Mercedes 126 Repair – Forgotten Fluids, Part II

In Mercedes 126 Repair: Forgotten Fluids, Part I we looked at the rear differential. Now let’s turn our attention to another fluid that most owners never bother to change — power steering fluid.


Most Mercedes 126 owners will never take apart their recirculating-ball steering gear box. But those that do gain a new-found appreciation for the importance of clean fluid in the power-steering system. In addition to the main worm gear assembly and the interface between the ball nut and the sector gear that actually turns the Pitman arm, there are several sets of needle bearings. All these moving parts are lubricated by steady flows of power steering fluid. The more heavily contaminated that fluid is, the more rapidly these parts will wear. And a worn steering box translates into sloppy steering, potential safety hazards, and an expensive repair or replacement. (The power steering pump, by contrast, is much, much easier to replace, and good used units can be sourced for as little as $50.)

There has been some debate about the propriety of using automatic transmission fluid (ATF) in this system. While ATF was specified in the owners manual, ATF is not what it used to be and has become somewhat hostile to the many seals within the steering system. Ideally, ATF should be eschewed in favor of plain old power steering fluid. While synthetic fluids are available, conventional fluids are perfectly fine.

To change the fluid, support the front of the car on jack stands so that both front wheels are off the ground. Undo the hose clamp securing the return hose to the return “snorkel” screwed into the pump, and direct the hose into a suitable container for catching the old fluid. Either plug the snorkel or loosen it with a 19mm wrench and turn it so that it points upwards, allowing you to fill the reservoir without losing fluid from the return fitting. The standard procedure here is to start the engine and add fluid while the pump quickly forces the old fluid out. But this procedure has some major disadvantages. It is most emphatically not a one-man operation. The flow rate is so fast that there is a great risk of the pump running dry and sucking air unless a steady supply of new fluid is poured in. If things get out of hand, you need a helper to shut the engine off right away. If you don’t have a helper and don’t want to risk damaging the pump or pulling air into the system, you need a better way.

Fortunately, it is perfectly possible to pump out the old fluid in a highly controlled fashion simply by turning the steering wheel from stop to stop. Keep the fluid level in the reservoir above the filter to prevent the ingress of air, and continue until you are satisfied that the fluid leaving the system through the return hose is clean. You need 2-3 quarts to fully replenish the fluid, though if you’re trying to remove all traces of (red) ATF you may find it takes a little more to end up with a completely clean reservoir. When you’re happy, reconnect the return hose and thoroughly bleed the system by turning the steering wheel back and forth with the engine running.

This is, of course, the perfect opportunity to change the filter in the pump and inspect the rubber return hoses, replacing if necessary. The fact that Mercedes gave us a filter in the power steering pump tells us something about the importance of clean fluid. How many other car manufacturers do this?

Attention Rental Property Owners: Save Time and Money by Repainting Rentals Yourself

As an owner of rental property, you’re no doubt aware that getting the unit ready to lease can become rather expensive when dealing with any number of contractors, such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC, painters, etc. Most, if not all, property owners have certainly had their share of expensive work done to get their units ready. The quality of work itself, can range from good, all the way to the not so good. And most times, you’re left waiting for their schedule to open up . But, you can bet all of it was paid for with cash out of your pocket.

One way to help keep some cash tucked firmly in your wallet, is simply, to do-it-yourself. That’s right. Roll up your sleeves, get in there and do the work yourself. Your reward? You not only save time and money, you also gain some measure of satisfaction knowing you’ve done a job well done.

Now, I’m not talking about the mechanicals, such as electric, plumbing, and HVAC. That work is certainly for skilled tradesman, and well worth the price.

There is one thing, however, that many people can do, and that is paint. I don’t mean really intricate, detail-type work, but simply painting walls, ceilings, and a little trimwork. If you’ve got the time to do this, I think you’ll like the results.

Let’s say, for example, you have a normal 1-2 bedroom apartment to turn. You could spend a little, or a lot of time painting. It all depends on how much the unit needs painting, and how fast you can paint. Ask yourself this: Is the unit in reasonably good shape with little more than just a touch-up here and there? Or does it require a total repaint from floor to ceiling. Your answer will probably fall someplace in the middle.

In my experience, ceilings tend to stay somewhat clean, and only require only minor touch-up. If a repaint is in order, paint the ceiling the same color as the walls. Your goal is to save time and money, so do the things that will let you move fast, with minimal repainting for future turns.

