take your level from the lowest point of the base, then with your spirit level, mark out a level on each of the pegs to ensure you base is level. Put a nail in the line of the level, tie some string around the nail and do the same for all of the pegs. This will be the level of your shed base. Then, with the help of your friend, put the shed frame over the pegs and screw into position as marked out by the string.

Putting the floor back in place

Once your base frame is secure re apply any of the previous good floorboards to the new board where needed. It's a good idea at this stage to treat your new floor with a wood reserve to ensure to extend the life of the old and new wood.

Reapply the shed to the new base

At this stage you'll be able to put your old panels and roof back in place. It's a good idea to replace any roofing felt at this stage. Again, as you're panels are down it's a good idea to apply any timber treatment at this stage.

Understanding The Ways Of Getting Lumber

Often people or construction businesses who work with wood want to get wholesale lumber in order to save money. However, it is important to understand the differences of wood and how to buy lumber so the lumber is still a good quality at a low price.

There are three ways lumber is harvested. The first is clear cutting which removes all saw logs as well as everything else that can be chipped to make paper. It takes fifty years after clear cutting for another crop of timber to be harvested. This time span is required for the thicket of new sprouts to thin out and grow survival trees at a normal rate.

Loggers choice leave the decision of what to harvest up to the logger. They will remove anything they can to make money and leave the rest. Trees that are smaller than twelve inches in diameter and larger trees have no value. This is because they are either defective or there is no market for their species. For example, beech is rarely requested. Walnut and cherry trees greater than 10 inches are usually removed. It takes a generation before woods can be harvested again.

Selective logging removes trees someone has decided need to be removed. A local forester removes both mature and worthless trees. This leaves young trees behind to fill gaps. Forests harvested this way can be logged again in half a generation.

The way lumber is harvested has an environmental effect. This makes it important to buy lumber from a company who understands these environmental concerns when harvesting their lumber for sale.

There are many ways to buy lumber. Lumber can be bought in tree and log form. This is the most complicated way to get lumber. There will be obvious defects, like branches. There will also be subtle irregularities that can be hard to notice, like in the bark that can hint at defects within the wood.

When buying logs, the purchaser will need to understand how to dry the wood without ruining it. They will also need to learn how to use lower grades of lumber from logs in projects. Despite these issues, this is the cheapest way to get lumber, but it takes a true expert, a large team of woodworkers, and a lot of time. This is not the avenue for industrial purposes.

If the purchaser does not live near where hardwood is produced, as much of the world is, then this option will not be beneficial anyway. Lumber is marketed internationally and shipping for lumber is surprisingly cheap.

If a buyer does not know where to get lumber, they can ask a local shop that supplies handmade wood products. They can also investigate where construction companies that utilize wood get their lumber from.

Suppliers deliver wholesale lumber no matter where the buyer is from. Sometimes, these suppliers require that the purchaser buy a minimum amount of lumber. This could be as little as 200 bd ft or as much as 500 bd ft. Each supplier will have their own rules. Suppliers usually have buyers buy grade lumber. In each grade, lumber may differ substantively in quality.

An even less expensive route to buying lumber is to buy wood in lower grades. The key to buying in lower grades is to have the knowledge and ability to pick through a stash of lumber to find clear cuttings. These cuttings will efficiently make use of clear wood between defects.

For example, a type of lumber that will produce very little waste is cheap # 2 common polar. In walnut and cherry, the # 1 common grade is one half the top grade price. The # 1 common grade has less sap. There will be a good stash to choose from so little waste is incurred.

How Heat Can Escape Your House and How You Can Prevent It

As the cold season approaches, energy bill goes up. This is mainly because of the need for heating systems on winter months. But not all the heat generated by your heating device stays in your house. Some, or in certain occasions, most of them escape from your house. As a result, your heating device has to work harder resulting in unwanted increase in energy consumption and cost.

This can be avoided by effectively seeking out the root cause of the problem, and dealing with them accordingly. Follow these simple do-it-yourself methods and save hundreds or perhaps even thousands of dollars on energy cost.

Doors and windows

Doors and windows usually have gaps and spaces on them where heat can escape. Although they may not be that much, if you consider how many doors and windows there are in your house, they collectively result in a huge loss which will reflect badly on you next month’s energy bill. A simple remedy to this problem is covering the gaps with curtains, drapes and/or sheets. You can also use rugs and door sweeps to cover the gap beneath your door.

Electrical and cable ducts

Electrical wires, telephone wires and internet cables and others of the like enter your house through holes and/or ducts. And through these channels, heat can escape. You can easily remedy this by installing outlet gaskets or stuffing the holes and ducts with certain materials such as foam.

