What Are Spill Kits?

A spill kit is really exactly what it says it is – it’s a kit for dealing with and cleaning up spills or spillage of various kinds. No matter how careful we are in life, there is always going to be spillage of one kind or another and although we can do our best to avoid them, it’s best to be fully prepared when something unfortunate does occur.

There are lots of different kinds of spills than can happen and for that reason there are several different kinds of spill kits. So let’s take a brief look at some of them and find out what they do and what purpose they serve.

Water Spill Kits – Perhaps one of the most versatile kits available, the water spill kit is also fully adept at dealing with both oil and chemical spills. What will you find in one of these kits? The first thing to note is that all the contents of the kit are black to signify that this is indeed a water kit. Specialised spill pads and socks as well as absorbent pillows are the main ingredients of the pack and of course they are available in a whole range of capacity sizes, ranging from 15 litres of water to a massive 900 litres.

Oil Spill Kits – Specifically for oil spills, the products in these kits are white and they are capable of absorbing oil and can even remove oil from water thanks to them being hydrophobic! As with the water kits, they are available in multiple sizes, with many of them compact enough to store on a workbench or in the cab of a van or lorry.

Chemical Kits – A speedy response to a chemical spill can often make the difference between a minor and major incident. Having a chemical spill kit on hand can certainly help to make that difference. The products in these kits are yellow, so you certainly won’t be able to miss them and they perform a very important job. The material of these items are specifically designed to absorb chemicals, so if you work in an environment that deals with chemicals of any kind, then be sure to have one of these kits easily accessible.

These are just a few of the various spill kits that are available. Each one performs an important function in its area of expertise and clear instructions are provided with each pack.

Turn Your Basement Into a Virtual Shooting Gallery

An indoor shooting simulator is easy to add on to most projection based home theater systems, and in most cases is an inexpensive way to add hours of entertainment for the whole family. People of all ages enjoy playing the wide range of games that are available for the system, everything from “Baseball Challenge” to “Elephant Hunter” will keep your family and friends entertained. Utilizing a shooting simulator is not only a great way to add excitement to your home theater room; it is also a get way to keep your shooting skills sharp.

System Basics:

There are a few basic requirements for adding a shooting simulator to an existing home theater. The simulator runs on a normal Windows based computer, software is compatible with Windows XP, Windows Vista and Windows 7. The image is broadcast through a projector to a screen, which most projectors and home theater screens will be suitable for use with this simulator. Now all you need to add is a basic simulator package, which includes a rifle, case, camera and five games. Installation of the simulator will only take about thirty minutes to setup and install the new software and hardware. Now you are ready to start enjoying the very best of simulated shooting. To recap the items you need: computer, projector, screen and a simulator package.

Benefits of Indoor Shooting:

There are many advantages to adding an indoor shooting simulator to you home theater room, these are just a few.

Convenience- having the ability to practice your shooting skills from within your own house, cuts down on drive time to the range and you can fire up your system anytime you want.

Cost Savings- ammunition is expensive! You will save a lot of money practicing your skills using a true to life replica laser firearm verses using live ammo.

Safety- using a laser firearm is a much safer weapon to practice will and it’s a lot better for your hearing.

Shooting Variety- with a shooting simulator you have the ability to practice your skills on a wide range of software titles. You can practice shooting skeet and with just a touch of a button you can switch over to another game and practice your marksmanship on simulated popup targets.

Entertainment- Gather you friends and family, challenge them for the highest score or for bragging rights.

Packages and Software:

With this system, there are many packages of both hardware and software available. Looking for a portable package or maybe a complete package if you don’t have a projector, computer and screen? Those packages and more are available. There are over 35 software titles currently available, which can be purchased separately or in 15 game packages. Software titles are being added, so you will always have the option to buy the latest games on the market. Do you have the best Halloween party on your block? There is a Halloween software package that will insure your party is unforgettable. Do you have a young hunter or marksman that could benefit from “Hunter’s Education” software? It is an option on this simulator. Teach them everything from ethical shooting to animal anatomy, with the hunter’s Ed package. Looking to hone your archery skills? This simulator has packages available for you bow enthusiasts. There are several optional firearms which can be added to the system, to maximize the skill development and enjoyment of the simulator.

Adding a shooting simulator to your theater room is easy and a cost effective way of increasing the entertainment value of your room as well as improve shooting skills. If you would like some more information on the shooting simulators or have any questions please contact me through the website.

Analysis of Philip Levine’s Poem – "Starlight"

In introduction, I will identify and analyze various components of Philip Levine’s “starlight,” such as, speaker; situation; diction; imagery; figures of speech, and other elements of poetry. Throughout this article the preceding elements will be meticulously expounded upon.

The speaker of the poem I will termed as a ‘he’ because the poet is a male. The progression of the poem is vey climactic. In other words, it signifies a turning point like most works. For example, line # 21, which illustrates where ‘father and son’ meet eye to eye (thus, allowing the son to bask in the glow of the starlight with his ‘head up in the air’). In addition, he proceeded to ask his father the question that his father asked him earlier in the poem: “Are you happy?” The speaker’s point of view points to the reflections of himself as been an image of his father; growing up to be like his father, and ‘the father like son’ syndrome which, in a subtle way, is illustrated by the following lines: “I am four years old and growing tired (line 3) – in comparison to – … but I can smell the tiredness that hangs on his breath.” (lines 16-17) Moreover, the latter part of the poem corroborates this point, as well.

Of course, the point of view – as pointed out above – introduces the implied attitude of the speaker toward his view of the poem, thus setting the tone of the poem which is very somber and gray (which is in direct irony with its title, “Starlight”) with the use of keywords, such as, “growing tired; cigarette; moon riding low over the old neighborhood; alone; thick and choked; the tiredness that hangs on his breath; autumn, and boy slept never to waken in that world again.”

The structure of the poem is very interesting. Well, it seems to be written in a closed form upon viewing it, initially. Howbeit, when it’s viewed closer it can be noted that the initial letters of the lines are not capitalized; only where a new sentence begins. Therefore, I surmised that its structure is presented in an open form. Furthermore, there are neither visible breaks nor stanzas in the poem. I ponder, does the form represents “a tall, gaunt child (line 28) or a somber, gray tower of Babel (in its aborted attempt) to proclaim itself to be there among the stars (line 21)?”

The theme of this poem is one of comparison (both emotionally and physically) between speaker and his father as was illustrated in the above paragraphs – framed by it’s content – for instance, lines 8 and 22. In these lines, the same question was asked by both parties (which give a subliminal reference to their emotional state). Plus, lines 3 and 17 (‘tiredness’) give a subliminal reference to their physical well-being. In interpretation, these instances represent the speaker (a boy) ‘growing’ into his father.

The situation seems to be set in a small town. This assertion can be asserted by line 7 – “…low over the old neighborhood….” In addition, the site of this poem is assumed to be in Northeast America because of key words, such as, autumn; summer moon, and porch (usually, veranda – outside of the United States). Moreover, I deducted this particular setting because of the stimulation that I received from reading the poem which, of course, is very subjective. Furthermore, the experiences that is reflected in this poem allows me to draw on my own experiences as I draw a mental picture of what’s taking place in this poem. Thus, my response to the poem is very subjective to its classical sense of writing. Plus, my reaction to the dynamics is somewhat subdued although the dynamics of the poem has an evenly paced up – tempo style.

In regard to the poem’s style of writing/choice of words, specifically its diction – the diction used in this poem is very concrete. Excluding, of course, the poem’s last six lines and the quote, “Are you happy?” These quotes are abstract and are basically the engine that drives the poem. For example, these quotes are located in the beginning and ending of the poem. Likewise, the poem is detonation oriented except for the above quotes which are cloaked in connotation. The meanings I construed in reference to the above quotes (respectively) are expounded upon in the following sentences. The first quote deals with the speaker’s happiness in his state of being in comparison to his father’s happiness in his state of being (for example, the father said “yes” to the question while the speaker hesitated to answer). The last six lines deal with the transition (reflection) of the son growing up to be like his father in the future (“autumn…until the boy slept never to waken in that world again”).