Walls, however, are a different matter. These surfaces are where the traffic tends to happen. Kids, pets, you name it, this is where the abuse can really be sustained when dealing with rentals. More often than not, entire wall space in any given apartment require total repainting from floor to ceiling. Touch-up problem areas only if original paint is on hand. If not, repaint entire wall surface to avoid looking “spotty”.

If the woodwork has a solid base coating, touch-up can be easily accomplished. If not, clean, and repaint woodwork in it’s entirety. This will assure easier touch-up for future turns.

By painting your rental property yourself, you’re going to put a little more TLC into your work. As the owner, this will reflect positively on how you are perceived by the tenant (and others) with the condition of the property you present to the public. This, in turn, will reflect very well on your professional attitude toward your property, tenants, and the real estate industry as a whole.

For more painting tips and advice with the rental property owner in mind, please visit:

How to Make an Effective Sales Pitch

For a business to flourish, it needs to have an effective business marketing plan. A business marketing plan is any kind of strategy that gets the attention of your prospect clients. Some business managers consider making print ads, TV commercial or On-air infomercials just so they can be heard. Although these are different strategies that exist on different forms of media, what most managers do not know is that they work in the same principle. They are actually pitching their sales.

Now what is a sales pitch? A sales pitch is a script that informs clients on what the product is all about. Basically, it tells them the many things that they can expect from a particular product or service. Since most of these marketing media are limiting, it also follows that your sales pitch should be brief and concise. The question then is how do you incorporate all information in a short sales pitch without omitting anything? Here are the tips on how to create an effective sales pitch.

The first thing to consider before you create a pitch is that you need to make sure that you have a meaningful company statement that will make an impact to your clients. Make your statement easily comprehensible which is something that most clients can relate to. By doing so, you can gain their confidence since they will have the feeling that they can always trust your company.

You also need to be transparent since a lot of consumers are very wise already. You need to create sales pitch with integrity. It is also important that your pitch duplicates exactly what your company stands for. If your pitch deviates from what your company does, then this will make your clients think that you are not worth their attention at all.

On the other hand, try to highlight only the major benefits that your clients can get out of your company. You need to make sure that you place your customer in all angles of your pitch so that they will get the impression that you truly give them importance. You also need to discuss more about the customers and less about the product. This might sound hard at first but you will be able to get the hang of it.

There are a lot of things that you can do to improve your sales pitch. However, you just need to remember that by putting your clients first before profit-making, you will be able to create a very effective sales pitch.

Look Younger, Fresher and More Relaxed With a Small Amount of Botox Brow Lift

Botox is a treatment which eases the lines and wrinkles on the face that appear through repetitive facial movements, etching them into the face. The frozen looking face, that a lot of people worry about getting with botox injections, will only happen when too much product gets injected. At cosmetic clinics, qualified practitioners who are fully experienced in performing injectable treatments, will place careful and technically exact injections into the treatment area, resulting in a fresh, healthy and natural appearance, and not a startled and expressionless look.

As you get older your brow may drop or sag, but botox treatments will allow you to lift the brow, giving your face a younger look and making you look less tired. A chemical brow lift is a botox injection treatment that can raise the skin tissues around the eyes and eyebrows, to raise the natural eyebrow arch. This treatment can also make the eyes look wider, resulting in a more youthful look. It’s recommended that brow lifts are more suited to those with mild to moderate brow heaviness, due to low-hanging eyebrows or naturally drooping eyelids.

The botox brow lift, or chemical lift, is a popular procedure for those who don’t want to undergo invasive surgery. The brow lift is ideal for all skin types, and those who have naturally drooping eyelids and low-hanging eyebrows may find it particularly effective. Injecting botox into the brow will literally lift the skin tissues above and around the eyebrows, resulting in the natural eyebrow arch raising a few millimetres higher.

Botox is a non-surgical treatment, used to improve the look of your face, it has many benefits:

  • Botox is a safe, effective, tried and tested product
  • When compared to other treatments, botox is a relatively affordable cosmetic procedure
  • Botox needs no downtime
  • When combined with fillers, it can give your whole face a more youthful, balanced look
  • You might be less prone to future wrinkles because your muscles can actually start gravitating toward a more relaxed state after receiving botox injections
  • Botox isn’t just for facial treatments, it can also help to treat chronic migraines, excessive underarm sweating and other conditions.
  • It’s designed to yield attractive, natural and understated results. Your face will still look like your face, only better.