Cracks, gaps and leaks

First, you need to find where they are, but looking for them just by sight can be very tricky. You can use a lighted candle and move it near suspect places. The flame of a candle is sensitive to airflow and will sway at the minutest air movement. When you see the flame swaying at a certain spot, there must be an air leak there. Once you have found the cracks, you can seal them by using a caulk. But make sure to apply it both on the inside and the outside.

Attic and ceiling.

A popular physics law states that “hot air goes up”. This is also true inside your house. The heat produced by your heater is likely to accumulate on the ceiling and you attic. This will only result in wasted energy because people don’t normally stay on those places. You can prevent this by making sure that the gaps and cracks to your ceiling and attic are sealed. You may want to check your folding attic stairs if you are using one. You can use weatherstripping and caulk to remedy the problem.

Heat only certain areas

You may ask yourself: “do you really need to heat the entire house?” Maybe there are areas in your house that are not frequented by people and do not need to be heated. If you can manage to limit the range of your heater only to places that are frequented by people, and avoid places such as hallways, storage rooms, attic, and others of the like, you can definitely cut down on your energy consumption cost.

Key Variables to Design a Large-Scale Organizational Transformation

There are a lot of different elements that go into designing a large-scale organizational transformation. For the purpose of this exercise and through the eyes of a consultant, there are four areas that need to be explored in relation to this organizational transformation. These areas are human resources, organizational structure, leadership and trust, and performance measures. How these variables are implemented into the change process could prove successful for an organization and help the overall structure of the organization grow. Moreover, lack of attention to detail can prove to be a mistake and cause a change process to fail.

Human Resources Policy

Human resources, in this writer's opinion, are the glue that holds the organization together. Human resources help enforce and create policy. In addition, they act as front line when anything goes wrong or when a new benefit is introduced or if there is industry change. Next, they assist as change agents when an organizational transformation is taking place. Braun (2013) describes human resources as more of a strategic partner then the old paradigm of paper pushers. In addition, human resources has taken on a higher calling in which it assists with all organizational functions, assist in formulating strategies, develop long-term objectives and formulate plans to help grow a competitive advantage in the marketplace. As a consultant and working with human resources, the goal is to understand change. According to Appelbaum, Berke, Taylor, and Vazquez (2008), change is viewed a dynamic process and can be valued in terms of the scale of a change and which method will be involved. Human resources and the leaders of the organization must take into account how this large scale transformation is going to affect the policies that are in place. For example, will the rewards system be changed from a standard evaluation to a more complex performance management system?

The organization that his writer is referencing is currently going through a large-scale transformation. The reward system and compensation plan was strictly leverage and any pay increases have been halted for the last three fiscal years. In addition, many programs and benefits were cut as well to reduce the cost to the organization. These changes in policy were a needed evil to help bringing structure back to the organization. This change in organizational policy did cause a lot of employee commitment issues and it was difficult to retain top talent but currently the storm has been weathered and organizations policies and benefits are returning back to normal as new initiatives are going into place.

Organizational Structure

Understanding how an organization is structured is a key objective for a consult that is assisting with organizational transformation. The consultant needs to understand if the organization is transformational, top down, transactional, growth, mature, global, and local to name a few. Appelbaum et al. (2008) describe transformational change as form of corporate change and can be characterized as a developmental process and is a form of revolutionary change that can be described as a complete re-engineering of the corporate structure. As a consultant, it is important to understand the goals of the organization but also provide solutions and with transformational change coming the need for transformational leadership. Transformational leadership helps with status quo and organizational performance by empowering their employees to do more and lead by example. Wischnevsky and Damanpour (2006) explored organizational transformation and stated that organization transformation is a transition between organizational states that feature structure and strategy. In an effort to assist with re-engineering of the organizational structure, leadership will be encouraged to redefine strategy, redevelopment the mission statement and potentially rebrand with a new logo that sets the organization apart from the old and opens the door to the new era of growth and possibilities.

Within the organization that is referred in this exercise; transformational leadership is one of their top goals and a culture that they are trying to establish. Unfortunately, they lack the follow through and the organizational learning to continue with the process of culture change internally. Due to high turnover in the leadership positions, developing a culture that will be ingrained in the organizational memory is very difficult.

Leadership Communication

Organizational transformation can not begin without all the needed stakeholders are on board and understand the new mission. Without proper and continuous communication between leaders / managers and their direct reports, the organization will run into resistance to change. The purpose of leadership communication is to bring the protesters closer to the organization and give them a sense of belonging and purpose. Brauns (2013) gives examples of how organizational transformation should look like from performance management to rewards keep the employees interest in mind and keeping employees engaged during the change should be goal. For example, the rewards system that is in place needs to express the values ​​of the organization and should send the right message from the organizational perspective. If employees do not understand the value of the rewards or benefits, resistance to change will happen. In addition, performance management needs to be addressed and according to Brauns (2013) consist of the three C's, consistency, coordination, and control. If leadership can communicate and gain the trust of their organization and followers, this will make large scale transformational more attainable. Without trust, resistance from employees will hamper any change effect.