Besides the ‘father-son relationship’ been the centerpiece of this poem. This literary work is very rich in imagery which captures my imagination. As I pointed out before, keywords such as: “the glow of his cigarette, redder than the summer moon riding” – lines # 5 – 6 – places me in the active scenery of the poem. It suffers me to see the poem as seeing it as a movie reel. I must say that his poem is visual (lines # 5 – 6), auditory (line # 22), olfactory (line # 25), gustatory (line # 16 – 17) and synaesthetic (line # 16 – 17).

Moreover, the figures of speech (specifically the metaphors) add to this poem, as well. For example, “…smell the tiredness that hangs on his breath.” – lines # 5 – 6. On the other hand, there is a limited use of similes and other figures of speech in this poem.

On the other hand, several elements of poetry are well represented. For example, “autumn” – line # 30 – symbolizes adulthood going onto old age. The syntax does not contain many rhymes (sounds) although rhythm and meter are maintained throughout the poem. Also, the whole irony of the poem projects the gloominess of the experience into the background of the ‘starry night’ – hence, the title: “Starlight.”

In conclusion, this poem was superbly written. The 1st person skillfully places me in the poem, thus making me an active participant of the poem. The poem makes an interesting reading. I’ve been exposed to new insights from the speaker’s point of view.

Make a Retirement Survival Kit

A retirement survival kit is a funny twist on a wedding survival kit. The great part about a retirement survival kit is that you can put it all together yourself! This can be a really great gift to give during a retirement party because it can be sure to garner a few laughs.

Here are some tips on creating a memorable retirement survival kit:

Retirement Survival Kit Container

One of the first things you will need for a kit is a container to put all the goodies in. This can be a way to think of something creative related to your retiree. For instance, if you all live near the beach and the retiree plans on spending more afternoons there, then consider using a beach pail as a container. Or if your retiree had a job that required him to carry a briefcase or laptop bag everyday, then consider getting him a tacky travel bag or even a real piece of luggage so that he can actually use it.

Survival Kit Goodies

Finding the best and funniest goodies to put into a retirement kit can be a lot of fun. If you are working with co-workers on putting together a gift, then ask each of them to contribute their own ideas of what is necessary in a retirement survival kit. For instance, you can do a beach theme and include suntan lotion, funny sunglasses, a beach towel, and some sandals. Or you can do a traveling theme if your soon-to-be retiree has already booked a trip. A travel themed kit can include passport holders, a travel pillow, maps, a funny fanny pack, and other little travel related trinkets.

Sentimental Items

Survival kits can also include some sentimental items, so the retiree will remember those great working years and will know how much you all appreciated him or her. A personalized plaque or coffee mug might be a fun gift to include. Or an engraved pocket or watch can be a great gift to slip in among all the other funny goodies.

Extra Treats

Survival kits usually have some treats, too. So if you want to include some treats into your retirement kit, consider some of his or her favorite candy bars or snacks. Or maybe some homemade cookies. If your office has a vending machine, then you might want to get a few of the vending machine snacks which would be a fun and funny way for him or her to remember the workplace.

A retirement kit can be wrapped in cellophane or you can just tie a great big ribbon around it and present it to the retiree that way.

Maritime Frauds

What is a fraud? An international trade transaction involves several parties-exporter, importer, ship-owner, charterer, ship’s master, officers and crew, insurer, banker, broker or agent, freight forwarder. Maritime fraud occurs when one of these parties unjustly takes another’s goods or money. In some cases, several of these parties act in collusion to defraud another. Banks and insurers are often the victims of such frauds.

The sinking of an over-insured vessel carrying a high valued non-existent cargo has been encountered at regular intervals. During periods of economic and political upheaval and depression in the shipping business, there have been incidents of unusual losses. In the last few years, these and other factors have led to a significant escalation in the number of incidents that can be termed as ‘maritime frauds’.

Types of Fraud

Maritime fraud has many guises and it methods are open to infinite variations. Majority of these crimes can be classified into four categories as under:

o Scuttling of ships

o Documentary frauds

o Cargo Thefts

o Fraud related to the chartering of vessels

Scuttling of Ships

Also known as ‘rust bucket’ frauds, this involves deliberate sinking of vessels in pursuance of fraud against both cargo and hull interests. With occasional exceptions, these crimes are committed by ship-owners in a situation where a vessel is approaching or has the end of its economic life, taking into account the age of the vessel, its condition and the prevailing freight market. The crime can be aimed at hull insurers alone or against both hull and cargo interests.

For example, a dishonest shower may approach am exporter and offer to carry his next large cargo shipment on his vessel. The exporter is to arrange the contract and the proposed buyer to open a letter of credit in his favor to pay for them. No goods are actually to be supplied or shipped, but the ship-owner agrees to supply bills of lading to show that the goods have been loaded on the vessel. The bills of lading together with such other documents as are required are presented to the bank negotiating the letter of credit. The banker pays against documents and not against goods. After ascertaining that the cargo description corresponds to the requirements as stipulated in the L/C, the bank, in the normal course of events, releases the funds under the terms of the L/C.

The ship, without it is by now paid for, but non-existent cargo, leaves port. It should not of course reach its destination, because should it do so, the missing cargo would lead immediately to the discovery of the fraud. To avoid this eventually, the ship is deliberately scuttled in a suitable location, so as to remove the evidence of the non-existent shipment beyond any prospect of subsequent investigation.

The ship-owner enters an insurance claim on his hull underwriters and he also receives a share of the proceeds from the letter of credit from exporter, leaving the hapless buyer to pursue an insurance claim for loss/non-delivery of his cargo.

Documentary Frauds

This type of fraud involves the sale and purchase of goods o documentary credit terms and some or all of the documents specified by the buyer to be presented by the seller to the bank in order to receive payment, are forged. Bankers pay against documents. The forged documents attempt to cover up the fact that the goods actually do not exist or that they are not of the quality ordered by the buyer. When the unfortunate purchaser of the goods belatedly realizes that no goods are arriving, he starts checking, only to find that the alleged carrying vessels either does not exist or was loading at some other port at the relevant time.

Banks deal with documents and not in the goods covered by them. A bank which accepts under a letter of credit a set of documents which appear to be regular on their face, is not liable to its principal if the documents turn out to be forged or to contain false statements. Thus a confirming bank is entitled to obtain reimbursement against such documents from the issuing bank and the issuing bank is entitled to obtain payment against them from the buyer. Thus the loss is usually borne by the buyer.

It is precisely to discourage the activities of fraudsters relating to export cargoes that GIC evolved the ship approval system. This has been extended to full load import cargo also. The vessels usually employed by fraudsters are:

-Vessels flying a flag of convenience

-Vessels over 15 or 20 years of age

-Usually small sized ships of 7000 to 10000 GRT

-Vessels having changed their names and owners a few months before the last voyage.

Cargo Thefts

There are several variations in the modus operandi of cargo thefts. In a typical example, the vessel, having loaded a cargo, deviates from its route and puts it into a port of convenience. Such ports are Tripoli, Beitut, Almina, Jouneih, Ras Salaata and others along the coasts of Greece, Lebanon and Suria. The cargo may be discharges and sole on the quayside or in a more sophisticated manner. Such an act is often accompanied by c a changed of the vessel’s name or a subsequent scuttling in order to hide the evidence of theft. The whole process of investigation is proved difficult as by the time the loss is known the cargo disappears and the actual recovery of goods is unlikely. The owners of these ships are “paper companies” set up a few days prior to the operation.

Fraud related to Chartering of vessels

This is also known as Charter-part fraud”. Establishing a chartering company required a modest initial financial commitment and is usually subject to little regulation. In depressed conditions of shipping market, there is no have demand on tonnage and owners anxious to avoid laying up their vessels are tempted to charter them to unknown companies without demanding any substantial financial guarantee for the performance of the charter contract.