Botox used in tandem with other injectable treatments can fully rejuvenate the face, reducing the wrinkles, plumping up the lips and replacing volume in the cheeks, which will all work together to soften the effects of ageing.

Tips for Choosing Sustainable Roofing Materials

The most popular roofing materials for domestic buildings are clay, ceramic or concrete tiles, natural or man-made slate, asphalt shingles, aluminum, coated steel, timber, reeds and long straw. The latter two are used in thatched roofs.

Sustainable roofing materials should be able to insulate your home well and prevent heat loss; protect your home from the elements, particularly water while minimizing environmental impact at the same time.

Sustainability is determined by a number of environmental factors such as the amount of energy that goes into the production of the material, the availability of the resources to produce them, the pollution caused during manufacture and supply as well as the durability and recyclability of the roofing material.

Below are a few tips that will help you choose the right materials for you:

1. Carbon footprint

Consider the amount of energy required for production and the toxicity in emissions during production. Natural materials such as natural slate, timber and reeds have a lower carbon footprint than man-made materials. Their extraction requires low amounts of energy and does not cause any pollution apart from extraction and transport.

2. Recyclability

Check that the material can be recycled at the end of your roof's lifetime. Apart from asphalt shingles all other materials cited above can be recycled well although coated steel poses more of a problem because of its PVC coating.

3. Recycled content

Find out if the roofing material contains any recycled material. Obviously, the higher the percentage the better as this lessens the environmental impact. Also consider buying second hand roof tiles.

4. Metal coatings

Avoid materials with metal coatings like copper and zinc. Coatings can wash into nearby water sources over time and the metals are poisonous for aquatic life.

5. Durability

The longer a material lasts the better as you will not have to replace your roof so often. Clay, concrete, slate and aluminum can all last for 100 years. Asphalt will be struggling to reach 30 and timber and thatched roofs can last for about 50 years.

6. Renewable resources

Consider renewable resources. Timber is renewable and so are materials like reeds and long straw.

Your choice of roofing material will depend on many factors not least your budget, however, it is worth considering sustainability as one of them.

Lanyards and Its Materials Can Help You Make a Fashionable Workplace

The Lanyards trace back to late 19th century when these were used to secure the jack-knives during wars. Soon it changed places of wearing to find its way to make a fashion statement. Nowadays these have taken the shape of a simple cord with a bit more decoration, smartened up with colours and designs. With its modern look it can be highly customisable.

Lanyard comes in a variety of fabrics that ranges from cotton to polyester and nylon to wool. One can choose the material according to the needs and the customizations to be done on the strap. Talking about the colours one can choose from the variety of colours available to make a statement of individuality. When you are at a formal atmosphere, better go for black prints with white letters to have an elegance look. If you have a little casual workplace, go for some other colours and if it is adventurous, then you can go for bright colours like violet and fluorescent green. These can be natural attention grabbers.

One can easily customise the writing on the lanyard but it surely depends upon the material of it. A woven type can only support letters on it whereas polyester or nylon type can be printed with clear details of logos, pictures and text. Nylon is of the highest quality that can give the finest finish for a lanyard. There are also some camouflage patterns that work the best in desert or green background.

The next part of customisation includes the hook to be attached. There are a variety of available clasps out of which the key-ring and the bulldog clip are the most famous ones. In the customisation, one can even choose a breakaway option. This includes a special buckle to be released when the lanyard is pulled in some awkward conditions. This also eases to pull off any attachment portion when we require them like a key.

The storage for these fine items is never a problem. Thousands of them can be packed to a single drawer. They are not fragile and don’t even require conditioning for temperature or climate variation. Talking about the price, come with anything and you will surely find some Lanyards matching your budget. Buying in bulk would decrease the cost dramatically.

The lanyard has been designed to secure small items like cell-phones, ID badges, keys, etc. this has become a common item for company professionals who use it with a custom printed name of the company or event. This makes it an ideal promoting device for business firms. It makes a very inexpensive form of advertisement and is very functional as well as profitable. It doesn’t make a difference for occupation, gender or lifestyle. Anyone can use a lanyard and can find them for any customisation or any budget.

Happiness Or Housework – Get Organized For Both!