The organization that is references for the exercise has not done a very good job with this area of ​​change. There seems to be little care of job descriptions or reward during the rebuilding process. Although there are different attempts to bring about transform change and provide glimpses at transformational leadership, they simply do not have the follow through to continue and make the difference that is needed. Many times, leadership communications is scrambled and / or vague which can cause frustration with employees. It would be recommended that a consistent communication and an often communication be given on the progress of the change process. With the addition of several key leaders over the last six months, stability from within is in the near future.

Performance Measure

Performance measures are needed to make sure that the organization is meeting their goals on a large scale but also that their employees are meeting internal objectives. Chen, Yang, and Jiun (2006) examined a performance management system called the Balances Scorecard or BSC. BSC enables businesses to transform its overall strategy and provide effective management and leadership. This is accomplished by addressing four areas of perspective. These areas of perspective are financial, customer, internal, and learning.

Throughout this exercise, internal, customer and learning have been addressed as major components of organizational transformation. Although the financial perspective is not address by name, having a balanced organization and accomplishing this balance through a large transformation is implied.

In the company referred, they do have their own performance management system although it seems to be very oriented towards measure and objectives in which this writer promises are very nonspecific and generic. In addition, with no rewards system in place, a performance management system looks mute. It is this writers recommendation that a small incentive be attached to the performance measure otherwise the output is black or white; either you meet the requirements and keep you job or you are fired. To maintain a productive workforce during the large scale transformational change, leadership is tasked with keeping the organization committed high and providing excellent communication. Without this guidance of the leaders and according to Appelbaum et al. (2008) the input of the employees, which is deemed a critical factor, large scale transformational change will be difficult to achieve.

Conclusion

Organizations need to change to stay competitive in the marketplace. How they learn and utilize the knowledge that has gained will surely give them an competitive advantage over their competition. In complementing a large scale change, the organization needs to pay attention to the human resource policies, leadership communication, organizational structure and performance management systems. All these areas play important roles in shaping a successful transformation.

References

Appelbaum, Steven H, PhD., SPHR, Berke, J., MBA, Taylor, J., MBA, & Vazquez, JA, MBA (2008). The role of leadership during large scale organizational transitions: Lessons from six empirical studies. Journal of American Academy of Business, Cambridge, 13 (1), 16-24.

Brauns, M. (2013). Aligning strategic human resource management to human resources, performance and reward. The International Business & Economics Research Journal (Online), 12 (11), 1405-n / a.

Chen, S., Ching-Chow, Y., & Jiun-Yan Shiau. (2006). The application of balanced scorecard in the performance evaluation of higher education. The TQM Magazine, 18 (2), 190-205.

Wischnevsky, JD, & Damanpour, F. (2006). Organizational transformation and performance: An examination of three perspectives. Journal of Managerial Issues, 18 (1), 104-128.9.

Should You Choose a Wood Or Composite Hockey Stick?

There has been a lot of discussion regarding the pros and cons of wood versus composite hockey sticks in the NHL that last couple of years. The fact of the matter is that wood hockey sticks are almost extinct in the NHL. But what about for the recreational player? Wood hockey sticks are a very viable, and sometimes preferred, option. We are going to cover the pros and cons of each stick.

The advantages of the newer composite sticks are many. The sticks are lighter, they are more consistent from stick to stick and they have been engineered to provide player with a quicker shot. The quicker shot comes from the lower kick points in composite sticks. The kick point is the play on the hockey shaft where the stick bends when your stick the puck. With wood shafts the bend tends to be where you place your lower hand. This causes a larger and slower loading and release cycle. Low kick point composite sticks place the bend point at the bottom of the shaft near the blade. This provides a shorter loading and release cycle and the net result is a quicker shot.

If you have played hockey before chances are good that you started with a wood hockey stick and that is still a good choice for today’s beginning hockey players. Wood hockey sticks are significantly less expensive than composite hockey sticks and this certainly helps the budget when you are just getting started and have to gear up with all of the equipment required to play hockey. Another advantage of wood sticks is that they impart a better feel for the puck for beginning players. After you have been playing hockey for a while you will be better able to judge the qualities of hockey sticks and how they match your style of play. That is a good point to investigate whether or not a composite hockey stick makes sense for you.