The fraudulent chartered can turn this situation to his advantage. Having chartered a vessel from an unsuspecting owner, the chartered canvasses for cargo, knowing that in a depressed economy, shippers will be willing to cut corners in the hope of reducing transport costs and thus saving on freight so that their goods can be more attractively priced the charterer offers low freight rates on pre-paid basis. He can afford to do that, as he has no intention of completing the voyage.

Soon, after the vessel sails from the port, the chartered disappears. He may have paid his first month’s hire or he might not have paid any hire charges as are due from him. Meanwhile the ship-owner may find himself with substantial bills to meet from port authorities along with the ship’s route as well as for crew’s wages and for provisioning the ship. Worse, the ship owner may find that his ship, not having delivered the cargo to the consignees, has been arrested and this leads to protracted and expensive legal wrangle.

In order to get their goods to destination, shippers may agree to pay a freight surcharges or they will agree to a diversion and a sale of the goods to cover costs and then state the export process all over again. Sometimes, when no such compromise can be reached, the ship owner will instruct the master to divert his ship and sell the cargo wherever he can, and this become as much of a criminal as the charterer.

Precautionary Measures for Fraud Prevention

There are certain basic precautions against maritime fraud that commercial interests, like exporter and importers, banks and insurance companies, should be aware of and should be able to implement.

Exporters and Importers

The checks and precautions that buys and sellers can implement are:

o Care should be exercised when dealing for the first time with unknown parties. Careful inquiries should be made as to their standing and integrity before entering into a binding agreement.

o Shipment should be by well-established shipping lines. In India, vessels approved by GIC should be preferred.

o The cargo owners should be wary:

    – If the freight rate is too attractive

    – If the ship owner owns one vessel only9’singleton’)

    – If the vessel is over 15 years of age.

    – If the vessel has passed through various owners.

o Payment by irrevocable documentary credit, confirmed by a bank in seller’s country, provides the best safeguard to the seller. Should the seller have any doubt about the authenticity of the documentary credit, he should immediately consult his bank before parting with the goods.

o As far as the buyer is concerned, he should ensure that he receives the documents he has stipulated in his documentary credit application.

o As far as the buyer is concerned, he should ensure that he receives the documents he has stipulated in his documentary credit application. Therefore, the buyer must consider carefully which documents he requires. For example, an independent “loading certificate” would add significantly to his protection as would detailed instructions on which shipping line or forwarding agent is to be used. The inspection of cargo should be as close to the time of loading on board as possible.

o In order to ensure that the subject cargo is in fact loaded on the specified carrying vessel, the buyer may stipulate for a “report on the vessel” from an independent third party.

o Conference or national lines bills of lading should be used and marked “freight prepaid” with the amount of freight clearly stated in the bill of lading.

o Services of dependable and well-known forwarding agents, who are also members of a national association, should be engaged.

o Buyers and sellers should attempt to identify whether the carrying vessel is on charter and who the chatterers and owners are and whether chartering is done only through agents or reputable institutions.

Banks

Banks should take following precautions against maritime fraud.

    o Bankers should make us of Lloyd’s shipping index. Important points to check with regard to the carrying vessel are ownership, age, size and importantly the position of the vessel at the time the bill of lading was dated.

    o If such checks are considered difficult for a bank because of the volume of work involved, then perhaps a ‘super-service’ at additional cost to the customers should be considered with the actual checks being carried out by outside agent or brokers retained at an annual fee.

    o Methods should be examined of improving documentary credit operations by the application of computerized and modern business methods.

Insurers

Insurers should take the following precautions against maritime fraud.

    o Where the name of the carrying vessel is not known at the point when insurance is effected, the insurance is made subject to the Institute Classification Clause and the requirement that the vessel carrying the goods conforms to the provisions of the clause.

    o The assured is required to declare to the insurers the name of the carrying vessel as soon as it is known. When the carrying vessels comply with the requirements of the classifications clause, standard rate premium is charged. Otherwise, extra premium is attracted for over-age, under-tonnage, non-classification and FOC registration of a vessel.

    o In India, the exporter is encouraged to use vessels “approved by GIC” to carry the export cargo. This system also applies to import cargo when the carrying vessel is bringing a full load of import cargo to India as also to imports on vessels from Singapore, Malaysia and Far East (excluding Japan, Mainland China).

Major Parts Of An Excavator And How It Works

An excavator is an engineering vehicle that is used for digging or refilling of big holes. The basic structure of an excavator comprises of the arm, the bucket and tracks. The drive and power source of the excavator is one of the major components of this equipment.

Basically, excavators run on diesel as the main power source since it produces a higher horsepower compared to gasoline. Also, diesel is more suited for heavy duty jobs to power the engine that drives the whole machine. This means that it is responsible for powering the hydraulic arm for digging and lifting mechanism as well as the tracks that are used for its mobility.

The second part of an excavator is the hydraulic mechanical arm that does most of the work. The arm comprises of two parts joined using a hinge plus a bucket at the end. The arm comprises of three hydraulic pistons with one attached to the bottom of the first arm part and the second one attached to the top of the other arm part. The third piston is normally used to facilitate the movement of the bucket both forwards and backwards, generating the digging and scooping action.

The third major part of any excavator is the track system that enables it to move forward, backwards as well as turn or spin. The tracks are wound around a system of gears which are in turn connected to a drive shaft powered by the engine. The operator controls the movement of both tracks separately to perform different maneuvers. One track is stopped while the other one is moved either backward or forward to make a turn.

A control cabin mounted on the tracks is used to houses the operator. The control cabin also houses all the control equipment. This includes the control pedals for moving the tracks as well as the levers used to control the hydraulic arm. The cabin is closed so as to protect the operator from exterior factors such as rain at the work site. Some customized excavators have a cabin that rotates a full 360 for better control.

The first task to be taken care of when operating an excavator is controlling the dozer blade. First, you have to lower the controls on the left hand into position before putting on the safety belt. The next task is controlling the bulldozer blade by moving it up and down to position the blade securely into the ground for stability. The bucket at the end of the arm is the controlled by use of the joystick to perform different operations such as digging or scooping. Safety should however be highly exercised whenever you operate an excavator to avoid any mishaps.

How to Configure Your Systems to Send Sage Email Directly From a Microsoft Exchange Server

How to configure an Exchange server to allow you to send emails directly out of Sage 50 Accounts.

CAUTION:

You need to know that what you are doing is going to allow your Exchange server to send emails that are not authenticated. If you work for an IT support company then you will no doubt understand this risk but if you are not a seasoned professional in IT support or server support then you should consider obtaining the support of someone who is. This is a large security risk if you don’t do this properly. If you open up your Exchange server to let anyone to do this then you are likely to become victim of spam abuse.

Part 1 – Configure the Exchange server

We are going to configure the Exchange server to allow anonymous outbound email messages but we’re going to do it for just a handful of IP addresses. This greatly reduces the risk of abuse.

The first step is to create a new custom receive connector in Microsoft Exchange Management Console. To do this, launch the Exchange Management Console and expand ‘Microsoft Exchange’> ‘Server Configuration’> ‘Hub Transport. Here, click the ‘New Receive Connector’ function which you will find a link for on the right hand side of the window. Enter a suitable label for this connector in the ‘Name’ field. You might like to call it ‘Sage Accounts’. Within the ‘Select the intended use…’ area, choose ‘Custom’.

Click ‘Next’ and then ‘Next’ again to get to the “Remote Network Settings” page.

On the Remote Network Settings page edit the IP address list to say only the addresses that you want to permit. e.g. If Sage 50 Accounts is configured on a terminal server then you should only have the terminal server’s IP address entered here. If Sage 50 Accounts is run locally on an accounts PC then you’ll need to make the IP address of this PC static and specify it in this list.