If you are like most women with a family, you are still at work on your “free” time. Time off is not for rest or play, but for trudging up that steep hill of never-ending chores. Housework organization is necessary, but remember as Gretchen Rubin of The Happiness Project says, “The days are long but the years are short!”

How do we master the tricky balance of keeping our sanity while having a reasonably clean and organized home?


Many working women, including “stay at home” Moms, still do more than their fair share of work. Think about this: if someone had to pay for that family maintenance work, the estimate runs upwards towards $100,000 yearly!

Want to see your time? Get some paper and divide the page into three columns. In the first column, list all of the weekly household tasks. In the next column, the approximate time it takes per week. In the third column, who’s doing it. Now add up everyone’s time, and get delegating!

Even young children can put clothes away, pick up after themselves and help with simple chores. My six year old granddaughter can run the vacuum through the high traffic areas. Encouraging kids in positive ways from a young age saves countless hours spent arguing later on! My Mother was always stressed over doing housework on her day off. I don’t blame her, but it didn’t help motivate me much!

Get Organized With The 4 B’s

Life Coach and author Martha Beck created a prioritizing tool called The 4 B’s: Bag It, Barter It, Better It and Batch It.

Bag It means ditching it!. If you’re dusting once a week, can you Bag It and do it twice monthly? Let go of what you can. People that truly love you don’t care about a little dust on your end-table.

Barter It means trading, including with money, to have someone else do it. Women often say they can’t afford a cleaning person, but regularly spend it on a casual dinner out. Feel guilty paying someone to do “your” work? Think of it as a priceless investment, giving precious time back to you and your family!

Better It means adding something pleasurable to something dreadful. Hate doing dishes? Better It by making a playlist that rocks your energy! Make it a game and count the songs it takes to empty the sink. “Better it” for your kids and Google “games to get your kids to do chores!”

Batch It means doing similar tasks all at once. Pick one hour for family “just do it” time. Shut down the electronics and don’t do anything else during that time. Make it fun, and set up rewards for everyone, including yourself. Rewards are powerful motivators and don’t have to be complex or expensive.

Organize In Baby Steps

Break big jobs into small steps and start with the smallest one. Give yourself permission to stop after completing the first step. Telling ourselves we only have to take one baby step relieves motivation-sapping mental stress, and we may end up inspired to keep going!

Little things add up. Stash natural cleaning wipes in the bathroom and wipe surfaces a few times a week after your bathroom routine. You’re already in there and it takes 60 seconds to wipe out a sink. When you walk through a room, pick up a few things. (See next.)

Get in the habit of putting things in one place, even if it’s just in piles. Assign specific areas for papers, mail, dirty clothes, coats and shoes. Even a little bit of organization saves huge amounts of time looking for lost items, reduces clutter, and makes cleaning more efficient; sorting one pile is easier than finding it all over the place on cleaning day.

Well begun is half done. (Mary Poppins had it right!) Pick one thing, and just get started! It’s never as painful a task as we think and it’s usually done before we know it. Find a balance, make it fun, get it done and go on to live your life!

Cellular Phone Contract Tips

Choosing a cellular phone contract and choosing a cell phone for you can be very challenging. Choosing a cell phone that's right for you depends on your personal preferences and your needs.

Cellular phone choices vary from the multi-featured and cool style to the strictly functional and unassuming. It is strictly a personal choice, and you'll want to choose a cellular phone that is right for the way you use it.

A good cellular phone choice is one that has features you'll enjoy using. While there are many factors to consider, it all boils down to choosing a cell phone that will offer you the best design, features, and performance.

If you thought choosing a cell phone design was hard, choosing your features is not any easier. Cellular phone choices range from simple and functional to complicated features. As a general rule, do not buy anything more than you will use.

If you want your phone to strictly make calls, stick with the basics. If you're going to use your mobile for e-mail or multi-tasking, go with a higher-end cellular phone choice. If you want to have fun with your phone consider one with a camera.

When choosing a cell phone plan, think carefully about how much you'll actually be using your phone. Usage time is the basis of every cellular phone contract. The more minutes in your plan the more money you will have to pay. Most cellular phone contracts from the major carriers vary from 300 minutes a month up to 5,000 minutes.

You also have to think about when you'll be making most of your calls. Most carriers consider only those calls made during peak periods typically, Monday through Friday between 7 am and 9 pm, as minutes that actually count toward your plan minutes.

Calls made during the weekends, nights, and holidays, are usually free and are considered unlimited indefinitely minutes. Calls made to other cell phones on a carrier's network can also be free.