For a beginning player a wood stick is a great first hockey stick. In your early years playing hockey, the advantages of a composite hockey stick over a wood one might be beyond your ability to take advantage of. The one exception to this is the lighter weight of the composite sticks. Beyond that price is often the factor that most influences a wood versus composite purchasing decision. The key thing to figure out is if the benefits of a composite stick are worth the extra cost to you.

After making your selection you still need to choose the blade pattern to match your preferences and whether you shoot right or left handed. Your stick will need to be long enough to come up to your chin area when you are standing in skates and hold the stick vertically with one end on the ice in front of you. Hockey sticks also have a flex to their shafts just like golf clubs do. You will need a flex that woks for your skill, style on overall body weight and strength.

In the end it all comes to personal choice. You need to try out a large variety of sticks to find the one that is best suited to your skills and your budget. As your skills and experience improve over time you “perfect” hockey stick will evolve as well.

What Does Door to Door Service Mean?

Some terms in the shipping industry can be confusing for shippers to understand. Door to door delivery looks to be one of them. One of the biggest problems is that companies do not always see that door delivery means to the door, of the warehouse of course. They think that door can mean to their customer's door which can be true only on a drop ship or direct ship, but they do not understand it to be door. So to clarify, Door to Door delivery means that the freight forwarding company will pick up the shipping container from your warehouse and bring it to the port. Then they gate it in and file the necessary paperwork and retrieve it on the other side to be brought to your consignee's warehouse.

Since a door to door delivery means a through bill of lading that includes trucking, there will also be additional charges added on your bill of lading. Many times however, a through bill of lading will actually have lower freight rates than if you were using different shipping companies. This is definitely something to consider when trying determining if you will need a door delivery. Using separate companies means more interaction with shipping companies, but it also allows for closer managing so it will depend what is best for your company.

No matter which type of delivery you choose, it is important to know what all of your options are before shipping. Even just a small amount of legwork can save a lot of money in the end.

This type of delivery could be the best shipping shipping experience available. Start your shipping experience for door to door by submitting online your request for freight service. Requiring little more than a few keystrokes and clicks of your mouse, take advantage of this opportunity to indicate your cargo requirements and preferences in the form provided. Please make sure to indicate door to door service when signing up online and you will receive it.

When you detail all your requirements upfront, you can receive great options for door to-door. If you do not detail your requirements upfront, then you may not get the best door to door service that is appropriate and unique for your freight shipping experience. And make sure that you work with a trusted freight forwarder who can provide you with outstanding freight services that work for door to door.

Cervical Cancer Prevention With Whey Protein Powder Supplements

Cervical cancer is the third most common type of cancer in world-wide. It is more common in United States because of Pap Smears. A cancer which start in cervix, the lower part of womb which opens at the top of vagina.

In Cervical Cancer, abnormal mass of tissues results in neoplasia in which tumor become worse and results in death. They start in the cell on surface of cervix. There are mostly two types of cells are on cervix: squamous and columnar.Mostly cervical cancer arises in squamous cells.

Cervical cancer progress very slowly. This condition called dysplasia. This condition can be detected by Pap smear and because of that the cases of cervical cancer becomes down since last 10-20 years. While some of the cases cannot be prevented, so here are some guidance to prevent it for the women:

Go For Regular Pap smear

Pap smear is the best and primer defense to detect it before it will convert in cancer. Pap smear which is generally called precautionary test is a screening test to check and find out pre-cancerous process easily.

Stay away from the smoking And Second hand smoking

Smoking the cigarettes can increase the possibility of many kinds of cancers including cervical cancer. It can accelerate the HPV infection and accelerate cervical dysplasia too. So you must have to stay away from the smoking and have to stop your habit.

Do follow-up with Abnormal Pap smear

Abnormal Pap smear does not mean that you have cancer but it’s a one kind of alarm that you have the infection of abnormal cells which called dysplasia. Do regular follow-up with Pap smear to prevent from cervical because dysplasia can occur in cervical cancer.

Increase your nutrients intake

If you boost up your intake of folic acids, flavonoids and carotenoids than it will not only fight with HPV infection but also prevent you from it and mostly we can see that cancer occur due to human papillomavirus.

Boost up Antioxidants

Antioxidants play a vital role to block the cervical cancer. HTV is the main reason to build up a this cancer, it can’t produce itself much. Cancer may be raise because of oxidative stress and the lack of the antioxidants, vitamin E and Q 10 in women. Boosting up the Antioxidants can resist the HTV.

Include Resveratrol

From the Antioxidants, polyphenol is the key to resist the cell of cancer and you will find them from the resveratrol. And for that, taking supplement is the best solution. Natural whey protein powder which comes with all natural ingredients, amino acids and other nutrition will help you to resist the Cancer.