Finish the setup of this new connector and then edit to view the properties of it. Go into the ‘Permission Groups’ tab and ensure that only ‘Exchange Servers’ is ticked. Then, go into the ‘Authentication’ tab and make sure that only the top entry (Transport Layer Security) and the bottom entry (Externally Secured) are ticked. Click OK and then restart the ‘Microsoft Exchange Transport’ service from within Control Panel> Administrator Tools> Services.

Now you should find that you can configure Microsoft Outlook to use the Exchange server’s LAN IP address as the outbound mail server without having to specify any kind of authentication. You can try this using Outlook or Outlook Express on the specific workstation or Terminal Server (eg the PC or Terminal Server that has Sage 50 Accounts installed in it).

Part 2 – Configure the Sage PC/Server

We are now going to configure Sage to send emails using the new Exchange Server configuration we created in step 1.

In Sage Report Designer, click Tools> Options> Email Setup. Configure the ‘Default Provider’ to SMTP and click the SMTP line in the ‘Available Providers’ box. Select ‘Configure’ and type the LAN IP address of the Exchange server in the ‘Server Name’ box. Leave the port number set to port 25 and leave SSL deselected.

Enter the email address you wish the emails to be sent from (eg “accounts@yourdomain.com” ) and type the display name for the email header (eg Your Company Name – Accounts). It’s not important to put anything in particular in the login details settings so this can be set to anything. Click OK.

Next you need to make sure that each layout you want to send as an email is setup to utilize SMTP.

First, edit a document in Sage Report Designer. Click ‘View’ on the toolbar and click ‘Properties’ to show the properties toolbar on the right hand side of the screen. Below the ‘Email Options’ area, click the ‘(Email Options)’ box and a button labelled ‘…’ will be shown. Click this button to launch the Email Configuration Window.

Make sure that the top setting (‘Provider’) is set to SMTP and that the option at the bottom of the page is set to ‘Send emails automatically’. Click OK at the bottom of the page.

The configuration of your system is now complete – You should now be able to email from that layout in Sage 50 Accounts.

Looking for Outdoor Chairs

When the weather is nice, your thoughts gravitate to outdoor activities. When hosting an outside function of any sort, it’s important to make sure you have enough chairs for everyone. No matter what the activity is, adequate seating is of utmost importance.

For outdoor patio seating, swivel club chairs are perfect for visiting, relaxing or dining around an outdoor table. A club chair is a comfortable, usually padded, chair that lends itself to an extended stay since it is made for comfort. Another type of outdoor chair is a lounge chair. It’s perfect for lounging around the pool, at the beach or on the patio. A lounge can be made of plastic, resin, wood, or even leather. Lounges can be adjustable so that they’re able to be comfortable for everyone. Some lounge chairs can be folded small enough to carry to the beach but most quality lounge chairs have an aluminum or wooden frame that comes completely assembled and they’re not portable. Wicker furniture is pretty to put on an outdoor, covered porch. Natural wicker is not suitable for outdoors but wicker outdoor patio furniture is made specifically to be in all kinds of weather. Outdoor wicker is made from a type of resin that is very durable and can withstand all types of weather without a problem. It’s almost maintenance free as it resists UV rays, moisture, heat and even frost.

Most likely, for an outdoor event or function you will need cheap chairs that are either a folding or stacking type. If you’re having a ceremony of any kind, a large amount of folding seats can be set up in rows. The seats are usually able to be rented for the event. They’re either dropped off or picked up prior to the ceremony and then returned afterward. If weather is a consideration, the rental company usually will have a canopy that can be rented also to keep the event sheltered from sun or rain.

There are many types of seating available for outdoors. Choose carefully to make sure the furniture you pick will be durable and stand up to the harsh conditions that it will be subject to outside. If the seating is not rated for outdoors, it will deteriorate quickly. Always know what you’re purchasing before you buy it.

Build Your Own Tree House – Pros and Cons, Fasteners and Hardware

Tree houses are fun, bonding activities you can do with your friends or family, and can provide a unique and ideal hangout spot surrounded by Mother nature. One of the biggest differences in my opinion, between tree houses and other on-ground add-ons you can build on your property, is the fact that a house up in the trees sways – to varying degrees depending on the height and size of the tree and branches – and thus can add a unique and soothing feel.

There are several prerequisites that must be met before this particular project would be considered feasible for you. The first ones are also the most obvious:

  1. Do you have a suitable tree within your property on which you can construct your tree house? This question may be ambiguous to some, as what kind of tree exactly is considered suitable? Well, this depends largely on the size of the structure in question, as well as the expected load – number of people, furnishings, etc. The larger your tree house is, the larger your tree needs to be.
  2. How are you with heights? Now is not a good time to kid yourself or anyone else if you happen to be abnormally scared of heights! We’re all scared of heights to varying degrees, but if you lack the courage or ability to comfortably work at the needed height, this project may not be for you. Granted, it can be built relatively low to the ground as well and still be called a “tree house” – in which case, this may not apply.

Now that we have those out of the way, we can get into the other aspects of building. When compared with a structure on the ground, a tree house may somehow seem like a simpler project due to the fact that some of us have grown up “throwing” little makeshift tree houses up here and there. However, it’s important to remember that any halfway decent structure, whether on the ground or up in a tree, requires careful planning and implementation of standard safety code.

Here are some other questions you should ask yourself before commencing the planning stage:

  1. What will I use the tree house for? Depending on your answer, you may want a roof and walls, or you may find it unnecessary. In either case, a rail and/or walls at least a meter high is recommended for safety.
  2. How long do I want it to last? You may think that the answer to this question is obvious, but you should understand that the lifespan of your tree house depends largely on the materials you use and the quality and number of layers of your protective stain. Tree houses, by virtue of their definition, stand within and under the canopy of the tree in which they are built. Because of this, they are more susceptible to premature rot due to the prolonged shade and humid nature of their environment. The fallen leaves and branches scattered across the deck also serve as decay-accelerators unless they are regularly swept off.

Foundation and Floor-shape

One of the unique beauties of a tree house is the fact that you can simply build around the various branches leaving them exposed within your tree house, enhancing the “natural” atmosphere. As with an on-ground structure, you should start with building your base and floor. You may face complications with the shape of your floor due to the limitations of suitable branches to base off of.

Because of this, there’s a possibility you may have to settle for a non-square shape. This may be what you want, or this may be a problem for you. In any case, you should understand that there are some limitations placed upon you by the particular tree you’re working with. All branches used for a foundation should be able to single-handedly carry several hundred pounds, and more if you’re expecting higher traffic.

Tree Wood Density and Fastener Quality

Large tree houses that weigh more than the collective weight of their occupants should be designed carefully, as various factors such as the hardness of the tree and fastener quality and design come more into play. Wood will compress where the fasteners connect to the tree to varying degrees based on the hardness of the tree in question, causing a sinking of the tree house.

Professional-grade Tree house Fasteners – Are they Necessary?

There are various tree house fasteners available on the market today manufactured specially for their unique needs. However, the question invariably arises as to how necessary these customized bolts and brackets are in comparison to normal ones found in home centers due to their price. They often cost between one and several hundred dollars each!

The first thing to bear in mind when contemplating the pros and cons of these rather pricey pieces of hardware is that trees are living organisms, and are still growing, moving, and changing shape. Therefore, your tree house and the hardware on which it is mounted must accommodate this movement. Simply bolting the beams into the tree’s branches results in a fixed attachment that will force the tree to either pull the screw through the beam or try to grow around the beam.

The first of the two will result in a sudden and dangerous failure, while the second will result in an unhealthy and unnatural growth around the beam, potentially causing disease and decay to set in. Custom bolts and brackets are made with a certain allowance for tree growth, with a section of the bolt that is embedded deep in the tree’s heartwood and a large shank that allows axial movement coupled with a female part that is attached to the beam.