You'll need to find out if checking your voicemail, incoming and outgoing calls count toward unlimited indefinitely minutes. Be sure you know how everything works when comparing cell phone plans.

When choosing a cell phone plan that is best for you, you're better off overestimating the number of plan minutes you'll need more than paying extra, expensive airtime charges each month.

If you find that you've overestimated or underestimated your usage, you can easily change your rate plan. When comparing cell phone plans, keep in mind that this may affect your contract date by moving it out further, so ask.

7 points to consider before agreeing to a cellular phone contract:

1. Verify the unlimited anytime minutes you have and what kind of calls count toward them.

2. Be aware of all roaming, overtime, and extra charges.

3. If you travel a lot, or have lots of friends and relatives all over creation get a cellular phone contract nationwide plan with free long distance.

4. Know where your local calling area begins and ends.

5. Many of the great deals require a two-year cellular phone contract. Make sure you understand this commitment and how much it will cost you to break it.

6. If you're in the middle of a cellular phone contract or not on a contract and just want to buy a new phone you do not need to sign a new contract. But you probably will not get any discounts that would come with a new contract.

7. Extended warranties and insurance can come in handy if your phone is lost, stolen, or damaged. Just be sure to find out the total cost.

Before you sign any cellular phone contract just be sure you know how everything works so there are no surprises.

Copyright © 2005 1 Stop Shopping All Rights Reserved.

Considerations for the Floor in Any Container Home

The wooden floors constructed into shipping containers have grown to be a hotly contested matter within the last few years. As people find ever more inventive uses for retired shipping containers they’re proclaiming a positive environmental effect for their recycling efforts. On the other side of the equation, many container floors are manufactured utilizing exotic hardwood trees. While still a renewable resource, it takes fifty to sixty years to grow one of these trees that was cut down to make container floors.

An even bigger problem for consideration is the chemicals impregnated into the container floors during production. Australia has very strict specifications for treating shipping container floors; they are treated with serious pesticides and fungicides to prevent alien bugs and rodents from hitching a ride into Australia. Wood preservatives containing a variety of organochlorine pesticides, like aldrin, dieldrin, chlordane and lindane that have been approved in Australia for treating lumber used as structural parts in cargo containers. Consequently, manufactures treat all containers to the Australian specifications, they decided it is difficult to separate the units for any single country out of the fleet and risk the fines and sanctions possible if an unapproved container is caught going into Australia.

Analyses done on these floors and determined that insecticides might be transferred on to the products sitting on the container floors. The physical pick-up of insecticide from the surface of the floor is considered to be the major origin of toxins. The greatest insecticide residue levels were found in products that were stored on recently treated laminated sawn timber. Toxins like these earlier mentioned do dissipate greatly after a couple of years, so with special prepping, cleanup, and sealing using epoxy finishes the chemicals can be isolated. Experts concur, when the out-gassing of substances is inhibited by a barrier then there is virtually no risk. This is comparable to lead paint hazards in the past which have been corrected in older houses.

If the data plate is still on the container, it should indicate the types of chemicals the floor was originally treated with. Naturally if the flooring was damaged and changed somewhere along the line the data plate will not help you. Nor will you ever learn what was shipped in as well as leaking on your container floor during its high seas career. If a container will be utilized for any type of permanent habitation, like a portion of a container house for instance, the advisable course of action is to eliminate the original flooring, have it properly disposed of and install new flooring. You’re looking at ten sheets of plywood in a 40′ container plus labor; if you’re planning to live in or serve food out of a container then you should include these expenses in your budget.

Understanding Your Central Air Conditioners SEER Rating

Every central air conditioner has a SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) rating that is regulated by the US Department of Energy. According to US regulations, no central air conditioner unit currently being manufactured can have a SEER rating lower then 13. Most central air conditioner units usually have SEER ratings ranging from 13 to about 20 SEER.

Unfortunately, most consumers do not really understand what a SEER rating really means. The easiest way to explain it is to compare an A / C units SEER ratings to an estimated estimated MPG. Some cars get 15 miles per gallon and others get 30 mpg. All other things being equal, most people would probably prefer buying the car that gets 30 mpg over the one that gets 15mpg. Why, well the car that gets more mpg is going to end up saving the consumer more money in the long run even though it may cost a little more money in the beginning.