Whey protein powder with 100% natural whey protein isolate will protect you against all kind of cancer and also on other diseases. So, prefer all these precautions to prevent from Cervical Cancer.

Why Do Guys Avoid Pretty Girls?

It has been said that men are visual creatures. And the feedback from other people is that you are pretty. Yet, it seems that guys resist approaching you! I know how it can drive your heart and mind crazy at times when you see other girls, who are clearly less pretty than you, happily loved by their boyfriends. To help you regain your sanity and courage to venture into the dating world again, I have written this article about ‘Why Do Guys Avoid Pretty Girls’. Please don’t give up hope of finding everlasting love yet. If I can do it, so can you. Finish reading this article – because it could save you a lot of heartache and despair…

The biggest reason why guys avoid pretty girls is because men won’t approach a woman unless they think there’s a 75% chance that she won’t reject him.

I am not sure how well you know this, but the feeling of being rejected – by any woman, pretty or not, downright sucks. No guy in his right mind enjoys being rejected. That is why a guy will avoid approaching a pretty woman, unless he gets the feeling she will be open and receptive to his advances. By this, I mean that she communicates to the world, or to a guy in particular that she is friendly and safe to approach.

Unfortunately, the media makes it even scarier for guys to muster up the courage to approach pretty women. Haven’t you seen shows that portray pretty girls as mean girls? It does not matter whether it is true, or whether it has ever happened to a guy before. With some compassion, you can understand how a guy could easily imagine a pretty girl shaming or embarrassing him in front of a crowd. It is even more terrifying if a guy has already had negative experiences of approaching less pretty girls!

So how can a pretty girl give guys the courage to approach her?

The biggest tip I can give to solve the issue of guys avoiding you, is to cultivate a look that feels friendly to men in general. My personal secret is to smile from within. Learning how to smile from within is a skill ANY woman can acquire. But don’t be fooled into thinking that you can just plaster a fake smile on your face. If you do that, you run the risk of looking TOO approachable, which will attract all kinds of strange men to you. The trick is to figure out a way to genuinely share your gentle, soft, feminine side with the world, as much as you can. It took me a fair bit of effort to transform myself from within. It will take you some effort too. But I guarantee that it is more than worth it, when you find a man who loves, cherishes and never wants to let go of you, because you are so feminine!

How Come Gold Jewelry Turns White Sometimes?

Sometimes customers come to me and ask why their gold jewelry suddenly changes color or has white spots, worrying about that they may have bought a fake.

In fact, usually these worries are unnecessary. Under normal circumstances, as long as it is bought from a regular gold shop, the quality of the gold jewelry is guaranteed. After a little jewelry cleaning by some staff in a gold shop, the white spots on the gold will disappear, and the jewelry will be re-lit as new.

Why would this happen? How come the gold jewelry turns white? Gold is one of the nature’s most stable metals, and it does not react with any oxide gas in the air at room temperature, nor with three major acid (sulfuric acid, nitric acid, hydrochloric acid) or weak acid. Only aqua regia (a mixture of hydrochloric and nitric acid) can corrode it. But mercury is an exception, it is very easy to react with gold and produce a white compound called amalgam. Therefore, once the gold jewelry is exposed to mercury, it will turn white immediately. And because mercury is volatile, it can cause discoloration of gold even from a distance.

This may occur in the home, because mercury or mercury-type substances exist in many detergents, cosmetics and skin care products. If gold is exposed to these items, it is likely to change its color, turning white, gray, or dark. Many ladies have a habit of using skin care product before touching their jewelry, which makes the chemicals contact the gold directly and causes discoloration of the jewelry. In addition, perfume, hair spray, sea water, swimming pool water, and dirt caused by long-term wearing, are also likely to make gold jewelry change its color or fade. This has nothing to do with the purity of the gold, and it does not mean the jewelry is a fake.

Gold jewelry should be kept from direct exposure to the substances referred, and should be cleaned regularly. And if the surface of gold jewelry has changed color, do not use a hard object or tool to eradicate the changed part. The correct approach is to use alcohol lamp or welding torch which is used in jewelry processing to heat the white part of the gold, so that mercury can sublimate out of amalgam and separate from gold. When the jewelry gets cool, brush it lightly with a toothbrush, and then wipe it and press it hard for a few times with a soft cloth, after which the gold will recover its color. But do not try to do this with a lighter, because the jewelry will turn black easily for incomplete combustion of the gas. K gold and inlaid jewelry do not suit this method, they should be taken to the gold shop to have other proper treatment. However, if consumers do have doubts about the quality of their jewelry, they should go to the professional department and have the jewelry identified as soon as possible.

What Do Hedgehogs Eat?