So to answer the question of whether these expensive custom parts are necessary, the short answer is yes, and no. Yes, if you lack the know-how to find parts that will accomplish the same purpose as the professional parts do, and no, if you do, and don’t require your tree house to last for fifty years. Home centers sell bolts and hardware with large diameters and lengths which can be used, but the entire shank cannot be threaded.

The half or so that is embedded into the tree must be threaded, but the remainder that acts as the cushion to compensate for tree-growth must be smooth. You also need a female piece that fits around the smooth shank that has a bracket which can be screwed into your beam. This female bracket then has the freedom to slide along the axis of the smooth bolt shank as the tree grows in girth. All parts should be stainless steel as well – others may corrode to failure.

Obviously, the big tree house building companies would disagree with the above opinion, and the ideal is to buy these parts. I’m just offering an alternative for those who don’t have a large budget but still want to construct a safe and environmentally-friendly tree house. There is also a chance you won’t be able to find hardware that meets the criteria, leaving you with no other choice.

The professional criterion when it comes to fastening your tree house to your tree seems to be “perch, don’t pin”. I agree whole-heartedly with this principle and any alternative I gave above shouldn’t contradict this. But not everyone looking to build a tree house is willing to spend tens of thousands of dollars, thus, your budget is a primary factor in determining the quality as well as what kind you would build.

In any case, it should be a safe and fun place to accommodate whatever activities you envision. Taking into consideration the damage inflicted on the tree as well as future complications that may arise such as those mentioned above when planning, is simply the responsible and considerate course of action.

The MAGPRO Marauder Report

Yes. The Marauder is the new kid on the Precharged Pneumatic [PCP] Airgun block that can’t be punked. After being in the Airgun world for 35 years and establishing a business in the shooting sports industry over the past 6 plus years, I’ve developed an appetite for product quality, fair value and manufacturer integrity.

I received my .22 Benjamin Marauder mid July 2009. There are as many posts out there as you would care to read from owners communicating a range of personal experiences. After reading a number of these posts you’ll realize that the reports are so closely consistent that they appear redundant.

The consistent reports about the Marauder certainly underpins the base-line performance that you can expect should you choose to become a Marauder owner. My report will confirm many of the performance qualities you may have read about and include original observations to add to the ongoing Marauder experience.

I agree with many of the favorable reports about the Marauder, such as:

o From the initial opening of the box to getting acquainted with the Marauder you feel like you

got more than you paid for. Not something we feel often these days.

o Finish is classy and exudes visible quality.

o Stealth like quiet report. Really!

o Full Power shots per fill can be 35 – 45 and even more depending on your personal tune setting.

o The ability to personally adjust the full range of tuning components of a PCP is a feature that the Marauder has and it appeals to an audience with a wide-range of experience levels.

o The choked barrel makes this rifle very accurate and probably a better shooter than many of its owners.

o The trigger is perceptibly friendly and match level adjustable to boot.

Here are some of my personal observations:

Rotary Magazine

During the new owner “getting acquainted” period, when you’re not very familiar with the Marauder’s handling techniques; a user error, not a product malfunction, may cause an accidental loading of more than one pellet into the breech. This can happen when not pulling the bolt back until it cocks. Then allowing the bolt to slide forward under spring pressure, which results in pushing a pellet partially or fully into the breech. The natural thing to do when you discover that the gun is not cocked is to try cocking it again. When you pull the bolt back the second time it frees the rotary magazine to index to the next pellet, which gets pushed behind the existing breeched pellet when you close the bolt again.

Solution 1 – Point the muzzle in a safe direction and use a suitable backstop. Now fire the rifle thereby clearing the multiple pellets in the breech. This should not be a problem if you have 800psi (never tried less pressure) or higher in your on-board reservoir.

Solution 2 – fully depressurize your rifle using the degassing tool method (see owner’s manual). Then follow the procedure for removing a jammed pellet. Remember, you’ll be removing more than one pellet at the same time, which will cause increased bore-to-pellet friction. Take your time and be careful not to use a rod that will damage the rifling.

New Marauder users may also find themselves expending effort to dislodge what seems to be a “stuck” magazine. Truly the magazine extracts flawlessly when used correctly and you won’t have this problem once you become more familiar with the operation of and relationship between the bolt and rotary magazine. A common culprit for a “stuck” rotary magazine is that the bolt pin may be partly in the magazine. Simply pull the bolt back to the rear most position and the magazine can be removed. (Always fire the rifle in a safe direction to clear any breeched pellet.)

Another culprit is a partially inserted pellet. Closing the bolt completely, thereby pushing the pellet fully into the breech, and then pulling and holding the bolt back to the rear most position will free the magazine for removal. (Always fire the rifle in a safe direction to clear any breeched pellet.) Most owners may never experience these problems, but if you do, know that it’s not the rotary magazine.

Protecting the Shroud

This caution applies to most PCPs and is meant to be helpful in avoiding unintentional user damage to the matte finish of the shroud. There is potential for surface damage to the shrouded barrel area above the fill probe. The quick disconnect fitting can scrape/scratch the bottom of the shrouded barrel when connecting and disconnecting to the fill probe. This can be solved by installing shrink wrap tubing or wrapping electrical or other durable tape around the quick disconnect fitting component parts (note: ensure that your shrink wrap tubing or tape does not interfere with the quick disconnect moving parts). If nothing else, at least place a barrier (e.g. cloth, gun sock, etc.) over the section of the barrel that may be bumped by the quick disconnect hardware. Over time, you’ll be glad to have practiced careful handling during pressurizing.

One of My Optimal Tune Settings

One hundred Marauders can be manufactured and among them will be some level of uniqueness in performance characteristics. So, using my settings may not produce the same results in your rifle. You must take the time to experiment with your rifle to achieve the performance that you desire. Here are the settings I use to achieve a satisfactory basic field distance (BFD): Hammer Tension 6, Hammer Stroke 4 and Velocity Adjustment 2.5. (The owner’s manual explains the adjustment parameters for the various tuning components). This setting produces an average 915 feet per second [FPS] with 14.3gn Crosman Premiers (CP’s) amounting to just over 26 foot-pounds of energy [FPE]….. I get over 30 full power shots with this setting. When using Dynamic 14.5gn PCP2’s with the same setting I get 940 FPS resulting in 28 FPE.

Trajectory Report and Long Range Shooting

The Marauder performs exceptionally during long-range field shooting conditions. The Marauder can’t be punked by many well established PCP’s carrying a price tag ranging 2 – 3 times as much.

Mount a quality mil dot scope and enjoy the process of charting long-range hold-under / hold-over data.

Once you’ve done this for your pellet(s) of choice the data will immediately become invaluable. You’ll shoot with absolute confidence at ranges out to 75 yards and beyond. My furthest distance shot string was during a 15mph left to right wind at 108 yards producing a 4″ group. It was no question that the gun was out shooting me. I’ll be shooting at this distance again under better conditions. In addition to shooting groups at 108yds, I also performed one of my low-tech penetration test using a soup can (soda cans are too thin). Every shot entered and exited the can, then embedded in the tree backstop. At 108yds the CP 14.3gn pellet is traveling at 421 FPS and retains 6 FPE. My currently chosen maximum effective field range is 70 yards. At 70 yards the 14.3gn CPs are traveling at 549 fps, delivering 9.5 fpe at the point of impact (POI) and my point of aim [POA] to POI is between right on to ¾ inch.

Crosman Customer Service

I have had the pleasure and, on some occasions, the displeasure of working with a number of customer service teams in the shooting sports industry. My contact with the Crosman Customer Service staff has been one of the most satisfying, respectful and responsive customer care experiences that I have had in any service industry. Crosman respectfully listened to my concerns, answered my questions and checked in with me to ensure that I was satisfied with their resolutions. I am still floored when I think about the time I received a check-in call from a Crosman representative who I knew was home sick for the day. Janet’s colleagues were very helpful during her absence. However, it was important for Janet to know that I was a satisfied customer, even though she was not in the office that day. Crosman treated me like a valued customer. Kudos to Crosman Corporation for excellence in customer care.