Purchasing a newer air conditioning system with a higher SEER rating can also create a substantial savings on your monthly energy bill as the newer systems are much more efficient at cooling. By upgrading your A / C unit from a SEER 9 to a SEER 13 system your power consumption will be reduced by approximately 30%. This can result in an energy savings of up to $ 300 or more per year depending on your usage rate and the cost of electricity in your area.

Remember depending on the climate and location of where a consumer lives, your air conditioner can be one of the most essential things for a home. For instance, a person that lives in Florida needs to take an air conditioners SEER rating very seriously when thinking about purchasing a new system. Nine out of the 12 months in a year it is hot and humid in Florida. The air conditioner is going to be used almost non-stop most of the year. This is why it is crucial to understand the SEER rating and buy the air conditioner that best suits you and the climate you live in.

So the next time you're in the market for a new A / C unit, remember to factor in the cost savings of a unit with a higher SEER rating. While you may spend a little more money up front for the unit, you will more than likely make up and exceed that extra cost in just a few short years.

Air Conditioner – Cool History

Air conditioning: On a hot day, some people feel like they would not survive without it. It does not only refer to controlling the temperature of an indoor area (cooling), though. It also refers to controlling the humidity and sometimes even the purity of the air in an interior. When you are cruising down the street on a blistering day with the AC cranked up or freezing in a frigid movie theater watching the latest blockbuster, do you ever wonder who came up with the idea of air conditioning? It may have started earlier than you think.

The Ancient Romans invented sewers, public baths, and pottery which prove how innovative their society was. They also came up with the idea of circulating aqueduct water through the walls of houses to cool them. The Medieval Persians used a complex system of cisterns and wind towers to cool their civilization. A cistern was a large open pool in a central courtyard that collects rain water. The wind tower had windows that caught wind and internal vanes to direct the airflow down to the buildings, over the cistern and out through a downwind cooling tower. When the water in the cistern evaporated, it cooled the air in the building.

The process we currently think of as air conditioning got its start a little later. In 1820, Michael Faraday, an English chemist and physicist, discovered that compressing and liquefying ammonia could chill air when the liquefied ammonia was allowed to evaporate. In 1842, John Gorrie, a physician in the United States, used compressor technology to create ice. He dreamed of using his ice-making machine to regulate the temperature of buildings and eventually entire cities, but died before his dream came true.

Willis Haviland Carrier, in 1902, was the inventor of the first modern electrical air conditioning. He got the term air conditioning from a man named Stuart W. Cramer. Cramer controlled the humidity of his textile mill by combining moisture with ventilation. Evaporation of water in air to provide a cooling effect is now known as evaporative cooling. After the demand for modern electrical air conditioners went up, Carrier formed the Carrier Air Conditioning Company of America which is currently the largest manufacturer and distributor in the world of heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

New developments in air conditioning continue to this very day. Now there is a priority on increasing energy efficiency and improving indoor air quality. So, when you are kicking back on your couch, covered with a light blanket as the sun blazes outside, you now know who to thank for your satisfaction with the surrounding environment. That may be the very definition of cool.

The Benefits of Using Acoustic Underlay

When attempting to soundproof a floor there are many considerations unique to each installation that will need to be addressed in order to achieve a significant reduction to the level of unwanted noise. These include the type of noise, is it impact noise or the transfer of airborne noise, the amount of space available in which to install the floor soundproofing materials and the overall budgetary restrictions.

Where space is at a premium, an excellent alternative to complete floor soundproofing can be provided through the use of acoustic underlay; special mineral foam mats that can be laid under carpet or wooden floors and dramatically reduce unwanted impact and airborne noise.

There are many benefits from using acoustic underlay including:

Improved floor sound insulation properties

An acoustic underlay provides a significant reduction in impact noise, especially when caused by footfalls on a wooden floor and can also help reduce the transfer of airborne noise to the supporting structure. As with any soundproofing product, it is only as good as the weakest link, so it is always worth ensuring that the walls are suitably soundproofed to prevent any unwanted flanking.

Minimal Increase in floor level

As the underlay is of a comparable thickness to standard carpet underlay, and can in some circumstances act as a direct replacement, it is possible to add an additional level of soundproofing without having to significantly increase the height of the floor.

Easily Installed

Acoustic underlay can be directly laid onto the sub-floor in certain domestic situations, or alternatively fixed down with a bonding adhesive. Where there is likely to be heavy traffic, it is often advisable to add an additional layer of acoustic MDF board on top of the underlay to ensure less wear to the acoustic underlay as well as eliminating the risk of the carpet rucking under wheeled furniture.