Thinking about getting a hedgehog! That's great news! Before you bring your new spiky friend home, be sure you have a good selection of food on hand.

Insects!

The basis of a healthy hedgehog diet must be insects and other invertebrates. In the wild, hedgehogs would have feasted wildly on an assortment of tasty bugs, beetles, and worms! Feeling squeamish? Do not be. You do not need to go outside and dig in the dirt for bugs. This could actually be very harmful for your hedgie's health as many bugs in the natural world have been extensively exposed to toxic pesticides. Hedgehogs have actually been known to die after eating contaminated bugs.

The best source for nutritious insects is your local pet store or online vendor. Look for beetles, crickets, and meal worms. Dislike bugs? No problem. Place your container of insects into the freezer. This will kill the insects yet keep them fresh and preserved. Just be sure to let them thaw before serving.

Each meal should include six insects.

Protein!

In addition to bugs, you will want to feed your hedgehog a variety of lean proteins. For this reason you will actually want to avoid commercial hedgehog food and lower quality cat food as both products tend to be very high in fat and additives. You can easily provide your hedgehog will excellent sources of protein by providing cooked shrimp, skinless chicken breast, or turkey breast cut into small pieces. Just make sure whatever meat you serve is cooked, not raw.

If you wish to feed your hedgehog prepared foods, look for high quality wet and dry cat foods. How can you determine quality? Read the labels! Look for foods that are familiar such as "chicken breast." Do not settle for vague terms such as "poultry" as this represents a lower food grade. Also avoid any food with lots of chemicals, added sugar, or fats.

Fresh Foods!

Hedgehogs enjoy fruit and vegetables cut into small pieces. Good foods include Apples, asparagus, bananas, carrots, greens, sweet peppers. Foods to avoid include peas and corn as they contain too much sugar and phosphorus. Finally, these foods must be avoided completely as they are not safe for hedgehogs!

  • Avocados
  • Chocolate
  • Grapes and raisins – Will cause organ failure.
  • Milk and Dairy Products – Hedgehogs can not digest these foods. Stomach problems and dirrhea will follow.
  • Nuts and Seeds – Many hedgehogs will get nuts and seeds stuck in the roof of their mouths. Some have also been known to accidently gouge their own eyes out trying to get a nut or seed out of their shells.

Dante's Inferno – A Summary of the Circles of Hell

Dante's Divine Comedy is a journey through the afterlife of Inferno, Purgatory, and Paradise.

The Journey begins with Dante lost in a dark wood. His only escape is down through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, guided by the poet Virgil.

This epic poem tracks that amazing journey through the afterlife. Dante first enters the afterlife through the gate of Hell.

The Gate of Hell – Cowards who refused to take a stand for or against God

Forever running and getting stung by wasps.

Circle one – Limbo

Virtuous pagans, Virgil, Plato. Unfulfilled desire and hopelessness.

Circle two – The lustful

Francesa and Paolo. Cleopatra. Eternally being swirled in wind.

Circle three – The gluttons

Guarded by the three-headed dog, Cerberus. Eating slime and muck.

Circle four – The prodigal and the miserly

Hoarders and wasters pushing an intense stone against each other.

Circle five – The wrathful and the sullen

Thrashing and bodies torn apart in dark filthy water.

Circle six – The heretics

Living in smoking tombs.

Circle seven – The violent, the suicides, the blasphemers, the sodomites, the usurers

A river of boiling blood guarded by Centaurs. Souls become a forest of suffering trees, others torn apart by dogs, rain of fire, mutilation.

Circle eight – Fraudulent, pimps, seducers, flatterers, simonists, sorcerers, corrupt politicians, sewers of division, falsifiers, alchemists, thieves

Eternally walking and tormented. Living in excrement. Stuffed into holes. Heads turned backwards. Boiling tar. Lead capes. Snakes. Flames.

Circle nine – Sinners against family, betrayers, traitors against country

Encased in ice. Home of Satan. Cannibalism. Judas being eternally chewed by Lucifer.

Lesbian Infidelity: When Your Girl Is Cheating?

Sitting on the edge of the bed, listening, to words without sound that only provoke horrific images that you never wanted to wonder, in your mind your trapped.

There is nothing more painful, other than death to hear that the person you are in love with and want, telling you they have had an affair or were intimate with another. We hear the stories and at times we even are witness to the betrayal, but we never want to venture to think it could ever happen to us “me, no, we have something special and I would know right away.”

A friend once told me, that it been so long since her girlfriend had touched her that she just thought it was stress and the natural progression of a relationship to stop being passionate, so when she came home to find her girlfriend on the steps and her car packed, she felt confused. In hind sight, she said she should have seen the signs, but I told her “how could you? Who wants to see that coming?” she smiled and gently respond “it would have been nice to prepare for the pain.”