I’m presently placing the Marauder through additional testing (e.g. hunting, silhouette, different pellets, charting more tune settings and more…). Certainly, an important measure is the Marauder’s reliability over time. Unfortunately, my time machine is under-going a five-year maintenance service. Therefore, the Marauder has to be time tested the old fashion way.

The Benjamin Marauder lives up to its claims and is quickly establishing a respectful place in the quality PCP family of adult precision air rifles.

If you have found the MAGPRO Marauder Report helpful and would like me to test and review your Airgun industry products, I welcome the opportunity to work with your business.

How to Choose a Transformer

When choosing a transformer, there are two primary concerns: the load and the application. Several factors must be evaluated carefully while making the choice, to ensure that the needs of both primary concerns are met.

To use a cliché, it is typically a ‘no-brainer’ to choose smaller transformers. A unit with a kVA rating that is larger from the anticipated load can quickly be picked up. But if you are selecting a large unit for an electrical utility system, to be part of a large distribution network, you are typically making a much larger investment; thus the evaluation process is much more detailed and elaborate. With over 90 years of experience in this industry, Pacific Crest Transformers has put together a quick checklist to help you make your choice judiciously.

There are three major questions that influence your choice:

  • Does the chosen unit have enough capacity to handle the expected load, as well as a certain amount of overload?
  • Can the capacity of the unit be augmented to keep up with possible increase in load?
  • What is the life expectancy of the unit? What are the initial, installation, operational, and maintenance costs?

Evaluation Factors

The cost and capacity of the transformer typically relate to a set of evaluation factors:

1.    Application of the Unit

Transformer requirements clearly change based on the application.

For example: in the steel industry, a large amount of uninterrupted power is required for the functioning of metallurgical and other processes. Thus, load losses should be minimized – which means a particular type of transformer construction that minimizes copper losses is better suited. In wind energy applications, output power varies a great extent at different instances; transformers used here should be able to withstand surges without failure. In smelting, power transformers that can supply constant, correct energy are vital; in the automotive industry, good short-term overload capacity is a necessary attribute. Textile industries, using motors of various voltage specifications, will need intermittent or tap-changing transformers; the horticulture industry requires high-performance units that suit variable loading applications with accurate voltage.

These examples serve to underline that type of load (amplitude, duration, and the extent of non-linear and linear loads) and placement are key considerations. If standard parameters do not serve your specific application, then working with a manufacturer that can customize the operating characteristics, size and other attributes to your needs will be necessary. Pacific Crest regularly builds custom transformers for unique applications.

2.    Insulation Type (Liquid-Filled or Dry Type)

While there is still debate on the relative advantages of the available types of transformers, there are some performance characteristics that have been accepted:

o    Liquid-filled transformers are more efficient, have greater overload capability and longer life expectancy.

o    Liquid-filled units are better at reducing hot-spot coil temperatures, but have higher risk of flammability than dry types.

o    Unlike dry type units, liquid-filled transformers sometimes require containment troughs to guard against fluid leaks.

Dry type units are usually used for lower ratings (the changeover point being 500kVA to 2.5MVA). Placement is also a crucial consideration here; will the unit be indoors serving an office building/apartment, or outdoors serving an industrial load? Higher-capacity transformers, used outdoors, are almost always liquid-filled; lower capacity, indoor units are typically dry types. Dry types typically come in enclosures with louvers, or sealed; varnish, vacuum pressure impregnated (VPI) varnish, epoxy resin or cast resin are the different types of insulation used.

Liquid-filled types: choice of filler material

The choice of filler material is usually based on factors that include temperature rating of the transformer, mechanical strength of the coils, dielectric strength of the insulation, expansion rate of the conductors under various loads, and resistance to thermal shock of the insulation system.

Liquid-filled types: temperature considerations

Using fluid both as an insulating and a cooling medium, liquid-filled transformers have rectangular or cylindrical forms when constructing the windings. Spacers are utilized between the layers of windings to allow the fluid to flow and cool the windings and core.

Within the sealed tank that holds both core and coils, the fluid flows through ducts and around coil ends, with the main heat exchange taking place in external elliptical tubes. For transformers rated over 5 MVA, radiators (headers on the top and bottom) are used for additional heat transfer. Modern paper insulation in liquid-filled units allows a 65ºC average winding temperature rise.

Dry type: temperature considerations

Dry type insulation provides dielectric strength and ability to withstand thermal limits. Temperature rise ratings are typically 150 ºC, 115 ºC, and 80 ºC, based on the class of insulation used (see box).

3.    Choice of Winding Material

Transformers use copper or aluminum for windings, with aluminum-wound units typically being more cost-effective. Copper-wound transformers, however, are smaller – copper is a better conductor – and copper contributes to greater mechanical strength of the coil. It is important to work with a manufacturer that has the capability and experience to work with either material to suit your specific requirement.

4.    Use of Low-Loss Core Material

Core choice is a crucial consideration, and core losses should be determined properly. Losses that occur in the core are due to hysteresis and eddy currents. High quality magnetic steel should be used so that hysteresis losses are reduced; laminated cores are chosen to minimize eddy current losses.

5.    Protection from Harsh Conditions

It is very important that transformer core, coils, leads and accessories are properly protected, especially when used in harsh environments. Liquid-filled transformers should be of sealed-type construction, automatically providing protection for the internal components. For highly corrosive conditions, stainless steel tanks can be employed. Some approaches to building dry-type transformers for harsh environments include cast coil units, cast resin units, and vacuum pressure encapsulated (VPE) units, sometimes using a silicone varnish. Unless the dry-type units are completely sealed, the core/coil and lead assemblies should be periodically cleaned, even in non-harsh environments, to prevent dust and other contaminant buildup over time.

6.    Insulators

Dry-type transformers normally use insulators made from fiberglass-reinforced polyester molding compounds. These insulators are available up to a rating of 15kV and are intended to be used indoors or within a moisture-proof enclosure. Liquid-filled transformers employ insulators made of porcelain. These are available in voltage ratings exceeding 500kV. Porcelain insulators are track resistant, suitable for outdoor use, and easy to clean.

High-voltage porcelain insulators contain oil impregnated paper insulation, which acts as capacitive voltage dividers to provide uniform voltage gradients. Power factor tests must be performed at specific intervals to verify the condition of these insulators.

7.    Regulation

The difference between the secondary’s no-load voltage and full-load voltage is a measure of the transformer’s regulation. Poor regulation means that as the load increases, the voltage at the secondary terminals drops substantially.

8.    Voltage Taps

Even with good regulation, the secondary voltage of a transformer can change if the incoming voltage changes. Transformers, when connected to a utility system, are dependent upon utility voltage; when utility operations change or new loads are connected to their lines, the incoming voltage to your facility may decrease, or even perhaps increase.

To compensate for such voltage changes, transformers are often built with load tap changers (LTCs), or sometimes, no-load tap changers (NLTCs). (LTCs operate with the load connected, whereas NLTCs must have the load disconnected.) These devices consist of taps or leads connected to either the primary or secondary coils at different locations to supply a constant voltage from the secondary coils to the load under varying conditions.

9.    Life Expectancy

It is commonly held that the useful life of a transformer is the useful life of the insulation system. Insulation life is directly proportional to the temperatures being experienced by the insulation across operation. Winding temperatures vary, and hot spots at a maximum of 30ËsC above average coil winding temperature are usually acceptable for dry-type transformers. Hot spot temperatures are estimated by calculating the sum of the maximum ambient temperature, the average winding temperature rise, and the winding gradient.

Transformers typically have a ‘nameplate’ kVA rating, and this represents the amount of kVA loading that will result in the rated temperature rise under standard operating conditions. When used in these ‘standard operating conditions’, including the accepted hot-spot temperature with the correct insulation class, a ‘normal’ transformer life expectancy can be estimated.