Can be used to help meet Part E Regulations

In flat conversions a simple acoustic underlay can drastically reduce both impact noise and airborne noise which helps the development to meet Part E of the UK building regulations.

100% recyclable

Some acoustic underlay products like Acoustilay are 100% recyclable once their working life is finished helping to reduce landfill waste and the environment.

100% manufactured in the UK

By using products that are completely sourced and manufactured in the UK, the fewer miles the acoustic underlay will have had to travel and will therefore have a significantly lower carbon footprint than its imported Equivalent. It also directly benefits the UK economy and supports local manufacturing.

What Is Gluten?

Many of you have heard of certain celebrities following a gluten-free diet. If you also hear of the tremendous health benefits, you might wonder if gluten-free is the way to go. After all, more than 55 diseases have been linked to gluten. And 99% of people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity go un-diagnosed. If you discover that you have gluten sensitivity, you are right along with what's believed to be more than 30% of the population. Knowing how to identify it and avoid it is vital to your health. So, what is gluten?

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a group of proteins found in many grains such as wheat, barley or rye. The word "gluten" comes from the Latin word for glue. Gluten makes dough sticky and causes bread to be airy and fluffy. Gluten is considered a "sticky" protein because it holds together nutrient storage spaces in plants. Gluten is frequently used by food manufacturers as a binder and filler.

Gluten binds to the lining of the small intestine, causing substantive inflammation as your body attacks the cells of your small intestine. Painful irritation also occurs, making you unable to absorb the nutrients you consume from food. The overexposure of gluten can lead to leaky gut. Celiac disease is the most serious condition associated with gluten. Those who have been diagnosed with celiac have to follow a gluten-free diet plan for a lifetime.

In order to identify and avoid gluten, you need to read the ingredients labels. There are common sources of gluten, but you should be aware of hidden sources of this poisonous protein.

Common Gluten Food Sources:

Any form of wheat, barley or rye:

  • breads
  • cakes
  • cereals
  • cookies
  • crackers
  • muffins
  • pancakes
  • pasta
  • pies
  • pretzels
  • waffles
  • ancient wheat grains such as semolina, spelt, and Kamut and triticale
  • oats (by cross-contamination)

Gluten is not found in rice, millet, corn or quinoa.

Gluten in not-so-obvious food sources:

  • alcohol
  • candy
  • cold cuts and luncheon meats
  • corn chips
  • dry roasted nuts
  • gravy cubes
  • Instant or restaurant mashed potatoes
  • meat, chicken, and vegetable stock cubs
  • processed crab
  • sauces and condiments (ketchup, barbecue sauce, and many others)
  • scrambled eggs in a restaurant (some places mix in a little pancake batter)
  • vegan meat substitutes
  • vitamins

Gluten is found in almost everything because it's a very common additive to foods. Even worse, our government does not require gluten to be labeled on packages so its hidden under the names: "hydrolyzed vegetable protein," "food starch," "vegetable protein," and even "natural flavors."

Additions and Preservatives:

  • artificial coloring
  • baking powder
  • caramel coloring / flavoring
  • citric acid (can be fermented from wheat, corn, molasses, or beets)
  • coloring
  • dextrins
  • diglycerides
  • emulsifiesrs
  • enzymes
  • fat replacers
  • flavorings
  • food starch
  • glucose syrup
  • glycerides
  • maltodextrin
  • modified food starch
  • natural flavors
  • stabilizers
  • starch
  • wheat starch

Gluten in non-food sources:

  • beauty products
  • medications, supplements and herbal formulas
  • Play-doh and paintings
  • postage stamps and envelopes

Even manufactured foods labeled gluten-free are not. Our government and the FDA allows food manufacturers to use "gluten-free" on their labels if the gluten content is below 20 parts per million (ppm). Eating even a minute amount of gluten can have severe consequences for a person that suffers from celiac disease, Crohn's disease, colitis and many other diseases. In order to relieve symptoms, repair your gut, and increase your overall wellness, it's important to be able to identify and avoid gluten. You will live a healthy life by following a strict gluten-free diet plan.