I guess it is very similar to a natural disaster, we hear the alarms and sirens ringing, but really there is no where to hide or know the damage it will make. We can think we are prepared, but until we see the destruction we really just don’t know.

Feelings of abandonment, distress, shame, and anger take over and recovery seems so faraway and beyond repair that part of our spirit is left behind forever. The number of Lesbian couples affected by infidelity is unknown, again there is little research or studies that are done in this area; however, we know that it is something that affects us deeply and the lack of support from society and our community has a great impact on our healing or lack of.

Most Lesbian relationship will not survive infidelity, as women have greater difficulty separating sex from emotion and usual will develop an attachment with the woman they are having the affair with. Forgiveness is difficulty to establish in situations like this as the person cannot forget the affair, as the relationship may not be purely based on sexual intercourse.

The affair is then the beginning of the end of the relationship, and finds a way out through another. We are known as serial monogamy partners, jumping from one relationship to the next with no time in between to heal. This is unfortunate part of our community as it breeds unhealthy people and relationship. Before we have even erased the image of our past partner with another woman naked in our heads we are already in the bed with another woman with all our hurt, distrustful, and vulnerable baggage.

I feel it is even more painful for Lesbians when a relationship end from an affair as we already feel isolated from our communities and society it’s even lonelier when our partner, our friend, leaves. Some of us have left our families, lost friends, and changed out entire lives to be with a woman and to be left can be dilapidated. We rely so much on our lover, that when it ends it blinding.

Here are some tips on dealing with the topic of infidelity:

  1. Right at the start sit down and discuss your own personal thoughts on fidelity, and what your boundaries and rules will be as individuals in this relationship.
  2. Ask each others history as past behaviors are a good predictor of future behavior. Yes people can change but repetition is a problem.
  3. Give yourself time to heal. Try not to jump into another relationship, without answering all the questions that torment you from your past and working on a plan for your future.
  4. Work on rebuilding your self-esteem. Going trough an affair can leave us with a skewed view of ourselves.
  5. Spend time with friends and family, or even go to the gym, join a club anything to begin building your social support network.
  6. In your new relationship, create a safe space that allows you to be vulnerable, emotionally and sexually exposed in a loving and respectful way.
  7. Work on forgiveness and trust. You can’t forgive or trust you can’t be open to let another love you more deeply.

You will survive the pain, you will change and the choice is yours, which direction you take. You may choose to become resentful and angry at the world or you could learn and discover where healing from your past needs to happen, become more focused and determine as to what you want and will not lose yourself for.

Alex Karydi~The Lesbian Guru

Choosing the Right Squeegee For Your Window Cleaning Job

If you decide to become a professional window cleaner, you will need to invest in the right equipment. Having top-of-the-line equipment is definitely worth the investment as a professional craftsman of any trade – window cleaning included.

In this article, I will discuss the various squeegees on the market and their proper application. There are many different makes and models of squeegees, each with their own pluses and minuses to take into consideration.

The standard window cleaning for the old-school window cleaner has been a brass Ettore squeegee. Brass was used because it is rust proof. As squeegees are constantly exposed to water, it was important to have a tool that would not rust.

However, brass is a reliably heavy metal. Later on, the major squeegee manufacturers began making stainless steel handles and channels. Stainless steel is stronger and lighter than the brass and is a definite improvement especially as one gets longer squeegees because the weight starts to add up.

Metal is a very durable material, but it has it's limits. For one, when it really takes cold outside metal squeegee handles absorb this cold; nothing is worse than having a freezing cold squeezeee. To solve this problem and to make squeegees lighter still, the squeegee manufacturers started making the handles out of very tough and lightweight plastics. These new squeegees are lighter and easier to grip.

Another advancement in squeegee technology has been the use of quick release levers. This allows the window cleaner to slide out the channel and change the rubber without the use of tools. Previously, the window cleaner would have to use a screwdriver to loosen the screws in order to do this. As rubber often needs to be changes fairly frequently, this really is a convenient option.

Still another advance in squeegee technology has been the pivoting squeegee. This is very handy for cleaning windows with a pole as it allows the squeegee to pivot. There are a few pivoting squeegees on the market. The most popular are the Unger Swivel Lock, The Ettore Contour Pro Plus, and the Wagtail.

The Wagtail freely swivels back and forth with very little resistance. This is really a great feature if you are very skillful with the pole as it allows the window cleaner to easily fan the window. However, having too much swivel may be too much to handle for the less experienced window cleaner.