10.    Overloading

Operating conditions can sometimes necessitate overloading of a transformer; and what this overloading means to the unit, in terms of what it can withstand without developing problems or faults is an important consideration. A primary issue is heat and its dissipation.

For example, if a transformer is overloaded to a factor of 20% above its rated kVA for a certain period of time, any heat developed in the coils may be easily transferred to the outside of the transformer tank depending on the period of overload. If this heat transfer occurs, then the chances of a fault occurring are small; but there is clearly a time period beyond which the transformer cannot continue to be in the overloaded condition; heat can start to build up internally within the unit and cause serious problems, leading eventually to a fault and a possible power outage. Heat dissipation issues are often addressed with built-in fans, thus augmenting the load capability of the transformer as well.

11.    Insulation Level

The insulation level of a transformer is based on its basic impulse level (BIL). The BIL can vary for a given system voltage, depending upon the amount of exposure to system over voltages a transformer might be expected to encounter over its lifecycle. If the electrical system in question includes solid-state controls, the selection of BIL should be done very carefully. These controls when operating chop the current, and may cause voltage transients.

12.    Shielding

A transformer’s ability to attenuate electrical noise and transients is an important consideration, especially when dealing with particular types of load. The application of a shield between the primary and secondary coils of a distribution transformer is often accomplished when solid state equipment such as computers and peripherals are being served.

13.    Placing Transformers Near the Load

Minimizing the distance between the unit and the principal load is clearly beneficial in several ways – apart from reducing energy loss and voltage drops, it also brings down the cost of secondary cabling. The downside here is that any placement of high-voltage equipment requires very close scrutiny of electrical and fire safety issues. A suitable balance can be achieved by using units that are pre-approved or permitted by insurance companies.

14.    Accessories

An added cost, accessories are installed when required. Examples include stainless steel tanks and cabinets for extra corrosion protection, special paint/finishes for corrosive atmospheres and ultraviolet light, weather shields for outdoor units, protective provisions for humid environments; rodent guards, temperature monitors, space heaters to prevent condensation during prolonged shutdown, optional location of openings for primary and secondary leads, tap changing control apparatus, and more.

Concrete Permeability and Factors Affecting It

Permeability in concrete has direct relationship with the durability of the concrete. The lesser the permeability, the more durable the concrete will be. Permeability will make the concrete vulnerable to external media attack. These media include water, chemicals, sulfates, and etc. These external media, once capable of penetrating into concrete it will deteriorate the life span of that particular concrete structure. For example, water can cause corrosion to steel reinforcement bar in concrete. The permeability also reduces the resistance of concrete towards freeze-thaw action. Therefore, permeability is a very important characteristic of that need to be achieved in any application.

The permeability occurs in hardened concrete in two scenarios; firstly from the trapped air pockets from incomplete compaction, and secondly from the empty space due to loss of mixing water by evaporation. In both situations the air space is not good for concrete durability. It is therefore very important to make that any concrete placed in the formworks gets proper and adequate compaction. Some contractors might add water to the properly design concrete mix in order to make it more workable at site. This practice shall not be allowed at all for any reason. With so much development in concrete technology, now it is possible to do concreting without the need to compact it (or at least with minimum compaction). This type of concrete is known as self compacting concrete, which as it name sounds is capable of compacting on its own. It creates a very highly compacted and dense concrete; thus resulting in low permeability.

Since loss of mixing water is one of the reasons for higher permeability, simply adding water to concrete will create more air space after evaporation. Therefore, for any concrete to be watertight, the water-cement ratio shall be as low as possible. According to American Concrete Institute, for concrete exposed to fresh water the maximum water-cement shall not exceed 0.48, while this value shall be less than 0.44 if the concrete will be exposed to seawater.

Besides improper compaction and loss of mixing water, there are few other factors that affect the permeability in concrete. As the age of the concrete increases, the permeability will reduce. This is because concrete is material that will continue to hydrate over a long period of time as long as there is a presence of un-hydrated lime. So with the presence of water, the hydration products will fill the empty spaces in the matrix. Another factor that improves the permeability is the fineness of cement. Finer cement particles will hydrate much faster; thus creating the impermeable concrete faster.

Aircraft Structures Design

Airframe structures can be made light, yet strong and stiff, and the aircraft skin contributes to the overall strength of the structure.

All airframes, whatever the aircraft, are designed using the same principles. The smooth exterior provides a streamlined shape, with extra supporting structure underneath to provide the strength and stiffness needed to operate effectively. In many modern aircraft, the covering and part of the framework are made from a single piece of material. The outer skin, then, hides a complex piece of structure that must be strong, stiff and reliable.

Struts, ties, beams and webs.

The structure of most airframe components is made up of four main types of structural member. Ties are members subject purely to tension (pulling). Because tension will not cause the tie to buckle, it does not need to be rigid, although it often is. Ties can be made from rigid items, such as tubes, or simply from wire, like the bracing wires on a biplane.

Struts carry compression loads. Because compressive loads can cause the member to buckle, the design of a strut is less simple than a tie. If overloaded, struts will fail in one of two ways: a long, thin strut will buckle; a short, thick strut will collapse by cracking or crushing, as the material from which it is made is overstressed. A medium strut may do either, or even both, depending on its dimensions and on other factors. Tubes make excellent struts, because the material is evenly loaded, so that the strength-to-weight ratio is high in compression.

Beams carry loads at an angle (often at right angles) to their length, and so are loaded primarily in bending. Many of the major parts of an airframe are beams, such as the main spars. The fuselage and wings themselves are structural members, and are beams, because they support the bending loads imposed by weight, inertia and aerodynamic loads. Webs are thin sheets carrying shear loads in the plane of the material. Ribs and the skin itself are shear webs. Thin sheets are ideal for carrying shear, especially if they are supported so that they resist buckling.

You may get the impression that each part of an airframe is either a tie or a strut or a beam or a web, but this is not so. Some items, such as wing spars, act almost entirely as one type of member, but others act as different members for different loads. For instance, the fuselage skin may be subjected to tensile and shear loads simultaneously. Pure bending loads almost never exist alone; they are almost always related to a shear load. So a beam will normally carry both bending and shear loads.

The aim of aircraft structural design

By carefully mixing these members, and making sure that each part of each member is taking its share of the loads, aircraft structural design will achieve the greatest strength with minimum weight, and so get the best operating efficiency and maximum safety. It is the designer’s aim to ensure that each part of each structure carries a reasonable stress, so that the capability of every part of the structure is used effectively. Only by doing this can the weight of an airframe be made as low as possible, while still providing adequate strength.

There are many uses of struts in an airframe, including the supports for the floor in transport aircraft, undercarriage legs, actuation jacks of all kinds and pushrods for operating flying controls. Struts also frequently act as ties, when the load they take is reversed; again, actuation jacks are typical examples of this.

French Manicure – Tips, Description, and History

French Manicure Description

Fashion gurus possess conflicting points of view on the stylish French manicure. Some experts deem that it is old fashioned while still others favor the outlook that it is elegant and timeless and will never be outmoded. Nonetheless, whatever the experts believe, still a lot of women opt for the French manicure due to its natural appearance and sophistication. It also provides the nails well-groomed and neat look that is not ostentatious and finicky.

French Manicure is a manicure style that’s graceful. It showcases white nail tips highlighted by a base having natural look. It is a fashion technique of polishing the finger or toe nails in which off white or ivory nail polish is put on to the tips of the nails while sheer polish, soft beige or pastel pink coat is applied to the rest of the nails. This style is ideal for moderate or short-length nails. French manicure was made well known by famous stars and fashion authorities in the last century and yet it’s still a remarkable part of vogue trends this present day.