Some Good Apartment Pets

There is naught more enjoyable than having a sweet pet about you, even though this can be a problem if you stay in an apartment building. Not kindly will the pet bringing happiness it will be a first-rate buddy. Even though people generally want dogs or cats as apartment pets, you could go for different types of pets that could have stayed with you in your apartment building. This is some of the top good apartment pets that you can have if you are deciding on owning a pet:

Pot-bellied pigs can be great apartment pets although a bit troublesome sometimes; they are more intelligent and are easier to train than dogs. Not kindly are they sweet and kind, they do not shed. Best of all, they do not bark! They are very smart and curious. So, make sure you close all food storage areas that have food items, even your garbage cans. Even though, they demand a lot of obligation and can be costly to own, but they make excellent pets.

The hedgehog is not an exceptionally social rodent, but a trained 1 could be welcoming. They have a lifetime of 4 to 6 years hencemore you would be able to take care of it effortlessly. They prosper fairly admirably on regular cat food. You may encounter a problem getting the hedgehog used to you handling it, but the trade off is that they do not require too much work and are good for themselves entertained.

If you end up having a Chinchilla when it is young, you could be positive that it will bond quickly with you. The lifetime of Chinchilla is around 15 years, they are very entertaining. Make sure you have a large cage in addition to lots of items for your Chinchilla. Also, include a dust bath available for the pet as it wallows in dust to keep its coat healthy and clean.

Of course, prior to obtaining a good apartment pet, make certain you get written permission from your apartment manager on the rules about having a pet.

Violins, Tuning Forks and 440 Concert Pitch

Being "off pitch" is more often a metaphor for poor communications. But with violins, oboes, and concertmasters, it hits on the science of music.

In a modern world, we expect everything to be standardized. With a few exceptions – the inability one encounterers trying to plug American electrical devices into European outlets being one of them – a globalized economy and culture have more or less made the vast majority of tools and instruments interchangeable according to universal agreements and standards.

Another one of those exceptions might be the tuning of notes in Western culture music. Music is, after all, quite global. And yet going back decades and up to today, finding that perfect Concert A is elusive. Strike up a conversation on this topic in a violin shop populated by six people and you may well get six different perspectives.

First, there is a scientific way of determining pitch, which conventional wisdom says is 440 hertz for the Concert A. That sounds pretty standard, right? Exception the Concert A for non-transposing instruments (violins, violas, cellos, harp, flute, piano, and yes, the marimba, among others) is actually a different note for transposing instruments (double bass, piccolo, B-flat clarinet, contrabassoon, French horn, B-flat trumpet and, of course, the glockenspiel, among others). This is mostly a matter of semantics, but it also hints at the complexity of a single musical note.

That said, with the invention of the tuning fork, and standardizing it to sound waves (the 440 Hz), at least musicians, conductors and full orchestras could at least know what that standard pitch would be – right? Well, not exactly. Science and art rarely meld perfectly. You could say they are not in concert. The disagreements or inconsistencies of tuning forks go back almost 100 years, possibly more:

• Invented in 1711 by British musician John Shore, the tuning fork produced the first pure tone (technically superior to a stringed instrument because it has much less of an overtone that would override or muddle the perception of the fundamental note). The forked shape, with parallel tines, converges at the base while the handle is connected to a resonance box, which amplifies the sound. But air temperature can affect the frequency, so its use is set at 68 degrees F, or 20 degrees A. Which does not need hold for outdoor July concerts in the Hollywood Bowl.

• The standard 440 Hz setting of tuning forks does not get a full agreement with everyone. Reportedly, the Boston Symphony Orchestra is set to 444 Hz, the New York Philharmonic to 443 Hz, and the Berlin Philharmonic 445 Hz. Some solo violinists intentally tune at a number above the orchestra's 440 Hz, around 442 Hz for example, to create a slightly brighter sound.

• And which instrument tunes to the tuning fork before tuning the entire orchestra: the concertmaster violin or the oboe? In a concert band / wind ensemble, the absence of all strings defaults this responsibility to the oboe, the principal (first chair) clarinet, or sometimes the principal flute or saxophone. But in an orchestra, it is not uncommon for the concertmaster violinist to cue each section to its Concert A. Still, the oboe is more often than not the instrument by which all others find their pitch.

Alas, the familiar metal tuning fork itself is slowly giving way to electronic versions thereof. The most accurate of these, the strobe tuner (using stroboscopes) is nonetheless expensive and temporary, with moving parts that tend to require service and repairs. Only the luthiers making and repairing the finest instruments have access to these.