The Unger Swivel Lock has the benefit of being able to adjust the level of tension, thereby, giving the window cleaner the level of swivel they want. It can also be locked into whatever angle in desirable. The Swivel Lock comes in two models, one with the standard 40 degree head and one with a zero degree head / I find that the zero degree version is the most versatile as it is easier to perform most pole maneuvers with a zero degree squeegee.

The Ettore Contour Pro Plus is in a class all it's own. It can swivel side-to-side (although not as well as the Swivel Lock or Wagtail) and it can adjust the forward-and-back head angle. So it can be a standard 40 degree squeezeee or you can click it into the zero degree position.

Zero degree squeegees are very handy for the window cleaner. It allows them to "close-out" windows with much greater ease (closing out means to go all the way to the edge). This is especially handy for windows with deep mullions or sills. Deeply recessed window may be almost impossible to clean without using a zero degree squeegee. They are also especially helpful for commercial windows with deep ledges.

Another consideration in selecting a squeegee is what size windows you will be using it on. If you plan on cleaning large store front windows, you may want to get a handle that is compatible with wide body aluminum channels. You see, when you want to go over the largest standard size channel (18 inches) you need to get a sturdier channels so that it remains straight and flush. The longer length of 22 "through 40" can more easily bow if not constructed more rigidly. The wide body aluminum channels (ex. Slayer Channels, and Ettore Super System) are very rigid and lighter than stainless steel. This is important, because when you start going above 18 inches you need to have the squeegee be as light as possible.

If you are planning to be a dedicated storefront window cleaner and you want to do large pieces of glass quickly, you may want to check out Sorbo's line of extra large squeegees. Using a 30 "squeegee will make quick work of those extra big car dealership windows!

African-American Hair – Tips To Obtain Semi-Relaxed, Healthy Curls

While it can be difficult to manage, African-American hair is extremely versatile in terms of being able to achieve a wide variety of hairstyles. For many women, the ideal style is a semi-relaxed, loose curl that still has plenty of body and moisture and is not discharged out or neglected by harsh hair products.

Here are some tips for keeping African-American hair soft, loose, manageable and healthy-looking:

1. The bottom line for soft, healthy black hair is moisture. Start by moisturizing your hair from the inside. Drink lots of water!

2. Select the right shampoo, using one that's moisture rich and detangles while cleansing without stripping the hair of all its natural oils. Also – do not over-shampoo which can strip hair of moisture. Wash your hair no more often than every week to week and a half. And shampoo only once, never twice.

3. Be sure that shampoo is completely rinsed out before conditioning, and be patient – leave conditioner in for several minutes to help moisturize your hair. Hop out of the shower and cover your hair with a towel or shower cap while you organize your jewelry or makeup tray or take off old nail polish, just so you are not tempted to shorten the moisturizing time.

4. Try hemp-based moisturizers on your hair, such as Malibu's Hemp Moisturizer for Dry Skin, as a moisturizer for hair also.

5. After rinsing out the conditioner, towel dry and add natural plant oils back into your hair, such as grapeseed oil, almond oil or a very light application of virgin olive oil. Use your palms to spread one of these shine-enhancing oils evenly through your hair and then comb or brush your hair to secure the ends are also moisturized.

6. Apply a gentle straightening product such as Curlaway® Relaxing Gel, which is natural and semi-permanent. As Curlaway relaxes curl is also moisturizes with plant oils, Vitamin B-5 (panthenol) and MSM. Unlike alkaline, quick-acting relaxers, Curlaway Gel can be used on chemically straightened, permed or colored hair, which permits highlights or even a shade change.

7. All heating appliances can dry and damage hair. It's better to use a mid-range setting and best to let hair dry naturally tightly on rollers. Ironing your hair while it is damp or slightly damp can cause severe breakage and damage.

8. For sleek, romantic waves, set your hair with large rollers or use narrow rollers for sexy, bouncing ringlets.

9. For the tousled, casual look, use a medium barrel curling wand and let the curls fall where they may.

10. After using rollers under a dryer bonnet or air-drying naturally, running your fingers through your hair a few times after you are done straightening will help smooth out your hair, and achieve a natural look.

11. To keep great volume, use a flatiron only on the top layers and the front to achieve a frizz-free, smooth look, while the curlier hair underneath pumps up the volume.

12. Find a style that works with your natural hair type and growth pattern, and do not over-relax your hair until it is bone straight, strawlike and life-less without body or curl. Show off your curls! Try to work with your hair and not against it.

13. Eat a balanced, HEALTHY diet rich in fruits, vegetables and protein and your hair will grow faster and healthier, as well.

The bottom line is, to have healthy-looking, semi-relaxed hair use gentle relaxers and shampoos, lots of moisturizing, and avoid too much heat.