French Manicure History

Let’s learn the staging on the progress of the French manicure approaches, together with a few of the variants existing in our day. The introduction of the first French manicure is quite uncertain. However undoubtedly, the French manicure technique became prevalent in several French nail salons. In the early periods of the 20th century, the chic style drew the interests of US fashion designers. This led to the massive application of the French manicure amongst the famous female celebrities of the 1920s. Then, ladies in the United States imitated the procedure. The craze went on until 1930s as countless ladies have the French manicure as part of their beauty treatments at salons. However with the Depression that controlled a large part of the US, practical women started to study the procedures to craft the manicure’s appearance at home.

French Manicure Procedures

Before you start giving your nails a French manicure, make sure you have followed the general rule for putting on nail polish.

o Prepare your nails by immersing them in lukewarm water in order to make softer the cuticles.

o Get rid of old nail polish using acetone remover. Lightly push cuticles back with an orangewood stick and cuticle remover. Clean and trim your nails.

o Spread over hand cream to your nails and wipe them in. Let it there for three to four minutes. Wipe down nails using a tissue to eliminate surplus.

o Apply an even and thin clear base coat. Place a tip guide unto your nails. This will wrap your nail’s lower portion. Then follow the curvature of your nail tip’s white color.

o Put on white or neutral polish to the uncovered tips of the nails and dry. The portion that will be painted white must be kept thin. Going too broadly on the white paints will make your fingernails appear stocky.

o When the tip’s white polish is already dry, carefully take away the nail tip guides.

o Paint the whole length of the nails twice using a beige polish.

o Lastly, set a layer of top coat. The top coat’s main job is to shield the layers underneath it.

o Clean few slip-ups (if any) with the use of an orangewood stick enveloped in cotton dampened with acetone or remover.

o Let your fingernails dry totally. It normally takes 25 minutes before your finger nails can perform small things. Although it takes an hour before you can actually use your hands for bigger tasks.

In order to have an enduring French manicure as well as maintain neat looking nails, make sure to put an added coating of top coat on the nails each night. Moreover, beauty stores and pharmacies make available nail polish kits particularly built for the French manicure. These assembled kits will be highly handy for you. And, you can visit a nail spa or salon to get your nails polished if you are anxious of manicuring yourself. In general, French manicure costs higher over a regular polish due to the level of precision required to come up with a nice set of French manicure.

UBC’s School of Architecture-Landscape Architecture Environmental Design Program: Review From Within

Each year, hundreds of students from around the world apply to UBC’s Environmental Design Program, but only 25 are chosen each year. Acceptance is based on academics, diversity of courses taken, strength and bread of portfolio work, quality of written portions of the application, outstanding reference letters and the level of uniqueness that a student may offer to the rest of the accepted team. I was fortunate enough to have been selected to be a part of the ENDS 2013 class and having just completed my first year in the program, I have experienced so much growth, both creatively and personally. I would like to offer this article as a guide to those who are interested in applying to the ENDS program at UBC. As the program is relatively new, the available literature regarding the application process and the program itself is limited. My goal is that I may help to offer an inside look into the program so that potential applicants can get a better sense of whether or not the program is right for them, and to offer helpful information regarding the difficult application process and the dreaded portfolio. For more information about the portfolio portion of the application scroll down.

I would like to start by giving the overall program a rating of 5 out of 5 stars. Students receive top-notch design education from practicing architects who are thus able to offer quality and fresh-from-the-field knowledge. All of the instructors are patient, extremely knowledgable in many creative fields, more than willing to meet outside of class time for extra help, and prepared to challenge each student at a level that is appropriate for their individual skills.

**A note: ENDS does not accept previous degree holders. If you have a degree, unfortunately, you may not transfer in. However if you are interested in an architectural degree, you may want to consider a graduate degree in architecture. UBC has a widely respected school of architecture and if you are creative-minded and if you can show that you are adaptable and prepared to work hard, they have been known to accept applicants coming from nearly every known undergraduate degree.

One thing that the ENDS program boasts of is the diversity of its students. This year in my class we had students from across the globe, each contributing a unique set of skills and point of view to the repertoire of the entire class. Another way in which ENDS ensures that student diversity is maintained by limiting the required prerequisites to 2 courses of university English, 1 course in Physics (or a high school physics grade of 72% or higher), and 2 courses in geography. Then ENDS program is a third-year transfer program, and so apart from the few pre-reqs listed above, the remaining 15 courses that make up years one and two of the applicants university education are entirely up to them. ENDS hopefuls are not only free, but encouraged to take courses that are of interest to them.

**Here I enter a Caution: from day 1 of my university education, I chose to put all my eggs into the ENDS basket. They want diversity and so that I exactly what I did. I took only courses that I was very interested in; calculus, physics, French, painting, sculpture, sustainability… Fortunately for me, I was accepted into the program and it all worked out. However, I had no direction in the courses I was taking, only a little bit of everything and no back-up plan. And so had I not been accepted, I would have had to nearly start over for a degree. ENDS wants diversity and they want you to take courses that you WANT to take, but take that with a grain of salt and diversify at your own risk. Have a back-up possible degree is possible.

At first I was a little sceptical of the minimal pre-requisistes; concerned about how such a group of students coming from such varied backgrounds could come together to learn the same materials. But the diversity and breadth of our collective knowledge has only strengthened the depth of our work, pushed our critical thinking and forced us to challenge each other creatively. Our class collaboration of knowledge and skills has been a beautiful thing. The ENDS instructors have shown us how to learn from each other in order to expand our knowledge base to one from which we have access to 25 minds-worth of information to draw upon, instead of relying on our individual and thus limited knowledge base.

A few weeks in to the school year showed that we were in for a rough ride for the next 7 months. We experienced many sleepless nights, developed serious dependency to coffee and carbs, and the limits of any of our previous experiences of group work were seriously pushed. The closest tangible thing that I can equate the experience to for those who have not been to design school is A&E’s television series Project Runway. There were tears, there was throwing up, desperate calls to loved ones, panic attacks and meltdowns. But in the end, strong relationships were born among the class and good design was produced. The work of each member of our team added to the calibre of the work of the class as a whole. It sounds like a scary ride, but I know that each of us are beyond excited to start it all again for year two. Bring it on!

If you are adaptable, creative, a critical thinker and a team player who is ready to have all of their limits pushed, creatively and personally, then ENDS is the place for you. If you are looking for an easy grade and thrive on competition put yourself ahead of your team instead of collaborating with them, then move along, ENDS will just eat you up and spit you out.

The first year of ENDS is a heavy course load. A regular full-course load is 5 classes, but ENDS requires a the equivalent the work of a sixth being added. However, only four courses are taken at a time because the main studio class which is required for each semester in ENDS has the equivalent in-class time of 3 courses combines. Course include subjects covering architectural history, technology and technique, digital media and representation and thematic analysis. With this combination of studied materials, we have developed not only skills in the fundamentals of architecture, but design in general, graphic design, digital representation of ideas, interior design, and cross-media collaboration.

Students have access to computer labs, wood shop, three laser cutters, a CNC machine and a 3D printer. Macintosh computers are the preferred operating system of approximately 85-90% of the class. The main programs that we use are Vectorworks, Adobe Creative Suite and Rhinoceros.

Vectorworks is a predominantly 2D drafting program that is user-friendly and easy to learn. They also offer a free student version to those who submit proof of enrolment to a post-secondary institution. For this, simply acquire a ‘proof of enrolment’ letter from your school, safe it as a PDF and attach it to your Vectorworks application. Adobe Creative Suite is an expensive package, but well worth the money. It is a quality program that includes almost every program you will need for design school. There is no need to spend the big bucks on the Master or Professional collections. The standard, education version will be more than enough. Make sure to get the discounted educational price as well. Rhinoceros is a 3D modelling program. There is a beta version for mac that is currently available for free. Rhino is a useful tool for creating convincing perspectival renderings and for creating ‘exploded’ drawings of a project. Before coming to class, it would be very useful to be familiar with these programs, and in particular Vectorworks, InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop.